Perhaps I should say first that I'm a 57 year old bourbon and whiskey novice. What I mean by that is for 35 years I masked my taste buds by smoking cigarettes. For decades I mixed Seagrams, Jack Daniel's, any and all bourbons and whiskies with either Coke or 7-Up and thought I had a good adult beverage. I couldn't drink spirits straight up, burned my mouth too much and thought a drink on the rocks was just something that was done in the movies. A few years ago I gave up tobacco and EUREKA, straight alcohol started tasting delicious. Now I know why there are alcoholics, the hard stuff tastes great without cutting it with anything except maybe a splash of water. I really like Crown Royal, George Dickel 8 and Jim Beam black label on the rocks. I tried Makers Mark on the rocks but decided it needed a splash of branch water for my taste. Any way, I said all that to say this, a friend recently visted the Beam distillery and brought back info that really surprises me. According to him, all dozen or so of Beam's bourbon comes from the same mash. What makes it different is the blending of different barrels from different levels in the aging barrel houses. That means Old Crow, which I haven't tasted since stealing a swig out of my dad's stock 40 years ago, and black Beam are the same? Hard for me to believe. Does that mean Dickel 8 and 12 are the same? Crown Royal and Seagrams 7? Blending determines quality and proof? Sorry, I know, that's a lot of questions, but I'm just learning.