There’s only a few days left in Bourbon Heritage month which undoubtedly will be causing many of you to shed a tear in sorrow this week. In an attempt to cheer you up I’ve compiled a list of 11 problems every bourbon lover understands. I hope you enjoy it and feel inclined to share it with fellow bourbon loving friends.
- Racing to get to a liquor store before your favorite limited release sells out
Bourbon releases are hard to predict. You might have a general idea of the time a year a limited release will hit the stores but you really never know exactly when or where it will show up. There is nothing worse than seeing a Facebook post that your local store has received their Old Forester Birthday Bourbon and then realizing the post was from two days ago and it is probably all sold out now.
- Your friends and colleagues keep asking you where they can get some Pappy
Unless you have a lot of friends who are hedge fund managers or you are good friends with a liquor store owner, there is a very good chance they will be disappointed with your answer.
- Trying to convince your friends that Pappy is not the end-all-be-all of bourbon
Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve is very, very, good bourbon. But it is not exponentially better than every other bourbon on the planet. If you can find a liquor store that has done a barrel purchase of Old Weller Antique you will get an amazing wheated bourbon for a fraction of the price. Beyond wheated bourbon there is a world of older, single barrel bourbons out there that don’t require camping out in a parking lot for a week.
- When you do convince your friends to try to branch out and try different bourbons, suddenly they are competing with you for that last bottle of Weller
On second thought, you were right. If you can’t drink Pappy there really is no point in even bothering. I’ll be over here with my old friend Weller.
- Getting whiskey stones and flasks for every single holiday and birthday
A good flask is every bourbon lover’s best friend but even this most devoted whiskey hound can only use two or three. And frankly I don’t know anyone who prefers cold rocks in their glass over a splash of water or a decent ice ball. How about getting us some cool Bourbon & Banter schwag instead?
- When you go out to a bar and have to pay through the nose for a bourbon that’s not nearly as good as the stuff you have sitting on your bar at home
There is something so tragic about meeting your friends at bar where the bourbon selection goes up to Woodford, if you are lucky, and then having to pay as much for a shot as you do for your meal. Many bourbon lovers have developed a deep appreciation for Kentucky Tavern, one of the better well bourbons, for this very reason. Drink affordably to get lubricated with your friends and drink well at home where you can appreciate it.
- And speaking of money, how much did you spend on bourbon in the last year?
While it is true that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to drink good bourbon, once you start down the road of single barrels, limited yearly releases, and keeping up with all of the new bourbon labels coming out it is easy to lose track. Soon you look back at your bank statements and realize that you have spent enough on bourbon in one year to purchase a decent used car. And heaven help you if you start looking into collectibles or customizing your home bar.
- Your family has demanded that you stop planning vacations around distillery tours
You’ve got the bourbon trail t-shirt, have visited whiskey row and historic Spaling Hall, you’ve been schooled by Michael Veach at the Filson Historical Society, and are an expert on seeking out abandoned historical distilleries. Your kids and your spouse are going to the beach with or without you next year, trust me.
- You have at least a half-dozen different bourbon-drinking glasses and each one has its own unique purpose
The shelf in your glass cabinet is starting to look just as crowded as the bourbon shelf in your bar. You have your Glencairn glasses for tasting, the high ball glass that holds an ice ball, the glass that fits in your hand perfectly while you are sipping your evening pour and contemplating your day, the cocktail glass for when you feel fancy and make a Manhattan, and the glass you picked up on your last distillery trip. And no, you can’t get rid of any of them.
- That feeling of sadness when you finish the last of a really good bottle that you probably can’t replace.
There is something so bittersweet about pouring out the last drop of a bottle, especially when you know that it will likely never cross your path again. Whether it is a single barrel select, a vintage rarity, or even just a bottle with sentimental specialness, it always brings a twinge of sadness as well as satisfaction. Pause for a moment of silence to honor the sacredness of the moment. Be grateful that this bottle made your world a better place. And then be happy that they are always making more and that your next favorite bottle is waiting for you somewhere out there.
- When people say they just don’t like bourbon
I understand the words individually, just not all put together in that order. While it is tempting to immediately begin recommending bourbons or even cocktails that will release this wretched individual from their unhappy state, just remember; that only leaves more bourbon for the rest of us.
Can you relate? Let us know if you can match up the items in the list with the images in the post header. Put your guess in the comments and someone might win a little something extra for Bourbon Heritage Month.