I've been drinking bourbon since I was 15 (in Mississippi). It started with sneaking splashes of Jim Beam into my coke and, when I went to college (in New Orleans), economizing with the half-gallon or splurging with black label as special occasions warranted. I moved on to a few higher end bourbons starting about 15 years ago. That's when I really first started drinking bourbon "neat", which is how I generally take it today.
Now I live in Western New York and tend to drink Four Roses Single Barrel more than anything else, though I hit the Buffalo Trace or Knob Creek if I just need a quick nightcap. My history to date has been to stick with what I like rather than trying new things out, but that's changed over the last 4-5 years.
I don't consider myself a bourbon expert. I know what I like, but I've never been terribly sophisticated in describing bourbon. My grading scale historically has been: Lot of flavor - Smooth but less flavor - Smooth but bland - Rough - Harsh - Someone died in the barrel. As well as this scale works for me, it's probably a poor way to share my impressions of particular bourbons.
My top 3 open bottles at the moment are FRSB, PVW15, and PHC 27 year. My preference among these three depends upon my mood, and, oddly enough, I tend to be in the mood for FRSB far more often than for the bottles that will cost a small fortune to replace. I also have FRSmB, EC18, Blanton's, PHC 2011, Knob Creek, ETL, and BT open in the cabinet for when I feel the need for something different. All in the second grouping are fine bourbons in their own right but just don't do it for me as well as the first group.
I have unopened bottles of the following and will eventually get around to trying them out too: Hirsch Very Small Batch, Hirsch 22 year Rye, AH Hirsch 20, Jefferson's Select, Jefferson's Presidential, Vintage Bourbon 17 year, WR Double Oak. Recommendations for which one I should try next or pick up if I come across them (other than Pappy, BTAC and the usual suspects) given my preferences (esp. the top 3) are appreciated.
Thanks for reading.