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View Full Version : My $20-30 bourbon (rye whiskey too) safari



JLH3
11-04-2012, 18:49
Well, I know that if I could only drink one bourbon, I'd drink PVW 20. However, that's expensive and rare. So with the advice of this site and others, I've been sampling $20-30 bourbons. In the past few months, I've tried (in no particular order) OGD BiB, Rittenhouse BiB, 4 Roses SmB, EC 12, and EWSB. I can say that they have all been good and I'd be happy to drink any of them, but here is my order of preference:

4RSmB
EC12
EWSB
Rittenhouse
OGD BiB


There is something about the 4R Small Batch that is just perfect for me. There is just the right amount of citrus, spice and smoothness. I actually prefer it to many more expensive bourbons like 4RSB (or even Willett's 3 yr old rye).

Now, of course, this doesn't mean I would be opposed to seeing if there is something better (like AA10)

;)

Ejmharris
11-04-2012, 19:53
Well, I know that if I could only drink one bourbon, I'd drink PVW 20. However, that's expensive and rare. So with the advice of this site and others, I've been sampling $20-30 bourbons. In the past few months, I've tried (in no particular order) OGD BiB, Rittenhouse BiB, 4 Roses SmB, EC 12, and EWSB. I can say that they have all been good and I'd be happy to drink any of them, but here is my order of preference:

4RSmB
EC12
EWSB
Rittenhouse
OGD BiB


There is something about the 4R Small Batch that is just perfect for me. There is just the right amount of citrus, spice and smoothness. I actually prefer it to many more expensive bourbons like 4RSB (or even Willett's 3 yr old rye).

Now, of course, this doesn't mean I would be opposed to seeing if there is something better (like AA10)

;)

Give the OGD 114 a try.

jeffrey r
11-05-2012, 09:09
In addition to the OGD 114 recommendation, I would suggest you give Elmer T Lee, Eagle Rare 10 Yr, OWA, and Old Ezra 7 Yr 101 a try. These are all regulars in my house in the $20-$30 range, and compare favorably to pricier bourbons imho.

Agree with you on the 4RSmB, and I can also get the 4RSB for around $30, both of which are excellent. I have an unopened bottle of OF Signature 100 purchased at $20 which I am interested to try out, just resisting opening yet another bottle.

HighInTheMtns
11-05-2012, 09:14
I'd definitely recommend OWA and Weller 12 in this price range, especially for someone who likes VW.

humchan2k
11-05-2012, 10:01
I know it's super boring but honestly, for $22-26/bottle....nothing in the bourbon world beats Buffalo Trace IMHO...it's the benchmark for quality, I feel. If you didn't dig on Rittenhouse, rye may not be your thing, that's a widely recognized amazing rye, especially for the $. I can't even count how many bottles I go through in a year, especially since I introduced it to all of my friends. Was it too spicy? Too dry? If it's not your style, Baby Saz for $28-30 is super wonderful as well and is much sweeter and a bit more floral and light.

Enjoy the safari, that's the best part of the hobby, trying new things and finding your flavor!

JLH3
11-05-2012, 10:20
Thanks for the recommendations. I failed to add the OWA. I just bought a bottle of that recently. I'd put that right around the EWSB in a tie for 3rd. I'd love to try the ETL, but, like the AAA10, I haven't been able to find it in Phoenix.

HighInTheMtns
11-05-2012, 10:34
Distribution of AAA 10 year outside of Kentucky is extremely limited. Best bet if you really want that one is mail order. ETL is easier to come by, although I can't speak for the Phoenix area.

sob0728
11-05-2012, 13:18
I know it's super boring but honestly, for $22-26/bottle....nothing in the bourbon world beats Buffalo Trace IMHO...it's the benchmark for quality, I feel.

I want to second the opinion on Buffalo Trace and also put in a recommendation for Maker's Mark at that price point as well. If I could never find or afford another bottle of PVW or BTAC I would be disappointed, but I would get by with BT and MM. And you don't even feel bad about mixing them when you are in the mood for a cocktail.

tanstaafl2
11-05-2012, 13:53
Distribution of AAA 10 year outside of Kentucky is extremely limited. Best bet if you really want that one is mail order. ETL is easier to come by, although I can't speak for the Phoenix area.

Must be a regional thing. Knee deep in AAA 10yo here.

tsangster
11-05-2012, 14:36
Must be a regional thing. Knee deep in AAA 10yo here.

The AAA a few miles east is 10 Star not 10yo.

fishnbowljoe
11-05-2012, 14:51
A lot of folks have given you their recommendations. Pretty much anything I could suggest has already been named. I would however like to suggest to you to dig a little deeper and do some more searching here on the site. Go back in the history of some threads and take a look. There's plenty of information about just what you're looking for.

FWIW, I agree with Jim. (HighInTheMtns) Weller 12 and OWA would be at the top of my list. I love them wheaters. :grin:

tanstaafl2
11-06-2012, 06:30
The AAA a few miles east is 10 Star not 10yo.

Some one else pointed out the same thing. No doubt that is correct. I have never bought any and just noticed it in passing when in the store yesterday. I will check next time I am in the store but I am sure it will prove to be the 10 Star.

HighInTheMtns
11-06-2012, 06:38
Some one else pointed out the same thing. No doubt that is correct. I have never bought any and just noticed it in passing when in the store yesterday. I will check next time I am in the store but I am sure it will prove to be the 10 Star.
You're certainly not the only person to ever make that mistake, and I doubt that Buffalo Trace would be unhappy had you bought one before it was cleared up.

tanstaafl2
11-06-2012, 09:41
You're certainly not the only person to ever make that mistake, and I doubt that Buffalo Trace would be unhappy had you bought one before it was cleared up.

Yes, I have no doubt that is the very intent behind the name. Seems a bit of dubious advertising at best and downright deceitful at worst, particularly given the nearly identical packaging. A solid blackmark in the book for BT in this case.

Not that they would care a whit what I think!

HighInTheMtns
11-06-2012, 10:06
Don't be too hard on BT, they're far from the only distiller to pull that trick.

tanstaafl2
11-06-2012, 10:25
Don't be too hard on BT, they're far from the only distiller to pull that trick.


Just being a a wee bit tongue in cheek. They didn't have a blackmark yet so they needed one! Don't think it is likely to change my buying habits much though.

Lazer
11-06-2012, 11:27
Larceny! and WT101, its actually under 20, but its good... actually isn't ogdbib under 20? :cool:

HighInTheMtns
11-06-2012, 14:32
WT101, its actually under 20, but its good... actually isn't ogdbib under 20? :cool:
Neither of those are under $20 for me. :-(

On the other end of this, at slightly above $30, Wild Turkey Rare Breed is definitely worth a shot and fits in well with the sort of mid-shelf high QPR pours that the OP is after.

petrel800
11-06-2012, 15:37
Must be a regional thing. Knee deep in AAA 10yo here.

Where are you seeing the 10 yr AAA in GA? I've only ever seen 10 star here in Atlanta. I travel a lot to OH and make sure to bring back a few bottles every time I pass through KY.

tanstaafl2
11-06-2012, 18:25
Where are you seeing the 10 yr AAA in GA? I've only ever seen 10 star here in Atlanta. I travel a lot to OH and make sure to bring back a few bottles every time I pass through KY.

See post #12 above.

p_elliott
11-07-2012, 08:37
I'll give a second vote for WT 101 and WTRB go figure:cool:.

tanstaafl2
11-07-2012, 14:35
Popped by the store to confirm my faux pas. It was indeed AAA 10 Star that I had been knee deep in, not that there was much doubt that I had been mistaken!

tmckenzie
11-07-2012, 15:44
The AAA a few miles east is 10 Star not 10yo. I prefer the 10 star.

Rutherford
11-07-2012, 16:05
I would add 1792 Ridgemont Reserve to this list. It is a very good 8 y/o bourbon at around $25. If that's too spendy, VOB is always an excellent option too, but not quite as good (in my opinion).

Flyfish
11-08-2012, 05:58
I would add 1792 Ridgemont Reserve to this list. It is a very good 8 y/o bourbon at around $25. If that's too spendy, VOB is always an excellent option too, but not quite as good (in my opinion).
Interesting options in that they both come from the same distiller. With VOB, I always feel that I am getting more than my money's worth. With 1792, not so much. There's nothing wrong with 1792 but for the same dollars I would rather have EC12, WLW12, 4RSmB, or EWSB.

Rutherford
11-09-2012, 16:34
Interesting options in that they both come from the same distiller. With VOB, I always feel that I am getting more than my money's worth. With 1792, not so much. There's nothing wrong with 1792 but for the same dollars I would rather have EC12, WLW12, 4RSmB, or EWSB.
I like EC12 and EWSB (not a weller fan), but 4RSmB is really the only other bourbon in that price range that I consider on par with 1792. I find it incredibly brilliant and well-balanced (The balance is better for me than VOB) for its age and price.