Bourbon: The Elusive Spirit – The Search Continues!

Bourbon.  The quintessential American spirit.  Made by hand and barrel-aged only in new flame-charred oak barrels in old Kentucky.  75+ bourbon brands and over a billion $ in yearly bourbon sales… yet some places and people are clearly confused.

When I order “bourbon” I expect to get bourbon.  Not scotch, not Canadian blended whiskey and certainly not Tennessee whiskey from Jack Daniels.  Not too difficult, right?  Yet, what did I spy the bartender pouring for me from the corner of my eye this week?  Jack Daniels.  Last month at an industry event?  Scotch. (not even bourbon’s fine tasting cousin, single malt scotch mind you – crappy, blended rail scotch).  I even got a Seagram’s 7 one time last year… I didn’t know you could still get Seagram’s 7 in the U.S.  Am I wrong to think this shouldn’t be that difficult for them?  I don’t think so.

Quick tip for all you bartenders:  If it doesn’t say the word “Bourbon” on the label… IT”S NOT BOURBON!

Bourbon (says so right on the label)

And shame on Madison Square Garden and other venues that purport to have a full bar yet don’t have any bourbon.  25 kinds of fancy imported vodka but no bourbon?  Come on people!

Oh, and one last thing bartenders… no limes please.  Bourbon and Coke may visually resemble a Cuba Libre (aka rum and Coke for the average angry unwashed), but it most certainly is different and should never, ever be served with lime, lemon, orange, kumquat or any other citrus fruit. Thank you for your attention.  Next up… eliminating those annoying little red straws in our drinks.

UPDATE:  I have now attended 3 additional bourbon-less events this Fall and I’m not pleased.  To add insult to injury my local liquor stores are all “out” of my holiday favorite, Van Winkle bourbon.  This is bad news for me and for friends and relatives who would get it during our gatherings or possibly as a holiday gift (if they were particularly good this year)!  Now that is something to be angry about!

Has the liquor selling world gone to sleep for 20 years?



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