PDA

View Full Version : Man, this is overwhelming!



jwacky
01-07-2013, 14:15
Man, the beginning of my 'quest' to learn more about the bourbon I consume is more overwhelming than I thought it'd be! I've always liked the stuff, generally speaking, and it's been my spirit of choice for as long as I've been drinking. I can't think of any that I absolutely did NOT like, but rather, find myself liking everything somewhere on a spectrum. Make sense?

I've been lurking around the forums for the past few days as I've waited for my account to be validated/approved, and there are definitely similarities between the whiskey/bourbon and cigar worlds (not all batches tasting the same, limited releases, etc., etc.). Also, I'm trying to keep to the advice I tell people new to cigars: Do NOT rush out and go nuts over top shelf stuff. It's not that you won't like it, but rather, you won't appreciate how truly "special" it might be.

Don't make your first cigar an Arturo Fuente Anejo Shark or an Opus X.

And I find myself looking at the $30-$50 price range at my 'main' local source (BevMo), blinded by the higher end bottles. I want them! But I also know I won't truly appreciate them. My cabinet consists of Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Buffalo Trace, Elijah Craig 12 Year, a couple EWSBs (that won't get opened any time soon, if ever - they're "bottled on" the exact day my daughter was born, 8-8-12) and a couple other non-bourbon whiskeys. But certainly there are bigger and better things out there, yes?

So it's tough knowing that I SHOULD stick to the lower level (for lack of a better word) bourbons for now. That I need to. Patience is a virtue, and all that. But still, it's tough!

smknjoe
01-07-2013, 14:34
I'm in the same boat. Enjoy the ride! If it helps any my current favorites are Elmer T. Lee and Old Grand Dad 114 proof. I'm sure others will chime in here.

Phil T
01-07-2013, 14:46
Sounds like you've been drinking the lower shelf stuff for awhile. And you're drinking some good bourbon at that. Branch out man, I really think you will enjoy them and see the difference.

JB64
01-07-2013, 15:35
I wouldn't consider any of the bottles in your cabinet "lower Shelf", in my opinion they are all good "mid-shelf" selections. I like that you have selected from a few different distillers, I think that is important to get a feel for the different variations in taste between the brands. I think you are on the right track in not jumping in head first for the super premium priced offerings and I like your cigar analogy. I might suggest giving a wheated bourbon a try to see if that profile is to your liking. Give Makers Mark or Wellers a try.

jwacky
01-07-2013, 15:40
Sounds like you've been drinking the lower shelf stuff for awhile. And you're drinking some good bourbon at that. Branch out man, I really think you will enjoy them and see the difference.

It's more that I don't know WHERE to branch out... or what constitutes lower class...

Guess I'll just keep looking through for everyones' personal favorites and go from there, read some descriptions/tasting notes, etc., to see what sounds appealing. Definitely eyeing some Elmer T. Lee, Angel's Envy (out of pure curiosity, more than anything), WT Russel's Reserve and Kentucky Spirit, and a handful of others as a potential pick up later this week. Not ALL of them, obviously.

And there's a decent list of bourbons I've had in the past and enjoyed: Knob Creek, Maker's, Devil's Cut, Four Roses (standard offering)...

fishnbowljoe
01-07-2013, 15:52
Man, the beginning of my 'quest' to learn more about the bourbon I consume is more overwhelming than I thought it'd be! I've always liked the stuff, generally speaking, and it's been my spirit of choice for as long as I've been drinking. I can't think of any that I absolutely did NOT like, but rather, find myself liking everything somewhere on a spectrum. Make sense?

I've been lurking around the forums for the past few days as I've waited for my account to be validated/approved, and there are definitely similarities between the whiskey/bourbon and cigar worlds (not all batches tasting the same, limited releases, etc., etc.). Also, I'm trying to keep to the advice I tell people new to cigars: Do NOT rush out and go nuts over top shelf stuff. It's not that you won't like it, but rather, you won't appreciate how truly "special" it might be.

Don't make your first cigar an Arturo Fuente Anejo Shark or an Opus X.

And I find myself looking at the $30-$50 price range at my 'main' local source (BevMo), blinded by the higher end bottles. I want them! But I also know I won't truly appreciate them. My cabinet consists of Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Buffalo Trace, Elijah Craig 12 Year, a couple EWSBs (that won't get opened any time soon, if ever - they're "bottled on" the exact day my daughter was born, 8-8-12) and a couple other non-bourbon whiskeys. But certainly there are bigger and better things out there, yes?

So it's tough knowing that I SHOULD stick to the lower level (for lack of a better word) bourbons for now. That I need to. Patience is a virtue, and all that. But still, it's tough!



I'm in the same boat. Enjoy the ride! If it helps any my current favorites are Elmer T. Lee and Old Grand Dad 114 proof. I'm sure others will chime in here.


You guys are just starting to get to the fun part. :bigeyes:

But seriously, a lot of us have been in the same boat. At least there are oars available. :rolleyes: So fasten your seat belts, and like Joe said, enjoy the ride. :grin:

Cheers! Joe

HP12
01-07-2013, 15:52
During the journey, I suggest getting a good idea to understand what the seasonal, highly allocated and most sought after expressions are. WLW, GTS, PHC to name a few are premium pours that, if you run across them you might want to grab for later.

Even if you aren't ready for them palate wise, you'll have them for later when you are ready or if not to your liking, they would likely make for good trade bait. I also concur with JB64, give the wheaters a try.

humchan2k
01-07-2013, 15:53
-1 for Angel's Envy. Not worth it in any way and not that great.

+1 for Blanton's Single Barrel. If you like Buffalo Trace, try their best product, it's the same mashbill, I believe, and it's $50. You'll love it.

If you want to get to the $35-50 range, you'll do great with Rock Hill Farms (BT's high rye bourbon,) Blanton's, Ezra B 12 yr, and some Four Roses Single Barrel!

Welcome, enjoy the ride!

jwacky
01-07-2013, 16:10
-1 for Angel's Envy. Not worth it in any way and not that great.

+1 for Blanton's Single Barrel. If you like Buffalo Trace, try their best product, it's the same mashbill, I believe, and it's $50. You'll love it.

If you want to get to the $35-50 range, you'll do great with Rock Hill Farms (BT's high rye bourbon,) Blanton's, Ezra B 12 yr, and some Four Roses Single Barrel!

Welcome, enjoy the ride!

Thanks!! I've actually got Blanton's Single Barrel and Four Roses Single Barrel set up in my 'shopping list' at BevMo, as soon as they're back in stock I plan to grab a bottle of each.

WAINWRIGHT
01-07-2013, 16:44
I will agree that the hobby can be overwhelming at first but establishing things in your suited taste/profile is key.You should try different things and even make notes as many do and reference the Whiskey Tree to familiarize yourself with mash bills and try to build a game plan from there.You also can familiarize yourself with other's tasting notes to recognize what you may and may not like through someone else virtual experiences here.Building a solid foundation is key,from there it is just branching out slowly,bit by bit.Have fun and welcome to this great and quite infinite hobby!

BillP
01-07-2013, 16:52
I will agree that the hobby can be overwhelming at first but establishing things in your suited taste/profile is key.You should try different things and even make notes as many do and reference the Whiskey Tree to familiarize yourself with mash bills and try to build a game plan from there.You also can familiarize yourself with other's tasting notes to recognize what you may and may not like through someone else virtual experiences here.Building a solid foundation is key,from there it is just branching out slowly,bit by bit.Have fun and welcome to this great and quite infinite hobby!

I'll second WAINWRIGHTs comments. I'll also add that it helps to make friends with a good store. My local store will try to bring in my new recommendations and then they look good for having the variety. Enjoy the ride!

cowdery
01-07-2013, 17:00
There's no deadline. This is a hobby you can enjoy for the rest of your life.

squire
01-07-2013, 17:12
jwacky it's not a matter of class, rather it's cost. The whisky is the same quality coming off the still and the ultimate retail price per bottle is determined by how long that barrel was aged, how well it aged, whether it was selected to be part of a small batch or single barrel expression, that sort of thing.

Beam, Barton, Heaven Hill, etc. all put out wide ranges of brands from three years olds (usually in a blend with GNS) to very high end stuff, all of which were the same quality when distilled.

White Dog
01-07-2013, 17:15
I believe that yeasts and mashbills do make a difference before entering that barrel. If not, then Beam is using some really piss-poor barrels!:lol:

squire
01-07-2013, 17:20
Certainly mashbills and yeasts make a difference in the ultimate flavor characteristics, but I believe I'm correct in saying the quality level is the same across the board.

Bourbon Boiler
01-07-2013, 17:34
Your advice to yourself is spot on. The lower/middle class of bourbon is light years ahead of the lower/middle class of beer or wine.

squire
01-07-2013, 17:50
And lets not even get started on scotch.

Lazer
01-07-2013, 18:27
You will be rewarded for you patience. If you have the cash you can buy the top-shelf stuff now and save it for when you're ready, if you have the discipline.

I don't know how many cigars you smoke in one day, but with whiskey you can start from a pour from an average bottle, and then have a pour of the top-shelf to follow up and you'll be able to appreciate it more. When you're ready of course.

mosugoji64
01-07-2013, 22:37
I don't have much to add to the great advice already offered, but will reiterate that the point of all of this is to have fun! Kick back and enjoy the ride. Don't get too hung up on the top-shelf bottles because new ones always come along. Even after you've enjoyed the "good stuff," you'll find that several of those lower/mid-shelf bottles you enjoyed before will still be favorites. Also, make it a point to get together with other SB members at local gatherings and at the Bardstown events. They're the most generous bunch you'll ever meet and will gladly let you sample just about anything mentioned here. Again, welcome and enjoy the ride!

p_elliott
01-08-2013, 01:11
I believe that yeasts and mashbills do make a difference before entering that barrel. If not, then Beam is using some really piss-poor barrels!:lol:

JB has two yeast and mashbills one for old grandad/Basil Hayden and one for everything else. Everything else is done by aging, storage, and blending, and now proof going in the barrel

Not counting the Rye Whiskey they have one mashbill for that.
.

Alphanumeric
01-08-2013, 01:50
You guys are just starting to get to the fun part. :bigeyes:

But seriously, a lot of us have been in the same boat. At least there are oars available. :rolleyes: So fasten your seat belts, and like Joe said, enjoy the ride. :grin:

Cheers! Joe

Boats have seat belts?

shoshani
01-08-2013, 08:39
-1 for Angel's Envy. Not worth it in any way and not that great.

+1 for Blanton's Single Barrel. If you like Buffalo Trace, try their best product, it's the same mashbill, I believe, and it's $50. You'll love it.

If you want to get to the $35-50 range, you'll do great with Rock Hill Farms (BT's high rye bourbon,) Blanton's, Ezra B 12 yr, and some Four Roses Single Barrel!

Welcome, enjoy the ride!

Blanton's and Buffalo Trace are not the same mashbill; Blanton's is the higher rye content "Ancient Age" mashbill; the same mashbill is used for Ancient Age, Rock Hill Farms, Elmer T. Lee, and Hancock's Reserve. Everything else uses the lower rye content "Buffalo Trace" mashbill except for the Weller and Van Winkle lines, which replace rye in the mashbill with wheat. And Handy/Sazerac, obviously, which are rye whiskeys. :)

The nice thing is that so much really excellent bourbon can still be had for between $15 and $25 a bottle. There are some bourbons in that price range that are so nearly equal in flavor and aroma to bourbons costing $30 to $50 that comparison is almost pointless, and you'll find discussions about them all right here. Value for dollar wise, bourbon is really hard to beat, and between light and heavy, sweet and spicy, low proof and high proof, and so forth, there's pretty much something to please everyone.

squire
01-08-2013, 09:04
And please them again, and again, and again . . .