Jim Beam white label was the first liquor I ever tasted...stole a jar full of it from a bottle in my dad's liquor cabinet and drank it mixed with coke. I don't remember, but I sure hope I didn't water down his booze to hide my tracks. I was in the 8th grade and my friends and I wanted to know what it felt like to get drunk. My parents came home from dinner and found three giggly boys who quickly became 3 very sleepy boys. We passed out and they found the evidence and there was a steep price to pay the next morning.
However, bourbon became my go to alcohol from that day onward - growing up and going to college in Virginia, bourbon's popularity never waxed or waned, but stayed steady and it was always available. Evan Williams flowed by the handle at tailgates and parties through college and the coke we mixed into it changed to ginger ale, then to water, then to just ice. My fraternity had a room where a brother could live without paying any rent provided he always had bourbon on hand and was willing to host brothers for a drink and a chat and a sit in the rocking chairs on the lawn. It was sitting there one day with a glass of Jim Beam and ice that I had a realization - I love bourbon.
I was given a bottle of Booker's on my 21st birthday and it was a revelation - not that I don't still love Jim Beam and Evan Williams and Makers Mark, but whoa! Booker's was a whole new world of something I already loved. Unfortunately at the time I couldn't afford to indulge my interest in bourbon to a great extent being a starving undergrad.
Those years are long past and I've left my native Virginia for New York City, but my love for bourbon hasn't changed. I always kept bourbon on hand, always welcomed friends for a drink and a sit and a chat. I made an effort to try a different bottle of bourbon when my last one ran out. Soon I found myself popping into random liquor stores I passed looking for a bottle I've never had, then I started seeking specific bottles, and now, here I am, signing up for a bourbon forum because the pursuit of new flavors is addicting, the people involved with the drink are friendly, and bourbon will always remind me of some of my fondest memories.
I look forward to sharing my experiences, learning from the members, and creating some new memories hopefully over some fine bourbon.