Bourbon Club: Let’s Get This Party Started



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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84 Responses

  1. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Good timing. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival starts tomorrow.

  2. Avatar Michelle says:

    I found that a nice glass of bourbon on the rocks helped me get through the Republican debates without throwing anything at the TV. I’m also pretty sure bourbon will help make prolonged exposure to Romney in the presidential debates more tolerable.Report

  3. Avatar Josh Rutner says:

    Walker Percy on Bourbon (via

    “Not only should connoisseurs of Bourbon not read this article, neither should persons preoccupied with the perils of alcoholism, cirrhosis, esophageal hemorrhage, cancer of the palate, and so forth–all real dangers. I, too, deplore these afflications. But, as between these evils and the aesthetic of Bourbon drinking, that is, the use of Bourbon to warm the heart, to reduce the anomie of the late twentieth century, to cut the cold phlegm of Wednesday afternoons, I choose the aesthetic. What, after all, is the use of not having cancer, cirrhosis, and such, if a man comes home from work every day at five-thirty to the exurbs of Montclair or Memphis and there is the grass growing and the little family looking not quite at him but just past the side of his head, and there’s Cronkite on the tube and the smell of pot roast in the living room, and inside the house and outside in the pretty exurb has settled the noxious particles and the sadness of the old dying Western world, and him thinking: ‘Jesus, is this it? Listening to Cronkite and the grass growing?’

    “If I should appear to be suggesting that such a man proceed as quickly as possible to anesthetize his cerebral cortex by ingesting ethyl alcohol, the point is being missed. Or part of the point. The joy of Bourbon drinking is not the pharmacological effect of C(2)H(5)OH on the cortex but rather the instant of the whiskey being knocked back and the little explosion of Kentucky U.S.A. sunshine in the cavity of the nasopharynx and the hot bosky bite of Tennessee summertime—aesthetic considerations to which the effect of the alcohol is, if not dispensable, at least secondary.”

    Here’s to a little explosion of Kentucky U.S.A. sunshine in the cavities of our nasophraynxes.Report

  4. Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

    Our mini-Leaguefest on Friday may be just the excuse I need to kick this off.Report

  5. Avatar Remo says:


    A shame i don’t enjoy the corny taste on bourbon. I’d much rather have scotch.

    But this being the bourbon club I do not believe i have a choice.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      I’ve heard it said there are bourbon drinkers and then there are scotch drinkers, but not both. I disbelieve that. For my part I find scotch easier to drink than bourbon, smoother, easier on my nasopharynx (to reference the Bourbon Club’s patron saint Walker Percy). But there’s something special–to me–about the comparative roughness of bourbon. It demands more of me, and makes me think about it more. Which is the right drink really depends on the mood I’m in. But tastes and values are subjective, which is why we, as we always say on the intertoobz, your mileage may vary.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Not true at all. I like bourbon, and Scotch. Not all the same. There is so much variation from label to label that there are many bourbons I like better than Scotches.

        The Eagle Rare in this month’s club has been sweet up front, leaving a smoky aftertaste, and smooth throughout. That’s having it with a couple of rocks to unleash the flavor, as I often do with a smoky Scotch.Report

  6. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Wait, the Bourbon Club Constitution says we’re supposed to write publicly about Bourbon Club, but not talk about it? Hopefully the Bourbon Club Supreme Court has a majority of textual literalists, or we’re all in trouble.Report

  7. Am I allowed to put it in my manhattans?Report

    • Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

      Does a bear shit in the woods?

      (And then wipe up with Charmin?)Report

      • And then wiggle his ass in a repulsive display of gluteal pride?

        I rarely drink bourbon in any way other than in manhattans. (Exceptions for certain recent travels to particular social gatherings were made.) If that would be considered “ruining” it in some way, best I know now rather than be shamed by my peers later.Report

        • Avatar James Hanley says:

          Does a Manhattan require good bourbon? That is, does the increasing quality of the bourbon result in an increasing quality of the Manhattan? If so, then you should go for it. But if not, you may be overspending on bourbon without any corresponding benefit, and not much ability to talk about the bourbon per se.

          On the other hand, if you don’t happen to already know the answer, the bourbon club may be your quasi-scientific method for finding out.

          But at the least you have to share a Manhattan recipe so I–the straight liquor, non-cocktail drinker–can break out of my mold and give one a try.

          (And now, as it’s lunchtime, and my only remaining class today is American Gov’t, which I could easily do half-crocked, I’m inspired to have some 4 Roses with my lunch.)Report

        • Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

          Manhattans, in particular, benefit from better bourbon, if you ask me. They’re all alcohol, so you don’t have anything to really interfere with the flavor (like, say, the sugar in an old fashioned). 2/3 good bourbon + 1/3 good vermouth = 1 good Manhattan.Report

          • Avatar James Hanley says:

            Hey, I even have a bottle of vermouth (don’t know about good, since I don’t know vermouth) that I got for making shrimp and cucumber soup. Maybe I’ll try one tonight.

            I had no idea a Manhattan was all acohol, but with that caveat, I’m inclined to agree it should improve with better bourbon.

            So may Eagle Rare plan is to 1) drink it neat, 2) drink it with either a small ice cube or a few drops of water, 3) drink it with a grilled steak (hmm, charcoal or gas?), and to drink it in a Manhattan. But just know that I tend to associate cocktails with effete urban sissiness and straight liquor with strong rural manliness. 😉Report

            • Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

              Technically, you also want a dash of bitters. Vermouth should be sweet and, ideally, fresh, but we often work with what we have.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Dangit Ryan! This is twice today I’ve been beaten to the punch! First Rufus with ‘Bananas’, now you with bitters! 🙂Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Bitters it will be then. I wonder where they’d be in my liquor store…

                How fresh should Vermouth be? That is, I bought my bottle about a month and a half ago, and used just about a quarter cup for my soup, then recapped it and shoved it in the back of the pantry. Am I good, or is it likely to be declining badly already?

                (Maybe I just never got into cocktails because of the learning curve…)Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

                If you ask, they will tell you, I’m quite sure.

                Vermouth, like port or sherry, is fortified wine. Ideally, it should be refrigerated once opened and consumed within a month (or two). A month and a half in the pantry should likely not make it too bad.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Two more questions, if y’all will bear with me.

                1. Is vermouth drinkable straight, like port and sherry? I enjoy those, but I always had the impression vermouth was strictly for mixing. (I didn’t even know it was actually a wine.)

                2. How much is a dash? Do literally just give the bitters a single brisk shake of the wrist? (I assume this is one of those “to taste” things, but want a better sense of what it is we’re actually talking about as far as dose control.)Report

              • Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

                1. Oh yes. Vermouth is a many-splendored thing. Generally speaking, don’t drink Martini and Rossi, but a lot of the rest are very good. Dolin, which the good doctor already mentioned, is my personal favorite. It also comes in half-bottles, if you have a very good liquor store, which is a great way to keep your supply fresh. One of the first things I ever posted here was a recipe for Chamberyzette, which is Dolin Blanc Vermouth + muddled strawberries.

                2. Bitters bottles typically have pour-control tops that help you measure out a dash at a time, but yeah, flick of the wrist is pretty good. I generally like 2-3 flicks myself. I have some bacon-flavored ones that a friend bought me, and they have an eye dropper top. My general approach there is 2-3 drops, if that gives an indication of the amount I like.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                My limited experience with bitters is that it is dispensed in much the same way that Tabasco is, so you must actually shake the bottle to get it to come out. I won’t comment on what the “right” amount is. So hopefully this is only quasi-useless.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                It takes a lot of shakes for me to get the right amount of tabasco. 😉

                Thanks to both Ryan and Kazzie. I’m intrigued, and I may start paying closer attention to Boegiboe’s cocktail recipes.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                If you have the option, charcoal grill the steaks. The only reason I go gas is convenience… I can’t justify breaking out the charcoal briquettes to grill up two chicken breasts for Zazzy and I. But if you know how to control your heat and flame, it is the preferred method for grilling.

                I used to think similarly about spirits, but as I’ve drank more and better cocktails, I am changing my tune. There are very few spirits I enjoy enough to drink neat… Johnny Walker Blue is really the only one. A great deal more I enjoy on the rocks, but I wouldn’t say I really take a sip and say, “MMM… I want more of that”; it is still a bit of a chore. But make me a fantastic cocktail? Delicious.

                For those of you who enjoy bourbon and are in or around DC, may I recommend Founding Farmers? It is a farm-to-table style restaurant that makes quality comfort food, even if it is a bit overpriced, overcrowded, and overhip. They make one cocktail, called “The Bone”, which is bourbon, lemon juice, and tabasco served on the rocks with a pig candy garnish. It might be a touch on the sweet side, but it is fantastic and the exact type of cocktail I need to be careful with. I’ve tried to replicate it, but can’t get the ratios right.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                I feel the same about grilling. But as to spirits, I really do enjoy scotch, bourbon and brandy straight. I understand the purpose of mixing them–after all, I only occasionally drink my coffee black (and it’s best with a shot of liqeur), and I do add seasonings to my dishes, or even mix different meats together. And you all recently taught me that my White Russians counted as cocktails, and I do really like them.

                And come to think of it, I do like screwdrivers, tequila sunrises, and fuzzy navels, whereas these days I rarely drink vodka or tequila straight, and I really dislike straight schnapps. So now I’m re-evaluating my own self-knowledge.

                Damn, this bourbon club is an enlightening thing!Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                James – if you are looking for a vodka you can drink straight, try this one (I do on rocks), with a bite of yr favorite dark chocolate in between sips:



              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Glyph, your thoughtfulness is much appreciated, but my straight vodka days are behind me, due to some not so delightful memories it conjures up. I was always amazed at how surprised people were that I drank it straight, though–I’d heard that’s how Russians drank it (probably only half true), so it seemed that must be normal to me.

                Same experience with tequila. I learned to drink it straight, then went out with some folks who were doing the lime and salt thing. They really struggled with the tequila, so I got the impression the lime and salt were for sissies, and only later did I figure out that they provide a different tequila experience that was worthwhile on its own (although I still think God’s intention for it was to mix with orange juice).Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Yr loss 🙂

                It’s definitely a ‘pour two fingers over rocks and sip while eating a dark chocolate bar on a Friday night at home listening to records’ kind of thing, not ‘do as shots and get in a bar fight’ one.

                Eh, who’m I kidding – closer to three fingers. It’s really subtle/tasty with the chocolate.

                But still.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Well, I guess I wouldn’t stomp my feet and refuse…Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                They play up the ‘Black Cherry’ part of it, but to me it’s the hint of vanilla that makes it. Really subtly done, and incredibly synergistic with less-sweet chocolate. And it is super-smooth.

                Gonna have to make a trip to the liquor store to pick up the Eagle Rare.

                Apparently Amazon doesn’t sell EVERYTHING, who knew? After I found out they sold dildos and bongs, I just figured you could get anything there. But not bourbon, apparently.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I was never a fan of tequila, associating it with bygone party days. That is, until my recent sojurn to Mexico. Oh man… Get the right tequila and you can sip that for days. No lime or salt necessary… Maybe a slight run of the lime around the rim lf the glass but otherwise, they’re perfect. Unfortunately, most are hard to find in the states (we got a bottle comped by the resort).Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Oh, god, vanilla, that most space awesome of substances. The taste, the scent… I’m one of those people who doesn’t really understand why people would order a chocolate or strawberry milkshake when they could get a vanilla one. Vanilla’s a straight up aphrodisiac. So you’ve hooked me, no doubt about it.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Kazzy – re: tequila you can usually find Patron, Don Julio or Tres Generaciones at a reasonable price, and these are all at least decent IMO.

                There’s been a real explosion in quality tequilas in recent years so I am sure there is better stuff out there, but these 3 are usually accessible price-and-availability-wise, at least around here.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:


                This is what we grabbed:

                I could sip that in a way I couldn’t sip any of the Tequila’s you mentioned, though I’m partial to Patron Cafe (only because I’m on a weird coffee kick, despite never really drinking the stuff). I’ve had some others we’ve gotten stateside, including a few jalapeno infused ones. The point is, there is delicious tequila out there and we just need to realize the shots we ripped in frat houses was not it.


                I’m with you on vanilla provided it is the real deal. Fake vanilla-y products don’t do it for me but the real deal? Yes sir.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Kazzy – that Patron Cafe is good, and usually weirdly cheap. I’ve made some good dessert-type dishes with it as an ingredient (drizzle it over some vanilla ice cream, for example).

                I haven’t tried that tequila you had, I don’t think I have ever even seen it before.

                And if you like the vanilla, try that vodka I was pushing on James. 🙂


              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                I’m one of those people who doesn’t really understand why people would order a chocolate or strawberry milkshake when they could get a vanilla one. Vanilla’s a straight up aphrodisiac.

                Right arm, Prof. Hanley. The confusion comes from flavoring products like “imitation vanilla” that is really an extract from the byproducts of pulping wood for paper. Doesn’t taste the same and frequently wasn’t used enough to convey real taste anyway, at least back in the 1950’s when Americans were afraid of flavor. The result is a lot of cheap product out there — even today when the real stuff is available in larger quantities and at lower prices than ever before in human history, there’s still a lot of ice cream that is better-describes as being “white” than “vanilla.”Report

          • Avatar Glyph says:

            FYI to all, if the straight bourbon (or even a subpar bourbon in yr Manhattan) is proving a little rough to yr palate, try adding a dash of bitters.

            I don’t really know the science of it, but bitters can ’round off’ the edges on a harsh spirit.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:


      Drink the bourbon however you prefer! As many have pointed out, this might prove a learning experience for you and the rest of us. I tend not to take my spirits straight either; on the rocks at least, in a well-made cocktail preferably. If you’ve got a good recipe, do share it!Report

      • I have tried a variety of bourbons in my manhattans, and will state emphatically that quality matters. A lot.

        Into shaker add crushed ice, about 2/3 to the top.
        Add several dashes of bitters
        Add decent pour of good-quality sweet vermouth (I swear by Dolin for sweet vermouth)
        Add enough bourbon to cover ice well (at least by half an inch)
        Shake the beejesus out of it
        Pour into cocktail glasses that have been kept in freezer for at least an hour (cherries optional)Report

        • Avatar James Hanley says:

          Wait, now I have to buy a shaker and cocktail glasses?

          And crush my ice? (Oddly, we often don’t have any ice in the house. We use it so rarely that our ice cubes often evaporate before we get around to using them. The upside of that is I can often find one just the right–small–size when I decide my scotch or bourbon needs one.)Report

          • Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

            Shaker is a great purchase. They’re not very expensive either. I think you can go either way on cocktail glasses, but one of the best wedding gifts I got was eight crystal old fashioneds (and eight highballs) (these ones). Totally not necessary, but the luxury of crystal with a weighted bottom in the hand is pretty wonderful.

            Also, you don’t need crushed ice, and if you’re going to be putting it in your drink rather than just shaking with it, very large pieces of ice are better, for science reasons. I have a little tray that makes four very large 2″x2″x2″ cubes. These don’t fit in single old fashioned glasses very well, though, so get yourself double old fashioneds and just drink more. Everyone wins!Report

            • Avatar James Hanley says:

              Fortunately I have some of my grandmother’s old water glasses that are roughly approximate to highball glasses. The fact that her dad was a fierce temperance fighter makes it all the better.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Zazzy forced me to splurge on myself for once and I picked up 8 of the double old fashioneds here:

                They’re heavy and old school, the type of glass my grandma used to give me soda in. They make you feel like whatever you are drinking is important. Well worth the investment. They add a touch of class to the mancave.

                I need a better shaker, that’s for damn sure. But Crate&Barrel has good stuff, usually as two price points: mass produced for cheap (few bucks a glass) and handmade for 2-3x more. Mine are the latter. I love them.Report

            • I would never put crushed ice in an unshaken drink.

              My general rule of thumb is: only alcoholic ingredients in shaken cocktail = crushed ice/ non-alcoholic ingredients (eg. lime juice, simple syrup, etc) = whole cubes in the shakerReport

              • Avatar James H. says:

                Emergency! I just went out and bought bitters and a shaker, so I’m about to have a $32 Manhattan. But how the hell much crushed ice should I put in the shaker?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                The recipe says to add it 2/3 of the way to the top.

                Now you can’t ever get mad at students for not reading the directions.Report

              • Avatar James H. says:

                Oh, hell, I went googling the info instead of re-reading what Russell wrote. In a just world that kind of idiocy would be painful. Fortunately for me the world usn’t just.Report

          • Avatar Kazzy says:

            You don’t have an ice dispenser on the fridge? What are you, a farmer?Report

            • Avatar James Hanley says:

              The fridge came with the house. The kickplate has come off, the interior light no longer works, but it still keeps things cold. I can’t even bring myself to spend $200 bucks on a flat screen TV, so there’s no way I’m going to spend $1500-$2500 on a fridge. I look at it and think, “I ought to.” Then I’m in the store and look at them and think, “that’s a trip to California for the whole family.” It’s funny, I suppose, that I’m spending thousands of dollars–ultimately it will be two or three tens of thousands–renovating a worn-down old house, but I just can’t bring myself to care about appliances. Even my food processor is just a cheap hand crank thing. If we hadn’t been given a blender for a wedding gift, I probably still wouldn’t have one. And I look at appliances in the store and love the ones that have beautiful designs, and think how cool they’d look in my kitchen, but until something I have breaks down, I’m just not interested in buying.

              Although, for what it’s worth, I recently did buy a new Microwave to replace the 30 year old one that the in-laws handed down to us about 15 years ago. But that’s only because it took up too much space, and I found a much smaller one for a good price.

              In other words, yes, I am a farmer.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                Replacing that old fridge can be a moneysaver.

                Especially if it’s old.Report

              • Avatar James H. says:

                Pat, yes, it can. But it has to compete with other money savers, like more insulation, new windows, the new furnace we’re still oaying iff, and the old hot water heater that we’re going to be replacing sooner or later, planned or unplanned. Payback time on the fridge diesn’t make it top of the list.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Our house came with the fridge. Before that, I never had an ice maker and never thought much of it. Now that I’m drinking more cocktails, it is a lifesaver. Like you, I never remember to make ice, so having it ready whenever is huge.Report

              • Avatar James H. says:

                Our house came with the fridge.

                Dude, you bought a fridge and a house came with it? Sweet deal!Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                I am the 1%!

                I say that only quasi-jokingly, given that someone recently argued that the Obamas moving into a $287K condo shortly after marrying showed their out-of-touch lifestyle and given that Zazzy and I moved into a $400K house shortly after marrying. I guess we’re “out-of-touch”. What with our ice machines and free houses.Report

  8. Avatar AJ says:

    Straight up, at high altitude. I keep a bottle on the mantle over the fireplace at my house in the Greenhorn Mountains (southern Sierra Nevadas) and it’s the only time I drink that spirit.

    Here’s my tradition, whether with family, guests, or alone. Light a fire, and turn on the music. Pour a generous measure into a 6 ounce tumbler, no shot glasses please, and render the toast, “you’re on cabin time now.”

    BTW, I make no particular distinction between Kentucky or Tennessee variants, and if it’s primarily a corn mash we’re fighting over semantics.Report

  9. Avatar Kazzy says:

    “Pour a generous measure into a 6 ounce tumbler, no shot glasses please, and render the toast, “you’re on cabin time now.””

    We should all be on cabin time more often. I feel like this has all the makings of a political movement.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      Cabin time, hell yeah. I call it canoe time or Boundary Waters time, but it’s just different names for that sweet sweet smelling rose.Report

  10. Avatar Kazzy says:

    While we’re riffing, I have to ask… what is everyone’s thoughts on Jameson? I hate the stuff. I can barely even stomach it in a pickle back. But I know folks who swear by it. What gives?Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      Irish whiskey isn’t like either Scotch or American whiskey/bourbon.

      Jameson’s isn’t as good as Paddy’s, but you can’t get Paddy’s in the States any more.

      Do you also dislike Bushmills?Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Irish and Canadian whiskey, are generally too harsh for me. I am sure that within each nation’s discipline there are exemplars who find what is exceptional and good and showcase it.

      Jameson and Bushmill’s are not those whiskeys.Report

  11. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    …And then I did this. Kind of like a Manhattan, only it’s really not. Give it a try, y’all, and let me know what you think. And give me a name for it!Report

  12. Avatar Plinko says:

    Still haven’t gotten to the store for my Eagle Rare. I assume we’re doing the 10 and not the 17, right?

    I drink mine with a touch of water. I make Sconnie Old Fashioneds with any bottle I don’t much care for, but have a hard time adulterating the good stuff.

    The link for Willett only has their pot still bourbon, which I’ve heard great things about but not yet purchased. They don’t seem to advertise the Rye at their site (which seems woefully updated anyway).
    I saw this most spectacular spirit for sale here:, my local store carries it as well, but not sure how easy it might be to find, the store near my office doesn’t have it. The Bourbon is also extremely well reviewed and probably much more easily available.Report

  13. Avatar damon says:

    What, no Pappys?

    I’ve been looking for an excuse. Of course, I’m having trouble ACQUIRING anything greater than 15 years. God help me!

    I’ve had and liked Jefferson (Jeffersonian?) Not bad.Report

  14. Avatar Dave says:

    I know it’s all subjective but here it goes…

    For me, Eagle Rare is one of those bourbons that I would put in front of someone after they’ve gotten a baseline by trying out the more “mainstream” bourbons/whiskeys of the sub 90 proof variety (i.e. Jack (Old 7/Gentlemen), White Label Beam, George Dickel Cascade Hollow, Wild Turkey 81, Evan Williams and Old Grand Dad 86 or some combination thereof – at least that’s what I tried).

    It’s the kind of bourbon that introduced me to what a well-aged whiskey can really start to do. There is a HUGE difference between 80 and 90 proof whiskeys (I’d argue between 80 and 86 but that’s a different story). Also, while I’m not a snob about age statements, I appreciate knowing how long things have been aged if only as a point of reference (to me, good whiskey is good whiskey no matter what). I find this bourbon to be quite mellow and VERY well-balanced. There’s the sweetness and the typical caramel and vanilla with hints of orange going in. Upon finish, after the alcohol “burn” (not much of one at all), the spices, nuttiness and the oak linger around for a while in a presence that is known but not prominent.

    Personally, I like a good kick so I prefer the bourbons with higher rye content and/or higher proof. For example, I like the aggressive oakiness of Woodford Reserve (the bourbon equivalent of a peat bomb like 10-year Ardbeg) or the surprisingly smooth yet hotter than hell enjoyment from Old Grand 114. However, these are simply my personal preferences and the road that I am currently on. Even so, it gives me even greater appreciation for Eagle Rare. It introduced me to the finer side of bourbon, and even if I have other bourbons I like better, one can not go wrong with this stuff at all. If I’m ever in the mood for something mellow, this is what I go to.

    I drink my bourbon neat.

    I hope this was helpful.Report

  15. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I had my first drink of Buffalo Trace this weekend. I was attending the H Street festival in Washington, DC and found a bar serving it as their default bourbon, which was awesome. I grabbed a glass on the rocks, poured it into my solo cup, and headed down to the Air Guitar Contest. I enjoyed it. Fairly smooth. When I drink my spirits on the rocks (which I tend to), I find that each one reaches a perfect point of equilibrium where just enough ice has melted and coolness transfered to mellow any harshness. Generally speaking, the better the drink, the quicker this is reached, as less water/coolness is required. Johnny Walker Blue, for instance, requires no ice. I found Buffalo Trade reached this point relatively quickly, making it enjoyable that much sooner. The first few sips had a bit of bite but after that, it was smooth sailing. I enjoyed it. The flavor wasn’t too complex, which is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, just a thing. As a “social setting” drink, I would consider it not ideal only because I could see myself enjoying it a bit too quickly and heading to the tank earlier than expected. That is not necessarily a knock on the drink itself, just a reality that probably says more about me than it.

    I will say that fueled by the power it gave me, I went on to dominate the air guitar contest, emerging with a gold medal the existence of which Tod can confirm. If and when I gain hold of the videos taken, I will do what I can to post them here. If for no other reason than that, this is currently my favorite bourbon.Report

  16. Avatar Mark Thompson says:

    So….I managed to use the need to reward my friend for dog sitting last weekend as a pretext for doing my Bourbon Club duties for the month. It was a beautifully well balanced bourbon, especially for the price (at the Wegman’s owned Adult Disneyland in Syracuse, it was less than 30 bucks a bottle). Plenty of vanilla and caramel notes, and then a little bit of wonderful smokiness on the finsish. About a quarter of the way through the generously poured glass my friend handed me, I realized we had about a half pound of pulled pork from Dinosaur BBQ left over from dinner. The combination of smoky bourbon and smoky BBQ was, to say the least, otherworldly.

    A most excellent choice to start the club.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy says:

      Dinosaur BBQ… are you in Rochester? NYC? Or have they expanded?

      All credit goes to whomever recommended it… I believe it was a few folks, actually.Report

      • Allegedly they just opened up a joint in Newark, though I haven’t been yet.

        I was travelling through upstate NY last weekend for the Bills game, and we stayed in Rochester Saturday night. I went to school in Central NY and have made it a point for the last 12 years to pick up some Dinosaur whenever I’m in either Rochester or Syracuse (the original and still the best, if only for the sheer awesomeness of dozens of Harleys constantly parked outside, with bikers, college students, and suits eating next to each other inside). As I recall, Dinosaur used to cater some of my college’s bigger functions, so that was how I first was introduced to the genius of John Stage.*

        *I have an autographed cookbook I picked up when Dinosaur was doing the DC Barbeque Festival about 10 years ago. That was the height of awesomeness- we camped out in front of the Dinosaur booth, and they let us gorge ourselves on unlimited free samples since everyone in our group had gone to school in CNY.Report