>As we learned in my earlier post, the geography of bourbon is really the geography of whiskey. Bourbon is a member of the whiskey family, by definition.
We also learned that I do not care much for Jack Daniel’s. At least the cheap stuff. Maybe the more you pay, the better the whiskey gets. I am pretty sure that is true. A decade and a half ago, I visited a professor’s house. He treated the guests to a sample of some whiskey he kept in his freezer. All I remember is how smooth that stuff was. I wish I could remember the brand. I know it was in a small bottle, that he kept wrapped in a velvet bag.
Whiskey drinkers talk about whiskey in terms of smoothness. Jack Daniel’s, on my smoothness scale, is about as smooth as a swallowing a sheet of 80 grit sandpaper. The amber fluid that he sparingly shared was smooth in the truest sense of the word, truly “water of life” as whiskey is meant to be.
Not to be completely undone by my bad experience with JD, I bought an inexpensive bottle of Kentucky bourbon, W.L. Weller “Special Reserve” Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The bottle was refrigerated for a several hours before sampling. Once sufficiently chilled, I poured a small amount into a glass and sniffed. Smoky and sweet scent, not completely off-putting. The small taste I took had a metallic, tinny-tasting flavor, though definitely smoother than the JD, but still somewhat harsh. In the end, I still found that mixing with Coke or Dr. Pepper was a must. I didn’t care for it neat and clean, didn’t care for it with water and ice; only with another beverage added was I able to throw a few back.
Weller comes from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, located outside Frankfort, Kentucky, which happens to be the oldest distillery in the United States, having come into operation before 1773. That is not why I bought this label; I had no idea until I googled it prior to writing this article. I wanted an inexpensive bourban made in Kentucky that did not have to do with large, irritable, game fowl or grumpy old men.
Waiting in the wings is a bottled of the Old Weller Antique 107 Brand. I guess this is the original formula or something. I had a sip of it; tastes different than the S.R. but I have’t sample enough to speak with any intelligence on it, yet.