Having grown up in Kentucky I was aware of Bourbon at a very early age — what it was and of course, where most of it was made. Living in the Bluegrass State, you would have almost had to go out of your way to not know.
Hello, my name is Seth Brown.
My childhood neighbor, Mr. Barton, of course only drank Very Old Barton (no relation) in his “totties.” On the way to visit my grandparents we passed exits for Maker’s Mark, Four Roses, Wild Turkey and George T. Stagg (now Buffalo Trace Distillery). It was the Bourbon Trail before there was a commercialized version of it. At Christmas, my grandmother always made Bourbon balls; a chocolate ball-shaped cookie, of sorts, made with Bourbon.
Bourbon was always around in some form. Even in the dismal Bourbon days of the late 70’s and 1980’s.
Through my college years it was Kentucky Gentleman and Coke. After college I “moved up” to Evan Williams and Coke. And there was always a bottle of Maker’s Mark around for those “special” occasions. As I got older my tastes refined and matured. The first Bourbon that I remember enjoying neat (sipping, not taking a shot — of course there were plenty of those in my college days) was Pappy Van Winkle 20 year. Though it isn’t my favorite Bourbon it certainly was a game changer for me.
My favorite pours these days are Four Roses 2014 Single Barrel Limited Edition, Four Roses 2015 Small Batch Limited Edition, Elmer T. Lee and E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof (specifically the late 2014 release, 64.5%/129 proof). While I change my everyday pour from time to time, my cabinet staples are usually Elijah Craig 12 year (now a non-age stated Bourbon) or Four Roses Single Barrel. I typically lean toward high-rye Bourbon mash bills at higher proofs.
For the past 17 years I have lived in Atlanta, Georgia. While I no longer live in my home state of Kentucky I am still just as passionate about Bourbon. Perhaps even more. I use to feel that if I drank a whiskey made outside of Kentucky that I was cheating on my home. I have since found that there are a lot of really great whiskies made all over the world. Over the last several years my whiskey collection has expanded to include Rye, Scotch (thanks in large part to Hasse), Japanese and Canadian whiskies. But my true love will always be Bourbon.
I hope you enjoy my reviews and contributions on the Son of Winston Churchill. You can also follow me on Instagram, @sethpbrown