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24 minutes ago, k-train said:

A long, long time ago I was gifted a bottle of Booker's... which was one of the first available cask strength bourbons available. It was in the neighborhood of 130-135 proof. It was soooooooooooo delicious, but obviously you had no choice but to take it slow.

Anyhow, I had been telling my friend about it a bunch, making a point that it's not even remotely like anything he'd had before. He's the kind of guy who to this day cannot drink bourbon unless it's got a ton of coke in the glass & always wants to drink weird shooters like the Orange Whip. Knowing this about his drinking style, it was imperative that I nail home the idea to him that you absolutely cannot do a shot of Booker's or you may end up on your ***.

Like an hour later, we were picking something up from my house & I asked him if he wanted to try it. He said yes, so I poured him about an ounce in a small rocks glass. As I'm pouring myself one, I see in my peripheral that he's tossing his back like a shot. It was like time slowed down as I yelled "Noooooooooooooooooooo" and tried to stop his arm from taking the glass to his mouth...

... but it was too late.

He immediately spit it up & all over my kitchen floor, and then proceeded to spend the next several minutes coughing profusely & gasping for air as tears poured down his cheeks. I started to feel bad for him, but then I remembered how many times I had literally just told him to not do the very thing he just did. Plus, he wasted an ounce of Bookers.

Ha! That’s an awesome story. Are you much of a tequila drinker?

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29 minutes ago, k-train said:

A long, long time ago I was gifted a bottle of Booker's... which was one of the first available cask strength bourbons available. It was in the neighborhood of 130-135 proof. It was soooooooooooo delicious, but obviously you had no choice but to take it slow.

Anyhow, I had been telling my friend about it a bunch, making a point that it's not even remotely like anything he'd had before. He's the kind of guy who to this day cannot drink bourbon unless it's got a ton of coke in the glass & always wants to drink weird shooters like the Orange Whip. Knowing this about his drinking style, it was imperative that I nail home the idea to him that you absolutely cannot do a shot of Booker's or you may end up on your ***.

Like an hour later, we were picking something up from my house & I asked him if he wanted to try it. He said yes, so I poured him about an ounce in a small rocks glass. As I'm pouring myself one, I see in my peripheral that he's tossing his back like a shot. It was like time slowed down as I yelled "Noooooooooooooooooooo" and tried to stop his arm from taking the glass to his mouth...

... but it was too late.

He immediately spit it up & all over my kitchen floor, and then proceeded to spend the next several minutes coughing profusely & gasping for air as tears poured down his cheeks. I started to feel bad for him, but then I remembered how many times I had literally just told him to not do the very thing he just did. Plus, he wasted an ounce of Bookers.

Man, I have done something similar. Last fall, I had been drinking some ECBP B520. I had just a little left in my glass when my wife asked if I help her with something. I said “Sure”, took the last sip of the B520, stood up…..and promptly inhaled the bourbon to my lungs. 
 

Bro, I thought I was dying! I coughed all of it up…through my mouth and nose. And, oh God did it burn! My sinus cavity, nose, and throat were on fire. I ran around the house trying to breathe and feeling like I swallowing fire ants. My wife was watching the whole thing - torn between deep concern and laugh herself silly. 
 

After I was able to finally breathe, with tears pouring down my face, my only thought was, “I just spit that f@cking bourbon on the floor.”

:lol:

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33 minutes ago, Goober Pyle said:

Man, I have done something similar. Last fall, I had been drinking some ECBP B520. I had just a little left in my glass when my wife asked if I help her with something. I said “Sure”, took the last sip of the B520, stood up…..and promptly inhaled the bourbon to my lungs. 
 

Bro, I thought I was dying! I coughed all of it up…through my mouth and nose. And, oh God did it burn! My sinus cavity, nose, and throat were on fire. I ran around the house trying to breathe and feeling like I swallowing fire ants. My wife was watching the whole thing - torn between deep concern and laugh herself silly. 
 

After I was able to finally breathe, with tears pouring down my face, my only thought was, “I just spit that f@cking bourbon on the floor.”

:lol:

Pretty much exactly how it went down with my friend. 🤣

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8 minutes ago, k-train said:

I've never taken a deep dive, but I do enjoy some.

Like real whiskey drinkers, it can be an exceptional sipping drink. It’s all about anejo. Patron is top shelf but very overrated. My personal favorite is Espolon Anejo. It’s awesome. You can add a little splash of lime juice if you want. But you can sip it neat. Forget margaritas. Plus, if you go to Mexico, it’s like 12 bucks for a 5th of this stuff 

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1 hour ago, JD dirtybird21 said:

Like real whiskey drinkers, it can be an exceptional sipping drink. It’s all about anejo. Patron is top shelf but very overrated. My personal favorite is Espolon Anejo. It’s awesome. You can add a little splash of lime juice if you want. But you can sip it neat. Forget margaritas. Plus, if you go to Mexico, it’s like 12 bucks for a 5th of this stuff 

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My wife spent years as a bar tender before becoming the beverage director for a hospitality group. She was constantly experimenting with different things, making her own bitters, infusing all kinds of stuff, and developing craft cocktail menus for a bunch of different restaurants & bars. I briefly worked with the same group as their in-house marketing director, graphic designer & photographer. Between my position & hers, I was incredibly fortunate to have been exposed to a lot of really amazing spirits, wine, etc.

So I'm actually very familiar with Espolon, and being a bourbon drinker first & foremost, I do tend to gravitate toward anejo tequilas. A pour of Espelon Anejo was what I always got at the end of my day working for the bars whenever I wasn't in the mood for bourbon. Casamigos, Cazadores, and Tres Generaciones are some others I've particularly enjoyed. Way back in this thread, I actually posted about Mi Campo Reposado... which is an affordable & dang delicious tequila. It's finished in red wine barrels, so it has an extra level of complexity. When drinking that stuff neat, it honestly tastes like a proper margarita (not that frozen, Triple Sec & per-made margarita mix BS... but one made from scratch by a bartender that actually knows what the heck they are doing w/ Cointreau, lime juice, etc. & served on the rocks).

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An (im)perfect storm seems to be taking place right now, which means the crap's hitting the fan here in NC...

https://www.wral.com/glass-shortage-leads-to-empty-shelves-at-some-north-carolina-liquor-stores/19776366/

On top of the glass shortage meaning less stuff going out from the distilleries, NC ABC has a shortage of delivery drivers at the moment.

And on top of all that, there's been even more garbage making things difficult...

The state of NC has a contract with an independent company that owns 2 gigantic warehouses (1 in Raleigh & 1 in Cary). Those warehouses are where every single drop of alcohol sold through the ABC commissions gets stored before it is sent out to the various counties across the entire state. That company recently tried to integrate a new inventory system, but it crashed. It took over a week to get the bugs worked out, and that meant nothing could come or go until the issue was resolved. Now, they are having further issues because people have not been trained to use the upgraded system.

I'm not sure the glass shortage has had a big impact yet. I think that'll probably be felt more in the coming months after current stocks are used up & things currently in production begin to roll into the inventory. However, the lack of drivers coupled with the inventory system fiasco has absolutely thrown things completely out of whack here.

Generally, every store in each county in the state have specific days of the week they get deliveries. Due to all the chaos, that schedule has gone right out the window, and most places aren't getting any deliveries at all right now.

What is actually going out is incredibly sporadic & in very, very limited amounts, mostly concentrated in random counties along the coast or mountain, while the metropolitan areas are getting nothing at the moment.

It's strange & it sucks.

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18 hours ago, Goober Pyle said:

@k-train

Dude, that straight up sucks. If your inventory gets low, I’ll be glad to mail you some bottles. What the postal service doesn’t know won’t hurt ‘em. :D

 

I am serious, though. Lol. Let me know. 

Thanks, man! I’ve gotta go to Charlotte on Tuesday & am planning on stopping at a large store just across the border in Fort Mill, SC. Hopefully I’ll find something there but if not, I may hit you up.

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And of course the worst part is that they are currently peppering the counties in the mountains & coast with RR13. They are literally sending out about 5 total cases of RR13 every few days which are then divided up amongst those counties. Out of the few counties getting it right now, each one probably just gets a case (6 bottles), yet most counties have several ABC stores. So it's only being received by one store in each of the random counties lucky enough to get it in the first place. Obviously, it's gone almost immediately since they only are getting something like 6-12 bottles. You'd have a better chance of driving to a random gas station anywhere in the state & buying a winning scratch-off ticket than landing a bottle of RR13.

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5 hours ago, k-train said:

And of course the worst part is that they are currently peppering the counties in the mountains & coast with RR13. They are literally sending out about 5 total cases of RR13 every few days which are then divided up amongst those counties. Out of the few counties getting it right now, each one probably just gets a case (6 bottles), yet most counties have several ABC stores. So it's only being received by one store in each of the random counties lucky enough to get it in the first place. Obviously, it's gone almost immediately since they only are getting something like 6-12 bottles. You'd have a better chance of driving to a random gas station anywhere in the state & buying a winning scratch-off ticket than landing a bottle of RR13.

It must be in very short supply in my part of GA. I’ve asked about it in all of my “go to’s” and they’ve gotten none in. I’ll still keep chasing. It’s like a d@mn treasure hunt. 

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12 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

Some friends of mine were visiting this weekend and brought over a bottle of this stuff…

original__29061.1621019506.jpg?c=2

I have to be completely honest (and I told them this)…I didn’t think it was significantly better than bourbon that are much, much cheaper.  

I tend to agree with you. Blanton's expressions are far from awful, but they are also far from being worth even 1/10 of the hype they get.

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7 minutes ago, Goober Pyle said:

It must be in very short supply in my part of GA. I’ve asked about it in all of my “go to’s” and they’ve gotten none in. I’ll still keep chasing. It’s like a d@mn treasure hunt. 

Yeah, this first wave for NC was only about 160 cases for the entire state. They've only got so many 13 year old barrels lying around, so it makes sense that it's super limited. The good news is that it is supposed to be an annual release. So if we strike out this year, hopefully we have better luck in a year.

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On 7/25/2021 at 1:35 PM, k-train said:

You'd have a better chance of driving to a random gas station anywhere in the state & buying a winning scratch-off ticket than landing a bottle of RR13.

It disappears quickly off the shelves when it is delivered here. One member of the Atlanta allocated bourbon group posted at 3:45 on Friday that the local store had some bottles. At 4:30 all were gone. Missed it by 15 minutes.

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3 hours ago, Brewyerown said:

It disappears quickly off the shelves when it is delivered here. One member of the Atlanta allocated bourbon group posted at 3:45 on Friday that the local store had some bottles. At 4:30 all were gone. Missed it by 15 minutes.

I’m really hoping this ends up like Knob Creek 12Y, where it’s in limited quantities at first, but after a year or so it becomes a bit more available.

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Had to go to Charlotte today & made a side trip across the border to a few stores in SC. Not the right time of the week to find anything too crazy, but saw some things we don’t get here in NC & a ton of store picks. I could have easily spent a small fortune, but sadly had a very limited budget to work with.

I ended up with a Russell’s pick, a Knob Creek pick, and a bottle of Chattanooga 111 (which I’ve wanted to try for a while, but it’s not available here).

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Chattanooga Whiskey Cask 111
Parent Company/Distillery: Chattanooga Whiskey Co./Chattanooga Riverfront Distillery
Proof: 111 (55.5% ABV)
Age: Greater than 2 years
Price: $45.95

ME2I7F6_o.jpg

Nose: Sweet notes jump out immediately. At first, aromas of maple syrup and butter rum toffee stand out. They are soon overtaken by a strong scent of strawberry (or possibly cherry) candy which is incredibly similar to what it smells like when first opening a package of Twizzlers. Additionally, there are hints of vanilla cake frosting, whipped cream, and some corn (which is more like slightly sweet kettle corn). The combination of the strawberry/cherry fruit candy notes with the vanilla takes me back about 35 years ago, to when I was a kid. When visiting family in Kentucky, we'd make regular visits to the local Dairy Queen. My favorite thing to get back then was called the Mr. Misty Float… which was basically a cherry flavored slushy with vanilla soft serve ice cream floating in it. The smells from this whisky transport me right back to sipping on that sugary sweet treat. Oak, tobacco, leather, and spice are pretty much nonexistent on the nose, and the same is true of the ethanol.

Palate: The same notes from the nose carry over to the palate, with the strawberry shifting to more of a pronounced cherry note. Some creaminess emerges, as does a bit of peppery spice. Once it reaches the back-palate, that cherry note shifts around a bunch, leaving me with more childhood memories: On one hand, it works nicely with the spiciness to provide something akin to the Cherry Coke I loved as a kid. On the other hand, it once moved toward a slightly medicinal cherry flavor that took me back to a much less pleasant childhood memory… children’s Tylenol. In fairness, I only noticed the medicinal aspect in one of the tastings I did. So that could’ve just been the more pleasant cherry note going awry due to something I had consumed that day. It was present enough that I felt like it should still be mentioned, though. The mouthfeel on this is medium, but on the thinner side of medium. Like the nose, it’s interesting overall, but seems to be a bit one-dimensional.

Finish: Cinnamon sugar builds on the back-palate and provides a very pleasant tingle & sweetness which lasts throughout the entire finish. A small dash of white pepper adds some heat, but it never gets hot. The length on this is nice, and there’s a pleasant bubble gum aftertaste as well. Like the other elements of this expression, complexity is lacking here, but doesn’t stop it from being enjoyable.

Overall: I’d heard some good things about the products coming from Chattanooga Distillery, but they are not currently regularly available in my home state of NC. So during a recent stop in SC, I took the opportunity to purchase this bottle & try something different… and it definitely delivered on that front.

This is a bourbon unlike any I have ever tasted. I’m assuming that’s largely due to its somewhat unique mashbill of 75% corn & 25% combo of malted rye, caramel malted barley & honey malted barley.

On the nose & palate, it honestly reminds me more of the 140-ish proof Cat’s Eye Distillery Obtainium Light Whiskey I was fortunate to sample via a friend… or even some moonshine I’ve had in the past… than it does any bourbon I’ve tasted. I’ve seen other reviews which indicated something closer to more traditional notes, but that’s not at all what I’m getting.

Instead, I get a very unique profile that leans very heavily on strawberry & cherry candy sweetness with a touch of vanilla creaminess. While I do greatly appreciate the uniqueness of this expression, I don’t think it’s something I’ll find myself going to regularly, but rather enjoying an occasional pour when I’m in the mood for something different.

Score: 6.5/10

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Knob Creek Single Barrel Select (“The Boss”)
Parent Company/Distillery: Beam Suntory/Jim Beam
Selected By: Stateline Elite in Fort Mill, SC
Warehouse: Z
Floor #: 6
Rick #: 053
Proof: 120 (60% ABV)
Age: 9 years 4.5 months
Barreled on: 11/7/2011
Selected on: 3/24/2021
Price: $49.95

ME2OGA6_o.jpg

Nose: Rich (but somehow still kind of light) caramel combines with a touch of maple syrup to offer up a very nice, sweet backbone on the nose. The typical nuttiness found on most things made by Jim Beam is here, but more in the way of something like pecan sandies cookies. Black cherry aromas mingle in with all of this to provide a nice, fruity element. A tasteful amount of oak is present as well, and it works wonderfully in contrast to the sweeter notes. Baking spice & nutmeg round things out, adding more complexity. Time in the glass helps any ethanol dissipate to the point of basically being a non-issue, but early or deep whiffs will likely lead to a few nose hairs getting scorched. All in all, pretty much on profile & very inviting.

Palate: Absolutely delicious! Rich caramel, roasted praline, and toffee goodness with dashes of creamy vanilla & sweet oak. The same spices from the nose carry through & are joined by hints of leather & tobacco. It has a wonderfully full, oily mouthfeel which works in perfect conjunction with these flavors. This is offering exceptional balance & solid complexity. Like the nose, the palate is very “on profile” for what comes to my mind when I think of good Knob Creek Single Barrel bottles. Honestly, this one may even be turned up a notch or two from there.

Finish: Those rich caramel & sweet oak notes mingle as a bright spiciness ramps up. Black pepper & rye spice build to a level of heat which takes you right to the edge, letting you know full well this is packing 120 proof. Thankfully though, it never goes over that edge, and instead expertly walks the fine line between intense & enjoyable. It’s a long, lingering finish that leaves a slightly bittersweet cola/oaky aftertaste. Smelling the empty glass made me think of a freshly made waffle cone filled with butter pecan ice cream.

Overall: Knob Creek Single Barrels… both the picks (KC SiB Select) & the straight off the shelf version (KC SiB Reserve)… have almost always been good to me. Some were a bit better than others, but I’ve honestly never had one I was disappointed with. Similarly to Russell’s Reserve Single Barrels, Knob Creek Single Barrels tend to feature a profile that really speaks to my personal tastes in bourbon. This particular store pick checks all of the boxes for me & makes me want to take the 2 1/2 hour trip back to where I got this one, just so I can grab a backup or two.

Score: 8.5/10

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13 hours ago, k-train said:

Knob Creek Single Barrel Select (“The Boss”)
Parent Company/Distillery: Beam Suntory/Jim Beam
Selected By: Stateline Elite in Fort Mill, SC
Warehouse: Z
Floor #: 6
Rick #: 053
Proof: 120 (60% ABV)
Age: 9 years 4.5 months
Barreled on: 11/7/2011
Selected on: 3/24/2021
Price: $49.95

ME2OGA6_o.jpg

Nose: Rich (but somehow still kind of light) caramel combines with a touch of maple syrup to offer up a very nice, sweet backbone on the nose. The typical nuttiness found on most things made by Jim Beam is here, but more in the way of something like pecan sandies cookies. Black cherry aromas mingle in with all of this to provide a nice, fruity element. A tasteful amount of oak is present as well, and it works wonderfully in contrast to the sweeter notes. Baking spice & nutmeg round things out, adding more complexity. Time in the glass helps any ethanol dissipate to the point of basically being a non-issue, but early or deep whiffs will likely lead to a few nose hairs getting scorched. All in all, pretty much on profile & very inviting.

Palate: Absolutely delicious! Rich caramel, roasted praline, and toffee goodness with dashes of creamy vanilla & sweet oak. The same spices from the nose carry through & are joined by hints of leather & tobacco. It has a wonderfully full, oily mouthfeel which works in perfect conjunction with these flavors. This is offering exceptional balance & solid complexity. Like the nose, the palate is very “on profile” for what comes to my mind when I think of good Knob Creek Single Barrel bottles. Honestly, this one may even be turned up a notch or two from there.

Finish: Those rich caramel & sweet oak notes mingle as a bright spiciness ramps up. Black pepper & rye spice build to a level of heat which takes you right to the edge, letting you know full well this is packing 120 proof. Thankfully though, it never goes over that edge, and instead expertly walks the fine line between intense & enjoyable. It’s a long, lingering finish that leaves a slightly bittersweet cola/oaky aftertaste. Smelling the empty glass made me think of a freshly made waffle cone filled with butter pecan ice cream.

Overall: Knob Creek Single Barrels… both the picks (KC SiB Select) & the straight off the shelf version (KC SiB Reserve)… have almost always been good to me. Some were a bit better than others, but I’ve honestly never had one I was disappointed with. Similarly to Russell’s Reserve Single Barrels, Knob Creek Single Barrels tend to feature a profile that really speaks to my personal tastes in bourbon. This particular store pick checks all of the boxes for me & makes me want to take the 2 1/2 hour trip back to where I got this one, just so I can grab a backup or two.

Score: 8.5/10

My bourbon bro! I commented recently that I was envious of you getting private selections and store pick barrels. I happened to find one of my own at a normal haunt -  the first time I've had access to a store pick. It's actually from Knob Creek and is VERY similar to yours. Mine came from Warehouse Z, Floor 04, and Rick 09. It was barreled on 09/29/2011 and selected on 02/26/2021. 

Your notes on the taste mirror my own from my bottle. I have come to really enjoy KC offerings as they match up to what I seem to enjoy in a bottle of bourbon. Despite only having this bottle for a couple of weeks, I've already polished off about half of it. With the 120 proof, i am adding several drops of water to about 2.5-3 ounces, but the flavor is not diminished in the slightest. I'll even say that I think I enjoy this bottle as much as the ECBP 0520. It's that good!

Cheers!

 

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Edited by Goober Pyle
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45 minutes ago, Goober Pyle said:

My bourbon bro! I commented recently that I was envious of you getting private selections and store pick barrels. I happened to find one of my own at a normal haunt -  the first time I've had access to a store pick. It's actually from Knob Creek and is VERY similar to yours. Mine came from Warehouse Z, Floor 04, and Rick 09. It was barreled on 09/29/2011 and selected on 02/26/2021. 

Your notes on the taste mirror my own from my bottle. I have come to really enjoy KC offerings as they match up to what I seem to enjoy in a bottle of bourbon. Despite only having this bottle for a couple of weeks, I've already polished off about half of it. With the 120 proof, i am adding several drops of water to about 2.5-3 ounces, but the flavor is not diminished in the slightest. I'll even say that I think I enjoy this bottle as much as the ECBP 0520. It's that good!

Cheers!

 

0?ui=2&ik=3a0207c689&attid=0.3&permmsgid=msg-a:r6727301299096660772&th=17b2c3751a68f9d1&view=fimg&sz=s0-l75-ft&attbid=ANGjdJ__RdDXFP1vT4HSeGwZhSf9Ib5lxHTU0M8WYGl3QvMqzBD5OxRnMe_rNK6wb9NSdr_hiUEURqC0ax2WWfrgd2JWTtwhQULT4zvi-QgPkyqzwm9ZpN1T_epi2mA&disp=emb&realattid=17b2c3741c17f580d5e3

Right on! So glad you're able to finally start finding some store picks. Also glad that  this one is providing a better experience for you than the KCSiB Reserve you got a while back (I seem to remember you weren't too crazy about that one). Pretty cool that it's so close to the one I picked up in SC, too.

I just found out about another Russell's pick that went on sale  a few days ago at a store about 20-30 minutes from my house. So, I may go get one of those today if everything goes well.

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