Friday, June 10, 2005


I try to have one drink a day for my cardiovascular health. It seems to work well for my grandfather who's 88 years young and it gives me an excuse to have a snort. Generally, I'll have either a beer or bourbon on the rocks with a splash of water.

I've become something of a bourbon snob in the past couple of years. I used to prefer Jim Beam but awhile ago a friend introduced me to Knob Creek. What a difference! It's not just the alcohol content -- you can have 180 proof rotgut -- it's the smoothness. For example, good bourbons are aged longer and as a result, are smoother. After having Knob Creek for the first time I started trying different kinds of bourbon.

My top four so far are:

1. Knob Creek (aged 8 years, 90 proof). Two things about Knob Creek made an immediate impression on me. First is the texture. It's almost syrupy. Second, it has a nice, smoky undertone from the casks in which it's aged.

2. Labrot & Graham Woodford Reserve (aged 8 years, 80 proof). Woodford Reserve is a bit milder than Knob Creek and maybe a bit smoother, with a full taste. I rate it a close second.

3. Elijah Craig 12 year old (aged 12 years, ?? proof). I saw this on the shelf at the liquor store and felt I needed to give a 12 year old bourbon a try. It was very, very smooth and the taste wasn't as full as WR or KC. I don't remember the proof.

4. Baker's (aged 7 years, 107 proof). It's not as smooth as one through three, has a pretty good taste, and makes Knob Creek seem weak. Honestly, it's a bit much, although I have most of a bottle left and I'm not going to complain about finishing it.

Other's I've tried include Rebel Yell, which was pretty good although it's been several years, and Maker's Mark. I don't really care for the latter. Compared with other bourbons the taste seems "off" to my palate. Basil Hayden's (aged 8 years, 80 proof) was good, but I don't remember anything specific. Jim Beam Black (aged ?? years, ?? proof). For a mass market bourbon this is pretty good stuff. Judith picked up a bottle for me last year since she knew I was out of booze at the time. Not up to the small batch bourbons like one through four, but not bad. It gets bonus points for coming in a cool tin, which I now use to hold my spare change.

The next time I'm down in Maryland I want to sample some Henry McKenna, which comes in big pottery jugs. When my dad used to shoot at the Marriottsville Muzzleloader matches in the 70s, one of the prizes was a jug. The tradition was that the winner would have the first sip and then the jug would get passed around until coming back to him, and he'd get the last sip. (This was done after all the shooting was finished!) Dad says it's good stuff and my parents have an empty jug as a knick-knack in their family room.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ever tried single malt whisky? I take a nightcap every now and then but not every day.

I knew a woman that died at the age of 102. I asked her (at a young age) why she was so old and she told me that she drank a small glass of whisky every night (and showed me the bottle). That was her own thought on why she had gotten so old :)