Thursday, March 27, 2014

oof! I'm such a newbie.

Dearest Bourbon,

Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville

Oh man. It seems every time I write, I want to retract or edit within days. So bear this in mind whenever reading my stuff - this is totally a work in progress. If you don't like what you read, I've probably already changed my mind to agree with you. I mean, I'll still argue with you about it, but that's how I am. ::shrug::

There is one thing I have not and will not change my mind about, though, I promise - I LOVE bourbon. I started blogging about it for a few reasons. One was that my friends started coming to me for suggestions, texting me to ask which brand would go best in which cocktail (they were at a bar and getting ready to order something "custom"), sending me photos of of a stash and asking which to try in what order, telling me any bit of news they'd heard about whiskey, that kind of thing. I'd get to chatting about bourbon with someone and they'd say "wow, you really know a lot." So, instead of worrying about whether I had an unhealthy obsession, I decided to share my big knowledge with you all (this is the nice thing about the interwebs - I assume "you all" exist).

For me, whiskey is an everyday topic of conversation. I've talked about it with my kids' school principal, people on my hospital committees (I volunteer as a patient/family advisor), soccer and dance moms and dads, you name it, it just seems to come up. Weird. Recently, one of my bestest girlfriends told me I could be "intimidating" with my bourbon knowledge. Huh?

You see, I don't know much. I just know what I like. And I'm learning about how it's made and aged and how the types of whiskey differ, what makes each barrel different, how producing it is a craft. Last week, I got to join an online group of whiskey bloggers, and let me tell you - these people KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. They aren't amateurs like me, dinking around and tasting new things and getting excited about it. These people are for REAL. They know how to drink, their palates are trained, they know the brands, the laws, other whiskey people...and they know how to write. Funny, snarky, thoughtful, instructive. All at once. These people are WOW.

Talk about intimidating. Sheesh.

Honestly, I'm not sure how they even have time to know all they know. This mama needs to sleep sometimes.

So this is what I've decided. Instead of being intimidated and gun-shy about writing of bourbon, when so many others are doing it so very well, I'm just going to keep plugging along, sharing my successes, failures, and funny stories. Hopefully, you'll enjoy them.

Here's one: Last I wrote, I basically said that women (in particular, but anyone) would LOVE bourbon if they tasted it. Because it's dee-licious!! That night, I had wine club (yes, yes, I need to start a bourbon posse, I know this) and brought Eagle Rare 10, hoping to tempt someone with it and "create" a brand new bourbon girl!! I was pretty confident. Well, I got three takers. None of them were converted. Sigh. I was soooo disappointed. Proven wrong within 12 hours, people. HOURS. Oh so sad. Well, I suppose much like I don't enjoy manhattans, these ladies do not need to enjoy bourbon. So be it. More for me, right? (Husband was happy because I brought home plenty for him.)

Until next time, my friends. Cheers!

Oh - and you're so welcome for the ear worm. Should you now need to hear the song, click here.


  1. I hear ya. The people around me think I'm a whiskey/whisky encyclopedia, but like you, I have a lot to learn also.
    Bob Caron

  2. Bourbon has been pretty much off my radar but I decided to settle in with some barrel proof bruisers, Booker's and Wild Turkey Rare Breed. I had already taken a liking to Four Roses Single Barrel but wondered if there was something with more flavor. I thought Knob Creek was pretty decent until I compared it to those other two. It seemed a bit thin and a bit of a bite to it. Then I tried all four diluted to 45% ABV. At that strength, I liked the Four Roses Single Barrel the best, but at full strength, Booker's and Rare Breed rise to the top.

    1. It's funny what adding water does - really opens the flavors and you get a better idea of what's "going on" in the bourbon. I also really enjoy 4RSB quite a lot. Knob Creek is good in a cocktail, I think - the bite you mention pairs nicely with the sweetness in an old fashioned. What I like on any day depends on my mood. Sometimes I'm really into barrel proof, sometimes I want to back off of that a bit. Keep trying new things - I love how you're experimenting!! Bourbon is made to have fun with. :)

  3. People read whiskey blogs for a lot of different reasons. If we just want definitive tasting notes for Scotch written by the guy who knows the most, there's just be Serge Valentin and we wouldn't need any others. Bourbon, we'd just read Cowdery and maybe Pyle and that would be that. But people want other things too. History, emotional connection, subjective journeys that put it in perspective... stuff like that. You don't have to know everything. You just have to have passion and the will to describe your journey with honesty and some vulnerability. That's a narrative that's uniquely you. It doesn't matter how many readers there are. Blog for yourself and you will find the kind of writing that connects with your passion. That will be your voice and the readers will follow. I'm loving it so far. Perhaps especially the moment of doubt in this post.

    1. Hey I'm just seeing this. Thank you Josh! You're such a great mentor. Cheers to you, my bourbon pal!! xx