We try not to choose favorites but bourbon is definitely one of our preferred spirits. Before I became a bartender back in 1998 I barely knew the difference between bourbon and apple juice. Slinging drinks changed all that. As you might remember from an earlier post, Wild Turkey became the pre-work shot of choice all winter long for a group of wild waitresses (and one bartender) who could probably drink Jim Beam under the table. And that was my introduction to bourbon. Bourbon is seductive, complicated, sweet, rich with mouth-feel, unbelievably smooth and undoubtably sophisticated. But it wasn't always viewed as an elite spirit. Bourbon was at one time only for the hard core. For those who believed that water don't quench thirst like a dark spirit can. For men who were, to quote John Steinbeck, "capable of killing a fly on the wheeler's butt with a bull whip without touching the mule."
Luckily for us, society's preconceived notion of a bourbon drinker has changed. You don't have to wear cowboy boots and grow facial hair to enjoy the special qualities of such a fine liquid. You just have to prove that you're drinking it because you actually like it. Once you've passed that test, no one will care what you look like.
In honor of National Bourbon Month, here are the six bourbons we're in love with right now and that we hope you'll try the next time you're considering becoming a bonafied bourbon drinker.