Hello, I've been interested in bourbon for about four years now. What started as one friend's fanatical obsession with mostly-jack jack & coke's then sharing another friend's daily bourbon habit while we were starting our small business, turned into a love for the flavors of bourbon neat or on the rocks. I generally only savor only a glass or two on friday or on weekends, so i'm slowly trying to work my way through all the different bottles out there. I'm blessed to have a warehouse-like liquor store (Tower's) nearby that always has a great selection and great prices.
Some of my favorites so far are:
Rittenhouse Rye, Weller (both the cheapest one and the 12), Blantons, Four Roses (was either single barrel or small batch), and OGD BIB.
One newbie question I have that has always been confusing to me is how the bourbon industry works with different brands and companies using the same distillery. For example, buffalo trace has barrels for Pappy, Weller, Buffalo Trace, etc. What differentiates these products? Different mash bills? Differently sourced ingredients? Different aging time/location in the warehouse? Are certain barrels just tasted and selected to be "promoted"?
I actually took the buffalo trace tour a weekend ago and am kicking myself for forgetting to ask.