My personal history with bourbon didn’t start as the romantic discovery that many people come to inherit from their parents and family.
My view started like that of many college students. Alcohol was all about getting drunk for as quickly and cheaply as possible. Natty Light and PBR were, of course, the typical vehicle for weekend destruction. All night parties typically saw shots of flavored vodka, Jägermeister, and tequila. But on one glorious night, I was introduced into the bourbon world via shots of Wild Turkey 101. This would later become my shot of choice during college, along with Jim Beam. Neither of which was meant for actual enjoyment but rather an escape from the typical shots. Plus, I did go to school in Kentucky, and bourbon was cool there.
My next big bourbon “life event” took place during a night out in San Diego after graduating college. The company I worked for was having a party at a restaurant somewhere near Long Beach. Of course, I was throwing back Rum and Cokes like a recently removed college kid when someone passed me his drink. “Try this”, our office Lothario suggested. It tasted great – for straight brown-burning-water. I dismissed it and went back to my drink. What I didn’t know is that I had just had my first taste of the most sought after bourbon in the world, before it was even cool.
The final milestone along my journey occurred when I was in Vegas for my bachelor party. We stumbled (literally) upon a bar in our hotel that had a great selection of beer. A few of us ordered a beer, one of my future brother-in-laws ordered a Crispin, but a few were undecided. Upon opening the menu, a few of the guys saw that the bar served something called “Pappy”. Three of them promptly ordered it off of the menu, neat, with ice on the side. I tried my brother-in-law’s drink and immediately fell in love. From that moment forward I was a bourbon drinker.
I made sure to have a bottle of bourbon just for the groomsman to drink during my wedding. After all, they without a doubt are the ones that ultimately pushed “us” together.