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smknjoe
02-15-2013, 11:18
I was inspired to post this after seeing Cigar Dan post his list of recently aquired bottles. Can anyone recommend any SB versions of OWA that are superior to the standard bottlings? On the TPS website the SB version gets fewer stars than the standard bottle.

Tico
02-15-2013, 11:23
Ive purchased CnB and TPS single barrel selections, both are good but varies by barrel.

smknjoe
02-15-2013, 11:32
Are they typically better than standard bottles? I'm not familiar with CnB.

Edit: When I say better I really mean are they more flavorful or complex. For instance, Greg over at bourbondork describes some of his private barrel pics as caramel/butterscotch bombs with some wood. I would like to try something like that if possible.

JPBoston
02-15-2013, 12:29
....
For instance, Greg over at bourbondork describes some of his private barrel pics as caramel/butterscotch bombs with some wood. I would like to try something like that if possible.

Add me to that list, please. :)

luther.r
02-15-2013, 12:52
Are they typically better than standard bottles? I'm not familiar with CnB.

Edit: When I say better I really mean are they more flavorful or complex. For instance, Greg over at bourbondork describes some of his private barrel pics as caramel/butterscotch bombs with some wood. I would like to try something like that if possible.

From my experience most single barrels are 8 years or older. My understanding is that OWA is typically 7ish years but they can dip into younger barrels to blend in. I've found most of the single barrel bottles I've bought to be better than the standard, but not night and day better. Getting the SB means you can get an age statement.

CnB is Cork 'n Bottle BTW.

wadewood
02-15-2013, 13:25
When we eventually get together remind me and I'll bring a sample of the OWA Greg is talking about. The best SB versions are always the ones you had a hand in tasting the barrels and selecting, such as this one.

callmeox
02-15-2013, 13:29
It depends on if your palate aligns with the folks who picked the barrel and what they are looking for.

CnB used to select some great single barrel OWA but the gentleman who did their selections left and I have not liked what the new guy/gal/group has picked.

My palate and Jay's at Party Source have never agreed. I can't recall any of his single barrel selections being exceptional or dare I say better than the standard bottling.

smknjoe
02-15-2013, 13:32
When we eventually get together remind me and I'll bring a sample of the OWA Greg is talking about. The best SB versions are always the ones you had a hand in tasting the barrels and selecting, such as this one.

Sounds good.


It depends on if your palate aligns with the folks who picked the barrel and what they are looking for.

CnB used to select some great single barrel OWA but the gentleman who did their selections left and I have not liked what the new guy/gal/group has picked.

My palate and Jay's at Party Source have never agreed. I can't recall any of his single barrel selections being exceptional or dare I say better than the standard bottling.

...and I was afraid this would be a response. I guess I'll just have to find out.

callmeox
02-15-2013, 13:36
...and I was afraid this would be a response. I guess I'll just have to find out.

Sorry to be Debby Downer, but OWA is priced low enough that taking a chance on a bottle isn't going to break the bank.

There are no guarantees in single barrel bottles. :)

OscarV
02-15-2013, 13:39
CnB used to select some great single barrel OWA but the gentleman who did their selections left and I have not liked what the new guy/gal/group has picked.




I have some of C-N-B OWA Barrel #49 hidden down in the bunker but beware my 2nd Amendment is protecting them.

smknjoe
02-15-2013, 13:43
Oh, it's cheap alright. Just wanted to see if there were any unanimously good ones so I keep the number of open bottles I have to a minimum. It's somewhere close to 13 or so right now.

qman22
02-15-2013, 14:08
The only private barrel of OWA I've had is the current one at TPS and I like it better than the standard version.

Tico
02-15-2013, 14:43
Are they typically better than standard bottles? I'm not familiar with CnB.

Edit: When I say better I really mean are they more flavorful or complex. For instance, Greg over at bourbondork describes some of his private barrel pics as caramel/butterscotch bombs with some wood. I would like to try something like that if possible.
I think those are 1789b selections, I've tried a few of those and they are great. It really does all come down to barrel selection. Talk th the person who selects and they should be able to give you a good understanding of what you can expect.

SFS
02-15-2013, 16:34
Oh, it's cheap alright. Just wanted to see if there were any unanimously good ones so I keep the number of open bottles I have to a minimum. It's somewhere close to 13 or so right now.

Gee, I don't even own 13 bottles. Even if I include the backup (singular).

smknjoe
02-15-2013, 16:39
Gee, I don't even own 13 bottles. Even if I include the backup (singular).

I've been pretty busy the last few months...you never know until you try it though.

smknjoe
02-15-2013, 17:27
I think those are 1789b selections, I've tried a few of those and they are great. It really does all come down to barrel selection. Talk th the person who selects and they should be able to give you a good understanding of what you can expect.

Oh, I think I've heard of that group around here a few times. Kind of like demonoid where you have to be invited to join?

At any rate I'll probably wait to meet up with Wade when possible and go from there. Thanks for all of the suggestions guys.

MauiSon
02-15-2013, 17:50
Got me curious, so I googled and came across Josh's article. Yeah, I'd love access to private selections, but I have no interest in tobacco and BS - my loss, I guess. ;)

p_elliott
02-16-2013, 07:28
Are they typically better than standard bottles? I'm not familiar with CnB.

Edit: When I say better I really mean are they more flavorful or complex. For instance, Greg over at bourbondork describes some of his private barrel pics as caramel/butterscotch bombs with some wood. I would like to try something like that if possible.

The ones Greg is descibing he had a hand in picking out.

Josh
02-16-2013, 08:12
Got me curious, so I googled and came across Josh's article. Yeah, I'd love access to private selections, but I have no interest in tobacco and BS - my loss, I guess. ;)

Ha! Glad you enjoyed it. That hornets' nest hasn't been kicked in a while...:lol:

smknjoe
02-16-2013, 11:41
The ones Greg is descibing he had a hand in picking out.

I realize that, but surely plebs can find honey barrels too. :)


Ha! Glad you enjoyed it. That hornets' nest hasn't been kicked in a while...:lol:

Enjoyable and informative read. Thanks.

PaulO
02-16-2013, 12:09
I managed to pick up some single barrel OWA last time I was at Kahn's in Indy. I really like it a lot. When the first bottle was nearly empty. I opened a regular bottle to compare. I really like that too. They're not exactly the same, but pretty close. :grin:

hectic1
02-17-2013, 14:08
OWA continues to get younger and younger so I would go with a SB over a shelf offering 100% of the time. ;)

wadewood
02-17-2013, 14:38
OWA continues to get younger and younger so I would go with a SB over a shelf offering 100% of the time. ;)

How do you know the SB offerings are any older? Unless you were there to pick barrel, you don't.

hectic1
02-17-2013, 15:08
How do you know the SB offerings are any older? Unless you were there to pick barrel, you don't. Because I know the age on 100% of the SB offerings that I drink...;)

Tico
02-17-2013, 15:29
And the SB offerings will continue to get younger as well

the trend continues.......

HP12
02-17-2013, 15:43
And the SB offerings will continue to get younger as well

the trend continues.......

You are correct sir!

smknjoe
02-17-2013, 15:43
That's what Greg said recently on his blog: http://bourbondork.blogspot.com/2013/02/owa-as-mash-tun-churns.html

peterlake
02-17-2013, 16:34
Last time I was at TPS I kept asking one of their bourbon guys about rarer bottles like A. Bowman 19yr and various Willetts. He kept telling me that those were good, but value-wise the 20$ for the current single barrel OWA would be the best twenty bucks I ever spent. He was right. This was last May, so that barrel almost certainly isn't around anymore, but the moral of the story is, find someone at one of these shops who actually likes bourbon and try to get their opinion, if possible.

smokinjoe
02-17-2013, 18:08
IMO, the wheated bourbon that Buffalo Trace has been putting out for the OWA brand the last several years has been maybe the best regularly produced whiskey out there. The regular, off-the shelf bottles have been terrific. And when looking back at the ~15 private barrel selections that I have tried, those have all been wonderful as well. Whether it be the TPS, Binny's, 1789's, CnB's, B&B's, McScrooge's, etc...they've all been great!! (though, I'll admit that the McScrooge's has been my own fave) I suspect all of the other ones that I have not had the privilege to try, are stellar, too. Some expected differences between barrels, but all within that wonderful OWA profile. So, if you're contemplating at getting an off the shelf OWA, you're going to do very well. Maybe the continued excellence of this brand has been the influence of having to fill the S-W PVW shoes for the Pappy iterations?...I don't know. But, this has been some seriously good whiskey, and I think we have been fortunate to experience it. It will be interesting to see where we go from here, though. I'm not sure you can get over a 6 year old private selection any more. But, there's more to good whiskey than age. So, I hope that the barrels continue to be great, and that OWA continues to be the wonderful bourbon that we have loved for some time. Hopefully, we'll hear good things from the private barrel selections that will be showing up, as that will tell us if the product is continuing on with it's excellence, even as it transitions to younger whiskey. Time will tell.

:toast:

hectic1
02-17-2013, 18:20
IMO, the wheated bourbon that Buffalo Trace has been putting out for the OWA brand the last several years has been maybe the best regularly produced whiskey out there. The regular, off-the shelf bottles have been terrific. And when looking back at the ~15 private barrel selections that I have tried, those have all been wonderful as well. Whether it be the TPS, Binny's, 1789's, CnB's, B&B's, McScrooge's, etc...they've all been great!! (though, I'll admit that the McScrooge's has been my own fave) I suspect all of the other ones that I have not had the privilege to try, are stellar, too. Some expected differences between barrels, but all within that wonderful OWA profile. So, if you're contemplating at getting an off the shelf OWA, you're going to do very well. Maybe the continued excellence of this brand has been the influence of having to fill the S-W PVW shoes for the Pappy iterations?...I don't know. But, this has been some seriously good whiskey, and I think we have been fortunate to experience it. It will be interesting to see where we go from here, though. I'm not sure you can get over a 6 year old private selection any more. But, there's more to good whiskey than age. So, I hope that the barrels continue to be great, and that OWA continues to be the wonderful bourbon that we have loved for some time. Hopefully, we'll hear good things from the private barrel selections that will be showing up, as that will tell us if the product is continuing on with it's excellence, even as it transitions to younger whiskey. Time will tell.

:toast: Wise comments there as always Joe...see you at the sampler in April! :)

Phil T
02-17-2013, 18:31
Some excellent points Joe. While I really like the standard OWA , the TPS SB is a touch sweeter, more in my wheelhouse. Either way, at $20.99 for a 750ml, its a steal and may be the best valued bourbon available.

HighHorse
02-17-2013, 18:40
I'm on board with anything Weller. The shelf offerings are excellent and, so far, the private selections are tasty iterations of a very good juice.

ggilbertva
02-19-2013, 04:31
Are they typically better than standard bottles? I'm not familiar with CnB.

Edit: When I say better I really mean are they more flavorful or complex. For instance, Greg over at bourbondork describes some of his private barrel pics as caramel/butterscotch bombs with some wood. I would like to try something like that if possible.

Joe - I'll try and bring some samples down during the sampler. I'm sure we'll see each other at the Dog's.

The Boozer
02-20-2013, 06:15
OMG look whom is back from the dead! :grin:

I am with Joe on this one, most of the OWA has been very good the past couple of years. I picked up an OWA SB from the TPS last year and thought is was equal to the 1789b OWA I had about a month earlier. Both were very good but not necessarily better than the standard bottle.

On a side note, I don't believe than anybody is going to knock a SB they had a hand in picking out.

nivto
02-20-2013, 14:17
I think what separates a private selection from the regular offering is that you are talking about single barrels versus small batch. I think that fortunately the regular release is pretty consistent and very good. What is going to separate a private selections from the standard release and from other private selections is subtle variations in flavor profile, a nuance here or there, a push in one particular direction in the flavor profile. I agree with a lot of you, though, that while I prefer a single barrel selection the off-the-shelf OWA holds its own just fine. It is a solid label, for now.

BourbonJoe
02-20-2013, 15:02
In our own private tastings, the off the shelf OWA stood up to all the private selection bottles I have, and that would be many. This off the shelf bottle, it should be noted, was purchased immediately after the age statement went away.
Joe :usflag:

nivto
02-20-2013, 15:20
In our own private tastings, the off the shelf OWA stood up to all the private selection bottles I have, and that would be many. This off the shelf bottle, it should be noted, was purchased immediately after the age statement went away.
Joe :usflag:

Joe, I had a similar experience with an off-the-shelf bottling. It, too, was an early release after the age statement went away and it stood up in a blind tasting against two very good private selections.

smknjoe
02-20-2013, 15:43
Joe - I'll try and bring some samples down during the sampler. I'm sure we'll see each other at the Dog's.

That's a very generous offer. I really wasn't planning on going to the sampler. If I do, I'll make sure to remind you to bring samples!

smknjoe
02-20-2013, 15:52
Joe, I had a similar experience with an off-the-shelf bottling. It, too, was an early release after the age statement went away and it stood up in a blind tasting against two very good private selections.

I've read similar sentiment in several threads and even some that said the new label was better than the old label during the transition around 2009 or so.

I've gone through 1.5 bottles of the current off-the-shelf stuff and it's good, but I can see how it could be better with more age and/or better barrel selection.

hectic1
02-20-2013, 16:00
That's a very generous offer. I really wasn't planning on going to the sampler. If I do, I'll make sure to remind you to bring samples! I'm pretty sure that Greg was thinking you were smokinjoe (joe) who's been around here for years and years. ;)

smknjoe
02-20-2013, 17:07
I'm pretty sure that Greg was thinking you were smokinjoe (joe) who's been around here for years and years. ;)

How do you know we're not best buds? :)

hectic1
02-20-2013, 17:38
Oh, I think I've heard of that group around here a few times. Kind of like demonoid where you have to be invited to join?

At any rate I'll probably wait to meet up with Wade when possible and go from there. Thanks for all of the suggestions guys.
Cause with posts like this one I can pretty much bet that Greg isn't best buds with you...

smknjoe
02-20-2013, 18:08
Cause with posts like this one I can pretty much bet that Greg isn't best buds with you...

He's seems like a genuinely nice guy and is "friendly" with some locals here. I'm not sure what your point is...

Too bad that the Super, Happy, Fun Time, Mega-Spec's Downtown doesn't do more specialty bottlings. The only one I've had is Buffalo Trace with a "Selected by Harlen" which translates to Spec's didn't have anything to do with this, or did they?

callmeox
02-20-2013, 18:18
He's seems like a genuinely nice guy and is "friendly" with some locals here. I'm not sure what your point is...

Too bad that the Super, Happy, Fun Time, Mega-Spec's Downtown doesn't do more specialty bottlings. The only one I've had is Buffalo Trace with a "Selected by Harlen" which translates to Spec's didn't have anything to do with this, or did they?


His point is that folks on 1789 don't like it when outsiders utter the name of the site and they like it even less if the comments aren't glowing in nature.

Just think of the first two rules of Fight Club and you have the idea.

hectic1
02-20-2013, 18:20
He's seems like a genuinely nice guy and is "friendly" with some locals here. I'm not sure what your point is...

Too bad that the Super, Happy, Fun Time, Mega-Spec's Downtown doesn't do more specialty bottlings. The only one I've had is Buffalo Trace with a "Selected by Harlen" which translates to Spec's didn't have anything to do with this, or did they? You never know who is part of that "demonoid" group that you refereed to in your post...;)

hectic1
02-20-2013, 18:21
His point is that folks on 1789 don't like it when outsiders utter the name of the site and they like it even less if the comments aren't glowing in nature.

Just think of the first two rules of Fight Club and you have the idea. LOL...I don't think that's the case but whatever Scotty boy...

MyOldKyDram
02-20-2013, 18:33
Sounds kinda...uptight?

smknjoe
02-20-2013, 18:45
You never know who is part of that "demonoid" group that you refereed to in your post...;)

Ha, got it! "filler for count limit"

ChainWhip
02-20-2013, 18:59
Too bad that the Super, Happy, Fun Time, Mega-Spec's Downtown doesn't do more specialty bottlings. The only one I've had is Buffalo Trace with a "Selected by Harlen" which translates to Spec's didn't have anything to do with this, or did they?

Specs had a specialty bottling of the Single Barrel Bowman not too long ago.

smknjoe
02-20-2013, 19:12
Ya know, I've always passed up the Bowman stuff while still meaning to try it some time. I've seen two versions - the Small Batch and Single Barrel for $27-$47 if I remember correctly. What would you compare it to?

ggilbertva
02-21-2013, 20:23
How do you know we're not best buds? :)

Very sorry...didn't notice the name difference until after the fact. Bob...stop being a douche.

Taste is subjective, each palate is different and for the most part, there's no wrong answer to what's good. For me, I find the SB picks I participate in to be degrees better than off the shelf.....and yes, I've done side by side a number of times. That doesn't mean the shelf offering is bad or sub-par as I have those too in the bunker. The barrel picks allow me and the other participants to zero in on those honey barrels. Off the shelf you get what you get. So, in the end, I'm paying the same price as a shelf offering but getting something to my palate is far better.

hectic1
02-22-2013, 05:58
Very sorry...didn't notice the name difference until after the fact. Bob...stop being a douche.


I can't wait to get my giant man hug Greg...62 days and counting! See you in Bardstown little buddy! :)

ggilbertva
02-22-2013, 06:15
I can't wait to get my giant man hug Greg...62 days and counting! See you in Bardstown little buddy! :)

Giggyup Gilligan.

MacinJosh
02-22-2013, 07:27
I think what separates a private selection from the regular offering is that you are talking about single barrels versus small batch. I think that fortunately the regular release is pretty consistent and very good. What is going to separate a private selections from the standard release and from other private selections is subtle variations in flavor profile, a nuance here or there, a push in one particular direction in the flavor profile. I agree with a lot of you, though, that while I prefer a single barrel selection the off-the-shelf OWA holds its own just fine. It is a solid label, for now.

Exactly Ryan.

I can assure you there are a wide range of variances in the flavor profile within OWA SB's. I've had enough of them now (and had the pleasure of hand selecting a few) to know this to be the case. Some are absolute caramel bombs, unmistakeable. Lots of forward sweetness on the front palate. Others are more complex and balanced with sweetness, spice, and toasted oak notes playing throughout. And others can be a bit dry, more woody and cottony. The variances are enough that I've even been able to correctly identify a SB in a completely blind tasting. Certain aspects of the SB jump out at you and stick in your memory.

With all that said, I would still echo what others have already stated. The off the shelf OWA is still a fantastic bourbon. The absolute best bang for your buck bourbon out there IMHO.

wadewood
02-22-2013, 08:30
Ya know, I've always passed up the Bowman stuff while still meaning to try it some time. I've seen two versions - the Small Batch and Single Barrel for $27-$47 if I remember correctly. What would you compare it to?

Back on topic, well not really because topic is about OWA and not Bowman, but at least back to this question. Sazerac/BT owns Bowman. These Bowman products likely are BT distilled BT recipe bourbon that may or may not have been redistilled one more time in smaller pot still at Bowman. Then they were aged in Virginia. Also aged on pallets not a traditional rickhouse. So answer is a lot like Buffalo Trace, but there are noticeable differences.

smknjoe
02-25-2013, 17:06
Thanks for the OWA SB sample Wade.

OWA Standard: Nose: Vanilla and wood
Taste: Medium mouthfeel, caramel and some oak then some burn like redhots
Finish: lingering sweetness

OWA Single Barrel: Nose: Butterscotch with a hint of oak
Taste: Medium+ mouthfeel - velvety smooth, caramel/butterscotch
Finish: Lingering butterscotch sweetness more than the standard bottling

Pretty much what everyone has described. You can certainly tell they are the same bourbon, but the SB leans towards the sweeter side. It's not like they are vastly different though. Good stuff!