The Good Life: A beautiful bourbon bottle

Steve Palec on Bourbon

Steve Palec

One of the reasons I love bourbon is that I am unabashedly proud to be an American, and bourbon is truly an American product.

I am a first-generation American. As a child, I embraced everything American but was also exposed to other sights and sounds from around the world. While I couldn’t image life without cheeseburgers and television, I was also forcibly introduced to knowledge that predated my parents’ arrival in the United States.

Since they were my elders, I’m guessing they read “New Memoirs Establishing a True Knowledge of Mankind,” a book written in 1747 by Marquis d’Argens, which contained a memorable line: “The country woman minds nothing on Sundays so much as her best Bib and Tucker.”

Bibs have been around for a long time, and a tucker I understand to be some type of lace placed over the bodice. Hang on a second…I just had to Google “bodice.”

But before I totally lose you, let me segue to the recommendation of a really nice bourbon called “Bib & Tucker.”

Yes, this bourbon is named in honor of putting on your best bib and tucker—a very old term that is meant to reference your finest attire.

And yes, it is an exceptionally fine bourbon from a non-distilling producer. Evidently, that gave them time to focus on creating one of the most interesting bottles I’ve ever seen. It is dark brown, oddly shaped with interesting etchings and capped with a cork. It wouldn’t matter if it arrived in a spaceship if the product wasn’t good. But in this case, the bourbon is smooth, unique and perfect for sipping.

Bib & Tucker bottle. Image from Total Wine & More.

I know it comes in six-, eight-, 10- and 12-year versions. I’ve never ventured beyond the six-year, which is a great value, priced under $50, and an even better gift. As someone who has received a lot of gifted bottles, there is something memorable when someone gives you something unexpected in a great package. As an aside, I used to use old blueprints as an attention-grabbing gift wrap from my office space leasing days. However, I lacked the patience to fold corners and use tape sparingly, so the gifts looked like discarded waste.

Giving or getting this artful bottle will get you noticed. I’d describe it as the kind of apothecary bottle Doc Cochran would prescribe to Al Swearengen on “Deadwood.” But unlike the vitriolic profanity that permeated the dialogue of that classic HBO series, I’m pretty confident the response will be all positive if you give or get this cool container.

Steve Palec is chief marketing officer of Milwaukee-based commercial real estate development firm Irgens. ‘The Good Life: Steve Palec on Bourbon’ lifestyle feature appears regularly at

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