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Gopher Football: Your Weekend Vent Thread With Bourbon

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This game sucked, the Gophers played awful, Iowa kept Floyd and I'm drinking bourbon.  Here is your chance to talk about the loss, vent about the program and tell us what you are using to drown your sorrows.

I am passionate about Gopher football and I am arguably just as passionate about bourbons.  GoAUpher and maybe some of the other guys on the blog can attest to this fact.  I really enjoy talking to people about bourbons and my collection.  I love preaching the bourbon gospel and right now I'd rather talk about that than the Gopher game.

What I'm Drinking Tonight

Because I'm rather salty, bitter and not very happy I decided to go with something a little sweeter than usual.  I am drinking the new Jim Beam Signature Rare Spanish Brandy.



This bourbon is rather sweet and smooth, it doesn't have much kick and even my wife (who hates every bourbon I make her try) said she didn't hate it.  I debated going with something strong, something to drown my sorrows quickly.  Something like the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof which comes in at 134 proof.  But I went with something lighter to brighten my mood a little.

What I'm Seeking

Today's game sucked but I'm looking forward.  Looking forward to some really great bourbons that are to be released in the next few weeks and months.  This is what I'm really looking forward to.

  • Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition - this is going to be outstanding and a candidate for bourbon of the year.  It should be hitting stores in Minnesota any day now.  Only 8,000 bottles will be released and I anticipate this will be a complex bourbon with an intense flavor profile.
  • George T. Stagg (Buffalo Trace Antique Collection) - The 2012 version was about 143 proof yet incredibly flavorful.  I considered drinking this tonight, but this bourbon is so outstanding that it is only to be drunk in celebration.  The 2013 version that is to be released any day (making its way to Minnesota probably near the end of October).  This year's release is going to be considerably lower proof which makes me intrigued if it is going to have the same outstanding flavor with a little less heat.
  • William Larue Weller (BTAC) - This is a great wheated bourbon that is the opposite of the Stagg in that it is going from weaker to stronger.  I desperately want to own this bottle this year.
  • Pappy 15 - the pinnacle for bourbon collectors.  This is an elite bourbon and I want it.  Not sure when these are going to be released but I've been putting my time in at various liquor stores to land one of these.

What I Urge You to Find (and drink)

Those listed above are all going to be amazing and expensive.  As much as I love some of my "special" bottles in my collection I am equally as passionate about finding great value bourbons.  This is my current list, some I've mentioned before.

  • Weller 12 yr - This is truly an amazing bourbon.  It may not be elite but it is really, really good.  If a Pappy is elite (think Bama) then the Weller 12 is maybe Stanford.  Great but hasn't yet broken through to elite.  This is pretty hard to find, I searched for months before I found 1 store that finally got an allocation in Minnesota.  This bourbon, if you can find it, is about $30 and is better than most stuff you'll find for double that.
  • Elijah Craig 12 yr - I absolutely love this bottle and you can find it at most any liquor store that doesn't have Jack Daniels on the top shelf.  Elijah Craig has a great line of stuff and this is the entry point.  You should be able to find this for $25 and it is a staple in my cabinet.
  • Evan Williams Single Barrel 2003 - another staple and this one can be found for $20-25.  This is a yearly release of a 10 year old bourbon from Evan Williams.  Smooth and has a hint of cinnamon to it, where as the Elijah Craig above is a tad sweeter.

I would strongly urge you to try any of these if you are looking to get yourself into the wonderful world of bourbons.  My last list is for those of you who have a small collection and are looking for some interesting mid-level bourbons to add.

  • Elijah Craig Barrel Proof - this is a new release and is a strong bourbon.  The first release was about 134 proof and the second one was 137.  This juice has a thickness to it and it really complex.  More of a molasses flavor than caramel or vanilla.  This is about $40 a bottle.
  • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel - Elmer T Lee is a former master distiller who is credited with "inventing" the concept of a single barrel bourbon.  He also passed away a couple months ago.  This bottle is very smooth and a good bottle for the enunciated.  Very smooth and is about $35.
  • Bookers - you'll find this just about anywhere and this one is strong.  Over 120 proof but this has a sweet, caramel taste to go with the initial kick.  I love this stuff, though I don't own a bottle yet.  This is about $45.

There are so many more outstanding bottles but this list is a great start.  I'm already passed the Iowa debacle and loving tonight's 3-finger pour.