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  1. #1
    Taster
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    59

    What got you started

    I'm wondering what got everyone started in bourbon on this list. For me I started drinking bourbon at a illegal age of 16 with Weller SR and just stayed with it until about 2 years ago (I'm 40+ now) when someone suggested it was "rotgut". Of course that person's idea of good "bourbon" was JD! Anyhow it got me to thinking, the only Bourbons I had ever had were WLW SR, AA, and Evan Williams. I have now tried MANY other fine permium bourbons so I am glad this all happened. Every time I venture into a wet county I come out with a new bourbon. It is truly amazing how different a tightly regulated product can be. Thank goodness. So what got you all started???

  2. #2
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,812

    Re: What got you started

    Started drinking Old Grandad & water at the tender age of 21. Drank it for 20 years, then a friend of mine turned me on to Evan Williams Black. Drank it over ice for 15 years. I then went to a Bluegrass Festival in Owensboro, Kentucky (also to Bardstown). Drank many different bourbons. I then started to collect them. I'm now up to 62 and like em all, some better than others. Bluegrass & Bourbon - both home grown.
    Joe

  3. #3
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Japan, (American)
    Posts
    1,673

    Re: What got you started

    When I was a young man I drank beer mostly. A little tequila, once in a in while some JD or Jim Beam White and coke. When I met my first wife she drank scotch blends on the rocks. I tried that, but never really warmed up to it. Some time in my twenties I started to drink Jim Beam more often. On the rocks or with coke. When we went camping I would often take a bottle of Beam. It was lighter than packing in beer. When I came to Japan at age thirty I continued to drink Beam White and tried a number of other cheap bourbons. Rolling K, Early Times plus some more slightly more expensive ones, Four Roses Yellow Label, I.W. Harper and Wild Turkey 8 year old 101 proof. That last was my favorite, I always bought a bottle for the holidays or vacation, my birthday any special occasion. Day in day out I drank Beam.

    Around age forty I stopped drinking Beam and drank Wild Turkey 101. I drank a lot of other spirits as well. Glenlivit 12 year old, tequila, Black Bush, that last was my luxury whiskey. I quite drinking entirely for about two years. I began again last fall. I didn't want to drink as much as I had before, nor did I want to drink any more crap. A science fiction book I read mentioned Maker's Mark and I bought a bottle which I enjoyed. I got a bottle of Black Bush, a bottle of Bushmill's single malt 10 year old and one of Glenlivit 12. Then I started searching the net and bought Jim Murray's 2004 whiskey bible which I started to read online on Amazon using their search this book function. That was in December 2004. Initially, I bought a lot of single malts and scotch blends, but I was buying some bourbon right from the start. Soon I was buying and drinking mostly bourbon though I still enjoy malt whiskey from time to time.
    Ed

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    867

    Re: What got you started

    Rolling K,
    Never heard of this one before. Is it a Jim Beam-product for the Japanese market?

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Near York, PA
    Posts
    897

    Re: What got you started

    Joined the Corps at 16 (you could sorta get away with that back then) and along with scotch and cigars, bourbon was a right of passage. I didn't expand past having 5 or 6 for the first 20 years but after Desert Shield/Storm it started to grow. Stabilized at about 40 now mostly because that is what fills up the cabinet and more won't fit.

  6. #6
    Administrator in exile
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    3,904

    Re: What got you started

    It was a Satrday afternoon with nothing going on, so Leslie and I decided to drive to Loretto and visit that Maker's Mark Distillery we had heard about. I quickly became facinated with the process and the fact that we lived right in the middle of all of it. That evening I went to the Liquor Barn and bought my first bottle. After a few more bottles of Maker's I tried a bottle of Woodford Reserve, which I liked, but in a different way. After that it was Wild Turkey 80, as the 101 proof scared me at the time I realized there was more to this bourbon thing than I thought, and I set out to find as much information as I could. That's when I stumbled upon this site. Well, stumbled is the wrong word, as all you have to do is enter the word "bourbon" into any search engine and we are at the top of the list After finding this wonderful resource, I spent the next year or so trying everything I could get my hands on. I've tried most of what's currently available and I've settled into a pattern of favorites, but every visit to the gazebo reminds me that there is more out there than can ever be truely appreciated by one person. It has been fun, and there is still a long journey ahead.

  7. #7
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sherburne County, Minnesota
    Posts
    389

    Re: What got you started

    Stabilized at about 40 now mostly because that is what fills up the cabinet and more won't fit.
    Isn't that always the limiting factor!

    I know I've already posted this before somewhere, so I'll try to keep it brief. I also hope I'm consistent with what I said before, and don't contradict myself!!

    I had a friend in college back in '84 or '85 that really enjoyed "Austin Nichols with clear ice", which was, of course, WT 101 (8 years old back then).

    I pretty much continued to enjoy WT 101 off and on throughout college and afterward. In the '90s, I tried a few other things; scotch blends (mostly JW Red), martinis and cognac (Courvoisier vsop), but always had a bottle of WT or that new Rare Breed in the cupboard. For some reason, I never tried any bourbon other than Wild Turkey.

    Around April of 2004, I found myself interested in getting a proper glass for drinking bourbon, and found the Riedel glass, and so I got a bottle of something new to go with it . . . Knob Creek.

    Then, I found this site, and everything changed. My stash gradually increased over the next ten months or so, until I filled up all the available shelf space on the back bar (and then some).

    Perhaps the fact that the house we moved to in 2003 has a 10 ft. old bar in it was a coincidence, but I think it was pure providence! What better place to showcase my 30 different bourbons and ryes (and a few other things that other folks seem to need to have around to drink)!

  8. #8
    Moderator and Bourbonian Of The Year 2014
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    2,879

    Re: What got you started

    I think I've posted something similar before, but here goes...
    Started drinking Bundaberg Rum & Coke (ilegally) at around the age of 16. Tried (too much) Walker Red Label scotch & coke one night at around the same age and still can't handle the smell of scotch some 20 years later. Continued drinking Rum until the age of 18 (the legal age of drinking is 18 in Australia) when I just couldn't handle the taste of it any more. A friend from my Surf Life Saving Club gave me a Jim Beam and coke to drink one night and I was hooked. It has been my drink of choice ever since. About 3 years ago on an overseas trip, I took a chance and picked up a bottle of Jim Beam Bonded and Woodford Reserve. I continued to drink them with coke and was amazed at the different tastes (even with the coke mixer) About 2 years ago my Fiance' picked me up a bottle of Bookers and I discovered the first 'neat' bourbon that I liked. 18 months ago I happened upon this site which has put me on the path of drinking most of my bourbons neat or on ice and has seen me try over 20 different bourbons now. The journey continues slowly due to the limited availability of most bourbons in Australia but at least almost every overseas trip still results in a 'new find'

  9. #9

    Re: What got you started

    I found myself at loose ends after ending a 25-year, by-then-part-time sportswriting career (I'd never been without at last a second job before), so parlayed my wine knowledge into a 12-hour-a-week job behind a liquor store counter. Tennessee is whisk(e)y country, and we sell plenty -- Canadian, Scotch, Tennessee whiskey AND bourbon. So, I started bringing home a mini here, a 200ml bottle there, finding an occasional Scotch or Canadian I liked, but only really enjoying en masse the bourbon. Then, like so many others, I discovered StraightBourbon.com, and began learning why I liked it. And, as Jeff said, it only takes a single SB.com experience -- for me, it was Bettye Jo's private HH tour and a gathering at Ed's on Maker's Mark Mile weekend last year, solidified by the Festival last fall -- to expand one's bourbon horizons. Fortunately for me, this is a good part of the world in which to get most current products, and there are occasional older bottlings waiting to be sought out. I've now tried more than 140 different renditions, only finding 2-3 that I wouldn't unthinkingly accept if offered. Them's pretty good odds.

  10. #10
    Taster
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Nara, Japan
    Posts
    98

    Re: What got you started

    I became interested in bourbon after drinking Black Maple Hill (Lawrenceburg)16 yr old. It was actually a gift for a good friend of mine, who I was visiting in Tennessee. I knew nothing about bourbon, but wanted to buy him a gift and scotch just didn't feel right. I decided to pick BMH 16 because it looked interesting. My friend opened it and we were both pleasantly surprised. At the end of my weekend visit the bottle was close to finished and when I returned home to California I picked up one for myself. BMH 16 was the only bourbon I drank for several years until I started doing research and came across this site, which was about a year ago.

 

 

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