The Friday Pint 2 #34 – Bourbon Again

So, here I am at The Rockstone, drinking the second bourbon of the day. The new cards aren’t here yet, so I’ve begun by drinking the ones I enjoyed most in each session when I completed the first challenge. Over the course of this afternoon I’ll be live blogging, and updating this blog with each new bourbon, so keep checking back, or wait until the end to see how several bourbons affect my writing skills…

First up was the JW Dant Special Reserve, which was my favourite of the third session. This time round though, I wasn’t as impressed. The second bourbon however, Planton’s Special Reserve, which I declared my favourite of the fourth session, is still enjoyable.

Third up is the champion of week one, Rebel Reserve. It has the most afterburn of what I’ve had so far, but it still tastes good. There’s somewhat of a sweetness to it. This is being followed by the week two stand out, Cabin Still. It doesn’t have as much of a burn (yet still does), and is slightly easier to drink.

The bourbon is flowing, and yet the new cards are still to arrive. I have a list though, and next up will be the best of week five, which although I didn’t say it, was the John B. Stetson. As I said before, it’s possibly too easy to drink, and rather delicious too.

Of this best of run, I’d say that the Planton’s Special Reserve is my favourite of the lot, and therefore my favourite of the first set of 20 bourbons.

Next up, after a bit of help choosing (okay, a conversation consisting of “Makers Mark?” “Okay then”) I am now drinking Makers Mark. There’s somewhat of a burn immediately, rather than on the aftertaste. Saying that though, the aftertaste is somewhat nicer than most other bourbons I’ve had. The burn gives way to a rather nice aftertaste.

The cards have now arrived, and so I now know which 30 bourbons, and which 40 whiskys I’ll be drinking this time around. Six down, 24 to go…

The first “post card” bourbon is Rebel Yell. (I’m working along a shelf that I can see). It’s warming to just the right level, and there isn’t really too much of an afterburn. A little bit of trivia for you fact fans out there, this was originally on the whiskey card, and was what I finished the four boards on.

I’m now moving onto two bourbons at a time, but with reason, I am now drinking two Wild Turkey Bourbons side by side, the 81 Proof, and the 101 Proof. Whilst I can’t discern much difference in the taste between the two, the 101 does seem smoother, and also has more of a warming burn in the aftertaste. The 101 also seems somewhat sweeter than the 81.

Continuing with the comparison theme, I am now going for the two Four Roses bourbons on the card, Yellow Label and Small Batch. Both of these were on the card last time round, so some of you may be interested to see how my descriptions compare (myself, I can’t be bothered. I’m starting to feel nicely inebriated).

The yellow label has quite a nice taste to it, though I can determine any defining characteristics. I like it. Though that may be because I’m starting to get somewhat drunk. The single batch has more of a burn, yet tastes just as good. Of the two though, I’d say I prefer the Yellow Label.

Moving back to single sessions, bourbon number 12 is Jack Daniels Single Barrel. Despite its popularity, I’ve only just started to “get” Jack Daniels recently. It isn’t a bourbon in the standard sense, and so tastes somewhat different. Saying that though, it’s still not my favourite drink. The single barrel has a rather vanilla-y oaky aroma. The taste though is filled with burn, followed by a sweet aftertaste, which is distinctly vanilla for a few brief moments.

Staying with the Jack Daniels theme, bourbon 13 is Gentleman Jack, a bourbon I found instantly more enjoyable than standard Jack Daniels. This time round I’m hit instantly with banana. I like it. I can’t say I’ve been hit by banana in a bourbon before. There’s still the burn, which I’ve come to accept from bourbons and whiskys, but banana is a nice surprise. I like it.

Number 14, almost half way through, and it’s Wild Turkey American Honey. I’m now starting to make numerous spelling mistakes, but thankfully myself, and the iOS spell checker, are picking up on them. The bourbon smells sweet, very sweet. It tastes it too. I’ve had honey bourbons before and I have to say, I’m not a fan, mostly due to the aforementioned sweetness.

15! Half way there. The honourable bourbon is Buffalo Trace. It smells of bourbon (imagine in your mind what bourbon smells like, it smells like that.). It seems warmer that the other bourbons so far, almost like drinking warm ale. It’s somewhat meh.

16, and still on the first session, is Bulleit Bourbon (feel for my poor liver). Like the Buffalo trace before it, it seems warm and meh. This is probably a sign it’s time to stop and return tomorrow.

14 to go…

Hello again. Did you all sleep well?

For those reading this as I post, I am now back at The Rockstone, for round two of the Bourbons. Yes, it is 11:15.

I’m kicking off with a two glass comparison, between regular Jim Beam and Devils Cut. Regular Jim Beam was the first Bourbon I took a liking to. I tried Jack Daniels, but at the time I just didn’t get it (I still don’t to be fair). I then tried Jim Beam and found it much easier to drink. This time though, it tastes somewhat odd, and not enjoyable at all.

The Devils Cut appears to have a bit more flavour, hidden behind a nice calm burn (I realise that description may not make sense to you, but it does to me, and it really is the best way I can describe it). Neither bourbon is one I’d rush to drink again.

Next up is the last double header (and last comparison). This time round it’s Old Fitzgerald and Old Fitzgerald 1849 that are going up side by side. The standard Old Fitzgerald seems to have a slight nutty taste that emerges after the burn of the alcohol starts to fade away. Both of them seem to have a rather distinct aroma, much unlike any of the other bourbons I’ve had so far this weekend. The 1849 had been deemed nice enough to gain a tick on my card, marking it out as one of the few that have really stood out for me, and that I’d buy again.

Next up, on the beginning of the final stretch, is Eagle Rare, which is being accompanied by a slice of Britain’s biggest burger. My initial reaction was “It burns!”. There’s far too much alcohol burn on this one. I’m not at fan at all.

Going back to buying two at a time (mainly due to the bar being busy, and not wanting to wait), I now have Elijah Craig and Evan Williams in front of me. The Elijah Craig has a slight mouldy taste about it, which is somewhat offputting. The Evan Williams in comparison tastes rather vanilla-y, and is much more enjoyable.

Now up is Fighting Cock, which has slight cinnamon smell to it, which just gives way to the standard aroma of alcohol. Taste wise it burns, too much to be enjoyable. If I’m honest, I think my palate has become far too tired to really discern any sort of flavour, and I’m now just drinking these to complete the challenge, and be first.

With just six to go, I order a Kentucky Vintage and a Knob Creek. As I reach the table, I think I can remember which is which, but an element of doubt creeps in. I take a sip of what I think is the Kentucky, and proceed to pour coke into the glass to make it easier to drink. A discussion between myself and my friend sat opposite me, has made me realise that I am close to completing this in 24 hours. I won’t, but I could do.

I take a sip of what I think is the Knob Creek (a bourbon which comes with an obligatory “heh, knob”, each time it is referenced.). I prefer this one, whichever it actually is. I still mix it with coke.

Four to go. This time the order consists of Pikesville and Rittenhouse Rye. I like the Pikesville. Despite the fact that palate fatigue is setting in, it has some nice flavours that come through. I like it enough that I’m going to drink it without mixing it with coke.

The Rittenhouse Rye tastes nicer than I remember it being (I seem to recall my reaction to it last time was somewhat of a “meh”). That being said though, in order to complete the challenge today, I’m going to be mixing it, in the coke goes…

And finally, the end. I have no idea which is which in front of me, I know I have a Willet Pot Still Reserve, and a Woodford Reserve. The fact is, I don’t really care. I’m number one. I completed the challenge, in little over 24 hours. In related news, I now don’t want to drink another drop of alcohol for a good few days.

What do these taste like? Who knows, who cares, I’m nicely inebriated and I’m number one.

I’m number one.

I’m number one.

You knew live blogging when 30 bourbons was involved would turn out good didn’t you.

I’ll be more civilised about the others, with much more structured sessions. Until then, I’m done for the weekend.


The dilemma of free but rubbish beer.

So the company I work for is having it’s official opening party of its new building. There’s hog roast, and free drink.

In the nature befitting the company, none of the free drink is stuff I’d normally touch, yet because it’s free I now find myself drinking Stella Artois, from the bottle.

I’m not a fan, yet I’m on bottle number three.

I’m not paying for it.


The dilemma of free but rubbish beer.

So the company I work for is having it’s official opening party of its new building. There’s hog roast, and free drink.

In the nature befitting the company, none of the free drink is stuff I’d normally touch, yet because it’s free I now find myself drinking Stella Artois, from the bottle.

I’m not a fan, yet I’m on bottle number three.

I’m not paying for it.


Black and Tan Experiements – Chocolate and Cherry

Okay, so strictly speaking this isn’t a Black and Tan. But the mix is so good that it should be shared. It isn’t a new mix by any means. People have mixed chocolate stouts with sour cherry beers before.

It may though be a new mix to at least one of you reading, and if it is you should go out and try it, because it’s awesome.

The mix I have currently is Sadler’s Imperial Mud City Stout, and Boon’s Kriek Marriage Parfiat. Both sublime beers on their own, but together they work to create a blend that’s not far from a Black Forest Gateux in a glass.

See, mixing beers can work incredibly well. You should try it, simply because you can.


The Friday Pint 2 #33 – A Review Of How Things Have Been Going

Did you miss me?

In between moving and working and not really being bothered to write a post, I’ve ended up taking a nice little month break from writing The Friday Pint. If I’m honest, I, and The Friday Pint itself, probably needed it. It seems there’s only so many ways you can talk about not buying beer, or what you bought instead before it starts to get repetitive.

That being said, how have things been progressing?

Well, firstly, I’ve bought beer on “non pass occasions” far too often to say that the year has passed smoothly. That being said though, the way I buy beer has changed. I’m mostly still sticking to trying other things when I’m in my own company, and the beer has been bought as part of rounds when within the company of others.

The hopes of “The Year Without Buying Beer” were as follows. 1) I might save a bit of money, 2) It would force me to try things I wouldn’t normally try, and 3) It would give me a reason to do more homebrewing.

Two out of the three ain’t bad.

Thanks to having to move back to Southampton earlier in the year (a move that may have resulted in me breaking that no buying beer rule, or at least amending it to exclude any beer bought at The Platform Tavern), I ended up spending several sessions over this summer, drinking 20 Bourbons, 20 Gins, 40 Rums, and 40 Whiskeys at The Rockstone. I finally completed this marathon on Wednesday, after four and a half months. I only wish now I had made a note of the ones I enjoyed most.

As for the Homebrewing, this year has seen me produce a further eight beers, with only one being a non drinker (a lager with far too much diacetyl). Of these, my personal favourite has been the first Rudi SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) I did, with the surprisingly good Jelly Baby Massacre a close second.

Despite the falls, the year continues, and I intend to keep on trying things that aren’t beers when I’m in pubs. I’m already considering the theme for next year’s Friday Pint, the local brew one that was considered for this year. More on that though when it comes.

Until then, there’s brand new challenges at The Rockstone to complete from the 27th. They’re having a Whiskey and Bourbon Festival that weekend. You should come down, and find out why it’s pretty much guaranteed my vote in the Golden Pints come December.