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inraged2002
12-11-2008, 19:56
I want to try drinking bourbon and really don't know anything about it. What are some good bourbons under say 20-25? Any help would be great!

Josh
12-11-2008, 20:25
There's actually a thread dealing with this topic in another part of the "new to sb" section, but I would recommend some of the classic lower-mid shelfers that are easy to find and a good value.

For a classic bourbon taste: Old Forester, Jim Beam distillers select or Black, Evan Williams black label.
For high rye formula: Wild Turkey 101, Old Grandad (Regular or Bottled in Bond).
For a taste of wheat bourbon: Maker's Mark or Old Fitzgerald (Bottled in Bond, green label).
I would also throw in a straight Rye like Wild Turkey Rye or Old Overholt, George Dickel #12 (TN whiskey) and Very Old Barton Bourbon (preferably 90 proof or Bottled in Bond) for a great, but idosyncratic, drink.

That should get you started :) Oh and welcome!

fishnbowljoe
12-11-2008, 20:46
Welcome to the site. Just a helpful hint, you might want to fill out your profile with some more info. Name, location etc. There is no consistency in the availability of bourbons. Some states handle allocation, some don't. Knowing where you're from would help some. Anyway, here are a few I would recommend. Weller Special Reserve, Weller Antique, Weller 12 yr old, Buffalo Trace, Ancient Ancient Age, are just a few for starters. Depending on your location, some of the BIB bourbons would be a great place to start. JTS Brown, Old Heaven Hill, JW Dant , Old Fitzgerald and Very Old Barton are all decent bourbons at a very reasonable price. You can also search some of the threads on this site and that might be of some help too. Anyway, I hope this will get you started. Good Luck, Joe

funknik
12-11-2008, 21:38
to the previous mentioned, I would add Elijah Craig 12 year...:stickpoke:

yum

bvscfanatic
12-12-2008, 01:11
I want to try drinking bourbon and really don't know anything about it. What are some good bourbons under say 20-25? Any help would be great!

I am also fairly new to drinking bourbon, so I have spent the last year or so learning my own taste in bourbon by trial and error. I am still experimenting, and it's quite an adventure. I have learned that you can buy pretty enjoyable bourbon at a reasonable price, though living in Kentucky gives me an advantage where variety and availability are concerned.

I learned quickly that I tend to like bourbons with a relatively high rye content and that are at least 6 years old. And I like higher proofs. Of course, this learning process is far from finished. I have yet to sample some of the older bourbons and I have not sampled any wheaters yet. The wheaters are said to be smoother.

These seasoned bourbon drinkers have given you some great suggestions, but they'll be able to help you more if you can give THEM a better idea of the sort of taste that you're going for. Also, do you tend to drink other alcoholic beverages mixed, on ice or straight?

One thing about it -- the learning process is fun. You won't be tempted to skip school.

inraged2002
12-12-2008, 06:09
Thanks for all the help. I have been looking over this site for a few days now and everyone seems helpful and nice. I have updated my profile and hope that helps. I have looked into Evan Williams and Old Grand Dad since they are about 9.00 and 12.00 respectfully. I have even looked at Makers Mark at 20 bucks a bottle but don't know if I'm ready for that much yet. haha By the way I am in California.

Josh
12-12-2008, 07:26
Thanks for all the help. I have been looking over this site for a few days now and everyone seems helpful and nice. I have updated my profile and hope that helps. I have looked into Evan Williams and Old Grand Dad since they are about 9.00 and 12.00 respectfully. I have even looked at Makers Mark at 20 bucks a bottle but don't know if I'm ready for that much yet. haha By the way I am in California.

I'm almost glad you're not in Michigan. We would have had to take up a whole industrial park for the next get together if we got any more members! :)

At any rate, the whiskeys I suggested were ones that I thought were good places to start in the price range. All the others mentioned are great too, but I left them out for two reasons, 1) I think it helps to get a grasp on the more basic expressions of a distiller (e.g. EW) before the delving into the fancier stuff (like EC 12). 2) There are a lot of whiskeys that are in the <25 price range in some parts of the country but higher in others (like Michigan). I named ones that are likely to be in that range wherever you go.

The only other advice I have is don't be afraid to add a little water or ice to a whiskey, especially one that is 90+ in proof. It's fine being a macho man (or woman) but when it burns out your taste buds and destroys the lining of your esophagus you can't get the enjoyment out of the whiskey you should. And that's what it's really all about. :toast:

kickert
12-12-2008, 08:38
If you are going to go cheap and you want a good stepping stone, I would say go with WL Weller Special Reserve. It is very similar to Maker's Mark, for almost half the price. It is a wheated bourbon which means it is a bit sweeter without being oily.

I would be willing to bet if you asked for a top 5 list of under $20 bourbons this would make it on 90% of the lists.

Here is my top 5 for under $20
*WL Weller SR
*Very Old Barton
*Old Charter 10
*Rittenhouse BIB
And if you want to go under $10, the only one I would recommend:
*Benchmark

bvscfanatic
12-12-2008, 10:43
Thanks for all the help. I have been looking over this site for a few days now and everyone seems helpful and nice. I have updated my profile and hope that helps. I have looked into Evan Williams and Old Grand Dad since they are about 9.00 and 12.00 respectfully. I have even looked at Makers Mark at 20 bucks a bottle but don't know if I'm ready for that much yet. haha By the way I am in California.

I have tried and liked both EW 86 proof and OGD BIB 100 proof.

funknik
12-12-2008, 13:00
At any rate, the whiskeys I suggested were ones that I thought were good places to start in the price range. All the others mentioned are great too, but I left them out for two reasons, 1) I think it helps to get a grasp on the more basic expressions of a distiller (e.g. EW) before the delving into the fancier stuff (like EC 12). 2) There are a lot of whiskeys that are in the <25 price range in some parts of the country but higher in others (like Michigan). I named ones that are likely to be in that range wherever you go.
While I'm all for working your way up -- check out the 'gateway' thread:
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8867&highlight=gateway
Many people fell in love with bourbon over something that wasn't present in the basic expression.
There's lots of time to figure out what you like, anyway! Cheers! :toast:

fishnbowljoe
12-12-2008, 14:23
For what it's worth, Maker's Mark is a good bourbon too. Not fantastic, but still good. I will always have a spot for it on my shelf. For myself and quite a few others I suspect, it was our "gateway" bourbon. Maker's is not a bad place to start your bourbon journey. Joe

jinenjo
12-12-2008, 19:43
I have looked into Evan Williams and Old Grand Dad since they are about 9.00 and 12.00 respectfully. I have even looked at Makers Mark at 20 bucks a bottle but don't know if I'm ready for that much yet. haha By the way I am in California.

Hello California bourbon guy!

Of those you mentioned above, I'd go with Old Grand Dad. Not what it used to be, but still something decent that Beam puts out. Wild Turkey though, in my opinion, would be a better choice. However, I think there's a BevMo near you. In that case, Buffalo Trace would be worth trying, as well as the Weller 12 year old (a really nice one!).

Good luck!

Dramiel McHinson
12-12-2008, 20:45
Another good way to get to know a wide variety on a budget is to buy the 50ml bottles of different bourbons and give them a try. If you like one, go online and research the website and this forum for feedback. To me, the more you know about how and where a bourbon is produced and the things about it that attract others, the more you feel a connection with the bourbon society. Anyone can drink bourbon but it is something else to appreciate it.

Good luck in your adventure and don't be discouraged by setbacks.

inraged2002
12-13-2008, 07:54
Once again thanks guys for all the feedback. I do have a BevMo near me and that's where I went and bought a bottle of Evan Williams Black Label. Wow was I surprised in how strong it is. Once I got past the burning lol I actually did enjoy the taste. Once this bottle is gone and the holidays have past I think I will try something else.

SSWC
12-13-2008, 10:52
I'd add Elmer T. Lee to this, you might not be able to find it for $20, but for a few $ on top of this, it is an excellent pour.

bvscfanatic
12-13-2008, 14:37
Once again thanks guys for all the feedback. I do have a BevMo near me and that's where I went and bought a bottle of Evan Williams Black Label. Wow was I surprised in how strong it is. Once I got past the burning lol I actually did enjoy the taste. Once this bottle is gone and the holidays have past I think I will try something else.

Evan Williams Black Label was one of my first bourbons and is still one of my very favorites. I regard it as a great value. If you like the taste of EW but would like something just a hair more refined, then I would recommend trying Old Forester. It's just slightly more expensive, but still an excellent value. If found the two similar, with the Old Forester being equally flavorful, but just a bit more tame.