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.