A 40 something guy with a passion for all world whiskey but particularly bourbon. Most certainly a beginner with a lot to learn, and a lot more whiskey to try before I die. When people ask what is my favourite whiskey my cliched and common response is, “the next one you buy me” or “I don’t know I haven’t tried them all yet”.
My first introduction to whiskey was probably around Christmas time at home playing cards with the family. I always remember my Grandad drinking whiskey and peppermint. He always encouraged me to take a little sip. If my memory serves me well the whiskey around that card table was either Bells or White Horse. These labels are now generally looked down upon by whiskey drinkers today but were a staple ingredient of a UK whiskey diet in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
I of course like many young men growing up in the 1980’s England went through the traditional teenage drinking rights of passage starting off with cider, mad dog 20/20 and dare I say it Strawberry Hock (we thought we were so very sophisticated those days drinking that). This in turn led to drinking copious amounts of weak lager, which then changed to strong lager.
After this it was obviously white wine. I liked to think I knew what a nice Sauvignon Blanc tasted like (probably didn’t have a clue) and then moving on to red wine (always thought Merlot was my favourite but again I really didn’t have a clue). In between the wines was the move towards the most widely available American whiskies, Jack Daniels and Jim Beam. Both of these but in particular Jack Daniels was my go to drink for much of the 1990’s.
It is hard to remember exactly when my real thirst for whiskey took hold, through the late 1990’s, early 2000’s and mid 2000’s I was drawn to the occasional bottle here and there. The usual supermarket offering of blends such as Famous Grouse, Johnnie Walker (Red Label), Whyte & Mackay and Ballantine’s. Then onto the more expensive and some might say more middle of the road single malts like Talisker, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Jura.
Then over time your palette demands more and wants to be tested, so you begin to experiment with the wide and wonderful tastes of all the regional malts of Scotland, Japanese and Irish whiskies. You also introduce the occasional bourbon offering to your taste buds. I’m not sure which was first (I’m discounting Jim Beam at this point) but it was either Maker’s Mark or Woodford Reserve. Now these drinks were different, offering a sweeter taste, a heavier texture, a vanilla and caramel nose. A smooth taste sensation which I adored.
I was then drawn into the wonderful world of American bourbon and was eager to try as many different varieties as I could. I won’t bore with the list of the bourbons I have tried (it’s not enough) but I am a huge fan of the offerings from the Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill and Jim Beam distilleries. I also have a particular love affair with the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked and Wild Turkey products in general.
As stated earlier I am a beginner and no expert, I just enjoy drinking bourbon and whiskey (I forgot to mention my love for Monkey Shoulder too). I am also a strong believer that you drink whatever whiskey you want, with whatever you want. Neat, with water, with ice, with a mixer, it doesn’t matter. As long as you enjoy it, that’s what counts.
I guess normally in one of these bio pages you would start by delving into what has led you to this point, and what qualifies you to write about a topic to a level that people should actually sit down and read it..... well then this is going to be a very short bio;
Hi I'm Mav and I really like bourbon.
Seriously, that's it! I have no experience in the industry, I don't know any famous people in the world of bourbon, and I've never even been to Kentucky. However, I have been into whisky for as long as I can remember but it's only recently, in the last 4-5 years, that I discovered the joys of bourbon. I can't say for sure why I didn't try it sooner, but I can only put it down to subconsciously believing the oft repeated Scotch lovers mantra that 'bourbon was cheap American crap' only good for mixing with Coke (i.e. bourbon equals Jack Daniels). Oh how wrong that is! I've been cursing myself ever since, as I could have been drinking this amazing drink a hell of a lot sooner.
Bourbon has been a revelation to me and since my first sip (I still can't remember whether it was Woodford or Devils Cut I tried first- it was a heavy night) I've been hooked since. I have devoured not only the drink itself, but also bourbon related books, podcasts, history, & any other media you can name. But despite all this I still heavily consider myself an amateur in this field, and am very much looking forward to the journey this website takes me on.