First, I just want to thank everyone here for all the knowledge I've gained after only a few days of surfing around this forum. I must have saved a few hundred bucks already over just tasting without any guidance.
Until now, I've been more interested in beer than spirits, with an occasional shot of good tequila. A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling patriotic and decided to buy a bottle of American whiskey. So, I bought the only one I knew anything about, Jack Daniel's. I liked it, and it got me thinking about what else was out there. I knew the term "small batch bourbon", and that it's kind of trendy right now (which is one reason I've avoided up until now), but I decided to explore the subject and fortunately I found this site.
I was happy to read about what it really means to be a small batch or single barrel bourbon, and how bourbon in general has recovered since prohibition. I like the history behind it and the fact that now good American bourbon can compete with fine spirits from around the world.
So, I read a bunch of posts here to come up with a short list of bourbons I want to try, and stopped at Sam's on my way home from work last night. I bought 2 bottles, Wild Turkey Rare Breed and Elijah Craig 18yo single barrel. I'm so glad I found this forum, because there were a few bottles I might have bought instead, just because they have a "cool" bottle.
I tasted both side by side, once neat and once with a splash of water. The water seemed to deaden the flavor of the EC but was good with the Rare Breed. I'm going to need more experience to really describe what I tasted, but I can say I liked them both very much. There was definitely a difference between the two. The EC seemed much more refined and subtle, where the WT was bold in flavor. I'm not sure how much the extra proof of the WT made up this "boldness". I think next time, I'm going to taste the WT with a splash and the EC neat. I also want to taste both alongside the Jack Daniel's, just out of curiosity.
My only challenge now is to control my enthusiasm for "tasting"
So anyway, if you made it this far, thanks for putting up with my long post. I just wanted to say thanks, and share my first tasting story.