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BB Slim
05-14-2013, 17:01
Keeping personal tastes in mind, what are the limited production, rare, and hard to find boubons that should be considered "must buys" if found while out and about? Some that I think apply are: 2012 FRSB LE, Old Charter 13yr. Proprietors Reserve, Woodford Reserve Four Grain (batch #2), EWSB 2000, and any Van Winkle product.

squire
05-14-2013, 17:24
I suggest you go back to the store where you found the Old Charter Proprietors Reserve and see if they have any more.

Alden
05-14-2013, 17:31
Get some of the regular 4R Small Batch; while not rare, it is certainly a very good one.

Old Forrester Signature is also very good.

Grain Belt
05-14-2013, 17:41
I had a early 90's bottle of Wild Turkey 12 year old this weekend. I bought it as a dusty this winter. It was so dark and full of flavor. I was so glad I got to share it with my dad.

BB Slim
05-14-2013, 18:22
I suggest you go back to the store where you found the Old Charter Proprietors Reserve and see if they have any more.

I wish I had found some Old Charter Proprietors Reserve. I didn't mean to suggest that I had already purchased the bourbons I mentioned but that I should jump on the chance to buy them if I were to come across them. I was also hoping to generate some discussion on what the bourbon lovers here felt shouldn't be passed on if found.

BB Slim
05-14-2013, 18:41
Get some of the regular 4R Small Batch; while not rare, it is certainly a very good one.

Old Forrester Signature is also very good.

Thanks for the suggestions Alden but I guess I was too vague in my original post. FRSB and OFS are very good but fairly easy to find. I was hoping to identify bourbons that shouldn't be passed on if found because they are so highly sought after.

DBM
05-14-2013, 19:09
Keeping personal tastes in mind, what are the limited production, rare, and hard to find boubons that should be considered "must buys" if found while out and about. What I have so far are: 2012 FRSB LE, Old Charter 13yr. Proprietors Reserve, Woodford Reserve Four Grain (batch #2), EWSB 2000, and any Van Winkle product.
If you focus on the high end, limited production bottlings, you will realize very quickly that this line of thinking leads to an empty bank account and a lot more bourbon than you probably wanted. It's always exciting to scoop up a hard to find bottle, but be fairly sure that you are going to enjoy drinking what you buy. Your list does include mostly no-longer-available-at-retail labels, but if you add up everyone's "must buys" with out of production selections, it will likely be a very long list and you'll eventually come across enough that you'll have the same empty bank account problem. :)

Also keep in mind that some regions (and people) potentially have access to a lot more (or less) variety and rare bottles than you might be accustomed to, so your "hard to find bourbon" list might be their "walk to the nearest liquor store and it will likely be available" list, and visa versa.

Personally I wouldn't include "any Van Winkle product". There is a considerable difference between the ORVW 10 to the PVW23 (not to mention the rye) that doesn't make them automatic buys for me, even at a reasonable price.

I would add your preferred BTAC style to that list... not the entire collection, but the style(s) that you prefer. BT does a good job of highlighting the strengths (pun intended) of the mashbill with each label. I would also add OWA gold vein and possibly Weller Centennial. And PHC cognac.

Dusties are another subject altogether and can have their own threads that you can search for. I'll admit, I haven't ventured into the yesteryears of bourbon that was released before I could legally drink in 2000, but I hear some of it can be pretty tasty.

TheRod
05-14-2013, 19:09
This reminds me of the guy that started a thread wanting a list of all the best dusties, which put off some people in the collectibles section...including me...and I'm a novice!

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?17305-Is-there-a-newbie-dusty-list

SmokinJoe put it quite elegantly...


How 'bout you fellas use the search function, and play around on the site for a few days? Do some of your own research? Maybe, come to a Sampler, Fall Festival, or two? You'll learn a TON about dusties.

Y'all need to put a little more into it than just asking for a list...

Trust me...you'll appreciate the hunt a lot more.

squire
05-14-2013, 19:37
BB I noticed in your opening post you listed any Van Winkle product which is a bit more broad than I would reach. While they have an undeniable appeal to the label conscious they are only wheat recipe whiskys which is just one variety of Bourbon.

The exception is the Family Reserve Rye which is the only one of the line I would consider buying.

BigBoldBully
05-14-2013, 21:11
If you have and are willing to spend enough $, I would suggest buying a bottle of each locally available bourbon that looks even remotely promising (taking care not to ignore bottom shelfers). Open said bottles and sample the contents repeatedly. At some point you will come to a conclusion about which if any are the must haves, the ones you would be very upset to learn are suddenly not available anymore. Bunker a few extras of each, and read up on all those exotic bourbons you have not yet seen in light of your personal opinions about the bourbons that are more easily available to you. Your experience with the "locals" should give you a decent idea as to which you are most interested, and which you can feel safe passing on despite any hype. At least, that is how I am going about it.

Alphanumeric
05-14-2013, 21:17
http://spiritsjournal.klwines.com/klwinescom-spirits-blog/2013/5/7/robert-parker-tackles-bourbon.html

I have it on good authority that that is the definitive list.

miller542
05-14-2013, 21:33
...what are the limited production...must buys

I think you said it. Anything currently in limited production or one-off could be considered a must buy. By definition, these are easy to spot. In addition to those already listed, I'll add Elijah Craig Barrel Proof and all the Parker's Heritage collection to the list, both are pretty hot right now.

While not technically dusties, these current items will become tomorrow's dusties. Remember, Evan Williams used to have a 7yr age statement not too long ago, and Basil Hayden just dropped the 8yr age statement, so any "normal" offering could quickly become a "must buy" and there are threads on here devoted to this. Incedently, having always lived in control states, this is where I've devoted most of my energy, tucking away the few items I really like knowing I won't be able to get them again.

As for the dusty side of things, I can't add anymore that what has already been provided, but sufice it to say, there is no "list"

miller542
05-14-2013, 21:36
http://spiritsjournal.klwines.com/klwinescom-spirits-blog/2013/5/7/robert-parker-tackles-bourbon.html

I have it on good authority that that is the definitive list.

well played sir.

squire
05-14-2013, 21:54
Or this:

Make a list of the most desirable Bourbons in your shopping area.

Do a search here on each one.

Began buying and tasting.

nd2005
05-15-2013, 03:09
http://spiritsjournal.klwines.com/klwinescom-spirits-blog/2013/5/7/robert-parker-tackles-bourbon.html

I have it on good authority that that is the definitive list.

Sadly I've gotten emails from a couple of liquor stores touting this as well and encouraging folks to come in and get the "Parker approved" bourbons.

squire
05-15-2013, 07:20
That's both sad and funny at the same time.

black mamba
05-15-2013, 07:44
I agree completely with squire about the VWFRR, it's their best offering, but would not pass up a 20 yo Pappy if under $125.

Please add Sazerac 18 to your list, I find it the best of the BTACs, but again, would not be a buyer if gouged.

P&MLiquorsEric
05-15-2013, 08:36
I agree completely with squire about the VWFRR, it's their best offering, but would not pass up a 20 yo Pappy if under $125.

Please add Sazerac 18 to your list, I find it the best of the BTACs, but again, would not be a buyer if gouged.

One piece of advice that I can offer with pricing: It will vary greatly from state to state. When you travel and see something for 20% more than you have paid elsewhere, dont assume they are gouging. State wholesale taxes vary greatly.

And I would recommend buying any of the Van Winkle products you come across at reasonable prices. They can be parlayed into just about any bourbon you want. And reasonable pricing (at least in KY) is as follows. 23 (under 300), 20 (under 150), 15 (under 100), 12 year (under 75), Rye (under 80), 10/107 (under 50).

Same with BTAC if you can find them under ($90) each. I would even say $100 each but some people think that is expensive.

theglobalguy
05-15-2013, 14:36
One piece of advice that I can offer with pricing: It will vary greatly from state to state. When you travel and see something for 20% more than you have paid elsewhere, dont assume they are gouging. State wholesale taxes vary greatly.

And I would recommend buying any of the Van Winkle products you come across at reasonable prices. They can be parlayed into just about any bourbon you want. And reasonable pricing (at least in KY) is as follows. 23 (under 300), 20 (under 150), 15 (under 100), 12 year (under 75), Rye (under 80), 10/107 (under 50).

Same with BTAC if you can find them under ($90) each. I would even say $100 each but some people think that is expensive.

Thanks for the balanced view of things. I can remember stumbling across a few hard to find bottles in CO and in WA only to shake my head at the the difference in price. Hindsight being what it is, should have snagged them.

MauiSon
05-15-2013, 14:54
I agree that prices vary, but it has little to do with taxes. Look at this data list: EC12 - $26, WT101 - $17, BT - $23, ETL - $32, Blanton's - $37, FRB - $20, FRSmB - $35, FR1B - $45. I think you'll agree that distributors and retailers are clearly able to set prices in a wide range without regard to taxes (these are everyday prices).

P&MLiquorsEric
05-15-2013, 15:06
My wholesale cost on blantons is about 7 bucks more than that. And I am less than 30 miles away from the distillery. State taxes vary greatly. I know that in ky my distributors pay 18% to the state for everything they deliver to me. The Feds tax it when it is distilled and warehoused/aged.

MauiSon
05-15-2013, 15:17
You can blame your distributor, but you can't blame the taxes. I think there are not many places where FR1B is more expensive than Blanton's.

Hawaii Spirits Tax - $5.98/gal + .5% Wholesale Tax

Kntucky Spirits Tax - $6.86/gal + 11% Wholesale Tax

Not so different when you include s/h to Hawaii, eh?

Man, that makes me realize what a great deal I'm getting when I buy on-sale vodka from France @ $7/handle and Old Crow Reserve @ $11/handle!

squire
05-15-2013, 15:23
Oh, I can blame taxes, certainly.

P&MLiquorsEric
05-15-2013, 17:35
You can blame your distributor, but you can't blame the taxes. I think there are not many places where FR1B is more expensive than Blanton's.

Hawaii Spirits Tax - $5.98/gal + .5% Wholesale Tax

Kntucky Spirits Tax - $6.86/gal + 11% Wholesale Tax

Not so different when you include s/h to Hawaii, eh?

Man, that makes me realize what a great deal I'm getting when I buy on-sale vodka from France @ $7/handle and Old Crow Reserve @ $11/handle!

(.5% vs 10% and nearly an extra dollar per gallon) Those are huge differences. And shipping can be reduced big time when you consider economies of scale. Four Roses is sending 3 different products to Hawaii. Sazarac/BT is sending 100-150 when you consider their entire portfolio.

Does hawaii use the 3 tier system? That can run costs up fairly quickly.

HP12
05-15-2013, 18:18
PHC releases 1-4
Abraham Bowman "Gift Shop" 138.6 prf
Abraham Bowman Barrel Proof Ryes (TPS)

camduncan
05-15-2013, 19:15
And I would recommend buying any of the Van Winkle products you come across at reasonable prices. They can be parlayed into just about any bourbon you want. And reasonable pricing (at least in KY) is as follows. 23 (under 300), 20 (under 150), 15 (under 100), 12 year (under 75), Rye (under 80), 10/107 (under 50).

Same with BTAC if you can find them under ($90) each. I would even say $100 each but some people think that is expensive.

As an Aussie who's used to paying $50 for standard BT juice (700ml at 40 proof) and $90 for Bookers, i think those prices are excellent :)

BB Slim
05-15-2013, 19:38
I want to thank everyone for their opinions, comic relief (the K&L Parker thing made me laugh) and suggestions. After about 20 yrs. of enjoying bottom and mid shelfer's (with no complaints) I now have the luxury of an occasional splurge or two. Looking forward to finding a bottle or two of what's been suggested and sharing with my bourbon drinking friends.

ramblinman
05-16-2013, 11:37
For me its not expensive stuff, but for the mid (low?) shelf stuff that I just don't see around me. AAA 10 year, HH BiB would top that list.

miller542
05-16-2013, 12:00
AAA 10 year

IMHO, AAA 10yr is the best value on the market and has been for a while. YMMV.

ramblinman
05-16-2013, 12:18
IMHO, AAA 10yr is the best value on the market and has been for a while. YMMV.I have never had the pleasure, but I like AAA quite a bit, I figure the age statement can only make me enjoy it more.

squire
05-16-2013, 13:03
The first time I tasted the 10 year AAA I went back and bought a case.

darylld911
05-16-2013, 15:36
For me "must buy bourbons" are those I really love, but am out of - and short of others (hell - can't even buy my "must buy bourbons" when I run out of them if I have a bunch of other really good bourbon!!)

P&MLiquorsEric
05-16-2013, 15:54
AAA ten year is a great value. It did take a decent price increase recently but it is still a good value.

BB Slim
05-16-2013, 17:38
I kind of regret using the term "must buys" as the title of the thread. "Wow, I can't believe "blank" bottle is on the self. This must be my lucky day", would have been more what I was after. Speaking of luck I opened my email this evening to find that my name was selected in the bourbon lottery. I have won the right to purchase a bottle of Pappy VanWinkle 15yr. How serendipitous.

squire
05-16-2013, 18:30
Well I'm glad to see that lottery works.