Hey ya’ll. I suck, I know. I haven’t given you any new shit to read, since, as I have mentioned–I suck. But here’s the deal, I have been writing. I’m working on something not entirely insignificant and rather long. Bear with me a bit. It won’t be long. In the meantime, Johnny Shines definitely does not suck.
Well, my readers, I must begin by apologize. I’ve gone dark, slightly. Not really, but my frequency dipped. Anyways, that being out of the way, let me give you a little glimpse of your narrator, author—vice-roy, perhaps. I have a little bit of a process on these articles. Usually it starts by getting a bottle of hooch. You probably could have guessed that. If it’s a good bottle, I’ll stretch it out a bit; start out nights with a single pour. I start to think on it, find the tastes, get an angle, if I can. In this case, I have no angle really, but we’ll let that slide. Once I’ve gotten down to a good bottle, usually I’ll leave that last couple drinks un-drunk. Basically, I’ll grapple with the base impulses which are always at war within me. The one that wants to do something creative, that wants to let my mind breath, if just for a couple meaningless paragraphs or a quick solo—and the lazy son of a bitch who just wants to lay back in his chair watching the X-Files for the 15th time and take the edge off with a light buzz. Usually that lazy bastard wins, because, well, life is goddamn exhausting. Occasionally the ambitious dude escapes, grabs up that last few pours—puts the bottle in front of him and starts to think.
He tries to rework that angle that ran across his mind on the way to work one day. He looks at the website of his subject, tries to get the feel for how they present themselves, and tries to get their vibe. Often, I’ll look at other reviews, amateur and otherwise—see if they’re just bullshitting notes or if maybe they caught something I hadn’t noticed. A little bit of research, fact-checking, plagiarism. That kind of shit. Well, this has been my process tonight. In my research, I’ve found something quite interesting. There are a lot of people who don’t have much to say about Corner Creek. Some people have negative things to say. Now, granted, maybe some of these people are snobs, who treat Blanton’s as their daily drink and occasionally do filthy things with bottles of Pappy Van Winkle. Wretched perverts. But then again, a lot of these people seem to be normal bourbon enthusiasts, and more to the point, they’re pulling the exact same notes out of this that I do— and they ain’t diggin’ it. Before I go into it further, let me give you the rundown, the notes.
Starting on the nose, as any drunkard worth their slug is wont to do, we find Corner Creek is almost self-contradicting, with something like cola on leather underneath being overpowered by a light floral chamomile bouquet with warm vanilla and just a touch of dry oak. It’s quite a lovely nose, unusual but inviting, and something I would consider splashing in my beard before a date. If I had what could respectably be called a beard. I’m trying, goddammit. The first taste, too, is rather unusual. While the flavor profile—light vanilla on the entry, a touch of rye, spice, some warm caramel and a nice crisp orange oil near the end—is not unusual itself, there is something unusual, which seems to be a sticking point in each review. This bourbon is quite dry, almost like the mouthfeel of an old cabernet. It’s quite unusual, and among the forum folks, quite controversial—but then again, I like cabernet. The finish, upon which I can agree with some of my fellow tasters is a bit short, is not unpleasant, leaving you with a touch vanilla on a slightly dry palate that seems to ask for a splash more…
So, for the most part, many of us tasters find a similar thing with this bottle. But how do these tasting notes translate into a person’s feeling on the bourbon? In the case of Corner Creek, quite greatly. Some reviewers were offering to give their bottles away, some saying they didn’t understand it, but they liked it. Quite a few people considered it undistinguished, but yet others seemed to find the dry notes distinctly and unwelcomingly out of style? To be honest, I usually don’t put much stock in the other reviews when I do my “research,” but I found the controversy here quite interesting, and since I clearly have no other angle to this (un)creative ejaculation, I wanted to put in my two centavos down on this $26 argument.
My take on Corner Creek? Distinct, and refreshingly so. What makes Corner Creek so interesting to me, is that somehow it fits the mold of an almost quintessential bourbon in the flavors you find on the nose, in the taste, even on the finish—and yet, that touch of dryness to the wood has made a beautiful nose, and a highly controversial, and, in my opinion, interesting, flavor profile. So while many reviewers out there found this to be flawed as an undistinct and dry bourbon, I find that in being dry it has a unique, and enjoyable distinctness. Corner Creek may be just another band playing an old song, but there does seem to be a bit of a new twang to their sound.