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STLbourbon
09-18-2011, 09:10
I'm fairly new to bourbon and have been on a pretty voracious tasting exploration for the past few months. I've been finding what I do and don't like. Like many, my entry was thru Makers Mark, and I already had a taste for single malt scotches. I found Makers to be an easy drink, but not all that interesting. Then a freind stepped it up a notch for me with Knob Creek. I really enjoyed that, but it's been months since I've tasted it. Now I've tried a handful based on various recommendations and here's where I'm at for the moment.


TOP Favorites:

Four Roses Single Barrel (probably my current #1 all around - best nose and complexity)
Elmer T. Lee (nearly perfect for my tastes )
Old Weller Antique (discovered I like wheaters - amazing nose - VERY tasty - add drops of water)
Buffalo Trace (local store has special barrel pick, a tad oakier than normal - neat only - our house staple)
Blanton's - (tried one rocks glass at a bar, shoulda been neat - very, very good as I recall)
Bakers - (tried one rocks glass - also very good all around)


Quite Likeable:

Elijah Craig 12 (nice taste and balance, a bit heavy on the oak or char, but ok)
Wild Turkey 101 (quite surprised to find how good it really is - good neat or rocks)
Evan Williams Single barrel (it went pretty fast, really pretty good as I remember)
Knob Creek (from what I remember, it was nice)
Basil Hayden's (tried one neat glass in a bar, yummy like candy - a bit too easy to drink)


Tried but don't really care for:

Woodford Reserve (I know people like it, but it just misses the mark for me - not happenin')
Rittenhouse Rye 100 (just had too much weird funk, pickled, sharp flavors)
George Dickel #12 (not a "bourbon" - missing something - kind of orangy - wrong flavor set)



So if anyone can read into these picks and offer some suggestions for future bottles, I'd love the input. I seem to enjoy high-rye bourbons, but the Old Weller 107 convinced me that it's not just rye that puts the spicy heat into a bourbon. That stuff is seriously good, and cheap. I want to try the Russell's Reserve hoping it's a more flavorful and refined Wild Turkey. I'm also wanting to dive in an try a good Rye, but the Rittenhouse scared me off a bit.



Thanks,

STLbourbon

Bourbon Boiler
09-18-2011, 14:29
Welcome to both the hobby and the board. The Russell's Reserve is a good pick, and I'd throw in the Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit as well. It might not be a bad idea to try 101, Russ Reserve, and KY Spirit in the same tasting.

If you decide you like the higher rye, Bulleit and Fighting Cock are some Bourbons I like at very effective price points.

STLbourbon
09-19-2011, 13:05
Thanks for the tips. Looking for the right price on the Russell's Reserve around here. I got to try Bulliet too. I liked it and could appreciate the rye factor. Something about it doesn't quite hold up to some of these others I'm enjoying, but it's definitely no slouch. Past few days, I've been really, really enjoying the Old Weller Antique 107 with a bit of water. That's some seriously good stuff to my taste buds. And the nose is giant.

B

unclebunk
09-21-2011, 06:01
Welcome to SB! I read through the list of bourbons you've already tried and/or purchased and it's a mighty fine selection of quality whiskey. Given that you seem to enjoy wheaters (and I agree the Old Weller Antique is excellent), why don't you give OWA's big brother, Weller 12 Year Old, a spin. You'll get that same flavor profile but a bit more oak and fullness of body at a very affordable price. Have fun with the hobby and be sure to visit the site often.

P. S.--Don't give up on the ryes just yet. You may come around to Rittenhouse 100 at some point, but in the mean time try something a bit less hard-hitting: Russell's Reserve Rye, Michter's Rye or even Templeton may be more to your liking.

STLbourbon
09-21-2011, 09:45
Thanks on the OWA12 advice. I was kind of torn. I believe the 12 was actually a dollar cheaper here. I'll give it a go for sure.

And on the Rittenhouse, man, it was almost there. After sipping a while, it grew on me, but still had some edge and I don't think it was the rye itself, something else about it. So I'm eager to try another rye like you suggested. I do really like some other rye-heavy bourbons, namely 4-Roses Single Barrel.

Thanks,

STLb

unclebunk
09-21-2011, 12:42
Thanks on the OWA12 advice. I was kind of torn. I believe the 12 was actually a dollar cheaper here. I'll give it a go for sure.

And on the Rittenhouse, man, it was almost there. After sipping a while, it grew on me, but still had some edge and I don't think it was the rye itself, something else about it. So I'm eager to try another rye like you suggested. I do really like some other rye-heavy bourbons, namely 4-Roses Single Barrel.

Thanks,

STLb

Four Roses Single Barrel is a personal favorite of mine and is always replaced when the bottle runs dry. Rittenhouse 100 is not for everyone but may grow on you after several sessions. I mentioned Templeton Rye because so many folks seem to like it, but personally I'd choose the Russell's Reserve Rye or Michter's Rye any day of the week, first. No need to spend tons of dough on these things--Beam Rye and WT Rye are very tasty and cheaper, though the latter is somewhat less "refined," for lack of a better word, than the others I mentioned. After years of rye consumption, it is "refined" that I actively seek to avoid--I like my rye with spice and rougher edges, not unlike my women, but that's a conversation for another day.