After two very good years -- beginner's luck, I guess -- I didn't score any Pappy Van Winkle in 2013.
Maybe my bottle was in one of the 65 cases stolen in October.
October's always been a weird month. I used to work for a company that analyzed the stock market and the market always seemed to go into crazy fits and starts during the month of October -- maybe it had something to do with the dark side of the moon. And speaking of the Dark Side of the Moon, the greatest album ever -- by Pink Floyd -- celebrated its 40th anniversary in March of 2013.
But let's get back to the brown stuff.
I did try a few bourbons that were new to me and in a much more affordable price range than Pappy. Elmer T. Lee's Single Barrel was one of the best. I think I paid $29.95 for a 750ml bottle. I bought it on July 16, the day Lee died after 93 years. I thought it was a good way to pay tribute to the first master distiller. Out of all the new bourbons I sampled in 2013, I enjoyed Elmer T. the most.
I was on a tight budget so most of the bourbons I purchased were in the $25 to $35 range. Elmer T. Lee SB, Four Roses Small Batch, and Evan Williams Single Barrel 2003 and 2000 provided the greatest taste for the dollar. All the bourbons tasted respectable for a bargain price. Each is hearty enough to sip neat and inexpensive enough to enjoy regularly.
So 2013 is in the books.
Truthfully, it hasn’t always been an easy one, but the joy of sipping a strong and tasty glass of bourbon after a hard day is one of my simple pleasures.
It’s a ritual of slowing down, lubricating the mind and emotions, and tasting life again.
One of my favorite things to do -- if the day has sucked me dry -- is pour a glass of the good stuff, turn on some music -- Miles Davis' Kind of Blue works best or maybe some Wilco or PFs Dark Side -- and enjoy the good warm feeling that rises up inside as I sip a glass of fine bourbon.
Have a Pappy New Year, or (if you can't find Pappy -- who can?) -- celebrate with whatever bourbon makes you laugh, leave 2013 behind, and move on to the adventures of 2014.
May you all find a bottle of the best bourbon in the world this year!
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