The Best Bourbons Aren’t The Hardest To Find
Celebrating good taste for Father’s Day
In partnership with Elijah Craig.
One of the things I love about my friend Chris, is that when he decides to get into something, he goes all-in. And once he’s made that choice, he is relentless in his quest for knowledge about the subject and the pursuit of the best and finest. It doesn’t matter what it is – fitness, cars, cigars, watches. It’s all fair game.
Among the hobbies that Chris has pursued with the most passion over the past few years, however, has been whiskey. Whenever we travel, he’s always on the hunt for all manner of hard to find or never before seen spirits. We’re talking budget bottles to high-end grey market stuff. If we came across something like that, he’d buy up every last bottle if it was a good deal.
After years of witnessing (and mildly participating) in this obsessive behavior, there was one simple question I had to ask: what’s next? Fair, right? Because when you’ve pretty much tried it all and have determined upstart brands to be nothing short of a marketing play, what is it that really turns you on anymore?
His answer was interesting and not surprising given the palate he’d developed over years of tasting, appreciating and ranking so many different whiskies – bourbon, in particular. It was that he understood why the classic bourbon brands are classics. They’ve got their own juice. They’ve got decades of knowledge. They’ll only age in certain barrels. And with that comes a taste that cannot be manufactured. You can taste when a brand has outsourced their juice, he said, not so with a legacy producer. You can’t rush legendary flavor.
Before going any further, I should mention that in addition to being an extremely passionate enthusiast of many fine gentlemanly pursuits, Chris is also a dad. A great dad, actually. He’s got three kids – a son and two daughters. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, he recently brought a puppy home. A glutton for punishment?! You tell me…
While I have no children of my own, and therefore cannot truly empathize, I know that managing his family, his work life, friendships (and let’s not forget about the hobbies), can be stressful. Quite stressful. A man needs to relax, after all. So every week we try to make time together for lunch, a cigar or some whiskey – sometimes all three.
It was with that in mind, and with Father’s Day right around that corner, that I invited Chris to come hang out at the apartment for the afternoon to catch up after my trip to the Concorso d’Eleganza and sip on some bourbon.
As you can see, our bourbon of choice was Elijah Craig Small Batch. One of my go-to’s. One of Chris’s favorites – the connoisseur, mind you. To the point about why a legacy producer is always better than an upstart brand with a big marketing budget, Elijah Craig ages for 8-12 years in less than 200 specially selected barrels. It’s kind of mind-blowing to think that that’s a bourbon you see on the shelves all the time. Doesn’t matter. It’s reliable. And it tastes great.
Chime in: Have you tried Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon? What do you think?
Thanks for reading and happy Father’s Day!
He Spoke Style