Spent most of Saturday busting my ass working on the flagstone patio in the backyard, the one we're installing around the fire pit. Lots of heavy lifting, moving the 3,780 lbs of pavers from the front driveway to the back yard with just little 'ol me and a wheelbarrow.
Needed a good meal after that, so we headed to Fat's Asian Bistro. Turns out it was Homecoming night and we didn't have a reservation. Damn, and I was hungry. Figured it'd be the same everywhere else so we stayed. Sat in the bar for the better part of an hour watching the Series on one side and a bunch of over-dressed Stridex swabbers stuffing their pie holes on the other. But hey, at least it gave me time to sample the spirits.
Fat's is a nice restaurant and one of the few in town that carries Baker's Bourbon. Baker's is not cheap, running in the $40-45 per bottle range, so depending on mark-up you might pay $7-8 a pour.
First thing, let me make this clear: Baker's is NOT for the amateur bourbon drinker. This one hits back. And I don't mean that in a bad way because it's really a hell of a bourbon. I'm just warning you - be prepared. It's made by the Jim Beam family, so you know they know what they're doing. It's aged 7 years and thus is a little shy of that 9-year 'sweet spot,' but that's what they were going for and this one nicely blend its intensity with a lot of flavor and a surprising smoothness.
This one also tells you right up front when you smell it exactly how it will taste, giving you plenty of vanilla and caramel followed by high-octane grain at 107 proof. Do yourself a favor and let this one breath a while before diving in. A single ice cube or splash of spring water will round it off nicely as well.
As I said, the taste follows the nose, giving you a nice but not too sweet mixture of vanilla and caramel, blending in your mouth into a gentle butterscotch. But watch out because POW! The 107 proof hits quickly with a throat-searing pepperiness, warming you all the way down. But the burn mellows soon enough, refusing to linger like with some lesser bourbons. Still, you might not want to rush right back to that second sip.
And that's okay. This one is worth taking your time with.