View Full Version : your first time

03-27-2002, 23:11
My wife has started to get interested in this forum that i spend a good amount of time reading now. She is more interested in the people than actual whiskey (i havent converted her from Vodka yet) and asked me to ask you to recount either your first memory drinking bourbon or the experience that began your appreciation of said liquor. The More i learn about bourbon it seems to me that it is more about the people than the drink, that it is very tied in ti the people who make it and the experience of the people who drink it, so i think it would bevery interesting to know how y'all "stumbled across" the fine nectar. i will even post my first experience when i am a tad more coherent! ;)

03-27-2002, 23:44
Hey MurphyDawg----Ya never sign your real name------It's not required-----but we do-------

I was 13 years old---at the ball park with some friends-----they stole a bottle from thier dad-------took one big ole swaller-----and damn near puked!!!!!!!!!!

Bettye Jo
Line Mechanic
Heaven Hill Distilleries

03-28-2002, 06:33
This one already has been / is being covered, and in much larger volume than could be produced on this form. Have a look at:

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.straightbourbon.com/cgi-bin/survey.cgi>http://www.straightbourbon.com/cgi-bin/survey.cgi</A>

I'm not certain how many entries are in the survey database, but I'd guess somewhere > 1000 at this point.


Jim Butler

03-28-2002, 20:57
The name is Tom, but i do have a dog named Murphy . . . . . . and since he photographys better than I this is the real murphdog!!

03-29-2002, 07:45
Dear Tom,

I can't tell from the picture, but Murph looks suspiciously like a Rhodesian Ridgeback. We had one once - they're the best dogs in the world! I don't think we'll ever get another dog - if we make it to heaven we want Simba waiting for us.


04-03-2002, 22:42
i was looking at the bourbon survey today and it is really interesting to see peoples experiences it was a great idea. i was just wondering if it was searchable. i would like to see the first experiences of some of the core members of the forum (Linn, Chuck, Jim etc) but dont know if this is possible. you all seem to have such fervor for the topic that It would be intriguing to know how you all were introduced to it. any help??

Tom C

04-03-2002, 22:48
i am not sure what kind of dog he is either, we got him from the pound as a puppy for $12, including dog tags (best money i ever spent), he is my best bud, playmate & a bourbin nosing officionado as well (see other post). both my mutts are the perfect dogs for me

04-04-2002, 07:31
The database itself is certainly searchable, but not via any mechanism I currently have in place. I'm glad you brought that up though. It seems this was on the "to do" list once upon a time. It's back on it now.

I'm not really certain where my interest in bourbon came from; I've liked it my entire adult life, though I only became aware of the world outside Jim Beam white label about 10 years ago.
Me and my brother Dave (the actual owner of this website) were staying in a hotel in downtown LA during a convention. We were drinking JB and watching a table full of japanese businessmen drinking what was obviously high-end scotch. We asked the bartender if there werent any high-end bourbons. He whipped out the Blanton's, and I guess y'all know the rest of the story.


Jim Butler

04-04-2002, 07:55
I'm not sure if I ever completed the survey, but since you asked:

Coming of age in Ohio, I mostly drank Stroths and other beers, with occasional detours to things like Boones Farm Apple Wine. Vodka and Squirt, Seven and Seven were my mixed drinks of choice.

One time at a party with an open bar, a friend advised that drinking straight whiskey, without a mixer, avoided hangovers. I became a scotch drinker.

I remained one until I moved to Kentucky. Now in my late 20s, I was working in the liquor industry (first at the ad agency for Heaven Hill, then at the promotion agency for Brown-Forman) and, obviously, living in the middle of it. My employers and their clients "encouraged" me to switch to bourbon, which I did, and never went back. Ironically, my parents had always drunk bourbon.

In the early 1990s, as Kentucky was preparing to celebrate the bicentennial of its statehood, I wrote a proposal to Kentucky Educational Television for a grant to produce a documentary about the bourbon industry. The result was "Made and Bottled in Kentucky." That began my real obsession with the subject.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

04-04-2002, 08:54
OK Murph -> Here goes. I drank some beer first. I was maybe 13 or 14. I didn't think much of it. Got a hold of some gin and got sicker than any dog has a right to be. Along came a bottle of Bourbon Supream. Well that did it. As cheap a bottom shelf bourbon as that may be I'll gladly drink that over the very best; most expensive scotch any day of the week.It's a love-hate relationship. I love bourbon, and I hate scotch.

No I never touch gin.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

04-04-2002, 11:23
Seems to me (partly from reading this forum and parts of the survey) that there are two "first times" for many people. The first time they drank bourbon and the first time they tried a premium or super-premium bourbon.

I believe (but at my age it is hard to remember the days when we were inventing the wheel) that my first experience came when I learned that a boss drank Jack Daniels so I did and then I occaissionaly strayed from this Tennessee whiskey to the cheaper Jim Beam bourbon. For most of my life I drank these products with Coke.

Having been given a bottle of Rare Breed about eight years ago I'd occaissionally sip some.

Then I visited Bardstown, KY after a "tour" of the Jim Beam property (since you can't tour the distillery). I saw the light...or at least tasted the mother spirit.

We happened to meet the Beam plant manager as we left Clermont and asked where we could sample some of the Beam products other than white label. He suggested Bardstown. We found the Old Talbott Tavern and Jo and I had between us one JB Black label and one Knob Creek neat or straight. I was hooked.

Later when my son, then a bartender, offered me Bookers I learned to appreciate that fine nectar and becam a real fan of the Beam super-premiums. Upon meeting and talking with Booker himself I was even more fascinated.

To round out the story, when I 'met' Julian here in the forum I vowed to try his wonderful products. Wow!

So.... the first time with bourbon may be less significant than your Graduation to the appreciation of some of the finest spirits distilled on earth! Yes, I thought of drawing the analogy to sex but I figured I'd leave that to Linn.

Greg Kitzmiller

04-04-2002, 20:37
I suppose the analogies you pose was right. The first time I remember drinking Bourbon was my junior year of high school, we used to get Evan Williams Balck Label because to us it was cheaper, but similar looking to a bottle of jack daniels (what the kewl deliquents drank). Ironically, to this day I prefer the Evan Williams (which the more i read about, the more it is a good bourbon despite the price).

As for the real good stuff. . . . I got married 2 weeks after my 22nd birthday, and my best man was looking for a really special gift that he was sure i would like, and he knew i was trying out various higher end spirits. He was just about to to buy me a bottle of Glenfiddich (yucko!) when he read an article in STUFF magazine about Blanton's single Barrell. He gave me that, saved himself $5, and it blew me away. The rest is history :) though I am only in the infantile stages of appreciation, bourbon has been my drink of choice ever since.


04-06-2002, 07:45
Your friend certainly picked a good one

Blanton's has one a tremendous number of awards

If it was not so pricey, I'd drink it more often


08-30-2002, 08:35
Well, might as well resurrect an older thread... http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif
I grew up in the Cincinnati area, drinking mostly beer, but with occasional forays into Beam White, mostly in shots or mixed with cola, and Turkey 101, in shots only. Thought it was decent, but was never something I'd want to sip. Moved to CT, got turned on to Scotch, and started sipping. Never *quite* got the flavor I was looking for from it, and could never stand the peatier Scotches - Islays are right out for me.

ANyway, 'bout 6 months ago, went back to visit family in Ohio, and made a quick jaunt across the river to KY. Purchased myself a bottle of Knob Creek. After the first sip, I knew I was done with Scotch (though I'll eventually finish the bottle of Macallan 18 - too damn expensive to waste!). I was thrilled to find such a wondrous tasting Whiskey, and stunned that it was available at such a lower price than the Scotches. Been exploring Bourbons since then....

08-31-2002, 06:09
&gt;&gt; "Purchased myself a bottle of Knob Creek. After the first sip, I knew I was done with Scotch..."

That's right.


10-14-2004, 05:14
Bringin' this one back from the dead, since it appears interesting, and I want to add my $0.02.

Drank Jack Daniels in college, because it was what the cool people who didn't drink "swill" (i.e., Absolut) drank. Boy we thought we were super cool.

I graduated from college, and immediately got a job, got married... obviously I needed to drink more after that (hehe, if my wife is reading this, I'm just kidding! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif).

Anyway, I pretty much drank Jack &amp; coke as my everyday drink of choice. I saw an add for Maker's in a magazine (can't remember which one now), and picked up a 375ml bottle to try it (mixed with coke... ugh!).

I went on a business trip with my boss, and we stayed in a company-owned facility in NY. There was a small bar in the facility, and they had the entire Beam Small Batch collection in a nifty looking set behind the bar. I think I tried two drinks each of Booker's, Baker's and Knob Creek http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif(didn't try the BH at that time).

As soon as I returned home from the trip, I picked up a bottle of Knob Creek (I still have not bought a bottle of Baker's or Booker's yet). Then I found this forum, and picked up Elijah Craig 12yr. Received EWSB '93 as a X-mas gift from the in-laws.

It's all been downhill from there. My state liquor board hates me, because 90% of the bourbons available in the state are special-order only. So I am always special-ordering. I think they're getting sick of filling my orders, but oh well... I am having a hell of a time getting Rock Hill Farms out of them, even though it's listed as available... when it comes, I will post here of my sweet victory over the evil socialist state! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

Ken Weber
10-14-2004, 11:23
Let's see, your wife just downed your Charter Proprietor's Reserve and now you are talking about your need to increase your bourbon consumption since getting married. All I can say is I have a spare bedroom at home, you may be needing it soon!!!

My first time was when I was 9 years old. My cousins borrowed a 200ml from my uncle and we passed the bottle around. That had to be the worst stuff a 9 year old could possibly drink, next to kerosine! Later I ventured back into the spirits world by drinking 7&amp;7. It wasn't bad. I really was not looking for something that tasted great, I just wanted something that did not gag me.


10-14-2004, 17:34
How is the bourbon situation in New Hampshire? I hear that it is a fairly freedom-loving state.


10-14-2004, 19:12
the first time i ever tried bourbon was when my roomate bought a bottle of Knob Creek. I had it on the rocks and didnt love it at first but something in it intrigued to keep my mind open to bourbon. I then boughth some Evan Williams 7 year old to mix with soda because it was really cheap, i really liked the sweetness and fullness of the body of bourbon and i would put less and less soda, then a few months ago, i read up on the history and production of Bourbon and i have been pretty much an exclusive bourbon drinker ever sincemuch to the entertainment of my friends.

10-15-2004, 08:52
I really only discovered whiskey a few years ago, in my mid-30s. My wife works for a publishing company that, among other things, published an edition of Jim Murray's Complete Guide to Whiskey. One night while waiting around at their office for her to finish something, I picked up a copy off of a shelf and started browsing. By the time she was ready to go I had been completely sucked in, and the book ended up going home with us.

After devouring big chunks of the book I was keen to try some of the different whiskeys I had read about, but I didn't have much around the house. I had for a long time kept a bottle of regular old Jim Beam around, mainly for when my dad came to visit. I attempted a critical tasting of it, and occasionally I would detect interesting elements, but it didn't really knock me over. At the time I was more impressed and intrigued by the set of Classic Malts minis I had picked up---my first taste of Lagavulin was and will probably remain the most dramatic and mind-expanding drinking experience of my life. (About this time I also learned that my girlfriend (now wife) had long kept a bottle of Glenfiddich single malt in her cabinet.)

But...as many of you probably know Murray is something of a crusader for rye whiskey, and I was interested in rye because it was unusual and uncommon. Given Murray's glowing reviews of even the most pedestrian rye brands, I picked up a bottle of Jim Beam rye. It lived up to its billing, and I became a fan and collector of rye whiskey. At the time it didn't take too long to pick up a bottle of every available version, and since the universe of rye (in stark contrast to the universe of Scotch) was finite, I was willing to spend the extra money to buy the premium ryes.
Van Winkle Family Reserve 13yo became and remains a favorite.

I was still not as enamored with bourbon, but as I began accumulating whiskey my compulsive collector/completist gene kicked in, and I decided that I would obtain at least one example of bourbon from each of the distillers. I bought low or mid-level examples, but I wound up with a bunch of different bourbons.

Now, one nice thing about the consolidation of the bourbon industry is that one can give a tasting that covers most of it. So, on a couple occasions I packed up my collection of bourbons (and their Tennessee brethren) and did tasting parties for friends and family. That really drove home to me the subtleties of the various styles of bourbons, and the differences between them. Thus I discovered my affinity for wheated bourbons, when I ranked W. L. Weller Special Reserve and Maker's Mark above a bunch of rye-based bourbons in a blind test. Ironic, considering that I was still am a big fan of straight rye.

And soon I noticed that although I had spent a lot more money on single malt Scotch, I was as often as not reaching for an American whiskey for that after-work dram. So recently my whiskey buying has shifted its focus to getting some better American whiskeys. Some of the whiskeys in my initial tasting selection were well-regarded---Maker's Mark, Very Old Barton, Wild Turkey 101, the ubiquitous JD---but I had an epiphany the first time I tried Booker's, and Blanton's, and realized that there was a big substantive difference between grocery-store whiskey and the Really Good Stuff. And, I recently discovered this forum, which gave me some good information, so I have lately picked up EWSB 94, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, Woodford Reserve (batch 133--presumably incorporating the pot still product), Van Winkle Family Reserve 12yo, and just this past weekend a bottle of George T. Stagg, which I am awaiting a special occasion to open.

I suppose that long autobiography goes a bit beyond the scope of this "your first time" thread, but there was no "first time" that turned me on to bourbon, it was a gradual process as I came to know and appreciate it. Although come to think of it, I still vividly remember where I was when I first tried Blanton's (at the Twisted Spoke, waiting for a friend who was late for dinner) and Booker's (at the bar of the Burnham Hotel after work one day) so maybe those experiences, which took my appreciation of bourbon to a new level, should really count.

Chuck King

P.S. I still like Scotch, and if it wasn't for my initial interest in Scotch turning me into a whiskey collector, I probably would not have developed a taste for bourbon.