Not exactly bourbon country but it is making inroads into what is mostly single malt territory. Like most of you I started drinking whiskey in college, freshman year drank & threw up Jack Daniels. Moved onto Old Bushmills Irish whiskey, which I still drink, that led me down the path to single malts, such as Oban, Talisker, Auchentoshen & the obligatory Macallan. Still enjoy them but they have gotten quite expensive over time. My bourbon journey started with Beam & soda, moved to Maker's Mark, then to Knob Creek then Woodford. I was happy there but then I found this place which encouraged me to branch out & seek other styles & I am glad I did.
Right now I have Woodford, Elmer T Lee, Four Roses yellow label, Eagle Rare & Old Weller Antique open in the bar. I was too liberal with my early acquisitions of Van Winkle pouring it for friends & telling them this was the best bourbon I had ever had, which led to its depletion. What did I know at the time about SW stocks running down? I have a few bottles bunkered for now, a Stagg, a William Larue Weller, a Lot B & a 20 year VW & a Taylor Tornado. These sit with my various single malts and as bottles get emptied these others get rotated to the bar. I have a modest stockpile, because I buy when I am flush & don't when the bills roll in. I am not a hoarder, these are to be shared with friends.
My favorite drink is the Manhattan, I drink mine with Canadian Club, Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth, Angoustura bitters & better quality maraschino cherries. It truly is the "King Of Cocktails." My folks used to drink them with Four Roses blended whiskey before that became unavailable here in the states, that is when we moved to the CC. I don't care for bourbon Manhattans, I find them too sweet, so mostly I drink bourbon on the rocks, unless it is a better bottle in which case it is neat in a snifter with a splash of water & an ice water back.
I have found this forum to be very informative & hope to contribute in my own modest way if possible. Bourbon is a deep subject matter that requires plenty of research, it is a tough job but someone has to do it. Thanks, Stephen.