View Full Version : What do we do with our "Everyday Pours"? (Edited)
Gentlemen & Ladies:
As I spiral deeper and deeper into the vortex of Bourbonia, I have been re-evaluating my efforts at finding a so-called "Everyday Pour" that is inexpensive. I made the following quip in a prior post:
"An expensive phenomenon is manifesting itself at Camp Winslow: It appears that the Ancient Ancient Age & Old Forester seem to be edging their collective way to the "special occasion" Bourbon, and the RR and RB (along with Knob Creek) are becoming the every day pours!"
I signed off "Send Money, Winslow"
Now this was light-hearted humor but guess what, it's really the truth! Last night as I enjoyed a comparison of Knob Creek and my freshly opened bottle of Bakers, it was just so apparent how really, really good these Bourbons are. To relax with a pour of Old Forester or Beam White, for example, and reflect upon how delicious this is would be ridiculous. I'd be kidding myself. To quote Clogsdon from a 7-15 post:
"This past Saturday, I just purchased Ancient Ancient Age 10 yo and Old Forester 4 yr old based on what I read in this group. My impressions of AA last night would be that, while I have no complaints, I don't see myself buying another bottle. My impressions of OF tonight intially are that this bourbon might find a place in my liquor cabinet (if I could make room among the case of different bottles I just returned with from Louisville)."
My point here is not to slam these lower shelf Bourbons, but rather, if I'm going to drink it, it may as well be darn good. It's hard for me to sip my AAA knowing there's a bottle of Rare Breed in the cupboard.
Everything has it's place. I enjoy Whisky Sours, but not Bourbon and Coke so much. I recently tried Manhattans made with WT101. I reasoned that this is much like drinking straight Bourbon, because the Vermouth ratio is much less than a mixed drink, so I used a better bourbon. But the Vermouth sullies the wonderful taste of the Bourbon. I'll end up using the rest of the Vermouth, but won't buy it again.
Conclusion: I'd keep a bottle of an inexpensive bourbon on hand for cooking and my Sours, but since my favorite method of consumption is with a little ice or neat, my every day pour is going to be $25 and up.
What do the rest of ye have to say? What do you consider an "Everyday Pour"? Not from a brand standpoint, but rather, it's place in your method of consumption versus your top-shelvers.
I wish to stress that my comment "To relax with a pour of Old Forester or Beam White, for example, and reflect upon how delicious this is would be ridiculous." is in no way intended to be insulting to these products or anyone who enjoys them. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/blush.gif After re-reading my post, I'm afraid that it may be taken as such but no offense whatsoever was intended. Same for brand references. I don't mean to suggest that they're not tasty (see other posts). I was just questioning my own logic at finding an everyday pour, based heavily on price alone.
I keep a bottle of Beam White on hand for cooking, or occasionally mixing with coke.
Everything else is in the $18.99 (EC 12 price locally) and up range. I drink one glass per day, 2 on weekends, so I'm not willing to drink anything less. From a brand standpoint, my everyday pours are EC 12, Knob Creek, EWSB, and Old Whiskey River.
Hmmmm...a good everyday pour for me usually tends to be a bourbon that is big-bodied and spicy. Sometimes my tastes may deviate to sweeter, smoother bourbons for a little balance but everyday pours, on average, need to have a little kick in them for me.
And prices usually dictate my everyday pours more than I care to admit. I'd say my everyday potables run anywhere from $18 to $25 and occasionally may jump into the $25 to $30 range. Usually any bourbon I buy between $30 and $40 will be drank at the same rate as my "everdays" but I won't buy them as often. I rarely purchase $40+ bourbons; but when I do I relegate them to the top shelf and drink from them sparingly.
You said: "To relax with a pour of Old Forester or Beam White, for example, and reflect upon how delicious this is would be ridiculous."
This just goes to show our differences in taste and choice. Beam White doesn't excite me either but, to me, Old Forester (especially the 100 proof version) stands up credibly to the small batch big boys. With OF, I think taste profile and price are equally effective in my choosing it for an everyday pour.
Also you said: "if I'm going to drink it, it may as well be darn good. It's hard for me to sip my AAA knowing there's a bottle of Rare Breed in the cupboard"
Again, differences in taste which is completely respectable. IMHO, OF and WT 101 and Very Old Barton BIB are classic bourbons that are hard to beat regardless of price. But price does have an impact. I haven't found Rare Breed in these parts for under $35. Same for Knob Creek. Bookers comes in at $50 with Blanton's at around $45. $33 for Elmer T. Lee (and that was in Kentucky! yeah, I know I got ripped on that one).
Anyway, those sort of things define my everyday pours. But if prices were to drop on many of the premium brands I'd still probably consider OF, Very Old Barton, etc. as daily drinks.
Have a good one....
I have to agree with Troy. My everyday pours need to be in the $15 to $20 per 1.75l jug range. I find Old Forester; Ancient Ancient Age 10 year old, and Very Old Barton to fill the bill nicely. I think them all delicious in their own right, and I enjoy them frequently. I do enjoy pricey pours, but simply cannot afford them 'everyday'. As a man of modest means I can find great enjoyment in affordable bourbons. Indeed I think the three bourbons mentioned above are far better than some of the more expensive brands. Oh! pardon me - to answer Winslow's question "What do we do with our 'everyday pours'?" We drink them everyday that we not drinking our 'special pours'. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif
While I will disagree with you only in that I can find pleasure in dinking bottom shelf bourbons, especially if it is a new one to me. (It's all in the the discovery you know), I do agree that it is somewhat disconcerting that I would pour from my bottle of Ten High when I can see the Baker's right behind it http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif Maybe if I find another job with better benifits, Baker's will become my everyday pour http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif
I have a couple bottles (WT 12 YO, VW 13 rye) which will apparently never appear again on the shelves. I drink from them, but sparingly, just to make them last. Everything else (WT Rare Breed and RR, The Fox, AAA 10 YO, OGD BIB, Eagle Rare 17 YO, etc) has been chosen to give me a variety of bourbon experiences. I tend to go in a rotation - high-rye, sweet, oaky, straight rye, barrel proof and back again. I also try to select a pipe tobacco from my rotation to enhance the bourbon, but, hey, it's all a good gift from God so I don't get too compulsive about it.
Hey man, no offense taken whatsoever. Just a bunch of bourbonites making personal observations and giving honest opinions.
Btw, I cracked up when I saw your "Moe" picture. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif
Jeff, I think you summed up what I meant to say! When I started enjoying Bourbon, I stocked my cuppoard with some Knob Creek, some Russels, some Rare Breed, etc. with the intention of them being special pours. For things less expensive, I have purchased AAA 10 Star, Old Forester's, EW 7 year old, etc. to keep on hand for daily drinking. But I found myself drinking the special ones at the same rate or more. The others weren't bad at all. They're good. I just liked the Knob Creek so much better. It's hard to work on that glass of EW 7 year old when you know there's some single barrel up there!
I'm probably going to have to re-evaluate my current tastes, because I've been spending way more than I should. My taste has been a lot bigger than my wallet and I'm a glutton to boot!
Winslow , Your post has many points to ponder . As for Manhattens I get good mileage from Old Granddad on those it seems a high rye content makes them shine. Cooking with Beam White? my thoughts here and this is only my thoughts is if it's good enough to cook with it's good enough to drink. I used WT 101 in BBQ sauce KY Gentleman on steaks Old forester in Bourbon Balls along with Booker's . I tend to go 100 proof or more to get the flavors. I have used 10 high but it is a little thin and doesn't carry over too good. I've been thinking about everyday pours and it seems my drinking is on the medium to high rent side. I did get a 1.75 of Old Forester But I consider it a fine Bourbon with a reasonable price. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif
if the heart of your question if what do you do with your "well bourbon" my answer would be keep it around for people who want to mix their bourbon. Like some in this forum I gave up bourbon & coke for straight bourbon over ice. No more Beam white.
Ah, the issue of not having an unlimited budget. Imagine how Bill Gates would answer the question....
Seems most of us bourbon drinkers have this see-saw question of do we drink the best or stay in the budget.
An old friend of mine got to be the chief financial officer of a pretty nice company. Knowing he liked Manhattens I took some of my bourbon to a tailgate party. He probably makes twice what I do. Still, he said something like, "my gawd, Greg, you sure have expensive bourbon."
The fact is, when I reached the point that I did not want to spend so much I started drinking more of my lower end but tasty bourbons. Surely we all enjoy the challenge of finding one we enjoy greatly without paying the high price.
I feel very lucky that I can buy Old Commonwealth (by Van Winkle), and Four Roses straight bourbon and I keep Old Grandad BIB for some of my biggest consumption. My wife Jo still tends to want to pour the Knob Creek regularly and it recently dropped to $19.99 for 750 ml here (and $40 for 1.75 L).
I re-read Linn's post where he states, "My everyday pours need to be in the $15 to $20 per 1.75l jug range." Man, I thought our prices were good but here that gets you Jim Beam white!
Since many have posted that they are not on unlimited budgets, I can almost predict that those of you who've claimed here that you more recently discovered fine bourbon will go through a cycle. You'll keep trying new bottles and in many cases really like some of the higher priced ones. Eventually, you'll see what that could cost and settle in. That settling will either be to a list of 'every day' vs. special occaission OR perhaps to the great hunt for a value bourbon.
Now.... let those dogs go and see what we can muster up on today's hunt.
For myself, I find I don't ration well. If it's there, I drink it. If I really like it, it goes fast. If I can't afford it, I don't buy it again, for awhile at least. Blanton's and Kentucky Spirit are two examples. I love 'em, but won't torture myself by owning a bottle I have to be stingy with. When I open the cupboard, I pick whatever looks good to me. That way, the cupboard doesn't pose any dilemmas. The store does, but the cupboard doesn't.
There are a few lower priced bourbons I can drink wherever and whenever, without feeling deprived. They are Old Forester, Old Fitzgerald and Very Old Barton. In all three cases I prefer the 100 proof version, but am content with the lower proof expressions too. I'm sure there are others that I'm not thinking of right now.
Meanwhile, let's all spend a moment feeling sorry for my brother, who just moved to Ecuador. The only American whiskeys he can find are Jim and Jack, at about $30 a bottle. What's cheap? Scotch and rum. God Bless America.
I agree with Chucks posting. I generally grab what sounds good not really worrying what the cost of the bottle was, If I cant afford much than oh well, I enjoyed it while I could. The only exception is my bottle of Blanton's, and that is more for sentimental reasons, as it was a wedding gift from my best man. I am trying to milk that on so I have it only on Holidays. (flag day, arbour day, saint swithen's day. . . . .lol).
Thats said I find Ancient Ancient Age 10 Year, Old Ezra 7 year and Old Forester 86 to be good burbons, not just "good bourbons for the money" I have no problem pouring them anytime, or sharing them with guests. The fact that they are inexpensive is just icing on the cake.
Of 86 in BBQ sauce on Chicken Legs
Maker's Mark in Banana Bread
Russels Reserve Carrot Cake
& AAA 10 year in steak marinade
I think I agree with Bobby when he says if you wouldn't drink it, it isnt worth cooking with
"Everything else is in the $18.99 (EC 12 price locally) and up range. I drink one glass per day, 2 on weekends, so I'm not willing to drink anything less."
Not meaning to pick on you at all man, but one of the things that I have discovered since really delving into bourbonia is that price doesn't always dictate quality. I think AAA 10 year ($11 750ml) is a better bourbon thatn Knob Creek ($26), on some days I am even inclined to like Old Forester ($9.50) more than its small batch buddy Woodford Reserve ($29), I have also found that Old Ezra 7 year ($11) is the bottle I have been going for the most recently, even with my higher end WT products right next to it. So, while I don't suggest rushing out to buy a bottle of Jim White or Old Crow, one of the great things about Bourbon (that doesn't seem to happen in other whiskey's) is there are some damn fine bourbons for very little money. If you set a minimum price, you may be missing out.
Tom (Bottom Feeder) C
You know, you are about to talk me in to it. When I read your post at the top of this thread, I was thinking, "Man, I really enjoy my Old Forester and Wild Turkey and Elijah Craig." But, hell, they really are just taking up room and I feel like I have to squeeze them in to save some money.
So, I'm confused, now. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/crazy.gif
This brings up an intresting problem for me... I drink very slowly, so it's usually one small glass for me a night... I really don't worry about what i am drinking, unless it is something that is out of production and i know "once it's gone, there's no more"... I try to keep a lot of bourbons on hand... a lot of the enjoyment for me is to just pick something out that i haven't had in a while (altho i must admit i do find myself more often going to the same 5 or 6)... Since a bottle lasts me so long, there are only two bourbons that i have not bought because of price (distillers masterpiece finished in the port and cognac versions)
I have realized that price is not proportional to quality all the time, and i went out to every store around me last year and bought one of all the cheaper bourbons that i found... i ended up with some real horrible tasting bourbon(old crow for example)... In my experience, above a certain price usually insures that it is drinkable (but not nesicarily worth the increase in price (jefferson reserve is good, but i don't believe that it can 'hang' with most other $50 bourbons)) I find myself reluctant to buy the cheaper bourbons when i do see one that i have never tasted because of worries about getting 'burned'...
When we were at the bourbon festival last year, instead of the stores that have only the beam small batch collection, wild turkey and makers mark, we were suddenly presented with stores with 50-60 bourbons, most of which we have never heard of, and many below $20... afraid of driving home with a carload of junk, i stuck to what i have heard of from this forum in the under $20 range...
I learned from the bourbon festival last year that to skip the lower priced bourbons is missing out on a lot of unique things... I have never tasted a bourbon like buffalo trace before, and even tho i don't find myself going for it all the time, when in the mood for it, nothing can substitute for it... Hopefully this year i will come home with more appreciation for other unique bourbons (and a full trunk)
I tend to be a Friday / Saturday night consumer...just a good way to end the week...usually later at night after the other residents are in bed and I turn to the net. I find the season...temp, sky, mood etc. affect my choice. As I enjoy all whiskeys...it may not always be a Bourbon, however, I prefer quality over quantity. My bottles last at least 1 year so I prefer sipping the "good" stuff...regardless of price. Do others share the "seasonal choice disorder" that I exhibit?
I've found a ton of good bourbons I like in the $12-$20 local price range, Eagle Rare, Old Fitz 1849, David Nicholson 1843, Ezra Brooks 7 yr, EC 12 yr, Knob Creek, Old Grand-dad BIB and 114, Old Charter 12 yr...replaced as soon as empty, those are my normal everyday pours. The Old Charter 8 yr, or Evan Williams, 10 High or Old Forester...I enjoy 'em in manhattans, pour them if someone wants a 'boubon and coke' and I give 'em away. If I see Old Charter 8yr on sale for $8 or $9 I buy a bottle...and I cheerfully give it to my old college roomie who honestly prefers Old Crow and Jim Beam White. When I visit him now I won't have to join him in a glass of Old Crow and water, he may not have Blantons or Bakers on the shelf but he's got Old Charter to share...and I'm a helluva lot happier.
I have noticed I like Wheateds (Maker's Mark & Va Gent 90) on exceedingly hot summer days as opposed to the richer ones to me (Woodford Reserve, Blantons) which help brace one from the cold. Those arent steadfast answers though.
Indeed, Chuck! This may be a solution for me since I don't ration well either. In other posts, I spoke about how much I liked AAA 10 Star (can't get 10 yr. here) and would use it as an everyday pour. I liked the Old Forester, too. But you hit it...it is torturous to have special occaision stuff that you feel you must be stingy with. It's been difficult for me to have a designated everyday pour and a "special occasion" Bourbon inhabiting the cupboard at the same time. What's the special occasion?? ANYTHING! "Oh grand, the news will be on at 10 pm. tonight. Best break out the Kentucky Spirit!" That's what I was trying to get across. I'm going to tend towards not just what I like, but what I like best! But if the best isn't in the cupboard the problem is solved. I believe I'll try this and purchase on a special occasion basis, rather than having it on hand.
BTW, I see you're from Chicago. What happened with your liquor prices? I used to make big Scotch purchases whenever I visited my buddy in Chicago and saved substantially. It's been years, but this July he did some pricing for me and in every case, the price was within about $1.00 from what I must pay in Michigan. I pay just under $20 for WT101 and just over $25 for Knob Creek. AAA 10 star is around $13. Boy, I'd love to get these for about $5.00 cheaper.
Winslow wrote "Oh grand, the news will be on at 10 pm. tonight. Best break out the Kentucky Spirit!"
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 BLEEEE!!! I like the way you think. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif
Nope, I don't feel picked on in the least http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif .
I should actually rephrase myself a bit, though, as price is not my motivating factor - quality is. What I meant, was that I'm not willing to compromise on something I consider less than really really good for my everyday pour. I take my "little indulgences" of cigars and Bourbon very seriously, as they keep me sane (well, as sane as I can be, anyway http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif ). Thus, I always go for "the good stuff", 'cuz life's too short to do it any other way. At this point, Bourbonically speaking, "the good stuff" for me includes Elijah Craig 12, at a relatively lower price, and does not include Woodford Reserve, at a notably higher price. Now that I've been reading here and finding out about some of the lower-cost, higher-quality Bourbons, they're certainly on my "to try" list!
Yes, but you have a unique pricing situation - e.g., I would be quite happy to get Knob Creek for $25, because it is $32, here.
Definitely. To me, Knob Creek, Elijah Craig, and Rare Breed are cold weather bourbons. Why? I don't know. The three are not even similar to each other.
I have a laundry list of bourbons I want to aquire/try at this years bourbon festival. tucked in with all the premiums I want to try Two of the bourbons that head that list (Four Roses & Very Old Barton) would be considered budget bourbons, but they are all we can get form said distilleries at the moment. And on top of that several people whose tastes I respect say they are quite good.
Bottom line is, If you can, drink what you want. . . ..if you can't, there are some kick ass alternatives!
I haven't noticed any significant change in prices, but then I don't buy scotch.
I have been trying less expensive bourbons recently. But, last weekend, I cracked open a bottle of EWSB and was in awe, again, about how good it tasted.
The point is that the less expensive pours, besides saving money, make the good stuff seem so much better when you get back to them.
P.S. While my post you quoted did mention AAA 10 yo, I later replyed to my own post to say that I had been hoodwinked by small type. I actually had bought the 10 star.
I am also one of those that don't ration well. When the good stuff gets opened, it goes fast.
Right now I am still holding onto an unopened bottle of Wathens, Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel, and Buffalo Trace. All of these were bought out of state (I can't get them here). But, as soon as I open one, they will disappear like magic!
When I was buying two or three extra bottles of less expensive bourbon, my wife had a puzzled look on her face and said "I thought you were trying to save money on bourbon!?"
Silly woman, she thought that when I said I would save money on bourbon, it meant I would stop drinking it! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/shocked.gif
Yes, I'm having the same problem with my wife. I guess I have about 15 bottles now and every time I bring home another one, she rolls her eyes and makes some comment. So, I am actively trying to empty some of my low partial bottles, just so there won't be so many bottles. Might help, might not. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif
I finished off a bottle of Russell's Reserve, Saturday and I'm going to work on the Woodford Reserve, next. (I have full bottles of each as backups.)
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