Showing posts with label #30DaysofBourbon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #30DaysofBourbon. Show all posts

Monday, August 29, 2022

The 8th Annual Bourbon Heritage Month #30DaysofBourbon Challenge


Is it that time of the year again? Each September, for Bourbon Heritage Month, we host the 30 Days of Bourbon Challenge, and, believe it or not, this is the eighth year!


Wait… back that whiskey truck up a second. You say you’ve never heard of the 30 Days of Bourbon Challenge?  No problem, I’ll tell you all about it.


For as many years as I’ve been into Bourbon, my bucket list includes attending the Bourbon Heritage Festival. But, what has happened every single year, and will happen again in 2022, is that it will remain unfilled on that list. However, seven years ago, I set myself a goal to do something special to celebrate America’s Native Spirit. I came up with the 30 Days of Bourbon challenge:  30 different Bourbons in 30 days. 


I know what you’re thinking… I drink Bourbon every day. What’s the big deal? There’s more to this challenge than simply drinking Bourbon daily…



You can view all the rules by heading to Bourbon & Banter, you can even download your own #30DaysofBourbon calendar to help you keep track. Cheers! 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

The 2021 #30DaysofBourbon Challenge Recap

The #30DaysofBourbon Challenge has come to an end. It was an amazing year, the biggest to date, and I’m so thrilled so many of you took part!


As promised, a donation was made to the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Association (  One day CRPS will be a memory. But, for the people who battle this daily, it is reality. My amazing wife is one of those people, which is why this organization is so important to me.



And, now, the lineup, along with the calendar…



And, that concludes another year! Until next September when we’ll do it for Year 8!!!!


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.




Tuesday, September 7, 2021

My 2021 Ice Bucket Challenge for CRPS and the #30DaysofBourbon Challenge


I love Mrs. Whiskeyfellow with all my heart. She's the reason I do what I do for the #30DaysofBourbon Challenge. The charity angle is meant to raise money for a charity that is meaningful for the participant. Well, my charity of choice is the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrom Association ( Its mission is to assist those who are battling CRPS and drive research for a cure. My wife is one such Pain Warrior. 

I have been Mrs. Whiskeyfellow's caretaker for the last several years as the disease has progressed. And, as much as I witness, I still don't have anything to use as a reference point to understand what she goes through. CRPS (or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) is something you can contract after an injury or surgery. It can affect anyone at any age. Your pain receptors never stop firing. The pain is unbearable.

Today, I had a chance to learn what a sliver of this feels like. Two years ago, I did an ice bucket challenge and used my hands for it. Sticking your hands in ice water for a minute isn't a very big deal, but what happens afterward is.

My feet are a different story. I don't like anyone or anything aside from socks and shoes touching my feet. Not because of pain, but just they're very sensitive (and ticklish). I refused to do my feet two years ago because of that. Unfortunately, people who are battling CRPS don't get to pick and choose when they have a pain breakthrough. As such, this year I promised Mrs. Whiskeyfellow that I would do the ice bucket challenge and use my feet this time.

Mrs. Whiskeyfellow filmed the entire thing. This is not a funny video (at least not to me), but it is informative. And, that's just part of the story.

The link to the video is here (Blogger won't allow something this large to be imbedded). 

I ended the challenge about 20 minutes ago, and what I'm writing about next wasn't filmed. When I first pulled my feet out of the ice water, my feet started sizzling with electric shocks. Mrs. Whiskeyfellow forced me to walk and I had difficulty feeling the floor because of the pain. I got myself to the couch and sat down. As time wore on, the pain increased. It went from electric shocks with a stabbing sensation in both feet to burning and back. My heels recovered quickly. The arches, balls of my feet, and toes did not and had not yet. There was a cycle of burning, shocks, and stabbing. Sometimes it felt like a screwdriver being jammed in my feet. Sometimes it was pins and needles as the nerves started to wake.

If you've ever lived in a cold climate on a cold windy day and didn't cover your ears, you know what it feels like to have your ears freeze. That's the easy part. The hard part is when they thaw. If you have some memory of that sensation, that's what the burning feels like.

About 25 minutes in, my left foot felt much better than my right. My right already had some neuropathy to it (before this challenge) which may be why it took longer to recover. The stabbing in both went away. The burning in my arches and toes had not. The spasming in my feet finally ended. But the pain remained.

About 30 minutes in, I was finally able to put my feet flat on the floor without intense pain. But, from all the spasming, my Achilles, especially in my right foot, started throbbing. Thankfully, that didn't last very long.

My conclusion is this was awful but still an unfair comparison. After 30 some-odd minutes, I was mostly okay. Those battling CRPS don't get a break. But, it sucked nonetheless and it would take a lot of coaxing for me to repeat the process. 

Finally, I know a lot of athletes do the ice bath thing after a rigorous workout. I am not an athlete and haven't been for about 20 years. Even then, I was a cyclist and a golfer and I never ever jumped into an ice bath.

If you're willing, please consider a donation to the RSDSA. You can do that either on my Facebook video post or you can visit the RSDSA donation link.  

For those of you who have already donated, thank you. Both Mrs. Whiskeyfellow and I are very grateful. If finances are tight, I get that. I won't pressure you. Just send over good thoughts for the Pain Warriors.

Thank you for reading this, cheers!

Friday, September 3, 2021

My Guest Appearance on Entry Proof Podcast Live


Last night I had the pleasure of appearing on Entry Proof Podcast Live with Drew P. Whiskey and Abandon Bourbon to discuss the #30DaysofBourbon Challenge. It was a fun evening, we chatted up what we love about whiskey, a bit about Bourbon & Banter, and a brief discussion about RSD/CRPS and how devastating it is.

The most awesome part of the night was a pledge to raise money for the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association ( That made my evening, and Mrs. Whiskeyfellow was very thankful when she watched the webcast and the offer was made.

This was a lively exchange that ran about 90 minutes, so pour yourself a glass of Bourbon (because, after all, it is Bourbon Heritage Month) and relax. You can watch the show by clicking the Play icon in the middle of the header photo

Thank you, Drew, for this opportunity, and for your generosity, cheers!

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.

Monday, August 30, 2021

My Video Guide for the #30DaysofBourbon Challenge

Unfortunately, Blogger won't allow me to post a video that's quite this large, it is only six minutes, but it is well worth watching, especially since it explains in great detail what's expected for this year's #30DaysofBourbon Challenge

However, you can head over to Facebook, the direct link to this video is here

Please comment if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them. Thank you for participating. Cheers!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The #30DaysofBourbon Challenge is back... are you ready?


You've waited patiently for a year. You've prepped. You've taken many of my recommendations. You've hoarded your Bourbon. And, starting Wednesday, it is time to break into those bottles. 

That's right, my #30DaysofBourbon Challenge is back!  This is the original, the one that launched copycats over the years.

2020 was a hell of a year. 2021 started with much hope, but we seem to be on a backslide. If you’re ready to turn things around for September, Bourbon & Banter has the means to help you concentrate on something fun.

You see, if it is September, it must be Bourbon Heritage Month. That must mean it is time for the seventh annual 30 Days of Bourbon Challenge!

Wait, what’s that? You’ve never heard of the 30 Days of Bourbon Challenge?

No problem, I’ll tell you all about it...

Everything you need to know is over at Bourbon & Banter.  Cheers!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The 30 Days of Bourbon Recap and my Donation to to Help Cure CRPS

September was a ton of fun - a well-needed (and earned) break from the disaster that is 2020. The #30DaysofBourbon challenge was bigger, badder, and better than it has ever been. This year, I relaxed one of the rules allowing for different proofs of the same label to be counted as different Bourbons. You can thank COVID-19 for that.

Truth be told, until the last few years, I've hated being in photos and I still hate being in videos. I don't mind public speaking, I don't mind being a guest on someone's webcast. In fact, I enjoy those things. But, when I'm on my own doing my own thing, I really dislike being in front of the camera. As such, part of the 30 Days of Bourbon challenge is for me to make myself uncomfortable.

Things started off with a video introduction and explanation. Then, on September 1st, the challenge kicked off with Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond.  This is my house Bourbon, the one that I never allow to disappear from my whiskey library.

Day two was a celebration of George Garvin Brown's birthday. He was the namesake of Brown-Forman, which owns Old Forester, and is credited with offering the first bottled Bourbon. Each year, on September 2nd, Old Forester releases its Birthday Bourbon. This release is from 2016.  By the way, check out my t-shirt!

On Day three, I decided to go with something discontinued. In this case, it was Ezra Brooks 7-year, which is a 101° rumored to be sourced from Heaven Hill. If you stumble across this one on the shelf, do yourself a favor and grab it. You can thank me later!

For the fourth day, I decided to crank things up a bit and pour something barrel proof. That led me to EH Taylor Barrel Proof. This one is from 2015 and rings in at a hefty 124.7°. It was the first Bourbon I had that gave me a purely overwhelming blast of berries.

Day Five was my introduction to Barrel-Proof Bourbon:  Elijah Craig.  Not this particular release, but still before the bottle redesign. This beauty came out of the barrel at 139.4° in May 2016. In the current labeling system, it would be called B516.

As day six rolled around, I selected an exemplary reason why it is so important to #DrinkCurious. When I was early on in my whiskey journey, my wife bought me Old Weller Antique. It burned like hell and my palate was just too young to appreciate it. About two years ago, I revisited it, and ever since then I've been kicking myself for passing up all the opportunities I had to buy it while it was easy to find.  Lesson learned:  If you don't like something now, give it a second chance down the road.

To round out the first week, Day 7 was probably the most unusual pour:  Jim Beam Signature Whole Rolled Oat.  This is an 11-year Bourbon whose mash substituted rolled oats for the typical rye content. These Signature releases seem to hit the clearance aisles of liquor stores that I've visited, and they're mostly good stuff.

On the eighth day, I selected another discontinued label, this time from Heaven HillOld Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond went from an everyday opportunity to an allocated, limited edition run. You used to be able to pick these up for about $20.00.  The new version will set you back over $100.00, but carries an age statement and is aged many more years. 

The ninth day went to the first private barrel (a/k/a store pick) of the month:  Maker's Mark Private Selection.  This one was for Mahen's which has a few stores in the greater Madison area. Maker's is customizable by the customer - you get to choose from various staves to add to the finish and make it all your own. 

I'm big on humor. Learn, Laugh, & Enjoy Great Whiskey is my slogan. The 10th pour of the month has a funny name: Cinder Dick. It was the name that encouraged me to first try it, because, good or bad, it made me smile. As it turned out, this is a serious whiskey. 

The choice for my 11th pour was not easy. September 11th is a somber day for the United States. What makes one distillery better than another or more deserving? Bourbon is America's Native Spirit, I don't think any single distillery is more "American" than another. But, the Blaum Bros use red, white, and blue on their in-house distilled labels, of which Old Fangled Knotter Bourbon is not. I selected the 12-year cask strength at 114°.

I had something completely different planned for the 12th day, but as happens every single year, things change. Wiggly Bridge Distillery sent me a bottle of its Bottled-in-Bond expression for a review, and after a few days, I couldn't stand the suspense and cracked it open. 

The 13th day brought a very limited-edition pour from Whiskey Acres Distilling Co. out of Dekalb, Illinois. It is a 5.5-grain Bourbon made from wheat, oats, rye, malted barley, and then two types of corn: green and yellow. Those two corn varietals make the 1.5 of the 5.5 grains.  It was aged only a year, but it was one tasty pour.

I rounded out the second week with Old 55 Single Barrel Bourbon. Old 55 is a farm-to-glass whiskey out of Indiana, and their rickhouse is in the basement of a former elementary school, giving it very little change in temperature despite seasonal changes. 

At the halfway point, I decided my 15th pour would be the Bourbon that changed my mind about Texas Bourbons:  Still Austin's The Musician. This two-year-old really impressed me.

I opted out of being in the photo for Day 16 because you'd never see the lettering on the bottle label and it would just look weird. This is Lux Row Distillers' Double Barrel Bourbon, which was my 2019 Bourbon of the Year.

The 17th pour of my challenge was Tumblin’ Dice Barrel Proof. This four-year MGP distillate will knock your socks off, and so will the price. Oh yeah, I'm back in the photos.

The 18th Bourbon was Very Old Barton Bottled in Bond. This is the one that started me on my #RespectTheBottomShelf campaign. It was also my introduction to bonded whiskeys. Unfortunately, this one is kind-of, sort-of discontinued. While still available at 100°, it has lost its Bottled-in-Bond status.

On the 19th day, I poured Wollersheim Distillery's 2020 Spring Release Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon. Drink local, right? Moreover, Drink Wisconsinbly!

At the two-thirds mark, twenty days in, I went in with Fighting Cock 103. This is a Heaven Hill Distillery 6-year bottling which hs been discontinued, but a no-age-statement version is still around. 

My 21st pour was Kentucky Peerless Straight Bourbon. This is done in small batches but is bottled at barrel proof. In this case, it was 109.5°.

At this point, I planned on everything forward to be a store pick. The 22nd pour would be the only one that I'd not personally picked, but it had to be done because, well, what would a month of Bourbon be without Buffalo Trace?  This one is from Monumental Enterprises in McFarland. 

And now, for something completely different: Every Bourbon for the remainder of the month is from a barrel that I personally picked. To start that off, the 23rd pour is “Unicorn Slayer” - a 7.5 year Backbone Bourbon bottled at 119.3° and picked by the Secret Midnight Whiskey Club for Niemuth’s Southside Market.

For the 24th pour, I chose J. Henry & Sons Patton Road Reserve. This was picked for The Speakeasy_WI and Riley's Wines of the World in Madison back in 2018. Barrel number 210!

For the 25th pour, I chose "Scott's Holy Grail" - a 1792 Full Proof picked for The Speakeasy_WI and Neil's Liquors of Middleton in 2019. 

On Day 26, the pour was a Russell's Reserve pick called "The Candyman." Picking Wild Turkey has been an interesting chapter in my life because, until recently, I wasn't the biggest fan. But, I'm at the point in my journey where I appreciate what it is and what it can be. This was a 2020 pick, again for The Speakeasy_WI and Neil's Liquor

I’m going with a George Remus pick from a few months ago called “Bootlegger Bentley's.” Bentley is a loveable Newfie that belongs to Troy, the owner of The SpeakEasy_WI. Given the opportunity, I’d steal him. This is one of the better whiskeys I’ve stumbled across in 2020 and was picked for Neil's Liquor in Middleton.


And then, there's the 28th. Year over year, my 28th pour is the same. Always. This was picked on September 28th, 2013, which happened to be my 11th wedding anniversary. It was my first barrel pick. I really only drink this Four Roses OBSO on September 28th, with my goal to keep being able to take a sip as long as I'm alive. This 10-year comes in at 126.8° and was picked for Fine Spirits in Cooper City, Florida.

With only two days left, I went with Woodinville Whiskey Co's first barrel-proof release in Wisconsin for the 29th pour, picked with The Speakeasy_WI for Neil's Liquor. We called this one "Whassup? Flockers." It weighs in at 119.6°.

And then, finally, all good things come to an end. Day 30, the final day - what to choose? How about an amazing Knob Creek Single Barrel I helped pick for Riley's Wines of the World with The Speakeasy_WI. This one is called "The Rat Pick" and while I've been involved with some incredible barrel picks, this one's my second favorite of all time. Yeah, that's my face on the sticker. 

And with that, we come to the best part of the #30DaysofBourbon Challenge - the giving back. I have selected the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association at as my charitable donation. I support the RSDSA every year because it is personal - Mrs. Whiskeyfellow has been an amazing Pain Warrior and battling this horrific nerve disorder for several years. The RSDSA provides awareness, assistance, and education about RSD/CRPS and helps drive research for a cure. It is my sincerest hope that one day, CRPS will be a faint memory and those afflicted will be able to live pain-free again.

Thank you for taking part in my #30DaysofBourbon Challenge. Cheers!