PDA

View Full Version : Top Ten List - Bourbon



WarlKicken
05-21-2013, 05:29
HulloThere!

After introducing myself I thought I'd now get down to the 'nitty gritty' of asking a burning question! I'm into Makers Mark in a big way. It was the first 'proper' Kentucky bourbon that I got in to, and the littering of empty bottles I've accumlated is testiment to my new found love. I have searched the interweb for various "Top Ten Bourbon" list but was wondering if there was a, sort of, holy bible (as it were) of Bourbons? One "definitive" list that one could use to expand the tastebuds.

I have an extremely well stocked local Whiskey shop that keeps most things available so I should be able to order most things suggested (unless ridiculously rare - which I doubt I could afford anyway). I guess I should divulge my current stock:

- Makers Mark
- Jefferson's Reserve Very Old
- W L Weller 12 Year Old
- Blanton's Straight from the barrel

Those are my current tipples. Can anyone suggest anything that 'should' be in my collection? I appreciate it's all debateable, preference related etc etc but if there are some decent, sippers/ Old Fashioned ingredient bourbons I am missing out on, it'd sure be appreciated if someone could enlighten me. I like them oaky and sweet if possible...coming from a more Rum based background.

Many thanks
WK

z327
05-21-2013, 06:31
I'm also fairly new to this hobby. I used the San Fransisco Spirits Competition Gold and double gold medal list to guide me. Everyone's tastes are different and I have found mine change over time as I progress. When I started two years ago I could have never sipped a high proof GTS and enjoy it like I do today. At first Rye's were too spicy and now the spicier the better.

Richnimrod
05-21-2013, 07:38
Making the obvious statement first; that all palates are different, and each palate is also variable from day to day, here are a few that should get one started with some variety in order to explore different styles.
Larceny (wheater)
Old Weller Antique 107 (wheater)
Old Fitzgerald (wheater)
Very Special Old Fitzgerald 12 year (wheater) These four area probably in your area ofn preference; but do yourself a favor and add some of the following to your stash:
Old Forester Signature
Buffalo Trace
Knob Creek
Elijah Craig 12 year
Old Grand Dad (& OGD 114)
Wild Turkey101
All of these (6, or 7) are rye mashbill Bourbons with varying similarities and differences.

Sampling from this list will expand your experience and help you understand the range of possibilities, which stretch for quite a ways. :rolleyes:

mosugoji64
05-21-2013, 08:33
Making the obvious statement first; that all palates are different, and each palate is also variable from day to day, here are a few that should get one started with some variety in order to explore different styles.
Larceny (wheater)
Old Weller Antique 107 (wheater)
Old Fitzgerald (wheater)
Very Special Old Fitzgerald 12 year (wheater) These four area probably in your area ofn preference; but do yourself a favor and add some of the following to your stash:
Old Forester Signature
Buffalo Trace
Knob Creek
Elijah Craig 12 year
Old Grand Dad (& OGD 114)
Wild Turkey101
All of these (6, or 7) are rye mashbill Bourbons with varying similarities and differences.

Sampling from this list will expand your experience and help you understand the range of possibilities, which stretch for quite a ways. :rolleyes:

That's a great list of reasonably-priced bottles to start with. I would add any of the Bonded HH brands as they are very good and very inexpensive. Also some VOB if you can get it.

squire
05-21-2013, 08:51
I could list a couple dozen that you might like but it may be more useful to list what to avoid.

First off, don't waste your money on a brand because it costs a lot, comes in a fancy bottle or the wine tasters in a competition liked it. I will not buy any brand, especially a costly one, where the producer refuses to tell me what's in the bottle. If they won't then either they're not proud of their product or they're hiding something like an ordinary whisky in a fancy bottle. That and the bottle you buy today might not be the same whisky as what was in the brand last month.

Second, we live in the best of times for being a whisky consumer. There are more high quality brands of proven provenance available than ever before and we don't have to guess who made them.

Third, any brand you consider buying can be reviewed here first on StraightBourbon.com before you make a purchase decision.

Fourth, it's your money, your choice and you're the boss of the transaction. Say you save up $75-$100 for a really good bottle, do you spend your hard earned money on a hyped up highly packaged brand with contents of uncertain parentage (yes, they're a lot of high priced bastards out there) or instead buy an excellent bottle of proven stuff like Parker Heritage Collection, Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection or Four Roses Limited Editions. Or why spend $59.95 for a hyped label (again, uncertain origins), an underaged Micro (with special, secret aging) or anything like that when you can have Bookers, Bakers, Evan Williams Single Barrel, Elmer T. Lee or any number of Single Barrel offerings whose origin is guaranteed.

So buy what appeals to you, taste it, post about it and we will chime in, there's no shortage of opinion around here.

WarlKicken
05-21-2013, 09:51
Many thanks for all the replies. I have saved up about 200.00 to spend and add to my collection. I completely agree with Mosugoji64, in that I don't want to spank a load on something I won't like! (I bought a bottle of Fleur de Cana 18yo at just under 55.00 and hated the stuff!!). I have a basket that currently contains two reasonably priced bottles, I was thinking of hitting up a decent amount of cash on a special bottle (as I like to do).

Two reasonable bottles are: Blanton's Original (to go with the straight from the barrel I bought and loved but something a bit less pricey and drinkable with the Original) and a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel as it intrigues me.

What about for a decent bottle? Do I grab a special edition Four Roses as suggested above? Parker?

Ahhhh!!

Richnimrod
05-21-2013, 15:53
[QUOTE=WarlKicken;343824]
What about for a decent bottle? Do I grab a special edition Four Roses as suggested above? Parker?

Either of these two, from this year are among the finest Bourbons (in my opinion) that one might hope to taste... EVER. :rolleyes:

Meruck
05-21-2013, 17:44
I was going to say pick a few your really interested in and have a pour at your local bar to see if its worth it to you, but then you started talking pounds and load spanking. I dont know what the availability is for good bourbons at bars in the UK is, but several sites on your side sell drams for samples.

Alden
05-21-2013, 18:02
I'm pretty new too, and my list is similar to those already posted here. In no particular order:

Four Roses Small Batch
Four Roses Yellow label
Buffalo Trace
Knob Creek
Woodford Reserve
Old Grand Dad 114
Old Forrester
Elijah Craig
Weller 12
Wild Turkey 101

BB Slim
05-21-2013, 20:29
If you haven't already read the "How to Get Started" thread I would suggest giving it a look. Another thread you may find useful is "http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?19306-Best-Bourbon-For-10-20-30-40-50. If the link doesn't work it is on page 7 of the general bourbon discussion. If you read this post you will see a lot of the same names coming up repeatedly. This will kind of give you an informal idea of what the top bourbons are around here. As far as the $80 and up bourbon's: PHC, BTAC, PVW (15,20,23), FR Limited Edition's, GTS, Saz. 18 and WLW get a lot of recognition.

Jono
05-21-2013, 21:13
At some point, add a rye such as Rittenhouse 100.

WarlKicken
05-22-2013, 07:35
Hi All,

Took the plunge! I'd like to thank everyone for having their say. I completely appreciate it's all based on ones own preference and tastes but getting the knowledge of so many experts in the field, is definitely worth while in my honest opinion.

My basket:
- Old Fitzgerald 12 year old; Seemed a popular choice and one I definitely 'should' have on the shelf
- Four Roses Single Barrel; Always wanted to try some Four Roses, this is a little on the stronger side but another popular suggestion. I would love to have been able to afford the Limited Edition version but it was twice the price!
- Jefferson's Presidential 18 year old; I decent little bottle based on some suggestions. I wanted a 'slight more expensive BUT decent' sipper and this won overall.

Many thanks again, you're all brilliant. I'll certainly report back my findings.

Thanks,
WK

P&MLiquorsEric
05-22-2013, 08:37
Hi All,

Took the plunge! I'd like to thank everyone for having their say. I completely appreciate it's all based on ones own preference and tastes but getting the knowledge of so many experts in the field, is definitely worth while in my honest opinion.

My basket:
- Old Fitzgerald 12 year old; Seemed a popular choice and one I definitely 'should' have on the shelf
- Four Roses Single Barrel; Always wanted to try some Four Roses, this is a little on the stronger side but another popular suggestion. I would love to have been able to afford the Limited Edition version but it was twice the price!
- Jefferson's Presidential 18 year old; I decent little bottle based on some suggestions. I wanted a 'slight more expensive BUT decent' sipper and this won overall.

Many thanks again, you're all brilliant. I'll certainly report back my findings.

Thanks,
WK

No one can argue those choices. All very well respected. Some will differ on the JPS18 based on price but the consensus is that it is a very good wheated bourbon. It might also be the last of new products with the famed stitzell weller juice.

black mamba
05-22-2013, 09:15
I like them oaky and sweet if possible...
Many thanks
WK

I would definitely give the extra-aged offerings from Heaven Hill a try, especially since they are not too expensive.

> Elijah Craig 12 yr, about $22
> Henry McKenna Single Barrel 10 yr, about $25
> Evan Williams Single Barrel 10 yr, about $26
> Ezra B Single Barrel 12 yr, about $28.

These prices are for the St. Louis area, but any of these are still a good buy at $5 more a bottle, so giv'em a shot.

Buffalo Trace's Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel is another citrus sweet offering with good oak presence, around $30.

p_elliott
05-22-2013, 11:11
I would definitely give the extra-aged offerings from Heaven Hill a try, especially since they are not too expensive.

> Elijah Craig 12 yr, about $22
> Henry McKenna Single Barrel 10 yr, about $25
> Evan Williams Single Barrel 10 yr, about $26
> Ezra B Single Barrel 12 yr, about $28.

These prices are for the St. Louis area, but any of these are still a good buy at $5 more a bottle, so giv'em a shot.

Buffalo Trace's Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel is another citrus sweet offering with good oak presence, around $30.
Ezra B is not a HH product it's sold by a NDP Luxco who probably buys it from HH.

tigerlam92
05-22-2013, 19:02
For the Four Roses, they make very good bourbon. However, there are many recipes so you may have to be patient and give some a chance not base it on one.

For me the 2012 Limited is much better and different than the normal single barrel and barrel strength version.

Cheers
Hugh

P&MLiquorsEric
05-22-2013, 19:26
For the Four Roses, they make very good bourbon. However, there are many recipes so you may have to be patient and give some a chance not base it on one.

For me the 2012 Limited is much better and different than the normal single barrel and barrel strength version.

Cheers
Hugh

The 2013 limited single barrel is excellent also. Wish I could find another 2012. They are very different bourbons.

unclebunk
05-23-2013, 07:19
My top ten are the one I just had and the nine I'm about to.:grin:

squire
05-23-2013, 07:41
There were ten shots in the bottle, right?

WarlKicken
05-23-2013, 11:55
Wow!

Holy smoke balls!!! Just whipped out the Makers46 sampling glassware. Old Fitzgerald couldn't wait to get out of the bottle! Ha. Packaged so well, I accidentally unscrewed the bottle :)

I have now sampled both Old Fitzgerald and Four Rose Single Barrel. Both sublime and delicious. Jefferson's Presidential 18yo has decided to turn up late so still waiting...


Thanks a bunch chaps!! A new world awaits :)

WK x

squire
05-23-2013, 12:56
A World of wonder and adventure, welcome to the journey.

Danger
05-24-2013, 22:03
I could list a couple dozen that you might like but it may be more useful to list what to avoid.

First off, don't waste your money on a brand because it costs a lot, comes in a fancy bottle or the wine tasters in a competition liked it. I will not buy any brand, especially a costly one, where the producer refuses to tell me what's in the bottle. If they won't then either they're not proud of their product or they're hiding something like an ordinary whisky in a fancy bottle. That and the bottle you buy today might not be the same whisky as what was in the brand last month.

Second, we live in the best of times for being a whisky consumer. There are more high quality brands of proven provenance available than ever before and we don't have to guess who made them.

Third, any brand you consider buying can be reviewed here first on StraightBourbon.com before you make a purchase decision.

Fourth, it's your money, your choice and you're the boss of the transaction. Say you save up $75-$100 for a really good bottle, do you spend your hard earned money on a hyped up highly packaged brand with contents of uncertain parentage (yes, they're a lot of high priced bastards out there) or instead buy an excellent bottle of proven stuff like Parker Heritage Collection, Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection or Four Roses Limited Editions. Or why spend $59.95 for a hyped label (again, uncertain origins), an underaged Micro (with special, secret aging) or anything like that when you can have Bookers, Bakers, Evan Williams Single Barrel, Elmer T. Lee or any number of Single Barrel offerings whose origin is guaranteed.

So buy what appeals to you, taste it, post about it and we will chime in, there's no shortage of opinion around here.


Do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

squire
05-24-2013, 22:33
Nah, that would be like work and I've met enough deadlines in my time.

ChainWhip
05-24-2013, 23:45
Yeah, I think that's the longest Squire post I've ever read.