Imbibe Hour


Sunday, August 1, 2010

In search of Wild Turkey and other elusive woodland creatures in DC

It seems life throws you all sorts of curves.

In preparation for a bourbon tasting, I had done lots of Internet searching and research and talking to people on various forums regarding bourbon. Such is the glory of the Internet and the ease with which you can quickly acquire information.

Long story short, the first bourbon tasting is about ready to begin. I am going to be tasting several, but they will be done in small groups of 4-6 bottles. I will first be starting off with the basics and low proof bourbons. Then moving on to more expensive higher proofs, then 7-8 years, and a group of 10-12 years.

I was all set when I decided that I needed to find a bottle of Wild Turkey 80. That's no problem. The irony though is that I don't like having lots of left over booze I don't want to maybe drink. Oh sure... nothing like really bad hooch that sits on your shelf that you wouldn't even give to your dog, or worse.. give to guests to punish for a party (maybe I should just invite people over I don't like and serve them nasty stuff??). Friends have already started talking about bottle exchanges with me for some of my light rums... I feel like after the first rum tasting even though 13 was a bit big to begin with, and some of those items were awful, it's like they are my children somehow.. some dysfunctional ones and black sheep... but I can't give them away.

Low proof bourbon is typically cheap (think Jim Beam white, Evan Williams etc...). The good thing though for just a tasting was that I could easily find small 200ml bottles of these to use (these are called half pints in the USA), which made for not wasting alcohol, and also not hurting my pocket book as much. I was even all set to buy minis but I learned that the law in DC is that in order to purchase minis you can't just buy one small mini, you have to purchase SIX of them. Everything is all set... except I am trying to find the elusive small 200ml bottle 80... It's counterpart 101 is an easy find, and a very popular bourbon, in any size it seems.

This is where the irony of where I live and finding cheap small booze became apparent. I was downtown in DC and couldn't find the small bottles of the 80 (the regular sizes are not hard to find). So I figured since I live in a shall we say... less picky customer oriented liquor store neighborhood, which consists of liquor stores behind bullet proof glass, and clientele more concerned about buying lottery tickets, 40 ouncers, and the cheapest gin possible.... That this could be a no brainer. Turns out I was wrong... and this became evident as I repeated this process every 3 blocks which in my neighborhood, you can do easily....

I went everywhere trying to find 200ml bottles (1/2 pints) of this in my area where I live and couldn't. It looks like I'll have to shell out for a big bottle, but luckily it shouldn't hurt the pocket book too much. Hopefuly I'll like it too! I will admit though, one proprietor was very helpful in trying to find what I needed... so Kudos to him.

I just figured I would even be able to find this in my neighborhood but nope, chalk up good micro-brew, fine shiraz cabernet, and Wild Turkey 80 in cheapest form as can't be bought in my area.

Such is life...

The low proof tasting will commence shortly, one of about 5 tastings I have planned. The first group will be in a random blind tasting:

  • Evan Williams
  • Jim Beam White
  • Wild Turkey 80
  • Old Grand-Dad 86
  • Jefferson's (this is a higher quality low proof bourbon), so this one is an exception

I seriously doubt I'd find some Van Winkle, but probably plenty of crappy take out food...

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