View Full Version : Pacult's 2003 'Spirit Journal 100' picks

07-17-2003, 11:34
F. Paul Pacult's 2nd annual 'Spirit Journal 100' list is out, celebrating the best whiskeys, brandies, liquers and white spirits 'currently available' in America.

The 1st Bourbon on this multiple spirits competition is:

Wild Turkey's Kentucky Spirit (ranked # 14), http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif "Simply put, still the finest American whiskey one can buy at this moment in time. A genuine clinic on what to do with corn, rye, barley, water, yeast, oak barrels and a still."

Next up was Weller's 12y (# 20), "One of the U.S. premier whiskeys. A wheated masterpiece that should be in every serious collection." 2nd year in a row in top 20. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

Ranked 25th was Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage '93. "Like the '92, the '93 shows unbelievable majesty and depth. This edition is slightly more fruity and gentle than the huskier '92. Buy several." http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif

Eagle Rare 17y (# 39) and VW's 13y Rye (# 43) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/horseshit.gif were the only other U.S. whiskeys in his 'Top 100 Spirits' list. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/hot.gif

Pacult: "What makes this list so prestigious, is that it's the first of its kind to recognize the 'best of the best' spirits due only to quality and availability. Price was not a factor. Past glory was not a factor. 'Is top notch, true benchmark quality in the bottle right now?' was the sole question we asked."

Well Paul, with just 5 bourbons making your 100 list, I beg you to rethink your question and focus on the tasting. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/soapbox.gif


07-17-2003, 11:44
Wild Turkey's Kentucky Spirit (ranked # 14), "Simply put, still the finest American whiskey one can buy at this moment in time. A genuine clinic on what to do with corn, rye, barley, water, yeast, oak barrels and a still."

Next up was Weller's 12y (# 20), "One of the U.S. premier whiskeys. A wheated masterpiece that should be in every serious collection." 2nd year in a row in top 20.

Amen! Though I would have ranked them both considerably higher. Thanks for the info Omar http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

07-17-2003, 13:51

And to think that I actually included a link to one of Mr. Pacult's reviews in one of my posts. Mea culpa; mea culpa. Mea magna culpa.

Over and above the ridiculously small number of bourbons on the list, there are other indictable offenses, as well. Anyone who ranks EWSB ahead of VWFR rye is simply not to be taken seriously. Heck, EWSB isn't even the best Heaven Hill has to offer, IMO. I'd take both bottlings of Elijah Craig, as well as Henry McKenna Single Barrel over it, any day. On most days, I'd even take Old Fitz 1849, or even the hotter BIB, over it.

I'm not the biggest fan of Blanton's in these parts, but even I would have to find a place for it somewhere in a Top 100 list. No, wait... I should have bitched first about the absence of Rock Hill Farms -- then Blanton's. But where can I stop? Did he actually taste Eagle Rare 17 y/o, and then find that more than 61 places separated it and the 10 y/o single barrel bottling?

Did he really pick the Weller 12 y/o over ORVW 10/107 in a head to head tasting? Come on !

I think it's time to revive the ancient practice of shunning. I hate to contribute in any way to any attention that might be directed at such a contrived (though toward what end, who knows?) list.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

07-17-2003, 14:30

Is this guy kidding or what??? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/horseshit.gif He makes NO reference to George T Stagg or Old Forester's Birtday Bourbon??? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bs.gif Granted, the availabilty of these is somewhat limited, but come on!!


07-17-2003, 21:05
He doesn't mention Stagg, everything he says is suspect to me now, If he says the Sun is Shining , well It better be , maybe visible is where this is going. I'll take a look for myself. He picked a few good ones and overlooked the best ones. Geez I don't see how a list of 100 doesn't include Booker's as far as that goes. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bs.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bs.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bs.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/horseshit.gif

07-18-2003, 05:08
Yes, just five American whiskeys on the list seems low. But, consider the number of spirit categories included (gin, vodka, rum, tequila, scotch, Irish, American, brandy and the vast array of liqueurs) and a Top 100 with only five American may not be so unfair. I may not agree with Pacult's rankings, but I imagine it's very difficult ranking such vastly different spirits against each other. I could not put together such a list since (1) I don't drink white spirits very often and (2) I do not have the money, opportunity, time or inclination to taste everything out there. So, before we trash Mr. Pacult's list and/or judgment, let's all remember the juggling act involved in making such a list and that this list reflects only his opinion and tastes. Your mileage may vary.

Okay...so NOW I'm ready to trash the bazz-stid. I am nearly aghast that fine--and available--spirits such as Rare Breed, Pappy Van Winkle 20yo and Sazerac Rye did not make the list. And you gotta love the guy for calling his own list "so prestigious." How could anyone take seriously the opinions of such an obviously pompous, arrogant, egotistical individual?


07-18-2003, 07:11
I realised it was 100 from evrything and not just Bourbon when I posted.

07-18-2003, 07:15
Do I understand correctly that these libations are pitted against one another?

I wonder how seriously I could take a publication that proclaimed the Ferrari 575M Maranello to be vastly superior to the Ford F-350 Super Cab dually? Hmmmm ...

Perhaps if the title was changed to the "Spirit Journal Super Subjective 100" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

07-18-2003, 09:16
Any 'all-inclusive' list like this has to be considered fluff. Unfortunately, the general public sees accolades like "Top Scoring Vodka on the Spirit Journal 100 List" and thinks "oh gee, I better buy this one!" It's all fluff.

Bourbon is underrepresented in the list, mostly due to there not being a lot of resources to explore other than tasting it all. Think about it--Sc***h has Michael Jackson's book(s) which can narrow the search for a good representative sample.

If only Pacult had come here for advice!?!

07-19-2003, 05:23
I just purused the Spirit Journal website a bit--it looks like he's doing a tasting of "The New generation of super-premium, small batch and single barrel bourbons" sometime this fall. It sounds like one of these 'pay your money and I'll tell you what you're tasting'-type things, but maybe he'll use the experience to write a future article(?)