View Full Version : What got you started

07-02-2005, 23:36
I'm wondering what got everyone started in bourbon on this list. For me I started drinking bourbon at a illegal age of 16 with Weller SR and just stayed with it until about 2 years ago (I'm 40+ now) when someone suggested it was "rotgut". Of course that person's idea of good "bourbon" was JD!http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif Anyhow it got me to thinking, the only Bourbons I had ever had were WLW SR, AA, and Evan Williams. I have now tried MANY other fine permium bourbons so I am glad this all happened. Every time I venture into a wet county I come out with a new bourbon. It is truly amazing how different a tightly regulated product can be. Thank goodness. So what got you all started???

07-03-2005, 04:08
Started drinking Old Grandad & water at the tender age of 21. Drank it for 20 years, then a friend of mine turned me on to Evan Williams Black. Drank it over ice for 15 years. I then went to a Bluegrass Festival in Owensboro, Kentucky (also to Bardstown). Drank many different bourbons. I then started to collect them. I'm now up to 62 and like em all, some better than others. Bluegrass & Bourbon - both home grown.
Joe http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/usflag.gif

07-03-2005, 08:09
When I was a young man I drank beer mostly. A little tequila, once in a in while some JD or Jim Beam White and coke. When I met my first wife she drank scotch blends on the rocks. I tried that, but never really warmed up to it. Some time in my twenties I started to drink Jim Beam more often. On the rocks or with coke. When we went camping I would often take a bottle of Beam. It was lighter than packing in beer. When I came to Japan at age thirty I continued to drink Beam White and tried a number of other cheap bourbons. Rolling K, Early Times plus some more slightly more expensive ones, Four Roses Yellow Label, I.W. Harper and Wild Turkey 8 year old 101 proof. That last was my favorite, I always bought a bottle for the holidays or vacation, my birthday any special occasion. Day in day out I drank Beam.

Around age forty I stopped drinking Beam and drank Wild Turkey 101. I drank a lot of other spirits as well. Glenlivit 12 year old, tequila, Black Bush, that last was my luxury whiskey. I quite drinking entirely for about two years. I began again last fall. I didn't want to drink as much as I had before, nor did I want to drink any more crap. A science fiction book I read mentioned Maker's Mark and I bought a bottle which I enjoyed. I got a bottle of Black Bush, a bottle of Bushmill's single malt 10 year old and one of Glenlivit 12. Then I started searching the net and bought Jim Murray's 2004 whiskey bible which I started to read online on Amazon using their search this book function. That was in December 2004. Initially, I bought a lot of single malts and scotch blends, but I was buying some bourbon right from the start. Soon I was buying and drinking mostly bourbon though I still enjoy malt whiskey from time to time.

Hedmans Brorsa
07-03-2005, 09:21
Rolling K,

Never heard of this one before. Is it a Jim Beam-product for the Japanese market?

07-03-2005, 10:36
Joined the Corps at 16 (you could sorta get away with that back then) and along with scotch and cigars, bourbon was a right of passage. I didn't expand past having 5 or 6 for the first 20 years but after Desert Shield/Storm it started to grow. Stabilized at about 40 now mostly because that is what fills up the cabinet and more won't fit.

07-03-2005, 10:41
It was a Satrday afternoon with nothing going on, so Leslie and I decided to drive to Loretto and visit that Maker's Mark Distillery we had heard about. I quickly became facinated with the process and the fact that we lived right in the middle of all of it. That evening I went to the Liquor Barn and bought my first bottle. After a few more bottles of Maker's I tried a bottle of Woodford Reserve, which I liked, but in a different way. After that it was Wild Turkey 80, as the 101 proof scared me at the time http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif I realized there was more to this bourbon thing than I thought, and I set out to find as much information as I could. That's when I stumbled upon this site. Well, stumbled is the wrong word, as all you have to do is enter the word "bourbon" into any search engine and we are at the top of the list http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif After finding this wonderful resource, I spent the next year or so trying everything I could get my hands on. I've tried most of what's currently available and I've settled into a pattern of favorites, but every visit to the gazebo reminds me that there is more out there than can ever be truely appreciated by one person. It has been fun, and there is still a long journey ahead.

07-03-2005, 14:32
Stabilized at about 40 now mostly because that is what fills up the cabinet and more won't fit.

Isn't that always the limiting factor!

I know I've already posted this before somewhere, so I'll try to keep it brief. I also hope I'm consistent with what I said before, and don't contradict myself!!

I had a friend in college back in '84 or '85 that really enjoyed "Austin Nichols with clear ice", which was, of course, WT 101 (8 years old back then).

I pretty much continued to enjoy WT 101 off and on throughout college and afterward. In the '90s, I tried a few other things; scotch blends (mostly JW Red), martinis and cognac (Courvoisier vsop), but always had a bottle of WT or that new Rare Breed in the cupboard. For some reason, I never tried any bourbon other than Wild Turkey.

Around April of 2004, I found myself interested in getting a proper glass for drinking bourbon, and found the Riedel glass, and so I got a bottle of something new to go with it . . . Knob Creek.

Then, I found this site, and everything changed. My stash gradually increased over the next ten months or so, until I filled up all the available shelf space on the back bar (and then some).

Perhaps the fact that the house we moved to in 2003 has a 10 ft. old bar in it was a coincidence, but I think it was pure providence! What better place to showcase my 30 different bourbons and ryes (and a few other things that other folks seem to need to have around to drink)!

07-03-2005, 15:09
I think I've posted something similar before, but here goes...
Started drinking Bundaberg Rum & Coke (ilegally) at around the age of 16. Tried (too much) Walker Red Label scotch & coke one night at around the same age and still can't handle the smell of scotch some 20 years later. Continued drinking Rum until the age of 18 (the legal age of drinking is 18 in Australia) when I just couldn't handle the taste of it any more. A friend from my Surf Life Saving Club gave me a Jim Beam and coke to drink one night and I was hooked. It has been my drink of choice ever since. About 3 years ago on an overseas trip, I took a chance and picked up a bottle of Jim Beam Bonded and Woodford Reserve. I continued to drink them with coke and was amazed at the different tastes (even with the coke mixer) About 2 years ago my Fiance' picked me up a bottle of Bookers and I discovered the first 'neat' bourbon that I liked. 18 months ago I happened upon this site which has put me on the path of drinking most of my bourbons neat or on ice and has seen me try over 20 different bourbons now. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/thankyousign.gif The journey continues slowly due to the limited availability of most bourbons in Australia but at least almost every overseas trip still results in a 'new find' http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

07-03-2005, 16:16
I found myself at loose ends after ending a 25-year, by-then-part-time sportswriting career (I'd never been without at last a second job before), so parlayed my wine knowledge into a 12-hour-a-week job behind a liquor store counter. Tennessee is whisk(e)y country, and we sell plenty -- Canadian, Scotch, Tennessee whiskey AND bourbon. So, I started bringing home a mini here, a 200ml bottle there, finding an occasional Scotch or Canadian I liked, but only really enjoying en masse the bourbon. Then, like so many others, I discovered StraightBourbon.com, and began learning why I liked it. And, as Jeff said, it only takes a single SB.com experience -- for me, it was Bettye Jo's private HH tour and a gathering at Ed's on Maker's Mark Mile weekend last year, solidified by the Festival last fall -- to expand one's bourbon horizons. Fortunately for me, this is a good part of the world in which to get most current products, and there are occasional older bottlings waiting to be sought out. I've now tried more than 140 different renditions, only finding 2-3 that I wouldn't unthinkingly accept if offered. Them's pretty good odds.

07-03-2005, 18:08
I became interested in bourbon after drinking Black Maple Hill (Lawrenceburg)16 yr old. It was actually a gift for a good friend of mine, who I was visiting in Tennessee. I knew nothing about bourbon, but wanted to buy him a gift and scotch just didn't feel right. I decided to pick BMH 16 because it looked interesting. My friend opened it and we were both pleasantly surprised. At the end of my weekend visit the bottle was close to finished and when I returned home to California I picked up one for myself. BMH 16 was the only bourbon I drank for several years until I started doing research and came across this site, which was about a year ago.

07-03-2005, 18:43
Like you I spent my spare change at Miley's, where if they could see your face you were old enough. About 16 and JB period. Then JB Black many years later. Makers was next for a short time. The industry took off and now I drink a little of all of it when I have time.

Only drink once a week, exceptions for holidays and when I'm out of town.

If I let it my love for Bourbon can be and has been at times a bit of a problem.

07-03-2005, 19:41
I don't know who makes Rolling K. I haven't had it for more than ten years, but remember thinking it wasn't worth drinking if Jim Beam White was available. Next time I see it I will check to see where it was distilled. Next time I see it for under ten bucks I will buy it to see what I think of it now.

07-03-2005, 19:45
For me, I used to mostly drink beer. Then, in 1999, I brought home a bottle of SMSW (Aberlour 10yo) on the way home from a UK trip. As a noob, I didn't realize that this wasn't particularly rare, so I nursed it along for a long time. After it ran out, I started trying a variety of different Scotches - and then I started on other whiskies - Irish, Japanese, and, of course, bourbon.

As a general rule, I never drink the same thing two days in a row. While my stash is rather modest compared to some of the pictures I've seen here and elsewhere, it would still land me in jail if I had the misfortune of living in a dry county. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I tend to go for high-quality-for-the-buck products - though I sometimes splurge and get a luxury bottle (e.g. Stagg, or Ardbeg 1977). Fortunately, high-end bourbons tend to be more affordable!

Latest bottle, bought today: ORVW 15yo 107 proof, single-barrel bottling for Sam's. Amidst a sea of similar-looking ORVW 10/107 bottles, there were two of the 15. One came home with me... but it may be a while before I actually get around to opening it.

07-03-2005, 22:15
I don't know who makes Rolling K...

Rolling K was a Japan-only 80-proof bottling by Old Crow. I don't know whether or not Beam continued it after purchasing National Distillers.
Here's a bottle pic:
(Go to the "Bottle Gallery", click on 'r')

07-04-2005, 06:24
For me it had primarily to do with what was available to steal from my parent's liquor cabinet. They always had bourbon in there. Since the object was to grab the booze and run, bourbon was the ticket; no mixer required. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

That was certainly where my first experience with bourbon originated, but I am at a loss to explain my taste for it. I love bourbon today, and I always have. I was in my early twenties when I really began to enjoy the flavor of it, and 34 when I discovered that there was something beyond JB White and MM. Once I got a taste of Blanton's, it was on.

07-04-2005, 06:43
Yep that is the lable.

07-04-2005, 06:47
I can certainly understand how Blanton's would get you started! It is still king of the hill for me, though there is a crowd of good bourbons trying to take its place.

07-05-2005, 03:51
Last Sept. 2004 we opened up a bottle of Bourbon that was
started in Fall 1951 and bottled in Spring 1964 made by
"Old Farmers Distillery". It sat in a cool dry basement in a box never opened for about 40 years... It's a 12 year
100 proof bourbon and "WOW" what a Bourbon... So amazed I started doing research on "Old Farmers Distillery" #20.
I became a member of "Straightbourbon" and asked alot of questions....THANKS Bettyjo, THANKS Chuck.....As they were
very helpful in answering my questions along with Sam Cecils book. At this point a few of us started buying Bourbon to see if we could match the taste (or close) of the Old Farmers.....29 bottles later(about 100 left to try) and a newly formed Bourbon Club we still haven't found a bottle that is
the same as the Old Farmers....BUT we found a lot very NICE Bourbons along the way.....THANKS Pappy..... It's been a fun venture gaining new friends and alot of great bourbon along the way...We can't wait to go to Kentucky To visit the Distilleries.
P.S. Old Farmers Distillery #20. 12 year 100 proof.
Very smooth, no heat, strong buttery toffee, maples and vanilla tastes...Has the nicest "nose" of any bourbon
yet... Makes you want to put it on your pancakes after your first sniff...
Enjoy.............. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

07-05-2005, 03:57
And THANK YOU Straightbourbon. Keep up the good work.
As I now enter the world of Advanced Taster........
Life is Good..... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

07-05-2005, 10:12
I used to drink Jack and Coke in college. For my college graduation my friends bought me a bottle of Knob Creek and I continued drinking Jack and Coke and Knob Creek and Coke. I later received a bottle of Woodford Reserve for my birthday and tried it on the rocks. I drank KC and WR on the rocks for a few years and eventually switched to drinking them straight. In the last year I have tried to expand my collection by tasting as many different bourbons as possible. This is what led me to this wonderful/helpful site.

07-05-2005, 10:36
My then-girlfriend bought me a tiny book about whisk(e)y. I knew nothing but had expressed an interest in at least learning a little about it. The book covered the basics of the various categories, but was mostly photographs. I was interested enough to buy a bottle.

My first was Power's Irish. A single malt followed: Aberlour 10. The third purchase was a bottle of ORVW 10/90 that I found while visiting Portland, OR. The bourbon was a clear favorite, but I liked them all. Many additional bottles followed, even though I swore I wouldn't become a collector. So I have this girl to thank for what will undoubtedly be a lifelong interest.

07-05-2005, 11:57
My wife works for a book publishing company. A few years ago I was hanging around her office after work one night while she finished something up, and pulled a sample copy of one of their books off the shelf to read to kill time. It was Jim Murray's "Complete Guide to Whiskey" or something like that---a little black book with a picture of various whiskies on the cover. Glancing through it, the thing that most intrigued me was Murray's waxing rhapsodic about rye. It made me want to try some. So, I took a copy of the book home, and began spending a lot of time in the whiskey aisles of local liquor stores. Initially I focused mostly on rye and Scotch, but I started picking up bourbons, too---mainly, I wanted to have an example from each of the active distilleries. That made a good theme for tastings, which I started holding for friends and family.

After a while I noticed that despite my extensive Scotch collection I often found myself turning to bourbon when I wanted a wee dram for recreational purposes. My initial round of bourbon buying had been fairly pedestrian expressions, but once I sampled a few premium bourbons, I became a much more enthusiastic bourbon consumer.

Just recently my American whiskey collection eclipsed in size my Scotch collection, although if rye is considered separately I still have more Scotch than bourbon. I still like Scotch, and rye, and Irish whiskey for that matter, but bourbon has taken a commanding lead in my estimation.

The main thing I have this board to thank for is discovering Old Granddad BIB, which is one of my favorite everyday pours now. When my current bottle is gone I'm going to try the OGD 114.

07-06-2005, 19:45
I guess after the cold winter of 1956-57, and some cold nights, hot between the sheets, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 1956. I accompanied my mother to the bottling house at Jim Beam for the next 9 months. I couldn't see or smell much, but I do think the rarified air she was breathing was transferred to my bloodstream. The hums, whizzes,and whurring of the machinery and the clanking of the bottles, I believe I do have a recollection of, as well as getting bumped on the ass a few times with full bottles of Jim Beam. Yep, then and there, that did it for me! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

07-06-2005, 19:48
That's a awsome story, Bobby http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif I just love it! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Bettye Jo

07-06-2005, 20:06
I was a JD shots kind of guy in college. In fact, I did 8 shots in 45 minutes once, and THEN went to class!!! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/falling.gif

After college I grew up alot, and when my wife and I went camping with my parents, my dad would always sip Wild Turkey 101 around the campfire. So, I tried it and liked it. But it wasn't until about 3 years later I decided to seriously explore bourbon. I did some pre-drinking research and chose bourbon due to the fact that it is uniquely American, and the only thing they can add to it is H2O. So, it's the real thing.

So for about the last 2 years, I've been exploring, and enjoying, bourbon.

This site has been a wonderful online knowledge base. Thanks.


10-13-2005, 13:52
Found this thread when searching for others. I might as well add my two cents.

I tried many things as a teenager. Jack Daniels and Dr. Pepper was a favorite as was Christian Brothers Brandy and Barqs Root Beer. Yeah, I know, weird mixers but I still love them to this day. So, not too long ago, I ran out of Barqs for the Brandy and decided to sip it straight. Interesting. Not bad. Around the same time, a friend gave me a bottle of Glen Moray Single Malt. I decided to sip that. Hmmmmmm, I like this sipping thing. So, then I'm at Sam's Club and see a giant bottle of Early Times for about 11 dollars. Great, I'll try that. See, I assumed that since Early Times was a whisk(e)y and Glen Moray was a whisk(e)y that they would be similar. Well, I liked the Early Times more. Especially how the glass smells like caramel after the drink was finished. From there it was Maker's Mark (like), Jack Daniels straight (don't like) and then started searching the internet and found this site.

Based upon what I read, my first bourbon was Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel. I've probably gone through 8 by now. It's been a fantastic discovery for me with more to come. Now if I can only get my wife to understand that it is okay to buy a new bottle of bourbon when there is one already open then I'm all set.

--Mark http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drinking.gif

10-13-2005, 15:01
I also started at an illegal and tender age. When I was 18 I would play golf with an old Scotsman. He was a wise man who many thought of as odd or ecentric. He had come to America after the Big One. During the war he had something to do with British intellegence. It was all a great mystery to me. Anyway, he enjoyed American Bourbon. He said that Americans did not appeiciate what they had right in thier own back yard. After golf he would enjoy some Old Grand Dad.
At 18 I was eager to go at life full throttle. He taught me to slow down and enjoy life. He is long dead but I still think of him every time I enjoy a glass of OGD. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

10-13-2005, 15:12
First taste was ~11 dipping a finger in Dad's Kentucky Tavern. Sweet! Good! Not the reaction I think he was hoping for. Snuck a taste or two over the next 7 years... College found me trying about everything I could find. Post college settled on WT101 then moved on to Rare Breed a few years later. Didn't really try anything exotic until the last few years. Now everything is fair game.


10-13-2005, 17:08
When I was 16 (that seems to be a common age in this thread) I had a girlfriend whose parents were serious alcoholics. They drank at least a quart of AA every night, and they bought it by the multiple case. We figured they would not miss a single bottle so we absconded with one. That night she had a sip, I had the rest. Fastforward thirty years.
In 2002 I found myself underemployed, broke and bored to tears. On the internet on a whim, I started to learn about all types of spirits. I learned about cool things like reposado and pot stilled, and peat, and barley and casks and stuff. When I was offered employment again I decided that I was going to celebrate by buying a bottle of something. At my nearest Albertsons I carefully looked over the selections of Scotch, Vodka, Tequila, Rum and Bourbon. I spied a bottle of Knob Creek and it called out to me. Visions of the "incident" of thirty years before lept into my head, but I bought it anyway. I liked it, and then I found this sight. I'm at about 70 bottles now, and enjoy a pull or two (over ice) every night.

10-13-2005, 18:37
I was always a beer drinker and about 3 years ago my wife and I were in a Ruby Tuesday. Behind the bar I saw a bottle of Knob Creek and it just looked kind of neat to me. I ordered a Knob Creek on the Rocks (don't think I ever ordered anything on the rocks before) and absolutely loved it. I remember tasting all these different flavors that I had never tasted in a whiskey before. That started it...now I love finding a new bottle of bourbon I have never tried before...it's a hobby.

10-13-2005, 23:18
First taste was ~11 dipping a finger in Dad's Kentucky Tavern. Sweet! Good! Not the reaction I think he was hoping for.

Probably not. A while back my wife let our two year old son, Joe, try coffee so he would know that he doesn't like coffee. I ran in circles and panicked. There is no way to know what he will or won't like and I don't want him to drink coffee. The other day he picked a little piece jalapeno pepper off a pizza and ate it. I didn't try to stop him as I don't mind him eating spicy food. As far as I know there are no health risks involved. He yelled "HOT!" and cried a bit. He went back twice more to try it. That was the reaction that I was expecting.

10-14-2005, 06:47
There is no way to know what he will or won't like and I don't want him to drink coffee.

I know what you mean, Ed. Our grandbaby is just two. His parents are way into coffee and he's been having dunked bisquoti for quite some time now. Not what we would have choosen but parents have to make their own choices. We try not to over interfere.


10-14-2005, 07:20
Every time I pour myself a glass of whiskey, my two year old says, "Whiskey Bar", demands to smell it, and then says "Smells Good!" I think it's cute, but I'm sure some parents might be concerned that one of the first things a child says is whiskey. However, he also says "Vladimir" meaning Vladimir Guerrero of the Los Angeles Angels. Kids just pick up words. My part in the future though will be teaching the kids to drink responsibly and to stay away from the cheap stuff! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-14-2005, 07:33
Like a few others here, I started off a Jack and Coke drinker. I started in high school after I joined a band (a VERY bad influence http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif ). I continued drinking that type of mixture until recently when the question came up in conversation about why Jack was not considered bourbon. I landed on SB.com and found the answer. And then I found out there was a LOT more to bourbon. I started off by picking up a bottle of Weller 12yo and a bottle of Eagle Rare 101. I liked both of them a LOT. I went back and tried some Jack neat and was surprised at how weak it tasted compared to the others. I'm still in the experimenting mode. I've tried about 15 bourbons, with my top 3 being the Weller 12yo, ER 101, and Elmer T. Lee. I have a bottle of Spring '05 Stagg and a Weller Centennial that I have not opened yet, though.


10-14-2005, 07:57
My part in the future though will be teaching the kids to drink responsibly and to stay away from the cheap stuff!

Worthy goals, to be sure. Makes you wonder where the industry will be when they are "ready"...


11-06-2005, 20:18
After tasting a few scotches including Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet which are still rather strong and sour, I took a chance on bourbon with Maker's Mark (the sweetness from the corn got me hooked) and then I switched totally to bourbon. I won't buy another scotch and now after tasting over 30 bottles of bourbon, I'm not changing.... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif

11-10-2005, 11:22
SMSW is what led me to Bourbon. I was very curious about these older looking bottles of Bourbon that I would see while hunting for Scotch. My whisky teacher told me to only pay attention to 100 proof, BIB. (Green tax stamps)He said that was "the good stuff"…so I bought a few and opened them up. They didn’t taste like Scotch, but they were delicious! (Later to discover that there are some dam fine red tax stamped bottles too!)

After dwelling on the vintage Bourbons for a while, I started looking around at other, “newer” bottlings, but didn’t know where to start. At that time, I had found a few bottles of A H Hirsch and did a “search” on the web…that led to finding Tim, (TNbourbon), he told me about this site and have been hooked ever since. (Thanks Tim!) Now I can research the brand I would consider buying before making my purchase which allows me to decide how to get the best bang for my buck.

Just as a side note, it seems there is something in common about these replies to this post…they all have some mention to the value of this site…Thanks to Jim and Dave and all the others who help contribute the valuable perspective in information we all feed on.

dougdog...from the pack that is hungry for information...

11-10-2005, 16:38
When I consider it now it amazes me! So much lost time! I was completely unaware that there were scrumptious bourbons in the world until about 6 or 7 years ago, and I ain't no "spring chick'n". I had always liked decent Scotch, drank quite a bit of Dewar's White Label in my younger years, but one taste of Jack Daniels and I wrote off bourbon. I live in NYC and basically there wasn't much focus on bourbon to correct my mistaken belief that JD was what bourbon was all about, and I thought it was pretty awful, still do.
Then, about 6 or 7 years ago I met up with some friends for dinner in one of those Chain places, maybe a TGIF's. I felt like having a drink and wanted to try something new, and there on the shelf were some impressive looking bottles that were right up front being featured. I asked the bartender what the stuff was and he told me "single batch bourbon". I asked him a few more questions, and decided to try Baker's straight up. The Bartender put it in a brandy snifter, I followed it up with Booker's straight up and since then I've been a major fan of the stuff! Gotta try 'em all, and I am progressing well!! Tom V

12-05-2005, 19:50
Heh. I haven't been on this board in forever, but threads like this are why I inevitably come back.

Apparently, I was the rare "good" kid who never drank in high school, then never more than sipped when I was in college -- until I turned 21. Having grown up in Kentucky, I wanted to do it right, so I went out and got some bourbon. What better for a Kentucky 21st? The bottle was some MM. Drank a little straight... had some with coke. Fortunately, I liked it from the start. Been trying different bourbons since then (though not nearly enough different ones -- even here, it's not that cheap). Been to the Bourbon Festival a few times with some college friends. It's good stuff.

12-05-2005, 20:51
Bourbon is a recent (4 years) discovery to me. For 15 - 20 years I was a dedicated Beer and JD guy until a friend started me on MM. Since then I've tried most everything I can get my hands on, although not as many choices are readily available in my part of the country.

I think its the tast complexity and range of flavors in the different bottles that I find so compeling. I am just starting to really get my hands around the many layers in some of the better bottles I have been drinking.


12-05-2005, 21:20
I got started with Makers Mark, then to Knob Creek, then to Bookers, then to the Rip Van Winkles, then to George t Stagg, the God of Bourbon. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Mad Mac
03-15-2006, 18:30
Once I was done getting sick on beer or being hung over from wine, I jumped right to scotch (SMSW). Maybe it's just my heritage but there was something about the taste (more peat, please) that really did it for me. Funny about that - just like when I was a kid and went straight to strong black coffee (much to my mother's dismay). I've never stopped drinking scotch but my appreciation for bourbon has grown considerably in the last few years.

03-15-2006, 18:38
Interesting how many people started with Makers Mark. That was actually the 2nd bourbon I tried and at the time I loved it. Now it is plain and not thick, rich, and complex enough for me. Makes a great Manhattan though.

03-15-2006, 22:53
Brian... another one for the list. A buddy of mine got me into Scotch a while back, which I was really enjoying. I went and visited family one weekend and all they had in the cabinet was a bottle of Makers' Mark. I poured it up and really enjoyed it. I think I have migrated more to the Bourbon side of things because I like all things American history related.

03-16-2006, 14:48
My interest in whiskey began by examining the miniatures when I was a teen (12-13), but I never drank a drop till my early 20s. Then I drank Scotch blends first-but very rarely-, and when I was 27-28 I tried my first bourbon Jim Beam white. Now, I continue tasting whatever bourbon I find. I don2t drink too often-usually once a week or less. Bulleit, Jim Beam Black, Early Times are the brands I'm drinking nowadays. Possibly I'll buy a bottle of Ten High at the weekend, or a Canadian Club. BTW, I didn't taste JD yet, and I'll try that one too-I wonder, actually.

And...Straightbourbon.com is actually a great factor for my beginning to get involved in bourbon this much, and helps me know what I taste and how to talk about it. Without this site, maybe things wouldn't be as they are now, for me. Thanks for SB :)

03-16-2006, 19:32
This time it was a trip to KY that got me started a few months ago. But back in 1977 I used to drink Old Crow a little bit. My father was a scotch drinker and my grandfather a bourbon drinker. Being from CT originally I don't think bourbon was overly popular. But around here say like in Missouri and Illinois in the gas stations, they don't sell scotch much but have quite a selection of bourbons... not a great selection but a few brands.

This Evan Williams 7YO has a bit of a bite to it, but you know now I think I like the bite.

03-19-2006, 00:28
Started with Single malt scotch.

Got to reading about how Glenmorangie gives it barrels to Heaven Hill to age bourbon in before they are shipped back to age scotch. I thought that was neat, and interested me because I live in Kentucky and never knew any of this.

When I read all about the process, and all of the regulations - I must admit, it filled me with a certain pride.

So I'll still drink scotch, but I've grown a tremendous fondness for bourbon and a ton of respect too.

03-19-2006, 02:09
That's a real surprise for me, arsbadmojo :) I thought all Kentuckians were bourbon enthusiasts. I know this is not a true assumption, of course, but that was the pic. in my mind, as one from the other side of the world :)
Besides, not a non-drinker but a scotch-drinker from Kentucky, that makes the surprise much interesting.
Are there many Kentuckians who aren't even familiar with bourbon?

03-19-2006, 03:09
I can tell you, based on interviews with Kentuckians in Chuck Cowdery's video/DVD (http://home.netcom.com/~cowdery/page8.html), "Made and Bottled in Kentucky", that at least a few of them have only a passing familiarity with bourbon.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

03-19-2006, 09:48
This forum is not what got me started in bourbon, but it certainly is a big part of whats keeping me going in bourbon! Right now with some Elmer T. Lee. I don't think I'd have ever bought this stuff if people had not talked about it.

Now I am also curious about a non-bourbon but something that is popular which is Seagrams 7. Does it have bourbon in it? Is it related to bourbon? How many other non-bourbon american whiskeys are out there besides the Tennessee ones?

03-19-2006, 10:02
...Now I am also curious about a non-bourbon but something that is popular which is Seagrams 7. Does it have bourbon in it? Is it related to bourbon? How many other non-bourbon american whiskeys are out there besides the Tennessee ones?

Seagram's 7 Crown is a blended whiskey. See here for definitions:

The gist is that it must only contain 20% of 'straight' whiskeys -- aged at least 2 years in new oak barrels -- with the remainder being "added harmless coloring, flavoring or blending materials, and, separately, or in combination, whisky or neutral spirits." 'Neutral spirits' is another term for vodka.
In the case of Seagram's 7, I think it contains 30% straights.
The Tennessee whiskeys, while not bourbons -- in name, anyway -- also are not blends.
To name a few blended American whiskeys: Kessler, Beam 8 Star, Calvert Extra, Four Roses, (older) Cream of Kentucky, Ancient Age Preferred. Early Times, Michter's US1 and Conecuh Ridge are bourbon-based blends, but blends nonetheless. There are others.
Domestic Southern Comfort, by the way, contains no whiskey at all, though an export-only 'Reserve' label does.

blue lander
03-20-2006, 08:19
I started with Old Grand Dad 114, which I guess was a trial by fire. Although I've never felt it to be a harsh tasting drink, even from the beginning. It always amazes me that, even at bourbon bars, when I bring up Old Grand Dad the yuppies who frequent the place look at me like I just admitted to drinking diesel fuel.

03-20-2006, 09:39
Tim, you completely forgot Rye, Wheat and Corn whiskies as being non-bourbon American whiskies! There are also a few malt whiskies floating around.

03-20-2006, 15:47
Tim, you completely forgot Rye, Wheat and Corn whiskies as being non-bourbon American whiskies! There are also a few malt whiskies floating around.
Didn't forget -- just limited myself to addressing the ones he specifically mentioned, blends and Tennessee. Even at that, I got kinda long-winded. You wanted more?:lol:

03-20-2006, 18:04
Well, what got me started was Jim Beam White 7YO. This stuff is pretty darn easy to drink! I just had a bit neat. There is no need to dilute this fine bourbon. It is sweet neat. I do agree there are some flavors found in other bourbons that are lacking in the White Label 7YO. Now I am drinking the Elmer T. Lee and it has some more flavors than the Beam has.


03-20-2006, 19:37
Long-Winded? PALease.... I've seen you get long-winded and thats not even close:slappin:

03-22-2006, 14:50
Hi all, new to the forums here. I had my first drink of bourbon around the time I was 18, Jim Beam white. I've been on a Rebel Yell kick for the last couple of years. I end up sipping it straight(neat?) and always end up cutting it with some coke (it mixes so well). I'm planning on venturing out to try some of the stuff you all talk about on this board. My local ABC store is running a sale on EWSB and I think I am going to pick some up. Very happy to have found this site.

03-22-2006, 15:17
Welcome, Tank! Many fine folks here, and many fine bourbons to be tasted. :toast: to an amiable journey.

03-22-2006, 17:21
TNbourbon, thanks! I look forward to it.......

03-22-2006, 17:31
All that was in house was Old Grand Dad 86 proof. On occaission dad would get the BIB. It wasn't a bad way to be introduced to the world that I live in now.

03-24-2006, 00:53
Well, I first tried Jim Beam (whatever the standard cheap stuff is, I think it's white 7 year old) to put in egg nog. Tried it straight, hated it. Kept drinking Johnny Walker Black and never went back to Bourbon. My brother in law showed me the world of single malt scotch and I stopped drinking Johnny Walker.

Last year I started watching a program called "The Thirsty Traveler" on Fine Living. Great show, and the episode on Bourbon made me curious to try Maker's Mark. I bought a bottle of Maker's Mark and Elmer T. Lee, and found that I really liked the Maker's Mark. I finished the bottle and bought another. From there things kinda got out of hand....


03-25-2006, 21:09
Well i started in the military with JD of course. I am drinking right now my WT12 yr Limited Edition I found in Omaha. I graduated to Jack Single Barrel, great stuff.

Anyway I started into Blantons (yrs have past by now, I fast forwarded to today) I enjoyed it. Then I noticed AH Hirsch, I purchased it and then my trek started. I am also a big Irish whiskey fan.

I tend to buy the more expensive bourbons for the most part 30.00 plus. I love the VW 12yr, as well as the Pappy 20. I have not purchased the 23 yr but it doesn't sound like I am missing much. The 20 yr is awesome stuff. The 12 WT I found is unbelievable stuff too.

I went to a Bourbon tasting the other night at a local liquor outlet and they were sampling the JB family, I do not care for that line at all. The guy hosting it though was quite funny, he said he loves it when people say they smell this or that in a bourbon. It was very comical.

I do tend to enjoy the better bourbons. I really enjoy Old Charter Proprieters Reserve, Pappy 15 is good too. Ah Hirsh 16 yr a fine bourbon as well. I can't bring myself to buying a bourbon for 10 or 15 bucks. I guess I have turned into a bourbon snob.

I am comfortable with the more expensive bourbons. I will invest in a case if a deal is to be had. Like I said earlier the Irish whiskeys are a great bunch too. If you haven't tried the Middleton Very Rare it is awesome (they age this particular whiskey in used bourbon barrels exclusively). I have opened a bottle of the 2004 and 2005.

I also want to say that SB.Com has really encouraged me since last November to go out and buy these bourbons. My wife is flustered to some degree, I put her off by saying Ebay baby. We will make some money. Of course I plan on keeping these bourbons for my own. I would say that since November I have spent over 5,000.00 on liquor. But I have a heck of a stash and I share.

We all need a hobby!!!



03-25-2006, 21:11
Ps BlueBassDad, I have not forgotten you on the WT12 yr.

03-25-2006, 23:07
If you decide to drink it all yourself, I will be disappointed but understanding. :grin:

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield