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ThirstyinOhio
09-13-2012, 19:35
I am curious to hear how others got into Bourbon. Here in Ohio, Bourbon was something you only did shots of to prove your manhood or add to coke, or at least thats what I thought until a friend took me to a Bourbon dinner. My eyes were opened up to the glorious wonder of Bourbon. I had not idea how complex and different Bourbon could be until I was walked through my first proper tasting and it got me hooked. I started buying mid shelf bottles and trying to see if I could pull out various flavors and smells, just like I had been doing with single malts and red wine, and the next thing I know I'm dragging my wife on a journey to mecca, the Bourbon trail.

WAINWRIGHT
09-13-2012, 19:53
My father was a long time Wild Turkey drinker,as this was my first pour.I began to appreciate other things,mainly single malts and things progressed quickly.I have changed my primary focus over the last ten years back towards bourbon and rye.Trips to Whisky Fest and Kentucky have just fueled the fire,distilleries,periodicals and this forum have turned it not only a hobby but a growing obsession and I love every minute of it.:lol:

Stones
09-13-2012, 20:06
I am curious to hear how others got into Bourbon. Here in Ohio, Bourbon was something you only did shots of prove your manhood or add to coke, or at least thats what I thought until a friend took me to a Bourbon dinner. My eyes were opened up to the glorious wonder of Bourbon. I had not idea how complex and different Bourbon could be until I was walked through my first proper tasting and it got me hooked. I started buying mid shelf bottles and trying to see if I could pull out various flavors and smells, just like I had been doing with single malts and red wine, and the next thing I know I'm dragging my wife on a journey to mecca, the Bourbon trail.

I have a similar story I guess where it was one of the choices when coming of drinking age. I'd experimented trying rum, scotch, gin and vodka and had been exceedingly ill on all of them, even bourbon. It wasn't until a few years afterwards that I returned to bourbon and ventured to try more mid level bourbons like Knob Creek and Elijah Craig instead of the pedestrian JB and WT that was very much the normal offering in 90% of pubs and nightclubs, still is in most places actually along with slate.
Then I came across a small whiskey shop that had bourbons i'd never heard of or seen in Australia before, from this grew the behemoth monster that bourbon is to me today and I love it and the journey.

JB64
09-13-2012, 21:52
I got started by trying some different spirits to find something to drink other than beer. I picked up a bottle of KC at Sam's Club a few years back and found it to be more interesting than the JBW and other traditional bar drinks I had been accustomed to drinking. I started to get hooked with that purchase. I then bought and read a couple of books about whiskey, one written by Michael Jackson and another written by Dave Broom. About the time I was reading the books I found this forum and the hook was set.

qman22
09-14-2012, 06:48
I attended a cigar herf where Blanton's was being promoted. It was the first time I had ever really enjoyed the taste of whiskey. It peaked my interest enough to eventually start exploring the world of bourbon and the next thing I knew I was hooked.

wrath186
09-14-2012, 06:55
I have just gotten into bourbon. Whiskey was always something you did shots of or, like Thirsty, added to coke. My friends and I just returned from a trip to Kentucky where I went to three distilleries. Since seeing and tasting all the fatastic things you can make with bourbon I have acquired a new appreciation for the spirit. I'm now on journey to develop my palette for the subtle flavors of different bourbons. So far I have tried Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Angel's Envy, Knob Creek, Maker's Mark 46, Maker's Mark White and Woodford Reserve Double Oak. Personal fave thus far is the Angel's Envy.

berto
09-14-2012, 10:57
Started out with shots of Early Times as a dumb teenager. Got a little older and decided to give Makers and Wild Turkey a try. Discovered manhattens. Grandma drank old fashioneds. Decided bourbon was the path to enlightenment. I'm figuring out what I like and don't like as much through trial and more trial. Good thing the wife supports my new hobby.

Photodudems
09-14-2012, 11:27
My first drink ever was a shot of Jameson at a friend's house. I was not a fan. A dark red wine the same night - still not a fan. Then mixed drinks - fruity, totally not 'manly' stuff, but I was interested. Found the Mojito and Lemon Drop, got curious about Bourbon and Whiskey in general, did some googling, found SB, then picked up a bottle of EWBIB. Started out with Whiskey Sour, then the Old Fashioned, found the Mint Julep, and eventually worked my way to rocks and neat. Picked up a ton of minis, then bottles of Ten High (bad idea), FRSB, WT101, EWBlack, Knob Creek, and others. Most recently Elijah Craig 12 year old - a new favorite.

I'm bitten. :D

JLH3
09-14-2012, 13:02
I was a tequila and irish whiskey drinker for years. I would buy the odd bottle of Blanton's or Buffalo Trace every now and then but I never was really into it. Then i began reading Wright Thompson from ESPN and Grantland and his stories of bourbon and America (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6667949/pappy-van-winkle and http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6822219/yoknapatawpha-wake for example) . I then found one of the bourbons he'd written about (Pappy 23 yr old) at a resort and the world of really good bourbon opened up to me. Then I found SourMashManifesto and started trying different bouborns and figuring out how to taste it.

And here I am. :)

z327
09-14-2012, 13:03
My car buddies and I would pull out are umbrella chairs after a fun day of driving sports cars and talk cars well into the evening. Most drank beer. About a year and half ago we were in Branson doing the same but I brought out a bottle of Crown and a buddy had GJ. I always mixed mine. But one of the guys asked which was better so tasting back and forth began. The next day I set out to find a different whiskey to try and a sales rep happened to be in the store and after I relayed my story he recommended KC. And so our pursuit of the greatest tasting whiskey began. At every gathering we each bring a new bottle or two to compare. I had to learn to drink first on the rocks and then neat. The journey continues.

SWC
09-14-2012, 13:35
My dad locked me in a dark basement with a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle and a laptop. He said, "Jim, I need you to figure out what distillery this liquid is from. The blogs are going crazy, please help."

And that is the story on how I got into bourbon.

SMOWK
09-14-2012, 14:40
I didn't drink at all until I turned 21 and could walk into a liquor store. I made my way around the aisles and by the time I was 23 or 24 it was strictly bourbon because that's what I liked. OGDBIB and OGD114 were then, and still are, staples of my diet.

oke&coke
09-14-2012, 14:53
My dad locked me in a dark basement with a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle and a laptop. He said, "Jim, I need you to figure out what distillery this liquid is from. The blogs are going crazy, please help."

And that is the story on how I got into bourbon.

That bottle better be full. If it is don't tell him your done till its empty. If not that's just abuse.:lol:

Tucker
09-14-2012, 14:54
I drank Genesee in high school, then moved south and got into bourbon the usual way most southerners learn to appreciate bourbon...from a flask at a football game (typically EWB). At first with Coke then straight from the flask. A 32 year love affair.

ethangsmith
09-14-2012, 15:25
I have poor blood circulation due to Raynaud's Syndrome- a condition where your blood vessels do not respond properly to heat and cold. It's quite painful in the winter. I had gone to see my doctor about it since it was getting a bit more troublesome, and at the time I had a job that had me working outside often. He had 3 choices for me: The first was to take an 81mg Aspirin each day, but that would only help thin my blood, but it would not relax my veins from spasms in the cold air. He was also concerned with over-thinning my blood. The second choice was to take prescription medication. The downside of that would be some of the side-effects and the cost. The last was to drink one serving of an alcoholic beverage each day. He suggested I go this route since it would not only thin my blood, but also relax my veins and relieve stress from my heart. I was unsure of what to head for since I had never drank before. A friend of mine suggested I buy a small bottle of Jack Daniel's and try it. It was good, but it was expensive. It didn't taste too bad though and I sort of liked it. So I went back to the liquor store looking for something less expensive. I saw Evan Williams black label and noticed it was about half the price and higher proof. I bought a bottle and found it was really wonderful stuff. So that's when the internet research started as to what American whiskey is. It's opened up a whole new world for me and it also has in fact helped greatly with my Raynaud's Syndrome. Winters are quite a bit more tolerable!

ebo
09-14-2012, 15:35
Well, to be perfectly honest.... Scotch was/is getting too expensive.:grin: I decided to give Bourbon a try since it was/is (usually) a lot cheaper to buy. I couldn't be happier that I did. I now have two whiskies that I enjoy equally well; along with the Irish, Japaneese and Indian offerings.:lol:

I've been a Scotch drinker for 32 years. I will probably always lean that direction, but I will always love Bourbon, too.:cool:

darylld911
09-14-2012, 16:14
I just started getting into bourbon a couple years back, and it was through my dad. He had stopped and toured Buffalo Trace distillery en route to visiting me in Georgia (back maybe in 2004 or 2005) and found he really liked it. He shared it with me and I liked it as well. I stopped and did their tour, and it made me want to do more tours - and last year we did the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which is what really lit the fire. Before that, I liked bourbon, but that is what made me appreciate more of the subtle differences, and strive to find out what I like and don't like. Now I LOVE it :grin:

theglobalguy
09-14-2012, 18:24
Moved to Louisville, KY years back, ended up touring Maker's Mark distillery on slow summer day. Loved the experience, and gave it a chance. Never looked back.

LongBeachScott
09-14-2012, 21:36
Well, to be perfectly honest.... Scotch was/is getting too expensive.:grin: I decided to give Bourbon a try since it was/is (usually) a lot cheaper to buy. I couldn't be happier that I did. I now have two whiskies that I enjoy equally well; along with the Irish, Japaneese and Indian offerings.:lol:

I've been a Scotch drinker for 32 years. I will probably always lean that direction, but I will always love Bourbon, too.:cool:

I took a similar path. I have always loved the variety of scotches but the price has gotten insane and, frankly, I started liking some of them less at the same time. I had always liked bourbon, but just never really explored it like I had scotch. Not much past MM or KC. I decided one day to take a walk down the bourbon aisle. The salesman suggested if I liked MM I should try Weller. I remember loving it and being pleasantly stunned they weren't asking more money for it.

ratcheer
09-15-2012, 05:37
I am curious to hear how others got into Bourbon. Here in Ohio, Bourbon was something you only did shots of to prove your manhood or add to coke...

I got my start much as you did, as an underaged high schooler trying whatever cheap bourbons (and other liquors) he could come by. Rebel Yell, Old Hickory, things like that. My eyes were opened to quality when a friend had a bottle of Wild Turkey 101-proof at a party. At the time (late 60's), WT was a top premium brand. I only got one shot of it, but I immediately knew that there was a world of better things to try than what I'd been having.

Still underaged in my early college years in Atlanta, a new friend from Kentucky introduced me to Very Old Fitzgerald. That helped me stay on the bourbon path, even though I also enjoyed rum, gin, and scotch. Much later, in the late 80's, another friend turned me on to Blanton's, and I knew I would love bourbon for the rest of my life. Discovering SB.com was another impetus.

Tim

Young Blacksmith
09-15-2012, 07:33
I'd been into crafty beers, and trying different stuff for a while, but always mixed my hard liquors. One day while out of town on business I was at a bar with another guy and he was having woodford on the rocks. I tried one, loved its difference from beer, and promptly started switching.

I stayed with Woodford for a while, then did a BT/Woodford/MM tasting, and finally tried Bulleit which was my go to for a few years. Finally was prompted to look into SB by a guy I know on a pipe smoking forum I belong to. It's been all downhill since then!

Vovan
09-15-2012, 11:57
Hehe, that's a funny story actually.
It was my last year in college. I was in my dorm room when we lost power. It was getting dark and lights didn't work. That's when I remembered a gift one of my friends gave me recently. It was a gift bottle of Wild Turkey. I had nothing better to do so I opened the bottle and started sipping it straight from the bottle. An hour later the bottle was empty and I discovered my new favorite liquor :-)
That's how I got into Bourbon...

Dale Alan
09-15-2012, 14:21
I have always been a beer drinker,and also enjoyed Bloody Mary's too. This is strange, but watching the TV series Justified turned me on to bourbon . I kept watching those guys sipping their booze and the curiosity got to me . It took me a bottle or two of Jim Beam and I was hooked . I like it with one ice cube . I mostly drink Evan Williams now. I plan on trying the upper shelf offerings once I do more research...glad I found this place.

oke&coke
09-16-2012, 05:27
I got into bourbon when I was purchasing a bottle of scotch online. They informed me after I placed the order that they were out and if I wanted to cancel the order or substitute. So I decided to order several bottles of bourbon and rye whiskey. Never regretted it for a second.

bigtoys
09-16-2012, 20:33
been drinking Jack Daniels forever. probably drank some Wild Turkey in college 'cuz of Hunter S. Thompson. Been drinking Scotch since college--started with Johnny Walker Red & Black, then Glenfiddich. On a trip to London, Springbank and Lagavulin were recommended at Harrods. Branched out to other single malts. For some reason, started drinking Knob and Woodford, too. Not sure why, but Pappy 20 was recommended as a gift, so I got one for myself, too...............

Bmac
09-17-2012, 09:18
I inherited a strange, German bar and it's been sitting in various living rooms for the past 10 years. I decided I wanted to actually use it for it's function and build a "full bar." I researched online what was needed and began buying. Once I got to the basics of Rum, Vodka, Gin, Tequilla, JD, SoCo, and bitters, it was time to figure out which Irish, Scotch, and Bourbon I wanted. I wanted something good...but there was no solid opinion to be found. Suddenly I realized there are entire worlds within worlds of Scotch and Bourbon. I decided to start tasting them and see which ones I liked. I bought five: WT 101, EC12, BT, Weller12, and MM. Then, while on the hunt for Pappy...the store manager offered me 1 of his three GTS. I had never heard of it so I graciously accepted (at 54 bucks, who wouldn't) Once I had that...I was hooked. All I ever bought after that has been bourbon....year after year........

weller_tex
09-17-2012, 10:41
Hehe, that's a funny story actually.
It was my last year in college. I was in my dorm room when we lost power. It was getting dark and lights didn't work. That's when I remembered a gift one of my friends gave me recently. It was a gift bottle of Wild Turkey. I had nothing better to do so I opened the bottle and started sipping it straight from the bottle. An hour later the bottle was empty and I discovered my new favorite liquor :-)
That's how I got into Bourbon...
It was WT 101 that got me into bourbon as well. I had bourbon and coke on/off through the 80's and 90's but around 2006 I really got into single malts. I was working out of town in 2008 and could not get any single malts and bought a bottle of WT 101 (which I liked with coke from the old days). My first sip of it neat I was blown away..now I am about 80-20 Bourbon/Rye vs. Single Malt.

p_elliott
09-18-2012, 08:36
I had always been a beer drinker all my life but I pretty much quit when I got married at 46. But I loved to play pool and I found a Friend that liked to play pool on Thursday nights and we would drink beer and play pool. One night the wife said I don't mind you going out and drinking and playing pool but could you drink something other than beer as it smells bad when you come home and get in bed. HHMM I got to the bar and looked around and ordered a JB and water, not bad. I didn't get very drunk that night and felt pretty good the next day. So I started researching bourbon, found KC and started drinking it with water. I found BE.com then this site. I was slowly putting more bourbon and less water in my drinks as I liked the taste of the Bourbon more and the water less. Some of the guys would ask what are you drinking and I would say bourbon and water and they would say "Not in the same glass?" I decided to try it neat with a more mellow bourbon 1792 and it was pretty good. I have been been drinking it neat ever since. I can't stand it with water anymore.

gburger
09-18-2012, 16:10
I drank Jack in college 35 years ago, and then beer ever since.
Then two years ago I was visiting a friend near Nashville. On the drive back to Texas we stopped at Jack Daniels and did the tour. I had forgotten how whiskey tasted. When I got home I bought a bottle of Gentleman Jack, a few days after that my wife brought home a new springer spaniel puppy. After drinking more than half of that bottle I named the new pup Jack.
A few months after that I joined this group. After posting a few times I saw info on the sampler in Bardstown in April. Many members told me to go and where to stay. All of a sudden I am at the General drinking and having a good time, then I am at Doug's porch and so on. I felt so welcomed by everyone. I ended up meeting many new friends and had a blast. Then last week I attended KBF for the week. Another great time. I have tried scotch and hated it, but bourbon I love. I now have almost 100 different bottles in my bar and most are bourbon.
Like Paul I enjoy my bourbon neat. I like the flavor without adding ice or water. At times this can be a challenge, Booker's, Weller and others have high proofs, about the only thing I'll add is a whiskey stone every now and then.
Well it's time to open that new bottle of Parker's Heritage I got at Toddy's last week. Enjoy.

Phil T
09-18-2012, 17:05
I have been a strictly beer drinker most of my life. Our local happening bar, would serve you when you were 16, pretty much no questions asked. And my dad always had a keg in the basement frig.

Then in probably the last ten years, the craft beer craze has really taken hold. I am in beer Nirvana. Then of course there are Belgian hefe's..OMG, don't get me started. ..

Anyway, last year in the spring, I was at a friend's party in Louisville. After dinner, he ask me if I wanted to join him with a bourbon? I knew absolutely nothing about bourbon. It was Woodford Reserve. I really enjoyed it.

I am some what of an information geek. I got online to gather info. I found SB .. the rest is history ..I think I now drink more bourbon /rye then beer.

ILLfarmboy
09-18-2012, 17:24
Underage Jack and Coke drinker from the mid-late 80's. Tried WT101, neat, around the time the 8 year age statement went by the wayside. And I knew what my beverage of choice would be.

Much later, after I was married I began trying other bourbons.

gmccall
09-19-2012, 09:57
Started working for a small distiller near my college and dove into American Whiskeys. Originally just an Irish Whiskey drinker but I have broadened my horizons.

Enoch
09-19-2012, 11:52
I drank cheap Bourbon and Coke in college (early 70s) but quit when I went to seminary. About 8 years ago I decided to try it again and bought a handle of Jim Beam White. I hated it so I gave it to my brother-in-law (He's like Mikey and will take anything.) Then in 2009 my wife went to Kentucky for 6 months to work on several political campaigns. Her boss drank Blanton's so I decided to give it a try while there and liked it. And so it began......

LongBeachScott
09-20-2012, 09:58
I drank cheap Bourbon and Coke in college (early 70s) but quit when I went to seminary. About 8 years ago I decided to try it again and bought a handle of Jim Beam White. I hated it so I gave it to my brother-in-law (He's like Mikey and will take anything.) Then in 2009 my wife went to Kentucky for 6 months to work on several political campaigns. Her boss drank Blanton's so I decided to give it a try while there and liked it. And so it began......

I thought Mikey hated everything! :grin:

wadewood
09-20-2012, 11:28
My great great great great grandfather was Jacob Beam Van Winkle Craig. He invented yeast. If I drink anything other than bourbon, he turns over in his grave.

Tony
09-20-2012, 11:39
Kind of funny, I am going to say it was my wife that got me into bourbon. I was always a beer drinker then got into vodka and then scotch. My wife a couple of years ago said something to the effect that I was always a supporter of American products, driving Fords, drinking Michigan craft beer and the like and that I should try some bourbons. No looking back now. Plus it is cheaper then the scotch I was drinking, well a lot of it is anyway.

Best regards, Tony

Bmac
09-20-2012, 13:55
I drank Jack in college 35 years ago, and then beer ever since.
Then two years ago I was visiting a friend near Nashville. On the drive back to Texas we stopped at Jack Daniels and did the tour. I had forgotten how whiskey tasted. When I got home I bought a bottle of Gentleman Jack, a few days after that my wife brought home a new springer spaniel puppy. After drinking more than half of that bottle I named the new pup Jack.
A few months after that I joined this group. After posting a few times I saw info on the sampler in Bardstown in April. Many members told me to go and where to stay. All of a sudden I am at the General drinking and having a good time, then I am at Doug's porch and so on. I felt so welcomed by everyone. I ended up meeting many new friends and had a blast. Then last week I attended KBF for the week. Another great time. I have tried scotch and hated it, but bourbon I love. I now have almost 100 different bottles in my bar and most are bourbon.
Like Paul I enjoy my bourbon neat. I like the flavor without adding ice or water. At times this can be a challenge, Booker's, Weller and others have high proofs, about the only thing I'll add is a whiskey stone every now and then.
Well it's time to open that new bottle of Parker's Heritage I got at Toddy's last week. Enjoy.

So...the new Parker's is available in Texas now?

Kalessin
09-20-2012, 13:58
Long ago, at family holiday dinners, I was occasionally allowed to take a sip from my grandfather's whiskey glass at dessert time; I was imprinted with the 1970's WT flavor at an early age. He liked WT or OGD for bourbon, and Johnny Walker Black for scotch, and sometimes gave and received other bottles as gifts in his job as a lumber salesman. Wine or beer (decent wine or beer!) was normal at the dinner table in my parents' house, and as late teenagers us kids shared in, probably an influence from my dad's childhood in Germany.

When in my twenties, I drank mostly beer. Eventually, I fell in with a crowd of technical theater (lighting, sounds, sets, etc) people, and the drink of choice at post-show parties was single malt scotch, and learned much in that direction.

However, when money is short, bourbon is far easier on the budget than SMSW. I picked up a bottle of EC12 sometime in 2002 or so when I was underemployed, and it was so good I kept buying it, but I went through bottles fairly slowly as I always had more scotch on hand. Eventually I decided that there must be other decent bourbons to explore, but it wasn't until 2011 that I sought out the knowledge of the Internet, found SB.com, and now I'm buying all kinds of bourbon and rye I never even knew existed, have a small bunker going, use abbreviations to refer to my whiskey, and have otherwise degenerated into that most reprehensible of creatures, a bourbon enthusiast.

gobills23
09-21-2012, 18:23
Ironically I got hooked on bourbon when I couldn't even have a drop of it. I was deployed overseas and wanted to treat myself to an expensive bottle of alcohol when I returned so I began the hunt shortly before I came home. I was never a scotch fan so the blue label was out, I enjoyed Jack but didn't find anything they offered "premium", and cognac just gives me heartburn so naturally I gravitated towards bourbon. I spent some of my free time researching bourbons and the one name that kept coming up was Pappy. I know that Pappy is extremely controversial but I was fortunate to find a store that would reserve some after I returned. I tried it and was hooked.....on bourbon. My only previous experience with bourbon was some Maker's Mark once in a blue moon. Although Pappy is amazing, there are others that I enjoy just as much. My current favorite is Whistlepig and for a rye whiskey it's extremely smooth and enjoyable and this is coming from someone that is generally not a big fan of the rye bourbons.

Clavius
09-21-2012, 21:05
I guess it started with Maker's Mark. I used to really like it. But that was way back not long after I had turned 21.

A couple years ago I began working in a wine/liquor store. That's where the interest really took off. At first I was more interested in wine and learning all about it. But eventually I started to learn more about spirits and bourbon in particular. Looking back, I can't believe the amount of Van Winkle stuff we used to get in. I knew little about it at the time but I vividly remember seeing a case, yes a whole case (3 bottles), of 20 year come in once. But back then that was way over my head. I couldn't imagine a 750ml bottle of bourbon being worth $100 or more. Eventually I caved though. I think I started with the PVW 15 year or Lot B as they're more "affordable" than the 20 and 23-year. It was all downhill from there. Me and a buddy started gobbling up all the PVW and BTAC we could find when they were released. I spent more money than I care to know on all of it!

Now I've kind of gotten over the whole "Super Premium" liquor/bourbon thing. I know what I like of what is readily available as well as what is not so easy to get. But what I can get my hands on I enjoy more than I used to now. To be honest, I've kind of gone to the dark side with Islay single malt's lately. But I still love bourbon and this forum!