Disclaimer: A sample of Four Roses Single Barrel and Smooth Ambler Old Scout Private Selection bourbon were provided to us by Nasa Liquor for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow Bourbon & Banter to review the booze with no strings attached. Thank you.
“It was like staring down a bourbon tsunami. I couldn’t make a decision or move my feet from sheer awe and fear of making a bad decision.”
That’s how one of my friends described his recent experience visiting a liquor store. He had gone in looking to buy a bottle of whiskey for a house-warming gift. A simple task he thought. He wasn’t prepared for the reality of today’s bourbon market.
Liquor store shelves are flooded with new bourbon brands seemingly every week making it increasingly difficult for consumers to make a decision. Don’t get me wrong. Choice is good but when taken to the extreme it can be paralyzing. Add in the fact that many of these new brands have questionable, yet enticing, back-stories and it quickly becomes dumb luck for many people to pick a bottle with actually decent juice inside.
I can only imagine what happens after someone’s fallen victim to sexy labeling and shitty bourbon more than a few times. I suspect many return to their “safe” bourbon and give up on trying something new. Others will attempt to keep an open mind but every trip back to the “bourbon tsunami” results in unnecessary stress and anxiety. Being gun-shy about a bourbon purchase is no way to live one’s life.
If you’ve ever found yourself in or want to avoid this situation, I suggest you explore your favorite store’s private barrel selections.