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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hershey, PA

    A new fella here, a barkeep

    Hi everyone,

    I'm currently a barkeep at a resort in Central PA (not far from where Michter's old distillery used to be), and have been a bourbon enthusiast for a while.

    I started out with the usual Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's (although I know now that Jack isn't a bourbon). I believe it was Knob Creek, however, that first piqued my interest in bourbon whiskey.

    I've owned, or drank large quantities of, the following bourbons:

    - The Jim Beam Small Batch Collection (my fave is Basil Hayden's)

    - Maker's Mark (no surprise there...)

    - Old Grand-dad 86 and 114

    - Ezra Brooks (currently considering the Single Barrel)

    - Elijah Craig 12-year (also considering the Single Barrel)

    - Evan Williams (also, also considering the Single Barrel... but can't freakin' find it!)

    - Russell's Reserve 10-year

    - Bulleit 6-year (heard a lot of people don't like this, but I do)

    - W.L. Weller 7-year (107 proof)

    - Woodford Reserve (never owned it, but my bar does!)

    - Though it's not a bourbon, I do like the spiciness and overall "woodiness" in my Sazerac Rye 6-year

    My favorite "cheap" bourbon is actually a mixture of two that I call the "Crazy 88"- one part Ezra, one part Evan, usually served neat with a glass of Pepsi on the side to wash it down.

    Anyway, the main point of this post is a question regarding tasting-- I find that I do not have a very sharp palate. I'm reading these reviews of whiskeys and I see all these nifty little subtleties that the taster is getting that I can't seem to find.

    I'm not completely hopeless-- I've noticed that my W.L. Weller had a sweeter, "rounder" (for lack of a better descriptor) body and flavor profile; I've been able to pick up a "peppery" flavor in anything with a high rye content; I could swear I tasted Cedar in the Russell's Reserve...

    In essence, I seem to be able to pick up the general characteristics, mostly regarding body and texture, but the little specific subtleties seem to escape me completely. Is there a way I can "train" my palate to pick these up? Or does it just come with practice (hopefully before liver cirrhosis kicks in)?

    I've picked up 3 of the 5 whiskeys included in Sazerac's "Antique Collection", but I'm very hesitant to crack them open if my palate isn't developed enough to fully-appreciate them, hence my question.

    Well, here's what I have in my cabinet right now:

    - Aberlour 10-year Speyside Scotch Whisky (my "other" beverage passion)

    - Svedka Clementine vodka (for my girlfriend's Cosmopolitans)

    - Gran Gala triple orange liqeur (also for her Cosmos)

    - William Larue Weller, 129.9 proof

    - Thomas H. Handy, 132.7 proof

    - Eagle Rare 17-year

    I'm hoping to pick up the following before summer:

    - George T. Stagg

    - Sazerac 18-year

    - Blanton's (do the bottle stoppers still feature different letters spelling out the name?)

    - Elmer T. Lee

    - Ridgemont Reserve 1792

    I'd like to thank in advance everyone who has some valuable advice to offer. I'll probably visit this board just about every day.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Brisbane, AUSTRALIA

    Re: A new fella here, a barkeep

    Welcome to StraightBourbon.com!!

    I'm with you...still trying to find everything in the palette, so I can't really offer much advice there.
    Good work finding the WLW and Thomas Handy, they are becoming harder to find. You shouldn't have any trouble finding the Stagg, if you can't find it in PA, there are places online like Binnys.com that sell it. You may have a mission trying to find the Sazerac 18, once released it goes very quickly.
    And yes, the Blanton's bottle stoppers still have different letters on them to spell Blanton's (the horses are also in different positions).

    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day" - Frank Sinatra

  3. #3



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