I distinctly remember the first time I tried Bourbon, I was a young teenager and my dad let me have a sip of his Wild Turkey 101. As you might imagine I thought it was one of the worst sensations my young tongue had ever experienced. Close seconds (all my dad’s fault as well) were unfermented beer wort and Gin and Tonic. I like to think that my dad was just giving me the opportunity to discover new things, but it’s possible the whole thing was a clever scheme to keep me from drinking for as long as possible. If so it worked after a fashion, I didn’t try an American whiskey again until two months before my twenty third birthday.
Prior to my rediscover of bourbon I developed quite a tast for beer, wine, and a couple of lesser spirits in the form of sweet, often fruity, cocktails. About a year ago I discovered that I love scotch, the smokier the better. Since then I’ve been trying every scotch I could get my hands on; since I’m a newly-minted college grad that only comes out to nine or ten different scotches, but I was trying. At this point it still hadn’t occurred to me to try bourbon again, until one fateful night two months ago.
Actually, I lied, it never really occurred to me. I went down to the grocery store one night to pick up a six pack of a locally brewed Hefeweizen, Schlafly if you’re curious, and ended up buying a $9 bottle of store-brand ‘Bourbon’ because it was there and, seriously, nine bucks? Wow. I cant believe I avoided this stuff for so long. I’m sure it isn’t actually very good bourbon but I enjoyed it nonetheless, and it’s so completely different from scotch. A new love had been found and I could hardly wait to explore it.