First the badnews. I searched hard... but sadly I couldn't find any of the requested bourbons. Ok... not true... I found Old Charter and George Dickle (not bourbon though, its made in Tennessee) but I just couldn't make myself pull the trigger. I've had both and found them vile. I don't remember specificly why they were vile... one doesn't linger on torment, nor formulate opinions on some fresh hell. Torment simply is.
Fear not. I shall endevour to find these items. It will have to be a longterm project instead of a quick fix I'm afraid.
But enough of that. On to the tasting. And what have we tonight? Well... I decided to limit myself to two new purchases. 1 bourbon and one fine Tennessee whiskey. In this particular state rivalry we have:
Wild Turkey Russel's Reserve, 10 years old. 101 proof
And the challenger?
Jack Daniels 1954 Gold Medal, 90 proof, age unkown. Usually 6 to 8 years.
Method: not to get to hoity toity here... I'm keeping it simple. A shot of cold distilled water... then an ounce of whiskey. That's it. Nothing complicated here. No cutting. Straight from the bottle.
Tenneessee: In the bottle the Jack is lighter than the serious amber of the Russell's. The Jack has an initial punch that's a little harsh. It's clear though. Bright. I've had a sore throat all week, and I just knew the Jack was gonna kill me... but it was smooth. A hint of a bite at the start... but that's it. Good stuff. It tastes like... well... whiskey. I dare say that if someone just wanted to know what whiskey tastes like... this is what I might describe. It's warm.. borderline hot... but smooth. There is no tanis. There is not even a hint of bitterness. Its not sweet candy like I normally drink... its more smoke and less caramel. But its good. There is a place for this in my vice cabinet. It finishes far smoother than the Turkey. I didn't expect to write that.
Quick shot of ice cold distilled water... ahhh... Look y'all... while I'm here.. let me just say... go buy a gallon of distilled water. I'll put it up against any spring or filtered water you can find. but back to the booze.
Kentucky: oh Russell... bourbon like this... they shouldn't put a man's name on it. It makes one feel quite uncomfortable when he's lavishing praise and declaring his unending devotion. Sweet sweet caramel goodness... it's like an alchoholic twix bar. The bite of Russells comes later than the Jack... and it may hit harder. It's not just the higher proof. Something else. Even still... this is complex goodness. The timing of the bite is largely insignificant because by that time you're already licking your lips enjoying the finest aftertaste known to man. The greatest thing about Bourbon... you don't really taste it until about 10 seconds after you swallow.
This was really over before it began and anyone who reads the blog should know that... But honestly the Jack was better than I thought it would be. Much better.
In the end... I'll sum up like this... either recommend or not recommend...
I recommend both.