Recently, I actually won reasonably big at the casino, playing poker. Now, before anyone says anything: I don't gamble. This was the very first gambling activity I ever did with real money, and my friend bought me in for $50.
I walked away after cleaning up the table with about $215. I was a little surprised at my success, so I bailed out after that. I'm not even a great poker player, I only found out how to play it in the last few months. Just seems to me that I was lucky, as well as had some rather foolish (and drunk) competition at the table.
Of course, my friends accused me of "sharking" the table, because I was quite clearly a poker prodigy -- but if that were the case, I'd've stuck around to benefit from their mindless chip-bleeding. Bwaha.
Now, while most of the money is clearly going to be saved up since I need to take what I can get, I felt like buying something I've wanted for some time. So I tested out a type of whiskey I've had my eye on for some time: Gentleman Jack's ( http://www.jackdaniels.com/GentlemanJack/tasting.aspx ).
Frankly, it's pretty damn awesome. If you're a bourbon guy, you should give it a shot. As with plenty of beers the refined fellow might prefer, the more boutique and obscure bourbons are impossible to find in Australia - so, as far as what I've been able to taste living down here, Gentleman Jack's is the best.
But that's the problem. I live in this hot stinker of a country known as Australia. You know, the place you all probably think is awesome because you've never visited, and the place all Aussies think is awesome because they've never been anywhere else.
Here, a bottle of Gentleman Jack's is $60. That gave me a lot of pause. It might be nice, but so is having $60. But you see, I went looking around and discovered an even pricier JDs: their single-barrel.
Now, I wasn't sure which one to buy, since both of them were fearsomely expensive and probably quite similar. The price difference gave me pause -- it was unlikely for the more expensive option to be THAT much better, but what if it was? So I checked a few opinions online... and oh, bloody god...
I came across an American review that complained that the whopping, jaw-dropping, ball-shrivelling price of $35US for the Single Barrel was too high. Wow. It's $94 here.
"BUT KICHI! What about the exchange rate!?" Good question! 94 Australian dollars is roughly... 90 American dollars at present. Yeah. You read that right. Here, high quality spirits (American or otherwise, so no it's not import costs) can reach up to 100 bucks.
Australia is utterly horrible when it comes to alcohol (and other things). Granted, it's better than living in some other places, but then again if I lived in a "dry country" I'd be more concerned with living in a nation that enforced laws on private citizens based on the government's religion than what drugs I can take.
Our booze costs an amazing amount, with Bacardi 151, for instance, being exceptionally rare and also costing $80AU ($30 in America). We have a ridiculously small range, even in our "massive range warehouses". I've hunted for over a year to get a type of brandy, and an American went out and bought it just to spite me. Finally, our licensed bars and clubs are so heavily restricted, they cannot offer a drink containing more than 60mls of alcohol (2 standard drinks). This is a bit of a problem when you want to order a Long Island Ice Tea or something (roughly 5 standard drinks).
The Long Island isn't freakin' moonshine, folks. It's a legitimate, highly popular cocktail in much of the world. What the bloody HELL? The only time I've managed to try real ones is when, well, let's just say the bartender was very nice and made a 'mistake.' And why can we only have 2 standard drinks per cocktail when we can have 8 pints of beer*?!
Granted, Americans do need to suffer the drinking age being 21, but see what I said about religion above. MADD is full of more shit than a dysentery-infected stable.
Gah!! Oh, and I need to say something. Let's get this out here now.
Australians do not drink Fosters. Now, I know, you're probably thinking I mean "mostly we don't, but some of us do." No, I'm serious, we don't have Fosters here. I've never seen it on tap, I don't know a single person who drinks it. It's not "like Budweiser" as someone once said online -- Americans DO drink Budweiser, I know you do. Budweiser is also much better than Fosters. Which we literally do not drink. No Fosters. Okay? No Fosters in Australia. Every time you buy it, you're falling for a lame marketing ploy... and why the fuck would you want something from Australia anyway? Aussies don't know good beer if it bites them in the arse, mates.
* - don't even ask how many standard drinks that is, you don't want to know.