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lovejones
12-31-2008, 16:49
What is your ideal Age and Proof?

It seems to me that my favorites are usually 12 to 15 years old, and 100 to 107 proof.

Rughi
12-31-2008, 17:02
I enjoy the differences that ages can present, from new make, through the terrible twos, to no age statement required to old man woody. There are good examples of all of them.

As far as proof goes, just give me 100% whiskey - meaning don't water it down for bottling. I have plenty of water at home, thank you, and I know how to add it to a glass of whiskey.

After that elusive goal is reached, then the lower the proof the better. Kudos to Wild Turkey for holding the line on lower proofs when everyone else caved in and to Four Roses for doing serious research on how low their proofs can be to optimize the flavor and getting a 'mature' product at a younger, less woody age.

All that said, I like 6-10 year ages best from products bottled in the early '80s or before and 10-15 year for current products.

For proof, I like 86 proof or more on early '80s or before, and 100 proof or more with current products. I think as far as intensity of flavor goes, it takes at least 100 proof for almost any new product to equal a standard 86er from the '70s.

Roger

Dramiel McHinson
12-31-2008, 17:24
What is your ideal Age and Proof?



What Rughi said! If I nailed it down to one age and proof for myself I'd say 10 years for age. For proof, I agree on 100 as the baseline. Of course, every bourbon I drink that is 10 years old and 100 proof isn't going to taste the same and some might be better than others but in general 10 years seems about right to mellow the whiskey before the wood begins to dominate. 50% ABV allows for quick warming and evaporation carrying that great bourbon smell quickly to my happiness sensor.:yum:

But, I must confess, my true objective is 6 to 20 years and 86 to 125 proof. I have been known to relax my rigid standards from time to time.

fishnbowljoe
12-31-2008, 17:27
I've found that my preferences for bourbon seem to be for those in the 7-10 year old range, and around 100 proof. Joe

Old Lamplighter
12-31-2008, 17:46
It seems to me that my favorites are usually 12 to 15 years old, and 100 to 107 proof.

I'm with you........although there is a certain 8yo/101 & a no age/114 which I dearly love!

kickert
12-31-2008, 20:46
I keep a database of all the whiskey I have tasted and if I look at my top 10 there is a clear preference.

I like bourbons 9-15 years (especially 10-12 yo) and my proof right at 90. Of course I would rather have a higher proof than a lower proof, but 90 is where I drink it.

funknik
12-31-2008, 21:54
Anything under 90 proof seems to bore me. I do like Sam Houston @ 86 (85.6?) & that seems to be the one exception, but I like a high proof -- as Rughi said, I know where to find water. I love the 12 year bourbons (EC12, VSOF, etc.), but I think there are some fine bourbons from the 7 year on up (Baker's, KC, WLW SR) -- it seems that 7 is the magic number to start from for me -- I do like EC18 every once in a while, but that may be a little old. I think that every expression is different, though, so I try to stay open-minded, I just haven't found many bottles to take seriously that fall below 90 proof. Rye is a different matter, I have no issue with 80 proof rye whiskey (and even though not many like it, my one encounter with Basil Hayden was fairly enjoyable also -- this does not drink like a bourbon to me, though).

Luna56
01-01-2009, 00:01
90 seems like the place to start with me. I drink neat about 99% of the time and 90 to 100 or a little above seems right to me. Above 110 proof it can get a little unpleasant sometimes but I still manage to handle it like a man :grin:

I've found that age is not a pressing concern as long as the whiskey is good. I love the EC18, but it's a specialty act, in its own realm. I'd love to see an EC15 at barrel proof, no chill filtering, that'd be an eye-opener!

Age is a very necessary part of making bourbon bourbon (get a taste of some white dog on the FR tour sometime; its resemblance to the final product is faint at best, in my opinion, but very informative) but I'm sure that, like most of the best things in life, every barrel has its own sweet spot. I'm grateful that the good people who make America's finest spirit seem to know where that sweet spot is!

Cheers!

jimibourbonhammered
01-01-2009, 08:57
Age: 15 years, Proof: 107. More brands should adopt this profile.

JeffJ
01-01-2009, 09:07
Even with my inexperienced palate I prefer at least six years old and 100 proof.

There are some exceptions though.

gblick
01-01-2009, 12:06
My favorites reside in the range of 6-15 years of aging & 100-107 proof.

Martian
01-01-2009, 15:33
Andy, the Sam Houston I bought last week is 90 proof. Very nice sipping bourbon. Give it a try.

funknik
01-01-2009, 18:06
Andy, the Sam Houston I bought last week is 90 proof. Very nice sipping bourbon. Give it a try.
Does it have an age statement of 10 years? If so, I believe this is an older bottling....the current one is 85.6 proof with no age statement, but says "Very Small Batch" instead. I like it quite a bit, but I've heard the 90 proofer is better...good score on the dusty.

Martian
01-02-2009, 10:03
Yeah, it says Very Small Batch, Aged 10 yrs. I may have to buy some more before it's gone. There were probably 6 more bottles.

jburlowski
01-02-2009, 10:33
For me, the sweet spot in age seems to be around 10 - 12 years (with notable exceptions on either end). As has been noted here before, wheaters seem to handle the longer agings without over-oaking better than other bourbons.

I'm less hung up on proof than some others: 45 - 50 ABV (for actual consumption) seems about right for me.

ILLfarmboy
01-06-2009, 06:04
After having given it some thought, I'd say that most of my favorites are between 7 and 10 years old. Proof? I'll take what I can get. Buffalo Trace (90 proof) is a favorite of mine. On the other end of the spectrum
I find Stagg and Handy quite drinkable without any dilution if taken in small sips with an occasional sip of water in between to sooth the throat and clear excess alcohol. But if I had my druthers, I'd have, or like to try most of my favorites that are currently bottled at 100 or less, at between 105 and 110. I think 107 is a very nice proof point.

Josh
01-06-2009, 06:40
As for myself (and I am unanimous in this) I really don't care for overly woody flavors. For me, its a brand-by-brand thing. Barton tastes great at 6 y/o and aging it more would ruin it. On the other hand, I dislike any Beam or HH under 7 y/o. At the other end, I love EC 12 but I don't really like OCPR (13 y/o). So I would say the sweet spot seems to be 6-12 years for age. Maybe wheaters do better w/more age, I just haven't had enough 12+ y/o wheaters to have an opinion about it.

As far as proof goes, the only 80 proof I like is 4R. The rest just taste bland and watered down. 86's are usually ok, but anything over 100 proof just burns to much for me to enjoy the flavor neat, plus all that high proof alcohol can jack up your (or at least it jacks up my) esophagus and gives me pretty intense heartburn. So I would probably say 90 is my preferred proof, although I can always just water the over-proof stuff down.

In sum, a median age of 9 yrs. and 90 proof. OK, Distillers of America, you know what I like. Now go out and make it!

smokinjoe
01-06-2009, 09:27
As for myself (and I am unanimous in this) I really don't care for overly woody flavors. For me, its a brand-by-brand thing. Barton tastes great at 6 y/o and aging it more would ruin it. On the other hand, I dislike any Beam or HH under 7 y/o. At the other end, I love EC 12 but I don't really like OCPR (13 y/o). So I would say the sweet spot seems to be 6-12 years for age. Maybe wheaters do better w/more age, I just haven't had enough 12+ y/o wheaters to have an opinion about it.

As far as proof goes, the only 80 proof I like is 4R. The rest just taste bland and watered down. 86's are usually ok, but anything over 100 proof just burns to much for me to enjoy the flavor neat, plus all that high proof alcohol can jack up your (or at least it jacks up my) esophagus and gives me pretty intense heartburn. So I would probably say 90 is my preferred proof, although I can always just water the over-proof stuff down.

In sum, a median age of 9 yrs. and 90 proof. OK, Distillers of America, you know what I like. Now go out and make it!

Hey, I think you just used some math, Josh! Time to go revisit that cost vs. value thread! :D

PhilsFan
01-06-2009, 12:03
Although I enjoy some of the higher proofs like Stagg, I have them only occasionally. My everyday pours are 100-107 proof and in the 10-15 year range...and 10 years seems to be the optimum age for me.

-Joe

Vange
01-06-2009, 12:05
12-20 and I prefer cask strength, I LOVE AND CRAVE the purity and intensity of the spirit right from the barrel.

shyster512
01-06-2009, 14:09
Make mine between ten and fifteen years. I prefer those more than fifteen to those under ten. As to proof, somewhere between 90 and 106.

Josh
01-07-2009, 11:36
Hey, I think you just used some math, Josh! Time to go revisit that cost vs. value thread! :D

Did I say median? I meant some middle thingy between the curly one and the stick and c with a line under it. Don't wanna lose any street cred. :cool:

Buffalo Bill
01-07-2009, 12:16
For me the baseline is 94. I tend to go between 94 and a 108 comfortably, and everything in-between. I tend to get bored with most new bottles under 94 proof due to the lack of concentrated flavors and complexity, although I'm big on texture - so, a 90 Proof ER17 or Saz18 will hold my attention, nicely. But as far as flavor profiles are concerned I definitely reach for 94, 96, 98 and optimally 100. I'm not big on Cask Strength versions for everyday use because I enjoy everything neat, not big on water, and the only one I throw on ice is WTKS. If I'm at a bar I'll settle for Woodford's on ice if they have it but not at home. Once over 108 things can get pretty sharp and heady, but the texture of WLW is sooooo fine that it tames the beast, then the concentrated flavors play out. Neither am I fond of most 80 proofers... I simply don't buy them in volume. The other day I had a miniature (50ml) of Basil Hayden's and it was good, good texture, but left me wanting more of something else. That's when the Blanton's comes out of the closet, or Rock Hill. Lately I have been gravitating to JDSB since I've found some interesting combinations, but they're all different bottle-to-bottle. It's a crap-shoot. Once in a while you hit a Lucky-7. BB