As mentioned prior, I began my journey into the world of whiskey two years ago, starting with Scotch. While I enjoyed several such as Aberlour, Balvenie, and Dalmore, something was missing. I wasn't enjoying it fully and appreciate it. But then I discovered whiskey, bourbon, and rye. I had found what I was looking for! The "it" that I sought was discovered and I haven't looked back.
Everyone has different tastes of course, but in two short years I know that I lean towards the dark color, rich with caramel, vanilla, and the oak from the barrel. While my palate is growing, I can taste the hints of leather, pepper, fruit, and chocolate. The peppery rye, that boldness, attracted me as well. That flash of heat from the nose to the palate is an amazing several seconds with the first sip.
The world of whiskey is unlike any other. Every whiskey has a different taste, a different proof, and a different finish. Many enjoy their whiskies to be around 90 proof, others in the 100 range. I prefer 100 proof or higher as I feel it delivers the "kick" from the expectation I get when I opened the bottle.
The "Single Barrel" whiskies are simply in another class, where each bottle comes from an individual aging barrel to provide uniformity of color and taste. The first one that I experienced was the Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Barrel Proof, and came in at about 130 proof. Remember that the term "Barrel Proof" is different from "Single Barrel" and that will be discussed in the future. Here I was expecting pure gasoline, but this bottle was surprisingly smooth. There are many other single barrel products available, such as Four Roses, 1792, Henry McKenna, etc. One would have a much difficult time finding one that compares to the Jack Daniel's, especially for the $50 cost.