The grand food event generated a ton of interest. However, I learned that hosting an event like that was horrific to manage and vowed never to do it again. I also realized that giving people drinks and not feeding them is not the most responsible way to host an event like this, so I changed the format. A small amount of buy in fees now go to buying food, and I grill after the event is over.

Along with a change concerning food, we added a new value to our tastings. We score for value. The goal is to determine what the group thinks the whiskey is worth. It’s not necessarily what we think it’s priced at on the shelf, but what we think it’s worth paying. I also include the Oregon state prices at the time of this writing for comparison.


This month I threw in a couple of local whiskeys. We’ve had really bad luck with local whiskeys, so I don’t do them too often but the local shop was getting a little low in their selection and I didn’t have time to shop around for something new. I also included Templeton rye because it’s kind of a the staple of rye whiskeys and our club hasn’t really experienced them. Last, I went with a Kentucky bourbon just to make sure we had something that is going to be familiar and enjoyable.

Tatoosh Bourbon

Overall – 5.5/10 – burn – 2.3/10

(Specs) Age N/A| 40% or 80 proof | 750 ML $38.95

(Distiller) Tatoosh Distillery, Seattle, WA (bottled in Bend, OR)

(Value) Our club average value placed on this bottle was $24.50

(Flavors) Smooth*, oak*, sweet, cherry, oatmeal, lipstick, spice, butter, corn, black licorice

(Notes) When you come across a friend who’s new to bourbon and mentions enjoying the more common bourbon, Basil Hayden’s, and liking it, this is a great whiskey to recommend. It’s on the lighter, sweeter side and will tickle that northwestern hipster fancy for the person who likes to shop local. It was noted once and then agreed upon by the whole group that this is “The soccer mom’s whiskey”.

Ghost Owl

Overall – 7.16/10 – burn – 3.3/10

(Specs) Age N/A| 45% or 90 proof | 750 ML $26.95

(Distiller) Parliament Distillery, Sumner, WA

(Value) Our club average value placed on this bottle was $30.83

(Flavors) Spiced red wine*, cherry, plumb, brown sugar*, oak, fruity, maple*, pancakes, red gummy bears, roses

(Aftertaste) dry, balanced

(Notes) This whiskey was the biggest surprise we’ve had in a while. It’s dark, tasty, and remnant of some other dark whiskeys we liked including Baker’s and Booker’s but without the high ABV. It’s probably not the best whiskey we’ve ever had, but for the price, we like it.

Templeton Rye

Overall – 7.7/10 – burn – 3.2/10

(Specs) Age 4 years| 40% or 80 proof | 750 ML $32.95

(Distiller) Templeton Rye Spirits, Templeton, IA

(Value) Our club average value placed on this bottle was $30.83

(Flavors) Spice**, fruit, cinnamon*, smooth*, cotton candy, paprika, nutmeg, cherry, corn, cloves

(Notes) We don’t usually drink rye. My personal opinion is that rye usually has a bubblegum/ potpourri flavor and it’s too sweet. It’s a very common base for whiskey cocktails, and our club members were interested in trying a rye to see what the difference was. For the most part, everyone liked it. Also, it got a decent score, but it was scored keeping in mind that it’s not bourbon.

Jefferson’s Very Small Batch

Overall – 8.8/10 – burn – 3.7/10

(Specs) Age N/A| 41.5% or 83 proof | 750 ML $33.95

(Distiller) Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Crestwood, KY

(Value) Our club average value placed on this bottle was $50.00

(Flavors) Brown sugar, maple**, oak**, spice, cherry, peanut, char

(Notes) The most surprising thing about this bottle was the price and the fact that it was, on multiple occasions, compared to Blanton’s. This is especially surprising given Blanton’s is often considered the gold-star benchmark of our group. It’s delicious, complex, and priced perfectly. When I told the club what I paid for it they thought I was messing with them. One of our tasters said, “This is what every bourbon should aspire to taste like.” Another taster said, “It hits hard like Baker’s or Elijah Wood.” Most notably, for all the strength it was surprisingly smooth.

This was a great meet, and we were surprised by the whiskey. In my excitement, I forgot to take pictures of the food. We went with beer brats and some basic condiments, nothing too flashy.

As a note, we don’t know anything about cigars except that they taste great after a couple glasses of bourbon, so here’s the one a buddy brought me this club –


* indicates a second mention of the note. More stars indicates more mentions.

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