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  1. #1
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    The Best of Times

    I am starting this new post rather than to add to the chaos that is being discussed in the Jim Murray posting. This really is the best of times for getting information about bourbon and its heritage. In the last ten years there has been more books written on the subject than there was in the previous 50 years. I think that we should be grateful for the efforts of all of these writers whether we like their tasting notes or not. They have all made very good efforts to find the truth and not take their information only from the marketing guys. They also have tried to be fair about what they put into writing and to give everybody fair treatment. There has been no outright mud slinging or muck raking. This is good because the industry gets enough of this type of publicity from the news media and the neo-prohibitionist.

    Not only has there been books but there are also several very good magazines and newsletters (take a bow Chuck) being published that deserve some credit. All of this put together means it really is the best of times for bourbon fans.

    Now with that said, I do not want you to think that I don't find problems with the books and magazines out there now. That is where this forum (take a bow Jim) plays an important role. Discussion of these books and magazines will be good for everybody as the mistakes are pointed out and future writers can learn from these mistakes.

    Now for my question: How much impact do you think these books and magazines really have on what you drink?

    Mike Veach


  2. #2
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Kansas, USA
    Posts
    144

    Re: The Best of Times

    Mike,
    As usual, you bring up some fine points. (You should take a bow here.) These books (and Chuck's newsletters and video) increased/renewed my interest in bourbon and provided the spark to make me seek out and try bourbons that I was not previously aware of. Beside the tasting aspects of bourbon, I enjoy the rich heritage that goes along with this fine spirit. Not to mention "the hunt" of finding that next elusive bottle......

    Bill

    P.S. How is your book coming?


  3. #3
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    Posts
    286

    Re: The Best of Times

    Even though this is an old thread, I decided to share my opionion because it seems to diverge from the posts listed. My consumption of whiskey is significantly affected by what I read in publications including "news," tasting notes, and yes ratings.

    Here are the reasons:

    News of course is one of the way I find out something is available or that there is something interesting about who produces it how that gets my interest.

    Tasting notes and ratings are important to me because I have very broad taste in whiskey (even spirits in general). It is certainly not because I can't decide what I like. Rather, I can't possible taste all the Bourbon, Scotch, Irish, Canadian and even Japanese whisk(e)y that I might be interested in. I use tasting notes and ratings to help get me going in the right direction. This is more true with authors whose taste seems to parallel my own.

    All this being said, Forums like this also have at least as much influence in my purchases of whiskey I haven't tried . They have also on occasion, helped me to gain an even better appreciation of something I didn't especially care for from previous experience.


  4. #4
    **DONOTDELETE**
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    Re: The Best of Times

    Mike,
    I don't think I could say it any better than Bill did.

    =John=
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  5. #5
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: The Best of Times

    after reading all of the posts I might be afraid to ever attempt to Write a Bourbon book!!!! Well thats OK since John does all the writing for us anyway!
    I do agree with you Mike. Some really enjoyable reads have been out there in the past 5 years on Bourbon!
    I'm hoping that this forum won't scare anyone off and go ahead and write that best seller!

    ~Linda~
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    140

    Re: The Best of Times

    Mike:

    > Now for my question: How much impact do you think these books and magazines
    > really have on what you drink?

    Not much anymore, but that's because they did such a great job in the first place of getting me curious about bourbons that I started buying unknown brands just out of curiosity and thus formed my own opinions and preferences. In addition, the knowledge base the books and such gave me allowed me to develop a pretty reliable sixth sense about what new and/or untried bourbons I would and wouldn't like. So while I enjoy reading the books, articles, and everything else bourbon-related, I can't say that they affect my current consumption patterns at all.

    Stotz




  7. #7
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: The Best of Times

    Mike after thirty years of bourbon consumption I can say the writers and ratings have no impact whatsoever as to what bourbons I like to drink. I will say that Chuck Cowdery has influenced the way I think about bourbon and that he and others have certaintly increased what I know about bourbon. I think that is a good thing.

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  8. #8
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: The Best of Times

    Linn,
    Once again you are the voice of wisdom here. Maybe the real calue of the books is to make us think about the different products in different ways and to learn from that experience.
    Mike Veach


  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,610

    Re: The Best of Times

    My attitude about writing anything is to be useful to the reader and to try to satisfy the reader's curiosity. What will the reader want to know about the subject generally, and what will the reader want to know next, after gaining some of the general knowledge? Try to anticipate where the reader's curiosity will take them and try to get there the same time they do.

    I think information about whiskey history is interesting for its own sake. I'm not sure how "useful" it is. I think it is useful to know who produces what products and how are they produced.

    I have never found tasting notes to be particularly useful but they are expected. I think it might be useful to know that Blanton's is dry relative to other bourbons and Old Fitzgerald BIB is relatively sweet. There are certainly differences between ryers and wheaters.

    The difference between wine tasting and whiskey tasting is that a given wine may vary significantly from vintage to vintage, whereas a bourbon is made to have a consistent taste from year to year.

    The only thing comparable with whiskey is the different expressions of age, proof and finish across a line. The winemaker, for the most part, has to play the hand he is dealt. Whiskey makers can tinker until they get the taste profile they want. An artist once told me that his eyes were more important to the process than his hands. By the same token, the most important skill in whiskey making is tasting.

    I would like to see the distiller's tasting notes. Now that would be interesting.


    --Chuck Cowdery

  10. #10
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: The Best of Times

    Once again, Chuck, you've nailed it! To see the distiller's taste profiles for each brand would be a significant improvement over anyones subjective tasting notes, but they won't be as entertaining.

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

 

 

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