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  1. #1

    Post Greetings from tropical Wisconsin

    I've been lurking for a month or so, and registered over a week ago, so I figured it was about time to introduce myself. First, I'd like to thank the people on the board for many suggestions, colorful stories, and the wealth of shared information.

    Hmm, my life in one paragraph or less. I grew up in California, but I'm in Madison, WI trying to get a Ph.D. in chemistry. It gets cold here and I'm very glad we only have 2 more months of winter. I hope to graduate by the end of the year, but I'll only get to move as far south as Chicago because I'm getting married in less than 3 months. Future Mrs. nmathew lives and works in Chicago, and she's very happy there.

    How I found myself here probably isn't a particularly entertaining story, but I'll bore anyone willing to read it nonetheless. My early experiences with whisk(e)y were JD and William Grant's The Family Reserve. Well, one night Mr. Daniels and myself had a falling out, and he certainly got the better of me. I'm not talking about your head hurting and bright lights bothering you the next day. I'm talking your abdominal muscles hurting for a week due to their workout. It took some time before the smell of JD wouldn't make my stomach twist. I stuck to vodka+cola, gin and tonics, liqueurs, and beer for some time after that.

    So, years later, and I'm in a bookstore which has a cheap hardbound book about the history, production, and enjoyment of spirits. Well, I'm a sucker for cheap books, so I buy it. Several chapters in and I get to the Irish whiskey and scotch section. Wow does this stuff look varied, complex, and interesting. Besides, there must be some reason people shell out so much money for it, right?

    At this point, I barely gave the section on North American whiskey a skim. I mean, after all, whiskey made in the states and Canada are inferior, right? Furthermore, that bourbon stuff that's somehow related to whiskey is harsh stuff suited for shots and making your voice sound like Clint Eastwood's. A few google searches later, I've got myself a list of 4 or so "good value" Scotch selections and a few *sigh* fall back options if I can't find those.

    Off to one of the larger booze shops near campus, and I quickly figure out that my Scotch selections must be esoteric. They don't have any of them, but I do see the Canadian Whiskey option I wrote down, and Knob Creek, which is also on my list of fall backs. Hmmm... The Knob Creek is $5 more than what I was expecting, but it's made in the states by some small company. Oh, right there on the side, a small batch bourbon from the Knob Creek Distillery. Wow, they must be a small operation if they only have one product.

    National pride wins out over pocketbook considerations, and I take my bottle of very high proof (100! wow, that's strong) bourbon home and I fumble with the wax seal. I carefully fill a shot glass and pour it into a tumbler. First sip, and wow. I wasted $27. This stuff is awful. Way too harsh; it bites; it burns; I hope it mixes with diet coke. Well, people mix a little water with their scotch and claim it changes the taste, maybe it'll work here. A splash of water later and I'm stunned by the change.

    The harsh alcohol oder is gone (more like my nasal passages aren't being coated by ethanol as I take in a massive snort). The liquid now drinks smooth, and it no longer burns. Ok, now I understand how people drink this straight. Wonder what those other bottles taste like......


    At some point, I followed a link here. I'm yet to buy a single malt scotch, and you guys have my apartment looking like a mess. I've got opened bottles strewn about, but I'm slowly figuring out what I like. As near as I can gather, my tastes currently favor lighter flavors than many of the people here. For instance, OGD BIB tasted very thick and rough the first time I poured myself some. It gets better with each try, but it's no where near my favorite. Then again, I've gotten weird looks from waiters by ordering a light wheat beer followed by a heavy stout, so maybe my tastes are just odd to begin with.

    I haven't been able to buy any of the Weller products yet. WL Weller Special Reserve was sold out, so I missed the BOTM fun. I do like Maker's Mark a lot, but I think that as my pallet gets refined, I'll like it less. It seems to lack the complexity of a few other ones I've tried. The ORVW 10 year, well, I want to like it. I think it'll grow on me. I don't dislike it, I just don't like it as much as the MM yet. The ERSB has a straightforward simplicity about it which I like. I'm looking forward to trying BT, but I don't want to buy or open anymore bottles for awhile. I've got a few unopened bottles here as it is. I also did a taste test of JD, Gentlemen Jack, and GD, but as this post is far longer that it should be, I'll save that for another day.

    A few questions:

    Is $63 reasonable for GTS 07?
    I greatly appreciate the brands listing. Additionally, is there a list of which labels are related? For instance, a few people have suggested that Basil Hayden's is similar to OGD. Is it basically a few choice barrels from that line? Pappy Van Winkle gave a yeast strain to MM. That sort of thing.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2

    Re: Greetings from tropical Wisconsin

    Quote Originally Posted by nmathew View Post
    ...Is $63 reasonable for GTS 07?..
    Alas, yes. I remember when I regularly got it under $50, even with Tennessee's almost-10% sales tax. Sure, you can find it cheaper elsewhere, but you'll probably have to spend money to do it -- a wash. As a result, I only bought 2 bottles of the '07, and am still several months away from opening the second one...
    Welcome -- your voyage is not as unusual as you think. Bourbon/American whiskey can sneak up on folk...
    Tim

  3. #3
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    Re: Greetings from tropical Wisconsin

    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon View Post
    Alas, yes. I remember when I regularly got it under $50
    In the few stores left in AZ (that I know about) that have it, they are $85 each. I expect that it will be arouond $100 by summer... that was the trend for last year...

    And welcome nmathew... many good bourbons await you... get the Stagg... you will be sorry of you do not.
    Last edited by bobbyc; 03-21-2008 at 00:29.

  4. #4
    Irreverent One
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    Re: Greetings from tropical Wisconsin

    Quote Originally Posted by nmathew View Post
    ...I'm in Madison, WI trying to get a Ph.D. in chemistry. It gets cold here and I'm very glad we only have 2 more months of winter.

    Is $63 reasonable for GTS 07?
    I was born in Madison, spent first seven years of my life there before we moved to Florida. By a strange coincidence found myself back there 14 years later, also seeking a Ph.D. (changed my mind though and pursued another path). I remember complaining to another grad student about an early April snowfall, only to be told, "You silly southerner - don't you know we have only two seasons here: Winter and the Fourth of July?"

    Regarding the GTS 07, I recently paid $66 for one. Keep in mind that if you dilute it 3:1 (yields 109 proof) then you have the equivalent of a liter bottle, which works out to $47.25 for a 750ml. I consider this reasonable for a bourbon of this quality.

    Anyway, glad to have you aboard.
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  5. #5
    Irreverent One
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    Re: Greetings from tropical Wisconsin

    Missed this on my first reading:

    Quote Originally Posted by nmathew View Post
    The Knob Creek is $5 more than what I was expecting, but it's made in the states by some small company. Oh, right there on the side, a small batch bourbon from the Knob Creek Distillery. Wow, they must be a small operation if they only have one product.
    *cough* *sputter* *gasp* *cough*

    You're just funnin' with us, right? Tell me you're just funnin' with us.
    Last edited by CorvallisCracker; 03-20-2008 at 11:28.
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  6. #6

    Re: Greetings from tropical Wisconsin

    Quote Originally Posted by CorvallisCracker View Post
    Missed this on my first reading:



    *cough* *sputter* *gasp* *cough*

    You're just funnin' with us, right? Tell me you're just funnin' with us.
    Sadly, that was more or less my mindset at the time. I did not know that Knob Creek was a Jim Beam product. I did take a slight bit of artistic license, as the bottle I bought came with a small advertising book around its neck explaining what the "Small Batch Bourbon Collection" was. I figured that was some connection to Jim Beam's product line when it mentioned who Booker Noe was.

  7. #7
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    Re: Greetings from tropical Wisconsin

    On Wisconsin... my home state!

    Madison (and UW) my alma mater!

    Welcome aboard!
    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."

  8. #8
    Bad Girl and Bourbonian Of The Year 2012
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Greenwood, IN
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    1,094

    Re: Greetings from tropical Wisconsin

    Two Badger Fans here. I had to do quite a bit of driving around Madison before I found a few stores with a good bourbon selection! We still attend atleast one football game each year.

    Dawn

 

 

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