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Thread: Cowdery Help!

  1. #1
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    Cowdery Help!

    Ok Chuck, I just got your book Bourbon Straight; in the mail today and I can tell you I am very much enjoying it. I am obviously in the beginning still and on page 38 you write about "you generally should not drink any spirit above 100 proof without first diluting it..."
    Since finding this forum I have been drinking all my Bourbon neat, and I must admit I have really enjoyed it that way. Of course my only experience prior to this was to have a glass of Makers over a healthy pile of ice. My current favorite is WT Rare Breed, and I enjoy the flavor very much. I am drinking about 1 or 2 oz. a night. You seem like a man educated in such things so I guess I just want some clarification because I am so new to all this. Do I understand correctly that for "general" consumption of spirits over 100 proof, that it is prudent to dilute it for health as well as flavor?
    I know I will still enjoy it, and if that is the "healthier" way to drink it, and I intend to keep at this! then by all means I shall begin to dilute it following your instructions. I was under the impression that dilution was a matter of taste only.
    I am finding your book very interesting, and educating. I highly recommend it to all those other newbie's our there or to anyone who just wants to relax with a good book, its a great read. Thanks.
    Todd

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the kind words.

    I stand by the statement but the word "generally" is a key part of it. I said 100 proof but I could have said 101 or even 107-108.4 (i.e., WT Rare Breed). I break my own rule at that level all the time. I was sipping some 107 proof Van Winkle just last night.

    Where I think you have to be careful, for health/safety reasons as well as taste enjoyment, is with products such as Booker's (about 126 proof), George Stagg (140?) or even Old Grand-Dad 114. If you take extremely small sips, your saliva provides enough dilution (not to be gross about it), but it's possible with those to, at the least, deaden your sense organs (and where's the fun in that?), and at the worst, you can irritate your esophagus.

    You can also get way too drunk way too fast if you're not careful.

    Sometimes those really small sips don't tell me enough or just aren't the way I want to drink at that moment, so I add some water to knock it down to the safe level. It doesn't take much. The dilution calcultor is on pages 143-144.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Where I think you have to be careful, for health/safety reasons as well as taste enjoyment, is with products such as Booker's (about 126 proof), George Stagg (140?) or even Old Grand-Dad 114. If you take extremely small sips, your saliva provides enough dilution (not to be gross about it), but it's possible with those to, at the least, deaden your sense organs (and where's the fun in that?), and at the worst, you can irritate your esophagus.

    You can also get way too drunk way too fast if you're not careful.

    Sometimes those really small sips don't tell me enough or just aren't the way I want to drink at that moment, so I add some water to knock it down to the safe level. It doesn't take much. The dilution calcultor is on pages 143-144.
    I think what you are saying is all good advice, I know nothing of organ damage and I am not sure where the "hangover" talk fits in, but I find specifically with Stagg it needs to be considered. GTS is such a wonderfully smooth, tasty, strong and easy to drink bourbon that you really have to almost measure ahead of time and then no matter how bad you'd like to have more just keep yourself from pouring it again.
    The high proof along with the lack of filtering can really make your body struggle the next day.

    I honestly cannot enjoy GTS as much on ice or with a water dilution so I have more than once had a little too much and felt horrible the next day because I always drink it neat.
    C

    "everybody defamates from miles away
    but face to face
    they haven't got a thing to say"

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virus_Of_Life
    I honestly cannot enjoy GTS as much on ice or with a water dilution .... I always drink it neat.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    I agree with you there. GTS straight is such a wonderful experience. Chuck is right, slow sips but it is just delicious.

    Ken
    "Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary. "

  5. #5
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    Well, as always thanks for the information gentlemen. I will have to experiment with this a little more.
    Todd

  6. #6
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    I thought I read somewhere that at some point high proof basically becomes poison to your body, basically by the touch, as opposed to drinking enough to kill you....I do find that when I drink Stagg or Bookers straight my mouth/lips do tend to get numbness, I suspect this is the high proof attacking my body and my body fighting back.

    In an overall regard I guess any alcohol is considered "poison" by the body in that it has to filter out the toxins, etc and that a hangover is the result of basically posioning yourself to some degree and the body not being able to filter out the toxins.

    I have always found that hydrating after drinking really helps the body recover. If I drink a few, I usually try to drink a decent amt of water before I sleep and usually I feel no ill effect the next day.

  7. #7
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    I can contribute only a fragment here.

    I know that isopropyl alcohol is sold as rubbing alcohol at a concentration of 70%, not 100%, for the simple reason that at higher concentrations it will damage the skin.

    Your reference to poison raises an interesting question. At what concentration does a substance that causes mental and physical deterioration even in small amounts deserve to be called a poison?

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

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    another interesting digression is that some poisons can be used to help cure humans of other problems...isn't botulism used to cure some things?? here is where the lack of medical school becomes apparent.

    even alcohol is used to cure/help humans, as you reference to alcohol being a good cleanser.


    Quote Originally Posted by bluesbassdad

    Your reference to poison raises an interesting question. At what concentration does a substance that causes mental and physical deterioration even in small amounts deserve to be called a poison?

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCalBoozer
    another interesting digression is that some poisons can be used to help cure humans of other problems...isn't botulism used to cure some things?? here is where the lack of medical school becomes apparent.

    even alcohol is used to cure/help humans, as you reference to alcohol being a good cleanser.
    And, blood thinner cumadin (warferin) is basically rat poison... But, Chuck you bring out things I would have never imagined. My high proof joys are OGD 114 and William Larue Weller (@121), both I must admit enjoying neat. GTS on the other hand, I do like with a wee bit of H2O. Interstingly enough, the burn and tingles described here above, for me at least aren't always associated with proof. Billy Larue doesn't tingle, but Jim Beam Black does. Go figure

  10. #10
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    Here is the Mayo Clinic's answer to the question, "What is alcohol poisoning?"

    All people who drink alcohol need to understand a few fundamental facts. First, alcohol is alcohol. All alcohol is the same. All that matters is how much, how fast and into whom (as body weight and individual metabolism are also factors). It is important to know how much absolute alcohol you are consuming, which is complicated by the fact that beers (in most places) are actually prohibited from stating their alcohol content on the label, spirits use "proof" (along with abv) and wine just uses abv.

    For example:

    A 12 oz. beer (@5%) contains 0.6 oz. of alcohol.
    A 5 oz. glass of wine (@12%) also contains 0.6 oz. of alcohol
    A mixed drink containing 1.5 oz. of 80 proof spirit also contains 0.6 oz. of alcohol.

    The Distilled Spirits Council web site has good information about this, as well as links to other good sites.

    With bourbon, proof matters in the sense that an ounce of 140 proof Stagg contains 75 percent more alcohol than an ounce of 80 proof Jim Beam.

    As for hangovers, the main culprit there is dehydration. Here again, compare Stagg, which is just 30 percent water, to Jim Beam white, which is 60 percent water.
    Last edited by cowdery; 02-10-2006 at 14:35.

 

 

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