After about a year or so of my foray into bourbon, I've come to realize that I have started categorizing my bourbons. I took an inventory this last weekend, and put it on a spread sheet. I listed name, age, proof, size, how many opened, how many unopened, and my preferences for purchasing each bourbon again. Even though I did my list alphabetically, I noticed that from a standpoint of buying preference, I ended up categorizing my bourbons into four categories. I ended up grouping them into everyday pour, middle of the road (not everyday but fairly occasionally), upper middle of the road, (not quite special occasion) and bourbons for that special occasion.
Here are my favorites so far for each category. I am listing just my favorites, as I still need to get more familiar with a few of my purchases.
Weller Special Reserve, Old Weller Antique 107, Jim Beam Black, and possibly Rebel Yell and Ancient Ancient Age
Middle Of The Road
Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, and Weller 12 yr old
Upper Middle Of The Road
Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10/90, and Old Rip Van Winkle 10/90
Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15/107, and George T. Stagg/144.8 2007
In the category of whether I would purchase a bourbon again, I was undecided as to how to list them. Different bourbons taste different, at different times. What I ended up with was no, probably not, maybe, probably, yes, and definitely. Other than specialty or commemorative bourbons, only two were positively no. Gran Legacy and Yellowstone. Everything else I would purchase again. The only difference being as to whether I would buy with, or without any hesitation.
I have purchased roughly 25 bourbons, 3 Canadian whiskeys, one rye, and Jack Daniels. I have also tasted another three or four bourbons while at a bar or out to dinner. I hope to purchase/try many more bourbons in the future. For now though, I'm going to sit back and empty a few open ones so that I can make some room for the future. Hopefully I can bunker some more of my favorites, and maybe I'll find a couple on my wish list. For what it's worth, Lot B is on the top of my wish list.
As I started getting into my interest in bourbon, I had it in the back of my mind to find two "special" bourbons. I was looking for one bourbon that would just knock my socks off and curl my hair, and one that I could just relax and sit back and sip on the back porch while watching the sun set. As a coincidence, what I have found so far are my two "Special Occasion" bourbons. I'm pretty sure I've found the former in the GTS. As we speak, my choice for the latter would be Pappy 15, with ERSB 10/90 a distant second. I'm pretty sure I won't find anything stronger than GTS, and the jury is still out on my sipper until I've made my way a little farther down the line.
So for now, so far so good. I continue down the road, and I look forward to each and every curve and straightaway. It's a pleasure being a member of SB, and being able to share my experiences, observations and opinions. It's also great being able to share in the knowledge and experience of others. Thanks so much. Till next time around, Joe