Some advice: when you meet with other whiskey enthusiasts, don’t overthink it. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here are some of the things I’ve been guilty of in the past.
I was at a whiskey bar in Louisville and saw they had a few special (expensive) pours on the menu. I really wanted to try one, but didn’t because I didn’t want to come across as a douchebag who “only drinks the good stuff” even though it was just that I hadn’t had it before. Don’t overthink it.
I was at another whiskey bar where the bartender really seemed to know his stuff. Even though I tend toward fanboyishness for Four Roses and really wanted it, I bought a pour of Old GrandDad 114 so that he would know that I knew how to find an overlooked gem too. I’m pretty sure he didn’t notice. Don’t overthink it.
I met a whiskey writer that I admire for the first time and we had a taste of an amazing old Rye from before I was born. Even though I was hungry, and the food was right in front of me, I had to be talked into having some along with the whiskey. I didn’t want to be seen as disrespecting something that was amazingly rare and special. Don’t overthink it.
I was at a tasting in a local liquor store and saw that many others were nosing by hovering just above the lip of their nosing glasses. I adjusted my deep dive to match their shallow one even though I have allergies and need to get all the way in so I can pick anything up. I didn’t actually end up smelling anything that night. Don’t overthink it.
Social anxiety has been something that I’ve struggled with my entire life. I tend to come across as a gregarious person. It’s a persona that I, eventually, had adopted for so long that I thought it was who I actually was. But deep down, that crippling shyness never really went away. It just chose odd times to really show up. But here’s the thing, when I finally stopped worrying about if others were judging how I enjoyed my whiskey, I ended up enjoying my whiskey much more.
Ok here’s one more: I was in a liquor store in St. Louis to meet up with a local blogger. We ended up doing a little shopping. I was, once again, in danger of overthinking the bottle I was buying. I saw some that I knew I couldn’t get at home but was straying over to those that the other geeks prefer. It took my wife quietly taking me to task to make me realize what I was doing. In the end I ended up picking up a bottle of Old Medley 12 year. I’d heard of it, knew it was sourced but little else. I also knew I couldn’t get it at home and that even if it turned out that it wasn’t good, it would at least be something new. I didn’t over think it. I just bought it. And eventually I just drank it.
Old Medley 12 Year Old
Purchase Info: ~$45 for a 750 mL at the Wine and Cheese Place, St. Louis, MO
Details: 43.4% ABV. Distilled in Kentucky, bottled in California.
Nose: This whiskey cannot make up its mind if it wants to be sweet with spicy cinnamon or sharp with vegetal oak on the nose. It’s never both, but switches back and forth.
Mouth: Slightly syrupy mouthfeel with mint, clove and oak tannins.
Finish: Harsh but short with a lingering bitter mineral note.
Thoughts: I would probably like this much more if I hadn’t paid so much for it. It reminds me a lot of an older, woodier version of Ezra Brooks. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with it, but there isn’t much to recommend it at $40+ unless you really like an over-oaked bourbon.