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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    877

    How much does it take?

    Over the years, a number of SBers have suggested that the way to sample an unfamiliar bourbon is to go to a bar and order a shot. Or to buy a mini. Or a 375.
    You fellows must hang out in really nice joints. I've never been in a bar where I could do any serious tasting. It is hard enough to find a bar keep who knows what "neat" means.
    Then there is the volume issue. Some bourbons seem to benefit from being allowed to breathe for a while. Hard to let a mini catch its breath. A 375 might be capable of some shallow inhaling. My palate is slow to catch on. The bourbon might be truly wonderful but if my palate were off when I sampled the shot or the mini, I might never order it again. It takes me at least a half bottle before I can begin to "appreciate" a bourbon so I try to withhold judgment until I have given it a fair shot, so to speak. In the case of 4R YL and SmB, it took several bottles and several years. I kept coming back because I admire Jim Rutledge's work. If I had never heard of him and just tried a mini of YL, that would have been the end of that. Even now, I don't love those two but I can "appreciate" them.
    So, how much bourbon or time do you need to reach a definitive conclusion?
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    586

    Re: How much does it take?

    Not only do so few bars have any kind of selection to speak of, but when ordering a bourbon neat why must I get it in a shot glass? Huge pet peeve of mine.

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Posts
    508

    Re: How much does it take?

    I hate being "that guy", but often find myself needing to specify "no ice" and pointing out a specific glass when ordering neat.
    DCBT, I think a trip to Austin might be the best solution for our area...
    "You Can't Buy Happiness, but you can buy Whiskey!"

  4. #4
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    12,570

    Re: How much does it take?

    To start with I want to be on my own turf, in my favorite chair without distractions. I can tell right off whether I like it, really like it, or it's just ok. But I won't post or write a review until I've spent some time and thought on the matter. A few months and half a bottle sounds about right.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  5. #5
    Guru
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NWGA
    Posts
    2,028

    Re: How much does it take?

    Just don't go out much at all anymore so all of mine testing is by buying a bottle, which so far has always been the 750 because smaller bottles just aren't available except in dozen or so familar brands.

    If the first bottle is just meh all the way through I'll buy a another at a later date and give it another chance.

    If it taste like horse p*ss from the first pour to the last nothing will get me to try it again no matter how many SB'ers rave about it (I really don't give credence to anyone not on this forum).

    If it taste's like nirvanna when the first drops pass my lips I'm back to the store for as soon as I can for bunkering.

  6. #6
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    12,570

    Re: How much does it take?

    Look on the bright side TT, if it's redolent of pasture products then you have something on hand for your brother in law.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    586

    Re: How much does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by kjbeggs View Post
    I hate being "that guy", but often find myself needing to specify "no ice" and pointing out a specific glass when ordering neat.
    DCBT, I think a trip to Austin might be the best solution for our area...
    I keep thinking a good bourbon bar (with a nice selection) would be right up Dallas' alley, what with all its $30,000 millionaires, old school money, new hedge fund money, etc, on top of the city's general bandwagon attitude. But Tried & True closed before I had even heard about it, and Nickel & Rye is almost always half empty... And that's about it as far as options go, jeez. Has Austin stepped it up? I haven't spent enough time there since I left 14 years ago.

    In any event, back on topic.. I have usually purchased an entire 750 even if I've never had the bourbon before but that's usually out of necessity (or at least lack of options). There are times I wished I had been able to sample it in a mini or at a bar; I'd trust that enough to know whether I'd be interested in a full bottle or not.
    Last edited by dcbt; 05-08-2014 at 13:34.

  8. #8
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Plano, TX
    Posts
    37

    Re: How much does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by dcbt View Post
    I keep thinking a good bourbon bar (with a nice selection) would be right up Dallas' alley, what with all its $30,000 millionaires, old school money, new hedge fund money, etc, on top of the city's general bandwagon attitude. But Tried & True closed before I had even heard about it, and Nickel & Rye is almost always half empty... And that's about it as far as options go, jeez. Has Austin stepped it up? I haven't spent enough time there since I left 14 years ago.
    Hadn't heard of Nickel & Rye and I did a double take when I looked at their price points. Trinity Hall is the bar you are looking for good sir.

    Whiskeycake has a decent selection but their pricing on rare stuff is pretty crazy.

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    152

    Re: How much does it take?

    I always just buy a 750ml (if its like $65 and under). Like Flyfish noted sometimes you dont have the luxury of really letting it breath at a bar, so being able to do that over a period of time really help solidify my opinion on if i will be purchasing it again. How long does seem to vary from brand to brand for me though. FRSB, RHF were two that one glass in i knew I loved, but EC12 was one i had to sit with for at least half of my first bottle before i started craving the specific taste of it (when im feelin oakey!)

    I have always had the opinion that even if its not going to become one of my go to sippers thats its not a waste of money by any stretch because you can always throw it in an old fashioned or a boulevardier and you've got something delicious. I've yet to have any rot gut so bad i've had to just dump it.
    Birth, School, Whisk(e)y, Death!

  10. #10
    Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    90

    Re: How much does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by dcbt View Post
    what with all its $30,000 millionaires
    What is a "$30,000 millionaire"? Is that somebody who bought high and sold low?

 

 

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