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DreamTheater
10-11-2011, 11:16
Brand new to this site and I've heard great things about it.

I just got started in Bourbon. I dont know if people care but I've a huge scotch collection with a few bottles worth over $1000 and then a lot of the standard fare.

Bourbon has really won me over due to its great price and wonderful palate. I've since tried about 30 different bourbons and I love almost all of them...I'm only a bit standoffish on Bookers b/c it is so damned "hot".

So I'll just say it - I'm a snob. I dont usually drink low-end stuff. But recently I went through a bottle of "just" Jack Daniel's Black label and it was absolutely amazingly good to sip. I only drink neat w/ maybe water if it is too hot.

It gets me to wondering. What about those really low-end bourbons at the store? The names aren't coming to me real easy but things like "Old Times" or...hell, i cannot even think of names. How do they serve as just simple sippin whiskeys?

White Dog
10-11-2011, 11:34
It's been said a million times on here, but try some OGD, and some VOB. And I happen to like AAA 10 Star.

DreamTheater
10-11-2011, 13:26
Two things: one - I hope that i didnt post an old and beaten topic. I never like being "that guy". Two - could you please spell out those abbreviations. I'm embarrassed to say I'm unaware of what those stand for.

But thank you so much for the advice. Obviously i dont mind spending money on liquor at all. With that said I absolutely love having something I can drink copious quantities of with no worries on the wallet. For me, that requires something that does not cost more than $20 for a 750ml bottle.

nivto
10-11-2011, 13:33
Four Roses Yellow Label would probably do you just fine

Brisko
10-11-2011, 13:46
Here are a couple good threads on the subject.


http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16214

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13925&highlight=cheap

There is a wealth of very good bourbon in the $15-20 range (allowing for regional price variations). In addition to those mentioned already, pretty much any of the Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond labels, as well as Fighting Cock, are great values. Elijah Craig 12 year old. Weller Special Reserve. Old Forester Signature. Also George Dickel #8 and #12 are great in their own way. Beam white and black labels if you like their profile. The list could go on forever.

It would probably be easier to make a list of bottom shelfers to avoid.

Parkersback
10-11-2011, 13:50
Hey Dream Theater, good to have you aboard.

You will learn an immense amount by using the search function on the site: I have spent hours and hours cruising around old threads. Type in, "cheap" (as a "subject only" word) and you'll get lots of threads on the very question you asked, cheap good bourbon. Type in the word, "wheater", and you'll begin to understand the differences between rye based and wheat based bourbons. Type in "abbreviations" and you'll learn that OGD means, "Old Grad Dad."

At $20 per bottle, I'd suggest Rittenhouse Rye BIB, OGD, or Weller 12. This last suggestion might not be plausible in your area, as Weller 12 is not available everywhere, and while I can get it for $20 (plus tax), it's usually more in most places. But it is great whiskey. It is the poor man's Van Winkle Lot B.

White Dog
10-11-2011, 13:53
It's been said a million times on here, but try some OGD, and some VOB. And I happen to like AAA 10 Star.

OGD: Old Grand Dad. I would go with the 114.

VOB: Very Old Barton. I would go with the BIB(Bottled in Bond.)

AAA: Ancient Ancient Age.

Also, in the "New" forum there is a sticky at the top with all the abbreviations.

White Dog
10-11-2011, 13:55
Hey Dream Theater, good to have you aboard.

You will learn an immense amount by using the search function on the site: I have spent hours and hours cruising around old threads. Type in, "cheap" (as a "subject only" word) and you'll get lots of threads on the very question you asked, cheap good bourbon. Type in the word, "wheater", and you'll begin to understand the differences between rye based and wheat based bourbons. Type in "abbreviations" and you'll learn that OGD means, "Old Grad Dad."

At $20 per bottle, I'd suggest Rittenhouse Rye BIB, OGD, or Weller 12. This last suggestion might not be plausible in your area, as Weller 12 is not available everywhere, and while I can get it for $20 (plus tax), it's usually more in most places. But it is great whiskey. It is the poor man's Van Winkle Lot B.

Great suggestions, but I like to call Lot B overpriced Weller 12.:lol: :lol:

White Dog
10-11-2011, 14:10
Brand new to this site and I've heard great things about it.

I just got started in Bourbon. I dont know if people care but I've a huge scotch collection with a few bottles worth over $1000 and then a lot of the standard fare.

Bourbon has really won me over due to its great price and wonderful palate. I've since tried about 30 different bourbons and I love almost all of them...I'm only a bit standoffish on Bookers b/c it is so damned "hot".

So I'll just say it - I'm a snob. I dont usually drink low-end stuff. But recently I went through a bottle of "just" Jack Daniel's Black label and it was absolutely amazingly good to sip. I only drink neat w/ maybe water if it is too hot.

It gets me to wondering. What about those really low-end bourbons at the store? The names aren't coming to me real easy but things like "Old Times" or...hell, i cannot even think of names. How do they serve as just simple sippin whiskeys?

Booker's is quite "hot." Unlike Scotch, Bourbon proof can greatly increase with time in barrel, due to the weather conditions of Kentucky, so some older cask strength releases may even reach 130 and beyond.

And if I had my way, all releases would be cask strength, and I'll do my own cutting, thank you very much. The problem with Booker's, IMHO, is that it starts off way hot, but as you cut it, it only becomes thin. This is not the case with other cask strength Bourbons, but hey, I'm a Beam hater.:grin:

bgageus
10-11-2011, 14:15
In that price range you are getting close to an Eagle Rare 10 year old. Its a single barrel, and if you get a good bottling can be one of best affordable bottles out there .

Brisko
10-11-2011, 16:33
$20 isn't really low end, anyway. A lot of standards are at or near that price point: WT101, Beam black, Buffalo Trace, EC12, etc. When I think really lowend I'm thinking Cabin Still, Old Crow, Benchmark, and so on. More in the. $10 range.

sailor22
10-11-2011, 17:22
Since it's throw away money for you compared to Scotch just buy every one you can find and do some comparative sipping. That after all, is the fun of it, isn't it.

Let us know what conclusions you come to.

Bourbon Boiler
10-11-2011, 17:59
If you're brand new, depending on your area you could spend ~$25 and get 6-7 50 mL sample bottles. That would teach you what proofs or mashbills for which you have an affinity. Acutally, if you give us 2-3 you like and 2-3 you don't, the people on this site would LOVE to help you figure out the similarites and differences.

DreamTheater
10-11-2011, 19:18
Thank you for all the wonderful posts guys. It is so nice to be in a good thread where people want to help and dont give you endless crap about not knowing everything already.

I am going to throw out a little thought here: I am utterly enamoured with bourbon now. I am not denigrating it in the least but I feel that, considering I like to have 2-4oz per night just to unwind, that i am wasting scotch in many of those instances since I just want the nice taste without committing to unraveling all the taste profiles, etc. Bourbon - yes, the high dollar stuff is for special times. But most of it - just sip away guilt free.

Right now I have a couple great bottles (to me) and some "middle weights".

My middle weights are Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage, Virginia Gentleman; Russles's reserve 10 year and Buffalo trace. I also have the pleasure of 5 bottles of Cedar Ridge out of Iowa (it is AMAZING) and something out of Wisconsin. It is alright.

I think I might go blow $100 and get like 7 bottles of the really low end stuff like that Old Crow, etc. How bad can it really be? And for $13 all in, who cares?

Great thread. I cannot wait to spend more time here.

Oh, one last thing: I know there are WHOLE threads to this extent but I am looking for a couple simple answers in regards to a few bottles: the Woodford Reserve Master's Collection. Which one is the best and is it truly worth $120+? I know it is all subjective but I am most intruiged by the Sweet Mash and Maple. I'm just looking for a simple answer/brief thoughts before i grind through the 30 pages on the thread.

Buffalo Bill
10-12-2011, 05:21
That's the best way to go about it~ just try em! Many of the better low end versions have appeared here but don't forget a bottle of Old Forester. Also Old Grand Dad 100 Proof. And I saw a bottle of Yellow 4 Roses here yesterday for $15. Can't beat that... also look for nips and small sizes. Try some Evan Williams. You'll be surprised at times when you find a really good sleeper sitting on the back of some shelf.

White Dog
10-12-2011, 06:07
Thank you for all the wonderful posts guys. It is so nice to be in a good thread where people want to help and dont give you endless crap about not knowing everything already.

I am going to throw out a little thought here: I am utterly enamoured with bourbon now. I am not denigrating it in the least but I feel that, considering I like to have 2-4oz per night just to unwind, that i am wasting scotch in many of those instances since I just want the nice taste without committing to unraveling all the taste profiles, etc. Bourbon - yes, the high dollar stuff is for special times. But most of it - just sip away guilt free.

Right now I have a couple great bottles (to me) and some "middle weights".

My middle weights are Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage, Virginia Gentleman; Russles's reserve 10 year and Buffalo trace. I also have the pleasure of 5 bottles of Cedar Ridge out of Iowa (it is AMAZING) and something out of Wisconsin. It is alright.

I think I might go blow $100 and get like 7 bottles of the really low end stuff like that Old Crow, etc. How bad can it really be? And for $13 all in, who cares?

Great thread. I cannot wait to spend more time here.

Oh, one last thing: I know there are WHOLE threads to this extent but I am looking for a couple simple answers in regards to a few bottles: the Woodford Reserve Master's Collection. Which one is the best and is it truly worth $120+? I know it is all subjective but I am most intruiged by the Sweet Mash and Maple. I'm just looking for a simple answer/brief thoughts before i grind through the 30 pages on the thread.

What Wisconsin Whiskey do you have? The Kinnikinnick thing, or Yahara Bay?

Brisko
10-12-2011, 06:48
Oh, one last thing: I know there are WHOLE threads to this extent but I am looking for a couple simple answers in regards to a few bottles: the Woodford Reserve Master's Collection. Which one is the best and is it truly worth $120+? I know it is all subjective but I am most intruiged by the Sweet Mash and Maple. I'm just looking for a simple answer/brief thoughts before i grind through the 30 pages on the thread.

I don't think you can really pick one over the other. But if you really want to explore the Woodford Reserve Master's collection, see if you can find the Sonoma-Cutrer Finish.

Parkersback
10-12-2011, 10:44
I have the Maple version and I do not care for it. It's bad, in fact it tastes like regular WE only with a weird woody aftertaste.

If you want to spend big $, I would go 4R

Bourbon Boiler
10-12-2011, 16:38
Thank you for all the wonderful posts guys. It is so nice to be in a good thread where people want to help and dont give you endless crap about not knowing everything already.

I am going to throw out a little thought here: I am utterly enamoured with bourbon now. I am not denigrating it in the least but I feel that, considering I like to have 2-4oz per night just to unwind, that i am wasting scotch in many of those instances since I just want the nice taste without committing to unraveling all the taste profiles, etc. Bourbon - yes, the high dollar stuff is for special times. But most of it - just sip away guilt free.

Right now I have a couple great bottles (to me) and some "middle weights".

My middle weights are Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage, Virginia Gentleman; Russles's reserve 10 year and Buffalo trace. I also have the pleasure of 5 bottles of Cedar Ridge out of Iowa (it is AMAZING) and something out of Wisconsin. It is alright.

I think I might go blow $100 and get like 7 bottles of the really low end stuff like that Old Crow, etc. How bad can it really be? And for $13 all in, who cares?

Great thread. I cannot wait to spend more time here.

Oh, one last thing: I know there are WHOLE threads to this extent but I am looking for a couple simple answers in regards to a few bottles: the Woodford Reserve Master's Collection. Which one is the best and is it truly worth $120+? I know it is all subjective but I am most intruiged by the Sweet Mash and Maple. I'm just looking for a simple answer/brief thoughts before i grind through the 30 pages on the thread.


I'm drifting a little bit away from your question here, but I'll offer another $.02.

I find a very noticable difference in quality from the $25 "Flagship" brands to the ~$45 semi-premium brands (Blanton's, WTKS, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden, Elmer T, Lee, etc.). I find the improvement in quality from $45 to $100 to be real, but relatively slight. It looks like that's a range where you're going to Scotch anyway. An ounce of a semi-premium followed by 2-3 ounces of a low end is a pretty good way to unwind a weekday evening.

Buffalo Bill
10-12-2011, 17:04
I can't bring myself to put out $100 on Woodford's. No matter how hard I try, still can't do it.

Brisko
10-12-2011, 18:01
Me either, but I thought they fit the topic. :)

DreamTheater
10-12-2011, 18:59
I have the Yahara Bay. I need to try it again. I was not blown away at first taste though.

Now...Cedar Ridge from Iowa on the other hand....imagine if sex and silk made sweet love and had a child. =Cedar Ridge.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I have just seen that ultra premium 4R on the shelves for $78 or so. I'm...hesitant.

The one Woodford Reserve Masters I am really looking at is the Sweet Mash but...you guys said it: $100...that is a scotch price and it better be lifechanging if i'm going to drop that kind of coin.

Closing thought for me tonight: there is a chain of grocery stores in Iowa/Nebraska called "Hy-Vee". Every once and then these guys just lose their minds and put these absolutely absurd prices on whiskies. I think I said this already but I picked up three of the middle-weight qualities ($30ish) for at LEAST 30% off two days ago. I'm going to slowly pick up all the low end stuff like Log Cabin, Old Crow, etc and jsut give it a whirl.

White Dog
10-15-2011, 11:26
I have the Yahara Bay. I need to try it again. I was not blown away at first taste though.

Now...Cedar Ridge from Iowa on the other hand....imagine if sex and silk made sweet love and had a child. =Cedar Ridge.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I have just seen that ultra premium 4R on the shelves for $78 or so. I'm...hesitant.

The one Woodford Reserve Masters I am really looking at is the Sweet Mash but...you guys said it: $100...that is a scotch price and it better be lifechanging if i'm going to drop that kind of coin.

Closing thought for me tonight: there is a chain of grocery stores in Iowa/Nebraska called "Hy-Vee". Every once and then these guys just lose their minds and put these absolutely absurd prices on whiskies. I think I said this already but I picked up three of the middle-weight qualities ($30ish) for at LEAST 30% off two days ago. I'm going to slowly pick up all the low end stuff like Log Cabin, Old Crow, etc and jsut give it a whirl.

Yahara Bay is one of the worst Whiskeys I've ever had in my life. Of all the Wisconsin rectifiers, Yahara Bay may be the least "quality" driven.

silverfish
10-15-2011, 15:33
Yahara Bay is one of the worst Whiskeys I've ever had in my life.

Call me a glutton for punishment but when I read a statement like
the above, it makes me want to try it just to see if it's that bad.
(Not that I'm doubting - I'm sure it's bad - I'm just sayin'...)

White Dog
10-15-2011, 18:56
Call me a glutton for punishment but when I read a statement like
the above, it makes me want to try it just to see if it's that bad.
(Not that I'm doubting - I'm sure it's bad - I'm just sayin'...)

I'm the very same way. I may have hated it, but I'm glad I had it, just to know. The only way to really have it all down, is to taste it all.

DreamTheater
10-15-2011, 20:34
I wouldnt say it was -that- bad. But I will say that...it is not very good at all. Let me try it real quick...(it is literally sitting right behind me on my shelf of 300 whiskies...am I am asshole for saying that? I'm awfully proud...I digress)...it just has a slightly weird effect on the tongue. In one taste it is watery, then a little hot, then just right.

It isnt terrible but I'd rather drink a number of others that cost 1/3 the price (I think i coughed up $42). I bought it because I passionately support American enterprise (yes, even though I love Scotch) and especially on the rare occasion that I find a "bourbon" outside of Kentucky or a good bourbon-like whiskey outside of Tennessee. (I think I have that right - Bourbon County is in Kentucky and then there is Tennessee whiskey.

ethangsmith
10-16-2011, 14:44
Old Ezra 101 is a $16 excellent choice. 101 proof and aged 7 years. Good stuff.

ebo
10-17-2011, 14:06
Old Ezra 101 is a $16 excellent choice. 101 proof and aged 7 years. Good stuff.
Ditto. I drink a fair share of it.

DreamTheater
11-18-2011, 12:42
I dont pretend that anybody is indeed interested, but in a week or two I am going to have two friends over for a blind taste test.

I wont bore you with how great this one guy's palate is, but suffice to say I consider my palate to be pretty sophisticated and I totally defer to this guy's ability. He runs the whiskey section of one of Nebraska's 2 biggest liquor stores.

So with all that said the blind taste test is for bourbons under the $20 mark. I'm not trying anything that is so bad you'd use it to degrease an engine but I am trying some things like Old Ezra, Cabin Still, Evan Williams cheap stuff, ancient age, etc. I am going to have all of us write down our tasting notes and opinions.

I was then going to create a new thread discussing our reaction. Sound interesting or would I be wasting everyone's time?

Parkersback
11-18-2011, 15:41
Let us know, friend, that's why we are all here. I'd appreciate hearing about it.

B.B. Babington
11-18-2011, 17:10
scanning through the thread, I don't think I saw an important point put forward. You're a scotch drinker. Typically, good scotch costs more $$ and cheaper scotch is hard for many to drink, no matter how it's done. bourbon is different. most cheap bourbons can be taken neat with some effort or at least mixed with something to kill it.