After I wrote my last article, Good Taste, I had an opportunity to watch the movie John Wick starring Keanu Reeves. I’d heard a lot of buzz about the action scenes in the film and how entertaining it was, so I checked it out for myself. I can honestly say John Wick didn’t disappoint. I found the movie very reflective of my life especially the way I fight and drink. LOL! Just kidding. I truly can’t remember the last fight I was in and if I tried some of the moves made by Wick…I’d be in traction for a year. The drinking aspect of Wick’s lifestyle parallels mine however. Check out a still from a scene in the movie (below).
Yes, that’s Keanu Reeves (John Wick) drinking Blanton’s bourbon (clearly identifiable by the unique pineapple shaped bottle). Such good taste! I am impressed. Good on ya, John Wick and/or Keanu Reeves. You now have a new fan in The Bourboneer!
Image rights belong to John Wick, a Thunder Roads film 2014.
Good taste is certainly a subjective perception. Each person possesses their own catalog of likes and dislikes, their favorites and non favorites. It’s what makes us unique, it’s what makes us similar. If we are fortunate enough we find others that share these commonalities, these “tastes.” The Bourboneer is no different. And when you share “good taste”, I believe it should be, not only be developed, but recognized.
Yesterday, a bourbon loving friend of mine handed me a low ball drinking glass. Well, in all honestly, the glass was a gift and it wasn’t a glass at all. It was a 10oz, stainless steel YETI Rambler. Yep, that’s right a YETI! And you thought they only made coolers!
I am always looking for a new vessel to enjoy my bourbon. So the minute I was handed this Rambler, I knew it had just one, definitive purpose…to convey my bourbon from this day forward. As you probably know, YETI has made their millions and reputation on the ability of their products to keep things cold for a long, long time. So for me, being a fan of Blanton’s Single Barrell Bourbon on the rocks (just one rock actually), the Rambler was the perfect gift.
I’ve always been an admirer of YETI products, the ones I can afford anyway, but seeing that YETI also shares my affinity for bourbon, I now have deeper level of respect for the company. Not that I didn’t before, but you have to love an American company that promotes America’s native and distinctive spirit. How do I know YETI likes their bourbon? Take a look at the label that came with the Rambler.
Of course, I had to follow the directions. That’s four fingers of bourbon. I know that’s not Blanton’s but I am currently out. It’s not easy to get around here. Nothing wrong with Jim Beam!
After my first bourbon in my new Rambler, I let my next drink sit for a few hours just to test how cold it would be. I was not surprised when my last sip was as chilled as my first. I am not a YETI spokesman nor do I play one on TV, but, if you love your bourbon on ice or neat, I recommend picking up a YETI Rambler as soon as possible. If it happens to be too pricey for your “taste” then just have a good friend buy you one:)
Bourbon enjoyed while writing this article: Jim Beam Double Oak KSBW, 43% ABV or 86 proof (NAS), James B. Beam Distilling Co., Frankfurt, KY.
Well if you are drinking bourbon, and you damn well better be, then we know you are enjoying a whisk(e)y. We all know that whisk(e)y is a distilled grain spirit and in the case of bourbon, that grain is mostly corn. At least 51% corn to be considered a bourbon. Obviously it can be more, but never less than 51% as required by the Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (27 C.F.R. 5). Bourbon can only be produced in the United States (For a review of what a bourbon is, please read the Bourbon Basics article posted on this site)
So we know Bourbon is made of corn. But do you know what other popular spirits are made from? How about scotch, rum or vodka? Well, you’re in luck. Despite my affinity for bourbon, I also know a little about other spirits as well. Let The Bourboneer impart some knowledge.
Vodka – Main ingredient: Just about anything. Ingredients like potatoes, rice, sorghum, sugar and even grains like wheat and corn are regularly used. Vodka is distilled so many times the ethanol level is usually around 95% until it is cut with water prior to bottling. All flavor is distilled out and the spirit is not aged therefore leaving a bland characterless offering.
Rum – Main ingredient: Sugar cane (molasses).
Scotch – Main ingredient: Barley but also other cereal grains.
Irish Whiskey – Main ingredient: Barley but also other cereal grains.
Canadian Whisky – Main ingredient: Rye and Corn
Tequila – Main ingredient: Agave plant (blue)
Gin – Main ingredient: Juniper berries
Brandy – Main ingredient: Various fruit depending on type desired (ie., peach, apple)
Cognac – Main ingredient: Grapes
Sherry – Main ingredient: Wine fortified with grape spirit
So there is a brief overview, not comprehensive of course, but a guide so to speak for the next occasion you partake in your favorite distilled spirit. However, when you pride yourself in drinking the world’s finest spirit, bourbon, then at least 51% corn is all you need to know.
– The Bourboneer
Follow me on Facebook @thebourboneer
Bourbon enjoyed while writing this article: Angel’s Envy KSBW (finished in port wine barrels), 43.3 ABV or 86.6 proof (NAS) Louisville Spirits Group, Louisville, KY.
There are numerous songs written about bourbon or with bourbon as a major theme in the lyrics. Most of them reside in the Country genre, oddly enough. Bourbon in Kentucky by Dierks Bentley, The Best of Me by Brantley Gilbert, Alcohol by Brad Paisley, Whiskey’d Up by Jason Aldean and The Bartender by Blake Shelton are several I can recall off the top of my head. I think there is even one Brad Paisley song, Perfect Storm, that mentions single barreled bourbon on ice! Good on ya’ Brad. Clearly you’re an educated bourbon drinker. Maybe even a Bouboneer☺. I am not sure what all these bourbon songs say about the state of country music and their individual livers, but I know I enjoy listening.
But country music isn’t the only genre that croons about the delicious brown water. Janis Joplin sang about it in 1975 in What Good can Drinkin’ Do. The Killers used bourbon in the title of their song, Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf and Kid Rock even sings about it in his song, Johnny Cash. The list truly goes on and on. Obviously bourbon makes people want to be creative and write. I, as the Bourboneer, couldn’t agree more. However, for me personally, there are few songs specifically that touch off my desire to have a drink. The first, is a classic from George Thorogood. Of course I am referring to my college anthem, One Bourbon, One Scotch, One beer. The second is a lesser known tune sung by the Wrinkle Neck Mules called 17 Miles of Bourbon. The lyrics tell the story of the May 2000 Wild Turkey distillery fire where 17,000 barrels of flaming bourbon burnt down portions of the distillery, destroyed the nearby woods, exploded area limestone deposits and contaminated the Kentucky river. This song happens to be one of my favorites. Not just for the sake of the title and story but because it has a bluegrass and rock-a-billy sound to it which I enjoy. It’s different but no less stirring. Lastly and much more recently, Chris Stapleton’s Tennessee Whiskey has spurred my desire to imbibe. Kind of a melancholy offering but what a great song!
There are songs that make me want to drink bourbon and then there are songs that I enjoy drinking bourbon by. Oh yes, there is a difference, not a huge difference considering I am still consuming a decent amount of bourbon. Semantics I guess you could say. However, when I am sipping bourbon, or to be more precise, when I am sipping two fingers of Blanton’s chilled by a solitary ice cube, my ear tends to favor the more bluesy, piano lounge type of sound. Various tunes from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, add in some Diana Krall and top it off with Norah Jones and you have created my ultimate bourbon drinking atmosphere. No specific songs in particular mind you, well Dean Martin’s version of Pennies from Heaven changed to Bourbon From Heaven certainly sets the tone. But just low light, those soft voices and the ambient, gentle piano in the background exuding relaxation and chill. To me, I can’t think of a more conducive environment to drink bourbon…can you?
Now that’s what I am talking about!
What’s your favorite bourbon music?