I am, at heart, a Scotch man. But being from Texas, I have an appreciation for the small batch bourbons, and a growing collection of them.
Whenever someone comes over, they always ask me which of my whiskies are my favorite. To me that’s like asking if you like blondes, redheads or brunettes—the answer is, I like them all, and each of them has something unique to offer.
So, with that being said, I actually am going to reveal that I DO currently have a favorite bourbon, one I recently discovered. If you pay attention to Whisky, you know Pappy Van Winkle is the current trendy favorite, with people who are not really whisky drinkers driving the price up, just so they can say they have a bottle. I’ve sampled several of the Pappy’s (the 15 year, 20 year, and 23 year) and they ARE excellent. I’ve also tried their Rye, and liked it very much too. But there is a bourbon I think is better, and it’s not nearly as expensive. First off, let me say there are two bourbons I’ve had which I think are slightly better than the one I’m about to reveal. But they are limited edition, never to be made again, so if you can’t get it on a regular basis, you can’t count it.
The best I ever had was the Parker Beam Heritage Golden Anniversary blended bourbon, and it was amazing. A friend sent me a bottle for my 40th birthday, and if I’d been thinking straight, I would have immediately ordered up 4 more bottles to keep (never to sell, that stuff was too damn good). I have a swallow left, and I may just make it last forever.
The second best bourbon I ever had was the Jefferson’s Ocean Aged, a project where only 200 bottles were ever made. They took the Jefferson’s 18 year Presidential Select and aged it for two more years on an old Russian research vessel tethered to a dock. I loved the Jefferson’s 18, and the Ocean Aged had a slight cherry flavor to it, with a hint of sea salt added in. I tried some at a local bourbon lounge, TenOak, then raced down the flagship Specs the next day to grab the bottle I’d been staring at three days prior. It was right in my hands and I let it slip away, one of my biggest regrets—it was gone when I got back. I did get a bottle of the Willet 21 Year as a consolation prize, but missing out on the Ocean Aged when it was in my grasp still hurts.
Onto my current accessible favorite. When I was in California over the summer, a buddy of mine took me to a place in Newport Beach called Hi Times Cellar, which is a whisky lover’s paradise. While there, I saw a bottle of Jefferson’s 21 Year Old Presidential Select for $140, and this time I didn’t hesitate. I grabbed it, and took it back to Texas to see how it compared to the Jefferson’s 18 Year, one of my favorites.
All I can say is Wow, three years make a huge difference in flavor, and that’s no knock on the 18 year. It is fantastic, but the 21 year is at a whole new level, a level I didn’t know existed. Luckily, Jefferson’s is making it a regular (I plan to get a few more bottles just in case they discontinue it), and if you’re a bourbon lover, I highly recommend picking up a bottle. Grab a bottle of regular Jefferson’s Reserved, and a bottle of the 18 Year Presidential Select. Try them back to back to back, starting with the Reserve and ending with the 21 Year, and you’ll see what I mean. All are excellent bourbon’s, but the 21 Year beats the other two by far…and in my estimation, I prefer it to the Pappy Van Winkle (although my real preference is to have a bottle of both).
To check out all of these bourbons and more go to http://www.whiskyshopusa.com/ and tell them I sent you!
By Your Host: John Alanis
John Alanis has been teaching men how to attract the women they really want since 2004, even getting them to approach you first, no matter your looks, age or income. John not only teaches the skill of initial attraction, he also teaches the skill of sustaining attraction so men can continue the relationships they form with women. After all, it is no good to meet lots of women if they won’t stick around.
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