For the most part, I am a beer guy. With the variety of beers out there, there is really not a reason to drink anything else, in my opinion. My wife is interested in seeing us act like grown-ups and occasionally drink wine, and I am okay with that. If I find the taste of the wine too strong, I will guzzle it to prevent wasting it, and then rinse my mouth out with something more acceptable, like battery acid...or beer.
With very few exceptions, hard alcohol is something that I mix if I am tired of drinking beer and need a break. I've never really been introduced to the varied world of scotch. Vodka is something you put Red Bull or Rock Star in. Whiskey, bourbon and rum go in diet soda. Kahlua gets mixed with milk. Peppermint schnapps goes in my wife's hot cocoa. Gin...ick...lick a pine tree and get it over with. Not sure I forgot anything...
As far as quality goes...I am more than willing to concede that Crown Royal, for a blend, is much smoother than say...Black Velvet...but when I'm putting it in Store Brand diet cola, do I really care about smoothness? Like-wise for Grey Goose vs. Smirnoff or Kahlua vs. Kapali. I might or might not admit to buying a bottle of the good-stuff and then adding cheaper stuff to the bottle just to have fancy looking bottles at my house, depending on how lame you think that is.
Today, after finishing my laundry, I went and swung by Black Heron Spirits and Portworks located just outside of Richland, for a little tasting. They currently have a line of 5 products they produce there: a vodka, a whiskey, a gin, a lemoncello, and a huckleberry cordial. I tried everything but the gin, since my opinions of that are quite set in stone...my wife likes gin and tonic, but since I was alone, I didn't see a reason to waste any of their gin.
The lemoncello was the only thing I was uncertain about. Very interesting..but it was the last thing I tried, and right after the huckleberry cordial, which was outstanding. I'm not sure anything would have impressed me after their huckleberry cordial, except more cordial. It's made with half-a-pound of huckleberries per bottle!
Their vodka, Ink, was fantastic. Not sure how else to describe it...it was perhaps the smoothest hard alcohol I have ever tried. I bought a bottle to bring home.
Then there was their 100% Corn Whiskey, Desert Lightning....it's a totally different breed from any whiskey I have previously tried. While not as smooth as vodka, it was still much smoother than any 100-proof alcohol has a right to be. There was an underlying corn flavor to it also...like lightly toasted corn nuts. The whiskey was also totally clear due to not being aged...it didn't need it though, as mellow as it already was.
Price wise, I thought the stuff was very sensible for as good as it was...under $30 a fifth for both the whiskey and the vodka....I have seen things I did not like as much sell for much more at the liquor store. The huckleberry cordial was about the same price, but it was a smaller bottle...375ml type size.
Now just waiting for a special occasion type situation to broach one of my new bottles.