View Full Version : Clearing the Bourbon Shelf
How many of you are reluctant to finish the last ounce or two of your last bottle of a particular bottling?
I had been hanging on to the remains of three bottles, Russell's Reserve, Elijah Craig 12 y/o, and Maker's Mark, for different reasons. I hate to be out of RR because it (with an assist from its younger sibling, WT101) has become my "go to" bourbon. I like to have EC12 around for the times when I want a real jolt to my taste buds. I keep Maker's Mark around more as a reference point than anything else. (Like others hereabouts, I buy it only on sale, usually at Rite-Aid Drugs for about $18. Compared to Rebel Yell for $11 at Trader Joe's, even that isn't a great deal, IMO.)
A recent bourbon purchase forced me to start clearing some space. Three days ago I finished the RR (not that it did any good, space-wise; I immediately drove 40 miles to buy a replacement bottle, and while I wasn't looking EWSB '92, OF 100, and Wathen's -- all on sale -- jumped into my cart). Last night I finished the EC12. This afternoon it was the MM. (It took three glasses to finish it off; those wide bottles fool me.)
Maybe I should make good on my threat to start dumping leftovers into one bottle ... Naaah!
What a great topic. I have held onto JD Gentleman Jack for a couple years now because it tastes so good in homemade eggnog at Christmas. But, we didn't have any eggnog last year, so the bottle hangs on.
I still have a bottle of EC 18 yo about a year and half old. Never got used to the taste, but hoping it will taste better in the future. Along the same lines, I have my EC 12 yo that I bought this past summer.
I have a bottle of AA 10 star for guests who like to mix. But, the bad news is that not too many of those kind of guests show up at my house. The good news is that my bourbon friends like the good stuff. (Then again, that gets expensive when we go off our rocker.)
My ORVW Rye 13 yo is perpetually low. That is, whenever, I open a bottle, it goes down quickly. I leave it low for a while to stop me from opening another bottle. I have five new bottles stockpiled. ;-)
Same story for my ORVW 15 yo. It is plentiful, but I have to go to KY to get it, plus it isn't cheap. Hence, I try to slow down on this one as well.
Of course, there's the bottle of Dewars I got for a gift about 5 years ago from some poor soul who thought it was the kind of whiskey I like. The bottle is still full. I know it's the S word, but hell, I just can't stand to toss a bottle of booze, even if it is the S word.
I can never seem to finish a bottle until I have its replacement. As I'm in a very exploratory stage right now, most of my bourbon dollars go to new bottles that I haven't yet had, rather than replacement bottles. Thus, I have a bunch of nearly empty bottles on top of my fridge (which is where I keep my bourbon).
I only slow down my consuption with bottles that I really like but are impossible or difficult to replace. I speed up consumption on bottles I don't really care for. They go on my "get rid of it" shelf.
I use a rotation system with a core group that is almost always on hand. The core group consists of: Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam Black, George Dickle #12, and Wild Turkey 101. All these I usually buy in the 1.5 L bottle except for the Wild Turkey for which I prefer the 750ml bottle for when we go camping. All other bourbon I purchase in 750ml bottles. Beyond the core group I rotate whatever other brands I am trying at the time. Currently I have a Russell’s Reserve, an Elmer T. Lee, and a Rip Van Winkle 10 year 107 proof open. These will be replaced with the same or different bourbons when they are finished. For example I picked up the Russell’s Reserve after finishing off a bottle of Rare Breed.
I also tend to speed up consumption of any bourbon I really don’t like just to get them off the shelf.
I always like to have at least one super premium like Pappy’s or Blanton’s on hand. It’s pretty cool to offer a friend some of the stuff on the top shelf. “If you like that wait until you taste this bourbon…” [Until you find they want to mix it with coke then you get the Jim Beam White out.] Peggy got me a bottle of Pappy’s 20yr for Christmas last year. By the end of the holidays 2/3 of it was gone so I was nursing the rest until a couple of weeks ago when I shared it with Peggy’s uncle. I guess it’s the classic of wanting your cake and eating too. If you drink all the Pappy then you don’t have any Pappy. Oh well it’s on this year’s Christmas list.
I have had this problem. Until Reacently, I have had 4 or five bottles with about 11/2 oz. left in them. I am getting a little better at getting rid of them, If only because I want to look like I have less bourbon, so I can go out & buy more!!
I tend to drink fast and furious when opening a new bottle, especially of a bottle I have not yet sampled. Then, because I like it, I never want to be without it http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif Case in point: my first bottle of Russell's Reserve I purchased a couple of days ago. It's almost half gone. Therefore it will be retired into reserve status until desparate times call for its re-emergance from the back of the shelf. Leading this band of every-day pour wanabes is Booker's, followed by Jefferson's Reserve, Eagle Rare 10yo, EWSB and now RR. EC12 and OF100 have become my every-dayers. There is also a bottle of BT and Old Weller Antique thrown in for good measure. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif
I don't think I have any bottles with just a little left. I have a tendency to work the first half of the bottle quickly and then graze between open bottles as the spirit moves me. The shelf clearing process comes when the "He-Man Women Haters Club" (reference to an old Little Rascals episode) gets together and we do bourbon and cigars by the outdoor fireplace. I'll usually sacrifice the bottom half of the lowest ranking bottle at the time. (Depending on their rating on the neighbor scale, I may upgrade)
I don't normally correct my own mistakes (others usually handle that chore nicely http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif ), for example my reference to an allegedly unique distillery in my tasting of ORVW 10/107, but I'm making an exception here.
I did not, I repeat did not buy Wathen's on the aforementioned shopping trip; it was ETL Single Barrel, in the new, squarish bottle.
Hopefully writing this confession will keep me from going crazy looking for a non-existent bottle of Wathen's a few weeks down the road, as I did for a couple of weeks in regard to OGD 114. I finally remembered that on the shopping trip where I had picked up the OGD 114 my cart got way too full, and I ended up putting a couple of bottles back. (Not a good decision, as it happens; the OGD 114 disappeared from that store's shelf, never to return.)
I guess I could deal with the problem of my failing memory by keeping all of my itemized receipts, but what if my wife finds them? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/shocked.gif
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