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cformes
11-20-2008, 17:27
I'm having some friends over tonight, both of whom are wine lovers, with the intent of introducing them to bourbon and all of its glory. The question is: what should I pull out for them to start with?

Here's a list of what I have at the moment:

BT
Makers Mark
Stranahans
Yamazaki (I know, not bourbon, but still cool)
Black Maple Hill
Rowan's Creek
Noah's Mill
Four Roses
Four Roses SB
OVW Lot B
PVW 15
PVW 20
PVW 23
GTS08
WLW08
Saz08
Handy08
ER08
ER07
Hirsch 16
Jefferson's Reserve
Bookers
Beam White
Beam Black
Bernheim (Not Bourbon)
Bulleit
Vintage 17
Michters 10
Rittenhouse BIB
Sazerac

I think I should include a little uncut Stagg, just for fun. What would you suggest? 3, 4, 18 different types? Which ones? Order? I'm not sure that I wouldn't just walk through the line with them, but I don't think that would do anyone any good.

Thanks!

SBOmarc
11-20-2008, 17:31
Give them a brief intro into styles and variety and let them make selections. A flite of Van Winkle is another way you could go.

spun_cookie
11-20-2008, 18:34
I would sat two flights for experience.

Do a 1/4 oz of each in that flight.

Flight 1:
Makers Mark
OVW Lot B
PVW 15
PVW 20
PVW 23
WLW08
Hirsch 16
Bernheim (Not Bourbon)

Flight 2:
BT
Four Roses
Four Roses SB
Saz08
ER08
ER07
Bulleit
Vintage 17
Sazerac
Thomas Handy

That would be plenty of goodies for two distinct flights and the you could just let them go wild from there.

ILLfarmboy
11-20-2008, 18:37
If it were me, I'd select one wheater, one low rye and one high bourbon and two rye whiskeys. If thy are new to whiskey entirely, I would stay away from the barrel proofers. I would go with Makers, Buffalo trace, Beam Black, Four Roses (either iteration) and then Saz Jr. and Rittenhouse BIB.

I'd go with the wheater, Makers Mark, first, then the ryed bourbons and finally the rye whiskeys.

fishnbowljoe
11-20-2008, 20:43
Chris, I would try to do a step ladder starting with a lower end bourbon, then work my way up. Going from my tastes, and doing the best with my slightly limited experience, here are my choices.

1. Jim Beam White
2. Maker's Mark
3. Bulleit
4. Buffalo Trace
5. Four Roses Single Barrel
6. Lot B

See how that goes, and if they are still interested, explain the BTAC to them. Then maybe have a second flight of BTAC, Hirsch, and PVW 15-20-23.
I haven't yet tasted the Hirsch or PVW 20 & 23. For those I'm going by reputation and what I have gleaned here at SB. Good luck with your tasting. Let us know how it goes. Joe

gothbat
11-20-2008, 22:38
VWSR12, FR1B, Rittenhouse BIB (maybe add a 4th, the Bernheim) and then suggest something different based on what they liked of those 3 or 4.

ILLfarmboy
11-20-2008, 23:02
VWSR12, FR1B, Rittenhouse BIB (maybe add a 4th, the Bernheim) and then suggest something different based on what they liked of those 3 or 4.

I'm not sure what your reasoning is but I like your suggestions.

Up-thread I made a few suggestions. I kept the number of whiskeys to a minimum of five or six so as not to overload newbies with a wide range of whiskeys. I'm speaking of flavor profiles not the alcohol. I felt that it might be advantageous to keep it simple and easy by selecting whiskeys that are quite distinct from one another. There's no sense in confounding inexperienced palates.

cformes
11-21-2008, 00:00
Hey gents,

Thank for the suggestions!! There are some fantastic assortments there. Let me tell you what I wound up with:

1. Yamazaki 12: they were non-boubonites, and I thought the single malt would be anecdotal and also provide a basic and bold comparison for the non-peats in the room.

2 .Black Maple: It's an excellent bourbon, and on the lower end of the price chain. I was hoping that it would draw them in.

3. GTS08: I wanted to peak in the middle, as Shakespeare had intended. Both of my friends, without prompting, commented on the quality and flavor here (backed up my choice to buy 7 bottles of this). A wonderful high note.

4. PVW15: DIfferent from the Stagg, but still a quality pour. Also the first wheater in the group.

5. Michter's 10 yo bourbon: Not much response here. I must be alone in my love of this one. For the most part, it's been shunned by my brethren, but it's still one of my favorites.


So that's what we drank over a dozen or so games of pool and chats about life. Thank you for the suggestions, I really tried to use them in my choices, and in retrospect would have poured a bit more from the "utility" section with the GTS as a culmination, rather than trying to cover all of my non-rye bases.

Thanks again, and have a great night!

gothbat
11-21-2008, 05:54
I'm not sure what your reasoning is but I like your suggestions.

I kinda went for what you were going for, a sampling of the different types of American whiskey (wheat recipe straight bourbon, rye recipe straight bourbon, straight rye, and then maybe some straight wheat (Didn't notice the Stranahans last night.)), figured it would be a good intro and then they would get to try a different brand of what they liked best (well, at least in the case of the first 3 choices anyway...). Had it been a choice I would have went with a WT offering instead of the FR though.

cformes,

Not what I would have went with but those do look like some good choices. Anyway, glad to hear that it sounds like everyone had a good time!

kickert
11-21-2008, 15:13
I know you have already done your tasting, but when I am walking people through try to offer contrasts. I usually do three flights:

High Wheat / High Corn / High Rye (Weller SR, OC10, Bulleit/WT)

Less Age / More Age (Weller SR, Weller 12)

Personal Favorites (ER10, ETL)

Then I offer them a taste anything they want.