Play me a train song… Bourbon and Hank III

It is 11:45 at night and I can’t sleep. I have been sequestered in my home for two days while battling strep throat (what weak-ass 41 year-old man gets strep?). The shorts (basketball style, North Carolina blue) and t-shirt (San Diego Padres) are starting to get a little taint on them (LOL I said “taint”). I know I have brushed my teeth within the last 24 hours, but no running water or soap has touched my body in 48. Food consumption for the past two days has included four hot dogs (Safeway brand), 6 bowls of Frosted Flakes, 3 handful of M&Ms, 1/3 cup of salsa and a handful of potato chips. Alcohol intake has been about 300 ml of bourbon and four beers (1 Pacifico Clara, 2 Sam Adams Oktoberfests, and 1 Miller High Life… it’s the champagne of beers).

Obviously, it is time to listen to Hank III’s new album Ghost to a Ghost and drink some more bourbon. Play me a fuckin’ train song cause I’m ready to party!

The bourbon will include Old Pogue’s Master’s Select, 8 year-old Buck, Angels Envy, and Michter’s Small Batch. I won’t go into specifics of distilling, but think corn whiskey aged in charred white oak barrels… yes, all bourbon is whiskey but not all whiskey is bourbon. I assume that professional bourbon reviews are not conducted and written near midnight when the reviewer is sick (and smelling faintly of dog ass)… oh what the Hell lets give this shit a twirl.

Note: What I taste, smell, and feel is personal… your response to these bourbons may be completely different. I believe you have to taste a plethora of bourbons to start seeing a distinction, or at least, taste a number of different bourbons in a row to see the differences. In other words, these bourbon reviews (like all reviews) are pure bullshit.

Old Pogue Master’s Select: Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, LTD, Bardstown, Kentucky, 91 proof (45.5% alc/vol). Light honey brown, streams nicely down the sides of the glass. Initial smell hints of spice and citrus. Initial taste… HOLY SHIT that is a bite, the alcohol is the first taste. Carmel and wood are the lingering taste… and the burn that runs down. I believe I may have just killed all the streptococci in my throat. Lingering taste… really it isn’t a lingering but a burning sensation in my nose, eyes, and upper respiratory system. This is good bourbon for those that want their bourbon to have a kick. Sublimemonkey Bourbon Stars: 3 out of 5 (I just invented this rating system)

8 Year-Old Buck: Frank-Lin Distillers Products, LTD, San Jose, California, 90 proof (45% alc/vol). Dark in hue, thick movement on the glass. Smells like raisins, or nuts? Initial taste… smooth, with a quick alcohol bite that disappears quickly. It goes down nicely, buttery aftertaste that could be mistaken for a sorta waxy feel… this bourbon coats the mouth and throat in warmth. Good bourbon for cold night. Sublimemonkey Bourbon Stars: 4 out of 5

Angels Envy: Louisville Distilling Company, Louisville, Kentucky, 86.6 proof (43.3% alc/vol). Light, light honey colored… obviously it didn’t sleep long in the charred barrels. No streaming on the glass… this is a light nectar. Fruity smell and taste, may be result of being finished in port wine barrels. Super sweet taste, no bite… this is dangerous bourbon. This is the type of bourbon a non-bourbon drinker would assume represents the whole catalog. This is the type of bourbon a bourbon drinker would constantly guzzle. George Jones broke the seal on a Jim Beam decanter, Sublimemonkey would have rip the top off an Angel Envy bottle. Sublimemonkey Bourbon Stars: 4.6 out of 5

Michter’s Small Batch: Michter’s American Whiskey Co., Bardstown, Kentucky, 91.4 proof (45.7% alc/vol). Initial smell has a slight medicinal hint, pepper, and spices. Thick, stringy lines down the side of the glass. Dark bronze or leather color. Taste of grain, especially corn, but major dollops of syrup. This is an old whiskey, distilling process is based on a 1753 recipe… this is a raw, but enjoyable bourbon. The smell indicated a bite, the bite was weaker than assumed. It is a quick and strong swallow followed by a raisin and prune aftertaste. Sublimemonkey Bourbon Stars: 3.8 out of 5

Speaking of bite, Hank 3/III has put out a concept album. Hank III prides himself in putting the “Dick in Dixie and the Cunt in Country” and his new album Ghost to a Ghost’s concept is “how fucking weird can I get and still make a damn good album.” GTG starts in great Hank III fashion, the lead track “Gutter Town” rocks somewhere between rockabilly, honky-tonk, bluesy train song. After this it starts to get a little off kilter… as if you are drinking a bunch of bourbon and listening to a great album that you can’t pigeon-hole (which is better than trying to corn hole).

I know it wasn’t T-Pain… but I swear I heard T-Pain on a couple of the tracks. I did hear a gypsy accordion, a Spanish flamenco guitar, and Louisiana swamp rock. There is a coon dog barking, and I believe, Hank III barking like a coon dog. Towards the end there are a number of tracks that sound like the intros to a Rob Zombie song.

This album isn’t your typical “Whiskey, Weed, and Women” Hank III, this is a deeper, and slightly fucked-up Hank III. If you have never heard him or his music, avoid the 2nd half of this album. This is the soundtrack to the Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia except Hank III didn’t do the soundtrack for the original movie and this album is a number of years newer. Ghost to a Ghost is an album for train spotters. This album is for snorting coke and pounding bourbons.



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