I’ve been bitching and moaning about this for a while now. Check out my post at The Civil Gripe . There is. however some light at the end of that tunnel, so here’s where I’m at nowadays.
I went to five different liquor stores around my neighborhood, and I ended up with a Straight Kentucky Bourbon – they all carry them. This one is from Evan Williams. Not bad, but a bit too sweet for me. The sixth store, Queens Wines and Liquors on Myrtle Avenue was when I finally found what I was really looking for: bottled-in-bond whisky. They actually have a nice selection, but for my first taste I settled on a cheapo. Rittenhouse 100 proof Straight Rye Whisky. It was a bit under $30 (with tax). It looked a little bit too dark and I was worried that it might have caramel coloring added to it. At home I poured myself a couple of fingers into a pony glass and I poured the same amount of Bourbon in another. The colors looked very much the same. I took a sip of Bourbon, waited a few minutes and took a sip of Rye – Incredible. The rye is not as sweet as the bourbon and a lot smoother. I can still taste some sweetness, because obviously, rye also includes some corn mash. Still, bottled-in-bond means aging for at least four years, while straight whisky only has to be aged for two years. So, while I still have to find a Christian Brothers Sacred Bond brandy in New York, I see a lot of lot of b-I-b (bottled-in-bond) rye whisky in my future – later for the fraudulent Scotch and Irish whisky. I will miss my Armagnac and Calvados and I might break my rule once in a while, but I don’t see why I should help those crooks.
Be careful! You might pay $3,000 for an amazingly marketed cognac or single malt. Let’s do some simple math: it seems that the law allows up to 2.5% caramel color in an alcoholic beverage. That is a US law, in Europe and the UK this might be higher. Let us stay with these figures. 2.5% of $3,000 comes out to $75. Your bottle has a capacity of 750 milliliters. 2.5% of 750 equal 18.75. I happen to live in the US so my google shows me American measures. I looked for some caramel coloring and found a 32 oz. bottle for $4.98. 32 oz. is 946.353 milliliter. So one milliliter would cost $0.005 and some little change – I feel generous so let’s round it up to $0.006. Multiply that by 18.75. You get a whopping $0.01. That is a US dime, meaning 10 cents. Now I know that you couldn’t give a shit – $3,000 for you is chump change. But you did not become rich because you’re an idiot. So how do you feel, now that you have paid $75 for something that you could buy for 10 cents? Let me rub this in a bit more: I can buy that caramel coloring, or even easier I could actually make my own caramel coloring which might be even cheaper. I would then get some cheap shit whisky, add my caramel coloring to it, drink it and feel like the king of the world. Heck, I might add 5% caramel coloring and feel like I’m getting the same bargain that you would for a $6,000 bottle of fraudulent shit.