I'm Scott from the Cleveland area and I've been lurking around these boards since last June or so,. I've been skirting the periphery of Bourbon for a number of years after trying my hand at single malts and not finding much that I could stick with. The local Friday's had a nice lighted display with the Beam small batch collection on it and after I tried each, I was really impressed.
While travelling through all of the border counties of Ohio last summer, I jumped into Ashland, Kentucky and picked up a bottle of FRSB after reading about it here. I cracked it open while camping and it totally blew my doors off. That's when I knew I was hooked.
Unfortunately, Ohio keeps pretty tight control over the spirits that they sell here, so there's a limited selection in even the best stores, although I do see some new stuff on the March list (Jefferson's Reserve and Corner Creek look new this month).
I just finished reading Bourbon, Straight last evening and I found it to be a great education all around.
My current collection, (in order of preference):
FR Small Batch
I'm headed to Chicago next weekend and I plan on a trip to Binny's with the hopes of expanding my horizons further. I'd like to pick up a bottle of Pappy 20 or the Van Winkle Special reserve 12 along with some others. Does anyone care to make a recommendation based on what I've got going so far?