Hello. My name in Tim, and I used to only drink bourbon straight.
I spent a lot of money doing it; I made a lot of friends and acquaintances; I drank a lot of significant bottlings. I don't regret it.
Still, I couldn't keep it up. My resources were limited, both by income and attitude. Eventually, I had to admit it: I like bourbon, even mixed with cola or ginger ale (diet versions, usually).
It was hard to break the 'purist' habit, as both myself and others had come to view me as somewhat accomplished at tasting straight bourbon. I can still 'call' a flavor, in a pinch. But, it's a lot of trouble. Easier to 'call' the ginger ale or cola.
I still don't drink before 5 p.m. (weekends, especially Sundays, excepted). I don't drink if I expect to drive (or ride the motorcycle). I don't drive if I've had more than a modicum of drink. But -- I'll admit it! -- I enjoy the buzz!
Frankly, it's easier to down a good amount of bourbon with an auxiliary (if I spelled THAT correctly, I'm not drunk yet) cover. Ginger ale for rye, cola for wheat!
I don't want to give up the society and experiences I've enjoyed being a purist. But, I'm also not going to pursue 'speciality' anymore.
Is there a place for me in the bourbon encyclopedia? I -- if not the world -- wonder.