View Full Version : Hello from Chapel Hill

11-03-2012, 10:24
Hi Everyone - Erik here from Chapel Hill. I've been a wine fan for years, and started with whiskey around a year and a half ago. Of course Scotch had to be the way to go (right?), so I tried a wide variety of styles, most of which were somewhat to my liking (peat/no peat, etc.). Then one happy hour I tried a pour of KC and it was intriguing to me. First taste of bourbon, and I just remember thinking it tasted a bit like sweet maple candle wax (to my untrained palette). Since then, I've just gone all bourbon. While I know that there are Scotch whiskies that I do like (Highland Park 12, stuff with some sweetness), why pay all that money!!!! It is absolutely ridiculous when you compare the value of Scotch vs. Bourbon. There are a ton of $25 Bourbons I love (BT, EC 12, WT101, ER10...etc.) The scotch one can get for $25 is probably good........for cleaning car parts!

One question I do have is what the heck to do in a state like NC where we are ABC controlled. I've almost tried everything the state offers that are suggested pours. For some of you more experienced drinkers, especially those of you in the area (Halifax from Raleigh? Hello!) what do you do to try something different? I was at Binny's in Champaign a month ago, and I almost cried. The whole BTAC staring at me from behind glass and I should have just paid to check a bag on the plane. I didn't!

Anyway, I've been amazed at the information on SB and how entertaining you all are. Thanks for everything. -Erik :)

11-03-2012, 10:44
Hi Erik! Welcome to the club. I'm in Durham and you've already heard of Halifax I see. NC ABC doesn't make it easy on us bourbon enthusiasts, but I have managed by bringing back whiskey when I travel. PM me and maybe we (including Halifax) can get together sometime in the future.

11-03-2012, 12:53
Scotch is too expensive, I'll give you that. But, why "all in" on one type of whisk(e)y? I'm a Scotch first guy, but I love ALL whisk(e)y. Bourbon is great, no doubt, but it isn't the end all, be all of whisk(e)y..... just sayin'.

11-04-2012, 05:37
When I say "all in" I'm more referring to where I put my cash down. I would never turn down a pour of Scotch, but I'm not spending my money on it. I've probably tried ~30 or so single malts and I enjoyed most of them. However, I really enjoy the maple/caramel/sweetness of bourbon across the board and miss that a lot in Scotch. There are of course exceptions - in my limited experience Highland Park is one of those malts that gives you a nice mix, and I do really enjoy it. But here in NC it is $50 a bottle. That gets me two bottles of bourbon I would enjoy almost as much.

While we're on the topic, are there any Scotches you would recommend to a bourbon drinker who likes the sweetness a bit? I remember HP was so nice because it was amazingly well-balanced with a bit of everything. Thanks!

11-04-2012, 15:35
Thanks c2walker. I tried to PM you but it's not an option at the moment....I'll try again in a bit. It'd be great to get together with some bourbon veterans!

11-04-2012, 16:03
Howdy Erik and welcome from up in Michigan.

Best regards, Tony

11-14-2012, 15:25
Welcome to SB Erik! Try Micky Finns in Florence SC, and State Line Beverage or Frugal MacDoogal in Fort Mill SC. They will be the closest stores to you with the bet bourbon selection. You can also order on-line form TPS. Come join us for a few pours.

11-15-2012, 21:01
we are all in the same boat here in NC. However, there are definitely some places here and there in the state. Needless to say, it does make us more appreciative when traveling elsewhere. I'm new to the site as well. Just PM me sometime and I will gladly help you out if I can.

11-20-2012, 06:35
Thanks Halifax! I'm making a trip out to Kentucky over Thanksgiving and will be hitting up the Liquor Barn for sure. I will keep those SC sites in mind for future trips. Definitely looking forward to meeting up with you guys soon.

11-20-2012, 06:39
One thing I am finding out guys is that the NC ABC actually can get you special items if you just ask. I have already had success with the BTAC with only a few emails. You just have to take the initiative and try.....so I shouldn't complain too much about our selections. They still have some damn good bourbon.

11-20-2012, 15:46
Things loosen up a lot if you can get down to SC. I moved from Durham to Columbia in 03; the private stores south of the border often have a lot more interesting finds. Up here in MI is sort of in between, much better than the NC ABC system in terms of selection, but not a lot of difference from one store to the next.

BTW - there are honorable, respectable Duke alumni lurking in these parts; be careful how you flaunt that nasty Carolina logo...

11-23-2012, 08:26
One thing I am finding out guys is that the NC ABC actually can get you special items if you just ask. I have already had success with the BTAC with only a few emails. You just have to take the initiative and try.....so I shouldn't complain too much about our selections. They still have some damn good bourbon.

BTAC can be hit or miss. Sometime I can get my hands on all I want and more. Other times it is all dried up. I had no problem getting Stagg this year. WLW was a different story. You can special order many bourbons thru the NC-ABC. The drawback is that the prices are relatively high, and you have to order a case at a time. Prepaid too...

11-27-2012, 19:25
I actually got 1 bottle each of the BTAC (except the ER18) through the Wake County ABC. Totally surprised that that worked. I basically emailed all the county ABCs around Orange County and got lucky.

11-27-2012, 19:31
SC will definitely be a trip in the future for a bourbon grab.

As for the Carolina logo, while I am an employee of the university, I most certainly don't mean to flaunt the Carolina blue. I have much love for you Blue Devils. (Especially every month other than March).

11-30-2012, 15:44
Having turned up some BTAC in NC I have a newfound respect for the Carolina blue. But only for a few months...

12-02-2012, 06:21
Awesome Craig. Now if only some ORVW stuff popped up. My sense is that anything ORVW is immediately snatched up by the ABC store managers. When I picked up my BTAC, I asked the assistant manager who was there, and he said that the store manager kept it for himself. Well, at least I'm on a few lists. Maybe someday! Not holding my breath.....

12-02-2012, 15:19
I never had trouble finding the Van Winkles when I lived in Columbia SC. Though that was a few years ago. Having said that, I found a few bottles of the 15 when I passed through last summer.