|IDFFA member Harold S. getting supercharged on the |
Kootenai R.- Idaho fly fishing slow that PM.
Idaho Fly Fishers' YellowStoneFly rarely writes opinion pieces but maybe we should occasionally. Being born and raised in the South, sour mash Kentucky bourbon, in moderation of course, is my drink of choice. As I have aged, my tastes have changed, which indeed helps my pocket book. I once only drank Wild Turkey (until I discovered it was made in France) and Jack Daniels. I strongly suggest those who have a bourbon palate to try Old Crow. Side-by-side, I can tell no difference except the price--$19 for the Crow and $50 for the JD in the half gallon.
Pay no attention to the naysayers, ladies and gentlemen: Old Crow is (pardon me here, Coca-Cola) the real thing.
To be more specific, Old Crow is the first, original sour mash bourbon whiskey, named for the inventor of the sour mash technique (c. 1835), Dr. James Crow. If you drink bourbon -- any bourbon -- Old Crow is the headwater of the stream you're drinking from. To drink Old Crow is to drink history.
It was the preferred spirit of Ulysses S. Grant. A famous story (from Wikipedia) about Grant and Lincoln goes like this: Grant was an infamous drinker during the war and during Lincoln’s presidency. This particular bit of lore had the general’s critics going to President Lincoln, charging the military man with being a drunk. Lincoln is supposed to have replied, “I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to all of my other generals.”
Henry Clay, the man who said that he "would rather be right than be President," drank Old Crow as he sat through lengthy sessions in the US Senate. Clay served many years in the U.S. House of Representatives, including ten years in an important position of leadership as Speaker of the House. He served in the U.S. Senate briefly from 1806 to 1807, again from 1810 to 1811, and then from 1831 until his death in 1852. Under President John Quincy Adams (1767–1848; served 1825–29), Clay served as secretary of state from 1825 until 1829. In 1824, 1832, and 1844, Clay ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. presidency.
I'm not much on the vocabulary of beverage reviews. Hey ... it tastes like whiskey, okay? Good whiskey. If there are any aromas or overtones, they are of corn and ethyl alcohol. Old Crow is "straight" (meaning it's aged for at least two years) "Kentucky bourbon" (at least 51% corn, natural with only water added to the mash, aged in new charred oak barrels) whiskey.
My subjective taste meter tells me that it's as least as good as Jim Beam (Old Crow is made by the Beam company now, by the way), but less expensive. It's better than Kentucky Tavern, and worth the slightly higher price. If I had to choose a free bottle of Old Crow or a free bottle of Maker's Mark, I'd probably go with Maker's Mark ... but if I'm buying, well, Maker's Mark isn't that much better. And since I usually drink my bourbon mixed with cola, it's not like there's a bunch of swirling, spitting and pontificating to be done. It tastes good. It goes down, it doesn't come back up, and there's no especially atrocious aftertaste. It works.
Alcohol content being an objective criterion, and Old Crow being 80 proof (40% alcohol), the bottom line is that it can take you from sober to snookered quickly if that's your goal.
Idaho fly fishing really rocks after a couple of swigs of sour mash on a cold winter day of stripping streamers or dunking nymphs. Try it the next time you get the hankerin' for some real whiskey.
Hard takes, tight lines and high balls forever.
|Kootenai River, MT, ID|
Jack Daniels Fishing Story
Old Idaho Fly Fisher