New York Yankees Narrowly Escape Late Rally by the Wichita Wingnuts (This is actually about whiskey, I swear)

Wheat State

Wichita, Kansas, is the home of a professional, independent league baseball team known as the Wichita Wingnuts (Go Nuts!).  The team has been quite successful, winning multiple division titles and and a league championship in its short nine-year existence.  Locally, many are quite proud of their team. And for good reason.  They are a solid baseball team, filled with players with big dreams who all have much more talent and guts than I’ll ever have.

The New York Yankees is a household name across the United States.  Like them or not, there is no dispute as to their historic success, with 27 World Series titles to their name.  In today’s time, you can watch every single game (all 162 ), if you should choose.   With the Yankee’s pedigree and financial strength, the world can rightfully expect much from the Yankees, year in and year out.

The two teams are in totally different leagues, pun intended.  While a head-to-head competition would never occur, there is no doubt on who would prevail and it would not be as close as this article’s title would suggest.  If you were to judge quality of play, a Wichitan would never leave their house and would simply tune in on TV or online to watch the Yankees over heading out to a Wingnuts game.

With all that, why do people follow local baseball?

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Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond Revisit:  They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To.

Old Fitzgerald
Several months ago, Stephen Netherton landed upon a pretty dusty find here in Kansas.  Old Fitzgerald hasn’t been brought into the state in years, and finding the Bottled in Bond expression anywhere tends to be difficult.  That find led to a review, with some pretty tasty results.  Lucky for me, Stephen shared a pour with me shortly after his review.

Fast forward a few months.  While shopping online over my lunch hour, I stumbled upon a few 1.75 liter bottles of Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond located just outside of Chicago.  I’d been searching for months to no avail, but finally I had come upon it.  And only after working my way through the checkout process did I learn that they would not ship that particular item to Kansas.  After communicating this problem to fellow members, Jay Cary saved the day with a Chicago connection that was able to go into the score and buy a few for later export to Kansas.

Last week I twisted open that handle and had a pour.  I have to say I loved it.  It now stands as one of my favorite value pours.  At 100 proof, for me, it hits that mark where flavors are ideally concentrated without the overshadowing of proof.  However, this newer bottle certainly did not live up to my memory of the sample I tried from Stephen’s bottle.

Only a revisit of the older bottling next to the newer one would decide.  I shared a sample of the newer bottle with Stephen, and he shared a sample with me.

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Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond

Old Fitzgerald

For about a year, I’ve worked to develop relationships and connections with many of the reputable liquor stores in Wichita. Whenever work takes me outside the office, I will try to stop into at least one store to take a peek at what is on the shelves and chat with the store manager. When work takes me out of town, I generally try to do the same.

On a recent work trip to Arkansas City, I stopped by a local store before making my return trip. A bottle on the bottom shelf, sitting by itself and priced at $19.95, caught my eye.

There are many modern expressions of Old Fitzgerald – Old Fitzgerald Prime, Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond, Old Fitzgerald’s 1879, and Very Special Old Fitzgerald 12-year. I’ve never tried any of them, until now.

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