View Full Version : My bourbon history
I have been trying new bourbons for a year or so now. I thought I would list all that I recall trying and get your opinions on where I should go from here. Please keep in mind that money IS an object, so please be gentil and stay in the $30 and below range http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif These are in no specific order:
Old Charter Classic 90
Old Forrester 86
Old Forrester 100
Very Old Barton's 86
Very Old Barton's 100 BIB
Evan Williams 7
Ancient Ancient Age 10yr
Wild Turkey 80
Wild Turkey 101
All of these bourbons are certainly acceptable. My top three are:
1-Old Forrester 100
My three least favorite Have been:
I hope this signals some of my preferences and that those of you more schooled than I will have some good suggestions for further explorations.
Some of the bourbons that I am wanting to try include:
Evan Williams Single Barrel
ORVW 10yr 107
Eagle Rare 10yo
Old Fitz 1849
Thanks to everyone for being very helpful in my schooling. I hope to move on to my sophomore year at Bourbon U very soon http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif
Well Jeff you're headed towards higher ground. Better bourbons of course mean single barrels and higher prices. Three that you can get that are under thirty smackers are; Wathen's, Elmer T. Lee, and Evan Williams vintage series. You will eventually get the urge to splurge on single barrels such as; Kentucky Spirit, Blanton's, Hancock's President's Reserve, and the fabulous Rock Hill Farms. Just set yourself up a single barrel buying program to buy one bottle of these ultra-premiums each month. Be ready to pounce upon the magnificent George T. Stagg when it comes out. The best thing about having a good assortment of single barrels in house is that you can set down and relax with four or five shots and compair and contrast them with one another. Add in a good full flavored cigar and a couple of topless dancers and you're in for a real good time! 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
Look for David Nicholson 1843 BIB, it's marketed out of St. Louis and you may need to keep your eyes open when you travel, or look for it at Internet Wines (http://www.internetwines.com/). Word has it that the DN 1843 now on the shelf is an actually 7 year old Old Fitz, and from aged Van Winkle stock at that. A Makers Mark fan should find it worth his time.
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The best thing about having a good assortment of single barrels in house is that you can set down and relax with four or five shots and compair and contrast them with one another.
Hey Linn, We will have to put one of these together as another "weekend homework" project. . . . .hell, I liked the idea so much you could make it a series!
Tom (Just a Suggestion) C
Here are my suggestions:
1) Buy that Old Rip 10/107 as fast as possible, especially since you enjoy wheated bourbons so much, you will think its divine. (you might want to consider snagging some Weller 19 too, before they run out, despite Linn's objections too it it is a great find for wheated bourbon lovers, a little pricey though, $37). Also if you can find it, snag a bottle of Virginia Gentleman 90 "The Fox! You will be glad you did!
2)Old Ezra 7 Year/101 - No nonsense, yummy straight ahead bourbon.
3) If you like Knob Creek and the like, Jim Beam Black is a good budget minded alternative.
4) You havent got a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 Year yet!?!?!?!?!? Get thee to the liquor store, PRONTO!
5)Finally, either one of the small batch Wild Turkey products (Russel's Reserve @ $25 or Rare Breed @ $28 here in Ohio) are Grade A bourbons. even though I prefer RR at the moment, they are both YUMMY!
Tom (Hope That Helps!) C
Would you consider adding a rye to your collection?
If so, I heartily recommend Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 y/o rye, the winner of my weekend blind tasting -- even though I mis-identified it. (The other products were Russell's Reserve, Knob Creek, and ORVW 10/107.)
Sam's (http://www.samswine.com/searches/SpiritSearchResults.asp?USearch=winkle) has this marvelous liquid for a mere $23.99 a bottle. I had four bottles shipped to me, and even with the $17 shipping charge, I consider it a steal. I've seen it locally for over ten dollars more.
Forgot a couple that I have tried:
Jeff, on the wheater end I would give Old Fitz BIB a good swig. Also check out Old Weller Antique and Rebel Yell. IMO, Old Weller Antique is very similar to ORVW 10/107. It's not quite as refined or as smooth as ORVW but definitely has a full, complex body and similar flavors. It struck me as a younger version of ORVW (it's 7 years old and 107 proof) and, I'm not sure about this, but seems others here have stated that Weller and ORVW come from the same recipe. I think you can probably find it below $30 (I think it's about equal or less in cost than ORVW 10/107 and tastes ALMOST as good). Rebel Yell is not what I would call outstanding but for the price it is a good standard wheater that is smoother than most (almost too smooth).
On the high rye end of things, grab you a bottle of Old Grandad 86 and work your way up from there to the BIB or the 114 proof and see what you think.
I'm entering my third year of serious spirit contemplation at Bourbon U. so we're in this together. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif Though it took quite a while to reach this point in bourbonic academia. I had to do time at the Coke Chaser Community College and then underwent several years of probation at the Inebriation Institute before I could claim my degree in true bourbon appreciation. It's good to finally be able to enjoy a bourbon for what it is rather than treat it as a means to an end. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif
I second the nominations of many of the bottlings suggested by our esteemed comrades. May I also nominate:
--Old Charter Proprietor's Reserve (13yo/90 proof) Hard to find these days, but worth the hunt. My favorite of the now defunct http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif Bourbon Heritage Collection.
--Weller Centennial (10yo/100 proof) My favorite "wheater". It, too, was part of the "Bourbon Heritage Collection" released about five years ago in response to the Jim Beam Small Batch Collection. Another "find."
--Old Rip Van Winkle 15yo/107 proof. Yet another fine wheated bourbon. Probably will cost you $35 or so, and thus within range.
--Sazerac Rye 18yo/90 proof. My second favorite rye, next to the Van Winkle FR 13yo. Again, slightly beyond the $30 range ($40 here in PA)
From Heaven Hill, you need to try Evan Williams Single Barrel and Elijah Craig 12 year old.
From Wild Turkey, you should try Russell's Reserve and Rare Breed. And when your wallet is especially fat, try Kentucky Spirit.
From Buffalo Trace, try to get Elmer T. Lee and Rock Hill Farms.
And I also highly recommend the Old Grand Dad 114.
For a slight change of pace, I like George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Whisky. (But, I don't care at all for Jack Daniels, though I've never tried any of their special bottlings).
http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif We'll work on that, Tom. We just need to get our total participation up a little higher. Some folks didn't do their homework like they should have. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif I'm afeared that some folks just don't have the bourbonic resources to join in, and that's a sad note to play. We don't want to make anyone feel poorly, also we want to be all inclusive wherever we can. I remember a time where I struggled just to keep a bottle of bourbon in the house (single barrels and small batchers didn't exisist then). Vickie and I where doing well if we had enough left over to buy a bottle of Jim Beam or better yet Old Forester. More often it was a six-pack of Carling 'Black Label' for $1.69! A six or seven dollar bottle of bourbon was just out of reach. I am sure that there are more than just a few folks for whom a thirty; forty, or fifty dollar bottle of bourbon is just way the hell out of reach. We must be mindful of our bourbonic brothers and sisters and of this nagging recession in which we are caught. I know for a fact that some of us are without employment. We live in interesting times. Perhaps we can do our brother and sister bourbonians a good turn. If I can help in anyway please send me a private message. When we all pull together a heavy load becomes lite.
I wonder if we could have a tax-exempt bourbon charity? We'd all pitch in to buy bourbon for those unfortunates who can't afford it for themselves. Sounds like a very worthy cause, to me.
I second Linn's voice on if there is anything I can do to help folks, I'm there http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif !! Less than 2 years ago Jessica & I were living in an effeciency eating Bagels & White Rice and drinking 6 packs of Red Dog (if we were lucky!!). We have been lucky and have come a long way since then but I feel our fellow bourbonians pain. Thats what the community part of this forum is about, helping each other!!
I suggest everyone move to Kentucky. There is no tax on liquor and you don't have to drive far to find exotic brands.
If we all lived here, we could get together and do homework.
Who knows, UofK might start a major at the university. I currently have BA in BS. I could add a Masters of Distillation.
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