So what was Ryan's preferred bourbon? I'm considering picking some up for my birthday, and I'd like to know what he drank.
Looks like you're right, Ryan's favorite was Eagle Rare.
@topsteer: You, Sir, are correct...
@geekdown: You, Sir, are also correct...
So, Eagle Rare and/or Makers Mark.
@veektarius: There isn't any truly "correct" way to do anything. If you want to put it in a gallon of ice and top it off with melon liqueur, go for it. You won't taste much of the expensive bourbon you paid for but, if that's how you enjoy it, well, fuck us pointy headed bozos telling you what's "right" and go for it.
That said the one ice cube thing has a reason for being. A little bit of water will "open up" the bourbon (or scotch) and let the flavors be... more flavorful. Also, most whisky/whiskey is not served at cellar temperature (55-60F/13-16C) where the flavor shows best (or, at least, those of us who like it that way feels it does)*. So with one (small) ice cube you get both a little bit of water and you drop the temp from room to cellar in one fell swoop.
*Very cold food/drink actually numbs the taste buds and mutes flavor severely, so a glass full of ice is gonna close off the flavors of anything poured in it. In fact, professional ice cream tasters warm their samples up until they are starting to get mushy just for this reason.
...and that's your "way to much information" nugget (or boulder) for the day...
@oldguy: I appreciate the info. It doesn't sound as if I was doing it that "wrong" by Ryan's standards to begin with. I was just wondering if there was something about the method that makes it easier to really work through a glass. In general I've only been able to consume large quantities of whiskey in poker games where I involuntarily drank to hide my expression.
@veektarius: Ah. Well, being that I've gotten older pounding bourbon is... not my thing... one of the reasons that you drink it "the right way" is to savor all the flavor that it has to offer, so, taking your time over a good glass is also part of "the way"...
If you're looking for something to pound I'd go 1) much less expensive than good whiskey and 2) very cold...
If you're looking for something that'll keep your wits about you at the end of the night playing poker while still having something to fiddle with I'd suggest Ouzo (anise isn't a flavor for everyone, but I like it) drunk the traditional way... Pour 3 oz of Ouzo in a tall glass and place a large pitcher of iced water next to/near it, fill the glass with water and you get the magic clear to cloudy transition that's so cool. At that point you can nurse it along adding only water as needed (never let it get more than half empty or so) add a bit more Ouzo from time to time to keep up the ruse... It'll stay cloudy and people will think you've drunk a lot but you'll have 'em since your brain will be clear and sharp for the last hands of the night... :-)
If you are more concerned with what the best whiskey is rather than Ryan's favorite you would do well to track down a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle (Eagle Rare and Pappy Van Winkle are made by distilleries that are owned by the same company). Repeatedly name-check in Justified, it's hard to get your hands on a bottle of it, but it's worth the trouble if bourbon is something you get your rocks off with. Or maybe neat.
Met Ryan at a state run liquor store in Seattle a couple years ago during PAX. He was buying Eagle Rare, and some cheap stuff "for those OTHER knuckleheads". I got a bottle of Eagle Rare myself and thanked him for the recommendation.
I always wondered if he tried any of that Bookers they always had in the background on set. I love that stuff but it's WAY strong. Single barrel stuff usually is though.