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View Full Version : EWSB 2002 or 2003?



ramblinman
04-10-2013, 19:36
Haven't had a bottle of this stuff yet, and after having quite a bit of EW black label at the in-laws a few weeks back I feel like trying it.

My open count has gotten a little large lately and I'm running out of room, so probably only buying one for the time being. Both on the shelf at my local, between the two which vintage do/did you prefer?

Clavius
04-10-2013, 20:35
2002 was good but I'm really liking the 2003. Don't think you can go wrong with either, though.

KyFriedChicken
04-10-2013, 20:49
EWSB 2003 is a great choice. If you stumble across a 2000 vintage I would recommend it over the 02 or 03, but what a great bargain all around. Enjoy!

Danger
04-10-2013, 21:00
2002 has a great bouquet, and is silky-smooth but a bit short on flavor. Can't speak to the 03.

MauiSon
04-11-2013, 01:25
I don't believe that thinking about each vintage as distinct is realistic, it's more of a continuum as one year progresses to another. Each barrel is distinct, but the process is not altered when the vintage date changes, as far as I know. In other words, it is entirely unlike Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, for instance, where the aging or the mashbill is altered in a uniform manner each year.

omgmarclol
04-11-2013, 08:57
of the past 4 vintages, 00-03, i enjoyed '00 and '03 the best. those two years are the only one's i've bought multiples of.

cowdery
04-11-2013, 09:11
I like the 2003 better than the 2002, but they're very similar and you can't go wrong with either one.

Flyfish
04-11-2013, 15:46
of the past 4 vintages, 00-03, i enjoyed '00 and '03 the best. those two years are the only one's i've bought multiples of.

My wife and I did a blind tasting of these vintages. I preferred the '00 but she liked the '03. With that said, there was a clear family resemblance and repeating the tasting might easily produce different results. The maginal difference between "this is pretty good" and "this is damn good" is hard to quantify.

MyOldKyDram
04-11-2013, 15:54
Depends. We talking reviewer honey barrel here or not?

ER07
04-12-2013, 06:08
I'd go with the 2003

ThirstyinOhio
04-12-2013, 06:19
I had my first pour of the 03 just a couple of nights ago and holy crap I was blown away. My bottle of 03 was heads and shoulders above the 02 bottle that I had.

RBancroft
04-12-2013, 07:59
My wife and I did a blind tasting of these vintages. I preferred the '00 but she liked the '03. With that said, there was a clear family resemblance and repeating the tasting might easily produce different results. The maginal difference between "this is pretty good" and "this is damn good" is hard to quantify.

If you don't mind me asking, were you able to find the 2003 in Toledo? I had been looking, but was never able to find any.

ramblinman
04-12-2013, 09:03
Looks like the consensus is 2003 was a bit better. Thanks all, probably going to pick it up today for my Friday treat.

And MauiSon, understood, I knew that the recipe/method wasn't changed, but I assumed different years the weather affects the grains and such. Allowing for the difference between single barrel and "small batch", is there any more variation between a different vintage EWSB than say between a few EC12 bottles (to keep discussion within same distiller)? The EC12 has a profile they're looking to build and keep somewhat consistent between bottling but to my taste they've got a wide path and I've had bottles of it that felt more like cousins than siblings.

JPBoston
04-12-2013, 12:07
Looks like the consensus is 2003 was a bit better. Thanks all, probably going to pick it up today for my Friday treat.

And MauiSon, understood, I knew that the recipe/method wasn't changed, but I assumed different years the weather affects the grains and such. Allowing for the difference between single barrel and "small batch", is there any more variation between a different vintage EWSB than say between a few EC12 bottles (to keep discussion within same distiller)? The EC12 has a profile they're looking to build and keep somewhat consistent between bottling but to my taste they've got a wide path and I've had bottles of it that felt more like cousins than siblings.

I think you'll find a lot of similar opinions on EC12 varying from bottle to bottle. There was some discussion regarding this a year or two ago.

BB Slim
04-25-2013, 18:38
Seems like the majority here prefer the 2003 EWSB over the 2002. I know the 2000 vintage is the "Holy Grail" of EWSB but does anyone have any thoughts about the 2001 vintage especially in comparison to the 2003?

Parkersback
04-25-2013, 19:01
I'm working through a bottle of 2002 right now, and it's the first time I've understood the accusation against HH whiskey for being too minty. This one has a lot of that going on.

HighHorse
05-02-2013, 19:00
Our barrel team picked an '02 that was (is) very good. A few weeks ago we were back in the rick house and picked an '03 that was excellent out of the barrel. It has not come in yet and it will be interesting to try them side by side. EWSB continues to climb up the ladder for me. On a shelf with about 100 quality bottles it's overlooked too often. HH makes darn good bourbon IMO .. Bernheim being the exception.

p_elliott
05-03-2013, 08:33
Bernheim isn't bourbon so you're comparing apples to oranges.

theglobalguy
05-04-2013, 14:36
Both are tremendous value, but have to agree with the masses that 2003 was my favorite of the two.

WhiskyRI
05-05-2013, 06:05
I just found in the last few months the following EWSBs - 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2002. No 2003 on the shelves in RI yet that I've seen. The 1997 and 2000 I just got on Friday and there were 2 bottles of 2000 left, though given consensus here I'll be going back for those 2000s. I haven't cracked any of them open yet because I want to know a bit of what to expect and because I might be do a vertical tasting. (and because I already have too many open bottles). Among the EWSB cognoscenti how do those vintages compare?

mosugoji64
05-05-2013, 21:43
I just found in the last few months the following EWSBs - 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2002. No 2003 on the shelves in RI yet that I've seen. The 1997 and 2000 I just got on Friday and there were 2 bottles of 2000 left, though given consensus here I'll be going back for those 2000s. I haven't cracked any of them open yet because I want to know a bit of what to expect and because I might be do a vertical tasting. (and because I already have too many open bottles). Among the EWSB cognoscenti how do those vintages compare?

I have all of the vintages you mentioned and find the '97 and '00 to be my favorites (along with the '98, which isn't in the list). A vertical is a lot of fun with these, particularly with the '96 and earlier vintages, '97, '98/'99, and '00 and later as they were all different distilleries. Have fun with your tastings and let us know what you think!

deathevocation
05-06-2013, 04:20
I've just opened a 02. Will post thoughts later. Had two bottles of the 00 and have two bunkered, great drop. Also got a 97 unopened. Been drinking quite a bit of black label lately too. Thumbs up H&H. Good value and quality.

Dolph Lundgren
05-06-2013, 05:08
I'm a big fan of 2003. One of the best values in whiskey right now, especially if you stumble on a store that has it marked down to $19.99.

deathevocation
05-06-2013, 05:13
Had two glasses of the 02. Don't think it is in the same class as the 00 and is very short on the finish.

Richnimrod
05-08-2013, 14:25
I have all of the vintages you mentioned and find the '97 and '00 to be my favorites (along with the '98, which isn't in the list). A vertical is a lot of fun with these, particularly with the '96 and earlier vintages, '97, '98/'99, and '00 and later as they were all different distilleries. Have fun with your tastings and let us know what you think!

Can anyone explain to a novice (?moron?) what the heck a "vertical tasting" is???? I'd suppose you'd spill it all before any got into your mouth....:rolleyes:

ramblinman
05-08-2013, 14:48
Can anyone explain to a novice (?moron?) what the heck a "vertical tasting" is???? I'd suppose you'd spill it all before any got into your mouth....:rolleyes:I believe that he is refering to tasting them in order

Richnimrod
05-08-2013, 18:05
I believe that he is refering to tasting them in order

:cool: Thanx ramblinman, that actually makes some sense. I imagine this would be an interesting brand to try that with, especially if one had the entire series to sort through. I've only tasted '01, '02 & '03, having come only lately to the Bourbon Party. IMO the '01 is very good, the '02 not quite as good, the '03 is the best of the 3. :rolleyes:

ramblinman
05-08-2013, 20:54
And to be a little more specific, vertical tasting isn't necessarily in year order but it is just tasting the same brand/expression of wine/beer/spirit from multiple years. Horizontal tasting would be tasting things all produced in the same year, region, with similar ingredients but by different producers to highlight differences between their styles.

JLH3
05-08-2013, 21:05
Having my first sips of the 2003. It's been awhile since I had the 2002, but my memory says I wasn't that impressed with the 2002 and this seems much better.

squire
05-08-2013, 21:06
When I go horizontal I quit tasting.

Richnimrod
05-09-2013, 05:03
When I go horizontal I quit tasting.

Good Call, squire! You're quite liable to spill some when trying to taste 'em 'horizontal'; so, quitting at that point will probably conserve valuable 'stash'. I do find a straw can help one continue, once the 'horizontal' condition becomes irreversible......:bigeyes:

squire
05-12-2013, 13:29
Horizontal drinking is a skill I haven't developed . . . yet.

JLH3
05-12-2013, 14:14
I have to say I am very impressed with the 2003. A little light in the mouth but with great flavor. I've read pineapple and vanilla on the front with spice on the end and agree. I will be buying more of it.

WhiskyRI
05-16-2013, 04:37
ramblinman and richnimrod - another interpretation of horizontal tasting is tasting multiple expressions from the same distillery to showcase cask management - this is especially true in the Scotch Whisky world - Glenmorangie being a readily available example with their Original, Quinta Ruban, Nectar D'or, Lasanta, etc. The obvious Bourbon example is Four Roses and tasting across their different mashbill and yeast combinations.

Wryguy
05-16-2013, 05:19
I think as yet horizontal tasting of whiskies has not been strictly defined. To borrow from wine terms, a horizontal tasting occurs when vintage is the common factor, compared from different producers. To give an example from that definition, then we would do a horizontal tasting of wheated bourbons from 99 from different distilleries. Now I know that you run a tasting company, and hence probably use the term horizontal tasting more than I, but I would term the Glenmorangie tasting you referred to above as a Glenmorangie tasting, or a distillery tasting or flight, but not a horizontal tasting. In fact, I prefer richnimrod's definition. I think of it as a wine term that doesn't really apply as much to whiskey. We like our own terms (Robert Parker is most everyone's bitch around these parts). Other whiskey people define it as: Horizontal - whiskeys of the same age or type from different distilleries. A google search of horizontal whiskey tasting places your site as the 5th result and the 4 results that come before define horizontal whiskey tasting differently from you and are all pretty much in agreement with each other. Just my 2 cents.

WhiskyRI
05-17-2013, 13:59
Wryguy - good points to keep in mind. There are so many ways to look at it - I usually make sure to itemize what's being tasted. And you are right that wine terms create confusion because concepts don't exactly translate - for example a 12 year whisky may have older spirit in it, unless it is a single cask, so it can't really compare against another 12 year spirit in the same way wines of the vintage year can be compared. The short-hand really doesn't matter either way. At the end of the day, call it what you want, and just taste the whisky. I do know this though - if you taste too much whisky you'll definitely be horizontal eventually.