Even as Barton is being spanked for Ridgewood Reserve, allow me to sing the praises of Very Old Barton. Whenever I am in Kentucky, this is my 'must buy' bourbon. It's only available in a few states besides Kentucky (Illinois is not one of them), it's a terrific standard bourbon, aged six years, and a great value. No wonder it is the number one bourbon in Kentucky, with self space comparable to Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's.

Although it's available in 80, 86, 90 and 100 proof, I always select the 100 proof bottled in bond. A 750 ml is just $9.49. A 1.75 L is just 18.49. (At Liquor Barn on Fern Valley Road.)

I also picked up 750s of Four Roses ($15.59), Ridgewood Reserve ($22.99), Bulleit ($15.49) and Van Winkle Family Reserve 13-year-old rye ($25.99).