Words by @The_Bourbonator
“I don’t have to sell my soul” said the Stone Roses in the halcyon days of Manchester’s legendary music scene. Fast forward 20 years and there are some bottles of American whiskey where only a deal with the crown prince of darkness himself would grant the opportunity to try. Of course, Ian Brown was most certainly not referring to high end booze, (he’s tee-total on last check) though I’m sure he’d be no less aghast at the fact that All Star Lanes, Manchester has a bourbon so rare, it’s referred to as a ‘unicorn’.
The British Bourbon Society first heard about All Star Lanes housing the infamous, William Larue Weller 19 a few years ago, though a few calls into their London branches remained fruitless as to its exact whereabouts. It was our very own Chris Neville that finally confirmed that yes, the bottle was alive and kicking (just) and that we should all go and try it before the moment passes us by. The least amount of persuading required, it was agreed that an event should be arranged with All Star Lanes to accommodate a group of Society members so that we can all be a collective part of bourbon folklore.
Chris with All Star Lanes, set about organising the event, which on the night lived up to every expectation, accommodating our love of carnivorous creations (except Chris himself who’s a veggie) with our obsession with America’s spirit.
Not wanting to ‘dive right in’ the warm up acts included a prelude of Noah’s Mill, Whistlepig 111 and George T. Stagg 2015 building up to the crescendo of the main attraction, poured into our jewel encrusted goblets and we all took a sip of that Stitzel-Weller-distilled nectar of the gods.
Like all whiskey, the results polarized the group, but what was clear that night was two things, 1) we need to get more events going ‘up North’, the people are brilliant and epitomise the community ethos of the British Bourbon Society and 2) sometimes it’s better not to meet your heroes, those halcyon days are probably best left where they are!