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View Full Version : Next Liquor Store Run: Your Suggestions?



Robmo
03-23-2011, 10:53
OK so I'm plotting my next liquor store run after payday. Already made up my mind to try Buffalo Trace and Elijah Craig 12 year because they're on sale this month.

Now on to the dilemma: do I get A) one more expensive-ish bourbon + a bottom shelfer; or B) two moderately priced midshelfers?

Specifically, I'm considering:

A: [Bookers or EWSB 2000] + [HH or McAfee 8 yr or JB White]

or

B: [OGD BiB or Jim Beam Black ]+ [Four Roses Black Label* or OldFitz 1849]

I'm leaning toward the JB Black + OF 1849 option, no idea why other than I have heard good things about them.

What do you think? Of course the above has to do with availability and prices in my area. My main goal is to start figuring out what I think of the main distilleries' flavor profiles, if I'm able to discern such a thing. Look forward to your .03...

CorvallisCracker
03-23-2011, 11:23
Fitz 1849? From who did you hear good things about that?

jcg9779
03-23-2011, 11:42
Fitz 1849? From who did you hear good things about that?

I agree with Scott. I bought the Old Fitz 1849 online and was disappointed and very underwhelmed with it.

I would lean towards B, with the second option being the Four Roses. If you can swing EWSB 2000 and then either OGD BIB or JBB, that would be my choice out of these options.

Robmo
03-23-2011, 11:42
Fitz 1849? From who did you hear good things about that?

Funny you should ask but this is where: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=304

Robmo
03-23-2011, 11:53
I agree with Scott. I bought the Old Fitz 1849 online and was disappointed and very underwhelmed with it.

I would lean towards B, with the second option being the Four Roses. If you can swing EWSB 2000 and then either OGD BIB or JBB, that would be my choice out of these options!

I guess I should have clarified a bit more. I can stretch my budget to get the better stuff but my "game" is to see what all I can get for under $100...thus if I get Booker's I would only have enough left over for a cheapie...such is the trade-off involved.

E.g.
BT $30.00
EC 12 $20.00
Bookers $40.00
HH $10.00 --> 100 buckaroos in total

CorvallisCracker
03-23-2011, 12:02
Funny you should ask but this is where: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=304

That thread is from 2000. At the time OFi 1849 was an age-statement bourbon, 8 years old, and in 2000 that would still be stuff produced at Stitzel-Weller. After 1992 it was produced at Bernheim, which belonged to United Distillers until 1999 when it was bought by Heaven Hill.

It was in early 2008, to the best of my recollection, that 1849 became NAS, and its quality, as well as that of the standard OFi ("Prime") and the BiB, is not what it was.

Which is a shame. With MM being $22.95 and Weller SR being $23.95 (Oregon prices) there are no decent under $20 wheaters.

squire
03-23-2011, 12:13
Rob I would skip the Bookers and get BT, Craig, OGD, Beam black and FR black. This spreads out your dollars and gives you a taste of different house styles.

Brisko
03-23-2011, 13:00
HH or McAfee 8 yr or JB White

I take it that you're referring to the HH 8 y/o-- is it the 86 proof (very rare old heaven hill)? If so, know that it is pretty grassy. Not bad if you like that sort of thing, and a very good price. I keep it as a mixer but it does okay on ice.

Price aside, I like it better than Beam white but about the same or less than Beam Black, for what it's worth.

flintlock
03-23-2011, 15:06
If you can get VOB 90 or 100, or EW BiB, don't pass them up, but they're rare outside of the south.

You'll probably love the EC 12 and need to try it. Ditto McAfee - for a low proofer it's a very solid whiskey.

I have had Booker's on several occasions and for me its not worth the money. Try it in a bar before you buy it, if you're interested in getting the most from your budget.

Robmo
03-24-2011, 07:35
If you can get VOB 90 or 100, or EW BiB, don't pass them up, but they're rare outside of the south.


Want to try the EW BiB but so far have not seen here in Japan...or any VOB products as of yet. I am a fan of EW 7yr old...by the way do you have a take on EW No. 10 1783?




I take it that you're referring to the HH 8 y/o-- is it the 86 proof (very rare old heaven hill)?
Brisko, actually just this 80 proof thing: https://www.weinquelle.com/artikel/Heaven_Hill_Old_Style_Bourbon_4121.html

I haven't ever seen the 8 y.o. in Japan (where I'm based)

Robmo
03-24-2011, 08:37
That thread is from 2000. At the time OFi 1849 was an age-statement bourbon, 8 years old, and in 2000 that would still be stuff produced at Stitzel-Weller. After 1992 it was produced at Bernheim, which belonged to United Distillers until 1999 when it was bought by Heaven Hill..

I will heed your advice and avoid the 1849!


It was in early 2008, to the best of my recollection, that 1849 became NAS, and its quality, as well as that of the standard OFi ("Prime") and the BiB, is not what it was.

What does NAS mean? Couldn't find that on the list of frequent Acronyms


Thanks everyone for the interesting and useful suggestions. I will also stay away from Booker's :grin:

One more question: I was trawling through a couple more liquor stores today and found one more tempting combination to consider:

Old Grommes 12 year old + Old Forrester (standard) (in addition to BT and EC12)

Any opinions on these? I don't think Old Grommes is readily available in the states anymore. Used to be made in Chicago but now it seems to be another one of those Japan-only brands. Or something to that effect.

http://image1.shopserve.jp/liquors-hasegawa.com/pic-labo/llimg/OldGrommes_50-5.jpg

Tucker
03-24-2011, 08:43
What does NAS mean? Couldn't find that on the list of frequent Acronyms

No Age Statement

squire
03-24-2011, 09:04
Can't real the label well enough to have a take on Old Grommes but it looks like a Heaven Hill bottle.

Robmo
03-24-2011, 09:42
Can't real the label well enough to have a take on Old Grommes but it looks like a Heaven Hill bottle.

Could you fill me in on what Heaven Hill bottles look like?

I can't read the label that well either but I think it says Chicago, IL on the bottom in small print.

CorvallisCracker
03-24-2011, 10:01
Nice bottle/label combination. Makes it look kinda like a Scotch. Probably no accident, given that it's probably meant for the Japanese market.

squire
03-24-2011, 10:31
Rob I should have said it looks like one of the bottle styles Heaven Hill uses. It is similar to the bottles HH uses for JW Dant, TS Samuels, JTS Brown and any number of other brands produced by Heaven Hill.

trumpstylz
03-24-2011, 11:07
Rob I should have said it looks like one of the bottle styles Heaven Hill uses. It is similar to the bottles HH uses for JW Dant, TS Samuels, JTS Brown and any number of other brands produced by Heaven Hill.

And Old fitzgerald (prime- not 1849), Mellow Corn, Rittenhouse rye, Fighting Cock (I think) and others. It's a tall simple screw top bottle. And the top is often either tan or black.

Brisko
03-24-2011, 11:11
Brisko, actually just this 80 proof thing: https://www.weinquelle.com/artikel/Heaven_Hill_Old_Style_Bourbon_4121.html

I haven't ever seen the 8 y.o. in Japan (where I'm based)

Well considering that the 8 y/o is okay but not great, I'd probably avoid the 4 year old 80 proofer...

I think Old Forester is a great buy, though.

squire
03-24-2011, 12:47
Forester is always a great buy.

squire
03-24-2011, 12:55
In addition to using the same shape bottle for a number of it's brands HH has a history of producing contract whisky. A company, say, in Chicago, could contract with HH to buy a certain amount of new make whisky from HH who would then age the whisky for the customer and eventually bottle the mature spirit according to the customer's instructions, subject to the appropriate laws, taxes and regulations. So labels other than those owned by Heaven Hill can appear on a HH bottle filled with HH whisky.

Lab Walker
03-25-2011, 11:41
Well, the PA stores started carrying new labels. I picked up an Old Forrester 86 Pf @ 18.99...never met him before, so I'll open it tonight and toast my wife's birthday!

squire
03-25-2011, 13:49
I like this one Lab, hope you enjoy it as well.

Robmo
03-26-2011, 07:06
In addition to using the same shape bottle for a number of it's brands HH has a history of producing contract whisky. A company, say, in Chicago, could contract with HH to buy a certain amount of new make whisky from HH who would then age the whisky for the customer and eventually bottle the mature spirit according to the customer's instructions, subject to the appropriate laws, taxes and regulations. So labels other than those owned by Heaven Hill can appear on a HH bottle filled with HH whisky.


Here in Japan there are an amazing number of whiskey brands on the shelf that say they were distilled in Bardstown, Kentucky. I am fairly certain they are all somehow related to HH. (E.g., Rebecca, Clementine, Virgin, and a number of bottom bottom shelf brands like Martin Mills. Some are obviously HH, others, less so.)
http://image.shopping.yahoo.co.jp/i/j/kawachi_4974192032117

Well, the PA stores started carrying new labels. I picked up an Old Forrester 86 Pf @ 18.99...never met him before, so I'll open it tonight and toast my wife's birthday!

Let me know how you like it! Old Forrester by the way is detective Phillip Marlowe's go-to pour. (Marlow of Raymond Chandler novels fame, that is.)

squire
03-26-2011, 22:26
That one sure looks like Heaven Hill. Eight years and 90 proof, wish they sold that one here, cool label as well.

Robmo
03-27-2011, 08:04
That one sure looks like Heaven Hill. Eight years and 90 proof, wish they sold that one here, cool label as well.

A Japanese company imports them for sale here. It's probably the same stuff you get in various other HH offerings stateside. (Not that I know much about this--just guessing.)

You'd probably also go for these 101 proofers:

http://image1.shopserve.jp/liquorlandshop.com/pic-labo/limg/2010w02.jpg

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSz7VRT0HbH754fzBCPrd3O-vv96zg1jzN64j6v7r17uuaqnIRH

Robmo
03-27-2011, 08:09
By the way pay day is tomorrow and thanks to everyone's suggestions I've decided to spend it on BT, EC 12, JB black label and FR black label. No Old Gromme's this time around.

Decided to forgo the OGD bib for now because I've already got the 114 in my cabinet. If any cash is left over I might go with a couple of the "low rye-ders" mentioned on another thread.

squire
03-27-2011, 15:28
Ah, so much whisky, so little time.

squire
03-27-2011, 15:40
And, yes Rob, Clementine is a HH product, that I can remember.

Robmo
03-29-2011, 23:08
The whiskey has been procured. So far I have only opened the Elijah Craig 12 year and I have to say it didn't disappoint.

This is maybe the second Heaven Hill product I've tried, the other being Evan Williams 7 year. They may not be as complex as some bourbons I've tried from other distilleries but to my mind, both deliver what you expect and want from a bourbon. Nothing fancy, they get the job done. I'm assuming a relatively high corn to rye ratio in the mashbill. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The EC 12 gave me the classic flavors of maple, caramel, powdered sugar and vanilla that I crave for when I purchase a 'bourbon'. The finish had some zip but was not overpowering.

I wonder if I'm a "heaven hill" guy.

squire
03-30-2011, 02:04
A good bottle of EC 12 is very hard to match much less beat. This is the brand I pour for my Scotch drinking friends.

Brisko
03-30-2011, 08:07
Yes, when it's good, it's very good.

My only complaint is that it gives me a wicked head ache, even in moderate quantities.

Robmo
03-31-2011, 20:38
Managed to pick up mini-bottles of Old Forrester and JB White today, too. It's exciting to have so many products on hand now to compare side by side. Really looking forward to getting to know these guys, coming to my own conclusions.

squire
03-31-2011, 20:48
Excellent approach Rob.