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trumpstylz
02-17-2011, 02:08
I have a friend who has little experience with bourbon but is interested in getting into bourbon. He wants to buy a mid range bourbon that still has some complexity- 50$ or so (I already told him to start lower end, but he doesnt care about money- he comes from a somewhat wealthy family and is sticking it to me). I have it narrowed down to these:

1. Evan williams single barrel Binny's hand picked 2000
2. Wild turkey Kentucky spirit
3. BUffalo trace Binny's hand picked
4. Elmer T. Lee (possibly Binny's hand picked)
5. Blanton's
6. Four roses single barrel 100 prf binnys hand picked
7. Four roses binny's hand selected barrels (probably an OESQ or OESK)

So, which one would you choose- both complex and approachable?
I was leaning more toward EWSB, but the 2000 might be sold out by me, leaving only 2001 in its place. In that case, I might have to go with one of the others.

Note: Normally I would just let him go off some of my selection, but it is mostly value examples (VOB, mellow corn, rittenhouse). You might have guessed we live near a binny's. I was also hoping to get one that I would enjoy- I would probably like any one of these 4 (I know- I'm selfish/greedy)

ratcheer
02-17-2011, 07:07
For the inexperienced friend, I think I would choose the Blanton's. It is not quite so "aggressive" in its taste profile as several of the others.

Tim

birdman1099
02-17-2011, 07:08
I find many of the Van Winkle 90 proofers a good starter. (if money really doesnt matter, get the Pappy 20. but the lot b or the ORVW 10/90 would work) The EWSB COULD be a good starter if it is a good barrel. (jury is still out on that Joe fella :grin: ). If you are doing a Wild turkey, I'd use the current Russell Reserve. ETL would also be a fair starter.

Alot of this does depend on what he likes. I had a friend that was at my house and having Bourbon neat for the first time. I gave him Pappy 20, ER17, EC18, and 4 roses 40th, he said they were "ok" bnut not great.Then I gave him a sip of WLW, he said... "now there it is... I really like THAT one...." I never would have figured he'd like the barrel proofer best of all...

Good luck on the recruitment...:grin:

trumpstylz
02-17-2011, 12:58
Yeah, the younger van winkle wouldn't be a bad idea except last time I was there they were completely sold out at my location. I'll have to check. Thanks guys.

IowaJeff
02-17-2011, 14:23
I would go with the EWSB. Its just plain good, well-rounded bourbon.

Inthewater
02-17-2011, 14:34
I would go with the EWSB. Its just plain good, well-rounded bourbon.

And (at least around here) pretty easy to find, versus some of the other stuff mentioned.

squire
02-17-2011, 15:54
I second the choice of Blantons as a starting point for the Bourbons listed though I would hardly call $50.00 mid priced. More like half that. Since the friend in question can afford a tab a better way to begin might be a well stocked bar or restaurant where he can sample different expressions at leisure.

Inthewater
02-18-2011, 08:55
Great idea, Squire. Where are we meeting you?

You have the first round, right?

:cool:

nblair
02-18-2011, 09:24
In my experience with trying to get people into bourbon (or liquor in general), the bottle you choose has to have these 2 qualities, if not others as well:

1) It should have the quality people always describe as being "smooth", which I guess means they don't like the anything too spicy or the burn that comes from drinking spirits. So I think you want something not too high in rye and not too high in proof.

2) As stupid as it is, if you're not doing it blind, the bottle has to have some sex appeal. A fancy bottle added to buzz words people know (small batch, single barrel, etc.) and you will be on your way to winning them over.


My go to is usually Eagle Rare SB. Nothing offensive, 90 proof, mashbill is high in corn, good looking bottle, and "single barrel" written on the label. Out of those you listed above, I would choose Blanton's. Probably the last I'd choose for myself (especially with ETL listed as well, which comes from the same mash bill), but for a newbie and someone who doesn't care about money, I think it has what it takes to get them started.

trumpstylz
02-18-2011, 13:20
2) As stupid as it is, if you're not doing it blind, the bottle has to have some sex appeal. A fancy bottle added to buzz words people know (small batch, single barrel, etc.) and you will be on your way to winning them over.




Haha. Ironically, I think this may be the major deciding factor for a noob. The pretty bottles get all the attention!

CorvallisCracker
02-18-2011, 13:44
In my experience with trying to get people into bourbon (or liquor in general), the bottle you choose has to have these 2 qualities, if not others as well:

1) It should have the quality people always describe as being "smooth", which I guess means they don't like the anything too spicy or the burn that comes from drinking spirits. So I think you want something not too high in rye and not too high in proof.

2) As stupid as it is, if you're not doing it blind, the bottle has to have some sex appeal. A fancy bottle added to buzz words people know (small batch, single barrel, etc.) and you will be on your way to winning them over.

My go to is usually Eagle Rare SB. Nothing offensive, 90 proof, mashbill is high in corn, good looking bottle, and "single barrel" written on the label.

VW Lot B works well for this purpose, for the same reasons. However it costs more ($20 more in OR), and the ERSB is probably the better choice.

squire
02-18-2011, 17:50
Pretty gets my attention but I've always had a soft spot for well packaged goods.

tehbeardman
02-18-2011, 18:44
Being an noob myself, I can only speak to the bourbons on your list that I have tried. When I was first starting out, one of the first few bourbons I got was Buffalo Trace. I thought it was a good starting bourbon because it was smooth, fairly straightforward noes and taste, and at 90 proof, its a baby step toward the higher proofs. It's not a sexy pick, but a solid one. Also, congrats on having a friend who wants to spend money on bourbon :grin:

squire
02-18-2011, 18:57
90 proof works fine for me, about the only ones I buy that are higher in alcohol are BIBs, unless something new strikes my fancy.

flintlock
02-19-2011, 19:23
There are a couple on your list I've not had, but ETLee is a super whiskey and fits your requirements of value and relative complexity for the dollar. The 2000 EWSB underwhelmed me. I'm a huge VOB fan - I think VOB BiB is one of the best whiskies in the world.

trumpstylz
02-19-2011, 21:36
Pretty gets my attention but I've always had a soft spot for well packaged goods.

It's too bad the new guys care more about looks than they do about her personality. It's too bad they don't make em like they used to :(

awhiskeydrink
03-01-2011, 09:44
I have to recommend Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. It's the only bourbon I've given a 10 out of 10 on my blog. The others I love are a little pricey; Noah's Mill and Vintage Bourbon 17 yr. I copied my review below and cited a review from this forum ;)
my blog awhiskeydrink.com (http://www.awhiskeydrink.com)

http://www.grizzlyliquor.com/images/packages/Whiskey_Bourbon/Bourbon_Wild_Turkey_Kentucky_SpiritSB.gif

It finally happened. I reviewed my first ten out of ten whiskey. I found Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit about a year ago while searching for “bourbon ratings OR rankings” on google. A post over at straightbourbon.com came up rating Kentucky Spirit very high on taste and moderately high on value; I agree with both (Forbes).

Kentucky Spirit is a single barreled bourbon, and each bourbon is hand selected. Master distiller Jimmy Russell selects for qualities of vanilla, a touch of sweetness, almonds, honey and leather. It is a fuller body bourbon and 50 percent alcohol, yet still manages to be remarkable smooth (Wild Turkey).

taste - bright and sparkling upfront, orange, meringue, warm, white chocolate, dark caramels, vanilla spice, light oak, pepper, white smoke, hint of woods and earth on finish.

smell - vanilla, white oak, orange blossoms, honeysuckles, rosewater, tree sap, cinnamon bark, boiling sugars, effervescent (I want to add “forests and log cabin” because of that woodsy, earthy tone).

look - grade “A” maple syrup, amber honey, deeply aged Grand Marnier, burnt orange (a nod to Texas).
rating - 10, my first 10!
price - $37.50 - $50

Cheers,
Swift


Work Cited
Forbes. "Bourbon Comparison - Quality, Taste and Cost - Straightbourbon.com." Straight Bourbon: Makers, History, Brands, Tastings, Reviews, FAQ, Drinks ... Web. 19 Feb. 2011. <http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=742>.
"Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit." Wild Turkey Bourbon. Web. 19 Feb. 2011. <http://www.wildturkeybourbon.com/>.

StraightBoston
03-01-2011, 11:10
I'd vote for ETL or WTKS at this price point (gotta be a scotch drinker if $50 is "mid-priced"!)

Agree with EWSB or VOB BIB for base+complexity profile.

darkluna
03-01-2011, 16:47
$50 is mid-priced? I usually have to think long and hard about throwing down that much for a bottle (although I have many times).

squire
03-01-2011, 18:17
I was thinking the same thing, to me mid price Bourbon/Rye is under $20.

dmarkle
03-01-2011, 19:01
Save your money! A fantastic beginner bourbon is Weller 12 year old. Great price, pretty bottle, dead smooth, but not as boring as Maker's Mark.

BluesDaddy
03-01-2011, 19:29
I was thinking the same thing, to me mid price Bourbon/Rye is under $20.Well, I think a tad higher, $25 or so, but still...at that price range, Buffalo Trace or Weller's Antique.

trumpstylz
03-01-2011, 22:30
$50 is mid-priced? I usually have to think long and hard about throwing down that much for a bottle (although I have many times).

I'll change my statement to "moderately priced/good value for the 25-50$ range."

OscarV
03-02-2011, 15:02
Save your money! A fantastic beginner bourbon is Weller 12 year old. Great price, pretty bottle, dead smooth, but not as boring as Maker's Mark.



For a beginner that's a good place to start.

autiger23
03-02-2011, 18:27
I still have never seen a weller 12 on the shelf. Living is north Alabama is not fun, but never saw these in all my Georgia and Tennessee stores...even on my recent trip through Kentucky up to Lexington.

hectic1
03-02-2011, 19:24
As far as Binny's bottlings go I would lean towards the ETL and the BT as being their best selections that they currently have available. Seeing that he is just getting started with bourbon I would get him something that is a little sweeter and lower proof...IMO I would go with a wheater...Weller 12, Maker's 46, and VW Lot B IMO all would be very good choices in the $25-$50 range and available at Binny's. :cool:

Parkersback
03-02-2011, 20:34
As far as Binny's bottlings go I would lean towards the ETL and the BT as being their best selections that they currently have available. Seeing that he is just getting started with bourbon I would get him something that is a little sweeter and lower proof...IMO I would go with a wheater...Weller 12, Maker's 46, and VW Lot B IMO all would be very good choices in the $25-$50 range and available at Binny's. :cool:

What Bob said.:toast:

flintlock
03-02-2011, 22:38
I still have never seen a weller 12 on the shelf. Living is north Alabama is not fun, but never saw these in all my Georgia and Tennessee stores...even on my recent trip through Kentucky up to Lexington.

Same here. We hear legends of Weller 12, but have yet to find it.

Autiger, you couldn't even find it in KY?

squire
03-03-2011, 16:49
Trying to remember the last time I saw Weller 12 locally, it was here, of that I'm sure, but how long ago I'm not. Curious because we get Weller Reserve, Antique, most of the Van Winkle line (limited supply) and the Antique Collection (also limited), in addition to BT.

autiger23
03-04-2011, 07:57
Not while I was up there, I only hit the bigger superstores though which might have been the problem.

awhiskeydrink
03-04-2011, 10:00
"When I was first starting out, one of the first few bourbons I got was Buffalo Trace. I thought it was a good starting bourbon because it was smooth, fairly straightforward noes and taste, and at 90 proof, its a baby step toward the higher proofs. It's not a sexy pick, but a solid one. Also, congrats on having a friend who wants to spend money on bourbon" -tehbeardman
Looking back on it, I may have given Buffalo Trace a little lower of a rating than it deserves (a 7.5/10 when it's closer to an 8). Buffalo Trace is good sippin' and great for mixing.

I included my review; Feel free to take a look if you got the time:
http://www.awhiskeydrink.com/search/label/Buffalo%20Trace
http://www.bluekitchen.net/buffalotracebottle.jpg

I came across Buffalo Trace as an alternative to Makers Mark for mixed drinks and a value brand. It came highly recommended by bluekitchen.com and did not disappoint. Buffalo Trace succeeds by being good at what it is, an above average Bourbon. Sure it scored a 7.5, but Buffalo Trace is not competing against 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle or 18 year old Single-Malt Scotch
Buffalo Trace, formerly named Ancient Age, got its name from a trail crossing where buffalo once forded the river, the Great Buffalo Trace. Since 1857 the distillery has garnered a reputation for experimenting with ages and woods. Their straight Whiskey is pronounced in vanilla and oak (Maclean).

taste - warm up front, smooth, with a burn of the back end; understated, caramel, roasted vanilla sugar, pine, citrus oil (but not oily), bark.

smell - slight metallic, oak, wood, cooked sugar, vanilla, spice.

look - copper rust, worn brass.

rating - 7.5

price - $20 - $30

Cheers,
Swift

Work Cited
MacLean, Charles. World Whiskey. New York: DK, 2009. Print.

ErichPryde
03-04-2011, 19:38
awhiskeydrink-

If you liked kentucky spirit, perhaps you should try an older bottling. Heck, I read your rating and I think perhaps you did... because the current stuff really isn't all that great in comparison.

...

awhiskeydrink
03-11-2011, 06:24
ErichPryde,

Sorry it took me a bit to get back with you, I’ve been swamp by work and school. I believe my bottle of Kentucky Spirit is about 1 1/2 old. If it were not for me sampling so many, there’s no way it would have lasted that long. My father-in-law is always snatching the stuff ;)

You say the latest batch isn’t as good. Mind if I cite you? Maybe I’ll buy a new bottle and conduct another taste test for everyone here. It’s be very interesting, and a real disappointment if Wild Turkey fell off with this premium lable.

Thanks for the great reply.