I've managed a few evenings out in the past couple of weeks, and found my way to a whiskey or two each time. Under the best of circumstances -- at home with a Glencairn glass, a water dropper, and a full bottle -- I'm not exactly one to notice the difference between mace and nutmeg on the nose, so what follows isn't so much tasting notes as high notes.
Evening 1, I went to my club -- by which I mean, the taproom of the local Knights of Columbus Hall. Now, my brother knights are not slaves to cocktail fashion. Yuengling is as exotic as the beer selection gets, and if you want an imported whiskey your choices are Jameson or elsewhere.
No slave to fashion myself, I ordered an Old Grand-Dad (86 proof) with a Yuengling back. I've had Old Grand-Dad before -- it was my dad's house bourbon -- and I was curious to see what I'd think of it after many years, and many much better bourbons.
(What I've only just found out this past week is that Old Grand-Dad was actually named for the distiller's old grand-dad, who happened to be Basil Hayden, Sr., who of course also has a somewhat posher bourbon named after him.)
I think it's a somewhat dull but perfectly drinkable cheap bourbon. Eminently mixable, too, which is a polite way of saying it will neither ruin nor enhance your basic cocktail, and you won't be wasting it if you don't drink it neat. It brought out a surprising chocolatey note from the lager, though towards the end the combined effect was sweeter than I wanted. I'll order it again, if I'm at my club and feel like a bourbon -- though if I feel like a bourbon, I probably wouldn't go to my club.
And now that I see I haven't been all that quick, I'll end this post and pick up with Evening 2 in the next post.