View Full Version : Do you remember......

11-01-2011, 18:09
......how you first got started drinking bourbon and which was the first you really enjoyed not drowned in cola or some other foreign substance? Strangely, I got interested in bourbon because I started liking blended scotch (Dewars) and got curious about our national whiskey. Now my cabinet is lopsided towards bourbon.

11-01-2011, 18:26
......how you first got started drinking bourbon and which was the first you really enjoyed not drowned in cola or some other foreign substance? Strangely, I got interested in bourbon because I started liking blended scotch (Dewars) and got curious about our national whiskey. Now my cabinet is lopsided towards bourbon.

I'll go first. It was 1999, I was working in a liquor store south of Denton and the owner/manager drank nothing but Maker's. I asked for some at a Christmas party and he would not let me mix it. I got too blasted to work the next day, probably only after a couple and I've been drinking bourbon straight ever since. Maker's is not a go to now for other reasons. I enjoy the taste of it but have found it is overpriced for what comes in the pretty bottle.

11-01-2011, 18:27
I have a similar story I suppose... The firs whiskey of any sort that I had straight without any cola or anything else was Jameson 12 Year, which I had on a trip to Ireland over the summer of 2010 (a trip that allowed me to imbibe whilst still being under age in the U.S., btw, which was cool. Plus, I also got college credit, which was awesome!). From there, my introduction to bourbon was Evan Williams Black Label, because it was inexpensive and good. My journey through the world of whisk(e)y has been very much centered around Bourbon and Rye since, but I still very much enjoy my Jameson as well as a good scotch.

11-01-2011, 19:57
Ironic thread. I just mentioned my bourbon start on another thread earlier. I started with a seven year Beam which was good enough to get me searching for even better bourbons. VW lot B got me hooked for good.

Bourbon Boiler
11-01-2011, 20:01
Started with Candian Club. I was adding a decent amount of water to it, but no cola or other mixers. I gradually went from drinking it with water, to a small splash, to drops, to rocks, and finally neat. About the time I started drinking it neat, I went on the Bourbon Trail with some friends and sampled a couple dozen different bourbons. I was more or less adjusted to the proof and the basic whiskey characteristics, so I was able to pick out the flavors I liked. I doubt I've had more than 3 ounces of Canadian whiskey since.

I really liked Elijah Craig 12 and WT 101 out of the gate. I quickly went up to Blanton's and WTKS, and those have been my two favorites since.

11-01-2011, 21:18
Deadwood did it for me. According to the characters in the show, Mr. Basil Hayden made the finest bourbon, and it just so happened that Mr. Jim Beam made a product of the same name. I drank it like they did: sippin from a shot glass. Yeah, it tasted pretty good, but it was the romance of the Old West, the innocence of hard work, the alchemy of grain spirit that hypnotized me. When I happened upon Pappy Van Winkle shortly thereafter, romance turned to love.

11-01-2011, 23:16
Dewar's was my intro to whiskey too! I got onto scotch quite a bit but eventually moved to bourbon. Was never one to mix whiskey with coke... would never turn down a sazerac or mint julep but I learned to appreciate those after I learned to appreciate whiskey by itself

11-02-2011, 00:43
A few years ago, I bought a bottle of Jim Beam White to mix into my eggnog and ended up liking it straight. A couple weeks later I was in a wine shop with my dad and he told me to pick a bourbon for Christmas, so I grabbed an Eagle Rare SB. When I opened that on Christmas morning, we were both hooked.

11-02-2011, 03:23
I started out with gold Cuervo, and Glenlivet. I didn't drink anything at all for about ten years, until I discovered this site, and now my cabinet is stuffed with bourbons, scotches, ryes and Irish. But mostky bourbons.

Thanks, guys.

Whiskey Willie
11-02-2011, 05:36
Hi, my name is Whiskey Willie and I was a, a, . . . a beer drinker. At a family Christmas, there was the usual light beer swill and some inexpensive whiskeys. I drank the whiskey. Then I was corralled by the slick MM advertising and began comparing the tastes of MM, Beam Black, etc.

Well, I've been a bourbon guy for about 10 years now, enjoying RB, BT, WSR, and ORVW.

11-02-2011, 07:14
I never liked drinking anything until I was old enough to go into a liquor store and buy some bourbon. High School parties with nothing but Schaefer and Everclear just weren't my thing. It took me a few months or a year or so to find out that bourbon was the only thing worth buying over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. My first go-to bourbon was OGDBIB. The only thing that has changed in these past 10 years is my go-to bourbon list has increased substantially, along with my weekly empty bottle list.

I think that every American is a bourbon drinker. It just takes some longer than others to figure that out.

11-02-2011, 07:26
I was in college, going out for drinks as college students are wont to do. I would mainly drink beer and an occasional gin and tonic or jack and coke. Not being a drinker of regular pop, I always found jack and cokes too sweet. Also, at the risk of providing TMI, beer and mixed drinks made me have to pee a lot. Putting my college learnin to use, I deduced that ordering Jack on the rocks could solve both problems. The hypothesis was tested and the experiment was successful. From there I tried Makers Mark, Knob Creek, etc., and haven't looked back (except there is still nothing wrong with Jack, Makers, or KC, all still tasty).

11-02-2011, 07:55
A friend gave me a bottle of Knob Creek for my 30th birthday. Initially, I found it too bold and tended to cook with it (my friend would have approved, as food is an equal passion for the two of us), but after a while, I started to drink it neat, too.

I moved from Alberta back to Ontario and went looking for more when I came across a bottle of Eagle Rare looking all pretty on the shelf beside the KC. I bought it on a whim and was amazed by the subtlety and—cough—smoothness of it. I was hooked after that.

11-02-2011, 13:07
I used to drink Beam & Coke regularly many years ago, then I somehow figured out that I liked it better without the Coke. A friend gave me a bottle of EWSB as a gift and I loved it. From there, I started drinking EW black when I figured out that it was very good and I could buy handles of it at CVS for as much or less than handles of JB white at Costco. The friend who gave me the EWSB and I thought it would be fun to visit the distillery where they made EW, and why don't we just visit the other distilleries while we're there? The doors flew wide open for us, and bourbon was no longer a drink - it was an obsession! :grin:

11-02-2011, 14:58
My first whiskey I ever had was sadly Jack Daniel's. Bought a small flask when I had a nasty head cold. Tasted like water and wasn't too happy with the price tag. Went to the local state store and picked up a bottle of Evan Williams black label for about $15 and it was love at first sip.

Bourbon Boiler
11-02-2011, 15:50
I think that every American is a bourbon drinker. It just takes some longer than others to figure that out.

That would make a heck of a signature.

11-02-2011, 16:04
That would make a heck of a signature.

This wouldn't be the first time someone used an excerpt from a SMOWK post as their signature (http://straightbourbon.com/forums/member.php?u=5166).

11-02-2011, 16:57
Lodge in the middle of the mountains. Good friends start to pass around a bottle of Makers....I think: "crap! I can never handle this stuff" When the bottle gets to me I pretend to take a drink but only let the stuff touch my lips, but I get a little taste. Then I think...."hmmm that kinda tastes good!" Next time the bottle comes back around a take a hit...."oh god I can't breathe!!!"

Got home, went to the liquor store, bought a bottle of Makers. Thought I have moved on from MM, I still drink it exclusively when in the mountains.

11-02-2011, 17:14
Three distinct events have lead me to my current relationship with bourbon.
1979 - meeting some distant relatives who pick-up bottles of MM in Kentucky (black-wax, if I remember correctly) while driving from Ohio to Jacksonville, AL. Uncle Tim introduces me to bourbon and if becomes one of several drinks I enjoy from time to time.
1999 - I pick up a copy of The Bourbon Companion, by David and Mardee Regan. Their book opens my eyes to the wide would of bourbons, including many manufactures and brands not available here in Ohio. I start drinking bourbon regularly
2007 - I find straightbourbon.com and begin lurking and learning about the history, lore and nuances of our favorite liquid. I become a bourbon snob, drink it straight up and belittle my companions who drink sissy drinks like Canadian whiskey and liqueurs.

It's been a fun journey.

11-02-2011, 17:25
2007 - I find straightbourbon.com and begin lurking and learning about the history, lore and nuances of our favorite liquid. I become a bourbon snob, drink it straight up and belittle my companions who drink sissy drinks like Canadian whiskey and liqueurs.

It's been a fun journey.[/QUOTE]

I forgot to mention in my initial post that staightbourbon.com also helped me decide on a bottle each of Buffalo Trace and EW Single Barrel 2000 for my first solo flight. Wow, what an intro! The EWSB will always have a place in my cabinet.

Great posts everyone, nice trips down memory lane.

11-02-2011, 20:50
That would make a heck of a signature.

Every once in a while I make sense. But only when the bourbon flows through the veins at a higher rate than most men could handle.

11-03-2011, 01:00
In the 70s while in college, I would drink Rebel Yell or Seagrams 7 with Coke. After college, I drank mainly beer, wine and tequila until the mid 2000s when I decided to try bourbon again. I bought a 175 of Beam White (cheap), hated it and gave it to my brother-in-law (who will take anything). Then in 2009 my wife (political consultant) worked for about 6 months for the KDP to help the governor of KY change some laws pertaining to sampling whiskey at events in KY and putting slot machines at the horse race tracks to make them solvent. Her boss introduced me to Blanton's during a visit and I was hooked.

11-03-2011, 13:22
It was a crisp autumn Saturday that my wife and I went for a ride to see the beautiful fall colors along the Kentucky roads. We found ourselves in Frankfort and on a whim we decided to take a tour of Buffalo Trace distillery. We found it to be quite entertaining and I got caught up in the moment and bought a bottle of BT.

Truthfully I didn’t drink bourbon and decided that the bottle made a nice decanter on top of my kitchen cabinets.

Two years goes by: On the first Tuesday of November 2008 I declared it was time to retrieve that nice decanter and sample the contents. Hell if I was ever going to drink it this was the night!

I was delighted to find that the liquor that I had swore off many years ago due to my intolerance was a wonderful surprise.

Over the last two and a half years I have learned to appreciate the various bourbons and this is of course how I came to find this site.


11-03-2011, 13:58
In 1974 I shared an office with a fellow from Fort Worth who taught me how to drink Scotch: Have a bowl of jalepenos, a bottle of Johnny Walker, and plenty of ice; take a nice bite of jalepeno and reach for the Scotch rocks; repeat until you can't repeat.
Then, a friend had a nice boat and a place on Lake Erie. After a day fishing for walleyes, we'd relax before dinner with Manhattans.
From there, I segued into just the bourbon on the rocks. Some tasted better than others so I tried them neat.
Visited all the distilleries on the Bourbon Trail and found that there was quite a range of really fine bourbons that I had never tasted before--mainly because the liquor Nazies in Ohio restrict what we can consume.
Now, every time we head south, there is an excuse to stop at Liquor Barn. When we come back north, an excuse to stop at Party Source.

11-04-2011, 10:23
I had been drinking whiskey on the rocks for quite some time, but it was only a year ago that I started drinking whiskey neat. I started a little whiskey club and our first bottle was Rittenhouse Rye 25 Year. I felt that a bourbon aged that long, and priced that high deserved to be consumed in it's natural state. After that I started trying whiskey neat or with a little water before I just dumped it over ice. Now I consume the majority of my whiskey neat unless I feel like ice or water really adds another dimension and improves the experience. Consequently I have also started consuming higher quality whiskey, and thanks to this forum and review sites, I'm not necessarily spending more per bottle than I was before.

White Dog
11-05-2011, 17:36
Funny enough, it was tasting the entire KBD portfolio in a line-up in February of 2010. Had drank Scotch on the rocks from time to time as an end-of-the-evening maintenance drink, but tasting thru all those Bourbons neat really opened my eyes to what a great, and varied, spirit it was.

While wine is my other main tipple, I've never looked back.

Wall Eye
11-16-2011, 06:48
While in college, my brother and I set out to try all the different bourbons (that we could afford) and we amassed quite a collection of empties as I remember. I believe the one that we came back to the most was the EW. Got away from the bourbon except for an occasional MM for many years.

Then I stumble onto this site and have since discovered the wonderful variety of bourbons there are. So thank you.

So far I'm really liking the Weller 12 and OWA (especially after sitting for a while) as well as ETL and a bottle of Blanton's that (for me) really hit the perfect balance of sweetness, proof, smoothness, and rye spice. But I have much to learn.

I've also just recently (again, thanks to SB and TPS) found a bottle of GTS 2011. Wow. My initial impression was that it exploded in my mouth - but in an awesome way.


11-21-2011, 21:08
A good friend of mine drinks EWBL in cola. While at his home, I decided to have a drink. Since I don't drink soda pop, I tried the bourbon straight. That was about a year ago, maybe. I cannot recall exactly. At any rate, I am a fan of bourbon and have been ever since. Generally, I drink EWBL and have managed to try most varieties sold in KS. This week, I ordered a bottle of Rittenhouse and cannot wait until it arrives!

11-22-2011, 11:48
my 20's were fueled with Jack & Coke, maybe a shot of Jack thrown in for good measure. 7-8 years ago, my bartender told me to stop messing around and poured me a glass of Redbreast neat. Needless to say, things changed there.

Working in the wine business, I like to drink well and the first pour of Pappy 20 2-3 years ago really lit the bourbon lamp for me. And damn if those Saz 18's aren't awesome and a PITA to find.

11-22-2011, 16:17
I began drinking bourbon at the beginning of 2011. A close friend of mine kept EWBL and mixed it with cola. Normally, I would drink tequila straight over at his place. Being out of tequila, I asked him for a useful amount of EW in a glass.

He keeps his bourbon in the freezer, so I added a sprinkle of water to help it come to temp. Never looked back; I've kept bourbon in the cabinet and enjoyed a few ounces of it almost every night since.

11-23-2011, 17:23
It all started with WT 8 or 12 yr 101 long long ago....

11-23-2011, 18:27
My Father-in-law gave me a glass of Makers about 6 years ago and it hit the taste buds just right, been a slippery slope ever since.

11-23-2011, 19:28
It wasn't really a bourbon, but Michter's Sour Mash 101 was my first decent whiskey back in the 80s. Still have the last bottle from the last case I bought there.

11-23-2011, 22:16
I began working on the retail side of the wine and spirits industry a few years ago. Up until that point I had mainly been a beer and wine drinker. I love to try new beers, wines, etc. So over the course of the past several years I have ended up trying nearly every mid to top-shelf bourbon that we sell in my store. I just got hooked on the stuff. Maker's was probably where I started. And I still like it a lot. But I've found that W.L. Weller 7-year is the best bargain in bourbon, in my opinion.

Over time I've gotten into the PVW and BT Antique Collection bourbons. I wish I had known then what I now know about bourbon. PVW used to come in pretty regularly to my store (especially during the holidays). This was before I really understood what it was with it being Stitzel-Weller bourbon, etc. I mean, we would put the stuff out on the shelf and it would literally sit there for days. Now, we don't even put it on the shelf...