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4 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:

Hey @k-train!

Stopped by my "go to" on Friday and sure enough, they had the ECBP C920.....also still had some B520 - so I picked up one more bottle. I'll open the C920 sometime this week and give the very inexperienced review of it. 

Right on! Congrats on the score & im looking forward to hearing how you think it stacks up to the B520.

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@k-train

 

Sorry it’s taken this long to post my impressions of the C920, but I wanted to give it a little time before putting it down. First off,I’ve had it on 3 different nights now. I can definitely tell it has an oaky taste with almost none of the vanilla and toffee flavors of the B520. The slightly higher proof Is not overwhelming and is right in line with the B520. 
 

I’m glad I tried this and it’s a very good bourbon, but I prefer the B520 between the two. The C920 honestly reminds me of my bottle of the Knob Creek Single Barrel. It’s a really good bourbon, but there’s not a complex mix of flavors. 

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6 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:

@k-train

 

Sorry it’s taken this long to post my impressions of the C920, but I wanted to give it a little time before putting it down. First off,I’ve had it on 3 different nights now. I can definitely tell it has an oaky taste with almost none of the vanilla and toffee flavors of the B520. The slightly higher proof Is not overwhelming and is right in line with the B520. 
 

I’m glad I tried this and it’s a very good bourbon, but I prefer the B520 between the two. The C920 honestly reminds me of my bottle of the Knob Creek Single Barrel. It’s a really good bourbon, but there’s not a complex mix of flavors. 

No worries, man & you did it right by trying it a few times before coming to any conclusions.

The way you've described it falls right in line with what I've seen a number of other folks say about the C920.

Being that ECBP carries a 12 year age statement, it's actually not too surprising to run into a batch that has semi-strong oak notes. Typically speaking, the longer bourbon sits in the barrel, the stronger those oak tannins effect the flavor and finish. Obviously plenty of 12 year old releases still come off well-balanced (like the B520), but I feel like that's the age where the oakiness can really start to take over. I personally don't find too many bourbons over 12 years old to be very enjoyable, because it can often be far too heavy on those oaky, leathery, tobacco notes. To my own palate, I feel like 7-10 years is the sweet spot for most bourbons.

I think I'm gonna pass on the C920, or at least for the time being. The store down the street from me still has a good amount of B520 apparently, and I just killed my 1st bottle of it. I've got an unopened B520, but I may buy one more with the money I would've spent on the C920.

Then again, that awesome Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Private Selection I got a while ago is still on the shelves at the store where I got it, so I may get another one of those instead.

There's actually a ton of Private Selection/Barrel Picks available at the ABC stores near me right now... which is crazy because I didn't even think they could do that here until very recently. I reached out to the ABC boards in the county I live in & the one I work in, and both gave me some helpful info on tracking down private selections/barrel picks in their respective stores. The private selections all seem to be picked exclusively for the county by the distiller, while the barrel picks are selected by local Bourbon clubs.

Here's what all they told me is currently available in the area:
Russell's Single Barrel Private Selection
Larceny Barrel Pick
Knob Creek Private Selection
9 year old Elijah Craig Private Selection
10 year old Elijah Craig Private Selection
Another Elijah Craig option as well, but unsure what the age is on that one
Old Elk Barrel Pick
Maker's Mark Private Selection (two different batches)
Woodinville Barrel Pick
Woodinville Private Selection
Ezra brooks Private Selection
Bulleit Single barrel Private Selection


What a bad time to be broke. 😂

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10 hours ago, k-train said:

No worries, man & you did it right by trying it a few times before coming to any conclusions.

The way you've described it falls right in line with what I've seen a number of other folks say about the C920.

Being that ECBP carries a 12 year age statement, it's actually not too surprising to run into a batch that has semi-strong oak notes. Typically speaking, the longer bourbon sits in the barrel, the stronger those oak tannins effect the flavor and finish. Obviously plenty of 12 year old releases still come off well-balanced (like the B520), but I feel like that's the age where the oakiness can really start to take over. I personally don't find too many bourbons over 12 years old to be very enjoyable, because it can often be far too heavy on those oaky, leathery, tobacco notes. To my own palate, I feel like 7-10 years is the sweet spot for most bourbons.

I think I'm gonna pass on the C920, or at least for the time being. The store down the street from me still has a good amount of B520 apparently, and I just killed my 1st bottle of it. I've got an unopened B520, but I may buy one more with the money I would've spent on the C920.

Then again, that awesome Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Private Selection I got a while ago is still on the shelves at the store where I got it, so I may get another one of those instead.

There's actually a ton of Private Selection/Barrel Picks available at the ABC stores near me right now... which is crazy because I didn't even think they could do that here until very recently. I reached out to the ABC boards in the county I live in & the one I work in, and both gave me some helpful info on tracking down private selections/barrel picks in their respective stores. The private selections all seem to be picked exclusively for the county by the distiller, while the barrel picks are selected by local Bourbon clubs.

Here's what all they told me is currently available in the area:
Russell's Single Barrel Private Selection
Larceny Barrel Pick
Knob Creek Private Selection
9 year old Elijah Craig Private Selection
10 year old Elijah Craig Private Selection
Another Elijah Craig option as well, but unsure what the age is on that one
Old Elk Barrel Pick
Maker's Mark Private Selection (two different batches)
Woodinville Barrel Pick
Woodinville Private Selection
Ezra brooks Private Selection
Bulleit Single barrel Private Selection


What a bad time to be broke. 😂

I'm not sure which would hurt worse...my wallet or my liver. :D

 

That's an awesome list and would love to try them all. Hopefully you can find some fundage to be able to sample some of them. 

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28 minutes ago, Goober Pyle said:

I'm not sure which would hurt worse...my wallet or my liver. :D

 

That's an awesome list and would love to try them all. Hopefully you can find some fundage to be able to sample some of them. 

Exactly! :lol:

I think I am gonna take the funds I had set aside for the C920 & grab another bottle of that Russell's SiB PS.

NC ABC stores have Larceny on their list for November price reductions. So I'm gonna wait until next week & hopefully that Larceny pick will still be there & only set me back $24. Then in December the Elijah Craig Small Batch goes on sale, so I may wait until then to see if any of those three EC picks are still around at that point. I'm gonna have to look into that Knob Creek pick as well, because those are notoriously good generally speaking.

The Maker's Private Selections are supposed to be great, but a little pricier. Given how much I enjoyed the Cask Strength Maker's, I'd look into these Private Selections if I had the funds & didn't have all these others I want to try as well.

Pricing is sorta high on the Old Elk & Woodinville picks, too... and I've never tried any of the standard bottles of those, so I don't feel particularly comfortable rolling the dice on them. I also heard from some folks locally who got one of the Woodinville selections that it was nothing special.

I'm not a fan of Bulleit, so I'll definitely pass on that one.

Was intrigued by the Ezra Brooks selection, and it's at a good price, but also heard a few reports of it being extremely underwhelming, so that'll be a pass too most likely.

Oh, I forgot that there is also a Woodford Double Oaked Private Selection available now, too. I tried one of those my friend had when they got a different batch in a few months ago. I'm not a fan of Woodford, but that one was good. Not great, just somewhere between good & really good, but not sure I'd ever pay for it. Glad I tried it, don't need to buy it though.

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@k-train

I think it's a good call on waiting to get the C920. Again, it's a good bourbon, but it's not one that I'd buy again. 

I will say that after drinking the C920 and some of the B520 to compare last week, I definitely think the 90-110 proof range is the sweet spot for daily drinkers. After several nights of the C920 and B520, my reflux hit hard....so, the next night I went back to the RR10Y and it's like sliding on a pair of comfy shoes. Good flavors, but not as potent. Just a solid sipper that's hard to beat. 

The higher proof bourbons are really good, just not on a daily basis...:D

Edited by Goober Pyle
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2 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:

@k-train

I think it's a good call on waiting to get the C920. Again, it's a good bourbon, but it's not one that I'd buy again. 

I will say that after drinking the C920 and some of the B520 to compare last week, I definitely think the 90-110 proof range is the sweet spot for daily drinkers. After several nights of the C920 and B520, my reflux hit hard....so, the next night I went back to the RR10Y and it's like sliding on a pair of comfy shoes. Good flavors, but not as potent. Just a solid sipper that's hard to beat. 

The higher proof bourbons are really good, just not on a daily basis...:D

Right on. I went ahead and grabbed another bottle of that RRSiB Private Selection yesterday. I feel like I may eventually pull the trigger on the C920, but I'm definitely not in any hurry at this point. Maybe once all the B520 is no longer somewhat easily available here still.

Yeah, I have a co-worker who I also turned onto the B520 & he loves the flavor but, he says he's not used to drinking stuff that strong so it gives him terrible heartburn if he's not careful.

I'm thankful that I haven't ever had too many issues with the high proof stuff personally.

That said though, I do tend to keep a few 90-101 proof options around as the daily drinkers... RR10Y, Eagle Rare, Knob Creek 9Y, WT Kentucky Spirit, Bowman Bros. SB, ECSB, Evan Williams BIB, etc.

And don't forget... you can always add a few drops to that barrel proof stuff to lower the proof a bit. No shame in that game at all, as it still brings out a ton of awesome flavors & an easier drinking experience. Honestly now that I'm thinking of it, I'd be curious to know if you like that Knob Creek SiB you picked up recently a little better if you add a few drops of water to the glass. That could potentially bring out a little more of the caramel, brown sugar sweetness, and help it blend better with the prominent oakiness you were getting. Might be worth trying if you've still got that around.

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On 10/29/2020 at 7:38 PM, k-train said:

Right on. I went ahead and grabbed another bottle of that RRSiB Private Selection yesterday. I feel like I may eventually pull the trigger on the C920, but I'm definitely not in any hurry at this point. Maybe once all the B520 is no longer somewhat easily available here still.

Yeah, I have a co-worker who I also turned onto the B520 & he loves the flavor but, he says he's not used to drinking stuff that strong so it gives him terrible heartburn if he's not careful.

I'm thankful that I haven't ever had too many issues with the high proof stuff personally.

That said though, I do tend to keep a few 90-101 proof options around as the daily drinkers... RR10Y, Eagle Rare, Knob Creek 9Y, WT Kentucky Spirit, Bowman Bros. SB, ECSB, Evan Williams BIB, etc.

And don't forget... you can always add a few drops to that barrel proof stuff to lower the proof a bit. No shame in that game at all, as it still brings out a ton of awesome flavors & an easier drinking experience. Honestly now that I'm thinking of it, I'd be curious to know if you like that Knob Creek SiB you picked up recently a little better if you add a few drops of water to the glass. That could potentially bring out a little more of the caramel, brown sugar sweetness, and help it blend better with the prominent oakiness you were getting. Might be worth trying if you've still got that around.

Thanks for the suggestion to add water drops to the Knob Creek. I have been adding a drop or two to the B520 and have really enjoyed it that way. It never even crossed my mind to try it with the Knob Creek. I really enjoyed it that way. Actually had some during the Thursday night game.....may have to make it a habit now since they won. :tiphat:

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Wild Turkey 101
Parent Company/Distillery: Campari/Wild Turkey
Proof: 101 (50.5% ABV)
Age: NAS, but a blend of 6, 7, and 8 year old bourbon
Price: $24.99 regularly, I purchased this bottle on sale for $19.99
d7915a1358919705.jpg

Nose: Some slightly sweet corn & toffee notes mingle with toasted oak, fruit & spice. The alcohol doesn't kick the down the door, but knocks loud enough to let you know it's there.

Palate: An extremely delicious pop of caramel right out the gate. A pleasant amount of toffee & vanilla intertwine with notes of red berries, oak, and a hint of leather, followed by cinnamon & baking spices. Very well balanced & surprisingly complex for a bourbon at this price point.

Finish: Med-long sort of dry finish which lets you know it's over 100 proof without taking your head off... it's more warm than outright hot. There's a pecan-like nuttiness on the finish and a spiciness which lingers a bit, but not super long.

Overall: I hadn't tried Wild Turkey 101 in several years, and to be perfectly honest I didn't really care for it much back then. In those days I found it to be a little too forward with the cinnamon spiciness & ethanol. My what a difference a few years makes... Coming back to this now, I have a completely different take on it. It's not quite on par with Russell's Reserve 10Y, but it brings a little more heat/spice being 101 proof vs. RR10's 90 proof; and it has a similar complexity that seems only slightly less refined by comparison. Getting all that for just $24/bottle makes it one I think I'm going to be turning to quite often as an everyday sipper. Considering what other bourbons are available to me at that price point, this is punching way above its weight class. So getting it on sale for $20 is an absolute must buy for me from now on; worthy of stocking up on a few backup bottles at that price.

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Speaking of Larceny, I picked up this 7 year old private select single barrel the other day for just $24. It's got a really nice breakfast cereal thing going on & seems a noticeable step above what I recall from the standard offering Larceny bottles I've tried in the past. It's not overly complex, but it's a nice everyday sipper... not to mention a fantastic value. I mean seriously, good luck finding another single barrel wheated bourbon with an age statement of at least 7 years for this price.
e062151359183398.jpg

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1 hour ago, Flip Flop said:

Got together with my brothers this weekend and one brought a bottle of EH Taylor.  I know what I want for Christmas. 

Which EH Taylor was it? They’ve all become pretty tough to acquire here in NC, but the small batch seems to show up in limited quantities regularly enough that if you exercise patience (& get to know the staff at one of the ABC stores w/ an ordering manager who actually knows what to get) it’s possible to get a bottle at retail. As for the other expressions of EH Taylor: barrel strength, single barrel, rye, etc., those are much, much harder to come by & pretty much impossible to find sitting on a shelf here.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/18/2020 at 4:31 PM, Duff_Man said:

Pennsylvania liquor stores are state run. When rare stuff comes in, they hold lotteries for the right to buy stuff. I entered seven and won one this last time. Landed a bottle of William Larue Weller 134.5 proof. Arrived today via UPS.

Awesome! Congrats on that WLW!!

It’s generally very highly regarded, but seems especially so with this year’s release. From what I saw, most of the media folks who cover the whisky world & had the chance to review all of the offerings in this year’s BTAC (Buffalo Trace Antique Collection) before they went out to the public had pretty much unanimously placed the WLW at the top of the bunch.

I know a lot of places handle those lotteries differently, so I’m curious how in was in PA. Did they offer you a choice of which bottle you could buy, or were they just like, “Hey man, you won the chance to buy this WLW for $99. Do you want it or not?”

Or was it more like, “Hey man, you won the chance to buy any of the following for $99, which one do you want: WLW, George T. Stagg, Eagle Rare 17Y, Sazarac 18Y, Or Thomas Handy?”

Congrats again & would love to hear your thoughts on it if you decide to open it up!

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1 hour ago, k-train said:

Awesome! Congrats on that WLW!!

It’s generally very highly regarded, but seems especially so with this year’s release. From what I saw, most of the media folks who cover the whisky world & had the chance to review all of the offerings in this year’s BTAC (Buffalo Trace Antique Collection) before they went out to the public had pretty much unanimously placed the WLW at the top of the bunch.

I know a lot of places handle those lotteries differently, so I’m curious how in was in PA. Did they offer you a choice of which bottle you could buy, or were they just like, “Hey man, you won the chance to buy this WLW for $99. Do you want it or not?”

Or was it more like, “Hey man, you won the chance to buy any of the following for $99, which one do you want: WLW, George T. Stagg, Eagle Rare 17Y, Sazarac 18Y, Or Thomas Handy?”

Congrats again & would love to hear your thoughts on it if you decide to open it up!

PLCB sends out a press release. You go to the site and pick which ones you want to get in for. You can win more than one, but if you decide you don't want one, you have to act fast and it will go to the next guy, otherwise they charge you and ship it. There was a $2,000 bottle in this year. Eagle Rare Double Eagle I think. 

I won Pappy 12 Year a couple years ago as well. Opened that when I moved into my house.

Have not opened this one yet, but if the Falcs win on Sunday...it's likely to happen.

Edit: I am going disc golfing Saturday morning with the only two people I know who will appreciate this. May open it there!

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12 hours ago, Duff_Man said:

PLCB sends out a press release. You go to the site and pick which ones you want to get in for. You can win more than one, but if you decide you don't want one, you have to act fast and it will go to the next guy, otherwise they charge you and ship it. There was a $2,000 bottle in this year. Eagle Rare Double Eagle I think. 

I won Pappy 12 Year a couple years ago as well. Opened that when I moved into my house.

Have not opened this one yet, but if the Falcs win on Sunday...it's likely to happen.

Edit: I am going disc golfing Saturday morning with the only two people I know who will appreciate this. May open it there!

I'm in NC, which is also a control state, so the ABC runs things here. Each county in the state has it's own ABC board, and they each handle their own distribution process for the BTAC stuff.

Some have it set up where they list everything that will be available (the BTAC stuff plus other allocated offerings like Blanton's, EH Taylor Barrel Proof, Elijah Craig 23Y, Michter's 10Y, etc.), and you have to place them in order of preference. For other smaller counties, they do it live on a certain day & you have to be there in person if your name is called. It's different from county to county.

Due to the potential chaos caused by a rise in bourbon enthusiasts entering into every single lottery they can in previous years, most counties now restrict their entries strictly to folks who own a house or business in that specific county. I live in one county and still work/used to live in a neighboring county, so I was able to sign up for two of them.

I've personally never won before, but about 7 or 8 years ago my buddy's bar won the chance to buy bottle of Pappy 20Y. Since it was bought by the business to be sold at the bar, the ABC taxes way differently than they do for their standard retail sales, making it even more expensive than if an individual won it for their private collection. So, to make it worthwhile, the bar had to charge something like $30 a shot. Even my buddy had to pay for it at that price & it's his own bar.

That was the only time I've had any of the Pappy line, and while it was indeed very, very good... I'm not sure it comes even remotely close to justifying the hype & certainly not those crazy secondary market prices people will pay for a bottle. I seriously think if I somewhat end up winning a chance to purchase a Pappy 15, 20, or 23, I'll get it only with the intention of trading someone for a few hundred dollars worth of stuff I'd enjoy more regularly... like a case of Russell's Reserve Single Barrel plus a case of Knob Creek Single Barrel, and a case of Wild Turkey 101. Those 24 bottles would bring me a lot more joy over a longer period of time than one bottle of Pappy.

That Eagle Rare Double Eagle has been floating around for a while. I used to see a bottle of it at one of the ABC stores I frequent here. I think they just rotate it from store to store a few months at a time, hoping eventually someone will be foolish enough to blow $2K on it. Also, I don't want to even begin to think of what the secondary market pricing is for something like that if it's going for $2K in a control state that changes basically SRP. Yikes!

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18 minutes ago, k-train said:

I'm in NC, which is also a control state, so the ABC runs things here. Each county in the state has it's own ABC board, and they each handle their own distribution process for the BTAC stuff.

Some have it set up where they list everything that will be available (the BTAC stuff plus other allocated offerings like Blanton's, EH Taylor Barrel Proof, Elijah Craig 23Y, Michter's 10Y, etc.), and you have to place them in order of preference. For other smaller counties, they do it live on a certain day & you have to be there in person if your name is called. It's different from county to county.

Due to the potential chaos caused by a rise in bourbon enthusiasts entering into every single lottery they can in previous years, most counties now restrict their entries strictly to folks who own a house or business in that specific county. I live in one county and still work/used to live in a neighboring county, so I was able to sign up for two of them.

I've personally never won before, but about 7 or 8 years ago my buddy's bar won the chance to buy bottle of Pappy 20Y. Since it was bought by the business to be sold at the bar, the ABC taxes way differently than they do for their standard retail sales, making it even more expensive than if an individual won it for their private collection. So, to make it worthwhile, the bar had to charge something like $30 a shot. Even my buddy had to pay for it at that price & it's his own bar.

That was the only time I've had any of the Pappy line, and while it was indeed very, very good... I'm not sure it comes even remotely close to justifying the hype & certainly not those crazy secondary market prices people will pay for a bottle. I seriously think if I somewhat end up winning a chance to purchase a Pappy 15, 20, or 23, I'll get it only with the intention of trading someone for a few hundred dollars worth of stuff I'd enjoy more regularly... like a case of Russell's Reserve Single Barrel plus a case of Knob Creek Single Barrel, and a case of Wild Turkey 101. Those 24 bottles would bring me a lot more joy over a longer period of time than one bottle of Pappy.

That Eagle Rare Double Eagle has been floating around for a while. I used to see a bottle of it at one of the ABC stores I frequent here. I think they just rotate it from store to store a few months at a time, hoping eventually someone will be foolish enough to blow $2K on it. Also, I don't want to even begin to think of what the secondary market pricing is for something like that if it's going for $2K in a control state that changes basically SRP. Yikes!

I went to a Pappy food pairing the other night. 12 year, 15, 20 and 23 samples with food pairings. It was glorious.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't picked up much lately other than stockpiling Wild Turkey 101 while it was still on sale here in November. This month, Rare Breed is on sale, so I figured I'd give it a go again for the first time in something like 7 or 8 years.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Parent Company/Distillery: Campari/Wild Turkey
Proof: 116.8 (58.4% ABV)
Age: NAS, but a blend of 6, 8, and 12 year old bourbon
Price: $48.95 regularly, I purchased this bottle on sale for $44.95
fe5fe51363799258.jpg

Nose: There's a nice mix of sweet smells like toffee, caramel, brown sugar, etc. with additional notes of nutmeg and subtle hints of oak & orange. Surprisingly, even though this is a barrel proof release, the alcohol isn't particularly noticeable on the nose... which make it very pleasant overall.

Palate: I got a perfect balance of sweet & spicy. It's reminiscent of a spiced cake baked with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and toasted almonds with a rich caramel/toffee glaze poured over top.

Finish: Pleasant long finish that sees the sweet flavors & the spice carry all the way through to the end.

Overall: Similarly to the 101, I hadn't tried Wild Turkey Rare Breed in several years. Much like the 101, I am very impressed with this one & am sure it'll be finding it's way onto my shelf with much more regularity moving forward. A rock-solid barrel proof offering that seems to be widely available all the time at around $50. Hard to beat that.

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1 hour ago, NightPain said:

Nose is smell?

and finish is the burn?

A large part of what we taste actually comes from our sense of smell. That’s why food seems so much more bland when your nose is stopped up due to a cold & things you normally love don’t taste quite as good.

So before taking a sip of a spirit neat (or a glass of wine), it’s a good idea to swirl the glass a bit so it can aerate. Then stick your nose close & give a gentle but deep sniff. The best way to really pick up the notes from nosing is to tilt your head so that you are just using one nostril, then slightly open your mouth while you smell (for whatever reason, this seems to help the notes stand out). Then tilt your head the opposite direction & try using just your other nostril w/ the same mouth open technique.

It also helps to have appropriate glassware for nosing a particular spirit or wine. For whiskey (Bourbon, Scotch, Irish, Canadian, Rye, etc.) it’s generally best to do nosing with a Glencairn, which is shaped to draw the aromas of the spirit up toward your nose. That said, a rocks glass can do the trick, as can a brandy snifter, small wine glass, etc.

Another key thing about nosing & tasting spirits is that everything you eat throughout the day can have a significant influence on how the bourbon tastes & smells. 

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