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Pieface
02-04-2009, 18:38
Greetings, I have been lurking around the site for a while enjoying everyone's contributions. I am based on the West Coast of Australia, no small distance from Bourbon County!

My interest in Bourbon is just budding I guess as I have never been one to drink spirits, bar the odd mixer here and there. A couple of years ago I received a bottle of EC12 (I'm catching onto the lingo haha!) which largely disappeared mixed with coke but I tried the odd nip straight.

It was a bit of a revelation for me as I really enjoyed the flavours coming through, I had always thought of bourbon as just something to throw into coke if I didn't want a beer but I did struggle to not get overpowered with the alcohol taste as wine is the strongest thing I would generally drink. I tried drinking on the rocks but found the flavour diminished significantly as the ice melted.

A couple of years down the track and I'm slowly getting my palate trained to not freak out at the strength of the alcohol by taking a spot of water in my bourbon or a few chips of ice but I'm gradually reducing the amount as I go. Last night, all enthused by signing up here, I think I managed to drink about 40mls of bourbon before I stopped enjoying it...serious drinking there :slappin:

Currently on my shelf I've got EC12, Blanton's original and Jim Beam small batch with port. If you had asked me yesterday I would have said the Blanton's is my favourite to date but sandwiched between two nips of the JBSB last night, the sweetness I find appealing seemed almost too much like confectionery compared to the more caramelised flavours in the Jim Beam. I think the only option here will be more research!

Anyhoo, despite being a total rookie I'm pretty much hooked and look forward to participating around the site, experiencing and learning more about bourbon! I've been digging through the recommendations and will add a couple more bottles over the next week or two. Then I've got an overseas trip so I'll be looking for some recommendations to look for duty free.

Cheers,
Pieguy

callmeox
02-04-2009, 19:09
I think that the one rule here is that you should enjoy consuming your bourbon however it is that you prefer, so don't worry about mixing it or adding ice or water.



Welcome to SB!

fishnbowljoe
02-04-2009, 21:47
G'day Pie, Welcome to the site. I hope this site can help you on your bourbon journey. I see from your profile that you're from Perth. I know we have a few members from Oz, but I think they're easterners. ;-) Cam and Hightower may be able to help you out some with bourbon down under. Look forward to your posts. Let us know how it's going. Joe

p_elliott
02-05-2009, 06:52
Welcome aboard from from up top how you drink your bourbon is your business. The only two I can think of in duty free are WT8 yr and Wt 12 yr that are not available in the USA but should be widely available in Australia. Where are you going over seas you might be better off going to a local liquor store. Post often and have fun.

funknik
02-05-2009, 10:48
Welcome the the addiction! You will learn a lot here just by osmosis -- there are many great people with a wealth of knowledge that will definitely aid you in your quest. As far as how you take your bourbon - you know what you like better than anyone -- if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It's always fun to challenge yourself every now and then -- you'll have plenty of opportunity. Look forward to your posts from the land down under!

peace.
ad

Pieface
02-05-2009, 16:26
Hi again! Thanks for the friendly welcome.

I hear you on drinking the way that is enjoyable. I'm not much of a spirit drinker so I'm really just trying to improve the length of time from my taste buds enjoying themselves and my throat saying closed for business :lol: I definitely notice the loss/change of flavour if my drink gets too cold from ice or too dilute from water. Maybe I'm just greedy wanting to add some quantity to the quality!!

Picked up a Makers Mark last night as it seems to be the only high wheat bourbon mentioned here that I can see locally and I snagged it at 20% off. I'm looking for a high rye next to see if I can start learning to identify the differences and character. I'll do some searching and see if I can locate any of the forum suggestions locally.

HighTower
02-06-2009, 02:52
Pieface,

Welcome to the forum. Great to see another Aussie on board! EC12 is a favourite of mine. Wild Turkey Rare Breed is awesome, the 8yo 101 is also pretty good. Evan Williams Single Barrel is a good priced bottle and you should be able to find it wherever you got your EC12.

How did you find the Makers? I am a fan, there are many better wheat recipe bourbons, but it is the only one with wide distribution here in Australia. Sorry I can't help you out with a specialist retailer over your side of the country, but I just Don't know one!

Cheers!

Scott

unclebunk
02-06-2009, 07:47
Welcome Pieface! It sounds like you're off to a good start. As mentioned by others earlier, it really doesn't matter much how you drink your bourbon, as long as you're enjoying yourself. Much like you, I started off with a single ice cube or a few chips of ice, worked my way to a splash of water and now consume most pours neat, unless it's a real high octane bourbon like William Larue Weller or George T. Stagg in which case I always add a bit of water to soften the heat. It's worth noting that Parker Beam and Elmer T. Lee enjoy their bourbon with a bit of ice and/or water, and these are guys who damned near drink their products for breakfast.

You mentioned that you are after a bourbon with a somehwhat higher rye content. I assume that you can get your hands on Wild Turkey 101 and that would be my recommendation for you. You know, after sampling well over fifty different bourbons, from bottom shelfers to the most pricey bourbons on the market, I find my tastes returning most often to things like WT 101 and Old Fitzgerald BIB--rock solid "bourbon as bourbon used to be" pours just as your grandfather used to drink 'em. (Well maybe not your grandfather, but my grandfather for sure!) Let us know what you are sampling as you go along and best wishes to you and your family in 2009!

Hank (aka Uncle Bunk)

Pieface
02-08-2009, 20:51
Hi again! I did a bit of trawling around to see what was available over the course of the weekend in my area. The Jim Beam products seem well supported with Bookers, Bakers etc widely available as the top shelf options. I even spotted a bottle of Rittenhouse BiB but the $67 asking price gave me pause on something which is promoted here as a great budget pour!!

I found a few of the Heaven Hill range. They had the Evan Williams single barrel from '97. Anybody got any thoughts on this and if it's worth the extra asking price ~$10 over the EC12?

I eventually grabbed a bottle of the WT 101 as my "high rye" to sample. The Australian version highlights this as an 8YO. I tried to do a bit of a taste off of the Makers and the WT but I'm not sure I could say I could attribute any of the differences I tasted to the wheat/rye variation.

Keeping in mind my complete noobiness...

Makers: My initial impressions were of wood and a light sweetness. I found the middle palate (is that a term?? :lol:) to be a little flat and the finish was a very subtle warmth with some almost citrus notes. Over all I guess I would describe it as a mild tasting whiskey. The extra bit of proof over the 80's I had been drinking was not detectable and it seemed very smooth in mouth feel

WT101 The nose on this suggested it was going to be a different beast to the Makers. I picked out brown sugar and oddly enough thyme. The WT announced it's arrival a lot more forcefully than the Makers maybe due to the higher proof. I was happy to discover the smells I picked out on the nose follow through onto my tongue and develop into caramelised brown sugar and tobacco flavours. The finish had notably more burn and I picked up some smoke and wood flavours.

I preferred the Turkey but I think that's only because it made the Makers seem a little pallid by comparison. They definitely had different characters with the Makers seeming more refined and maybe a little sanitised because of it. I can see the Makers working better with a meal than the WT which, at my level of experience, would dominate too strongly. It was fun to try and put the taste-buds to the test. I'm not sure if I got close to what a more experienced person would pick out in terms of smells and flavours but I guess you gotta learn somehow :grin:

p_elliott
02-09-2009, 06:58
I don't know what the asking price there is for the EWSB is but here it's about $25 and it's well worth it. It's one of my favorite pours if it's reasonable say around the price of WT 101 I'd buy it. If it's more than $5 higher that WT 101 pass buy the WT it's not as good as WT just different but good.

p_elliott
02-10-2009, 05:54
I don't know what the asking price there is for the EWSB is but here it's about $25 and it's well worth it. It's one of my favorite pours if it's reasonable say around the price of WT 101 I'd buy it. If it's more than $5 higher that WT 101 pass buy the WT it's not as good as WT just different but good.

I should have said it's not better than WT101 in stead of not as good.

Pieface
02-10-2009, 15:52
Cheers for the info. I'll most likely give the EWSB a go then as it is pretty much spot on the WT101 pricing.

Pieface
03-09-2009, 19:48
Had a trip away and the Bourbon selection was disappointingly thin through the duty free. I ended up having a turkey shoot and added a couple of extra birds I have found about town for an impromptu photo opportunity:

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d147/Videlion/Bourbon/P3090025pn.jpg

I'm seriously loving the WT101 at the moment and I have learned that the flavour of the bourbon seems to improve dramatically if I give it 5 minutes or so to breathe after I pour it. The WT101 seems to develop a buttery mouth feel whilst my Blantons seems to have a caramel corn flavor come to the fore.

Now I seem to have my high rye whiskey covered off pretty well for the moment. I really want to try something in a wheater that is going to be a bit more exciting than Makers Mark. I have a line on a few options (I think they are wheaters but please correct me if I'm wrong) but they are pretty pricey so I'm looking for the low-down on what is going to give me an insight into what makes a good wheat bourbon.

At the cheaper end is:
Old Fitz - no age statement 86 proof
Old Fitz 1849 - 8 years 90 proof

In the middle range:
Old Rip Van Winkle - 10 years 90 proof

Upper Range
Very Special Old Fitz - 12 years 90 proof
Van Winkle Lot "B" - 12 years 90 proof

Cheers,
Morgs :)

p_elliott
03-10-2009, 07:13
Had a trip away and the Bourbon selection was disappointingly thin through the duty free. I ended up having a turkey shoot and added a couple of extra birds I have found about town for an impromptu photo opportunity:

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d147/Videlion/Bourbon/P3090025pn.jpg

I'm seriously loving the WT101 at the moment and I have learned that the flavour of the bourbon seems to improve dramatically if I give it 5 minutes or so to breathe after I pour it. The WT101 seems to develop a buttery mouth feel whilst my Blantons seems to have a caramel corn flavor come to the fore.

Now I seem to have my high rye whiskey covered off pretty well for the moment. I really want to try something in a wheater that is going to be a bit more exciting than Makers Mark. I have a line on a few options (I think they are wheaters but please correct me if I'm wrong) but they are pretty pricey so I'm looking for the low-down on what is going to give me an insight into what makes a good wheat bourbon.

At the cheaper end is:
Old Fitz - no age statement 86 proof
Old Fitz 1849 - 8 years 90 proof

In the middle range:
Old Rip Van Winkle - 10 years 90 proof

Upper Range
Very Special Old Fitz - 12 years 90 proof
Van Winkle Lot "B" - 12 years 90 proof

Cheers,
Morgs :)

Any of the Weller's would be good especially Old Wellers Antique 7 107

Jono
03-10-2009, 16:22
"a bottle of Rittenhouse BiB but the $67 asking price gave me pause on something which is promoted here as a great budget pour!!"

$67!! Whoa!! It sells for $16...up from $11.99 in the last year or two...in the Chicago area...and likely close to that nationwide.

Pieface
03-10-2009, 17:08
Any of the Weller's would be good especially Old Wellers Antique 7 107

The only Weller's I might be able to source is called William Larue Weller from the BT antique collection (not sure if it is even related to the Weller's label?)...at $300 large it's not gonna happen :)

Any pointers on the options I have listed as available?

Bourbon buying is expensive down under Jono. By the time it ships, gets our ridiculously high taxes and duties applied and we suck up a terrible exchange rate...moving to the US starts sounding like a good idea :slappin:Let's just say I'm not looking to take up drinking Scotch anytime soon as those prices are truly ridiculous.

Squash
03-10-2009, 19:12
The BTAC WLW is one of the best whiskeys I have ever tasted, but I thought was paying a lot $60.

Pieface
03-10-2009, 22:53
The BTAC WLW is one of the best whiskeys I have ever tasted, but I thought was paying a lot $60.

Trust me it is painful reading what you guys consider a "tasty budget pour" and I find it's unavailable or...not so budget! Still if I buy enough bourbon I may be able to sell the Mrs on a stateside trip as a cheaper alternative :lol:

HighTower
03-11-2009, 03:31
To give you guys some idea of costs, I just got a package from Binnys last week. 10 bottles total in the box. After shipping, customs charges, and a very dodgy exchange rate; my 19.99 Weller 7/107 cost me $125 :bigeyes: (US$80). Last time I got a bottle it cost me about $55. I am not liking buying bourbon right now. :smiley_acbt:

Morgs - nice Turkey lineup. I remember mine looking like that once! That shit will grow on you!

Scott

Jono
03-11-2009, 09:59
Time for some Aussie bourbon production!!
http://www.bakeryhilldistillery.com.au/2006/01/30/australian-whisky-distillers-unite/

http://www.winelistaustralia.com.au/spirits.php?liq=Bourbon

Too bad you have to pay such high prices. Odd, Aussie wines are frequently the cheapest on the shelf....even in comparison with California mass production wines.

HighTower
03-11-2009, 13:52
Too bad you have to pay such high prices. Odd, Aussie wines are frequently the cheapest on the shelf....even in comparison with California mass production wines.

There is so much wine in Australia that is cheap.....the weird thing is you guys get it shipped half way around the world and it is still cheaper over there. I have often seen Yellowtail wines for $3.99/$4.99 at Binnys, we pay $10-$12 for it.
Our taxes on wine are high too....29% WET Tax (Wine Equalisation Tax) and then 10% GST on top of that!

Scott

Pieface
03-11-2009, 17:25
G'day Scott,

Cheers for the indicative pricing. Buying Bourbon would have been much more fun in late '07 early 08 when we were up around the $0.95USD exchange rate I'll bet. Look's like I might order some gear through Nick's as there are plenty of interesting bottles to try for a newbie and the pricing doesn't sound too far off looking at your example.

The turkey is definitely growing on me. I might have a line on WTAS at $100, just got to chase that one down this afternoon and see if it is legit or smoke and mirrors.

I've just been reading the customs stuff and of course the mongrels insist on charging duty and taxes on alcohol and tobacco products regardless of quantity. I was hoping there might be an exemption up to 2.25L as per travelling provided you come in under the GST threshold @ $1000AUD. Silly me!

On the wine front it is crazy the amount of wine that is produced in Australia. I'm involved in agriculture in WA and I know of hundreds of thousands of litres of wine being dumped out on the ground prior to bottling because oversupply had driven prices so low that costs could not be recovered.

camduncan
03-11-2009, 19:03
Don't forget, there are plenty of bourbons available here in Australia worth trying. Most of the major distilleries are represented, and you can get them at local BWS, Liquorland or Dan Murphy's stores (depending on which ones retail them)...

Jim Beam:
Jim Beam White
Jim Beam Black
Jim Beam Rye
Beams Choice
Bookers
Bakers
Basil Hayden
Jim Beam Small Batch (with Port added)
Jim Beam Bonded

Makers Mark:
Makers Mark

Buffalo Trace:
Blantons

Heaven Hill:
Evan Williams
Evan Williams Single Barrel
Virgin Bourbon
Kentucky Gold
Nelson County
Elijah Craig 12yo
Iron Horse

Wild Turkey:
Wild Turkey 86 proof
Wild Turkey 8yo
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
American Honey
Wild Turkey Russells Reserve 101 (all but gone from shelves now)
Wild Turkey Americian Spirit (all but gone from shelves now)

Four Roses:
McKenna Bourbon
Bulleit (I think this if Four Roses)

Labrot and Graham:
Woodford Reserve


Other:
Cougar Bourbon
Cougar XS
Slate Bourbon
Rebel Yell
Jack Daniels stuff
Old Crow
Woodstock Bourbon
Woodstock Blue Label

I think that about covers it....

Pieface
03-11-2009, 20:14
Hi Cam,

Thanks for the listing. I think I have managed to hit quite a few on that list over the years from Beam and Wild Turkey in particular as they are widespread.

I don't have much experience with the HH juice bar the Elijah Craig 12. Any favourites from their cheaper offerings? I can get the '97 EW single barrels readily too, how do you rate it?

Jono
03-11-2009, 21:22
EW SB is a very nice bourbon...smooth and tasty...similar in my experience to Old Forester Signature...both nice easy drinking bourbons.

Re Yellowtail...they must produce enourmous amounts of wine as it is always on sale....like you noted...around $3.99. It is a decent wine...I just enjoyed a cheap bottle of "Little Penguin" Pinot Noir....another inexpensive pick up. Lindemans too...a little more expensive but very reasonable.

camduncan
03-11-2009, 23:21
In the Heaven Hill offerings, I rate Nelson County as a good all round bourbon, and it's usually around the $25 price when on special. Scott (Hightower) tells me Iron Horse isn't bad either. Evan Williams SB is a great product, but in my experience can vary greatly from barrel to barrel, and definately changes from vintage to vintage.

Pieface
03-11-2009, 23:38
I'll check these out this afternoon on my way to squash. Bad youth experiences with beam white label are keeping me away from the lower shelf but maybe I need to expand my horizons a little. I will have a crack at an EWSB if only to determine if I should stick to EC12 and save the extra $5.

Cheers for the input guys :)

jackthewog
03-12-2009, 02:49
I second that Iron Horse is not that bad of a pour. Also agree with the praise of EWSB. For all you Queenslanders the First Choice in Toowoomba has around 24 bottles of WTRR 101. Only letting you know because I have already bought several.

Cheers Jack

Pieface
03-12-2009, 16:49
Well I ended up with another bottle of EC12. The stockist had it on special so it was $15 saving to go EC12 over the EWSB...hard to argue with.

HighTower
03-13-2009, 04:02
$15 difference seems weird, what were the 2 prices. Sounds like EC12 is either incredibly cheap or they have jacked up the EWSB.
Scott

Pieface
03-15-2009, 16:52
EC12 was $40.99 and the EWSB was $55.95 I'm pretty sure. The EWSB is more or less bang on WT101 pricing around the place. I will be returning to the same store for a couple of bottles of the EC12 for the bunker, the first bottle is drinking beautifully after a couple of days open.

HighTower
03-16-2009, 04:49
That's pretty steep for EWSB. You should be able to get it $10 cheaper, unless it has had a huge increase in the last 4 months. Are you looking at Vintage Cellars or Liquorland?

If you are close to Riverton, Bicton or Midland you should give 1st Choice a call and see what they are selling it at.

Scott

Pieface
03-16-2009, 17:34
Thanks for the tip Hightower. Unfortunately I'm located North of town and it's a reasonable hike to those locations. I have been looking in Liquorland mostly but the Vintage Cellars I've been through has identical pricing. I may be out to Midland in a few weeks for some aquarium stuff, I'll try to swing by the 1st Choice then.