View Full Version : What can you do without?

07-10-2003, 05:25
This idea came to me after a couple posts in the WAYDN thread. What is in your cabinet/bunker right now that you can do without? Maybe it is space considerations that are forcing you to choose, or maybe it's a bottle you don't really like, but can't bring yourself to pour out. At the moment I am trying to get rid of some Weller Antique http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif and a bottle of Ten High. I need room for stuff i'll actually drink http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

07-10-2003, 06:00
First thing that came to my mind was about my Elijah Craig 12 yr. Ironically, that was my "every day" bourbon, until I stumbled upon the darkside of this board. While enjoying a nice pour recently, I was suddenly aware of the taste of acetone! Curse you all!

Just kidding, esepecially since it was on the advice here of many that I've developed a tate for Evan Williams SB and my recently aquired Weller 12 yr. Yum, and what a bargain! If only it was readily available here in NJ!

The RR will stick around for when my brother stops by. He prefers the spicy WT.

Interestly, I think that opinions on this board are split on these two offerings (EC12 and RR) more then any other two bottlings discussed. Except for possibly Dickel.

07-10-2003, 06:44
Hmmmm....that's a good question Jeff. For once, I've got a cabinet mostly full of favorites which sure does make it difficult when it comes time to have a drink. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

But I would have to say Evan Williams Single Barrel 1993. I DO like this bourbon and find it to be very smooth and light...a nice change from full flavored drinks like OFBB and WT KS. But at times I catch myself thinking that something is missing from this bourbon. I find it somewhat unimaginative or uninspiring. As far as "lite" bourbons go, I have enjoyed the EWSB '91 and Four Roses 80 proof much better.


07-10-2003, 07:09
I am trying to make room for WL Weller 12 yo (1.75), moving Buffalo Trace from 1L to 1.75L, and reducing the amount of bourbons to two rows deep. (Starting a small third row really crowds the cabinet and makes the door difficult to close.) Most of the new emphasis is on less expensive great value bourbons.

If I werent't saving it for mixers when friends are over, it would be the Old Forrester 100, which I recently commented had fallen off my short list of everyday pours. Elijiah Craig 12 yo will be taking over its everyday pour duties.

As I mentioned in the WAYDN thread, Old Fitz 1849 is out the door. I still like it, but I need room.

Recently, I finished off AAA 10 yo to make room. I do like this bourbon, but I think I'll use Old Fitz BIB for the easy drinking bourbon. Old Fitz is a sentimental favorite because we had it around the house when I was a kid.

07-10-2003, 07:15
I want to finish and get rid of this damn bottle of Basil Hayden's. I keep trying to drink it so I can finish it off, but every time I do something else calls my name! I bought the BH a long time ago when I was first getting into bourbon. Back then it was good, but now that my tastes have changed dramatically, I can't stand it. Not to mention it is WAY overpriced for what it is...

07-10-2003, 08:31
I can't seem to EVER find the bottom of my 1.75L bottle of Maker's Mark. Actually, none of my (drinking) friends are bourbon afficionados, so to them it's a top-shelf offering. The dang thing just never gets emptied!

07-10-2003, 09:18
Basil Hayden's (HADES?) and Rittenhouse Rye 10YO. I think these two may be round for some time to come! Elijah Craig 12 did not tickle my fancy as I thought it might.
You live and learn.

07-10-2003, 16:32
I can definitely do without a 750 of old crow that i have... I wonder i can use it to remove tar from behind the wheels on my car... one sip, cap was back on and it was into a cardboard box with the other 'rejects'... I at one point went around buying all the cheaper bourbons i could find around me, hoping to find something surprising...

Unfortuantely most of them weren't even deserving of the small amounts of money that they cost...


07-10-2003, 17:10
The only bourbon I own that I just can't bring myself to drink is a bottle of McCormick that has probably been in there for ten years.

07-10-2003, 17:18
I don't currently have anything that I just want to get rid of. I am just about to finish up a 1.75L of Old Forester 100, but it will most likely be replaced, sooner or later.

I have just about decided to stay upscale a little more, though. I would so much rather have OFBB or Woodford Reserve than OF 100, and Rare Breed than WT101, etc. Why bother with their "little brothers"? My wife really only looks at the number of bottles, not the prices. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

I haven't made this break, yet, but I've been thinking about it for a while.


07-10-2003, 17:19
OMG, that crap is nasty. I bought a 1.75 of it (something like $8 at a base in VA) to use for filling up 2 empty bottles I had just for display purposes. I figured why not try it in the process, wrong! And it was even to light in color to represent bourbon, so down the drain it went... I think it said something like aged 4 years in used oak barrels... Guess I should have read that first before even buying it, absolutley horrid...

07-11-2003, 08:49
It may sound like Blasphemy around here, but I have had 1/2 a bottle of Knob Creek fo about 16 months now that I havent been able to finish, it is the only bottle in my collection that hasnt beent touched for so long that it is gathering dust. . .


07-11-2003, 08:55
I say use it as paint thinner, as that's what it tastes like http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

07-11-2003, 09:15
It may sound like Blasphemy around here, but I have had 1/2 a bottle of Knob Creek fo about 16 months now that I havent been able to finish

Knob Creek is another bottling I can't understand the SB.com fascination for...in every tasting I've ever done it's come in dead last (against other small batch bourbons that is...)

I even had my in-laws (who are relative novices) do a tasting limited to the Beam products, and they both ranked them in this order:

1. Booker's
2. Bakers
3. Basil Hayden
4. Knob Creek

07-11-2003, 09:15
Don't feel that way Tom, I don't care for it either...

07-11-2003, 10:16
I have a bottle of WT 80 that never seems to get opened. It keeps moving back in the cabinet. With all the other WT products being so good, I just keep reaching for the RB, RR, KS or even the 101 before I consider the 80. I just may have to fill the fruit soaking jar with cherries again and make a batch of infused bourbon. That's how I got rid of some Ten High and Benchmark.

07-11-2003, 10:47
I think WT80 is a good entry level bourbon for people who might not have any experience with high-proof spirits. I was weened on WT80 and Maker's Mark. Of course we move on, but WT80 still has a special place in my heart. Damn, I'm tearing up http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif It's also a good mixer to keep on hand for friends and family.

07-11-2003, 10:56
Agreed. It just seems to be getting ignored. I never really thought about it until you started the thread. As football season approaches, I just might fill a flask with WT80 for the game. Go Big Blue!!!
C:\Documents and Settings\phalee00\My Documents\My Pictures\thumbsup.gif

07-11-2003, 15:57
One Cube, I know what you mean about the Maker's Mark. Mine doesn't end either. When it's gone, it's gone. I'd also drop Jim Beam Black from my shelf.


07-11-2003, 16:10
Well, Tom, I am thinking about starting a Knob Creek disposal service. From the responses you are getting, it looks like business might be brisk. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif


07-11-2003, 16:43
It may sound like Blasphemy around here, but I have had 1/2 a bottle of Knob Creek fo about 16 months now that I havent been able to finish, it is the only bottle in my collection that hasnt beent touched for so long that it is gathering dust. . .

Here's a suggestion, Tom. Just dump it out! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

07-11-2003, 20:52
I have not paid for a bottle of JB in many years. Today I bought a bottle of JB Black to see if I was missing something. I'm not. It will take a while to drink this one.

07-11-2003, 23:25

Several candidates come to mind, and if I were to crawl around in my closet floor, I might find others that are literally forgettable.

1. Jefferson's Reserve -- Not a bad bourbon, but having it around reminds me that I foolishly spent way too much for it. I consider it a reasonably good $18 pour. The bottle surely is beautiful, though.

2. Jim Beam rye -- The best I can say about this one is at least it's not as noxious to my taste as Old Overholt, which I will also never buy again. For Rye and Ginger, it's Wild Turkey rye for me, and for sipping neat it's Van Winkle Family Reserve. There's no role left for the JB.

3. Evan Williams Single Barrel '92 -- I like the EW black label better, and it's at least $10 less a bottle.

4. Kentucky Pride -- Comments similar to No. 1, above, except that it wasn't nearly as over-priced, and the bottle looks tacky to me.

5. Elmer T. Lee -- I suspect that this is actually a great bourbon, but it just isn't to my taste. I recall enjoying my first bottle, but this one has tasted unlike bourbon from the first drink. (Lavoris, anyone?) I can't make myself dump it, but I'll surely be glad when it's gone.

6 Knob Creek -- I actually like this bourbon about every other time I drink it, but it's the one quality bourbon that I can find at more bars than any other. Why bother to stock it at home?

7. Various Tennessee Whiskies (all of the ones that lack vitamin content http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif ) -- I'll probably finish the Gentleman Jack, which was a fave until I rediscovered bourbon, but I expect that the No. 7 and the Single Barrel will become my heirs' problem someday.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

07-11-2003, 23:34
Just dump it out!

But I paid like $30 for it, I would feel bad just dumping it out. In all seriousness it makes a pretty good manhattan, I just keep forgetting its back there in the search for sumthin' better.


07-12-2003, 10:19
Dave, regarding the Jim Beam Rye, consider employing it in the Sazerac Cocktail. This is rye whiskey with a slight amount of sugar (or syrup) added, bitters (Angostura or, in New Orleans, home of the Sazerac, Peychaud's Bitters) and Pernod (originally absinthe) or other anise-flavoured drink.

Often, one is enjoined to add a splash of the Pernod first and then toss from the glass, so it coats the inside of the glass but not more. Old Overholt answers well in a Sazerac, too. Traditionally, the drink was served neat, and is best that way in my view.


07-12-2003, 10:41
Dave, sorry, I have one more idea. In the late 1800's, the best blend made by the blending/rectification industry was a combination of two bourbons and a straight rye. That is, most blended whiskey incorporated some neutral-type spirit, which lessened the cost (or rather, increased the blender's margin http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif). But the finest blends combined straight whiskeys only. I have found a recipe in which two bourbons were combined together with a straight rye. The proportions were 45% for each bourbon and 10% for the rye. This particular recipe called for adding (according to the original batch size) 1% of a fruit syrup derived from prunes and raisins. (The batch size was 20 gallons each of bourbon, 5 gallons of rye, and one-half gallon of prune juice which was a maceration of prunes and raisins in neutral spirit).

When making my version of this blend, I added a dash of juice from a can of prunes, not exceeding 1% (the limit is important, in my view), but you can dispense with the syrup if you like. So, you might take two ounces each of the Elmer Lee and Knob Creek and add a half-ounce or so of one of the young ryes you have. If you like the combination, you can bottle up a batch and increase the proportions accordingly. My first one was made from Jim Beam Black Label, Van Winkle 12 year old Lot "B" Bourbon, and four rye old Pikesville Rye. I chose the wheater VW to make sure the intense rye taste of the Pikesville did not obtrude (the lack of rye in the VW would cut it some slack). I added 1% of prune juice, too. The result was excellent (I mean, really good). In effect, I was increasing the rye component of the mashbills for the bourbons, or that is one way to look at it. The combination of the three whiskeys created complexity. Probably originally, a younger and older bourbon were combined, but the permutations are endless of course. If you try it, do it in the glass, i.e., with small amounts of liquor to see if you like the result. You can adjust the drink to your taste that way, too.


07-12-2003, 13:18
Yikes! As much as I think KC is overrated, I certainly wouldn't pour out half a bottle of it! It's better than all the rail-level bourbons (Jim Beam White, etc.) Heck, my best friend's bourbon criteria is "Beam or better and you're okay!"

Mix with it. Make some bourbon & gingers with it.

Don't get me wrong--it's overshadowed by *ANY* other small batch bourbon, but it's definitely drinkable.


07-12-2003, 15:39
Oh I agree, I like KC a lot (although it was better a few years ago, in my view). But if someone does not like it, why not turn it into something different, and maybe "better"?


07-12-2003, 18:00

I keep telling myself I'll try something along those lines... someday. (Jim Butler brings this up from time to time.) I just never get around to it. It's always easier just to pour something that I recall liking. Besides, if I were to follow your suggestion, I'd be forced to keep records of proportions, tasting notes, etc. I'm just almost too lazy for that.

I have one other, totally silly, impediment, as well. When I read the book Red Likker, that was my first awareness of the terms "rectifier" and "rectification", at least in the context of liquor. The hero of the story spoke very harshly of the people who engaged in that practice, describing them as being detrimental to the image of bourbon, if not to civilization as a whole. I would be reluctant to align myself with such dishonorable men. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Nevertheless, you have given me something to try when I run out of new bourbons to try or the money to afford them.

Oh, and one more thing -- I can't imagine ever mixing any Van Winkle product in the hope of ending up with anything better than the principle ingredient.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

07-13-2003, 04:08
Well, I understand and being interested in bourbon history, I must get that book by Cobb. The recipe I cited (except for the very small amount of fruit juice) used all straight whiskey, so none of the rectifier's own product entered into that particular blend. Probably, the mixture I described was developed to offer something consistent to the market on the high end. Sometimes a good idea gets traduced in that producing all-whiskey mixtures likely was how blending started, and later, people had the idea to dilute the blend with neutral grain spirits. As for utilising a whiskey of high grade in the mixture, I don't view it as dishonourable to the whiskey selcted but rather the reverse because the blend I described calls for whiskeys only of the highest quality. And indeed, the better the whiskey that is used, the better the final result. A modern example of doing this on a large scale is adding, as we just read viz. the Four Roses tour, bourbon to Canadian whisky. Indeed, before such additions, Canadian is a type of rectified spirit whereas the blend I described uses no such component. On a small scale, using a bourbon in any cocktail does a similar kind of thing (because a dilutant of some kind and flavouring are usually added). This is all down to personal prediliction and interest, of course; I find it interesting to sample something that was consumed 100 years ago! I have also experimented with making mixtures that incorporate some neutral-type sprits (I used all-rye Polish vodka). The results are still good but here we are moving away from the arena of straight whiskey. The cheaper mixtures offered an alternative to people who, in the late 1800's, could not afford to buy straight whiskey.


07-13-2003, 13:22
We all get caught with a stinker every now and then. If I open a bad one , eventually I will have to drink it or cook with it. I'm far too frugal to toss any of it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

07-13-2003, 13:52
Tom, try using that Knob Creek to soak chrries in and toss them in the fridge... Then when you make manhattans, you'll have some soaked ones on hand. Good way to use it up and not feel guilty about tossin' it.

07-13-2003, 16:31
Well tonight the bottle of 90 proof Ezra Brooks was used to soak an angel food cake .... A fitting end to the last bottle of bourbon of less than 100 proof that I will buy of the common pours ....at this stage I feel if I need less i will cut my own of the higher proofs ....
And with that a glass full of ORVW 15y 107 ....straight up it has been that kind of a week ,,, tomorrow I head over to my insurance agent , ...got a letter from the other company ..they want to talk to me ??? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
Bill G.