Tuesday, February 5, 2013
"Alright, we only have six left on the list"
"What's the total"
He counts silently. "Eighteen"
"I don't know if I can go on like this, we could be at home drinking really good whiskey instead of driving around this shithole."
"Yeah, but I keep passing that Bobkat liquors and its just laughing at me."
"OK. Damnit. Four more."
So. My friend and I have a whiskey problem. It's not really a drinking problem, we don't (usually) drink that much. We just can't stop buying the stuff. Or stop reading about it. Or talking about it. We've been driving our wives crazy. We just spent four hours in the car, going into 21 liquor stores in economically troubled areas of south jersey, hoping to find neglected bottles of bourbon. We burned a quarter tank of 93 octane gasoline driving like maniacs and managed to unearth two 200ml bottles of mid 1980s I.W. Harper and a 10 year bottle of Evan Williams 1783. We spent more on gas.
We got started in the Van Winkle Craze of 2011. I'm not going to pretend that we liked it before it was cool. We spent a work day with our phones set to ring us when a twitter feed updated with availability in PA. We bought a sizeable amount of the state's allocation. Then the BTAC. Then a flirtation with scotch, EC18 when it got scarce, a focus on the Cream of Kentuck/Medley ryes until the market was dry. Dusties were our last hope.
Starting with stories on Steve Ury's blog, we were led to believe that every shitty liquor store was full of unspeakable jewels of neglected bourbon. I made a brief foray into Gloucester, to a store that smelled of cat urine and found two bottles of Wild Turkey Old #8 and they were fantastic, we were, in retrospect, irrationally enthusiastic.
We spent an evening compiling a list of every liquor store in a 15 mile radius that had no website and made our dusty hunt with the results above. We returned tired, hungry, thirsty and sore from 4 hours in the car. We decided we would never do that again. We each have enough American whiskey to last several years.
It is time to enjoy it.