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  1. #1

    Achieving Bourbon Zen - A Mini Manifesto

    Hi SB,

    I am not trying to go all preachy here, but I feel this post deep within my being, so I hope you'll indulge me a bit. I'd like to talk about achieving Bourbon Zen....as I have grown weary of all the fall release nonsense, and would like to see if there are any other like-minded souls in these forums. What is Bourbon Zen, you ask? Allow me to elaborate.....

    My buddy Compliance and I were talking recently about all the changes we've seen in the bourbon hobby the past 2-3 years and how all the attention paid to Pappy, BTAC, 4R Ltd and whatnot recently has severely impacted not just the availability of the fall releases but also how it has made the pursuit of said releases a totally lame experience. It has already driven one of our buddies out of the "hobby" (if you call drinking a hobby, I don't really know...but he sold all of his bunker off and essentially "quit" SB)...and it dawned on the both of us that at this point, until currently new stocks get some time to age and the industry supply catches up with demand, it's important to consider pursuing "Bourbon Zen."

    Bourbon Zen is a mindset, not necessarily an ethos, but it is state of mind that seems to be eluding a lot of the younger generation. (I'm looking at you, Millenials,) Bourbon zen is the idea that you can be not only content, but happy with what whiskey we DO have at the moment. It's the idea that you don't need to fight tooth and nail for that one elusive bottle of Pappy 15 (which is just BT juice at this point,) when you can grab a Weller 12 any day of the week for $30. It's the celebration of the middle shelf. It's admitting to yourself that you know what, liking Blanton's is okay. It's celebrating the fact that at no time in our collective hive-mindset history have we had as many well made whiskies at our fingertips, for relatively affordable prices, in so many different styles. Bourbon Zen will remind you that until recently, your only rye options really were Overholt.....and Overholt. (The west coast didn't get Rittenhouse until the 2000's, if I'm not mistaken.) Bourbon Zen is what happens when you've learned what YOU truly like, and not giving a shit about whether or not a whiskey is "good" based on provenance, ala SW. Bourbon Zen asks you to embrace your palette, your style...and being happy when you find something YOU like, not what John Hansell tells you you SHOULD like.

    You might call it embracing mediocrity, or a fear of competition, I dunno....but I guess at the end of the day, I feel so tired of fighting the teeming masses to find a bottle of overpriced 10 year old heaven hill whiskey (come on, you KNOW PHC 7 isn't worth $90...but I do like how $ is going to research, I'm not a total asshole,) that Bourbon Zen just sounds perfect to me.

    So to all you newbies out there that are just joining this "hobby" or are looking for "the best whiskey of the year," I would ask that you slow down a bit, think about what YOU actually like in your whiskey....and see if you don't wind up embracing Bourbon Zen, I bet that you will.

    /rant.

    And with that...cheers. *lifts a glass of Weller 12 in your direction* Who's with me?
    Last edited by humchan2k; 11-12-2013 at 18:05.

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
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    Mar 2013
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    Hoosier State
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    1,312

    Re: Achieving Bourbon Zen - A Mini Manifesto

    Humchan2k, your proposition is well founded but I suggest when you climb into the Mountains looking for your Bourbon Zen guru, that there shrouded in the mists and surrounded by a glass temple made of Barton and Old Grandad bottles you will find.....Squire.
    They say some of my stars drink whiskey, but I have found that ones who drink milkshakes don't win many ball games-Casey Stengel

  3. #3

    Re: Achieving Bourbon Zen - A Mini Manifesto

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dusty View Post
    Humchan2k, your proposition is well founded but I suggest when you climb into the Mountains looking for your Bourbon Zen guru, that there shrouded in the mists and surrounded by a glass temple made of Barton and Old Grandad bottles you will find.....Squire.
    Funny you should mention Squire...because in my initial draft, I had this sentence "Bourbon Zen is Squire reminding you that OGD really IS good," but I didn't want to get TOO preachy....but yes, I 100% agree that if there was a Buddha/Kami of Bourbon Zen, it's Squire.

  4. #4
    Guru
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    May 2013
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    Louisville, KY
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    2,304

    Re: Achieving Bourbon Zen - A Mini Manifesto

    careful....I get reamed on here regularly for such ideas. Of course, you word it better than I

  5. #5
    Virtuoso
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    Nov 2011
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    1,195

    Re: Achieving Bourbon Zen - A Mini Manifesto

    I'm on a similar wavelength to humchan2k. In my case I simply no longer have the funds to buy the "rare" stuff should I even come across it. However, I did in fact buy it in the past. More than I should have probably! And I enjoyed every bottle. But now I'm kind of over it all. There are plenty of bottles regularly available on the shelf that I'm perfectly happy drinking. Now, I don't judge anyone who hunts. Everybody needs a hobby. And for a short time bourbon was mine. But I've kind of moved on from it. I still love bourbon and this site, though. Lots of great people here.

  6. #6
    Guru
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    Dec 2012
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    Houston
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    2,490

    Re: Achieving Bourbon Zen - A Mini Manifesto

    I'm getting there...after I get my first bottle(s) of Pappy of course.

    I think that most of the members here have reached bourbon zen, but enjoy a little imbalance as well. It keeps things interesting.
    I've never tried GTS with any sort of soda. Maybe I'm missing out; but I'm OK with that.

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
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    Mar 2013
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    Milwaukee, WI
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    724

    Re: Achieving Bourbon Zen - A Mini Manifesto

    I tend to agree with most of what you are saying, but it's not just the Millenials and younger generation who your post should be directed at. I've seen many middle-aged men go crazy for Pappy, BTAC, etc. Bourbon is fast becoming a status symbol/luxury item and is unbiased toward age.
    Tyler

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Commonwealth of Bourbon
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    996

    Re: Achieving Bourbon Zen - A Mini Manifesto

    Go tell it on the mountain... as I raise my glass of W12 back at you!

    P. S. When you get there tell Squire I said hello.

  9. #9
    Guru
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    12,146

    Re: Achieving Bourbon Zen - A Mini Manifesto

    The goal is to become one with the elements, grain, yeast, water and fire.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  10. #10
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    122

    Re: Achieving Bourbon Zen - A Mini Manifesto

    I'm with you. While I've never met a George T. Stagg I didn't like, I'm also completely content with a bottle of VOB BIB. The constant chase for some of the stuff is exhausting. That and the people who are out there who are not bourbon drinkers but who are hoarding stuff as a second career.

 

 

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