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sirpuddingfoot
11-28-2012, 10:02
I stumbled into bourbon 6-8 months ago and have been keeping my liquor stores busy.

I'm a huge beer geek and kept trying to get into scotch, but hated spending $50+ (or ~$.50/yr for a pour) to get something I actually enjoyed drinking more than a couple ounces of in a sitting.

I was turned on to bourbon as an event bartender trying to make cocktails out of random liquor selections and extremely limited mixers. I enjoyed the Maker's and the Woodford reserve and then a guy "made" me sample the Booker's he brought in and I was hooked. Then I had a friend introduce me to Buffalo Trace and Blanton's.

So, for the past 6 months I've been buying a bottle of bourbon about few weeks and having a couple pours well, very regularly. I committed to spending no more than $40/bottle until I got a handle on bourbon as a whole.

Bulleit Rye
Bulleit
Black Maple Hill (my wife cooked probably 1/3 of the bottle into meat (because she loved the smell), though I found it too sweet for my tastes.
Old Forester 100 (killed the bottle in a week, with a little help)
George Dickel #12 made it 1 night around a campfire.
Maker's Mark
Woodford Reserve
Knob Creek
Wild Turkey Rye
Evan Williams
Evan Williams single barrel (definitely prefer the single barrel).
Old Overholt Rye (honestly way better than the price suggests)
Old Heaven Hill BIB (bought to pass around but the wussy boys at the bachelor party preferred their Boone's Farm, Bud Light Limearitas, and Mich Golden Light)
Old Grand-dad and Old Grand-dad 114 (woof. Something tastes seriously off in these)
George Dickel #8 (what I'd always wanted from Jack, but now I couldn't stand to pour coke over it)

I've also sampled these at the bar:
Four Roses trio (Yellow, Small batch, single barrel - preference for the small batch)
Jim Beam bottom-shelf trio (White, Black, Rye)
Basil Hayden's
Baker's
Booker's (just: wow)
Jefferson's Reserve
Sazerac Rye
Ancient Age
Wild Turkey 101
Eagle Rare 10yr

Then, a couple weeks ago, I found Templeton Rye at the liquor store. Based on the mystique, I had to break my $40 commitment and splurge (to $50). I'll definitely be repeating that splurge, wow!

So, what am I missing in my introduction? Most of these were sort of unintentional (I just picked something I hadn't had).

squire
11-28-2012, 10:44
Hello spf, welcome aboard. With a $40 cap you have some serious purchasing power when it comes to Bourbon and your list fairly well covers the spectrum. I suggest you stay with the major producers until your tastes are refined further.

A word about 'mystique' whiskies . . . lets not mistake style for substance. A college professor I know in Iowa discovered Templeton a few years back and was extolling it's virtues when I had to explain to him they didn't actually make the whisky and it was overpriced by half. He had bought into the image and was more than a little put out when he felt misled.

Regards,
Squire

p_elliott
11-28-2012, 11:03
Wlecome aboard post often and come join us in chat. As for the Tempelton you might try Bulleit Rye it's the same thing for a lot less money.

sirpuddingfoot
11-28-2012, 14:46
A word about 'mystique' whiskies . . . lets not mistake style for substance. A college professor I know in Iowa discovered Templeton a few years back and was extolling it's virtues when I had to explain to him they didn't actually make the whisky and it was overpriced by half. He had bought into the image and was more than a little put out when he felt misled.

Well, you can include me in that bunch. I haven't done enough homework. I'll have to find out from the liquor store owner whether that Templeton he "could get from a guy" was this bottle, or something else. He said he could get me a used barrel too (for a batch of homebrew beer).

p_elliot, I'll have to get another bottle of the bulleit rye to do a side-by-side.

squire
11-28-2012, 16:40
Something you might add to your list is Fleischmann's Rye by Barton. Oh it's not top end, but due to limited distribution you can get it and we can't so it is a bit exclusive and since you're a bartender I'm sure you'll find a use.

grahampuba
11-28-2012, 19:22
p_elliot, I'll have to get another bottle of the bulleit rye to do a side-by-side.

Hellooo from Minneapolis.

Just had the wife pour me a bump of each in a blind tester.
Neat, no water, those are notably different Ryes. Not sure if the difference in alcohol 40% Templeton / 45% Bulleit could account for the difference.

But if we are talking $$, Bulleit goes for $20.00/750 around town a lot, and I think its a great Rye for the value also.
But you shouldnt be paying more than $39.99+tax for Templeton in MSP either.

Ill be down at the Iron Bartender finale at Icehouse this Sunday. Lots of good pours behind the bar there!

BFerguson
11-29-2012, 04:31
Welcome on board from another MN'er, not cities based but a bit south.

you've got a good line up going already, keep it up.

PS-skip the Templeton, get the Willett Rye's!

Better value, and much better flavor!

B

Tony
11-29-2012, 06:51
Good day and welcome from Michigan.

That is a fine list you have there. I have not had the Evan Williams Single Barrel and am going to give it a shot I think.

Best regards, Tony

p_elliott
11-29-2012, 09:02
Hellooo from Minneapolis.

Just had the wife pour me a bump of each in a blind tester.
Neat, no water, those are notably different Ryes. Not sure if the difference in alcohol 40% Templeton / 45% Bulleit could account for the difference.

But if we are talking $$, Bulleit goes for $20.00/750 around town a lot, and I think its a great Rye for the value also.
But you shouldnt be paying more than $39.99+tax for Templeton in MSP either.

Ill be down at the Iron Bartender finale at Icehouse this Sunday. Lots of good pours behind the bar there!

Which did you like better ?

sirpuddingfoot
11-29-2012, 09:30
Something you might add to your list is Fleischmann's Rye by Barton. Oh it's not top end, but due to limited distribution you can get it and we can't so it is a bit exclusive and since you're a bartender I'm sure you'll find a use.
I haven't seen Fleischmann's before. I think I'll have to find some better liquor (non-beer focused) stores.

I was an event bartender... a far cry from a real bartender. It was a nice way to make $30/hr on a weekend to supplement my alcohol habit.



Hellooo from Minneapolis.

Just had the wife pour me a bump of each in a blind tester.
Neat, no water, those are notably different Ryes. Not sure if the difference in alcohol 40% Templeton / 45% Bulleit could account for the difference.

But if we are talking $$, Bulleit goes for $20.00/750 around town a lot, and I think its a great Rye for the value also.
But you shouldnt be paying more than $39.99+tax for Templeton in MSP either.

Ill be down at the Iron Bartender finale at Icehouse this Sunday. Lots of good pours behind the bar there!
My recollection of the bulleit was that it was a bit sharper on the rye spice and came with a bit more alcohol heat. I was certainly willing to discount my recollection since it was one of the first bottles I killed.
I've seen the Templeton for $50 at MGM and $54 at the small shop where I buy beer (Heritage Liquor in Maplewood). Where do you recommend shopping for bottles?

I had my wife blind sniff the the OGD 114 and GD #8 last night... her response: "[OGD] smells like throwing up in college, [GD] smells like vanilla and caramel or toffee."

Welcome on board from another MN'er, not cities based but a bit south.

you've got a good line up going already, keep it up.

PS-skip the Templeton, get the Willett Rye's!

Better value, and much better flavor!

B
I'll definitely keep an eye out for that!

Brisko
11-29-2012, 10:15
Fleischman's Rye is a northeastern Wisconsin-only product. If you drive to the Green Bay game, you might find some on the way. I would avoid MGM in general because they are over priced. I've seen Templeton at $40 to $45 around. PM me if interested. Bulleit and Templeton probably don't taste the same, but they come from the same source, as do the young Willett ryes, which are generally 110 proof and in the $30 to $40 range. What was it about the Templeton that you liked?

Something that you might try that's only available around here is Very Old Heaven Hill 8 year old, 86 proof. It's about $10 for a liter and while it varies a bit, it can be pretty good... at worst, it makes a great mixer.

Welcome, by the way.

P.S. where do you find Dickel #8? I can only ever find the #12 and Barrel Select.

sirpuddingfoot
11-29-2012, 10:46
Fleischman's Rye is a northeastern Wisconsin-only product. If you drive to the Green Bay game, you might find some on the way. I would avoid MGM in general because they are over priced. I've seen Templeton at $40 to $45 around. PM me if interested. Bulleit and Templeton probably don't taste the same, but they come from the same source, as do the young Willett ryes, which are generally 110 proof and in the $30 to $40 range. What was it about the Templeton that you liked?

Something that you might try that's only available around here is Very Old Heaven Hill 8 year old, 86 proof. It's about $10 for a liter and while it varies a bit, it can be pretty good... at worst, it makes a great mixer.

Welcome, by the way.

P.S. where do you find Dickel #8? I can only ever find the #12 and Barrel Select.
The Templeton was exceptionally smooth compared to my recollection of other Rye's (though the only thing I have on the cabinet to compare it to directly is Old Overholt Rye at the moment). The Rye spice was balanced by a nice buttery vanilla and corn sweetness. I'd even dare say it could have used more alcohol heat.

I found the Dickel #8 at the MGM off Whitebear and 94. Coincidentally, it was purchased as a "daily" supplement to the Templeton.

Brisko
11-29-2012, 10:59
The Templeton was exceptionally smooth compared to my recollection of other Rye's (though the only thing I have on the cabinet to compare it to directly is Old Overholt Rye at the moment). The Rye spice was balanced by a nice buttery vanilla and corn sweetness. I'd even dare say it could have used more alcohol heat.

I found the Dickel #8 at the MGM off Whitebear and 94. Coincidentally, it was purchased as a "daily" supplement to the Templeton.

Interesting. Templeton is made, as far as we can tell, at MGPI and has no corn in the mashbill.

If you like that somewhat gentler rye profile you might try to find a bottle of Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve Rye. (I haven't seen much around lately but then I haven't been looking, etiher). It is a different take on rye and might be right in your wheelhouse.

sirpuddingfoot
11-29-2012, 13:18
Oh THAT Fleischmann's... as in the bottom shelf of bottom shelf rail liquors... or 1.75L bottles (at least of gin/vodka/etc.) for under $15 and frequently on sale under that (I think Morelli's was advertizing $12 for handles this month). How did I miss that...

I guess it couldn't be worse than that bottle of OGD 86 Proof I haven't poured down the drain yet.

Brisko
11-29-2012, 13:54
No, not that Fleischmann's. What you see around here is Fleischmann's Preferred, which is a blend. The rye is a straight rye.

grahampuba
11-29-2012, 16:14
Which did you like better ?

Have to say Templeton. But I have had a bottle or two that were pretty bland, also there are other ~$40 bottle Ryes, that I would prefer over Templeton though.
After posting that last night, poured some more Bulleit and had it with bit of ice to see if the alcohol content was the prime factor, still never got as tasty as Templeton.

Sirpuddingfoot. You should check out the North Star Bartenders Guild up here if you ever want to do some craft cocktail bartending nights. Know they have been getting hired to do events.