View Full Version : Bourbon for Christmas
I am just getting into bourbon, but my brother-in-law is a long time connoisseur. We are heading to the west coast to visit him for Christmas and would like to do our own small tasting and also get him a nice bottle of bourbon as a present. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I should get for the tasting (3 or 4) and what I should give as a gift? I値l be shopping in New Orleans, where I assume I値l be able to find pretty much everything. So the basic question is: if this were a gift for you, what would you want? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif Thanks.
Well, these are just some suggestions of my favorites that would be nice for the tasting that are not too high priced:
Wild Turkey Russels Reserve ($23)
Elijah Craig 12 yr ($17)
Evan Williams Single Barrel ($22)
Woodford Reserve ($28)
The prices I listed are approximate and all 750ml sizes. In my opinion they are all reasonably priced and will not set you back a whole bunch as many others would. I can think of so many other bourbons to bring for a tasting but they would be around $40 a bottle so if you want great reasonably priced bourbons with a wide array of tasting notes you shouldn't go wrong with these...
As for the gift I really like A. H. Hirsch 16 yr (I've seen it for anywhere from $57-80) or even a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 Yr would be nice (around $75-85). They are both phenomenal bourbons and not overly-priced like Distillers Masterpiece for example...
I am sure everyone here will have different opinions which is a good thing but I hope this opens up some ideas... http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif
Well Sis, if you've been reading anything at all on this forum you would know that the two bourbons creating the most stir right now are Old Forester Birthday Bourbon and George T. Stagg. You should be able to get them in New Orleans. Two of the most highly rated bourbons on this forum are Wild Turkey's Kentucky Spirit and Buffalo Trace's Rock Hill Farms. Buy all four and make your tasting the present. Send me the address as I'd like to attend.
Paradox's reply is a good one, although the Elijah Craig 12 year-old provokes strong reactions both good and bad. (I eventually learned to like it, but be aware that it's considerably outside the mainstream of bourbon flavors.)
Do you have any intelligence operatives who could check out the brother-in-law's current collection? If it turns out that he already has, let's say Wild Turkey 101 and Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve, then Wild Turkey Rare Breed (about $30) or Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit (about $40-45, and a favorite of many of us in this forum) would probably be a welcome gift.
Conversely, if there isn't a drop of Wild Turkey in the house, then he has probably found that its taste (which bears a family resemblance among the bottlings cited) is just not to his liking.
BTW, especially during the Holiday season it's often possible to find specially packaged gift sets that include a pair of glasses that bear the product logo. I recently bought myself such a "gift" of Wild Turkey Rare Breed.
Thanks for the excellent additional input. I am working on gathering a little intelligence, but it is slow going and I may be left to my own devices. The last time we were together we shared some Evan Williams Single Barrel. Not sure what else was lurking in the cabinet. I think for the tasting the most important thing is to have a good contrast - that way he can explain the variations to the uninitiated in the family.
Would love to have you, but Seattle (home of b-i-l) is a little far from Dixie....
Thank you for such a thoughtful response. You have definitely given me some good ideas and seem to know exactly what I am looking for: wide array of tasting notes for reasonsble prices and one really good bottle for the b-i-l. This will definitely be the best shopping trip of the season for me!
Welcome Sis. Seattle may be a little far ,but you don't know , anything is possible with this group! I guess it would be cheaper for you to post your final selections and we can do a cyber tasting. That has happened a lot here! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif Provided we have something similiar , close at hand.
If he likes bourbon, you can take just about anything with the Van Winkle name on it with assurance. I'd suggest the 12 year old 'Lot B' or the 13 year old VW Family Reserve Rye.
Welcome to Bourbonia first of all, you surely have come to the right place!
I have 4 suggestions, to wheated and two ryed, all in the $20-$30 range:
Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel
Wathens Single Barrel
W.L. Weller Centennial (10 year 100proof)
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year 107proof
hope this help, and please let us know what the final choices end up being, cause the "virtual tasting" idea sounds good to me!
Tom http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif C
As you plan your tasting, you may find it interesting to read an article entitled "Tasting Suites: Bourbon Tasting with a Purpose" (http://home.netcom.com/~cowdery/articles/suites.html) by our very own Chuck Cowdery on his excellent website.
Financial contraints aside, I would suggest the following:
George T Stagg
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon.
In the "money is ALWAYS an object" catagory I suggest these:
Old Forester 100
Evan Williams Single Barrel (vintage 91)
Elijah Craig 12yo
Ancient Ancient Age 10yo
Hope that helps http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif
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