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Guss West

Bourbon Burnout

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Guss West

I've found and tried most modern bourbons, all but the rarest unicorns.

The demotivating effects of constant denial in procuring them has tempered my enthusiasm. 

 

I've found myself drawn more to Scotch, but mostly can't afford the bottles that catch my interest. 

 

I'm taking a dry week in January, and cutting back to 3x3 drinks per week in 2019.  Might switch to more red wine. 

 

Hoping to try some more unicorns at on-premise accounts, but not holding my breath any longer. 

 

What to do when facing bourbon burnout?

 

 

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CardsandBourbon

What is this "bourbon burnout" you speak of?  What I've found myself doing is gravitating away from trying everything and starting to direct my purchases to things that I've really enjoyed.  That's what keeps me from getting burned out.  Tried scotch years ago and to me it tasted like someone had wrung out a wet wool sock into my glass.  I do like wine a lot and that also helps to keep burn out away.

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Charlutz

For me, I’ve settled into the accessible bourbons that I like, mostly WT101, WTRB, Stagg Jr. and ER10. I’ve also ventured jnto rums and have about a dozen different ones as well as a couple tequilas. It’s worked for me and eases the frustration of stores having to dole out their ‘premium’ whiskey like ETL and RHF sparingly. 

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CUfan99

The hunt for new and different is what makes this a hobby. If there isn’t something that interests you that isn’t on every LS shelf yet attainable at some point then why would anyone continue? When I say continue I don’t mean continue drinking bourbon but continue hunting, going to message boards, social media, etc. Store picks are about all there is for me. I don’t know how much longer those will hold my attention though. 

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The Black Tot

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law

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newmennium
I've found and tried most modern bourbons, all but the rarest unicorns.
The demotivating effects of constant denial in procuring them has tempered my enthusiasm. 
 
I've found myself drawn more to Scotch, but mostly can't afford the bottles that catch my interest. 
 
I'm taking a dry week in January, and cutting back to 3x3 drinks per week in 2019.  Might switch to more red wine. 
 
Hoping to try some more unicorns at on-premise accounts, but not holding my breath any longer. 
 
What to do when facing bourbon burnout?
 
 
Very well put and I'm experiencing something similar. It's just too crazy in the market right now and the bottles with the "wow factor" seem to be unobtainable for me. Meanwhile, the standard releases seem to get younger and the prices continue to rise. I've ordered some scotch recently to see where that takes me...

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Curtis Reed

“Burnout” doesn’t come to mind when I think about sitting in my den sipping on a delicious bourbon out of my Glencarin while listening to jazz. Regardless of the rarity, price, brand, etc... I love sipping neat bourbons while relaxing. Nothing is better. 

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mbroo5880i
2 hours ago, Guss West said:

I've found and tried most modern bourbons, all but the rarest unicorns.

The demotivating effects of constant denial in procuring them has tempered my enthusiasm. 

 

I've found myself drawn more to Scotch, but mostly can't afford the bottles that catch my interest. 

 

I'm taking a dry week in January, and cutting back to 3x3 drinks per week in 2019.  Might switch to more red wine. 

 

Hoping to try some more unicorns at on-premise accounts, but not holding my breath any longer. 

 

What to do when facing bourbon burnout?

 

 

I would say its just like anything else.  When you feel disinterested, you give it a break or you cut back some.  Explore your interests in refreshments, hobbies and other others.  You may find you prefer other spirits or even specialty sodas.  

 

I wouldn't feel frustrated or be upset if you can't obtain those limited bottles that the masses seek.  There are still opportunities to find interesting bottles, as even in the bourbon boom featuring allocations and price hikes, you can still find a diamond in the rough and excellent new offerings are becoming available.  Just in the last several years we have seen ECBP, OF Whiskey Row Series, expansion of Marker's Mark, expansion of 1792, Pikesville Rye, Willett's producing their own products, exploration in finishing and blending all come to the market, etc.  Just go to a website like Breaking Bourbon to see the expected release calendar.   

 

Sometime the real prize is right in front of your eyes.

 

 

Edited by mbroo5880i
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PaulO

I get burned out by behavior of the boom market.  My solution is to move on to other brands or new places to shop.  If you looked in my liquor cabinet ten years ago it was different than today.  My enjoyment is the same or greater.  I used to buy plenty of Weller, and age stated HH products (not really possible anymore).  Nowadays it's WT and FR for me, and some bottled in bond brands.

I've tried some Scotch, but none of the really expensive stuff.  It can be tolerable, but not my favorite.    

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JTaylor

Just change it up once in a while... I've preferred bourbon since the 80's and have never really felt any type of "burn-out" (unless the occasional morning-after-promise-to-God-that-I'll-never-drink-again counts...) I really enjoy finding the nuances between different distilleries/ brands/ mashbills etc...  Yes, I've been fortunate enough to have had most of the unicorns, but those opportunities were afforded me by my early interest and all the other lower shelf stuff I bought and the relationship I built by doing so...

 

When I was in the Navy I felt an urge to drink more rum. In the summer I tend to drink more cocktails and lean towards vodka or gin when out in the sun by the pool, but I really just like the taste of Bourbon and it is my libation of choice. But DAMN! Beer, wine, bourbon, rum, vodka, gin, Rumchata, whatever... there are countless options out there to slake your thirst... 

 

But... your post doesn't sound like you're burned out on drinking bourbon... it sounds more like you're burned out on trying to find LE / unicorns and that's not the same...  There's no cure for that shit except as stated in numerous posts throughout this website. Pay secondary prices or build a relationship by buying a SHITLOAD of undesirables and mediocre bottles and a few upper shelf goodies. Once you've spent approximately two years salary on bourbon from January through September, THEN and only then you get to cross your fingers and pray you get the call that your Pappiez are in!

 

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Saul_cooperstein

Read the bourbon zen thread. 

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El Vino

I started at this hobby in 2010 when cases of ORVW 10/109 were on the shelves at Total Wine at $40/bottle and Parker’s Heritage wheated was $85.  Weller 12 was readily available everywhere.  I was smart enough to start a bunker with the things I liked and have built on it over time.  I still love my wheaters but nothing comes close to Weller/VW.   Like you (and many others) I’m tired/bored with the effort necessary to get them in the current market and inexorable inflation of pricing.  So, I am buying less and drinking more out of the bunker.  Since I am not expecting the zombie apocalypse, the bunker is there for the very circumstance we face now.  I will still cultivate my relationships with LS contacts - because they are friends and I enjoy sharing with them.  But I am at the point where I am willing to sit back and wait for the market to come to me. 

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flahute

JTaylor hit this above - your burnout has to do with difficulty in finding the limiteds, not necessarily with bourbon itself.

If this is true, you should sit back and question your motivations. Please understand this is not criticism of you. As also mentioned above, bourbon zen is about being genuinely happy with the bourbons that are available to you. One is not required to always be on the hunt.

I remember being first introduced to George T Stagg at Christmas one year. My brother-in-law brought it over for me to enjoy. I was a Woodford and Makers guy at that time. GTS blew me away. I went out and tried to find some but couldn't of course so I decided to try what else came from Buffalo Trace. This started my journey and I soon was drinking bourbons from all the distilleries. I found there was quite a bit out there that I loved and could buy at any time. I still had the hunger for the limiteds of course. I got in early enough to develop relationships so over time I could get them. And I love some of them. But most of the year I'm drinking what is always available and loving it. When I'm drinking a Wild Turkey Rare Breed on any day of the week in any given month I'm not sitting there thinking "damn, I wish I had an endless supply of GTS so I could drink that every day". I'm thinking, "damn, this stuff is so good that I'm going to have another right after this one."

 

You won't lose the hunger for the limiteds until you try a bunch of them so do what you have to do to find them or try them at a bar. In the meantime, concentrate on what you can find easily. Despite age statements disappearing, there's a LOT of great bourbon out there.

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FacePlant

I have felt the burnout before. BUT I had a quick remedy. I poured some on this little reindeer and licked it off. Wow, did that bring me back to bourbon paradise quickly.

 

IMG_4938.thumb.jpg.3f289ba43380851a417026a1a11f49d6.jpg

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Mako254
5 hours ago, Guss West said:

I've found and tried most modern bourbons, all but the rarest unicorns.

The demotivating effects of constant denial in procuring them has tempered my enthusiasm. 

 

I've found myself drawn more to Scotch, but mostly can't afford the bottles that catch my interest. 

 

I'm taking a dry week in January, and cutting back to 3x3 drinks per week in 2019.  Might switch to more red wine. 

 

Hoping to try some more unicorns at on-premise accounts, but not holding my breath any longer. 

 

What to do when facing bourbon burnout?

 

 

 

Re explore stuff you haven’t had in a while or previously didn’t like. Palate is always changing. Something you had written off may appeal to you know. 

 

When in doubt, try 101. 

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BottledInBond
5 hours ago, Guss West said:

I've found and tried most modern bourbons, all but the rarest unicorns.

The demotivating effects of constant denial in procuring them has tempered my enthusiasm. 

 

I've found myself drawn more to Scotch, but mostly can't afford the bottles that catch my interest. 

 

I'm taking a dry week in January, and cutting back to 3x3 drinks per week in 2019.  Might switch to more red wine. 

 

Hoping to try some more unicorns at on-premise accounts, but not holding my breath any longer. 

 

What to do when facing bourbon burnout?

 

 

I’ll throw out something different from some of the previous (and many I agree with posts). If you haven’t done so previously, take some of the budget you’d like to be spending on fancy limited bottles, and take a trip to Kentucky. I’ve tried pretty much every unicorn there is to try, and while many of those are great, if I sit back and think about the moments I really remember and have the fondest memories of, it is often then where I was and who I was with that stand out the most. You truly can’t recreate the smell of walking through a rickhouse, and personally I’d take that over a pour of most unicorn bottles any day. And driving around through the winding roads through the hills in Kentucky with a good companion or two on certain days are things I value way more than almost any bottle. Plus, sometimes you’re lucky enough to meet really cool employees and sometimes you can buy some awesome bottles in the gift shops to scratch that itch too. 

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Kane

Tao Te Ching has the following advice re hunting down unicorns:

 

 

The Bourbonian's power is like this.

He lets all things come and go

effortlessly, without desire.

He never expects results;

thus he is never disappointed.

He is never disappointed;

thus his spirit never grows old.

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Richnimrod
3 hours ago, FacePlant said:

I have felt the burnout before. BUT I had a quick remedy. I poured some on this little reindeer and licked it off. Wow, did that bring me back to bourbon paradise quickly.

 

IMG_4938.thumb.jpg.3f289ba43380851a417026a1a11f49d6.jpg

She is indeed a cute little doe (or do they call female reindeer 'hinds' like elk... no matter), and I can imagine licking Bourbon away from her sensitive little reindeer parts might be quite pleasurable for both you and her.

Please, have her post about it and let us know.

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GeeTen
23 minutes ago, Kane said:

Tao Te Ching has the following advice re hunting down unicorns:

 

 

The Bourbonian's power is like this.

He lets all things come and go

effortlessly, without desire.

He never expects results;

thus he is never disappointed.

He is never disappointed;

thus his spirit never grows old.

Ha! That's me alright . . . . . ☺

 

Edited by GeeTen

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DCFan
9 hours ago, Guss West said:

I've found and tried most modern bourbons, all but the rarest unicorns.

The demotivating effects of constant denial in procuring them has tempered my enthusiasm. 

 

What to do when facing bourbon burnout?

Living in Virginia which is an ABC state I've come to accept that there are no dusties, the only chance to land a unicorn is through a lottery the ABC runs (and my luck there is about the same as Powerball) or cross the river and venture into DC or Maryland and go scavenging there. And I'm 20 miles from the Potomac so we're not talking a big trip here. But I'm not going to do it because I've come to learn that good bourbon doesn't only come from the lottery or shelling out big bucks on the secondary market. Yes I enter the lotteries but it's not the end of the world when the date comes for the winners to be announced and I don't get the email or phone call.

 

So what I do when facing the bourbon burnout of not getting any unicorns is appreciate the vast quantities of really good bourbon that can be had for $30 or less and is available in any LS in the country - OGD BIB, WT, ER, MM or WR.  Really good bourbon doesn't have to be expensive and hard to get.

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Clueby
12 hours ago, DCFan said:

So what I do when facing the bourbon burnout of not getting any unicorns is appreciate the vast quantities of really good bourbon that can be had for $30 or less and is available in any LS in the country - OGD BIB, WT, ER, MM or WR.  Really good bourbon doesn't have to be expensive and hard to get.

The only thing in your post that isn"t true for this market is including ER in the list of bourbons that are available in any ls. ER10 is close to unicorn status here. When it does show up its limit one and gone in a day or so or ts included in lotteries as well.  The others are on every shelf.

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Guss West

Thanks all for the thoughtful replies. 

 

After further reflection I think what I really want is to go deeper in my understanding of the art and tek of distilling and aging whisky.  My academic background means I naturally "geek out" on new hobbies and go as deep down the rabbit hole as I can afford.  I'm currently working on a reading list to scratch this itch, and have read a number of seminal books on the topic. Book recommendations welcome!  A trip to Kentucky is on the bucket list too, but I need to go deeper than the typical tour.  I want to intern in a distillery for six months!   

 

I have done what many here suggest, and thanks to the great guidance here have accumulated a bunker of fantastic tater-free bourbon that will last more than my lifetime.  Currently, I am also buying mostly private selections, but even this year had trouble finding any standouts.  The BT was good, but just a good expression of the line. Nothing like the unique barrel I got a case of in 2017.  I'm only buying single bottles, when the rare new expression strikes my fancy.  (I hope to snag a Bowman port-finished today.) 

 

Like many of you, I seem to know more about whiskey than 99% of the population.  And, given my career is in science education I'm thinking of trying to make additional part time work as a brand ambassador.  I travel for work, and have evenings free.  Would be possible to set up tastings/classes in the cities I visit weekly.  I want to use my earned whiskey knowledge to get other people excited and interested in whiskey.  Anyone ever come across a whiskey curriculum?  Curious what Daniel has developed at Wizard Academy. 

 

The history of scotch whiskey seems to be an unexplored avenue for me and provides a generous background from which to explore whiskey.  I've ordered the MacDonald book as a start. 

 

Now I'm just rambling.  Yes, BTAC hunting is just frustrating; but that isn't my primary angst.  I don't want to try Pappy, I want to try Stitzel-Weller juice.  I found plenty of GTS this year.  Not worth the $400 asking price.  I need to find a bourbon mentor who built their bunker in the Seventies and Eighties. 

 

Happy Holidaze, Y'all!!

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Saul_cooperstein
15 minutes ago, Guss West said:

Thanks all for the thoughtful replies. 

 

After further reflection I think what I really want is to go deeper in my understanding of the art and tek of distilling and aging whisky.  My academic background means I naturally "geek out" on new hobbies and go as deep down the rabbit hole as I can afford.  I'm currently working on a reading list to scratch this itch, and have read a number of seminal books on the topic. Book recommendations welcome!  A trip to Kentucky is on the bucket list too, but I need to go deeper than the typical tour.  I want to intern in a distillery for six months!   

 

I have done what many here suggest, and thanks to the great guidance here have accumulated a bunker of fantastic tater-free bourbon that will last more than my lifetime.  Currently, I am also buying mostly private selections, but even this year had trouble finding any standouts.  The BT was good, but just a good expression of the line. Nothing like the unique barrel I got a case of in 2017.  I'm only buying single bottles, when the rare new expression strikes my fancy.  (I hope to snag a Bowman port-finished today.) 

 

Like many of you, I seem to know more about whiskey than 99% of the population.  And, given my career is in science education I'm thinking of trying to make additional part time work as a brand ambassador.  I travel for work, and have evenings free.  Would be possible to set up tastings/classes in the cities I visit weekly.  I want to use my earned whiskey knowledge to get other people excited and interested in whiskey.  Anyone ever come across a whiskey curriculum?  Curious what Daniel has developed at Wizard Academy. 

 

The history of scotch whiskey seems to be an unexplored avenue for me and provides a generous background from which to explore whiskey.  I've ordered the MacDonald book as a start. 

 

Now I'm just rambling.  Yes, BTAC hunting is just frustrating; but that isn't my primary angst.  I don't want to try Pappy, I want to try Stitzel-Weller juice.  I found plenty of GTS this year.  Not worth the $400 asking price.  I need to find a bourbon mentor who built their bunker in the Seventies and Eighties. 

 

Happy Holidaze, Y'all!!

Check out the BTEC stuff as much more available than most unicorns and has some of the interesting ‘geek out’ elements it seems you are looking for...

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Jazzhead

The tenor of the hobby changes depending on the state you live in.   Here in Pennsy,  there's no dusty hunting and you get to pick from what the state store brings in,  and indulge in the occasional road trip to New Jersey or Delaware.

 

The bigger state stores actually do a good job.   There are no BTACs or Wellers,   but they did bring in the Little Books and Yellowstone specials,  and what they do have is always priced fairly at retail (or on sale).   They also do a great job of supporting craft distillers.   My local state store,for example,  has five different varieties of Dad's Hat,  including straight and bonded versions.   So do some of the better New Jersey stores,  where I've found craft bourbons and ryes from all over.    I just travel with my smartphone, sniffing out reviews and information about new names so I don't end up taking too many bullets.

 

So I adapt to my environment.  No searching for Buffalo Trace and Four Roses LEs,  but plenty of fun all the same digging the little guys as they grow up.  

Edited by Jazzhead

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silverc

I will grab a unicorn bourbon if I run into one at retail price. Yes, it has happened a few times,  and I've gotten lucky twice from VA ABC lotteries. But I also don't chase them or pay secondary prices because they are not worth the hype often. Instead I often seek out store picks of good bourbon that I really like (especially 4R and KCSB picks). These are fantastic, available, and affordable.

 

You could also try something else too. I love bourbon, but in the last couple of years have been getting into Armagnac. If you like wine, Armagnac is maybe worth trying. You can find some really nice bottles of vintages of considerable age (25-50 years) for a lot more reasonable prices than you could find in the scotch/bourbon/cognac worlds.

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