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View Full Version : The One-Two-three Punch (or more)



JamesW
11-19-2009, 13:47
I am interested in everyone's ordering of the bourbon they drink in a given night. What do you like to start with and follow up etc....

My one-two-three usually follows a pattern that works for me. I've found that the order I take my whiskey has a big effect on my enjoyment of the better offerings. Some offerings can be horrible after others etc...

Here's a couple likely orderings for me:

1. ORVW 10/107, PVW15, WLW BTAC
2. WT101, Wathens or RR90, Stagg BTAC
3. Ritt BIB, WTRye or Saz 18, Handy BTAC
4. Old Fitz BiB, OWA, ORVW 10/107...

etc....

What's your one-two or more punch?

jburlowski
11-19-2009, 15:33
So much for "the wedding feast at Cana" theory...

I usually go from less intense (flavor / proof) to more intense.

Except, of course, when I don't.

Bottom line: my selections tend to be more serendipituous... where the spirit(s) moves me.

independant
11-19-2009, 22:20
First round would be a small pour of something I have been thinking of through out the day. Second round involves me standing in front of the shelf trying to figure out what to try next, something from the middle/top. Third and final round is me grabbing a bottle of whatever I bought that either I don't care for/need to finish/ or just a good cheap pour and carry that bottle to where I am sitting.
I found this works great to get rid of those bottles I have that are just taking up space.

RWBadley
11-19-2009, 23:06
First round would be a small pour of something I have been thinking of through out the day. Second round involves me standing in front of the shelf trying to figure out what to try next, something from the middle/top. Third and final round is me grabbing a bottle of whatever I bought that either I don't care for/need to finish/ or just a good cheap pour and carry that bottle to where I am sitting.
I found this works great to get rid of those bottles I have that are just taking up space.

I'll send a car by to pick up a few of those awful space taking bottles ;-)

As for the order of progression... Lighter to heavier or subtle to intense for me usually. Tho, I mix up the spirits a bit more and toss in a tequila, rum, mezcal, scotch or whatever into the mix also

Cheers,

RW

unclebunk
11-20-2009, 07:40
I usually go from less intense (flavor / proof) to more intense.


First round would be a small pour of something I have been thinking of through out the day. Second round involves me standing in front of the shelf trying to figure out what to try next, something from the middle/top. Third and final round is me grabbing a bottle of whatever I bought that either I don't care for/need to finish/ or just a good cheap pour and carry that bottle to where I am sitting.
I found this works great to get rid of those bottles I have that are just taking up space.

I generally do a combination of these two approaches. I find myself thinking about a certain bottle all day long and that ends up being my starting point. I then tend to move towards something a bit more "intense," either in proof and/or flavor, before settling into something that I want to knock off to create shelf space. By then I'm usually buzzing pretty good, so it doesn't make a lot of sense for me to continue pouring top shelf stuff like GTS or WLW, as the taste buds are getting duller as the evening wears on. By moving into the "gotta get rid of it" bottles I also save myself some money by not waking up the next day to find an empty bottle of a favorite pour. I should say that the final pour isn't necessarily a dog, but may be something that I enjoy that is inexpensive. So last night, for example, I did a run of OWA 10/90, followed by Weller 12, followed by Pappy 15 before finishing off with Old Forester Signature which I have 1.75L of at all times, though I contemplated knocking off the Michter's US1 Bourbon to make shelf space for something else.

Stu
11-20-2009, 08:06
I prefer to never move down in quality. I rarely drink other than at home or at the gazebo (or whenever there's aglass in my hand). In either location there is an excellent supply of quality whiskey. At home when I get a few bottles that don't contain more than a small drink or two for each of us, I'll line them up on the table in the order in Which we'll drink them, lowest quality first. That does not mean that my lowest quality is an inferior whiskey. I mean I'd rank ETL above BT or EC18 over EW. At the gazebo I look the table over knowing that usually after a max of 6 to 8 tastes (not full pours) they all begin to smell alike and my tongue starts numbing out. I'll decide what I'm going to try and the order in which I'll try them. I try to stick to that agenda - for those of you who have been to the gazebo, you'll know that's an impossible task but I usually try to stay pretty close on track.

JamesW
11-20-2009, 08:21
I prefer to never move down in quality.


I agree with that. I find going in the opposite direction, even if I'm "buzzing" as unclebuck says, to usually be harsh on my palate. Also, f I go down on proof but up on quality I usually start knocking them back way too fast and easy.
So while moving up in quality is my general rule, moving up in intensity, as John mentioned, is nearly as important in maximizing bourbon drinking pleasure.

unclebunk
11-20-2009, 09:19
I prefer to never move down in quality.


I agree with that. I find going in the opposite direction, even if I'm "buzzing" as unclebuck says, to usually be harsh on my palate...So while moving up in quality is my general rule, moving up in intensity, as John mentioned, is nearly as important in maximizing bourbon drinking pleasure.

I can fully appreciate the point of view that you each expressed. I often find myself with the dilemma of what to pour next and my strategy has certainly failed me on a number of occasions. When I'm drinking single malt scotch, for example, the bottle I'm consuming may be hard to come by or quite expensive, so in the interests of conserving it I'll usually have one or two pours before moving on to something else. But if I climb the quality ladder and move on to something equally good or better, I sometimes have nowhere else to go after that second bottle has been sampled. By this I mean that I may still have the desire for another small pour or two, but with the taste buds dulling by this point in the evening, it gets harder to fully appreciate that final top shelf pour. On the other hand, as you said James, I've frequently shifted down a gear or two to something more pedestrian only to be completely disappointed by the final pour. The flavor, by comparison to the earlier pours, is weak or the finish is abrupt and lifeless, making it a waste of time. So, occasionally I consider doing what you guys do by staying with the top shelfers in order to finish off the night on a good note which makes sense, as long as the "buzz" hasn't taken over the show.

funknik
11-20-2009, 10:27
I find myself thinking about a certain bottle all day long and that ends up being my starting point.
There is a definite madness to my method regarding this topic. Like the others, I find myself ruminating during the day a lot of times about a pour that I'll have when I get home (today it's OWA). I have my own system of "leaders and followers" that I outlined in an earlier thread:

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12226&highlight=leaders+followers

The stronger, assertive pours are kind of a like a reset for me (e.g. OGD114, FC, WT101, even the WLW or Stagg) and I can pretty much put those anywhere in the rotation and enjoy them. It's the more delicate & complex pours that I find order really makes a difference . . . last night I started with the Handy then followed it with OWA & Lot 'B' and I didn't enjoy the wheaters at all -- I couldn't really taste them.

My classic one-two punch:

OWA, Lot 'B' -- this is my favorite progression and a standby - I never drink Lot'B' without a pour of OWA or WLW SR first

Like you, James, I tend to stick with either rye, wheat or rye whiskey for an evening. A lot of times I'll stay with one pour all night. I have few bottles open at once, so instead of specific bourbons, my progressions are usually from style to style . . . I tend to sandwich lower proof drams between higher proof, more robust ones.

JamesW
11-20-2009, 11:22
I never drink Lot'B' without a pour of OWA or WLW SR first

This is my thoughts exactly. I generally need to acclimate my palate on the first pour. i.e., I rarely have a Pappy 15 right out of the gate. It's almost a waste not having the reference effect of a lower quality pour to truly admire it's quality. Same goes with the lot B for me, I usually hit the Weller SR myself before indulging that kind of quality, otherwise I'm wasting a good pour trying to acclimate my palate for the evening.


When I'm drinking single malt scotch, for example, the bottle I'm consuming may be hard to come by or quite expensive, so in the interests of conserving it I'll usually have one or two pours before moving on to something else. But if I climb the quality ladder and move on to something equally good or better, I sometimes have nowhere else to go after that second bottle has been sampled. By this I mean that I may still have the desire for another small pour or two, but with the taste buds dulling by this point in the evening, it gets harder to fully appreciate that final top shelf pour.

That's so true. It often happens that I experience a 'ceiling effect' and have literally nowhere to go after a certain point. This happens to me especially with scotch as I have fewer bottles to choose from and may have been craving a certain pour all day (i.e., Uiegedail). In this case I almost have to power down something else (i.e., Ardberg 10) to get the palate ready to appreciate it. Unfortunately, where do I go from there? I may not want another as you said because I don't want to kill the bottle off too fast etc... Now I'm forced to take a pour from another top shelf (Laga 16) that won't hit the spot in the same way as it would had it been the follow-up of another pour.

Ahhhhhh what great problems we have :grin:

Stu
11-20-2009, 15:54
I can fully appreciate the point of view that you each expressed. I often find myself with the dilemma of what to pour next and my strategy has certainly failed me on a number of occasions. When I'm drinking single malt scotch, for example, the bottle I'm consuming may be hard to come by or quite expensive, so in the interests of conserving it I'll usually have one or two pours before moving on to something else. But if I climb the quality ladder and move on to something equally good or better, I sometimes have nowhere else to go after that second bottle has been sampled. By this I mean that I may still have the desire for another small pour or two, but with the taste buds dulling by this point in the evening, it gets harder to fully appreciate that final top shelf pour. On the other hand, as you said James, I've frequently shifted down a gear or two to something more pedestrian only to be completely disappointed by the final pour. The flavor, by comparison to the earlier pours, is weak or the finish is abrupt and lifeless, making it a waste of time. So, occasionally I consider doing what you guys do by staying with the top shelfers in order to finish off the night on a good note which makes sense, as long as the "buzz" hasn't taken over the show.

uncle, on nights when I have the desire for a pour from an irreplaceable bottle, I start about 2 steps below that Then move up a step for the next pour or two. When I'm ready for the final drink of the night I go to nectar. Since you mentioned malts, if I want an Ardbeg 17. I'll start with an Ardbeg 10, then maybe go to the beast. From the beast it's a small step to the 17.

smokinjoe
11-20-2009, 17:17
This is a very interesting thread, James. Nice job. I've enjoyed reading what others do. I tend to bounce around with no particular pattern. Serendipitious choices for me, as John put so well. But, there definitely are combos that just seem to work well in a particular order. Tonight for instance, I OGD114'd to start, and the VOB BIB follow-up is mind blowing.

spun_cookie
11-20-2009, 18:24
its a mood thing for me. SOme nights I want a wheat fligth, a turkey flight, rye, etc...

I try not to go from a rye'd to a wheated because of the flavor loss..

ThomasH
11-20-2009, 19:13
The names of all my bottles are in a box and I just pick one out when I want a drink. If I pick something I don't feel like drinking, I pick another name out of the box. On Thankgiving day, it is typically a WT, WT, WT sequence. On Christmas, I usually drink MM as my brother in law usually gives me a bottle (its his favorite). The name drawing method keeps the rotation fresh and helps preserve my supply of higher shelf bottles!

Thomas

JamesW
11-21-2009, 06:18
This is a very interesting thread, James. Nice job. I've enjoyed reading what others do. I tend to bounce around with no particular pattern. Serendipitious choices for me, as John put so well. But, there definitely are combos that just seem to work well in a particular order. Tonight for instance, I OGD114'd to start, and the VOB BIB follow-up is mind blowing.

Thanks Joe, although it appears funknik already broached this idea a few months back and I must have missed it http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12226&highlight=leaders+followers

Anyways, it is something I've always thought about though in terms of maximizing the bourbon drinking experience. I've always noticed that without a lower pour reference, the best pours are terrific but not as mind-blowing as when I have them after some other base-line.

Cheers!

sailor22
11-21-2009, 08:54
I don't switch between Rye and Bourbon. It's one or the other for the entire evening.
I like to finish with something big. Something like Stagg or Turkey or Bookers.

independant
11-21-2009, 13:11
The names of all my bottles are in a box and I just pick one out when I want a drink. If I pick something I don't feel like drinking, I pick another name out of the box.

Thomas

I love it. This is something I need to try.

Vosgar
11-21-2009, 13:29
I usually go from less intense (flavor / proof) to more intense.



I have to agree. If I don't keep moving up the ladder in intensity, or at least staying in the same neighborhood, I'll find myself being disappointed with a bottle that I otherwise like a lot.

cas
11-21-2009, 14:09
I usually go from more to less intense, and from higher to lower quality. And I like to pour bourbons that are likely to contrast one another. Though often it's pretty random. Only rarely do I stick with one bourbon for an entire sitting.
Craig

unclebunk
11-22-2009, 10:48
uncle, on nights when I have the desire for a pour from an irreplaceable bottle, I start about 2 steps below that Then move up a step for the next pour or two. When I'm ready for the final drink of the night I go to nectar. Since you mentioned malts, if I want an Ardbeg 17. I'll start with an Ardbeg 10, then maybe go to the beast. From the beast it's a small step to the 17.

As I sort of re-think my approach to sequencing a night's pours, what you've suggested is starting to make more and more sense to me. I've definitely had some disappointing evenings when I've "down-shifted" after a few killer pours of something special, so "climbing the ladder" and finishing on top may be the way to go. Funny, but I find this to be somewhat less of an issue when drinking bourbon than SMS. I seem to have more latitude with bourbon, so long as I stay within certain parameters (ryes, wheaters, high rye bourbons, etc.). The SMS's are less forgiving, in my experience, if you switch around too much. It has something to do with the way single malts finish, but it's hard for me to articulate why. Coming full circle on this conversation, the major dilemma for me occurs when I've climbed the ladder to the top but the taste buds have begun to dull and I still crave another pour (or two). That last fantastic pour is hard to follow and may be less fulfilling if I have another one. Maybe that's when I should call it a night!

theDon
11-22-2009, 12:46
I have been staying with one pour the entire night here lately. I find that I am able to explore the bourbon better and every glass I find something new. Believe me the weekends are all about variety and excess, but during the week the less I have to think the better.

By the way this thread has some of the longest ass posts I've seen in a while.

JamesW
12-09-2009, 09:15
Found a very good one-two punch last night. Started with WT101 and then hit up my bottle of RHF. The RHF has been hit or miss for me and I felt this may have had something to do with what it followed. In this case it tasted way above its pay grade.

StraightBoston
12-09-2009, 09:27
I most often do related flights -- i.e. all S-W, all HH, OGD verticals through proof (86/100/114) or age (80s/90s/current), -- and like others, usually go from "low" to "high".

Other times, I pick 3 to 4 almost-random bottles and rank them relative to one another (usually blind if I have someone to pour for me) including tasting notes. In those cases, I still try to separate wheaters from rye-recipe, but I'll sometimes put a WLW or Van Winkle in the mix.

It's exceedingly rare that I settle in with one variety for the night -- too many open bottles to kill.

Good topic!