The bourbons introduced that nite are the more common ones to everyone here at the Forum. These were readily available and were new to most of the tasters at The Magic Castle. There were 15 tasters that nite.
Assuming that everyone has been drinking wine and single malt scotchs, I actually started with the standard Jim Beam white label. #1) to get our mouths used to some alcohol after dinner, #2) to illustrate what many there considered what "whiskey" tasted like, and to #3) introduce a low aged, low proof bourbon. My intent was to let them know that what they were having next, was NOT this type of bourbon.
In fact for illustration I held up the JB and told them: "This is Gallo wine, this is Budweiser beer..... even tho all those are drinkable, we all know there is something better!" The group was an enthusiastic one and was there to learn bourbons. They knew all bourbon was not JB, but didnt know how to get a start. Thats the thrust of organizing this tasting.
SO....after the palete priming, I introduced Basil Hayden. A premium low proof (against the JB) to illustrate a low proof with double the aging.
Next I wanted to pair some wheat bourbons. Since most of them were familiar with Makers Mark, we had a taste . . . by the way, all these bourbons that nite were tasted neat, and then with a little water or one cube.
The flight with the Makers was W.L. Weller....another wheat, and same proof. They loved the Wellers!
Next was a single barrel sample of Evan Williams 1995 vintage. Another favorite and none were familiar with it!
I then moved to the higher proof bourbons which included Wild Turkey Rare breed, and Bookers. A little more water this time, and gave it a few minutes to sit. I didnt want to stay with just JB products and go with something like Knob Creek this time.
ALtho I was aware that there are much better bourbon examples for a tasting, I also knew that this was the starting block for most that attended. I also wanted to encourage the bourbons that were easily available in the stores here. While treats like Stagg and Van Winkle are available as well, they have to be hunted down and found!
I promised them that the next tasting would include the harder-to-find bourbons like Stagg and the ORVW's. Another I want to show them is simply Buffalo Trace.....They dont even ship this to California! I have a couple of bottles that I got while in KY.
Anyway...thats about it that nite. I'm trying to encourage more bourbon consumption here in Southern California. Its a tough job...but somebodies gotta do it
I intended to include pictures in my last post....let me see if it works this time: