In a beautifully clean and shiny corporate steak house, bright with manufactured ambience, me and a woman belly up to the bar and order two whiskies.
One, is a rye I recognize as being one of my favorites, sharing the first letter of our names, my affinity for this particular brown has us bottled in bond and bonded by blood.
The other, is a tall bottle of bourbon I vaguely recognize with antlers on the label and two g’s at the end of its name.
My god, this deer whiskey aged however many years in bliss and oak tastes like ridiculous heaven, black pepper and chocolate, smooth like my head on a good day and clean like a bright blue sky.
The rye, a familiar friend, $8 by the glass, was hot and spicy as if I was lovingly whipped in the face with a delicious horse crop, a 100 proof kiss I’ve grown to savor to no end.
The bourbon, unbeknownst to me was $50 a glass and despite thinking it was arguably the best whiskey that ever dripped onto my lips, my female friend accompanying me was convinced the rye was the better drink. Regardless of price, she thought the rye was just tastier.
Taste should never be dictated by cost, value or hubris. Taste is derived strictly by what is appreciated.
Never assume quality, price and flavor will coincide neatly, what tastes good, looks good, and feels good to you is your style and adoration. Yours alone.
There are days when an eight dollar rye just tastes better than a $50 bourbon.
(I honestly don’t know what days those are, you’ll have to ask her.)