So I'm at a bar here in Honolulu the other night with my wife and all of her co-workers, having some "pau hana drinks and pupus" (after work drinking and eating local-style bar food), and I'm looking to see what kind of Bourbon's they have on the bar.
They only had JBwhite, Early Times, WT80 and WT101.
No secondary thoughts, I order the WT101 on the rocks.
Upon first taste, it was kinda 'funny.' I don't know how to describe it other than it did not have the great finish I have recently become accustomed to...furthermore that was my impression on first sip, before the ice had even begun to melt, making my first taste pretty close to neat. Something just wasn't right...
Needless to say, since I didn't want to drink beer, I stuck with two more orders of the WT101. And my impressions of it didn't change, even as I started to get a light buzz.
Anyhow, after our third drink, my wife and I went home, and I decided to "double-check." So I went to my bar and poured a glass of my own WT101...this time I knew I wasn't mistaken that something was definitely wrong with that bar's WT101.
I'm pretty sure that the bottle at the bar was fairly old, and it had one of those open-air spout tops on it, and that it has probably been sitting there like that for well over a month or two...Bourbon is certainly not very popular here in Hawaii.
Hell, I wouldn't be surprised, given my assessment of the typical patrons of the joint, if that bottle had been 6 months old! Hawaii's typical working class is a coors light/heineken beer drinkers and if they drink spririts would either favor tequila or rum/JD and coke.
My question though is this: do you guys think it's more likely that the bar (a blue-collar worker joint) may have cut the WT101 because it's a higher proof and they thought they could get away with it? That was my first thought...but even still, I've let my WT101 at home sit in it's tumbler until the ice completely melted, probably cutting the proof down to 80-85...and I could still taste that signature finish.
Is it possible that they may have cut it with a cheaper whiskey? Have you guys ever heard of this?
Or could an old bottle with one of those open air pour spouts on it change the character and flavor over a long period of time if it's not selling?