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Nick
09-06-2003, 15:44
Hi I am new to Bourbon and to whiskey in general. For most of my drinking years I have been a beer man (and would still consider beer to be my primary drink of choice). But about a year ago I became friends with a person who is a devout whiskey drinker(a JD man himself)who had decided to prosthelatise the virtues of whiskey. (or is it whisky? I can't seem to keep the distinction strait) His drinks are always either Jack or some form of Scotch and he got me to appriciate scotch to a lesser extent (never enough to want to buy a bottle though, and he never really got me to like Jack). But being the good child of the internet age that I am I started looking around the internet for items on whiskeys and I found this web site. Very longs and winding story with several totaly unrelated twists and turns later, I decided I wanted to go out and try some bourbon. So aremed with the few small pieces of information that I had gleened for this discussion board I went down to my local bar and took a look at thier bourbon selection. They had Jim Beam White, Makers Mark, and Knob Creek. Ok so I knew that the white label was out of the question based on the general idea on the boards that it is a very...simple bourbon. So I went for the Knob Creek based puerly on gut instinct.
I really liked it. I think it was the first whiskey I had ever tried that I had truely enjoyed the way I might have enjoyed a good bottle of wine. I wish I had taken notes so that I might be able to give a more detailed account of my experiance. I do remember distinctly smelling a very plesant vanilla/honey scent and it having the vague taste of freshly ground cinnamon. Ok so the question is, where do I go from here? I have spent the last several hours doing searches and looking for info but the best I can come up with is that Knob Creek is similar to Jim Beam Black lable, and that it is fairly middle of the road as far as rye content is concerned. But where does that leave me? I do kind of regret no going back and getting a shot of Makers Mark to compair the Knob Creek to, but... well the Bartender was this really cute girl who was very impressed that I (at my young age) drank Knob Creek and I didn't want to let on that I was only doing a tasting experiment. But are there any suggestions as to how I should proceed? I am willing to buy a bottle or two (maybe three http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif)but cant spent more than about $20- $25 per and if I can find something in the $15 or less range that would be even better. I was thinking maybe I should try some a couple thazt are radicaly different and a couple that are fairly similar, but I'm not sure what these would be. Can I get some starter suggestions?
Thanks,
Nick

Paradox
09-06-2003, 15:57
Hmm, 2 or 3 bourbon's that are under about $25 and that I can think of as being readily available... Give Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve, Evan Williams Single Barrel, and if you can find it wherever you are Buffalo Trace. Just 3 bourbon's I really like and are decently priced. There's so many more I could recommend but these 3 just popped into my mind. Watch out, you'll get tons of help with suggestions for under $25 bourbon's here, haha. Enjoy whatever selections you make and let us know how you like whatever you choose. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Oh yes, one more readily available bourbon I'm sure people will mention, Old Forester. I like the 100 proof.

bluesbassdad
09-06-2003, 18:07
Nick,

Welcome aboard! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif



... well the Bartender was this really cute girl who was very impressed that I (at my young age) drank Knob Creek and I didn't want to let on that I was only doing a tasting experiment.



You missed a great opportunity to show her how open-minded and adventuresome you are. They love that sort of guy -- or at least they did 40 years ago, when I was still on the lookout. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Seriously, here are my suggestions.

Old Granddad BIB -- This will show you what rye is all about, at a very reasonable price. Sometimes it's hard to find the BIB; don't settle for the 86 proof without checking Hi Time (http://www.hitimewine.com/spirits_4.htm#americanwhiskey) in Costa Mesa.

Old Weller 12 y/o -- IMO, the best of the low-priced wheaters, certainly more enjoyable, to me, than that red-wax brand.

Flip a coin: Wild Turkey 101 or Old Forrester 100 -- Both have their fans. I don't recall hearing of anyone who doesn't like one or both. Both are made with rye, but it doesn't jump out at you as it does in OGD. Personally, I favor the WT, but part of that may be blind brand-loyalty on my part.

BTW, those of us willing to admit being crochety old farts would appreciate seeing a double-carriage return now and then in a long post. (I have to admit it; I sure as Hell can't deny it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif)

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

ratcheer
09-06-2003, 18:40
I agree with the recommendations the others have made. I would like to add a few more:

Elijah Craig 12 year old

Old Grand Dad 114 proof

Wild Turkey 101 proof (it may have already been mentioned)

Depending on prices where you live, you might find Woodford Reserve for $25 (it is $30, here, but my prices are very high)

Tim

Nick
09-07-2003, 10:55
Thanks guys,
Tonight I'll go out and try to pick up a couple of these sugestions. I'll let you know what I think. I have Mondays off of work so I will have plenty of time to do a tasting http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif.

Thanks also for the suggestion of Hi Time Dave, nice to know there is a person from my neck of the woods on here who can give me advice on where to shop. I probably won't be hopping down to Costa Mesa in the next couple of days, (I live all the way up north in the SF Valley) but I have a friend who lives in Huntington Beach and a Grandfather in Irvine, so I will drop by the next time I go out to visit one of them.




BTW, those of us willing to admit being crochety old farts would appreciate seeing a double-carriage return now and then in a long post. (I have to admit it; I sure as Hell can't deny it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif)




And my deepest most humble apologies for not double spacing (or spacing at all) between paragraphs in my first post. I don't have a good excuse, I just forgot to go back and put the breaks in after I was done with the spell checking. At least I didn't keep my CAP lock on. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Thanks again for the help.
Nick

Paradox
09-07-2003, 11:23
At least I didn't keep my CAP lock on. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif



Thank God for that! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif Isn't that one of the most annoying things to try and read... Sounds like you'll be having a fun ol' time tonight Nick! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif Let us know how it all goes. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

jeff
09-07-2003, 12:50
My suggestions would include:

Old Weller 12yo ($15)
Evan Williams Single Barrel ($22)
Old Forester 86 proof (100 proof if you can find the black diamond label) ($13)
Old Charter Proprietor's Reserve ($23)
Ancient Ancient Age 10yo ($12!!)

hope you enjoy the journey http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

bluesbassdad
09-07-2003, 12:56
Nick,

Given:


I have Mondays off of work so I will have plenty of time to do a tasting .


and:


(I live all the way up north in the SF Valley)



You may be interested in this place (http://www.wineandliquordepot.com/) in Van Nuys. Their web site is next to useless for bourbon buyers, but at least it has contact information. I've been there a couple of times with my son. (He takes me with him to the Valley on sales calls sometimes, just for kicks.)

He has a lot more fun browsing the huge s----h and wine sections than I do browsing their spotty bourbon selection. (In truth, I sometimes scan the s----h section, myself. Last trip they had a great buy on Famous Grouse in the 1.75 L. bottle.)

Nevertheless, I usually find a bottle or two of bourbon I can use. Last trip it was Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 y/o and Rock Hill Farms, both favorites of mine, although not similar.

Some time in the future, when you are up to buying several bottles of mid-priced and above bourbon, you may find it economical to avail yourself of the huge selections offered by Sam's Wine & Spirits (http://www.samswine.com/homepage.asp) or Binny's (http://binnys.com/scr/index2.cfm) , both of which are happy to ship from Chicago to L.A.

I'm not sure where the break-even point would be with bottlings in the under $20 range, but a half dozen or so bottles at $25 and above can easily cost less shipped in, considering price differences, sales tax, and shipping cost all together. Of course, the main advantage is selection. Binny's was my source for last year's Old Forrester Birthday Bourbon.

Yours truly,
Dave "My eyes are doing better today, thank you!" Morefield

Paradox
09-07-2003, 13:03
Do most of the LB's have the new Black Diamond 100 proof around there Jeff?

bluesbassdad
09-07-2003, 13:04
Jeff,



Ancient Ancient Age 10yo ($12!!)



Shame on you for teasing us Kal-ee-forrr-nee-uns! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif I've never even found an out-of-state source that will ship to CA, much less a local source. I think someone may have mentioned that it's sold only in Kentucky and one or two other states (not including Illinois, home of Sam's and Binny's, sad to say).

If someone can enlighten me to the contrary, I will be in your debt. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Paradox
09-07-2003, 13:24
As much as I hate their horrible business practices, internetwines.com (http://www.internetwines.com/spirits-bourbon.html) says they have it. The state I always see bottles and bottles of it on the shelf is VA but it's a no-go them shipping I think. Find someone from VA on here who'll ship ya' a bottle.

Black85L98
09-07-2003, 15:15
Welcome!

Not much I can add to the list. They are all good, some better than others. It boils down to a matter of choice and taste on your part. Try as amny as you can when you are out, and take notes. You may not remember in the morning. For starters Ancient Age is cheap and good. EC 12 YO is only $13 bucks here and is a good buy.

Buckky
09-07-2003, 16:29
It is my understanding that the Ancient Ancient Age 10YEAR is sold now only in Ky and Tenn...here in Ohio and many other places we get the AAA 10 STAR which I have been told is a 6yr +. (Reminder, that the age always comes from the youngest barrel to go in regardless of how much more older aged whiskey may be in there.) We have all talked about how tastes can change, and what may be good at one time can taste better or worse six months later. Curiously AAA 10 STAR is tasting better to me these days. Perhaps it is psychological since I am a four hour drive from Ky and often run out of AAA 10Year for months while the 10Star is a five minute drive away....but since the intro of Buffalo Trace (said to be an 8 yr)...and since all that AAA 10YEAR that used to go all over the 20 other odd states now has to be going somewhere, perhaps the best of the 8/10 year goes to BT while the good but less desirable 6 to 10 year ends up in STAR while just a little of the best of the 10year stays home in KY/Tenn and has to meet the tough restriction of exact years on the bottle. Thus, to state the obvious, the BT is now the best(duh!) with some AAA 10 year staying local, with the rest going into 10STAR. (Of course the VERY best stays in the barrel to become Eagle Rare, Blanton's, Stagg etc) The real kicker with this theory is that here in Ohio we get neither the AAA10yr nor the BT...we get 10STAR for about $12 a LITER.
For another day, but Old Forester just hasnt tasted as good to me these days as it did a year ago. (I still like it alot though at 11 bucks a fifth) It is said to be about 8 years old and wasn't it about 8 years ago they began to pull the best barrels out for Woodford Reserve?? Gross speculation, but the changing tastes I have for AAA10 Star and OF are real to me and seem to coincide with the creation of BT and WR. To our bourbon beginner and new admirer, AAA 10STAR and OF are, I think, the best for the money on the middle shelf TO BE FOUND IN MOST PLACES....in a perfect world we would all have the selection of a Lexington/Louisville Party Barn or Covington Party Source/Corknbottle.....and every bar in America would have Buffalo Trace (my favorite)...but "the only thing fair in life is the hit between first and third"

Paradox
09-07-2003, 16:34
It is my understanding that the Ancient Ancient Age 10YEAR is sold now only in Ky and Tenn...here in Ohio and many other places we get the AAA 10 STAR which I have been told is a 6yr +.



Virginia ABC Stores (http://www.abc.state.va.us/Pricelist/STRAIGHT%20BOURBON%20WHISKEY.html) have always sold it and seem to still sell it. They had tons when I was down there not too long ago...

Buckky
09-07-2003, 16:50
Thanks....I had heard that and forgot.....I remember when you could cross the south from Virginia to Texas and beyond and get AAA 10 Year everywhere....those days have changed...and probably for the better for I personally would take Buffalo Trace over AAA 10yr anyday (duh)...but I sure wish BT would get a much wider distribution....it too is now only in a few states but I have read that they are trying to broaden its distribution asap....anyone at BT wish to comment??

robbyvirus
09-07-2003, 17:41
It is my understanding that the Ancient Ancient Age 10YEAR is sold now only in Ky and Tenn...here in Ohio and many other places we get the AAA 10 STAR which I have been told is a 6yr +.



Virginia ABC Stores (http://www.abc.state.va.us/Pricelist/STRAIGHT%20BOURBON%20WHISKEY.html) have always sold it and seem to still sell it. They had tons when I was down there not too long ago...



I found AAA for sale in Atlanta, Georgia when I was there last spring.

jeff
09-07-2003, 18:07
Nope, not seen it yet. I have seen the newly labeled 86 proof in 1.75L bottles though. I figure it is just a matter of inventory rotation, so eventually it'll get here. But sadly, there are many dust-covered bottles of the OF100 on the shelves already. I think I might be the only person in Lexington buying the OF100 http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

chaz
09-08-2003, 05:35
Wish I could look at those dusty Old Foresters because I too believe OF 100 has been 'played' with within the last year. There was a post a month or two ago mentioning OF 100 1.5ers being marked down somewhere in Missouri and the way it now tastes I see it going down further. Are they using the better barrels for WR or BB/ Who knows, but something happened http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/soapbox.gif

kitzg
09-08-2003, 13:15
I hope you enjoy. You certainly have a big list to choose from.

Keep in mind that occaisionally you'll find a bar with a good selection of bourbons -- but not often. I was very surprised in Seattle to run across one. But that is a very good way to try a few without going for the whole bottle. And the reminder to keep notes and then hang onto them is a good one. I've tasted dozens but a few notes got away from me. Also a problem when trying to cram in several bourbons at one tasting. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

And be sure to remember that those in this forum don't totally agree on what's "good." I just don't like several that others brag about and I am sure some would not understand why I like a particular one -- it is all a matter of taste.

Enjoy -- and thanks for letting us be part of your whisk(e)y [the 'e' is not included in Europe] exploration. I'll be interested in reading the result! --

Nick
09-08-2003, 14:11
Well I haven't gotten very far yet, but I thought the results of my first planed trip to Bourbonia.

First off, I had no idea how few places (in my area) carry bourbon beyond JB white. I havenít done any extensive searching yet (just hit a couple of local liquor stores and a supermarket on the way home from work last night) But was able to find hardly anything. I did come across one place that had Wild Turkey 101, Old Forester 86, and old Granddad 86. So I grabbed a bottle of old Forester and wild turkey.

I haven't done a side by side comparison yet. I think that may be a bit premature for my still developing bourbon pallet, but I did try them both, and liked them both. I have to give the edge to the wild turkey for two reasons.

1)it had a stronger caramel taste to it (which I really liked and was surprised by)
2)I had a horrible time trying to get the Old Forester bottle's wrapping off http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

That isn't to say I didn't like it after I got it open. But when its a close call its the little things that count.

Now if I understand correctly these are both high rye bourbons. So I am going to try to pick up a wheated Bourbon next. (I was thinking the Old Weller 12 year old that Dave had suggested, but I don't know if I can find it or not)

Thanks for all the glad tidings and suggestions,
Keep em coming.

Nick

kitzg
09-09-2003, 08:40
Sorry you had trouble finding good bourbon. I'm lucky to be able to get into Ky several times a year and yet my local source has a fair variety.

Your recent post prompted two reactions:

1. OF is one brand that many people in this forum seem to like but it is not my favorite at all.

2. I particularly like caramel notes and among the higher volume bourbons I recommend Knob Creek. You can surely find that at a restaurant or bar sometime.

Enjoy!

Dave_in_Canada
09-09-2003, 09:26
Enjoy -- and thanks for letting us be part of your whisk(e)y [the 'e' is not included in Europe] exploration. I'll be interested in reading the result! --



I juste wanted to clarify the spelling of worde whisk(e)y http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

The Americans include the 'e' with the exception of Maker's Mark, Early Times, and Dickel (tennessee) (there may be others too)> And the Canadians, like the Scottish, drop the 'e' to spell Whisky. The Irish go with the 'e', and the Japanese drop the 'e'. In most cases, the generic spelling is Whiskey.

kitzg
09-09-2003, 12:35
My post: Enjoy -- and thanks for letting us be part of your whisk(e)y [the 'e' is not included in Europe] exploration. I'll be interested in reading the result! --


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Dave's post: I juste wanted to clarify the spelling of worde whisk(e)y

The Americans include the 'e' with the exception of Maker's Mark, Early Times, and Dickel (tennessee) (there may be others too)> And the Canadians, like the Scottish, drop the 'e' to spell Whisky. The Irish go with the 'e', and the Japanese drop the 'e'. In most cases, the generic spelling is Whiskey.


I oversimplified http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Thank(e)y

bluesbassdad
09-09-2003, 14:02
OK, then. So this is an obvious exception to my earlier pronouncement about the general lack of concern regarding spelling in these parts. IOW, we only sweat the important stuff when it comes to spelling. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

kitzg
09-09-2003, 14:08
Perhaps the book Emily Post ON Posting would help. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Hey, as long as we spell Bourbon correctly

whoo carres aboot th resst
-- Greg

Paradox
09-09-2003, 14:36
Two of Dave's favorite books to give out as gifts...

bluesbassdad
09-09-2003, 15:11
No way, man! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

That'd be like giving a gift certificate to Weight Watchers (TM) or a case of deodorant. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

The only time I take exception to what I perceive as misuse of the English language is when it is done by media types, and even educators, who I think bear responsibilty as role models of sorts.

My friends ( http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif ) can dangle participles, split infinitives, and use run-on sentences all they want. I figure that if anyone wants my advice in such matters, he or she (Whew! I almost wrote "they". Close call.) will ask for it. The last time that happened was some time before 1998, the year I retired.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Dave_in_Canada
09-09-2003, 15:17
LOL This, my friends, is called bird-tracking. Poor Nick was just lookin' for some advice and now he has to wade through pages of grammatical ponderings.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Dave, the whisky and whiskey lover.

kitzg
09-09-2003, 18:34
Oh, Sh#t -- Now since I am an educator you want me to be a role model! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Well, at least I enjoyed the fun with Dave.

Greg