There are many self-proclaimed Bourbon experts out there . . . heck, you can find an expert on the art of buying a new notebook these days, but I am not one of them. I am simply a hedonist, who very much enjoys a fine sip of bourbon and a tasty cigar. Granted, I enjoy much more than that, especially when it comes to libations. A rich craft beer, a smooth vodka, and a spicy rum are all on my list of luscious (yes, “list of luscious” does actually exist) and I’m always in search of things to add to that list.
Back to the subject of Bourbons. First, I fully believe that having the right atmosphere to consume your Bourbon is essential to truly enjoy it. By atmosphere I mean location, company, and even the glass. Often it is served in a Brandy snifter . . . no good in my opinion. Bourbons can have a slight medicinal scent wafting from them and a snifter will emphasize that, but you don’t want that to overpower your delicate nose. Be comfortable and cognizant of your comfort. Relax, sit back and bring on the pleasure of Bourbon.
Bourbons may be found in pretty much any price range. I’ve had them anywhere from $6 to around $20 a glass and, for the most part, there is a source of enjoyment in each. This time, I had Woodford Reserve, a Kentucky Straight Bourbon, made by Brown Forman. At around $35–$40 a bottle, Woodford Reserve is decent Bourbon for the middle market line up. It has a nice amber hue and a somewhat thin mouth feel. The first whiff offers a slightly strong Oak Vapor with a definite underlying tobacco; it’s on the dryer end with very trace amounts of sweet. It has a relatively smooth finish with little complexity. At first sip, it’s a bit of a turn off, but after a few sips in, my tongue was reveling in the bit of a bite it offered. Towards the end, the spicy tobacco flavor really hit full force. I say this is pleasant Bourbon for the money, perhaps best enjoyed at cellar temperature with a splash of cold water.