So I was at one of my favorite lunch spots the other day, and I spied
a bottle of pear brandy up amongst the respectable drinks. I thought to
myself, I haven't tried that stuff in years... perhaps I'll be adventurous today.
So I ask for it, and the girl says do I want it warm? Well, apparently that's
how people drink it, especially on cold days, I'm informed. The drill is that
they take your glass and since they've got boiling-hot water on tap for
tea and coffee, they rinse your glass out with hot water in order to get the
glass good and hot. And then they pour in the brandy.
Well, I can tell you right now that whatever they served me needed about five
years in a barrel instead of the zero it got... not only that, but it started tasting
better after it cooled back down to room temperature. (Watch for tasting
notes on StraightPearBrandy.com)
Well, later that afternoon, when I got home, I decided to try the same drill with
bourbon. As is my habit these days, I picked up Old Rip 15 YO (which is
a beautiful drink, I certainly must say) and I repeated what I saw the girl do
earlier that day.
And it was good.
Marvelous aroma, lots of complexity on the tongue, and warms you up on a
cold winter's night. I'll have to try it again a few times before I try to describe
exactly how the taste differs when bourbon is consumed warm.
I have yet to try this with a rye bourbon, mostly since I'm going through
a wheaters-only phase, but partly because I think that the rye would just
kick me in the teeth. Bourbon with rye has such a "big" taste that you can
ice it down with a whole handfill of ice cubes, and it's still got a lot to say.
I imagine that Rare Breed tastes like sweet hellfire when consumed warm.
Anyone else ever try warm bourbon?
(I tried to stay away from the phrase "hot bourbon" since "hot" is usually
a term for a cheap bourbon that tastes like it was mistaken
for a solvent waste container by an organic chemist.)