For the last couple of years I've traveled down to North Carolina to conduct a whiskey tasting to a group of bourbon enthusiasts. I was invited down initially by my brother-in-laws father. The first year I brought along a variety of selections to include OTS, dusties and private picks. The favorite among the men the first year was a 1987 Old Grand Dad 86 proof. When they asked where to purchase this bottle I responded "in 1987".
Last year I lined up a rye tasting that spanned OTS and private pick with a focus more on what's currently available. I had nine selections so we took our time tasting through all the bottles. The selections included Thomas H Handy, Jim Beam Rye, Sazerac Rye, High West Double Rye, Jefferson Rye, Rittenhouse Rye BIB and a couple others. This was a large venue with about 40 people in attendance to include the ladies who had a separate table to sample wine. By the end of the evening, many of the ladies had joined the men tasting through the flights of rye.
This year I am bringing selections only found in the retail market; no dusty's or private picks. For this tasting I'm presenting Makers Mark 46, Heaven Hill Larceny, Heaven Hill Old Fitz BIB, Old Weller Antique, W.L. Weller 12 and Jim Beam Red Wheat. Some of these selections may be harder to find than others but at least it's all current production. One of the tasters actually sits on the local ABC board and as a result of these tastings has championed getting some of these selections on the shelves. Up until 2013, Four Rose Single Barrel was not carried in that market. Now it is.
Looking forward to spending the weekend visiting family, eating NC BBQ and drinking whiskey.