I've been on this site for a few months and figured I should go ahead and join in the discussions. I've learned a lot from you all and I think this is a great forum.
I've been drinking bourbon for a few years now, but back in October I had the pleasure of visiting seven of the distilleries (did the Bourbon Trail and threw in Buffalo Trace in two days) in Kentucky. That trip has led to a new found obsession (which may or may not be healthy) with any and all things bourbon related. I am really enjoying learning about the history and heritage of the many products out there, and I really have been branching out lately. Up until the trip I didnít really know much about the actual distillation process, let alone the mashbills and yeasts the different producers use. I am a homebrewer so I was somewhat familiar with the base process, but I didnít even realize the distillers make beer before they turn it into bourbon, so clearly I had (and still have) a lot to learn.
I am finding that I really enjoy the wheaters. OWA and WSR are my go to pours right now. Makerís is just okay. Iíve been searching for the Weller 12 but that is nowhere to be found up here, so Iíll likely have to order online. I also have a Knob Creek Single Barrel that I just opened up this week and I am a big fan of that one as well. Since I like the wheaters so much, I assumed I would not be into the ryes. After trying the Sazerac 18 the other day at a bar, I found that I was indeed wrong on that one. More things to try is a good thing! I didnít get a chance to pick one up, unfortunately. I am considering getting a Handy as some of them are still floating around, but I know the general consensus is that the Saz 18 is the better buy.
Becoming obsessed with bourbon during the fall is an expensive thing, Iíve found. I did not realize there were so many delicious special bottlings. As such, most of my purchases as of late have been of the rare variety. I chased some Pappy, and came out ahead there. I am finding the 20 is my favorite after it has gotten some air. I also scored some 15s, some 12s, and a 10/90. The 10 is the only one I wasnít a huge fan of, but it has gotten a lot better with some air. I also tracked down a Stagg and a WL Weller, which took some getting used to and a little bit of experimentation to find the right amount of water, but I love them both now. I could actually take them neat as I have forced myself to refine my palette, but I still find just a little bit of water improves their taste to me (if you said a year ago Iíd be drinking bourbon with no ice Iíd have told you that you were crazy). The PHC 2010 is the one I plan to horde, though. I am absolutely in love with that one. I have 3 bottles and plan to pick up any more that I see on sight (had to order those online).
Anyways, enjoy that wall of text, and thanks for having me. I've attached a pic of my small but growing collection that I took a few weeks ago.