View Full Version : What would you bring?
Me and the wife are going to a dinner party at her bosses house this weekend and she told him I would bring a bottle of bourbon. She has told him I am a huge bourbon fan and she said he has seemed interested in bourbon from the questions he asked her that she cannot answer.:)
This is what I figure
1. I think he is a scotch drinker
2. Whatever I bring has to impress.
3. I can't go cheap but don't want to spend a lot on a bottle for someone else.
4. This is a big one. Most bottles I find are a lot better after letting breathe for a bit but I can't show up with a already opened bottle.
I am welcome to suggestions. I am leaning towards ETL but would like to hear what you all think.
Sounds like your looking for something different without being too challenging. I think you have made an excellent choice with ETL.
Some other possibles are;
Van Winkle 10/90
Black Maple Hill Small Batch
Being he is a Scotch drinker, My vote would be VW Lot b. Unless you REALLY want to impress..... Pappy 20 !!!!!
but, on the other hand..... if he is truely looking for a departure from his Scotch world...... go with a WT Rare Breed, or a VW 10/107.
FRSB, Booker's WTRB, WR, WT 101, KC, ERSB, RHF, OWA 107,
Of all the bourbon I've tried with people who don't drink bourbon or say they don't like whiskey (WT101, ORVW10/90, VWSR12, 1792, OF86, MM, OGD:BIB and maybe a couple of others) I've had the most success with 1792. It's a decent price, has a nice bottle, and tastes great! I think someone I know still has the bottle we finished at their house sitting on their shelf. The least successful was the OGD:BIB, for some reason no one who was there would touch this stuff.
As much as I dont like it and depending on if he likes Islays, EC 18 is always popular with single malt drinkers.
I would bring Weller 12, Lot B, or Pappy 15
I had a friend (sadly, deceased now) who was an avid cask-strength Scotch drinker. He also dismissed bourbon as being "too rough".
I changed his mind on that with some WT12YO. This was about a decade ago when you could still buy it in the US.
Personally, I don't see how you could ever go wrong with ETL. It's "big" and oily, has a nice flavor, and at 90 proof won't overwhelm him if he drinks regular-strength Scotch, which usually runs 80 to 86 proof. Plus it sells for a decent price.
Other good bourbons with which to initiate new drinkers are Jim Beam Black Label, Maker's Mark, and Very Old Barton. Any of those would make a very good second choice.
When I take a bourbon to functions, I try to look at 3 things: 1) A bourbon that is not too aggressive on the palate. Bourbon can really bite those not used to it. I look to convert, not scare away. 2) Nice presentation i.e. purdy bottle. More people will try it, if it's attractive looking 3.) A nice story, and why this bottle is special. I know, I know, more marketing BS, but people like to hear good yarns.
Be prepared to talk about it with the passion you have about that particular bottle, and bourbon in general. I find many people are absolutely delighted to hear what we know about bourbon, and are glad to find out it isn't the rot-gut, firewater, of their preconceived prejudices. You throw in the Made in the U. S. A. How Stagg won Jim Murray's Whiskey of the year for a couple of years in a row. And, that's over every whisk(e)y made anywhere on the planet. Explain how all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. How dozens of your friends meet at this cool gazebo twice a year, and drink all of this great old bourbon. How you go into every flea bag liquor store to dusty hunt....uh, maybe skip that one. :D They'll be enthralled, and your bottle will be enjoyed. You'll soon have them eatin...that's drinking, out of your hand.
The bottles that have met these criteria, are:
Weller 12. Has 1 & 2 nailed. It's rarity in most markets makes for a good story.
1792. Good on 1, for it's different taste profile. Smokes #2. #3 with the only distiller in Bardstown, First super-premium for Barton, etc.
FRSB. Possesses all 3 in buckets.
Pappy 15. Possesses all 3 in buckets.
EWSB. A lock on 1 & 2. Interesting tie in with the Parker Beam, and Jim Beam names. How it's different every year, etc.
This is a common one for me.
The most well received, which to me is the Voice of the Customer, are Willet's in the still shaped bottle, Saz Jr and Blantons.
Eye Candy, not routine, palatable.
Just my two cents.
I'll second the votes for LOt B and ETL. RHF or Blanton's would also impress with their packaging.
If he is a single malt drinker I should suggest that you bring a rye or Tennessee instead of a bourbon because I think that is easier to adapt for a not experience drinker of American whiskey. Dickel barrel select or vintage 21 rye is my proposal. These 2 are great American whiskey but still not to hard to adept for a single malt drinker.
Dan, Most of my recommendations have already been named, but here you go anyway. I don't think you could go wrong with Weller 12, Lot B, or ERSB. I have raised a few eyebrows with the Lot B and ERSB. I even converted one of my beer drinking bowling buddies with those two. :grin: Be sure to let us know what you decide on, and how the dinner party goes. Joe
A dusty bottle of Old FItz BIB or VWFR12LB.
As a long time, single malt scotch afficianado, I slowly converted to bourbon...not because I experienced a GREAT bourbon that suddenly opened my eyes.
From a Scotch palate, my first serious venture into the world of KSBW was Makers Mark.
This bourbon, I immediately liked immensely. To my ignorant palate, at that time, MM seemed to explode with never before experienced flavors in my mouth.
Now...after almost two years of exploring various KSBW and trying different ones whenever and wherever I encountered it in drinking establishments...I now have a much better point to evaluate KSBW from.
Of course, now I know that MM is a good pour...but rather "bland" in comparison to many other KSBWs and KSRWs out there.
But I think it served perfectly as an introductory bourbon...not too strong, not too sweet, yet inoffensive and pleasant. Not to mention, it does have a rather good looking Marketing appeal with the bottle shape and wax dipped top.
Also, for Scotch afficianados, they may actually appreciate the nuance of MM being a KSBW that spells it WHISKY on the bottle...
....which as all scotch drinkers know... is the "RIGHT" way to spell the word! :slappin:
I agree with the ETL its always a good choice, i also recomend bringing another bottle you already have thats complely different in style to what you choose to show the diveresity bourbon has to offer and mabey get a better idea of what he would like in the future
Nobody's mentioned the one I always think of as a Scotch-to-bourbon bridge, so I will:
Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10yo/90 proof.
Thanks everyone for your input. I am not a scotch drinker so it is good to know what a scotch drinker may enjoy. I will let you all know what I take and how it goes.
Lots of good advice here to be sure.
The hardest thing about turning a SMS drinker on to bourbon is convincing them that bourbon and SMS are two completely separate things. My recommendations would be FR1B or Baby Saz. Rather than attempt to find something that only weakly approximates a good single malt, I'd go the other way. I agree with other posters that a "too aggressive" bourbon might be daunting, but an EC18 might be too genteel if you know what I mean.
The FR1B is a fantastic bourbon, depending on where you get it (the Julio's bottling didn't move me like others have). Baby Saz is great, if a little young for a SMS guy. If he's not too set in his ways, either or both should impress.
I haven't tried any of this myself but from reading past members experiences i believe one of the Old Potrero's mmight be a suitable Scotch to Bourbon bridging... although this would of course be an expensive outlay.
If he's a Scotch drinker, don't rule out Basil Hayden. It doesn't get a lot of raves here, but it was the one of the first bourbons that my wife and I really liked. I've talked to other Scotch drinkers who really like this bourbon. It gets bad marks on this site because of its proof to dollar ratio, but if % alcohol impresses you, buy everclear.
I've converted a couple scotch drinkers to bourbon. The transition they make is to a rye whiskey or high rye bourbon. They eventually venture into the wheated variants. Also, bringing a high proof might turn off a scotch drinker as a lot of scotches are in the lower proof range. A higher proof bourbon or rye could be interpreted as "too rough"
I've had the most success converting people with ETLee, Baby Saz, and Pappy 15.
I've had the most success converting people with ETLee, Baby Saz, and Pappy 15.
Those are exactly the ones that have worked for me at one time or another ..... except the one that ALWAYS works and raises their eyebrows is Saz 18 (BTAC). I think the age and the wood are familiar to a scotch drinker and the extra bonus of the Rye flavors is the lead in to more dynamic Bourbons aand Ryes.
whenever I meet a scotch drinker that says they don't like bourbon, I pour Sazerac Rye. It has never failed to raise their eyebrows and the bottle is distinctive.
I have on occasion perused Scotch forums just to see what scotch drinkers think of bourbon. One criticism of bourbon that I have seen is that it is too sweet. I think those who have recommended a rye like Baby Saz are onto something.
Dinner party went really good thank you to everyone that posted. I ended up going with Baby Saz. We had it before dinner and there was 5 of us that tried it. I had everyone try a little bit of it straight and then either add ice or water to taste. From what I could tell everyone enjoyed it. After dinner I broke out a bottle of Lot B as I find it a great desert bourbon. I did the same with the Lot B and again everyone seemed to like it. It was a great party and I enjoyed talking about bourbon with everyone. I have to thank this site for all of the knowledge I have about bourbon that I could share and I told everyone about SB and how much you could learn from it and how great you guys are at sharing info.
The best part of the night was me explaining that the Saz was a Rye whiskey. Everyone there had heard of bourbon or had had it but no one had heard of straight rye whiskey.
Really glad to hear it went well for you. Maybe some new converts have been born, always a good thing. It took someone evangelizing about bourbon to me a few years ago to get me to give it another try and I'm grateful for that!
I figured the Baby Saz would do it- I haven't found anybody yet who didn't say "Wow!" after the first sip. Including me, a very new rye fan.
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