Thanks for the responses guys. I ended up in a liquor store with a mediocre bourbon selection (actually, they had large gaps on the shelves in the bourbon section, they were sold out or had discontinued alot of stuff I had seen there on earlier trips). They did have a sale on Wild Turkey 101, so I bought a bottle (going against most of your advice to try a wheat bourbon!). The WT was a little overwhelming the first few sips, definitely has a "bite" I guess you could say (the high proof?). But its growing on me, its still alot smoother than I expected. Has that sweetness I like and also kinda spicy(?)
Hope that's right. Anyway, what you're probably going to find in your area of the country is that as you look around, and especially as you read the older threads here and taste and learn, there are going to be things available sitting around waiting for you. You just haven't been able to recognize them yet. patience young jedi. lol...keep in mind this is coming from a newbie as well.
Good luck, good hunting,
and if nothing else, good mail ordering
I'm from the Buffalo area also, your best bet is going to be Premier Liquor either on Transit road or Sheridan drive.
My suggestion for your next purchase would be a 750ml bottle of Buffalo Trace and a 750ml bottle of Elijah Craig. They are both good to great mid level bourbons and can be had locally for around $20 each with NYS tax.
These combined with the Beam Black and WT you have already would give you a good sampling of the larger bourbon distilleries.