Friday, September 11, 2015

Bourbon, It's a mood thing...

Talking with Bourbon drinkers about their favorite small batch sippers soon makes you realize that it is all about your mood.

Do you remember the Boston song "More than a feeling"? That is just what Bourbon feels like and it seems that most every aficionado we talk to is in agreement. Bourbon collectors can have a dozen or more different bottles in their collection (some have many dozens) and most agree that each has its own time and mood.

They are described by their appreciators as reflective, coy, poetic, masculine, or feminine, flirtatious, pretentious, even melancholy and most aficionados know what their evenings choice will be based on who it is that they are sipping with or maybe how work went today. While most have their "go to" bottle that is an old reliable and not as contemplative, it just isn't as simple as the vodka that is picked off the shelf without much thought. Even old reliable is usually considered before imbibing.

Tonight's Whiskey is a thoughtful process that considers many factors. Price, producer, rarity, and alcohol level run through the head of the person scanning their collection. A good friend, a great cigar, today's news or even just being in a bad mood will influence the choice. It is a personal decision and while different people will categorize them in their own way, most start with "Tonight feels like..."

 Having the opportunity to sit with an avid collector and taste through a number of things through the evening is a sure way to flip the switch and understand what all the rage is about. Tasting the same selections on different days that include changes in mood or weather have a profound effect on our perception and it is always interesting to listen to others opinions as we taste to see how they match our own assessments.

Recently our newest Eagle Rare Single Barrel showed up at the store and as each of us on staff re-tasted the selection we made months ago while going through samples sent to us by the distillery, we were reminded of just how much we liked it and why this was "The one". Standing there and sipping together started the conversation and suddenly the chatter was started. Many descriptors about different aromas and tastes were flying around. Maple, Brown sugar, Vanilla and Caramel started the conversation. Golden Raisin, Roasted coffee, Orange zest and candied Ginger were added and we were all impressed not only with how much dimension it showed but also its drinkability. With a seemingly endless finish, this gem just kept inviting you back for another taste. Soon, the inevitable mood characteristics came up. Friendly, feminine and flirtatious were agreed on as what it feels like to drink this particular selection.

There must be something to it because people that have added it to their collections have come back for more and almost everyone describes it in the same "happy" way. The barrel has only been here for a little more than a week and more than half of the 240 bottles is gone. This cheerful Whiskey will likely be sold out before September is over so if you'd like to add it to your collection or know a collector that is looking for the next great thing, act now.

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