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ElasticalGomez
01-29-2009, 12:01
'ello everyone. I'm fairly new to the world of bourbon (been drinking Makers for years but just started really branching out and learning to experience the drink) and have been attempting to school myself but thought I could learn a lot from a forum like this. i try to limit my single purchases to $30 or less, though a few bucks here or there doesn't bother me. Any recommendations on brands, tasting, or other rudimentary & introductory lessons appreciated!

What I've tried and know fairly well thus far:

* Makers Mark
* Knob Creek
* Elvan Williams Single Barrel
* Elmer T. Lee
* Woodford Reserve


Cheers,
-Scott.

kickert
01-29-2009, 12:16
Scott,

Looks like you have started off on a really good foot. I would suggest you try Wild Turkey 101 and Elijah Craig 12. Both are well loved here.

If you like Maker's, but want something a bit more complex (and cheaper), I suggest you try some of the Weller products... Weller Special Reserve will run you about $17, and the Weller 12 (my personal favorite) is about $25.

Of those you have had, which do you like best? Least?

ElasticalGomez
01-29-2009, 12:20
Scott,

Looks like you have started off on a really good foot. I would suggest you try Wild Turkey 101 and Elijah Craig 12. Both are well loved here.

If you like Maker's, but want something a bit more complex (and cheaper), I suggest you try some of the Weller products... Weller Special Reserve will run you about $17, and the Weller 12 (my personal favorite) is about $25.

Cheers, thanks! I will look for these on my next outing (in a day or so! hehe).


Of those you have had, which do you like best? Least?Well, I thought it was Elmer T. Lee...and then just a few days ago I got my first bottle of Woodford and man, I really love it. I'm a big fan of scotch and I can't be sure if it's the smoky/oakiness of it or what...but I immediately fell in love with it. I suppose least would now be Makers as it seems fairly simple and thin (light?) after going back to it.

cas
01-29-2009, 13:06
The NC ABC system is gonna limit your selection. Do you ever go "south of the border" into SC? The private stores there open up the selection quite a bit.
Craig

ElasticalGomez
01-29-2009, 13:13
The NC ABC system is gonna limit your selection. Do you ever go "south of the border" into SC? The private stores there open up the selection quite a bit.
Craig

Nah, I've found just about everything I've looked up on the internet at the two stores I frequent. There were a few more obscure things I didn't think I'd see like Jefferson and Jefferson Reserve (am I getting those titles right?) which I did in fact see the other day.

ggilbertva
01-29-2009, 14:00
Scott,

Welcome to SB.com. You've got a good start on your bourbon selections. If you like Makers, other wheated bourbons you should try are:

Weller Antique 107
Old Rip Van Winkle 107
Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond

mozilla
01-29-2009, 14:16
What I've tried and know fairly well thus far:

* Makers Mark
* Knob Creek
* Elvan Williams Single Barrel
* Elmer T. Lee
* Woodford Reserve
.

Welcome to the site. NC is a beautiful state.

Can't say I am a big fan of your choices. The only one I would probably purchase would be the ETL. The other can be improved upon in my book. Here is how I would take it.

Makers...already someone talked about Weller. I would also say...Old Fitzgerald would be a nice option.
KC....I don't buy Beam products for various reasons...so I say Wild Turkey rye. Once you have tasted WTr...you might be hooked.
EWSB...I'm not all that excited about paying for a SB. I would try to track down some of their Bib's(any label except Dant). Also, Russells Reserve should be about the same price point...give one the WT RR's a shot. They are more sophisticated than the 101 proof.
Woodford...give some Old Forester 100 a go. About 70-80% of the Woodford is....OF. Made by the same co. of course.

Also, I know its not the best, but HH makes two products in your market that will help develope your pallet a bit...Mellow Corn Bib and Virgin 7/101. Neither is expensive...and you probably won;t drink them on a daily basis...but give them a shot and tell me what you think. The V 7/101 also makes for a great vatting agent...when blending your own bourbon.

Good luck.

sotnsipper
01-29-2009, 14:47
Scott,

Welcome to SB.com. You've got a good start on your bourbon selections. If you like Makers, other wheated bourbons you should try are:

Weller Antique 107
Old Rip Van Winkle 107
Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond

I throw in another vote for the Weller Antique 107, especially if you like the wheatiers. Enjoy and welcome. So much information around here, it is hard to stay away.

fishnbowljoe
01-29-2009, 15:11
Welcome to SB Scott, About the only thing I can add as recommendations would be, Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10/90, and Weller 12. I really like all the Weller and ER bottlings.:yum: I started out with about the same selection as you. You'll be surprised at how quickly your tastes will change, as will the amount of money in your wallet.:lol: Joe

PS. Not trying to pry, but the more information you put in your profile, the easier it is for people to get to know you a little better too.

ElasticalGomez
01-30-2009, 06:57
Wow! Thanks guys! Well, today I make an excursion for a weekend bottle so I'll be looking through this thread and grab one and start from there. I guess I'll use some rusty math and see which one most of you seem to agree on/suggest more often. Heh.

Also, about my profile...yeah. I meant to but I registered for the site a week ago and just yesterday got my account validated. As per usual on a Friday workday, I'll be spending most of my time dicking around on the interwebz, so I'll try to fill out my profile. :lol:

Blitz
01-30-2009, 10:56
Welcome EG,

You've had a good start. Similar to mine. My first four bourbons are from your list, except replace ETL with Buffalo Trace.

What has helped me, with advise from the members here, is to isolate the taste of wheat or Rye in a bourbon. Doing side by side tastes of Wheat vs. High Rye is best. Of the bourbons recommended to you so far:

Wheat - MM, Wellers
Rye - Wild Turkey 101, Old Grand Dad 114 (you might even try a straight rye, not bourbon, for this exercise...WT Rye, Rittenhouse rye.

good luck. looking forward to your future posts.

ElasticalGomez
01-31-2009, 13:56
Scott,
Looks like you have started off on a really good foot. I would suggest you try Wild Turkey 101 and Elijah Craig 12. Both are well loved here.


Ok, so pardon any n00bness to my descriptions, I'm still not schooled much in the realm of tasting and descriptiveness.

So I decided to go down the list from the first response. Friday I picked up a bottle of Laphroaig (my current favorite Scotch) as a present to myself from a surprise bit of extra money from taxes :grin: and then I grabbed a bottle of Elijah Craig per this recommendation, though I forgot the exact recommendation and picked up the 18 year.

At first I wasn't sure. It seemed rough around the edges compared to the Woodford I still had on the shelf. Then I went back to the Woodford for my second pour, and it felt a bit light and weak. I was pretty surprised! Just now I sat down and gave myself another pour of the EC18 and the bouquet seemed entirely different than last night! Cinnamon seems the strongest and I'm not sure if it's just lingering Laphroaig in the room or my mouth but it seems pleasantly and subtley oaky to me as well. Overall a much more full flavor. I don't think it will be my favorite but I'm enjoying it quite a bit just the same.

kickert
01-31-2009, 15:55
I grabbed a bottle of Elijah Craig per this recommendation, though I forgot the exact recommendation and picked up the 18 year.

At first I wasn't sure. It seemed rough around the edges compared to the Woodford I still had on the shelf. Then I went back to the Woodford for my second pour, and it felt a bit light and weak. I was pretty surprised! Just now I sat down and gave myself another pour of the EC18 and the bouquet seemed entirely different than last night! Cinnamon seems the strongest and I'm not sure if it's just lingering Laphroaig in the room or my mouth but it seems pleasantly and subtley oaky to me as well. Overall a much more full flavor. I don't think it will be my favorite but I'm enjoying it quite a bit just the same.

The EC 18 is much more than just EC12 grown up 6 years. They really are two entirely different bourbons. In the 18 you will pick up a lot more wood/oak/tannin. The EC12 is much sweeter. If you like old bourbon EC18 is a great pour. I like the 12 better because after 15 years things get a bit oaky for me. Others will swear by the 18.

ElasticalGomez
02-01-2009, 09:06
I think my love of Scotch leads my palate in the direction of oakier bourbons, or at least as I'm coming to understand things right now.

The cinnamon is a wee bit strong in this EC18, so I doubt I'll be picking it up again, though I am enjoying it. It is sort of exciting though, on a mission to develop my palate and find what may become my favorite bourbons. :grin:

ElasticalGomez
02-19-2009, 08:08
OK guys. I've had a bit of adventuring since the beginning of the month in trying to find what would be at least one and no more than two bottles delegated to "my favorite everyday pour".

these are all the bourbons I've tasted so far:

MM
KC
EC18
WR
ERSB
WT101 Rye
Blanton's
ETL
Henry McKenna
EWSB

Now, since I'm a n00b, there're still many I've yet to try but I figure if I tell which of these I've come to love, which I hated and which ones were not so impressive for me to be arsed to purchase again...with this info maybe somebody could point me down the path to a few others or help me understand what exactly it is about the ones i liked which has gained my preference.

OK, thus far...the 2 winners of "Favored Daily Pours" are ETL and ERSB.

I loved the bottle of Blanton's I got but I almost feel too elegant drinking it. A great pour, but almost a dessert instead of a dram. I feel it would be more apropos to pour when i have..erm....female company. :grin:

Since ETL is the same whiskey, I get many of the same flavor profile as Blanton's, but with a little more "kick" and a leftover $20-spot in my wallet.

The ERSB disappointed me hugely at first, but halfway through the bottle when comparing against the others on my shelf, later in the evening, it hit me like a pleasant ton of bricks. I felt I understood it's subtleties. It felt, to me, like a better version of the EC18. Less of a direct and obvious slap in the face.

What i really did not like was Henry McKenna. It was on sale for 19.95 so I said "What the hell." Problem was...after tasting it I found myself saying "What the hell?" I was not sad to see that bottle go and had to force myself to finish it out of some misdirected form of thriftiness.

The WT101 Rye...if it is anything like the WT101 that many here seem to hold such a special place in their hearts for...had me confused. It tasted ok for $19 I suppose, but was a bit harsh and nothing really jumped out at me.

Everything else on the list which I didn't mention specifically has landed in the "Meh" category and will most likely not make it back on my shelf.

thoughts?

p_elliott
02-20-2009, 06:53
What you've hit on here is all three of these are one distillery and going out on a limb here maybe one mashbill. It's all buffalo Trace so check out great bourbons.com see what else they make and try some of them. Now the Weller's and PVW's are wheater's so they'll have a different flavor profile.

kickert
02-20-2009, 07:30
Now, since I'm a n00b, there're still many I've yet to try but I figure if I tell which of these I've come to love, which I hated and which ones were not so impressive for me to be arsed to purchase again...with this info maybe somebody could point me down the path to a few others or help me understand what exactly it is about the ones i liked which has gained my preference.

You are going about things the right way. You seem a lot like me - I am a huge fan of Buffalo Trace distillery. ETL and ERSB are from two different mashbills. The ETL is the higher rye mashbill and the ERSB is from the lower rye mashbill. Don't get confused, because neither are especially high in rye, they both have quite a bit of corn in them.

If you want to spend more money, Rock Hill Farms is another excellent one. It seems to be the less known, more appreciated sibling of Blantons.

George T Stagg is another one I would recommend to you. Don't get me wrong, the 140+ proof is going to knock your socks off, but it is the best horse in the Buffalo Trace stables.

If you want to go cheaper, I would recommend Buffalo Trace's namesake. It is usually very reasonable in price and is a great pour. AAA is another great pour.

If you want to know everything in each mashbill, here is a list:

BT Mashbill #1 (Lower Rye): Benchmark, Eagle Rare, Old Charter, Buffalo Trace and George T Stagg

BT Mashbill #2 (Higher Rye):Ancient (Ancient) Age, Rock Hill Farms, Hancock President's Reserve, Blantons, Elmer T Lee, Virginia Gentleman.


If you want to try a different distillery, I would recommend the EC12 from Heaven Hill. That is of course if you liked the EWSB. Those are the only two from HH that get my recommendation.

If you wan to venture into wheaters but stick with BT, I would recommend Weller 12. VanWinkle Lot B is also excellent, but Weller 12 is about $20 cheaper around here.

ElasticalGomez
02-20-2009, 08:23
Ah, thanks guys. Unfortunately the three I mentioned are the only Buffalo Trace bourbons available at the ABC stores here in NC.

*frowns*

What are the legal restrictions or limitations from online stores/shipping/etc.?

p_elliott
02-20-2009, 09:00
Thanks Ben for clearing that up I knew I was out on a limb on the mash bills thing. I don't know the mash bills i was just taking an uneducated guess.

ElasticalGomez
02-20-2009, 09:04
What are the legal restrictions or limitations from online stores/shipping/etc.?

Disregard this question as some very helpful people have given me the answer. :cool:

smokinjoe
02-20-2009, 10:51
EG, a road trip may need to be in your future. Head on down to South Carolina. There is a Frugal McDougal's just south of Charlotte, off of I-77. I believe it's the first exit, into SC. They have a tremendous selection of bourbons that you can't get in NC. Probably only a couple of hours from you in Chapel Hill? Then, if you're feeling really adventurous, go about another hour south, to Columbia. Green's off of I-26 has a lot there, too. Then.......:D

ElasticalGomez
02-20-2009, 14:44
EG, a road trip may need to be in your future. Head on down to South Carolina. There is a Frugal McDougal's just south of Charlotte, off of I-77. I believe it's the first exit, into SC. They have a tremendous selection of bourbons that you can't get in NC. Probably only a couple of hours from you in Chapel Hill? Then, if you're feeling really adventurous, go about another hour south, to Columbia. Green's off of I-26 has a lot there, too. Then.......:D

heh. Anybody wanna make a road trip? Shit. Wish I had a car. I spend the last decade of my life takin' the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan or the Orange line from Roxbury into Jamaica Plain...and my ass hasn't driven a car (outside of tour vans) in years.

:mad:

What I really need to find is sombody in town who's just as obsessive as me about bourb---

yeah right.

sotnsipper
02-22-2009, 10:19
heh. Anybody wanna make a road trip? Shit. Wish I had a car. I spend the last decade of my life takin' the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan or the Orange line from Roxbury into Jamaica Plain...and my ass hasn't driven a car (outside of tour vans) in years.

:mad:

What I really need to find is sombody in town who's just as obsessive as me about bourb---

yeah right.

Joe seems to get around quite a bit. I know he has helped me out. You may check with him if he is coming anywhere close to your area.