Scorpiofest 2007

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Scorpiofest 2007

Unread postby bourbonv » Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:07 pm

Last night Gayle and Martha hosted the second annual "Scorpiofest". The Bourbon Society has a large number of Scorpios as members so it is basically a combined birthday party. Last night was a great party. Gary and his wife Libby flew down to join us again this year (actually this was Libby's first but hopefully not last Scorpio fest). Doug Phillips was up from No Hope, er New Hope, Kentucky and this trio were are long distance people this year. John and Linda did not make it this year. There were many members of the Bourbon Society and all brought either bourbon, food or cigars or a combination of the three. I made homemade bean soup, Martha made some killer corn chowder with chicken. Gayle made a bourbon pumpkin pie, Carrie made butterscotch brownies that were out of this world. and someone (I did not see who) brought a Kentucky Silk pie.

The bourbons were plentiful and flowed freely. I do believe Gayle is going to post some pictures later so I will not try to mention them all. My favorite for the night was Shay's first find of old bottles and was an Old Grand Dad 1.75 from 1980-1981 - a grenade shaped bottle with some damn good bourbon in it. The bourbon was fruity with cherry and blackberry with caramel, vanilla and a hint of sweet spice like cinnamon and clove. Other great bottles included some of Gayle's finds from the other day - the Heaven Hill 8yo bond is excellent, Doug's usual case of mixed goodies like Virginia made Virginia Gentelman and Old Taylor and a few bottles I brought along. Gary enjoyed the 90 proof Jack Old No. 7.

As par for the course the party ended up in Martha's pottery barn - a converted garage, sitting near the wood stove, smoking cigars and playing name that bourbon. Someone would go into the house and pour a bourbon. The glass (or loving cup as we were calling it at some point) would be passed around for everyone to taste and then ask one question until someone named the bourbon. Shay's wife Joanna was very good at this game with many great question's, but then she cheated - she was completely sober whaen we started playing. Everyone else had had several drinks before eating and several more after eating and before we played the game.

The night ended with Gayle and Martha playing Murder Ballads (a Kentucky musical tradition) on Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo. If you ever get a chance to hear Martha on the Banjo you will have a real treat - she is very good. Gayle does alright himself on Guitar and Mandolin so it is a great way to end the night.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Unread postby gillmang » Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:48 pm

We had a great time. We got there first and therefore were not able to stay as late as some (whose stamina I nonetheless admire). I'm sorry in particular I missed the musical interlude. Gayle and Martha are great hosts and the food was well described by Mike. I liked the corn chowder, Mike's soup and the pumpkin pie in particular (it had real pumpkin and you better believe real bourbon).

It was great seeing Doug again and I was sorry John and Linda, and Brenda, couldn't make it this time, maybe next year.

I enjoyed meeting the members of the Society, some mentioned by Mike, I hadn't met before, and one (Shay) had brought the National Distillers Gran-dad Mike mentioned and it was excellent, full of fruit and bourbony depth. (He told me it was found in Southern Indiana, the stores there still have apparently many older items).

Mike's 1970's Jack Daniels was superb: while you could connect it to today's version, the oldie trumped the current one in my view due to its excellent balance, depth and good finish. It had rather less "banana/acetone" (or call it what you will) than the current JD. There was some banana and charcoaly/earthy overlay but it was married to a full, bourbon-like palate and finish that made it a complex, impressive dram. Even Doug (not known to boost Tennessee whiskeys!) was impressed. He felt, as I did, that it was a counterpart to the 70's Dickel some of us in SB had tried some months ago in Bardstown that I found in San Francisco.

Other fine whiskeys included the current Handy Sazerac (better than version #1 IMO - sweet and clean with good cereal notes), the new Russell's Reserve Rye (more on this in a moment), and that 7 year old Jim Beam Black Label from the 70's which Doug brought out again and is a true winner (rich, sweet, caramel-like yet ryeish too - withal balanced).

There were other whiskeys as good but hard to remember them all - oh of course there was the Heaven Hill 8 years old from about 30 years ago and as Mike said, it was the best HH on the table. I think the current EC 12 gives it a run for the money although I know Mike doesn't quite see it that way (still, he allowed that the current EC 12 is much improved!).

The new Russell's Reserve rye, which I brought, was just superb and Mike and Doug admired it too: it is soft, rich, with interesting flavours including the "old roses" taste of the best rye and a long finish. True, it is not in the classic shoot-em-up WT 101 style but I think the company is going for a more refined palate with this one. I think Jimmy Russel did a fine job, he is just working in another style for this product.

People also liked the Wiser's 18 year old Canadian whisky I brought from Toronto - I feel it is about the best we make and wanted to present our best - people didn't demur.

A great night, and thanks again to Gayle and Martha for hosting such a nice party.
Last edited by gillmang on Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Bourbon HQ » Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:53 am

I want to thank everyone who brought bourbon, food, cigars. It was Greg who brought the Kentucky pie. Here are a few pictures:

Gayle
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Unread postby gillmang » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:07 pm

Also I want to mention the Four Roses Single Barrel bottled for the Bourbon Society which was big-bodied, rich and just very good.

Gary
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Unread postby EllenJ » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:03 am

Well yes, we didn't make it, but you don't know how close we came. Had it not been for a sick pet we might have shown up.

Even though we would have to consider ourselves only "honorary Scorpios" (as opposed to "ornery scorpions", by which we may be known on some other forums), we certainly enjoyed ourselves and our hosts' hospitality at the first annual ScorpioFest last year. And your description of this year's event makes me even more sad that we weren't there. If it's any help, I've already applied to the U.S. Immigration and Nationalization Service to have my birthday moved up a month to October 4th. And if they can't do that, I've heard there are some folks in Afghanistan who can do it for a small fee.

Gary: we had a bottle of 18-year-old Wiser's (now emptied, alas) and it was easily one of the best Canadians we've ever tasted. I still have to say that the Hirsch Canadian that Julian bottled remains my absolute favorite Canadian. I don't know why Bush Pilot gets so much credit.

Anyway, Happy Turkey to all from John and Linda. And remember to include a Maryland crabcake in your Thanksgiving dinners in honor of the fine Scorpios that make up such a disproportionate number of Bourbon Enthusiasts.

CHEERS!!!
=JOHN=
(the "Jaye" part of "L 'n' J dot com")
http://www.ellenjaye.com
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Unread postby bourbonv » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:39 pm

John,
There is always next year. Of Course, Gary said he would not come back unless we provided some whiskey next year. He seemed to think our bottles were too small to get a decent taste! Even so, Libby seemed to enjoy herself so maybe she will drag him back.

All kidding aside, this is on the road to be an annual event and we are more than happy to have non-scorpio's attend. And just between the two of us, I think some of the Bourbon Society do refer to us as "ornery scorpios". That does not prevent them from using it as a reason to party. Those Bourbon Society use any excuse to party!
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Unread postby Bourbon HQ » Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:25 am

Yes, by all means, it was fun hosting a great bunch of people.

Gayle
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