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Gillman
09-23-2010, 05:11
Looking at my recent purchases, they included Weller Antique, ETL and VOB. On other occasions it might be Rare Breed, Four Roses, EC 12 or one the Heaven Hill-branded labels, or Fighting Cock, or something else in that price range. I've tried many (far from all) of the limited editions, experimentals, 15 years plus and other more costly bottles. And I find now I am not inclined to them generally speaking. I get the same satisfaction, sometimes more, from the regular bottlings. It's not that I don't see the extra quality the expensive bottlings often (not always) have, I just find it's not worth the extra cost. (To the extent I want variety and increased quality beyond what I buy, I vat them to get that, but I am trying to make a more general comment). I think a lot of it has to do with age, that beyond 10 years in the wood or so I find the taste generally not appealing. A bourbon or rye aged from 4-8 years generally seems just right.

Gary

cigarnv
09-23-2010, 05:19
Gary, I find myself in the same place... the GTS, PHC, etc. sit on the shelf as I enjoy Weller 12, EWSB, OBH, VOB, etc. on a regular basis. As I mentioned in another thread today I get caught up in the hunt for the latest and greatest while getting the most enjoyment from what would best be described as "pedestrian" products... here I speak both of spirits and cigars.

For the most part I have begun passing on all but a few super bottlings with most purchases being in the under $35 range... many below $20.

smokinjoe
09-23-2010, 06:38
Count me in as a believer, too. I'll still pick up the higher priced items, but with nowhere near the frequency and quantity as in the past. Now, it's the lower cost, everyday drinkers that have the most appeal to me. Usually, when I make my yearly pilgrimages to KBF and Sampler, I come back with dozens of bottles of pricey bourbon. I did pick up a few, but passed on many that I would have taken without hesitation in previous years. But, in reviewing what I brought back last week, it's clear my priorities have changed. The inexpensive gems were what made my cut: Old Fitz BIB, JTS Brown BIB, Old HH 6 yr BIB, Old Bourbon Hollow BIB, OGD 114, and VOB BIB....All, way under $20 (save the 114--$23), and all being thoroughly enjoyed, now.

Gillman
09-23-2010, 06:44
I buy all those mentioned too. I realise Rare Breed and maybe EC 12 and ETL are >$23.00 a bottle but those are the exceptions and it's just a few dollars more (plus with Rare Breed you get a high proof). But as for anything from the later $30 upwards I almost always give it a pass now. Not to say I don't enjoy them when I have the opportunity (Gazebo, friends' bottles here) but "inexpensive gems" states it perfectly, it's where I'm at.

Gray

N.B. I should mention also Old Forester 100 proof - can anything be more perfect as bourbon? Probably, but factoring the cost-benefit ratio, I find generally the answer is no.

BourbonJoe
09-23-2010, 06:55
I have not yet moved away from the high end. This is probably because I live in a control state and do not have access to them unless I go to Kentucky. I drink regular stuff but I also like the high end stuff. It is usually very limited and I also prefer a little wood on my bourbon anyway, so I like the older bottlings. At my age, money is not the prime factor in my bourbon buying so I drink them all.
Joe :usflag:

ggilbertva
09-23-2010, 07:07
Gary, I've had this conversation with a number of fellow enthusiasts where I state that while I have all these high end bourbons sitting in the bunker or in the "open bottle" cabinet and almost by default, I reach for an OWA, VOB or many of my low cost dusties. It's a strange phenomenon where we chase after high end bottles and then drink the mid to low shelf stuff. I'm glad I'm not alone. Doesn't mean I'm not interested in the limited release offerings but I'm with Joe, my purchase frequency is much less that it was in the past.

DeanSheen
09-23-2010, 07:41
Depends on what we call the high end. I'm a big fan of the mid-range products say $25 - $40. I'm not much for many of the lower end selections for example HH BIB and JTS Brown BIB I've had bottles of in my house and choked them down. I want to like the cheap stuff but my floor seems to be regular BT.

If I had regular access to dusties I would drink a lot more lower end products.

The next couple years will be interesting for the high end. I think the ceiling is getting pretty close these days.

Gillman
09-23-2010, 08:46
Robert I hear you but I find Fighting Cock (current issue of course), Jim Beam Rye or Rittenhouse 100, Weller SR and Antique, and OF 100 (which I think is around $25 or less) very worthy. Some of the HH-branded bourbons, or say EW Black, are pretty good too. I sometimes buy in the price range you mentioned, but can get disappointments there too. E.g., for some years I found some of the Buffalo Trace products just not to my taste, that earthy thing they sometimes get. I would however consider the range you mentioned included for my main point, but so many bourbons and ryes today are costing way more than $40.00. I rarely buy them now.

Gary

SBOmarc
09-23-2010, 08:50
Adding my voice to this trend. I think in my case it was "forced" upon me when I made the decision to start mt business. It was economic reality, yet I found myself looking for the value pours more and more. Not just due to cost, but the taste also.

sailor22
09-23-2010, 08:52
It depends on the mood I'm in. All the lower priced gems mentioned most would classify as pretty easy drinkers - not particularly challenging pours. Very often I'm not in the mood to sip barrel proof or any big pour for that matter. A bunker of oldies is where I turn for my tasty easy drinkers - 70's and 80's Old Taylor, Eagle Rare 101, Old Grand Dad, Dant, and Old Forester Bib. Current release stuff includes ET Lee, Blantons, JTS Brown Bib, Virginia Gent 90, Van Winkle 10/90, 4 Roses SB and Old Bourbon Hollow.

Somehow I seem to want to save the really high end stuff to share at special times with special friends - and that just doesn't happen often enough to keep up with my rate of purchase.

DeanSheen
09-23-2010, 09:08
Gary: Thanks for getting my head on straight.

"Rittenhouse 100, Weller SR and Antique, and OF 100 (which I think is around $25 or less)"

Yes, I like all of those and they do tip in right at $20 or so. I guess I need to change my number from $25 to $20. I've still not tried the Kickin Chicken and I think the BTOY was the first time I had EWB.

SMOWK
09-23-2010, 09:15
Somehow I seem to want to save the really high end stuff to share at special times with special friends - and that just doesn't happen often enough to keep up with my rate of purchase.

My thoughts exactly.

Joshua
09-23-2010, 09:26
I agree. I have some great $50+ bourbons, but I rarely drink them. Most nights if I want a healthy pour, I don't want to go to the Pappy 20 or pop the Parkers. The cost really can really influence the ability to appreciate it.

On trips before, say to Binny's, I would end up with Pappy 15, VWFRR, and things of the like. Coming home from KBF I ended up with a whole lot of Aincient Age, Very Old Barton, Four Roses 1B (Under $30 a bottle), and Everette's Weller SR. The Barton and Weller were handles, so even more value there.

I have to impress expensive bourbons. Really try to taste them, dissect the nose and what hits my mouth, take notes in my journal, try different glasses... I can't focus on anything but the bourbon. I feel I owe it a certain level of respect. While this is fine, or downright enjoyable, some days... it's not something I care to engage in every time I want bourbon.

I let value pours impress me. A big pour, not as picky about what glass, not as picky about how my nose and tastes are- I just drink it. Some of the best experiences with bourbon are when I pour a large glass, and sit outside with friends, or watch a movie, or play overly-complicated board games. I'm not thinking about the bourbon, I'm just letting it be what it is. Good whiskey for a good price.

I believe sampling the high end bourbons, or dusty bottles, or VERY dusty bourbons has really allowed me to understand bourbon. Age, distillery, mash bill, storage, how everything has worked together to form the juice. Once I really started figuring out all of the things that make great bourbon great, I found it easier to understand what makes "pedestrian" bourbon great.

Gillman
09-23-2010, 09:55
Definitely agree with all comments made about dusties, but they are not available to everyone and my initial remarks did not factor them. But true enough at the modest price many still can find them for, they are great and Josh is exactly right that tasting them helps parse the palate of bourbon from a 360 perspective, it really does.

(I always enjoy the pictures people put up of those finds but I wish more taste notes were posted).

Gary

nor02lei
09-23-2010, 10:21
Interesting thread Gary. I do agree partly with many others on this one. I think middle shelf stuff is the most price worthy and the type I drink mostly. God examples are Dickel 12, JDSS, OGD 114, Rittenhouse BIB, ORVW 10/107, WT 8, 12 and EC 12. Off cause the picture are a bit different here. We don’t have much good low shelf’s here as all those BIBs you have and some of your low shelf’s like Rittenhoude BIB and Dickel 12 are middle shelf’s here with a price about 10 euro over brands like black Beam or JD for example. I do like to drink expensive top shelf stuff when I am in the mood for it. At the moment I haven’t been in the mood that much for uncut for example so I have stayed a bit low on that for a while. I do also like to have American whiskey with desserts and cakes so I have to shoes the ones that are suitable in those cases.
As a summery I would say it’s the mood, price worth, and snack suitableness in first hand and the wallet in second hand that are conclusive.

Leif

OscarV
09-23-2010, 12:34
I'm not much for many of the lower end selections for example HH BIB and JTS Brown BIB I've had bottles of in my house and choked them down.

Agreed.
If I can't drink it then it's a waste of 8 to 12 bucks.
I have been thru all these low priced ones and I have given some a 2nd chance but I just don't like them.
I have bunkered up a good selection, that is a good selection in my opinion.
I have a lot of high end 4R's, WT's, PHC, ORVW, PVW, LWL, GTS etc.
I used to like to "make them last" by getting some cheap or I should say low priced bottles but to me they turn out to be a waste of money.

camduncan
09-23-2010, 13:05
Gary, I couldn't agree more with your initial post. Granted the Aussie price point differs greatly - $25-$50 AU would be lower end. But it encompases great products like Jim Beam Rye, Nelson County (HH), Makers, Evan Williams, Elijah Craig 12, Cougar, Buffalo Trace & Blantons Special Reserve to name a few.
Proof varies in all of these, (don't forget the 74 proof products we have here to reduce taxes) and they are available at multiple stores in most suburbs and towns.
I love trying limited releases and high end products, but they often don't make it to our market, so have to be imported at great expense (often 2-3 times the pruchase price of the bottle,) plus, if it's a limited release bottle, I dislike that I can't purchase it again at a future date.

In saying all this, I'm still a slave to my passion and hobby:skep: :bigeyes: :grin:

kickert
09-23-2010, 13:06
I enjoy being able to have a pour without worrying about the cost. With things like GTS, Pappy, etc., while I really enjoy them, I feel like I need a special occasion to pour them. I would much rather have a pour like Ritt BIB or Weller 12 that I can really enjoy without having to find a reason to drink them.

Gillman
09-23-2010, 15:10
Well, that's it. And I readily agree at the $8.00-$12.00 price point, not too many bargoons, but there are some. Double that (and a bit in some cases) and I find far more value, generally, than bourbons at double again, triple and quadruple that cost.

Gary

OscarV
09-23-2010, 15:20
I picked up a Very Old Barton BIB in KY last summer for a few bucks, I've had it before and I thought I'd try it again.
It is a total waste of money, had a few pours and I am pushing it on my wife and friends. I feel like I got ripped off royally.
I also got some LBS Willetts for 85 bucks and I think it was way under priced, in fact I think it was dirt cheap.

Skunk
09-23-2010, 15:24
I am in love with the bottom shelf lately.

Old Forester 100 which is just $16 here and great stuff as gary mentioned. VOB 86 @ $9 (can't get the bib but would love to try some). Weller Antique -just got a bottle of a single barrel done locally that is as good as the mid 90's bottles...encouraging. HH BIB 6y0 *the one store that has it can't keep it in stock because of me. I just never tire of it.*, EW Black $tolerable and affordable$, Ritt BiB when it's around, WT101 was good last time I got it. I can appreciate me some JTS Brown BiB, but not too often. Any BiB for that matter. I Impressed a friend who shops higher on the shelf than me with OGD 114 the other day. Rare breed was too hot for me to want to spend $30+ when I tried it at the bar... so that must be my upper limit for bargain pours.

I;ll splurge on all the stagg I can afford/find and at least one wLw. 4R are getting too expensive for my value ratio I only drink VW when others are buying :grin: (and the 10yo's give me a headache the next day). Parkers is so rare it's moot, but I love it.

If anyone around here ever wants to have a lower shelf tasting I'd be in. No dusties allowed.

Jono
09-23-2010, 15:31
Sometimes, I think people (myself included) fool ourselves, due to the expenditure, and think we enjoy the high end bourbons more than we really do..if at all. Maybe that really high proof bourbon just isn't that enjoyable or that aged bottle really is too woody. That is not to say all high end bourbons are disappointing, just that in comparison to a favorite mid range or under appreciated lower end bourbon, the difference is not worth the cost. However, collecting is part of the enthusiast motive in addition to drinking.

I really enjoy the Henry McKenna as an ideal after dinner dessert bourbon.

TNbourbon
09-23-2010, 15:34
Looking at my recent purchases...I've tried many (far from all) of the limited editions, experimentals, 15 years plus and other more costly bottles. And I find now I am not inclined to them generally speaking. I get the same satisfaction, sometimes more, from the regular bottlings...
Welcome to my world today, too, Gary. It's ironic that you and Oscar, on a later visit about the same time, pretty much helped me begin the degradation of my "show" whiskeys a year or so ago. I don't even remember the last 'premium' bottle I bought.

...It's a strange phenomenon where we chase after high end bottles and then drink the mid to low shelf stuff...
Well, Greg, I drank the high-end ones, too! ;)

Gary's point about the versatility and ability to change taste profiles by his expert (and my less-so) vatting is a valid and good one, because it doesn't require top-end bottlings to do. But, a larger factor for me is that I simply don't drink much bourbon 'neat' anymore. It is almost always with a simple mixer or in a more complex cocktail. (Well, that's not quite true -- I almost always take a tiny sip of the whiskey I've poured, which I usually add first to the glass, contrary to Pappy's long-ago advice.) Since I'm covering up any long-aging effects, I find no reason to pay for it, and there are plenty of utile, simpler bottlings available.

kickert
09-23-2010, 15:39
At today's prices, I could never buy a bottle over $30 and be completely content. Cutting that to $25 would make an impact, but I would still be pretty happy. At under $20 I could enjoy drinking bourbon without a problem, but would long for some of the better stuff. Under $15 I could find stuff to drink, but would struggle.

The bottles I buy the most are in the $18-25 range.

Gillman
09-23-2010, 15:53
Always liked VOB in any proof.

Just poured some Weller Antique, added two small rocks (warmish day here) and a small dash tap water. Quite fruity and sweet but with light wood, full-bodied for a wheater, complex, very good.

Gary

George
09-23-2010, 16:05
Great thread. I agree with many others here and find plenty to enjoy in less expensive bottles. I drink very little of the high-end stuff, though I do grab a bottle occasionally, if it's something I haven't tried before.

B.B. Babington
09-23-2010, 20:06
...
If I can't drink it then it's a waste of 8 to 12 bucks...

Yep. It took me a while to figure this out. I sampled lots of bottom shelf because every once in a while I'd find a great surprise and it was fun trying different things. But then most of it was barely palatable. After a while, considering how little I actually drank, bottom shelf stuff cost more than the premium.

ggilbertva
09-24-2010, 05:29
Well, Greg, I drank the high-end ones, too! ;)



As do I but for regular drinking, I drink the mid shelf stuff. I think part of it is the big proof bourbons take a little more "work" to drink while a W12 at 90 proof is easy and doesn't really take much thought. I don't save the higher end stuff for any kind of special occasion, I just shoot for the middle by default. Maybe I need to show more love to my high end selections.

wadewood
09-24-2010, 05:54
Based on the results of the us SB "experts" at the BTOTY competition, maybe we should all switch to low end stuff and just pour it in unmarked bottles. Those unmarked bottles make everything taste better :rolleyes:

doubleblank
09-24-2010, 07:09
SB members aren't the only ones moving away from the high end. I recently participated in a private barrel purchase at Tom Moore and was working with one of the beverage managers at Spec's in Houston to facilitate delivery. We got to talking about what's selling and what isn't. Here are some high end's currently at Spec's that don't sell well.

All prior iterations of the Parker Heritage series are available.
Plenty of WT Tradition on the shelf.
He showed me a shopping basket about 1/3rd full of BT Experimentals.
FR 100th and 2009 Marriage.
Rittenhouse 21/22/??? age ryes.
Vintage 17yo on sale and isn't moving.
Jefferson's 17yo Presidential Reserve.
Rock Hill Farms......rarely sells a bottle.
Those expensive Hirsch bottlings have to be put on sale to move.

I could go on and on, but the only high end stuff selling are the BTAC's and Pappy's because of limited supplies.

Lately, I have found myself pouring from handles of Weller 107 and Weller 12 in the older style packaging. It's not a conscious economic decision, I just like them particularly in our warm Texas weather.

Randy

Stu
09-24-2010, 08:15
Years ago I was told by a wine expert that "any time you pay more than $20* for a bottle of wine you're paying for marketing, packaging, or scarcity". * Price updated for inflation.

The same thing applies to malts and bourbon. I would say spending more than $80 (maybe $100) for a bottle of bourbon is paying for marketing, packaging, and scarcity. PVW 23 is great whiskey, I'm sure we'll all (at least most) agree on that, but is it 10 times better than 12 yr old lot B? I don't think so but it's more than 10 times more rare.

There is a bottom shelf bourbon available in MO called Heaven Hill Ultra Deluxe Bourbon. $17/handle. It's good for sipping and it's excellent for BBQ sauces, marinades, Kentucky coffee, other mixed drinks, etc. It's the same price as VOB and every bit as good or better. I took a bottle to the gazebo last Sampler and several people were shocked at the quality/price ratio. Bernadette uses it for her Arkansas Tea (although the bottle at this yeas KBF was make from VOB).

So I guess I'm another who owns some top shelf bourbons, but usually drinks (and enjoys) lower to mid shelf brands.

Gillman
09-24-2010, 08:20
The double-barreled comments from Texas are very interesting! I think what it tells me is, the more costly products may be (often are) superior but not by a big enough margin to convince a lot of people to buy them. Whereas in malt whisky, say, the margin is perceived as much larger and expensive bottles usually sell well. Really, this is good news for bourbon fans. It means what we always knew, that the middle end offers fine values (and the high middle end, say $40.00, isn't even a starting point for fine malts anymore), and on the low end you can still find some good whiskies. Bourbon is a bargain, really, in international terms. Perhaps the spate of "high end" bottlings will wither in time and in fact up to a few years ago, there were very few of them. Either that, or producers will have to come up with something really different and special (not just high age, or proof, or a rare mash bill) to convince many to buy them. Some people will always want to buy them who can afford them, and that's fine. Some of those bourbons are very good to be sure, and they wave the flag for good whiskey, they raise interest in the category and keep the buzz going so to speak. But I wonder if there may be less of them in the future.

Gary

Gillman
09-24-2010, 08:52
I can vouch for the quality of that Arkansas Tea!

Gary

doubleblank
09-24-2010, 09:05
Gary is right in that the number of high-end/one-offs/limited releases/anniversary bottlings/single barrels/hand selected/etc etc bottlings have exploded in recent years. 7 years ago you had BT's three BTAC's and a few others. Now our bunkers are lined with unique bottlings. I had the opportunity to taste the new Parkers and the new FR Small Batch Limited Release at the Fest. I liked both, but didn't buy any as I am saturated with unique, great tasting whiskey......and I think I can get them later if I want to.

By comparison, the number and variety of bourbons available still pales in comparison to the expressions of scotch that are available (of course, there are many more "styles" of scotch too). But my guess is that the bourbon industry has pushed the envelop for the high end/unique bottlings just about as far as it can in today's market.

Randy

jburlowski
09-24-2010, 09:07
SB members aren't the only ones moving away from the high end. I recently participated in a private barrel purchase at Tom Moore and was working with one of the beverage managers at Spec's in Houston to facilitate delivery. We got to talking about what's selling and what isn't. Here are some high end's currently at Spec's that don't sell well.

All prior iterations of the Parker Heritage series are available.
Plenty of WT Tradition on the shelf.
He showed me a shopping basket about 1/3rd full of BT Experimentals.
FR 100th and 2009 Marriage.
Rittenhouse 21/22/??? age ryes.
Vintage 17yo on sale and isn't moving.
Jefferson's 17yo Presidential Reserve.
Rock Hill Farms......rarely sells a bottle.
Those expensive Hirsch bottlings have to be put on sale to move.

I could go on and on, but the only high end stuff selling are the BTAC's and Pappy's because of limited supplies.

Lately, I have found myself pouring from handles of Weller 107 and Weller 12 in the older style packaging. It's not a conscious economic decision, I just like them particularly in our warm Texas weather.

Randy

On the other hand, most of these sell very well in KY.

jburlowski
09-24-2010, 09:10
Years ago I was told by a wine expert that "any time you pay more than $20* for a bottle of wine you're paying for marketing, packaging, or scarcity". * Price updated for inflation.

The same thing applies to malts and bourbon. I would say spending more than $80 (maybe $100) for a bottle of bourbon is paying for marketing, packaging, and scarcity.

I'm in general agreement with you Stu. But aged spirits are different than wine in the fact that they are aged. This adds costs to the distiller both in terms of the time value of the money tied up in inventory and the annual taxes that have to be paid.

Gillman
09-24-2010, 09:41
Here's what I think would be a significant jump in quality to most of the current high-enders, and would justify a high price:

i) something that tastes like the original bottlings of A.H. Hirsch 16 year old bourbon, which was truly superlative IMO

ii) something similar to the best of the 1950's-1970's bourbons that had a layered, complex, dark caramel-like taste. (This is ironic since those sold for little at the time, but their worth was not appreciated enough).

Put those in a nice package with 100 proof or over and they would be outstanding.

Once again I am not saying the high end today isn't very good bourbon; of course it is. I am focusing more on the price-quality ratio as I have perceived it in recent years.

Gary

BourbonJoe
09-24-2010, 09:44
Here are some high end's currently at Spec's that don't sell well.

All prior iterations of the Parker Heritage series are available.
Plenty of WT Tradition on the shelf.
He showed me a shopping basket about 1/3rd full of BT Experimentals.
FR 100th and 2009 Marriage.
Rittenhouse 21/22/??? age ryes.
Vintage 17yo on sale and isn't moving.
Jefferson's 17yo Presidential Reserve.
Rock Hill Farms......rarely sells a bottle.
Those expensive Hirsch bottlings have to be put on sale to move.


Randy

Damn, I wish I lived closer to Spec's.
Joe :usflag:

sailor22
09-24-2010, 12:02
It's like all your friends and acquaintances. Some are really interesting but hard to get close to, some ore loud, some are too full of themselves, some have one special talent that sets them apart, some are high maintenance, tiring to be with or force their opinions on you too strongly.

You enjoy socializing with them and enjoy their company for a short time but they can get tiring.

You usually find yourself mostly hanging out with the few friends who are comfortable, entertaining and not too demanding even if there isn't anything particularly special about them.

Our lives would be poorer without both groups.

The same holds with Bourbon..

SMOWK
09-24-2010, 12:08
It's like all your friends and acquaintances. Some are really interesting but hard to get close to, some ore loud, some are too full of themselves, some have one special talent that sets them apart, some are high maintenance, tiring to be with or force their opinions on you too strongly.

You enjoy socializing with them and enjoy their company for a short time but they can get tiring.

You usually find yourself mostly hanging out with the few friends who are comfortable, entertaining and not too demanding even if there isn't anything particularly special about them.

Our lives would be poorer without both groups.

The same holds with Bourbon..

Great analogy!

I've always tried to surround myself with crazy people, it sure makes life more interesting. Especially with a glass of bourbon in your hand.

PaulO
09-25-2010, 11:25
Great thread Gary. I think anybody that was looking for stuff to try is getting good suggestions. My own observation is this; the stores that stock some of the high end stuff seem to have it on permanent display in a glass cabinet. Meanwhile stuff like OWA, and Rittenhouse BIB fly off the shelf (when they have it).

Gillman
09-25-2010, 13:06
Thanks and I think Steve summed it up well in a striking simile.

Gary

bourbonNOOG
09-28-2010, 07:30
On the other hand, most of these sell very well in KY.

I can't find WT Tradition ANYWHERE. Where is this Spec's and would they be interested in shipping me a bottle?

barturtle
09-28-2010, 12:47
On the other hand, most of these sell very well in KY.

Funny, since I found most of these sitting on the shelf still in Louisville...often next to the older version...

1139311394113951139611397

doubleblank
09-28-2010, 12:59
So Tradition is sitting on shelves in L'ville too? But at $115....ouch. Mid $80's here.

Spec's is in Houston and we can't ship alcohol out-of-state here.

Randy

Halifax
09-28-2010, 13:42
^ Tradition is $121 here. Sucks.

Gillman
09-28-2010, 14:42
If these were sold at a price closer to mid-shelf, they would sell much faster IMO. Plus, they would still promote the overall brand. Win win I think, but even $80 for Tradition sounds high to me. As for those ryes, I would cut the price in half. Of course, easy for me to say.

Gary

DeanSheen
09-28-2010, 15:04
^ Gary I like the cut of your Jib.

I have no interest in purchasing anything at that price from the pictures Timothy posted.

JeffRenner
09-28-2010, 15:43
I should mention also Old Forester 100 proof - can anything be more perfect as bourbon? Probably, but factoring the cost-benefit ratio, I find generally the answer is no.

I somehow allowed my dead soldier of this to go unreplaced for a few months, and remedied this oversight last week. I have been enjoying the hell out of this new bottle of OF Signature, as they call it these days. I have sung its praises here over the years, and have a special fondness as its predecessor, OF BIB was my father's standard pour. As a matter of fact, as I've posted before, I probably had it rubbed on my gums when I was teething back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Anyway, this bottle may be better than any I recall. I think you could pass this off as a super-premium bourbon. At least to me.

So I agree with you, Gary, even irrespective of price. As I think Chuck has said, we are living in the golden age of bourbon.:)

cigarnv
09-28-2010, 15:45
Just when one wants to move along.... here comes BTAC, PHC, Willets variations....... enough to make one way crazy....

sailor22
09-28-2010, 17:19
So Tradition is sitting on shelves in L'ville too? But at $115....ouch. Mid $80's here.

Tradition is available here for $75.

camduncan
09-28-2010, 18:54
Tradition is selling for between $95 US ($99 AU) here. From what I've seen, it isn't moving too quickly.

CorvallisCracker
09-28-2010, 18:58
Tradition is selling for between $95 US ($99 AU) here. From what I've seen, it isn't moving too quickly.

Wow, what he said, true for OR as well ($95, not exactly flying off the shelves).

DeanSheen
09-28-2010, 20:59
Wow, what he said, true for OR as well ($95, not exactly flying off the shelves).

I had it at KBF and while interesting I was not inspired to run out and buy one myself. What may be more telling is that I have yet to read of anyone purchasing multiples after trying their first.

T Comp
09-29-2010, 05:51
If one considers that some of us may spend too much money on whiskey and are at least wealthy, comparatively, when it comes to collecting it, I wonder if this psychological phenomena of what makes us happy is also taking place?

"One thing that is clear is that once life's basics are paid for, the power of money to bring happiness is limited. In fact, it can be positively harmful to our sense of well-being. Jordi Quoidbach (http://www.fapse.ulg.ac.be/web/myspace.php?id=u193853&lng=en) of the University of Liège, Belgium, and colleagues recently asked a group of people to taste a piece of chocolate in their laboratory. They found that the wealthier members of the group spent less time savouring the experience, and reported enjoying the chocolate less than the subjects who weren't so well off. The same was also true of one group in a separate experiment. This time, half the people had been primed with images of money before they tasted the chocolate. These participants enjoyed the tasting less than a group who had not seen the images, suggesting that just the thought of money is enough to stem our enjoyment of life's simple pleasures (Psychological Science, vol 21, p 759 (http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/6/759.abstract))." Complete article available at http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727791.000-how-to-be-happy-but-not-too-much.html

IowaJeff
09-29-2010, 07:46
When I started drinking bourbon I stayed mostly in the $15-30 range. Then, to try new things I started getting some of the more expensive bottles, like BTAC and VW, while still keeping the moderate priced bourbons in the mix. Now, having tasted a lot of different bourbons at different price points, I think except for a special occassion bottle or two, I have a hard time justifying spending more than $45 or so, and generally stay below $30. A lot of the expensive bottles are great and for some I can tell the difference in quality--I just don't think I enjoy it much more than moderate priced bottles.

I think my max for regular purchases is WT RB at 35-38, EC 18 at around 42, and VW 15 for around 55 (maybe one bottle a year). With BT, WT101, OWA, Weller 12, EC 12, Sazerac, EWSB, Eagle Rare, JB Black, and all the other quality under $30 bottles I can get the variety I want.

This discussion is evidence that we have it good. Scotch drinker could have this same discussion by adding $40.

doubleblank
09-29-2010, 08:04
There is also a concept called "depletion" when discussing consumables, particularly among high end/long shelf life products like fine wines, whiskies, etc. IIRC, the principal theory is that even though a product has made its way from producer to middleman to retailer to consumer.....it is still in "inventory" until consumed.

By way of personal example, I've been buying BTAC's extensively since Stagg came out in 2002. A lot of it was purchased at $40 or less. I still have over 90% of my purchases in the bunker. So a reasonable response to higher prices/slow economy would be to not buy this year's release of Stagg and begin "depleting" my "inventory". Now take this Stagg example and add the Four Roses Limited Releases/Parker's Heritage/WT Tributes, American Spirit, Traditions/et al and you see a minor issue for the industry for the high end. This doesn't apply to the mid shelf/low end as most do not bunker a supply of Old Crow or Weller SR. Those bottlings get consumed shortly after purchase by the consumer.

I am not unique in this example. While I have a large bunker of high end whiskies, I know of many others on SB.com and elsewhere that far exceed mine. So what is happening is that we have bourbo-bunkers full of high end bourbons during a time of 1) increased supply and selection, 2) higher prices and 3) slow economy. So I'm not trading down, I'm just going to "deplete" my "inventory" and be selective in future purchases.

Randy

TomH
09-29-2010, 10:46
Randy,

I think that "depletion" is where I'm headed (especially with Barb's urging) I don't see buying more than 1 bottle of any new release and I am definitely not going to try to buy as many new releases as in the past. Since my first real entry into the bourbon market was Stagg, I really haven't been that much into the lower/mid shelf buying so I donlt see going there. I guess I've finally hit the point that $$$ for traveling is a higher priority than adding to the bunker. Time to drink what I have....no need to leave it to the son since he doesn't appreciate it.

Tom

This new commitment goes into effect after I do one last Scotch buy so that I don't upset Timothy since he is looking forward to one the bottling I'm planning on stocking up on.

b33k4y
09-29-2010, 19:15
For me, I enjoy variety. I'd much rather purchase a large assortment of decently priced whiskeys than a few premium bottlings. A large part of why I moved away from other whiskeys and became interested in bourbon was the sheer number of inexpensive, quality, and unique pours. I wasn't lured to bourbon by products like WT Tradition or Parker's Heritage. Those are all fine, and they serve a purpose, but I enjoy sticking to the $15 to $30 range. Maybe the occasional $30 to $50 bottle.

Gillman
09-29-2010, 19:37
Very interesting perspectives. My experience is kind of the obverse to Tom's, in that I bought the regular bourbons (say in 2002 and earlier - 2002 was my first visit to Kentucky) because there was no high end (or little) to buy. I was guided by Michael Jackson's seminal 1987 World Guide to Whiskey and focused on OF bonded, Evan Williams Black, Ezra Brooks (then Medley), Triple A (which was much better then than now IMO), VOB, Rittenhouse, and other such whiskeys. I liked all of them but not the Beams as much except Knob Creek: the initial Knob Creek was superb, it may have been primo ND OG. Being accustomed to these, the high end releases which followed were enjoyable but I couldn't see a huge amount of difference and as the prices spiked, I became less interested. The one high end exception was Van Winkle products, then as now in a class of their own. And A.H. Hirsch 16, and the odd one-off like that, were great. But against that background, I find considerable satisfaction in the middle and parts of the lower shelf. Stagg is great but when you adjust for proof, is it really all that different from Buffalo Trace, say? I don't really find that.

Gary

Skunk
09-29-2010, 19:55
Stagg is great but when you adjust for proof, is it really that different from Buffalo Trace, say? I don't really find that.

Gary

I do. Adjusted for proof Stagg tastes like old Eagle Rare, and I say this as I'm sipping '82 ER after having the newest stagg last weekend at the bar. BT doesn't even enter the conversation as far as I'm concerned.

sailor22
09-30-2010, 06:35
There is also a concept called "depletion" when discussing consumables, particularly among high end/long shelf life products like fine wines, whiskies, etc. IIRC, the principal theory is that even though a product has made its way from producer to middleman to retailer to consumer.....it is still in "inventory" until consumed.

Interesting, I wonder how much of the market blip that showed a renewed interest in high end Bourbon by the consumer (that the producers are now responding to) was caused by enthusiasts connecting via the net and mutually urging each other to bunker the premiums. If it was indeed driven by a relatively small number of buyers and they now have their inventory stocked and are consuming on depletion then we can expect to see the higher priced juice sitting on the shelves some time before they sell.

doubleblank
09-30-2010, 12:38
Steve.....I'm not prepared to argue that our mutual "frenzied" purchases of all these new, interesting high end bourbons created a false signal to the industry as to the potential market for them. We're probably not that big of an influence directly. But it's also not completely out of the question either.

For example.......let's take WT Tribute. It's a whiskey held in high regard here on SB (and on other sites). Many of us will buy everyone we see, although rarely seen these days after the SB hoard came to Houston in May. Total bottles produced were about 5300. If 500 SB members (and lurkers and knowledgeable friends of SB members and....) bought 5 bottles each shortly after release, that would mean slightly less than 50% of the world supply of Tribute ended up in the hands of "collectors". Now multiply that example by ____ and the "collectors" will amass a sizeable bunker fairly shortly (we all know who we are). If the "collectors" become saturated with great whiskies, then who buys the next even higher end offerings?

Historically, there wasn't much of a market for these things. Henry Clay, Joseph Finch, WT 12yo, early BTAC's, etc all languised on the shelves for years. It is definitely a recent phenomenon that these high end/limited releases have been able to sell. How big is the pool of potential buyers? I don't know, but based on the example above, my guess is that "collectors" have made a significant amount of those purchases. If "collectors" decide to start depleting their collections rather than adding to them, those high end bottles might sit on the shelves for awhile.

Slightly off topic, but the wine industry has worried about their high end market for some time. They had been able to continue to add to the number of high end offerings and/or increase prices by growing their market in emerging economies and benefiting from a growing pool of wealthy customers. That has changed in recent years. A recent Wine Spectator article touched on the topic of collectors now having these huge collections of great wines and are beginning to "deplete" them through consumption and aren't buying current vintages at those ever higher prices.

Now how to tie this all back to Gary's original statement and what it means to the industry......that he's moving away from the high end because he finds great enjoyment from lower priced bottles and often doesn't see any significant improvement in quality when buying the high end offerings. Those feelings (also shared by many others) combined with 1) many "collectors" slowing down and going into "depletion" of their bunker and 2) the pool of customers for these high end offerings has historically been very small could mean trouble ahead for these limited release/expensive bottlings.

Randy

wadewood
09-30-2010, 13:25
Steve.....I'm not prepared to argue that our mutual "frenzied" purchases of all these new, interesting high end bourbons created a false signal to the industry as to the potential market for them. We're probably not that big of an influence directly. But it's also not completely out of the question either.

For example.......let's take WT Tribute. It's a whiskey held in high regard here on SB (and on other sites). Many of us will buy everyone we see, although rarely seen these days after the SB hoard came to Houston in May. Total bottles produced were about 5300. If 500 SB members (and lurkers and knowledgeable friends of SB members and....) bought 5 bottles each shortly after release, that would mean slightly less than 50% of the world supply of Tribute ended up in the hands of "collectors". Now multiply that example by ____ and the "collectors" will amass a sizeable bunker fairly shortly (we all know who we are). If the "collectors" become saturated with great whiskies, then who buys the next even higher end offerings?

Historically, there wasn't much of a market for these things. Henry Clay, Joseph Finch, WT 12yo, early BTAC's, etc all languised on the shelves for years. It is definitely a recent phenomenon that these high end/limited releases have been able to sell. How big is the pool of potential buyers? I don't know, but based on the example above, my guess is that "collectors" have made a significant amount of those purchases. If "collectors" decide to start depleting their collections rather than adding to them, those high end bottles might sit on the shelves for awhile.

Slightly off topic, but the wine industry has worried about their high end market for some time. They had been able to continue to add to the number of high end offerings and/or increase prices by growing their market in emerging economies and benefiting from a growing pool of wealthy customers. That has changed in recent years. A recent Wine Spectator article touched on the topic of collectors now having these huge collections of great wines and are beginning to "deplete" them through consumption and aren't buying current vintages at those ever higher prices.

Now how to tie this all back to Gary's original statement and what it means to the industry......that he's moving away from the high end because he finds great enjoyment from lower priced bottles and often doesn't see any significant improvement in quality when buying the high end offerings. Those feelings (also shared by many others) combined with 1) many "collectors" slowing down and going into "depletion" of their bunker and 2) the pool of customers for these high end offerings has historically been very small could mean trouble ahead for these limited release/expensive bottlings.

Randy

ditto. Since board requires more letters in a post - I think this post nails it.

OscarV
09-30-2010, 13:28
ditto. Since board requires more letters in a post - I think this post nails it.

I don't know yet,....let them beg.
It's best in the long run.

SMOWK
09-30-2010, 14:40
It seems in the past few years, some of the really good bottom-middle shelf bourbon has been aged just a little longer, bottled at a higher proof, and sold at a premium under a different name. I don't blame the producers for doing so if there is a market, as there obviously is.

There will always be demand for good bourbon at a low price. The "drinkers", such as me, will demand it. I have plenty of high-end stuff in the bunker, but it doesn't disappear all that quickly. I spend quite a bit of money on the premiums each year. But if you add it all up, most of my money goes to the middle shelf, which I consume in great numbers, as I'm sure most of you do as well. In that case, there will always be high demand for good bourbon at a good price. If the "big" producers don't produce it, someone else will, and my money will go to them.

Micro-distilleries are popping up in great numbers. It's only a matter of time until they perfect the process. Some of them have, but it isn't sitting on the middle shelf....

sailor22
09-30-2010, 18:41
I agree with everything you said Randy. The only thing I might add is that given the interconnectivity of food, cooking, scotch, cigar, beer and a host of other blogs and forums the opinion leaders who want to have an opinion about Bourbon are much more numerous than than the numbers of participants and lurkers of this forum.

barturtle
09-30-2010, 19:22
I agree with everything you said Randy. The only thing I might add is that given the interconnectivity of food, cooking, scotch, cigar, beer and a host of other blogs and forums the opinion leaders who want to have an opinion about Bourbon are much more numerous than than the numbers of participants and lurkers of this forum.

Yes, and while they may be entitled to have an opinion, that doesn't mean their opinion can't be DEAD WRONG.

TNbourbon
09-30-2010, 19:56
Eventually, for me, it came down to what did I want a bourbon to be: a comestible, or an investment?
Gold, stocks, bonds, etc., are much more predictable investments. What's the advantage of owning a desireable bourbon that you're never going to open and share (and, thus, destroy the value thereof)? (Disclaimer: I've done that, and it has its rewards and pleasures, but they are NOT financial!) And, if I'm going to open and share it, its value is 'zero'.
So, it was a no-brainer for me --bourbon/whiskey is not fungible (which is not to say one can't EVER make a profit on it. I have! Lost a bundle on some other very good ones, too!). So, buy what you drink. Drink what you enjoy. True, I enjoy Pappy 23, but I can't afford to enjoy it very often. If you can, well, mozel tov! I CAN both afford AND enjoy Evan Williams, Old Crow Reserve, et al, almost every day of the week.
So, which should I buy?:stickpoke:

The Boozer
10-01-2010, 13:07
I believe that upper shelf product will continue to go up in price as demand overseas continues to grow. Which is way I am sticking with more of the lower to mid price bourbons (under $30) and am willing to bunker (and drink slowly) some of the modestly higher priced stuff like 4R SB and OWRV 10/107. The quality in there in the mid to lower shelf bourbons, which cannot be said in the scotch market.


http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=eec64570-e95d-437a-ac9c-d4abded08b78

DeanSheen
10-01-2010, 13:12
Note the date on that article:

By The Ottawa Citizen November 6, 2008

Global finances in the interim probably put a bit of a damper on this trend.

I don't disagree with the premise or that this won't eventually happen but we must remember that Scotch had quite a head start on Bourbon thanks to a little thing called the British Empire.

B.B. Babington
10-09-2010, 16:39
Yes, and while they may be entitled to have an opinion, that doesn't mean their opinion can't be DEAD WRONG.

is this in reference to people that use high end to mix with coke on ice? or the people that laud straight corn or the latest vodka?

this forum is filled with people that have tasted more than a couple bottles and developed an appreciation of finer products.

But with that said, I've got a 750ml bottle that cost $4 on closeout that is so good I keep it around rather than killing. Price doesn't always equate value and different people have different preferences.

gordymohr
10-09-2010, 16:52
Well, I for one have been forced to abandon the high end stuff. A plant closure a couple of years ago had left me scrambling for a new job and having to settle for a 25% pay cut has impacted my scotch and bourbon buying habits.

When I first abandoned rye and moved to scotch a bottle of Lagavulin was $60 CDN, now its over $100. Not affordable even for special occasions.

When I first found the delights of bourbon , I was buying Blantons at $70 a bottle, now Im settling for Jim Beam Red Stag , and, Im happy.

The Boozer
10-25-2010, 17:21
[quote=barturtle;219268]Funny, since I found most of these sitting on the shelf still in Louisville...often next to the older version...

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=11397&thumb=1&d=1285703193 (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=11397&d=1285703193)

What is interesting of the pics Tim posted is next to the two high end Ritt 20yr & 23 yr is the empty shelf for Ritt 100 @ $20-$21.

The Boozer
10-25-2010, 17:27
[/ATTACH]1139611397[/quote]

This should be a better picture

Me no good on cumputer!!

bourbonNOOG
10-26-2010, 06:32
I wish I could find some RITT around my parts. The Woodford Seasoned Oak I've discovered to be readily available. I've have an open bottle at home and it's oh so tasty. I know of about 6 bottles around town I might have to slowly snatch over time.

theDon
10-26-2010, 08:25
Well, I for one have been forced to abandon the high end stuff. A plant closure a couple of years ago had left me scrambling for a new job and having to settle for a 25% pay cut has impacted my scotch and bourbon buying habits.

When I first abandoned rye and moved to scotch a bottle of Lagavulin was $60 CDN, now its over $100. Not affordable even for special occasions.

When I first found the delights of bourbon , I was buying Blantons at $70 a bottle, now Im settling for Jim Beam Red Stag , and, Im happy.

Did anyone else catch that? There is a better way my friend. Nobody should settle for Red Stag. I would not wish that stuff on my worst enemy. And it ain't bourbon. You can get Jim Black for the same price.

DeanSheen
10-26-2010, 08:51
Did anyone else catch that?

Yes but I bit my tongue.

More like moving away from Bourbon than the high end.

bourbonNOOG
10-26-2010, 10:40
My father quite enjoys red stagg. Why, I couldn't tell you, he claims its his love of after dinner sweets combined with the taste and fell or enjoying bourbon. Obviously it's not just me, but red stagg tastes like an expired cherry cough syrup.

As stated above, can't be considered a bourbon either because it's infused with flavor. After tasting it, I truly understand why Kidd Rock is the sole sponsor/face of this beverage.

RedVette
10-28-2010, 16:24
I'm on this trend as well, a well appreciated glass of OGD bonded is sitting next to me as I type. Coming home from work, and drinking a couple of $10 to $20 glasses of Bourbon, seems to me to be a waste. During the hectic midweek days of our lives, you just can't appreciate the fine distinction between very good and great. But...

Last week I went on my annual buddy golf trip to Florida, and knowing the paucity of decent spirits available in Central Florida, I packed an older bottle of Pappy 20 in my suitcase. After 27 holes of grueling bad golf, worse jokes, and all around horsing around, there is nothing like kicking back in the evening and enjoying a good cigar, and a great glass of Bourbon. Even better was being able to turn on some Bourbon newbies to the amazing caramel goodness of a supremely aged glass of quality Bourbon.

I need both, the great stuff for the good times, and the good stuff for the rest of the time.

kickert
10-28-2010, 16:43
I need both, the great stuff for the good times, and the good stuff for the rest of the time.

Well Said.

StraightBoston
11-01-2010, 09:15
This is a great thread, and I absolutely see the distinction between the "go-to" bourbon for everyday drinking, and the higher-priced special bottles.

I don't distinguish between occasions as much as I do for what kind of taste I'm in the mood for. I don't feel buyer's remorse for the $75+ bourbons in my bunker -- they are uniformly rare or unique in their profile -- and I'm exceedingly happy with my <$25 QPR value bottles. In-between is tough for me: for example, I've never bought RHF except at a bar or a tasting because I can't justify it as unique enough for the price delta. Makers 46 is just at that threshold (especially when I can find it closer to $30) -- Lot B fell to the wrong side after the last price increase.

Stu
11-01-2010, 14:56
I was in LR the other day and found Benchmark #8 for $9/bottle. It said made by Buffalo Trace and the net shows a low rye formula. I thought it was quite good (surprisingly so) for the price. But I'm a sucker for a bottle I've never tried before.

B.B. Babington
11-03-2010, 16:44
IMO, Benchmark is very good for the money. It's my top recomendation for mixer - along with AAA.

Halifax
11-04-2010, 09:12
IMO, Benchmark is very good for the money. It's my top recomendation for mixer - along with AAA.

I agree. When I'm in the mood for a bourbon and ginger I usually reach for a bottle of current Benchmark or OC8.

squire
12-14-2010, 22:59
Gary I find myself on a similar odyssey having migrated to younger whiskeys as I grow older. Just find I prefer a balanced 4 yr expression over a 15 yr+ woody product.

TNbourbon
12-15-2010, 17:38
...Just find I prefer a balanced 4 yr expression over a 15 yr+ woody product.
Just know, Squire, I've liked you for a long time!:grin:
I've had bourbon distilled in the 1800's; I've had bourbon aged as long as 33 years in the barrel; I've had bourbon costing multiple-hundred dollars; I've had bourbon multiple decades old. And, I like ALL of 'em!:cool:
Tonight, I'm drinking -- mixed with store-brand, generic, diet cola (caffeine-free, of course) -- some Rebel Yell, which I'm advised is shipped from distiller to bottler in containers which look like giant replicas of the half-pint milk cartons my second-graders drink milk from at lunch!
Doesn't matter, it goes pretty good with Cajun sausage and Zatarain's Jambalaya rice!
In one of Tom Fischer's videos, he shows a bartender noting that there is "good" bourbon, and there is "better". In other words, there is NO BAD BOURBON!
The fact that I generally can recognize the better from the good does NOT keep me from enjoying the simply good.
Tonight, Rebel Yell is good. Cheers, Squire. :toast:

barturtle
12-15-2010, 17:41
In one of Tom Fischer's videos, he shows a bartender noting that there is "good" bourbon, and there is "better". In other words, there is NO BAD BOURBON!


IIRC, that's John, one of the owners of Bourbon's Bistro.

squire
12-15-2010, 22:42
Back atcha Tim. Rebel Yell is a big deal around here among the die hard Ole Miss 'Rebels' athletic fans and a friend insists on gifting me a bottle every year at Christmas so I get to sample it often enough. A decent mixer but doesn't compare to the original expression which was six years old and 90 proof.

Regards,
Squire

LikeItWasSodaPop
04-16-2011, 08:55
Another thing about the high end bottles -- I think there are a lot of stores that stock them for simply for "prestige." There's a yuppie-ish store in town called Lush (they actually have 3 or 4 locations). While they stock a wide selection $10-20 wines, most of their wine and spirits are high-end. They have a small collection of bourbon, and it seems like they sit there for a while. They've still got the BT wine barrel-aged experimentals and a bunch of other relatively rare stuff. It looks impressive. Their lowest end bottle is probably AAA and they still charge something exorbitant for it -- a good $15 more than Binny's (!!!). It's absurd. They've got some things I can't find elsewhere locally, but there's just no way I'm gonna buy them because the prices are downright insulting.

I figure that their target consumer is some douchebag who just wants to buy something expensive to impress his douchebag friends. They're not going to appreciate/understand it, of course. Or the customer is a wine/beer drinker who wants to splurge on a special bottle and assumes that the more expensive it is, the better it is ...

But these people (and the stores that cater to them) are another probably reason for the upward price creep of premium bottles, and for the increasing disconnect between price/value.

2highcal
04-16-2011, 10:05
I do not think I am really moving away from the high end but I can rarely afford the really high end ones but do like to try many in the $50 range but my last order consisted of a handle or VOB that I had never tried or seen a handle of Bulliet (been quite a while since I had any and it was on sale) a handle of 1792 also on sale and have never tried it a bottle of Bulliet rye ($10 cheaper than WA) and an Angels Envy (not available in WA and the wife really likes the bottle and I have to admit I wanted it because of the significance? of this bourbon) the whole thing shipped was an average of about $22.75 a 750 which is not a bad price at all so I guess I too am looking for value in the 90 proof or higher category. I just do not want to buy 80 proof. I just drink the cheaper stuff during the week and the "good stuff" on the weekend