Allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Evan, and I cannot really pretend to have any idea what I'm talking about with bourbon or whiskey. Now, before I get people reciting the definition of bourbon or something, I should say that I have studied and consumed enough of the stuff to know more than the average person. I just have come to realize, mostly from reading this thread, that knowing bourbon is all about experience, which a lot of you clearly have and which my age and poor-college-student-ness prevent me from having. That, and I think the subjectivity of whiskey pretty much demands the whole Socratic ignorance-is-the-beginning-of-wisdom approach.
And here's a more practical introduction. I'm 23, finishing my undergrad and student teaching at the University of Missouri, getting used to home-ownership, and trying to sneak in some bourbon on the side. Though not opposed to Scotch, I really like bourbon and am convinced that the latter's bang-to-buck ratio demands my full attention. Especially because my yearly whiskey budget runs in the low hundreds. Honestly, I am often blown away (read impressed and intimidated) at the astronomically huge bourbon budgets of posters here. Really, I can hardly imagine spending $80+ a bottle even when I do get old and fat and rich (God speed the day). In any case, I push the boundaries of my wife's approval and drink what I can get; for me this means EW black, sometimes $20ish offerings like WT101 or WSR and for my birthday FR1B. So even though I won't really be able to participate in conversations comparing slight variations of $100 bottles, as much as I would like to, I still feel like I have a lot to learn from those kinds of discussions. I probably won't hunt down BTAC's etc., but I'll use insights extracted from your talk about them to guide my own $12-35 bourbon purchases. And then someday, maybe someday, I can grow into the whiskey lunatic that I was born to be.
Anyway, I really look forward to spending my should-be-working time with you guys.
Only the very best regards,