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  1. #1
    Moderator and Bourbonian Of The Year 2014
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    Bourbons available when travelling

    I just read the post re Makers Mark Black label, and it reminded me of some questions I have for anyone who has travelled recently & purchased Bourbon in a foreign market or airport...
    We're off to Britain in October for 3 weeks - We have a night stop over in Singapore on the way, and 2 nights in Tokyo on the way back. Australian customs say we can bring 2 1 litre bottles each back into the country duty free - so that's approx 4 bottles I can look for. (they aren't to strict if some of the bottles are 1.125 litre)

    Has anyone here travelled recenly, to these or any other countries, and if so, what (if any) Bourbon finds did you come across?

  2. #2
    Moderator and Bourbonian Of The Year 2014
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    Re: Bourbons available when travelling

    Well, my partner is off to Bankok next month for work.
    She's offered to bring me back a bottle or 2 of bourbon

    I guess my wish list is (in order of priority) -
    - anything Van Winkle
    - Buffalo Trace
    - Blantons
    - Wild Turkey Freedom
    - Bookers
    - Makers Mark Black Label

    As I'm not sure what else is available in the Asian export market, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

  3. #3
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    Re: Bourbons available when travelling

    I'm here in Tokyo, and you can get pretty much the lot listed on your preference list. It's surprisingly cheap, too, considering everyone's stereotype about how pricey this town is. I just got a 750ml bottle of Blanton's for about 25 US dollars, a 750 ml bottle of Russell's Reserve for about $40, and a bottle of Eagle Rare for $50.
    If you need directions to some good Tokyo bottle-shops, just drop me a line,
    WM

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: Bourbons available when travelling

    Here's an update from Paris. Bar's have JD and Four Roses for about $9 per. Liquor stores carry Four Roses, JD, JD Single Barrel and MM. I have found Blanton's Gold and splurged for one only. Still looking for Four Roses Single Barrel. Not missing good bourbon much though.....sitting outside at a cafe with a cold beer or glass of wine watching the pretty ladies go by isn't so bad. FYI.....Val is on a cruise with our youngest as she didn't seem too interested in Paris....I'm here with my 15yo daughter. Hope to find something interesting at Paris Duty Free when I return home.

    Randy B

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Bourbons available when travelling

    Randy, on Boul. Port Royal is the long-established Academie de la Biere, a beer bar that specialises in French beers (and Belgian) from the North of France, the classic ale country around Lille. It is not a fancy place but a local hang-out for students and other assorted Left Bank types. It is halfway down that boulevard from Montmartre, halfway down to where the Port Royal ends that is. You would turn left onto Port Royal when walking up from boul. St-Germain. Your daughter might like it, and the mussels and frites are some of the best in Paris. Ask for a "biere de garde" which is the fine ale-type beer of the North of France, some good names are Castelain, Jenlain, Choulette.

    And so many great wine bars there that sell Beaujolais in unlabelled bottles, the real "zinc" bars that are not always easy to find. Ask your hotel to recommend "un vrai zinc qui vend le Beaujolais dans des bouteilles sans etiquettes". The proprietor bottles them himself (from barrels) in the basement, vous voyez... I've got a list of them and can supply names if give me some coordinates but your hotel will (should) know. These bars get awards called "Meilleur Pot" (best glass), e.g. Meilleur Pot 2000, and they are posted on the door as you go in - that is always a sign it is a good "zinc". Anyway, a great town (let's set aside politics for a minute), and you can't far wrong there.

    Gary

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: Bourbons available when travelling

    Gary....Thanks for the info, particularly the "beer acdamy" . We stayed on Rue St. Germain and I found the place no problem. It was good to drink something other than 1664/Carlsberg/Heineken. Moules and frites are my standard lunch fare in Paris and had them too.

    Back to bourbon....never found much of interest anywhere in Paris including the CdG Airport. In many bars, your choice is Four Roses or Four Roses. Otherwise its Four Roses or JD. In a small (but very nice) bar in Amboise in the Loire Valley their only bourbon was WT 8yo, like what we used to get here in the US. When I ordered one, I got a few questioning glances from the locals...as in "what is that stuff?" Anyway, never saw the Four Roses SB. My only bourbon prize is the Blanton's Gold.

    As far as traveling in France, we were treated very well, my Texas accent not withstanding. This was my fourth trip there and found the people friendlier than ever.

    Randy

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: Bourbons available when travelling

    Gary....Just got back from visiting your wonderful country. Traveled the Canadian Rockies and hit the first weekend of Stampede. YEEEE HAAAAAW. Anyway, the Banff Springs Hotel bar overlooking the Bow River has a pretty good bourbon list with an interesting twist. You can "supersize" your pour. For example, the 1.5oz pour of Booker's is $10 ca....you can get it supersized to 2.5oz for $15ca. We, of course, supersized them. In Calgary we found several places with EWSB on their lists ('90 thru '93)....I don't even see that here in Houston.

    BTW, skip Calgary's Duty Free....nothing there but WT 8yo.

    Randy B.

  8. #8
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    Re: Bourbons available when travelling

    Glad you had a good time, Randy!

    Did you find the Western atmosphere (I mean the cowboy heritage and culture) similar to what is found in Texas and the Southwest, or was it different and if so, how?

    You mean you tasted no Canadian rye whisky??

    Did you try a Bloody Caesar at least, the "quintessential" Canadian cocktail?

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: Bourbons available when travelling

    Gary...I've been to the Stampede many times and always have a great time. Generally, the western culture (music, dress, rodeo activities, attitudes, etc) is similar to ours in Texas. But at the Stampede, they take partying to another level. Where else are you served gin and orange juice with your pancake breakfast at 7am? Ever heard of a "Wiggle In"? They put 100 new pairs of Wrangler jeans in the middle of the rodeo arena. Everyone is invited to remove their own jeans and at the sound of the horn, leap off the fence and try to find a pair that fits. If the judges agree that they fit, they're yours free. I ran out of film watching all those pretty ladies wigglin into the jeans.

    I did enjoy many Canadian ryes there, but my Canadian friends were very impressed with a Black Maple Hill 18yo rye I brought with me. I also drank a lot of local beers including Big Rock, etc. And of course, we had a lot of Ceasars. Mott's Clamato Juice is a big sponsor at the Stampede.

    Randy B

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Bourbons available when travelling

    Hey, most interesting! I never heard of that jeans thing. Looks like western culture has evolved in some unique ways in Canada. Based on your knowledge of Canadiana, Randy I'd say you are an honorary Canuck!

    Gary

 

 

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