Odd, right? I mean, I dote on bacon. In fact, tonight's dinner will be BLT sandwiches since the local tomatoes are still good. Hell, I've even cured my own bacon. And bourbon? Don't get me started. It ain't just patriotism that keeps me stocked up with a robust inventory of that most American of commercial spirits. You'd think the two would go together like a hand and glove.
On seeing Don Lee's video of making a Benton's old fashioned, Morpheus said "Man, that sounds delicious." So, in a moment of weakness, and in the spirit of experimentation and camraderie, I snagged a bottle of Four Roses yellow label Straight Bourbon and cooked off a batch of some of Allan Benton's sublime bacon. Following Lee's instructions, I made a batch of bacon-infused bourbon.
I feel like I've woken in a stranger's bed, one arm pinned beneath a smokey, booze-breathed hound sawing logs, and uncertain of how to extricate myself. Brother, I'm here to tell you, don't believe the hype of bacon-infused bourbon. The saddest part of this errant tale is that a perfectly good bottle of bourbon was ruined.
I admit that I liked the second sip more than the first. But as a thumbnail sketch of a choice between two evils, sip #1 and sip #2 do just fine.
However, all is not lost...the entire bottle of Four Roses was not graced with the porcine kiss: I decanted about six ounces before introducing the bacon fat. Had some straight, some over ice, some with a splash of water, and some, gloriously, in a proper old fashioned. For those who know 4R as a low-end bargain brand, the spirit seems to have undergone an upgrade in the last few years.
Now, it's true that I keep a lot of bourbon around. But there's always one or two bottles of what I consider the current "house" bourbon that balance drinkability and price for overall value. Over the years that's been Maker's Mark, Bulleit, and Eagle Rare. Four Roses, you have earned the place of honor. What a delicious whiskey. And at $19.99, it's worth snagging a bottle for cocktail experimentation.
Just keep it away from the swine.
The cheapest I've seen this whiskey is Hi-Times Wine Cellar.