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  1. #21
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: What Is New In Bourbon Culture Post-1995?

    - the concept of the barrel strength bourbon seems truly new, there may have been one or two examples in the 1930's-1980's but they were very rare, and thus a practice has been revived not seen since whisky was sold from the barrel in the 1800's

    - the related idea to drink bourbon (albeit carefully and in small amounts!) at barrel strength is truly new I think. This was never done before, bourbon always was diluted by addition of ice or water except for the few who might have drunk bonded whisky neat.
    I would offer that among a small group of individuals, drinking barrel proofs and having access, albeit pilfered from warehouse stocks, has been enjoyed in the past.

    We are fortunate that the sale of those gained approval of the front office.
    ___Bobby Cox___
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    May you have wonderful things thought of to do...

  2. #22
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: What Is New In Bourbon Culture Post-1995?

    Indeed, and I meant the general consuming public only.

    Gary

  3. #23
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: What Is New In Bourbon Culture Post-1995?

    Since I know there are a number of rock fans here, I can't resist passing on by way of digression the quotation I was referring to from the late great guitarist and musician Frank Zappa:

    "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read".

    This was written in the early morn' of the rock and roll era, one whose dusk or night we now inhabit IMHO, and I would say in the high noon of the era some fine rock criticism was written, but Frank's point can be taken still in a broad sense.

    Of course, Zappa also once observed that art consists in making something from nothing and selling it, so perhaps he was being a bit contradictory.

    Gary

  4. #24
    Guru
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    Re: What Is New In Bourbon Culture Post-1995?

    One of the things that strikes me as amusing is the concept of "older is (necessarily) better". This is an extension of the "culture of connoisseurship". Also probably a reflection of the the Scotch marketplace as well; where ultra-old bottlings seem to automatically command the highest prices.

    Same thing goes for "single barrel" and before that, "small batch" (whatever the hell that means) bottlings. Somehow these are perceived as naturally better than their more pedestrian counterparts.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  5. #25
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: What Is New In Bourbon Culture Post-1995?

    That's right, and it's not necessarily a creditable aspect of the new bourbon culture except in the sense of offering people options, more choice in other words.

    Gary

  6. #26
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    Re: What Is New In Bourbon Culture Post-1995?

    I remember asking on the HH tour, "At what age does the bourbon become (generally) undrinkable?" The guide guide quickly responded. "Never, it just gets better and better..."

    Well, when the age of the bourbon surpasses mine (don't ask), I'm quitting and switching to prune juice....
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  7. #27
    Connoisseur
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    Re: What Is New In Bourbon Culture Post-1995?

    An interesting discussion of tasting notes and vocabulary. I think there's a component of the tasting notes culture that is based on connoisseurship, but I also think in a way tasting notes are true to the spirit of the Walker Percy quote in my signature line. If a given bourbon sparks a taste memory or invokes a smell or feeling from childhood, if it momentarily transports the drinker to a different time or place, then pure connoisseurship is not the only goal or result of consumption...

    I would add to the excellent ideas discussed already a renewed interest in classic cocktails. The arisal of a cocktail revival of sorts at high-end bars, particularly in San Francisco and New York, must be at least partially credited with rye's return to prominence. Conversely, the renewed interest in American whiskey history has reminded us of great drinks now relegated to the fringes of bar culture (or lost altogether): not just the Manhattan and the Sazerac, but also the Seelbach, rock and rye, and other classic cocktails/cordials/drinks that make use of American whiskey. Interest in the history of bourbon and rye has helped the contemporary cocktailian discover these forgotten concoctions.

 

 

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