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funknik
02-09-2009, 22:42
This really interests me, so I hope we can start a dialogue here...but with all of the things that seems to be (in public opinion) turns for the worst (e.g. 10 High being blended, etc.).

What I want to know is....what are you thankful for? What is better than ever before? Who is lighting your candle?

Seriously, amidst all of the failings, what bourbon is getting better?

ILLfarmboy
02-09-2009, 23:21
It isn't bourbon but perhaps it is worth mentioning. My current bottle of Stranahan's seems to have a bit more age on it that my first two.

This bottle has some pretty strong coffee notes.

Luna56
02-10-2009, 00:41
I'm noticing that two of my most reliable pours (ERSB10 and EC12) are getting better for some reason. I've noticed a bit of variation in my beloved FR1B, but the two aforementioned bourbons seem to have hit a new peak in flavor intensity and depth. The EC12 especially. (Note to self: buy a shitload of EC18 in 2015)

Cheers!

ILLfarmboy
02-10-2009, 00:57
I haven't bought any Eagle Rare Single Barrel for a couple years. It may be time.

But after mentioning that I was tired of hearing about EC 12 I'm suspicious of anyone playing up EC 12. Am I paranoid? I think not..........you'r just all out to get me..................:cool: :cool:

Luna56
02-10-2009, 01:27
Both the ER and EC are hitting a high point now, in my humble opinion. I'm serious about the EC18; I think bourbon, like wine, has the potential for some really great peak years of production. No great revelation to my fellow bourbonites, I'm sure.

Go get you some.

Cheers

funknik
02-10-2009, 13:29
This might be kind of microcosmic, but I have noticed some improved selection in the past 6 months. Baby steps, mind you, but I've seen KY Tavern, Dant BIB, Baby Sazerac & Ri1 (or whatever) show up in the last 6 months. Now, I'm really only excited about one of those (guess which), but the trend is encouraging....especially when Maine offers over 75 single malts....:hot:

So, it seems maybe things are looking up for me -- now I just have to convince the ME Beverage Co to hire me as a whiskey buyer and we'll have bottles galore up here!

OscarV
02-10-2009, 13:37
It seems to me that my last bottles of Old Weller 107, Weller 12yo, Van Winkle Lot B and Old Rip 10yo 107 have been better than previous ones.

Special Reserve
02-10-2009, 15:59
Oscar,

I agree with you about the VWSR LotB and the ORVW 10/107, I can't comment on the others.

Will

PS. Both of those found empty spots in the bunker.

jburlowski
02-10-2009, 17:42
It seems to me that my last bottles of Old Weller 107, Weller 12yo, Van Winkle Lot B and Old Rip 10yo 107 have been better than previous ones.

I'd second that.. and the comments on ERSB.

EC12? No, I won't go back. I won't fall for that fickle siren again.

spun_cookie
02-10-2009, 18:30
[My disposition :p

I have had a few do this. WTAS, Cabin Still, and some centennials. Each bourbon reacts differently depending on composite, distillation, aging and bottling...

Rughi
02-10-2009, 19:03
If you take the question on the scale of this decade, not just weeks, months or years, I say the coolest new things are:

1) Four Roses ! - Them coming back to America with the great stuff is the bourbon event of this decade

2) Rye !!! - The prodigal sons returned to critical acclaim and enthusiast acceptance. Rittenhouse, Beam, Overholt and WT Ryes have been stalwarts during the Dark Ages. Rittenhouse and the new Sazerac are now darlings of enthusiasts and Russell's and Ri1 (however it's spelled) are arming themselves to fight for the souls of white spirits drinkers.

3) BTAC's - The overwhelming success of these has legitimized with the industry that bourbon and rye really can play with the Scotchies and Irish boys.

4) Specialty Barrel Proof Releases - In 2000 there was virtually nothing. There was a Booker or proto-Booker running around and a couple of anomolies like the 114, which was quasi but not really barrel proof. The wild success of the first Stagg (I've seen bunker shots of dozens of the 2002 lined up like there was no tomorrow - because when it came out I'm not sure it was clear to BT or enthusiasts that there was any tomorrow for it).

Enthusiasts championed barrel proofers and showed there was sizable niche demand for it, most notably Doug Philips, whose 'raw whiskey' mantra was the loudest and most constant voice - and who showed that enthusiasts could originate a concept and enlist bemused industry people at all three stages of the distribution system to participate. BT and WT were besieged with barrel proof barrel purchase requests, which they turned down, but KBD was persuaded to let loose a pipeline of the excellent old Bernheim ryes and a variety of HH-sourced bourbons. This emboldened BT to offer two more barrel proof BTAC's over time, and Four Roses to make all their specialty releases so far as barrel proof unchiltered jewels of fine whiskey making.

5) Wheaters - BT/Van Winkle have maintained great products - and we'll see how the BT distillate starts to show as a little more time goes by. Bernheim wasn't a debacle after the SW pipeline dried up, and BT/VW is highly skilled and motivated to step it up one from Bernheim. HH's distillate has grown a bit apart from the SW/Bernheim/BT flavor profile, I can't wait to see where the Beam's ( by which I mean the distillers at HH, not the corporate division) take it over the next few years. It can only be a good sign that HH has launched Bernheim Wheat to round out the taste profiles.

6) Expansion! - The problems you hear about distilleries having right now are 'good problems' - getting enough bottling capacity, enough rickhouses, enough bulk market providers, enough aged whiskey, etc.

There's a whole lot to be excited about. Sure, BT's incredible success based on their selling well-aged whiskey at moderate prices has left some of their brands allocated or unfilled, but that's what it took for them to invigorate an industry, and we'll suffer without for a few years, and then suffer at the prices at which they're reintroduced! And WT's future is unclear, as it may change hands at any moment and there's no telling if Jimmy can keep corporate from meddling as well as he has so far. But I believe everything's gonna be O-TAY!

Roger

Lost Pollito
02-10-2009, 19:39
Roger, I couldn't agree more. Nice post.

Buffalo Bill
02-11-2009, 07:58
This really interests me, so I hope we can start a dialogue here...but with all of the things that seems to be (in public opinion) turns for the worst (e.g. 10 High being blended, etc.).

What I want to know is....what are you thankful for? What is better than ever before? Who is lighting your candle?

Seriously, amidst all of the failings, what bourbon is getting better?

Two words = SAM HOUSTON. Also JDSB, but there's something in it that makes me nuts. After three JDSB's I'll begin writing things on SB.Com that could get me banned, therefore - I've banned it before getting banned. Tennessee Candy that will rock your socks. BB

kickert
02-11-2009, 08:12
Two words = SAM HOUSTON. Also JDSB, but there's something in it that makes me nuts. After three JDSB's I'll begin writing things on SB.Com that could get me banned, therefore - I've banned it before getting banned. Tennessee Candy that will rock your socks. BB

I had JBSB the other day and it is a good thing it is $40+ or I would get myself into trouble. I don't like Jack, but that is easiest whiskey to drink I have ever come across.

p_elliott
02-11-2009, 09:59
If you take the question on the scale of this decade, not just weeks, months or years, I say the coolest new things are:

1) Four Roses ! - Them coming back to America with the great stuff is the bourbon event of this decade

2) Rye !!! - The prodigal sons returned to critical acclaim and enthusiast acceptance. Rittenhouse, Beam, Overholt and WT Ryes have been stalwarts during the Dark Ages. Rittenhouse and the new Sazerac are now darlings of enthusiasts and Russell's and Ri1 (however it's spelled) are arming themselves to fight for the souls of white spirits drinkers.

3) BTAC's - The overwhelming success of these has legitimized with the industry that bourbon and rye really can play with the Scotchies and Irish boys.

4) Specialty Barrel Proof Releases - In 2000 there was virtually nothing. There was a Booker or proto-Booker running around and a couple of anomolies like the 114, which was quasi but not really barrel proof. The wild success of the first Stagg (I've seen bunker shots of dozens of the 2002 lined up like there was no tomorrow - because when it came out I'm not sure it was clear to BT or enthusiasts that there was any tomorrow for it).

Enthusiasts championed barrel proofers and showed there was sizable niche demand for it, most notably Doug Philips, whose 'raw whiskey' mantra was the loudest and most constant voice - and who showed that enthusiasts could originate a concept and enlist bemused industry people at all three stages of the distribution system to participate. BT and WT were besieged with barrel proof barrel purchase requests, which they turned down, but KBD was persuaded to let loose a pipeline of the excellent old Bernheim ryes and a variety of HH-sourced bourbons. This emboldened BT to offer two more barrel proof BTAC's over time, and Four Roses to make all their specialty releases so far as barrel proof unchiltered jewels of fine whiskey making.

5) Wheaters - BT/Van Winkle have maintained great products - and we'll see how the BT distillate starts to show as a little more time goes by. Bernheim wasn't a debacle after the SW pipeline dried up, and BT/VW is highly skilled and motivated to step it up one from Bernheim. HH's distillate has grown a bit apart from the SW/Bernheim/BT flavor profile, I can't wait to see where the Beam's ( by which I mean the distillers at HH, not the corporate division) take it over the next few years. It can only be a good sign that HH has launched Bernheim Wheat to round out the taste profiles.

6) Expansion! - The problems you hear about distilleries having right now are 'good problems' - getting enough bottling capacity, enough rickhouses, enough bulk market providers, enough aged whiskey, etc.

There's a whole lot to be excited about. Sure, BT's incredible success based on their selling well-aged whiskey at moderate prices has left some of their brands allocated or unfilled, but that's what it took for them to invigorate an industry, and we'll suffer without for a few years, and then suffer at the prices at which they're reintroduced! And WT's future is unclear, as it may change hands at any moment and there's no telling if Jimmy can keep corporate from meddling as well as he has so far. But I believe everything's gonna be O-TAY!

Roger

Quite a post but insightful bourbon is going straight forward In all the difficulties going on right now bourbon is on the bottom of the list.

Josh
02-11-2009, 11:29
I can't say who's lighting my candle, in case my wife might find out.:falling:

Buffalo Bill
02-11-2009, 13:48
I had JBSB the other day and it is a good thing it is $40+ or I would get myself into trouble. I don't like Jack, but that is easiest whiskey to drink I have ever come across.

Exactly that - I don't like Jack black label either but the latest JDSB's go down so easy that I can easily forget how much I've consumed, neat! It goes down quicker than anything I've ever drank and keeps you coming back. And I'm not a big TN Whiskey fan either, I'm a bourbon guy. BB

JeffRenner
02-14-2009, 20:42
I went back to Old Forester Signature after a year or two and this most recent bottle is top flight! I think that it and its predecessor OF BiB have gone through a long rough patch but it's come out fine now.

Similarly, I think that WT Rye is back close to the form it was back when it sported a green label.

Jeff

Martian
02-20-2009, 09:02
I think these 3 have improved just over the past year or two:

AAA 10 Star (a definite best buy)
JB Black
WT RR 90

smokinjoe
02-20-2009, 17:57
I think these 3 have improved just over the past year or two:

AAA 10 Star (a definite best buy)
JB Black
WT RR 90

Martian, I am intrigued by your selection of the 10 Star as being improved. I am a big fan of BT, but have never taken a liking to the 10 Star. I like just about anything from BT, so I've always struggled with the fact that I've not like it. But, I haven't hit on any 10 Star in quite a while. Thanks for the heads up. I'm gonna take the jump and pick up a bottle, and check it out.

Martian
02-21-2009, 09:36
Joe, I just noticed a significant improvement in a recent bottle of AAA 10 Star over the last one I tried about 18 mos. ago. I thought I would give the 10 Star another chance. I'm glad I did. One thing I've learned is that the quality of the high volume brands can change from one year to the next, some for the better and some for the worse. This makes brand loyalty difficult. I think the latest 10 Star has improved and is an excellent value in its price range. It's very tasty and spicy.
Steve

funknik
11-19-2009, 13:03
I think these 3 have improved just over the past year or two:

AAA 10 Star (a definite best buy)
JB Black
WT RR 90
Man, is RR90 really getting better? I had one this summer and I could not find any love for it no matter how hard I tried. That was one of the old-style bottles. I love the Rare Breed and really like the 101 and I'm always bummed out about WT not having more expressions . . . and there the RR90 is . . . sitting there taunting me in its new label . . . but I always pass it up . . . I'd like to try it again, but the lasty bottle was one of my most disappointing bourbon experiences ever.

JamesW
11-19-2009, 14:38
Man, is RR90 really getting better? I had one this summer and I could not find any love for it no matter how hard I tried. That was one of the old-style bottles. I love the Rare Breed and really like the 101 and I'm always bummed out about WT not having more expressions . . . and there the RR90 is . . . sitting there taunting me in its new label . . . but I always pass it up . . . I'd like to try it again, but the lasty bottle was one of my most disappointing bourbon experiences ever.


I really like the RR90. I certainly prefer the higher proofs but I find it a decent pour. I won't pay $32, but I get it at ~ $24 and that's fine, it goes down nicely after a WT101. Also good after WT101 is Wathen's.

loose proton
11-19-2009, 15:10
...and I'm always bummed out about WT not having more expressions ...
If it's not to high $$ in your shopping area, try Tradition.

I've not tried the AAA 10star lateley. I bemoan the 10yo days. But I've never found AAA to be less than okay, meaning it's always palatable neat and I never had to look for mix.

SMOWK
11-19-2009, 15:19
WT Rye 101 is my favorite from the WTs I've tried. I have yet to buy or try any of the bottles that cost more than the WTRB. Soon enough.

jburlowski
11-19-2009, 16:23
IMO, WTRR 90 is a very nice pour in its own right. It doesn't need to get better.

independant
11-20-2009, 01:08
I have not been around bourbon for much more then a year so I can not comment on the changes that have been made in terms of taste. I was however surprised when I read about peoples impressions of EC12 when I first came here. To me it is a solid bourbon priced right and it still is. So maybe it has gotten better and I just never had it when it was not as good.

BourbonJoe
11-20-2009, 05:15
I don't think anything is "getting better". I see a lot of things going the other way via lowering or eliminating age statements, lowering proof, eliminating expressions, etc.
Joe :usflag: