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  1. #1
    Enthusiast
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    Apr 2008
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    Bourbon Desert of Nevada
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    Creating Bourbon Converts

    Last weekend I went to a cycling event in N California. After the ride was a great party with food, beer and fire. For the event I created a very nice vatting in the 80 proof range in a vintage tax stamped handle and put a fun label on the bottle. The effect on the crowd was remarkable...

    It seems most folks nowdays view Bourbon as something the parents or grandparents would drink- but have not tried much of it for their own selves. They seem to be scared of it- like one sip will put them on the floor or make them go all psycho. It was really fun to pass the smallish glass with blend to one of the guests- only to have them sip it- decide it was safe to drink, then polish the rest off. Nearly everyone would comment the same way... "Wow- that's Reeally Good!"

    I'd say nearly 30 folks tried the blend that day and of those nearly all now have a new and more positive perception of our favorite beverage.

    Cheers,

    RW

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,227

    Re: Creating Bourbon Converts

    In my experience the hardest people to convert have been the SMS drinkers. The ones I've encountered don't get that there's a difference between whisky and whiskey.

    My wife is not interested in bourbon in the least but really enjoyed the Baby Saz I got her to try recently. There's hope for her yet.

    Cheers!

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    VA
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    451

    Re: Creating Bourbon Converts

    Stop this nonsense......Why bring more people into this really great small club?

    Screw the non believers....More for ME!
    Bourbon is sunshine held together by water....

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
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    Apr 2008
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    Bourbon Desert of Nevada
    Posts
    275

    Re: Creating Bourbon Converts

    Quote Originally Posted by WsmataU View Post
    Stop this nonsense......Why bring more people into this really great small club?

    Screw the non believers....More for ME!
    Heheh, Good point.

    Tho, thinking about it makes me wonder if the demand increases it could be good for producer and consumer alike

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
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    Sep 2006
    Location
    Arkansas
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    982

    Re: Creating Bourbon Converts

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna56 View Post
    In my experience the hardest people to convert have been the SMS drinkers. The ones I've encountered don't get that there's a difference between whisky and whiskey.

    My wife is not interested in bourbon in the least but really enjoyed the Baby Saz I got her to try recently. There's hope for her yet.

    Cheers!
    Being a SMS drinker of an older age (68), I'd always considered bourbon a "rummy's" drink along with white rum. Most bourbon drinkers that I knew would shoot it, then wrinkle their face in pain. You can get the same effect shooting SMS or ever clear if all you want to do is get drunk. Until I went to Kentucky for the first time, my only experience with bourbon was the cheap hooch I bought in college when I couldn't afford anything else. JBW and JD (I now know it's not bourbon) were the only thing I'd tried since then. In Kentucky I discovered that PVW 23, EC 18, FR SB, and almost any aged rye can be as complex as the finest malts. The flavor is totally different, but I began to appreciate the flavor for it's own sake and I can now say that I enjoy a good bourbon as much as a good malt. My wife took a little longer to come around but she now and then asks for a bourbon when it's her turn to select our happy hour beverage. If you want to convert a SMS drinker, try giving them EC 18 or FR SB or just about anything that's unfiltered at cask strength. Tell them not to compare it to malt, but to enjoy the complex aromas and flavors for their own sake. The first time I tried EC 12 I really enjoyed it, but had I not previously developed a taste for EC 18 I don't think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much. This is proven by the fact that at first I didn't care a whole lot for WT products and I now love them. About the only bourbon that still leaves me cold is OF, but in a couple of years, who knows?

    Sorry, Wsmatau, but I guess I'm one who is now cutting into your supply! Don't blame me, blame my teachers at the gazebo!

  6. #6
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    33

    Re: Creating Bourbon Converts

    Slowly, I feel we've been seeing the paradigm shift a bit. People are beginning to take an interest in classic cocktails, a return to form, and, with it, a desire for high quality, domestic products. Bourbon is shedding those connotations of being an old person's drink, and is becoming cool again.

    Just like the resurgence in the vodka market with first premium, and then ultrapremium, the same is appearing with Bourbon as well.

    With that said, I feel the best way to ease people into drinking Bourbon is first with Bourbon based cocktails. I start my friends with Manhattans with just a splash of cherry juice, for example. It's sweet and a palatable. Once they get a taste for that, lose the cherry juice. After that, on to Old Fashioneds and Mint Juleps. As for sipping Bourbons, Basil Hayden's neat always seems to go over well as an introduction.
    Last edited by Uncle Oswald; 04-30-2009 at 10:31.
    LifeEpicurean.com | What We Are Meant to Live For

  7. #7
    Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wash DC Metro
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    2,409

    Re: Creating Bourbon Converts

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Oswald View Post
    Slowly, I feel we've been seeing the paradigm shift a bit. People are beginning to take an interest in classic cocktails, a return to form, and, with it, a desire for high quality, domestic products. Bourbon is shedding those connotations of being an old person's drink, and is becoming cool again.

    Just like the resurgence in the vodka market with first premium, and then ultrapremium, the same is appearing with Bourbon as well.

    With that said, I feel the best way to ease people into drinking Bourbon is first with Bourbon based cocktails. I start my friends with Manhattans with just a splash of cherry juice, for example. It's sweet and a palatable. Once they get a taste for that, lose the cherry juice. After that, on to Old Fashioneds and Mint Juleps. As for sipping Bourbons, Basil Hayden's neat always seems to go over well as an introduction.
    I think your approach is a good one introducing cocktails to new bourbon drinkers. As one who drinks bourbon neat, I usually don't do cocktails and so wouldn't have thought to go down that path.

    My only criticism is the use of Basil Hayden. At only 80 proof and high dollar (around $35), that's a no starter for me. For new bourbon drinkers, I'll introduce them to Weller SR ($15) which is 90 proof and a wheater or Makers ($21). Both of these are soft on the palate. The Weller is a bargain bourbon but certainly not bargain in taste. Just my .02 worth.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
    Greg's "bourbondork" blog

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
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    Sep 2006
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    Arkansas
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    982

    Re: Creating Bourbon Converts

    Quote Originally Posted by ggilbertva View Post
    I think your approach is a good one introducing cocktails to new bourbon drinkers. As one who drinks bourbon neat, I usually don't do cocktails and so wouldn't have thought to go down that path.

    My only criticism is the use of Basil Hayden. At only 80 proof and high dollar (around $35), that's a no starter for me. For new bourbon drinkers, I'll introduce them to Weller SR ($15) which is 90 proof and a wheater or Makers ($21). Both of these are soft on the palate. The Weller is a bargain bourbon but certainly not bargain in taste. Just my .02 worth.
    It depends on an individual's pallet. Basil is a high rye bourbon and to many a scotch drinker is more palatable than a wheater. My wife loves Basil, or any other high rye, but she doesn't care at all for wheaters. She'd rather have Old Granddad than PVW23 (I have to drink all the PVW myself - don't you pity me?).

  9. #9
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Just East of the Big Chicken, GA
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    5,573

    Re: Creating Bourbon Converts

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu View Post
    It depends on an individual's pallet. Basil is a high rye bourbon and to many a scotch drinker is more palatable than a wheater. My wife loves Basil, or any other high rye, but she doesn't care at all for wheaters. She'd rather have Old Granddad than PVW23 (I have to drink all the PVW myself - don't you pity me?).
    Awwww...Poor, poor, Stu....Tough life. But, somebody's gotta drink the Pappy. Right? You just keep telling Bernadette how terrible the Pappy is. And, how much you're doing her a favor by drinking it.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  10. #10
    Guru
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    Dec 2006
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    Wash DC Metro
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    2,409

    Re: Creating Bourbon Converts

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu View Post
    It depends on an individual's pallet. Basil is a high rye bourbon and to many a scotch drinker is more palatable than a wheater. My wife loves Basil, or any other high rye, but she doesn't care at all for wheaters. She'd rather have Old Granddad than PVW23 (I have to drink all the PVW myself - don't you pity me?).
    You are correct Stu but I guess my thought had more to do with the proof and cost aspect. To me, if I wanted a high rye, OGD BIB would be a better choice and it's only around $16.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
    Greg's "bourbondork" blog

 

 

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