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jeff
08-23-2002, 11:02
Well, just found out today that my health insurance premiums will be going up by 33% http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif so I need to trim my liquor budget a bit. What bourbons would you recommend that have some of the qualities of top shelf brands at the middle to bottom shelf prices?

bobbyc
08-23-2002, 11:30
Old forester 86 Cheaper than 4YO Beam and a hell of a lot better. AAA, Buy some Barton it gets overlooked because they aren't throwing millions in ads and it sits on or near the bottom shelf, Wild Turkey, I remember when WT Maker's and Dickel were the top shelf , A lot has changed in 30 years. Heaven Hill puts out some decent bourbon in JTS Brown , Echo Spring and JW Dant you may want to see if you can get a 1/2 pint to try they may not be what you are looking for. Old Charter classic 90
Hope this Helps http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif Elijah Craig 12 easily the best value for the money.

cowdery
08-23-2002, 13:16
Old Fitzgerald has always been my "budget" choice.

ratcheer
08-23-2002, 14:51
My three top choices that are under $20 are Wild Turkey 101, Old Forester 100-proof, and Elijah Craig 12-yr old.

Tim

kgiammarco
08-23-2002, 16:33
Virginia Gentleman 90 proof... It may not be the cheapest, but for some reason, to me it tastes like it should cost a lot more than it does...

**DONOTDELETE**
08-23-2002, 20:33
Jeff the cheapest bourbon on my ABC store's bottom shelf is Ten High at $6.75 per 750ml bottle. It's quite young with a very simple nose and flavor. The best thing I can say for Ten High is that it does not taste bad. It does taste better than Old Crow and it is cheaper. When you compare Ten High with the alternatives at that price point you've got the very cheapest vodkas; gins and 'brown vodkas' (blended whiskies) - Ten High looks far more attractive and it certianly tastes better than those non-bourbon alternatives. Don't forget there's always beer! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

Winslow
08-24-2002, 06:37
You said that you like Makers's. I tried it and found it to be similar to Evan williams Single Barrel. Why don't you try Evan Williams 7 year old. I can get it in Michigan for just under $9.00 for 750 ml. You could probably beat that in KY. It's pretty thin, but not bad tasting.

jeff
08-24-2002, 07:38
let's not get carried away, I'm not quite to the point of spending my weekends with a gallon of Thunderbird or something like that http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif Really I'm looking for 750ml's in the 10-15 dollar range to try. My favorite in that range right now is WT 80. I will give the Ten High a try (sounds like a marketing slogan).

jeff
08-24-2002, 07:46
Last night I went to the Liquor Barn armed with my list of suggestions. I initially picked up a bottle of AAA 10yr. I have read that this has been hard for some people to find, but the shelves are full of it here (I made sure that it was the 10yr and not the 10 star). However I opted for buying an assortment of pints to do a little comparative tasting. I bought the AAA10yr, Evan Williams 7 and Old Forrester 86. I will try to post a tasting report when I get time, but I think the AAA was my initial favorite, EW coming in second with OF a close third. They were all acceptable in my book. The AAA went for about $11 for the 750ml. I didn't remember to check for the others. What are your thought on these three?

texascarl
08-24-2002, 09:17
Value bourbon -- Local prices under $20

Spicy Drams
*Knob Creek 9 yr, 101 proof $18
Eagle Rare 10 yr, 101 $16
*Ezra Brooks 7 year, 101 $13
Old Grand-dad BIB $13
*Old Grand-dad 114 $19
Wild Turkey 101 $15
*Elijah Craig 12 yr 94 proof $15

Smoother Drams
Old Fitz BIB $13
*David Nicolson 1843 BIB (really Old Fitz BIB that's 7 years old) $16
*Old Fitz 1849, 8 years 90 proof $15
*Old Charter 'The Classic' 12 year 90 proof $16 (all Old Charters = a bargain)
Wellers Reserve 12 yr 90 proof $17
Wellers Reserve 107 $16

Rye
*Wild Turkey Rye 101 $16
Old Overholt $11 - leaves enough $$$ to buy a case of ginger ale. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

* = personal faves

ratcheer
08-24-2002, 12:15
Winslow, your impression of EW Black is the same as mine: thin and one-dimensional, but nevertheless, a pretty good bourbon flavor. I probably won't buy it again, but I won't turn my nose up at it, either.

When I want Heaven Hill whiskey, it will usually be Elijah Craig 12-yo or Evan Williams Single Barrel. When I was in Atlanta, last week, I looked closely at a bottle of EC 18-yo, but it was about $36 and I decided against it.

Tim

bluesbassdad
08-24-2002, 12:50
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
I looked closely at a bottle of EC 18-yo, but it was about $36 and I decided against it.


[/QUOTE]

Tim,

So what did you buy with the $36 you saved? (Hey, my wife thinks like that, and so can I. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif )

Seriously, as I've commented in another thread, I think $36 is a lot to pay for a nose that reminds me of overheated plywood sawdust and a taste to match. Ever since Chuck commented that he enjoys it, I've been trying my darnedest to appreciate its virtues, but I haven't made it yet. By no means do I consider it a bad bourbon, it's just odd to my taste and certainly not worth the cost of one and a half bottles of Russell's Reserve or two bottles of EC12. For sure, if you want to know what wood tastes like, EC18 is the one to try.

I've been trying to work up the nerve to do a little home-vatting, using the EC18 to add a dash of character to an otherwise bland but palatable bourbon. Perhaps a thimblefull of EC18 in a shot of Old Charter, Benchmark, or Jim Beam. Or would Bettye Jo be looking to kick my ass for such a travesty?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

bobbyc
08-24-2002, 17:39
I'm glad to see where you are coming from Jeff. I won't suggest the paint and solvents section of the Hardware store! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif But seriously you can find plenty of good drinks in that range, It becomes even more subjective .

ratcheer
08-24-2002, 18:25
Dave said: "So what did you buy with the $36 you saved? (Hey, my wife thinks like that, and so can I. )"

Well, I don't exactly think like that, but what I bought was:
Old Rip Van Winkle 10-yo 107 proof
Wathen's
Old Grand Dad 114-proof

I have tasted the Old Rip and I like it a lot. I haven't tasted the others, yet and have never tasted either one. But, I hope to get in to the OGD, tonight.

Tim

boone
08-24-2002, 18:46
Dave,

I have already kicked your ass (in my thoughts) many times http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/shocked.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif ................. But,let me tell ya, I don't mess with folks that are just being honest (in their opinion) http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif ........

BTW.....Elijah Craig 18 year is what I prefer http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif .........

http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

bluesbassdad
08-24-2002, 19:27
I haven't had the OGD 114 yet. I'll be very interested in what you have to say about it, especially if you can compare it to OGD BIB.

That is not to say that I'm not interested in what you have to say about the other two; I am. It's just that I know Wathan's and ORVW 10/107 are good; I'm still waffling as to whether to buy the OGD 114 the next time I place a Sam's order.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

bluesbassdad
08-24-2002, 19:32
Bettye Jo,

And I don't mess with anyone who can personhandle a barrel of bourbon.

I reckon I'll be trying EC18 again real soon with an even more open mind. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

Right now I'm in an ORVW 15/107 fog, and the preceding seems really funny to me. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

MurphyDawg
08-26-2002, 22:22
And I was about to mail you a bottle of King Cobra Malt Liquor too. . . .


TomC

MurphyDawg
08-26-2002, 22:30
texascarl says :*Ezra Brooks 7 year, 101 $13


Bingo !! there is my suggestion. I can get it at $11 a fifth and I think it tastes like $25 bourbon, OLD EZRA 7 Year 101, is the shit in my book, a great everyday pour.

TomC

jeff
08-27-2002, 02:32
Hold off on that, I have't finished my bottle of El Toro yet http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif

jeff
08-30-2002, 13:06
I need quick help! I get off work in an hour. I have a budget of $15. I will make a beeline for the Liquor Barn. What do I buy? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/blush.gif

**DONOTDELETE**
08-30-2002, 13:10
http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif Old Charter 'Classic 90' 12 year old. Only twelve bucks! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif

bluesbassdad
08-30-2002, 17:29
Linn,

I liked the eight year-old well enough to be interested in the 90 proof 12 year-old, but I haven't seen it in these parts.

Can KY stores ship out of state to an individual, or is that a felony too, as is shipping wine into KY?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

**DONOTDELETE**
08-30-2002, 18:03
You got it Dave! Do this =&gt; get in your Geo and start driving East. Stop in Kentucky. We'll meet you there! Soon. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

jeff
08-31-2002, 17:29
Yeah, Sorry about your luck http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif there were about 20 bottles on the shelf here. Thanks for the tip Linn. This bourbon is quite good, although the price was a little higher here, about $14.99 http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif

CL
08-31-2002, 20:38
I'll second the Old Fitz. In my limited search, so far the Old Fitz has been tops. I've tried Old Forrester 86 (good), AAA 10 star (won't buy again; yes, I didn't read the label closely enough), and Elijiah Craig 12 yo (I am dissenting with the popular opinion; maybe I need to revisit this one).

bluesbassdad
08-31-2002, 22:18
FYI, I'm about to jump ship on EC12 as I am close to finishing my first bottle.

I was a fan at first sip because... because... Well, because it was so damned interesting, not really because it tasted good to me.

Since then I've met Old Forester 100 proof which costs less and actually tastes good to me. Rather ordinary, perhaps, but good.

Then there's WT 101 (Am I repeating myself?) at about the same price (from $14 to $20 hereabouts). To my taste, nothing else comes close at that price.

EC12 just isn't as enjoyable to my taste as the competition.

(Strangely, during the same time frame that I lost my infatuation with EC12, EWSB, which has some similar flavors, moved up several notches in my private ranking.)

Speaking of revisiting, I guess I'm going to have to try a different bottle of Old Fitz. The horrid finish of the stuff in my bottle couldn't possibly appeal to so many otherwise normal bourbon drinkers. (I'm no sissy, either; I enjoy Rare Breed and Booker's neat.)

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

**DONOTDELETE**
09-01-2002, 08:40
Jeff I'm sorry to hear that Old Charter 'Classic 90' is fifteen bucks a bottle. I can't get it in Virginia and it is one of the bourbons I look forward to buying each year at Bourbon Festival time. Last year I did the bulk of my shopping at The Party Source/Liquor Outlet in Louisville. I'm sure it was twelve bucks.

Now that Liquor Barn has bought out The Party Source I hate to think of paying more for it. I was going to buy a case of it this year so I could enjoy a bottle a month. Vickie wants a case of Buffalo Trace as it is her favorite bourbon. I was also thinking of buying a case of Very Old Barton, and then a case of assorted 'high end' bourbons.

POOF! $1,000 all gone. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/crazy.gif

cowdery
09-02-2002, 15:21
It occurred to me as I read your post that, while I normally favor higher proof bourbon, the fact that EWSB is 86 proof may be a good thing. It is so full of flavor, at 86, that it might be overpowering and hard to drink (at least neat) at a higher proof.

This brings up another thought. An artist once told me that most of making "art" is what you do with your eyes -- looking at the work as it unfolds -- as opposed to what you do with your hands. It's the same with making whiskey. The final step in creating a whiskey is tasting it -- selecting barrels, deciding on the final proof -- and this is done by tasting. Distillers typically have a panel of tasters but the distiller makes the final decision. Ultimately, the judgment is based on how the whiskey tastes (or will taste) straight from the bottle, with no additional dillution. If you want to taste a whiskey the way the distiller intended it to taste, drink it neat.

kitzg
09-02-2002, 16:35
hmmm...

Chuck you make a reasonable point that Master Distillers taste neat with "If you want to taste a whiskey the way the distiller intended it to taste, drink it neat." Yet, I think Master Distillers also realize that a lot of folks dilute the whiskey with something, water being the choice for most who really love the taste of bourbon.

You and I have each tasted with Booker and he and I drank with about 50% water and 50% bourbon.

So I believe distillers draw the product to taste the best neat but also know how it will taste either on ice or when mixed with water.

I don't intend to negate your point at all. But simply add to it that those in the industry know it is consumed many ways. And they also realize that the biggest volume of bourbon (e.g. Beam White) is drunk with Coke and other sodas that you and I would not think of combining with a good bourbon.

I suppose all I am trying to do it not let the impression hang that the industry "expects" consumers to all drink it neat.

cowdery
09-04-2002, 14:37
You're right and I thought about that as I was writing my previous post but forgot to mention it. On the distillery tasting panels, even, they do dilute with room temperature water (never ice) to experience the full range of the whiskey's taste. Of course, they're also starting with barrel proof, so they have to dilute to reach the proposed bottling proof. This is how they arrive at the proof we consumers will experience when drinking "neat."

That isn't to say that the distiller is the sole person who decides the release proof. It's also a business decision. Several distillers have told me about products they wanted to sell at higher proof, but the "bean counters" wouldn't let them.

bluesbassdad
09-10-2002, 15:34
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Spicy Drams
*Knob Creek 9 yr, 101 proof $18
Eagle Rare 10 yr, 101 $16
*Ezra Brooks 7 year, 101 $13
Old Grand-dad BIB $13
*Old Grand-dad 114 $19
Wild Turkey 101 $15
*Elijah Craig 12 yr 94 proof $15


[/QUOTE]

(Author's note: I've experienced yet another computer failure and houseguests over the last week or so. It's good to be back.)

Years ago there was a TV antacid commercial which portrayed an actor doing yet another commercial, one for meatballs. Take after take he said, in a phony Italian-like accent, "That's some spicey meatball!", each take being spoiled by some production problem, which eventually caused him to need an antacid.

From your list, above, Old Grand Dad BIB, which I am drinking right now, prompts a like response from me, "That's some spicey bourbon!". Comparing it to the others I've tried that appear on your list (WT 101, EC 12 yr., and KC), I'd say it has the highest spice-to-total-flavor ratio of the lot. I happen to like its particular spiciness a great deal, and I'm actually very surprised to learn as much, as I become reacquainted with it (or at least the brand name) after not tasting it since 1960.

My first exposure to OGD BIB was under less than ideal circumstances. I was a barely-17-year-old college freshman, totally out of sight of my parents for the first time. The fraternity I had pledged made a weekly liquor run for all residents, regardless of age. Someone had told me that bourbon and ginger ale was a good way to introduce one's self to the drinking of bourbon, which I had never drunk before. One Friday evening I took my bottle of OGD BIB, a bottle of cold ginger ale, and a glass to the commons room and started drinking while watching TV.

Initially, I put a few drops of bourbon into a much greater quantity of ginger ale. That combination went down so easily that I started increasing the portion of bourbon with each drink. This process proceeded so rapidly that I was taken by surprise when I found it difficult to walk to the bathroom. Nevertheless, I rather enjoyed the overall sensation and my increased sense of glibness; so I continued as before.

Within a couple hours I drank about three quarters of the bottle. I found out later that my fellow pledges were making bets as to when I would start experiencing gastric upheaval. The outcome (pun intended) was so violent and prolonged that I suspended all activities, both social and academic, for the rest of the weekend.

With that history it was with a sense of foreboding that I bought my current bottle of OGD BIB, my first in over 40 years. Fortunately, I have since learned the virtues of moderation (in moderate amounts, of course http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif -- even moderation can be overdone), and OGD BIB is currently my favorite in the strictly-spicey, budget-priced category. (As a total flavor package WT 101 is the best value for me.)

***
BTW, I picked up a bottle of Old Grand Dad 114 a few days ago, but I haven't felt the urge to open it yet. What if it spoils my taste for the BIB? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/crazy.gif

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

ratcheer
09-10-2002, 16:56
Said by Dave: "BTW, I picked up a bottle of Old Grand Dad 114 a few days ago, but I haven't felt the urge to open it yet. What if it spoils my taste for the BIB?"

I'm afraid that it will. I have recently obtained my first bottle of OGD 114. It is near the top of my list. Of course, it is up there with some heavy company, but it is that good.

Tim