I'm up in the Minneapolis area, and new on the boards.
I enjoy bourbon quite a bit... but being in my upper 20s it's difficult to find friends who are interested in the actual drink instead of it's effects.
It began really when a buddy of mine started drinking Jack, to "Keep the wolves away." He figured if a woman would drink that, she was worth keeping... No offense to anyone out there who enjoys it, but I had to pull him aside and let him know there are some much better drinks out there.
He moved up to Makers Mark, which I also enjoy... however it's a bit overpriced for what it is. Enjoyable yes- but I think publicity has it slightly overrated.
We went out on a trip together where we went to numerous business events with full open bars... which of course means I had to get every type of bourbon I could so we could sample them. Sadly, I don't remember/know what most of what we drank were. However, it was a really wonderful way to be able to understand bourbon for free. =) Two of the bars we were in specialized in bourbon, one having it's cheapest (Makers) at $8, followed by $12, and $20+ from there. I cringe to think of what that bill would of been if it was on us to pay.