Sunday, March 3, 2013

A bourbon puts me in my place..for just a moment

Last week, in celebration of my birthday I sauntered down to BevMo to treat myself to a bottle of Booker's Bourbon. At $55 a bottle this had been on my list but I was waiting for a special occasion. And folks, I am just the special occasion I was looking for.

Upon checking out the young lad ringing me up asks me if this is a gift for my husband. I scoff, no sweetheart, my husband hates bourbon..and thats alright, no one is perfect. We exchange banter on our favorite brands and he assures me that I am going to LOVE Booker's. I imagine as I drive home that this is the bottle that I won't share but hoard greedily for quiet moments of reflection.

Upon my arrival home I quickly grab a glass and give myself a healthy pour. The color is GORGEOUS. A deep and rich amber, it is thick like syrup. I swirl and the bourbon is slow and sticky like molasses, clinging to the glass and reluctantly joining the pool at the bottom.

I smile, sniff and sip.


I shiver uncontrollably from head to toe. This is an overpowering sensation. There is a tiny note with the bottle that they recommend this neat. I am no quitter, so I wait a few minutes to let the thick vaporous scent dissipate a bit. I sip again. My body is overtaken by shivers again. I get goose bumps.

What the hell?? I'm the Whiskey Girl dammit! Does this bourbon not know who its dealing with. I grab some water and give my glass the slightest douse. Shiver. Another douse. Shiver, shiver, shiver. I sit back, feeling oddly defeated. I am a woman that prides herself on drinking her whiskey neat, and I have to say I have gotten a lot of practice in. Even if I don't care for the whiskey I can still tolerate it. This Bookers was something different all together. This bourbon is unfiltered, straight from the cask into the bottle and aged for 6-8 years. And apparently that makes it a bit strong in its presentation.

I put my glass down, feeling like I had somehow lost an argument or something along those lines. And if you know me, I don't take to losing arguments kindly.Shamefully, I put the bottle away and skulk off to bed, defeated.

Fast forward to last night. We were invited over for dinner to our friends house and our friend Colleen had informed me that they had a collection of Scotch and Ryes for tasting...and immediately I thought, I want someone else to try this bourbon! So this bastard bottle made its way with us through the winding hills of Belmont.

I brought out the bottle and Matt decided to use cooling whiskey cubes in the bourbon right away and announced quickly how incredible it was. What. the. hell. I tried a sip and oh my god it was amazing.

Then I put together that the cold of the cubes was restricting the expression of the whiskey making it so much approachable. That introduction of cold made all the difference in the world and I don't know why I didn't think of that at home. And once I could drink it...the complexity of flavors is unreal.

The nose is sweet, smelling of sugared oranges and toffee. The weight is heavy on the tongue, sticky like melted sugar. It clings to the edges of your mouth, slow in its descend. The fire is vanilla and pepper laden, hitting you in the back of the throat, slowly gliding down and dissipating before it hits your belly. After, that sensation lasts for a bit, with a fading tingle on the back part of your tongue. Unbeliavably enjoyable. So much so that we finished half the bottle.

This will be one of my special bottles for sure. I also received my first Irish whiskey as a birthday gift...AMAZING. And after trying Scotch this weekend, Lagavulin to be specific, I can for sure say that I am not a fan. But thats another review all together.

Until next time friends, cheers!