Houston we have a problem!

Hi.  My name is Maddog and I have a bourbon problem.

Which is VERY different than a drinking problem.

Seriously.  It is.

I grew up in Kentucky.  Bourbon is a way of life there.  It’s everywhere.  And when you are from Kentucky you are expected to like it.  It took me a while to get there.   Growing up there was always bourbon in our house.  One medium sized bottle that sat in the back of the kitchen cabinet.  It was used for two purposes.  Bourbon balls at Christmas.  Hot Toddies when someone was sick.  The bottle would last a long time.

As a kid I hated the stuff.  I personally thought it was disgusting.  Right up there with blue cheese stuffed olives.  (Blue Cheese and Olives are my VERY least favorite foods).  I’d rather be sick than actually drink the Hot Toddy my parents would make for me.  Ugh!  Yuck.  Ick!

And this continued until the fall of 2005.

In November of 2005 I got sick.  In grad school.  During tech for a show.  In case you were wondering when you are in grad school, in tech for a show, there are no sick days.  You show up and make the best of it.  Which I was doing.  Until I lost my voice.  As a lighting designer you can’t really work without a voice.  So my friend Tom suggested I sip on bourbon and coke.  He assured me it would make me feel better, would coat my throat and I’d be much better off.  At this point I’d have sipped on blue cheese stuffed olives to get through the next ten days so I said okay.

So for the next week and half, twice a night Tom would bring me a 32oz Diet Coke with laced with bourbon.  And I sipped on them.  And I do mean sip.  Tech was anywhere from 4 to 10 hours.  It was definitely not to get drunk.  I never even got a buzz.  But it did make my throat feel better.  And in turn it made ME feel better.  And at the end of those long ten days I’d developed a taste for bourbon.

Did I like it?  I wouldn’t necessarily say that.  But I could tolerate it.

Over the next several years I began to drink bourbon and coke more and more often.  By the time I met Adam it was my drink of choice.  I’d actually grown quite fond of the taste and had even gone so far as to buy more own bottle to keep at home.

I don’t remember the first time I had a Manhattan.  It had to be right after Adam and I started dating.  We’d go out to a fancier bar and I’d have one.  It didn’t take long before I started drinking them at home.  Adam didn’t like the taste of bourbon at all.  His drink of choice was a very dirty martini.  I’d make one of those for him and a Manhattan for myself.  This became our ritual whenever we made dinner at home.  Little did I know this would be the start of something bigger.

Four years ago I posted the following photo on Facebook with the caption:  “I think I might have a problem.”


WOW!  Five whole bottles of bourbon.  The most expensive was the Templeton Rye which might have even been a gift.  We really thought we were something.

As time passed we tried different brands and began to discover those that we liked more.  I say we because Adam began to drink bourbon as well.  As we tried them we began to buy better brands and expand our horizons.

Flash forward six years.

Adam is now an expert on bourbon and I can’t remember the last time I saw him drink a martini.  Our “problem” has grown.  This is a photo of our new “liquor” cabinet.


90% of the bottles you see are bourbons.  The cheapest is about 15 dollars.  The most expensive is about  150.  (We did not buy it).  I am about to send a check to a friend in Kentucky to buy a very hard to get bourbon.  I’ll post pictures and my review when we get it.

Needless to say, we might have a problem.  As a friend pointed out to me a couple of years ago though.  If what I had was a drinking problem, all those bottles would be empty.  Which I suppose is true. It has been fun learning about them, exploring our palettes, and  sharing a hobby.  It’s nice to come home after a long day at work and curl up on the couch with a bourbon on the rock.  One big rock.  We’ve even bought special glasses to drink out of.

So there.  That is my story.  Now I’m going to enjoy my glass of Widow Jane and write another post!




One thought on “Houston we have a problem!

  1. Urspo February 8, 2015 / 23:39

    I adore the stuff! I recently came back from a weekend where a whisky chum and I exchanged bourbon tastings.

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