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jimbo
09-23-2003, 11:00
I am a long time scotch drinker. I prefer the single malts from Islay, no ice, no water. I have maintained for years that I didn't like bourbon. (Probably as a result of drinking low cost whiskey mixed with coke.) But, I decided to give bourbon a try after reading some reviews by Dave Broom and Jim Murray.

I have tried Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Elijah Craig 12 yr and Maker's Mark 90 proof, no ice, no water. The Wild Turkey is execellent, the Maker's Mark is great and the Elijah Craig is very good.

I have the following on my shopping list:

Blanton's Gold Edition
Elmer T Lee Single Barrel
George Dickel Superior No 12
Jack Daniels Single Barrel
Knob Creek 9 yr
Booker's 7 yr
Evan Williams Single Barrel

Any suggestions or comments welcome.

Regards, Jim

Paradox
09-23-2003, 11:32
Welcome to the board Jim. Without knowing your location it is hard for me to say this for sure, but if you are in the US finding the Blanton's Gold edition will be hard. The standard Blanton's is superb so I would guess the Gold will be as well. I know it is very good at Barrel Proof. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif Keep in mind that George Dickel and Jack Daniels are not technically bourbon's but rather Tennessee Whiskies. Many on here have had mixed reviews about George Dickel No 12, some even saying they have tastes vitamins (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=Tennessee&Number=15139 &page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=14&fpart=1) in it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif The Jack Daniels SB is not too bad. All of your other choices are also very good. Let us know your impressions as you try each new bourbon off of your list, we'd like to hear them! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

bluesbassdad
09-23-2003, 11:32
Jim,

Welcome aboard, and congratulations on deciding to expand your horizons. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

It's remarkable that you enjoy three such varied bourbons as those you mentioned. (In all honesty, it's your liking Maker's Mark that really caught my attention. It has few fans on this board.)

You didn't say anything about considerations of cost. I suppose that your experience with scotch has accustomed you to a price range that far exceeds all but extremely limited bottlings of bourbon.

In that case I unhesitatingly suggest that you look for just about anything with "Van Winkle" on the label (Pappy VW, Old Rip VW, VW Family Reserve), with Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year/107 proof being as a good a place to start as any. IMO it's one of the best bargains in bourbon at around $25. Another favorite of mine, and much different in style than those on your list, is Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 y/o.

BTW, if I were you, I'd move the two Tennessee whiskies ("whiskeys"? neither looks right) to the bottom of your list, if not to a different list entirely. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif I have both in my collection, and each is interesting in its own way, but I seldom drink either of them; there are just too many bourbons that I enjoy more.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Dave_in_Canada
09-23-2003, 11:34
Hi Jim, we share a common past. Gotta love the Islay's but my personal favourite is the Talisker (Skye). I too was a staunch single malt follower. I started on Bourbon about 10 years ago and I'd have to say that in the last two years, the Scottish single malts have slowly faded to the background. I'm not suggesting this will happen to you, but watch out! :

Having said that, you will likely find many bourbons do not have the body and flavour that will entice your tastebuds, if you're looking for the same kick as an Islay. From the list you have submitted, I imagine you'll find the Knob Creek and the Bookers most to your liking. Lots of woody flavours.

One brand you'll definitely want to search out is the Van Winkle lineup. Most readily available might be the 10year old 107 proof, but my favourite, for the price, is the 15 year old. The 12 year old is a great all-round bourbon.

On the less expensive side, you'll see alot of folk on this forum recommending the Weller 12yr. IMHO one of the best for the price.

Enjoy!



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

Paradox
09-23-2003, 11:40
I found it strange as well Dave, that he liked Makers Mark, even placing it before Elijah Craig. I'm not overly fond of Elijah Craig 12 year, but it beats Makers Mark! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Also in agreement is moving the Jack and George to the bottom of the list. There are too many other fine, and if cost is a matter, inexpensive bourbons out there to enjoy. I particularly like all of Julian's bourbon (and rye!) and the 10 year 107 proof is a good buy. Also, I didn't mention any suggestions in my post so I'll one too. If you can find it and it is within your budget, grab a bottle of AH Hirsch 16 year old. It is superb bourbon and will eventually be all gone so try it while you can!

Bob
09-23-2003, 11:57
Hi Jim,

Welcome aboard! I too am a Single Malt fan, and love Islay's. We should talk about that over in the Foreign Whisky area. Regarding Bourbon, my fondness for Bourbon has increased significantly over the past year. Like others, I highly recommend any of Julian Van Winkle's fine products, and the very fine Buffalo Trace line-up. At the Bourbon Festival, I was introduced to the Barton Bourbon's and recommend those also. They are all very reasonably priced. I'd recommend their newly released 1792 Ridgewood Reserve. It is VERY GOOD!

Bob

bobbyc
09-23-2003, 12:22
Welcome Jim,

There's really nothing wrong with liking Maker's . You have to start somewhere and they are aiming at new drinkers with their marketing and brand mystique. After a stroll around the Bourbon Block most find a better way, and things that are to their liking in a more specific way. One of our Bourbon Festival conversations dealt with the fact that when we sometimes say we don't care for Maker's or Jim Beam White or Jack Daniels, which are top selling brands, Jack and Jim sell the most and Maker's sell all they can make. Then someone new to the board comes on only to see unfavorable remarks about a favorite drink. What we most don't like about Maker's isn't the whiskey, but price etc. I would think that given your drinking history, you should fairly easily find your way though our favorite drink here . In the end, your own opinion is what counts , enjoy.

Jim Beam Black is similiar to Knob Creek and cheaper

Old Forester 86 is reasonable, If one were to pick a representative sample of Bourbon, This would be the likely choice.

WT 101 or Russell's Reserve

I would second the idea of putting the Tennessee whiskey down on the list, nothing wrong there, it's just a different page.

Welcome to this near endless journey! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

jeff
09-23-2003, 12:52
Great post Bobby and I agree wholehartedly. As someone who enjoys Maker's Mark I am sometimes bewildered by the abuse that it takes here on the boards. I agree that the price is a little steep, but it's not the rotgut a newbie might expect after reading some posts here. I believe Maker's Mark has done more for the total image and recognition of bourbon world-wide than any other producer. For that at least they are deserving of some level of respect.

kitzg
09-23-2003, 14:15
I'll simply add my welcome and say you've had a great start and now you've gotten a lot of good suggestions by others.

You may want to try at least a brand from each major distiller. You'll find you can sort by distiller if you go to the straightbourbon.com home page and go to "brands."

An example: (forgive mispellings as I'll be in a hurry here)

Austin-Nichols -- you like Rare Breed so try Russell's Reserve or Kentucky Spirit

Jim Beam -- you already have the 2 on the list: Knob Creek (Definitely try this one) and Bookers (127 proof), then if you want a big comparison try Old Grand Dad BIB

Heaven Hill -- you like E. Craig so the Evan Williams Single Barrel would be next

Brown Forman -- try Woodford Reserve (though I think you'll find it a little less Kick)

Barton -- try 1792

Buffalo Trace -- so many great brands that I'd have to just try several: Elmer T. Lee, Weller 12, Eagle Rare (both single barrel and 19 are superb, and I even love the 10 yo), Blanton's.... PLUS, VanWinkle (anything)

HAVE FUN and let us know how it goes!

CL
09-23-2003, 15:09
Excellent post, Bobby.

CL
09-23-2003, 15:17
Some thoughts...

When most of us started drinking bourbon, we succumbed to the MM image and thought it was the best bourbon out there. And compared to JB and JD, it was. But, after we started trying the wider variety of bourbons (primarily, after joining SB.com!), we may have felt silly having spent all that money and heaping all that praise on MM.

Also, I think that many of us still love the MM marketing and we get frustrated that MM won't bottle a product worthy of its reputation.

In the two ways above, we feel jilted. Consequently, we sometimes despise our "ex" and tend to bash it.

Anyhow, that's my theory and I am sticking to it.

MurphyDawg
09-23-2003, 19:37
Also, I think that many of us still love the MM marketing and we get frustrated that MM won't bottle a product worthy of its reputation.





Exactly MM is a great $14 bourbon that I would have to pay $19 - $23 to buy here. Yeah the MM guys have great marketing and have done a lot to shed bourbons rotgut image, and thats great. At the risk of sounding cranky though I have to say that I have never heard "wow, thats marketed well" as a positive comment in a blind tasting, there red wax helps them sell a lot of bourbon at a premium price, but does nothing for the contents of the bottle. It is a good entry level wheated bourbon, especially because EVERYBODY starts there (me too, and I still think it is good, just $$$$$), but I bet most dont turn back when faced with a choice between MM and Weller 12 or VanWinkle 10/107 both at around that pricw or cheaper. So my advice on MM, Buy it, Love it, move on, look back fondly but dont waste the money again.


BLEEEE
TomC

MurphyDawg
09-23-2003, 19:41
Dont listen to the vitamin contingency!! George Dickel 12 is worth a try (if not only for the same reason as MM, its decent priced and if you dont like it, you dont have to look back!!) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

TomC

Black85L98
09-23-2003, 19:42
Great post Bobby and I agree wholehartedly. As someone who enjoys Maker's Mark I am sometimes bewildered by the abuse that it takes here on the boards. I agree that the price is a little steep, but it's not the rotgut a newbie might expect after reading some posts here. I believe Maker's Mark has done more for the total image and recognition of bourbon world-wide than any other producer. For that at least they are deserving of some level of respect.



I agree.

I like Makers and must take my hat off to the Marketing Department. When I am converting a mixer to Bourbon I start by buying them Makers. It is an easy to drink nice laid back Bourbon.

I like others better in other ways. OGD 114, EC 12, and Eagle Rare SB, are some of my current favorites but my tastes change from time to time and even from night to night. Who knows I may fall in love with Makers all over again. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Blackkeno
09-23-2003, 20:19
Welcome! I too am fond of other whiskies. If you like Islays you of course will not find peaty bourbons, but you can certainly find some powerful ones. Although there are only a handful of barrel proof bourbons, there are a wide range sold at 100 proof or more. I also enjoy MM. If you can find it overseas or in duty free, you might want to pick up the 101 proof. Weller Centenniel 100 proof is another great wheater. My favorate Tennessee whiskey is Gentleman Jack. Ditto the other suggestions from the board.

bluesbassdad
09-24-2003, 00:28
Greg,



... Eagle Rare (both single barrel and 19 are superb, and I even love the 10 yo)...



You have reminded me that I continually confuse the two younger Eagle Rare bottlings. I did it yet again in my earlier reply in this thread.

Sometime back I got it into my head that the Single Barrel is also 10 years old. That confusion caused me to order a bottle of the 10 year old by mistake. As mistakes go, that was a rather pleasant one. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif However, I hope my earlier post, now too old to edit, doesn't confuse anyone else.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Paradox
09-24-2003, 04:02
Ok Dave, now I'm getting confused as well. Let's clear this up... The Eagle Rare Single Barrel (http://www.greatbourbon.com/eagleraresb.html) is a 10 year old whiskey. Then there is an Eagle Rare (http://www.greatbourbon.com/eaglerare.html) 10 year old 101 Proof. And finally there is the forever great (in my book http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif) Eagle Rare 17 year old (http://www.greatbourbon.com/antiquecollection.html) from the Antique Collection. I've never had the 10 year 101 Eagle Rare (Though I'm sure it is good) but the other 2 are superb in my book.

Speedy_John
09-24-2003, 06:33
Welcome to Bourbonia.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record to this board's regular's, I would highly recommend my current favorite American whiskey--Van Winkle Family Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey 13yo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif. True, it's not a bourbon, but still one of the best distilled spirits on the planet. Packed with a seemingly endless array of aromas and flavors. Just thinking about this stuff makes me yearn for a glass...and it's only 9:20 AM! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif At $26 a bottle (here in PA), it's also the best whiskey bargains going.

I'd also heartily recommend the Sazerac Rye 18yo. Yummy stuff, if you can find it. I'll second the nomination of Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit.

I may have missed it, but did anyone mention George T. Stagg or Old Forester Birthday Bourbon? Folks here have raved about both these elixirs for the better part of a year. I can personally attest to the greatness of Stagg http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif, but, unfortunately, the OFBB has never seen these parts http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif Both are rare finds: the Stagg because it was a limited release and sold quickly (but may soon be seen again); the OFBB because certain people, who shall remain nameless http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif, hoard it by the case. If you ever find either one, buy without hesitation.

Enjoy the journey.

SpeedyJohn

Forbes
09-24-2003, 06:38
Jeff,

Here is where we have agreed in the past. I will concede that while Makerís Mark is probably not the best value in bourbon today it is an excellent product for a reasonable price compared to some other premium bourbons. Over the years Makerís Mark has done much to market itself and the bourbon industry as a whole. Of course if they didnít have a basically good product all this marketing wouldnít mean anything. In some of the small taverns I have visited it is the only premium bourbon behind the bar. I know one of the knocks against Makerís Mark is that while other distillers will release a new bottling Makerís Mark will release their same product with a different color wax or label. However, this has always been their business plan and you have to admit it has worked. They have been able to sell and get a somewhat premium price for everything that they have been able to produce. Now I know on this board we are in the minority when it comes to our appreciation for Makerís Mark. It is only one of many bottlings that I enjoy, however, as Charlie Daniels would say ďgive the devil its due.Ē

One question thou is how the retirement of their Master Distiller, Steve Nally, is going to effect the company?

Todd

SteelerFan
09-24-2003, 08:12
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gifWhere do you find VWFR Rye in Pa. ??
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Paradox
09-24-2003, 08:48
Looks to be limited availability or 'strategically located' according to the PA Liquor Control Board website. (http://www.lcb.state.pa.us/Retail/Products/lcb_ListPage.asp?searchPhrase=van+winkle&selTyp=&s elTypS=0&selTypW=0&Cost1=&searchCode=&sortBy=brnd& SortDir=ASC&submit=SEARCH) You can run a search for whatever you want and see if they carry it/can get it using their product search page (http://www.lcb.state.pa.us/RETAIL/Products/lcb_Default.asp).

Speedy_John
09-24-2003, 08:49
In know there are several stores in the Pittsburgh area that have it in stock. You might want to call the PLCB consumer hot-line. They can tell you if a store closer to you has it. The phone number is 1-800-332-7522. The product code number for the VWFR Rye 13yo is #10230. BTW, it's $24.99 plus tax (6% in most areas, 7% in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia). Happy hunting.

SpeedyJohn

CL
09-24-2003, 09:44
Of course if they didnít have a basically good product all this marketing wouldnít mean anything.



Not necessarily. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif Look at Jack Daniels. I'd be hard pressed to call that a good product. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

brendaj
09-24-2003, 11:59
Todd,


as Charlie Daniels would say ďgive the devil its due.Ē



While I have to agree, this isn't the worst Bourbon I've ever swallowed
(followed further down the line, by stuff I've spit out... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif)

I do have a problem, now that they are trying to trademark 'wax drips'.


same product with a different color wax or label


This forces other distilleries to have to devise a way to avoid gravity, more manhours in bottling, additional cost, etc. Pretty selfish, IMHO. Starting to remind me of Microsuck... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif
Bj

kitzg
09-24-2003, 12:41
My fault, too. I usually write ER 19 but mean ER 17. SORRY. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

And I think they are ALL superb. I enjoy the Eagle Rare 10 year old, 101 proof very much and it has been a recent purchase and recent frequent pour for me.

MurphyDawg
09-24-2003, 20:09
The Eagle Rare 10/101 is quite good, Mark. Very very Sweet.


TomC

Paradox
09-25-2003, 04:07
I'm kinda kicking myself for not grabbing one while down there now. I was going to since the price was reasonable as well and never did. Oh well, there's always next year haha. Seeing as how I know we both love the 17 year Tom, I'm going with you on this one. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

jimbo
09-28-2003, 16:59
I appreciate the comments and suggestions. As a result I have added a few selections to my shopping list. Wild Turkey Russels Reserve, Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, AH Hirsch anything, Old Rip Van Winkle anything, Weller anything and Eagle Rare anything. The Weller and Eagle Rare are very difficult to get here in Washington State.

Here is an update on my quest to date. I have now tasted Knob Creek and Wild Turkey 101 in addition to the Maker's Mark, Elijah Craig 12 yr and Wild Turkey Rare Breed. I wouldn't kick any out of bed. Current impressions. Maker's Mark is smooth and mellow. Wild Turkey Rare Breed is powerful, Wild Turkey 101 has more flavor. Knob Creek has lots of flavor, Elijah Craig has even more flavor. Both have some of the wood showing.

I can't pick a favorite yet.

Regards, Jimbo

bobbyc
09-28-2003, 17:03
I can't pick a favorite yet.




Come on Jimbo you have to , and you have to stick with it from now on! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

CL
09-28-2003, 17:40
I wouldn't kick any out of bed.



Jimbo, you may be onto something there. I can see that phrase becoming a regular around here. That phrase fits so perfectly with how I feel about several bourbons, including the Bulleit that I commented on earlier tonight.

jeff
09-28-2003, 17:41
Agreed. The only whiskey that I would kick out of bed has to be Dickle #12. I tried it again tonight folks, and it is still as rancid as I remember http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/puke.gif

Paradox
09-28-2003, 17:47
Rancid or like http://a1468.g.akamai.net/f/1468/580/1d/pics.drugstore.com/prodimg/77508/300.jpg? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

Dave_in_Canada
09-29-2003, 09:37
Jimbo, I'm sure you've seen this (http://www.liq.wa.gov/default.asp) site before, but it might offer you the opportunity to order a bottle from a store that is not in your neighbourhood.

There are two stores now in WA that have the Weller 12 in stock, for example but they're both in Seattle. I checked a month ago and store 101 had gallons of the stuff, but now they're down to only one bottle. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

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

Dave

jimbo
09-29-2003, 15:40
Jimbo, I'm sure you've seen this (http://www.liq.wa.gov/default.asp) site before, but it might offer you the opportunity to order a bottle from a store that is not in your neighbourhood.

There are two stores now in WA that have the Weller 12 in stock, for example but they're both in Seattle. I checked a month ago and store 101 had gallons of the stuff, but now they're down to only one bottle. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

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

Dave



Yes, that is what I meant by hard to find. I do seem to remember that local stores can special order from the main warehouse. (We have a state run monopoly on distilled spirits in Washington state.)

Regards, jimbo

wadewood
09-29-2003, 22:07
I was in store 101 in Seattle today and almost bought that bottle of Weller 12YO. I was going to pick up the Pappy Van Winkle 20 YO, web site shows in stock, but it is gone. Web site also show stock of Hirsch Rye and ORVW 15YO, but stock is depleted http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

I did buy Old Granddad 114 proof, Four Roses Yellow Label, Van Winkle Reserve 12 YO - Lot B, and ORVW 10 YO.

Paradox
09-30-2003, 04:16
Go back and throw in that bottle of Weller 12 year as well, you will not regret it http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif. But really, sounds like you'll be having some very good pours in the future, all you picked up are high on my list (except for the ogd114, too 'hot' for me) though many like it and that's fine.

Dave_in_Canada
09-30-2003, 09:56
Wadewood, have mercy on me... I'm heading to Seattle to pick up a bunch of stuff in early Nov. and hoping that bottle would still be there, collecting dust! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

ratcheer
09-30-2003, 16:29
But, I for one love OGD 114.

Tim

bluesbassdad
09-30-2003, 17:27
Tim,

I'm slowly coming around in regard to OGD 114.

Early on, I dismissed it as "more burn, less taste", as compared to OGD BIB, which I really liked. I had a scant shot a couple of nights ago, and it really hit the spot. I'd had EC12 earlier in the evening, which may have conditioned my taster one way or the other

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

wadewood
09-30-2003, 20:25
Dave, I doubt that one bottle lasts til November. The WA state stores inventory of quality bourbons is diminishing. Another one that is gone is Buffalo Trace, I don't know if they will get more in.

Dave_in_Canada
10-01-2003, 09:10
Wadewood, I'm heading to Seattle in late october, early november and I'd be happy to bring down a couple of bottles of the BT in exchange for? Drop me a line if you're in love with the stuff and you'd like some. It's currently selling here for $27US inc. taxes. (I'll bet that's more than you're used to paying)

jimbo
10-11-2003, 18:44
Well, the quest continues.

I just returned from a ten day trip through Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. And I checked liquor stores for items on my shopping list along the way. In Taos, New Mexico I found two bottles that were not on my list but that I had read about in Jim Murray's book. I bought a bottle of Basil Hayden's 8 yr, 80 proof and a bottle of Baker's 7 yr, 107 proof. In Telluride, Colorado I found and bought a bottle of Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel, 90 proof. And I spotted a bottle of Blanton's bourbon on the shelf. It had a grey/silver horse and rider on the cork and it was in a brown cloth bag. I didn't know what edition it was or what the proof was, but the clerk told me that she had a miniature bottle of the exact bourbon. It was Blanton's Single Barrel, 46 1/2 % ALC/VOL. I bought the miniature. Then in Hailey, Idaho I hit the mother lode. I bought a bottle of Booker's 7 yr 3 month, 126.6 proof, a bottle of Old Weller Antique 7 yr, 107 proof, a bottle of Eagle Rare 10 yr, 90 proof, a bottle of Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 yr, 90.4 proof, a bottle of Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star, 90 proof and a bottle of Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve 10 yr, 101 proof.

I have tried the Booker's, Basil Hayden's, Van Winkle and the Blanton's. The Basil Hayden's is smooth, mellow and bland. I will not repeat. The Blanton's is a strange whiskey. It has a cedar, peppermint flavor. Pleasant enough, but strange. I will not repeat. The Van Winkle is a good bourbon. Quite a lot of flavor and not much wood showing. I am not sure about a repeat at this time. The Booker's has too much alcohol. The alcohol dominates and other flavors just can not come through. I will not repeat.

And, I tried the George Dickel Superior No. 12 that was on my original list. (I know, it is technically not bourbon.) This stuff has a harsh, medicinal character. I will definitely not repeat.

So, where does that leave me? Well, with several bottles yet to try. And with some others that I have already tried. My favorites so far are Wild Turkey 101 proof, Knob Creek 9 yr, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, and Elijah Craig 12 yr.

Regards, Jimbo

boone
10-11-2003, 18:53
It's sad that you cannot buy all the products in the little 50's...That way you can taste em without spending a pocket full of money on something that you don't like...

Next time out, try to find a bar with a big selection of bourbon...OR...Make plans to attend Bourbon Festival and attend the Gazebo party with us http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif. "Nearly" everthing (worth tasting) was on that table...

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

AmeliaC
10-11-2003, 21:17
We couldn't have said it any better Bettye Jo!!!

MurphyDawg
10-13-2003, 13:33
I would suggest, although I cant say for sure, that you should muddle your way through a whole bottle before deciding whether you will repeat again. Bottlings have a way of growing on you over time (I had this experience witha bottle of JB Black a while back). From what I have experienced with Sc**ch ( http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif), it and bourbon are from different planets, and I usually need to try two or 3 glasses over several days to even get a feel for what a Sc**ch tastes like properly.


Just my opinion.
TomC

MurphyDawg
10-13-2003, 13:37
I agree though personally I wish everything came in a pint size bottle. In that case you could get more than one drink to get a feel for a bourbon without having to pay for the whole full sized bottle.


TomC

jimbo
10-29-2003, 16:09
Well, I have tried three more bourbons. Old Weller Antique 7 yr, 107 proof is very good, plenty of flavor and not too much alcohol. Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel, 90 proof was a disappointment. I think it is a little on the thin side for taste. The Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve 10 yr is great, plenty of flavor and not too much alcohol.

That's all for now.

Regards, jimbo

Paradox
10-29-2003, 16:15
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif Someone else who finds Russell's Reserve to be a good addition in the WT line-up! For the $21 I pay for it I'll take it anyday before KY Spirit or even Rare Breed.

brendaj
10-30-2003, 09:16
Jimbo,
If you liked the Weller 7 yr. old, you've got to try the 12 yr. old. I am a Weller (love the 19 yr. old) fan, and the 12 year is a great Bourbon value.
If you get a chance to get your hands on a bottle of Ancient Ancient Age 10 year old (not 10 star), grab it. I'm working on a bottle now, and it's very good. Elmer T. himself convinced me to try it, what a guy he is!
You should also try and get your hands on a bottle of EWSB 94 if you can. I was really impressed. It didn't strike me like anything they've bottled up to now, but it was very, very good.
So many Bourbons...so little time... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
Bj

kitzg
10-30-2003, 09:54
If you liked the Weller 7 yr. old, you've got to try the 12 yr. old. I am a Weller (love the 19 yr. old) fan, and the 12 year is a great Bourbon value.
If you get a chance to get your hands on a bottle of Ancient Ancient Age 10 year old (not 10 star), grab it.



I'll second all of this. It was Gary Gayheart, current Master Distiller at BT, who convinced me to try AAA.

Weller 12 is my everday pour and the only bourbon on my shelf that I keep backed up (extra bottles).

But we all know Brenda knows her bourbon http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif. These southern gals (like both BJs)certainly are experts.

brendaj
10-30-2003, 10:19
Greg,


These southern gals (like both BJs)certainly are experts.



http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif I thank you kind sir. But I am soooo far from an expert... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
Honestly, all I knew before I came to StraightBourbon.com was what to swallow, and what to spit out... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
Most of us in Kentucky got our first taste of Bourbon when we were babies. It used to be common practice here, to rub a little Bourbon on a baby's gums when they were teething... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
In today's world, I guess that would cause Social Services to come in and grab the kid, and put the parents in jail... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
Glad I'm an old fart... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
Bj

Paradox
10-30-2003, 12:10
If you liked the Weller 7 yr. old, you've got to try the 12 yr. old. I am a Weller (love the 19 yr. old) fan, and the 12 year is a great Bourbon value.




Ain't that the truth. I love the Weller 19 as well and after finally trying the Weller 12 year at the festival this year I'l also confirm it is a great bourbon for the price. Still not what the 19 is but for $20 a bottle it'll do! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

jimbo
10-30-2003, 16:05
Jimbo,
If you liked the Weller 7 yr. old, you've got to try the 12 yr. old. I am a Weller (love the 19 yr. old) fan, and the 12 year is a great Bourbon value.
If you get a chance to get your hands on a bottle of Ancient Ancient Age 10 year old (not 10 star), grab it. I'm working on a bottle now, and it's very good. Elmer T. himself convinced me to try it, what a guy he is!
You should also try and get your hands on a bottle of EWSB 94 if you can. I was really impressed. It didn't strike me like anything they've bottled up to now, but it was very, very good.
So many Bourbons...so little time...
Bj



I am going to Seattle tomorrow and Weller 12 yr is on my shopping list. I have never seen the 19 yr advertised, so I don't expect to find any in Seattle.

I bought a bottle of Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star, wondering why they changed the name from 10 yr to 10 Star. I hope it is not "spitting out" stuff.

I have a bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel 1993 that I bought a few weeks ago at the local liquor store. I think they have several more bottles in stock. Is it something I should stock up on?

Regards, jimbo

CL
10-30-2003, 17:11
10 star and 10 yo are both bottlings of AAA. Most here really like the 10 yo better than the 10 star. That doesn't mean the 10 star is bad, it just means that the 10 yo is a great bargain.

CL
10-30-2003, 17:16
Most of us in Kentucky got our first taste of Bourbon when we were babies. It used to be common practice here, to rub a little Bourbon on a baby's gums when they were teething...



As Bettye Jo would say, OHHHHH YEAHHHHHH! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I know that was my first experience with bourbon. I am the oldest of six kids, so I remember my parents dabbing a drop of the good stuff on the gums of my younger brothers and sisters. I also remember, when they were older kids, they were given a hot toddy - hot water, a little sugar, and a drop or two of bourbon - when they had trouble sleeping. Of course, that cure wasn't common at all - just used very rarely in the worst of circumstances.

brendaj
10-30-2003, 21:22
Jimbo,


I have a bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel 1993 that I bought a few weeks ago at the local liquor store. I think they have several more bottles in stock. Is it something I should stock up on?



I had the good fortune to taste them side by side at the Bourbon Society event in Louisville recently. IMHO, I would save my money and stock up on the 94 when it hits your shelves. I think it's a better pour than the 93.
And if you can't get the Weller 19 in Seattle, maybe you can make it to next year's Bourbon Festival. I'm sure we can arrange a taste or two... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif
Bj

jimbo
11-13-2003, 16:28
Well, I just opened and sampled a bottle of Ezra B. Single Barrel, 99 proof, 15 yr that I bought on a whim in Seattle. It is full of flavor, a very long, pleasant finish and there is no alcohol bite. I don't remember the price, but I think it was less than $20. I am going to get another bottle or two next time I am in Seattle.

Regards, jimbo

cowdery
11-13-2003, 16:31
Buy it up. I recently heard from another source that a 12-year-old Ezra B has been spotted in New Hampshire. Maybe they couldn't get more 15-year-old.

CL
11-13-2003, 16:32
At that price, buy a lot of it! I think my bottle cost about $25 in KY this past summer. I plan to always have a bottle of it on hand. Great stuff.

Paradox
11-13-2003, 17:03
I bought my first bottle of the 15 year Ezra B SB for $15 as well and liked it alot. When I was in KY this year I grabbed some more for $20 which is still a great price for such a 'robust' pour. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

CL
11-13-2003, 17:30
Where did you get yours in KY? I got mine at Liquor Barn on Hurstbourne Lane.

Paradox
11-13-2003, 18:04
Oh man Chuck, I don't remember now, I went to so many places! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif I want to say Fern Valley LB but I am not 100%. I wish I could find this bourbon more readily here up north, but that just isn't the case... It's not even found on all the internet sites.

MurphyDawg
11-14-2003, 22:02
12 year?? I will have to send my spies out there to check. . .

TomC

jimbo
11-25-2003, 17:19
Well, the quest continues. I have sampled Old Rip Van Winkle 10 yr, 90 proof. It is full of flavor and medium to full body. Pretty good whiskey. Worth a repeat.

But, my favorite bourbon so far in my quest is the Ezra B. Single Barrel, 15 yr. It is the most full bodied, full flavored, longest finish of any I have tried. Truly great stuff.

Others on my repeat list include Elijah Craig 12 yr, Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve, Van Winkle 12 yr, 90.4 proof and Old Rip Van Winkle 10 yr, 90 proof.

On my do not repeat list are Maker's Mark 90 proof, Blanton's SB 93 proof, Basil Hayden's 8 yr, 80 proof, Booker's 7 yr, 126.6 proof, George Dickel Superior No. 12, and Elmer T. Lee SB.

Other probable repeats include Wild Turkey Rare breed, Knob Creek 9 yr, Wild Turkey 101, and W. L. Weller Antique 7 yr, 107 proof.

Regards, jimbo

OneCubeOnly
11-25-2003, 17:39
On my do not repeat list are...Blanton's SB 93 proof



You should try Blanton's again. You'll be missing out on a tremendously smooth delight.

Paradox
11-25-2003, 17:59
You should try Blanton's again. You'll be missing out on a tremendously smooth delight.

On my do not repeat list are...Blanton's SB 93 proof







I was going to say the same thing earlier but since he didn't like ETLSB either I figured maybe it was a bt thing... But I have to agree, Blanton's is a gem.

bluesbassdad
11-26-2003, 13:42
By coincidence I am about to follow the suggestion regarding Blanton's.

I tried my best to see what all the excitement is about, as I slowly and thoughtfully consumed my first bottle over a period of a few months. I just didn't get it. If Blanton's is a "gem", to me it's a cubic zirconia. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

However, because single-barrel bottlings are inherently unique, I decided to give it another try. I included a bottle in my Autumn Sale order from Sam's. I haven't opened it yet, and I confess to a slight apprehension. If I enjoy it no more than my first bottle, I'll kick myself for not buying an additional bottle of the Hirsch 16, instead.

BTW, I don't see much, if any, family resemblance between Blanton's and Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel. When I recently finished my second bottle of ETL SB, I found its spicey character more appealing than before. I'll probably have to try it again someday. I find it to be quite different than the almost-bland-by-comparison Blanton's.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Paradox
11-26-2003, 13:45
If you don't like the 2nd bottle, try a 3rd. Unless you inherently have bad luck...

jimbo
11-26-2003, 16:42
Well, let me explain what good whiskey is to me. Remember, this is just one man's opinion, not something handed down from a higher power. First, it must have a full body. To me, full body means that a sip of the whiskey has a viscous, thick feel on the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat. I think part of the "thick viscous" mouth feel is due to a long, lingering taste on the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat. The "thick viscous" mouth feel is the opposite of "thin and watery"

Second, it must be full of flavor. To me, full of flavor means that the flavors explode and engulf the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat. And not just one dominating flavor, but a mingling of many intense flavors into a complex flavor experience. And not too much alcohol that numbs the taste buds and burns the throat. The upper alcohol limit is somewhere around 100 proof. Much above that and all you get is a mouth numbing agent.

There are many smooth and mellow and bourbons out there. But most of them are bland as well. Not much flavor and not much mouth feel. They are just not my "cup of tea". There may be a time and place for such whiskey, but just not now and not in my liquor cabinet.

Now, for me, Elmer T. Lee SB and Blanyon's are both rather thin in taste and mouth feel. And Blanton's has a strange cedar/pepermint taste that just turns me off.

Anyway, I guess it is good that not everyone has the same likes and dislikes because then there would be only one whiskey.

bobbyc
11-26-2003, 20:13
Jimbo, That Booker's is on the do not repeat list causes me more concern than Blanton's or ET Lee. That said, I think from your post I can gather that you are a credible taster. If a new XYZ labeled Bourbon came out next week, and you suggest trying it , I would feel comfortable doing that.

<font color="red"> Good God Give Stanley Clark Some </font>

MurphyDawg
11-27-2003, 22:40
Blanton's are both rather thin in taste and mouth feel



It is interesting that you should say that, because I have always thought the fact that Blanton's was rather big and round in the mouth kept it from being to Blah. I checked to see if I was just making this up so I looked up my old Blanton's Tasting notes here, (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Number=6800&amp;page=&amp;view=&amp;sb=5 &amp;o=) from March '02 and this is what I said about mouthfeel:


Mouth feel: Big, Smooth, Like melted butter or Maple Syrup.

It is in no way that I disbelieve what you think about the bourbon, I just find it interesting how different two peoples impressions of the same thing can be sometimes.

TomC

OneCubeOnly
11-28-2003, 06:06
Jimbo--from your description of "good whiskey" it looks like you're really not interested in soliciting other people's opinions or advice, yet that's kinda what this whole thread is about.

So take this for whatever you feel it's worth: you're dismissing some really fine bourbons which actually fit your criteria. Blanton's may be slightly more on the esoteric side, but it's no pansy. And you admitted yourself you based your quick dismissal on a 50ml mini alone. I did a side-by-side with Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit here (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Number=17965&amp;page=4&amp;view=col lapsed&amp;sb=5&amp;o=&amp;fpart=1).

Again, take it for whatever you feel it's worth.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

kitzg
11-28-2003, 12:49
I guess it is good that not everyone has the same likes and dislikes because then there would be only one whiskey.


Amen to that.

jimbo
11-29-2003, 16:48
Jimbo--from your description of "good whiskey" it looks like you're really not interested in soliciting other people's opinions or advice, yet that's kinda what this whole thread is about.



I value other people's opinions and advice. But I don't need or want someone else to tell me what I should like or dislike. I know what I like and I respect other people's likes, but they don't have to be the same. Even experts such as Michael Jackson have ranked some stuff very highly, stuff that I found horrible.

So as I said, it is a good thing that not everyone has the same taste in whiskey.

Regards, jimbo

jimbo
11-29-2003, 16:54
Jimbo, That Booker's is on the do not repeat list causes me more concern than Blanton's or ET Lee. That said, I think from your post I can gather that you are a credible taster. If a new XYZ labeled Bourbon came out next week, and you suggest trying it , I would feel comfortable doing that.



Well, I may have to give Booker's another try. The thing that I didn't like was the high alcohol content. I thought it overpowered the flavors and dominated the experience. But, so many here rate it so highly, that I might have to give it another try.

Regards, jimbo

jimbo
11-29-2003, 16:57
Mouth feel: Big, Smooth, Like melted butter or Maple Syrup.

It is in no way that I disbelieve what you think about the bourbon, I just find it interesting how different two peoples impressions of the same thing can be sometimes.

TomC



Well, I just couldn't get past that cedar/peppermint flavor. I don't remember any sweetness, just that strange minty flavor. Maybe it was a bad sample? Maybe this is another one that I will give a second try since so many rate it very high.

Regards, jimbo

OneCubeOnly
11-29-2003, 17:13
Well, I may have to give Booker's another try. The thing that I didn't like was the high alcohol content.



Even the high-proof junkies here on SB.com won't think any less of you if you add a little water or even some ice to your Booker's. I think you'll find Booker's has multiple layers of flavor (very similar, at least conceptually, to the Islay single-malts you claim to like!), but sometimes it takes a little dilution to bring them out.

OneCubeOnly
11-29-2003, 17:19
I value other people's opinions and advice. But I don't need or want someone else to tell me what I should like or dislike.



That was never my intent. It was just a friendly suggestion.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

TNbourbon
11-29-2003, 20:02
I didn't realize the high alcohol content when I first tried Booker's, but it was the only thing I noticed on first tasting. I had the same first impression, Jimbo: I didn't like it. I, too, will try it again someday, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. But, at it's price, I'll buy one or two 50 ml bottles first, and drink it diluted -- and, if that's not enough to give me a reasonable impression, well, tough. I'll either like it or dislike it on that basis. There are a lot of bourbons out there I know I like, so no point worrying too much about disagreement on the matter of a single one of them.

MurphyDawg
11-29-2003, 22:25
I really would suggest trying it again, I remember seeing 50ml bottles of it around, so if you can get one, that would be a good way without breaking the bank, I dont remember any mintyness in my recent bottle, but I may just have to pull out another sample to re-verify. Ah, the things one must do. . .

TomC

Buckky
11-30-2003, 04:12
I find Booker's to be good over a small amount of ice...the slow dilution seems to bring out more flavor. Booker's is often sold in up-scale restaurants so you can try it by the glass rather than pay full freight of about $50 for a full bottle.

ratcheer
11-30-2003, 07:57
There are a lot of bourbons out there I know I like, so no point worrying too much about disagreement on the matter of a single one of them.



Precisely.

I personally like Booker's just fine, but not so much that I care to spend $50 per bottle for it. There are plenty of $30 to $40 bourbons that I enjoy much more, so why worry about it. In fact, there are even some in the $15-20 range that I like better (e.g., EC 12).

Tim

jimbo
11-30-2003, 08:44
Even the high-proof junkies here on SB.com won't think any less of you if you add a little water or even some ice to your Booker's. I think you'll find Booker's has multiple layers of flavor (very similar, at least conceptually, to the Islay single-malts you claim to like!), but sometimes it takes a little dilution to bring them out.



Well, in "foreign whisky" I like Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Talisker, all full bodied and full flavored without high alcohol content. One of the reasons that I tried Booker's was that Jim Murray said it was "like the Islays." But, for me it was too much alcohol.

So, I tried an experiment with water. I added exactly enough water to decrease the proof to 100. For me, all that did was to dilute the flavors and the alcohol. I really don't think you can add water to a whiskey and hope for anything but dilution. If the whiskey is properly balanced when bottled, then it has to be unbalanced when diluted with water. I think Booker's is balanced as bottled, but for me the balance includes too much alcohol.

That said, I will still consider a second bottle just because so many rate it so highly.

Regards, jimbo

bobbyc
11-30-2003, 11:58
Booker's wasn't real high on my list, but then.... When at the sampler in May,attended by a few of SB.com members. I spent most of my time near the Jim Beam setup and Downed a few With the legend himself, Booker. Now that really did influence my thinking about it. There were other distilleries well represented but for a while it was as if no one else was there.
I realise that experience doesn't come from the bottle and was in and of itself unique. It did cast a whole new light on Booker's Bourbon for me.

They have it at a reasonable 39 or so dollars at Liquor Barn.

What matters to you is what counts. There are Bourbons that I don't get what the fuss is about, there are Bourbons that I can't figure why everyone else isn't breathless like myself because of.

<font color="red"> Good God Give Stanley Jordan Some </font>

jimbo
11-30-2003, 12:07
I went to Seattle for Thanksgiving and while there I visited a few of my favorite stores. I bought Elijah Craig Single Barrel 18 yr, 90 proof, Old Rip Van Winkle 15 yr, 107 proof, W.L. Weller 12 yr, 90.4 proof, W.L. Weller Centennial 10 yr, 100 proof and Eagle Rare 10 yr, 101 proof, all bourbons that I haven't tried yet. In fact, I have over a dozen different bottles that I haven't tried yet. And I bought second bottles of Ezra B. Single Barrel 15 yr, 99 proof, Old Rip Van Winkle 10 yr, 90 proof, Elijah Craig 12 yr, 94 proof and Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 yr, 90.4 proof. I passed on Weller Antique 107 proof and another Weller that was very low cost. (I can't remember any details about it.)

So much bourbon, so little time. I am going to be in Salt Lake City for the winter and I don't know how the selection is there so I have stocked up while the stocking is good.

Regards, jimbo

Gillman
11-30-2003, 12:08
Booker's is big and potent but I don't get much balance or richness out of it, and it has the trademark citric, "dry yeast" flavour I detect in most Beam bottlings. I would cite Birthday Bourbon as a modern classic of a rich, well but not over-aged, complex bourbon whiskey. We often disagree about many whiskeys but I doubt very many tasters would say they don't care for Birthday Bourbon.

Gary

bobbyc
11-30-2003, 14:13
I doubt very many tasters would say they don't care for Birthday Bourbon.





Good point, Gary. When Birthday is in my cup, it's a favorite. I don't find myself thinking of anything else in those moments.


<font color="blue"> Good God Give Robert Fripp Some </font>

Gillman
11-30-2003, 14:38
Well put Bobby, and funny you should mention Robert Fripp. I was just reading, in a classic rock magazine, articles and a series of comments by well-known musicians on the importance and legacy of Jimi Hendrix. The only comment that could be read as negative was by Robert Fripp. He said Hendrix' technique was "inefficient" and he (Jimi) was not the best guide for aspiring guitar players. I thought this was a rather odd take on the greatest rock guitarist ever, and what does inefficient mean, anyway? Great rock is many things, but efficient isn't one of them, IMHO. So I'm not sure I'd give Mr. Fripp some Birthday Bourbon. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Gary

OneCubeOnly
11-30-2003, 16:18
If the whiskey is properly balanced when bottled, then it has to be unbalanced when diluted with water.



The key word above is "if". Unlike most distillery products, Booker's is noted for NOT having any tinkering, balancing, diluting, filtering, or mixing done to it. Imagine popping the bung on a bourbon barrel, dumping it and bottling it as is. It's bottled at barrel proof, whereas every other bourbon you've tasted has had water added at the distillery.

So feel free to add your own water. Just don't assume there's any "balance" in the bottle. Quite the contrary: consider it raw and unadulterated.

Still don't like it? There's plenty of cheaper "balanced" bourbons out there. But after you sift through all these new bottles and get some experience under your belt with bourbon, come back to this one.

Enjoy!

Dave_in_Canada
11-30-2003, 18:49
Very interesting and insightful response.

The bourbons we drink from the bottle are only those that are presented to us by the particular distillers (ie. brand marketers, bottlers, etc. etc.). Let us not fool ourselves that a particular bottling is any more "pure" than any other.

ratcheer
11-30-2003, 19:07
So much bourbon, so little time. I am going to be in Salt Lake City for the winter and I don't know how the selection is there so I have stocked up while the stocking is good.



Sounds like a good plan.

Tim

MurphyDawg
11-30-2003, 23:40
I was curious to folks opinions on a similar question myself. Does the "distiller's art" include deciding what proof the bourbon goes into the bottle? I have an example. Many of the folks at the Bourbon Festival went to the BT tasting, and tried the three barrel proof bottlings that they presented us, ET Lee, Buffalo Trace, and Blantons. And it seemed the majority of the folks I spoke to were quite undewhelmed with Blantons at barrel proof. I overheard a very insightful conversation that included Mark and Bobby discussing whether they thought that the proof point had a lot to do with Blantons characteristic smooth richness, and that at barrel proof it was to bold and alcoholic for folks used to the retail model. I think they may have a point. While in some cases (ie Stagg, you have something great when you just let it fly), many times a great bourbon is the right mashbill, in the right barrel, at the right time,and at the right proof point. It would be very interesting to do a tasting of the same bourbon at say 80, 90, 95, 101, and barrel proofs, to see how different the reactions are.

Just an idea, anybody else have an opinion??

TomC

PS Jimbo, if you want to try a very similar bourbon to Booker's IMHO at a lower proof and price, give Jim Beam black a try, much less alcohol presence.

jimbo
12-01-2003, 08:25
It would be very interesting to do a tasting of the same bourbon at say 80, 90, 95, 101, and barrel proofs, to see how different the reactions are.

Just an idea, anybody else have an opinion??

TomC

PS Jimbo, if you want to try a very similar bourbon to Booker's IMHO at a lower proof and price, give Jim Beam black a try, much less alcohol presence.



Every time I have tried adding water to whiskey, all I have gotten is dilution. And I have tried a few drops, a precise amount to decrease the proof to a target and up to 1/4 water. So, from my personal perspective, there is a lot more to how a distiller/bottler decides on bottling proof than just choosing a proof and then adding a measured amount of water. I would imagine that by bottling time each barrel has a different proof and that the difference is huge from barrel to barrel. Some of those barrels will be balanced as is, and some will need water and some will be great for mixing with other barrels, etc.

Anyway, you could complete your experiment by taking a high proof whiskey and adding precise amounts of water to the other proofs that you want. But, from my experiments, all I would expect is dilution. And I think the reason is that the distillers/bottlers don't market whiskey that is much out of balance.

And last, thanks for the suggestion about Jim Beam Black.

Regards, jimbo

Gillman
12-01-2003, 08:47
You can try distiller-approved whiskey at different proofs (certainly 86, 90, 100 and maybe 80) with Very Old Barton. Funny thing is, I think the house's 86 is the best. I have bought the 90 and 100 proofs and added just enough water to create 86 proof and the house's version always trumps mine. Part of this may be the type of water they add, also, the resting of the whiskey (in vat or cistern, in bottle) after the house's dilution may marry the tastes. Theoretically it should not matter who adds the water, but in practice, it seems to.

I have found 100 proof whiskey sometimes has the right balance to be taken neat but rarely is this so with whiskey over 100 proof.

Gary

pepcycle
12-01-2003, 09:55
In response to Murphy Dawg's BT notes. I noticed the tannin and alchohol kick in the Barrel Proof Blanton's to be unacceptable. Adding some Room Temp water in small doses turned the whole flavor profile around. At some point, it became too dilute and lost most of the flavors. There is defnitely a sweet spot for that bourbon. It was differenct for the ELT. ELT was more approachable at barrel proof and pleasant straight and sl. diluted. Elmer himself commented that's part of what makes'm different. Although our little tasting was anything but scientific, it pointed out the balance points between the three whiskeys. (IMHO) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

jimbo
12-01-2003, 10:54
Funny thing is, I think the house's 86 is the best. I have bought the 90 and 100 proofs and added just enough water to create 86 proof and the house's version always trumps mine. Part of this may be the type of water they add, also, the resting of the whiskey (in vat or cistern, in bottle) after the house's dilution may marry the tastes. Theoretically it should not matter who adds the water, but in practice, it seems to.



That is the point I was trying to make in a previous post. The different bottled proofs are not just the result of adding more water to the same "whiskey". Each proof from the distiller/bottler has been crafted from different starting "whiskeys". My use of the word "whiskey" means the differences between barrels or groups of barrels that are used in the various labels.

Regards, jimbo

Gillman
12-01-2003, 12:03
I agree in turn. For example the 100 proof VOB may well be taken from "better", possibly older, barrels than are used for the 86 or 90.

I once had this down to a fine art with regard to the Ancient Ancient Age of about 10 years ago. It was available in both 80 and 86 proof. The 80 was always better in my view: rich and rounded, perfect to take neat, and try as I might I could not duplicate it using (different) waters to dilute the 86. Someone mentioned on the board recently buying some half-pints of AAA with tax strips. I suspect those are 80 or 86 proof AAA's from a time when it was in its prime. The current candidate is good but a little rough-edged (spirity, which the old AAA never was) and not with the smooth dark caramel savour of yore. I suspect some of quality aged stock that would have gone into triple A is being used in Buffalo Trace or Stagg or some of the company's other quality brands. I am a big BT fan in general but my last two tastings of AAA did not impress..

Gary

TNbourbon
12-01-2003, 20:57
Right you are, though I didn't even bother to note it until your post: the AAA 10yo tax-stamped half-pints I discovered at the back of an older store's shelf recently indeed are 80 proof. And, though I don't have any of the current product with which to compare it, I do consider it "prime".

MurphyDawg
12-02-2003, 23:16
Well put. that is what I came away from the tasting most interested in. While the BT single barrel may have been the most interesting, it is not a Single barrel in the market. But the fact that ETL and Blantons are single barrels, and (save the filtering) our samples were not all that diferent than what goes to market, it really enlightened me to how important proof can play in a profile.


TomC

Blackkeno
12-03-2003, 21:07
I managed to get a bottle of barrel proof Blanton's shipped from Europe. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif It was very good, but a slight disappointment. I would have rated both Stagg (by a substantial margin) and standard Blanton's as better. This Thanksgiving I had poured this BP Blanton's again along with ('03) Stagg and my newly opened VW 20 (BP). http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif Even though, I love wheaters (especially VW) and have previously stated I thought Stagg may be the best bourbon ever, that evening, the BP Blantons really wowed me and would have got my top ranking. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif More research is needed... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif

jimbo
12-08-2003, 17:07
Thanks to the wonderful generosity of Ed (pepcycle) I am enjoying a generous pour of Ezra Brooks 15yo Single Barrel. I am enjoying my drink in my new Riedel bourbon glass. I must say that, while I expected this to be nice based on comments heard here, I am blown away by this one. Easily the best bourbon to come out of Heaven Hill IMHO. Thick caramel and Vanilla notes with some pleasant woodiness. I'll be exploring this one some more. And the best thing is, I just found a new stash just waiting for the picking. Oh happy day!



Quote is from another thread that won't permit a reply for some reason, but as a new bourbon drinker, Ezra B. Single Barrel 15 yr is the best bourbon by far that I have tried to date. But I have a question about the Heaven Hill remark. The bottle says "Bottled by Ezra Brooks Distilling Co. St. Louis, Mo". I assume that means that Ezra Brooks buys bourbon from a distiller and then bottles it under the Ezra Brooks name. Right? So Ezra Brooks is distilled by Heaven Hill distillery and bottled by Ezra Brooks, right?

And other Heaven Hill brand names are Evan Williams and Elijah Craig, right? Am I missing any thing? I already like Elijah Craig 12 yr very much. Can I expect the other Elijah Craig and the Evan Williams brands to be similar to the Ezra Brooks?

Regards, jimbo

TNbourbon
12-08-2003, 20:09
Ezra Brooks is a David Sherman Corp. product. DSC does not distill, as you have guessed, but buys product and bottles it in St. Louis. They also market Rebel Yell, Yellowstone, Wathens, Bourbon Supreme and other niche brands. Others here, I'm sure, can confirm/dispel that the Ezra B. bourbon is distilled by Heaven Hill. I don't know about that.

bobbyc
12-08-2003, 20:57
I'm sure, can confirm/dispel that the Ezra B. bourbon is distilled by Heaven Hill. I don't know about that.




Originally it was a Yellowstone product. Since the Louisville Yellowstone plant ceased in 1990 + -, the plant at Owensboro went longer than that. At 15 years I'm inclined to think that it may still be Yellowstone whiskey. However not knowing the details of the sale , David Sherman may only have bought the labels, and had to go shopping right away, Most times they get enough product to support the brand for a number of years.

Otherwise Heaven Hill comes up in these discussions due to the fact that they are in the bulk whiskey business. From time to time when someone shows up with Labels , and no distillery, the assumption is that they got their whiskey from Heaven Hill. Barton and Beam do have excess capacity. They both sold bulk in the past. Some say one or both is no longer doing it.
We'll never know , they won't say.

<font color="red"> Good God Give Brian Seltzer Some </font>

jimbo
12-26-2003, 13:10
Well, my tasting experience continues. I have settled in here in Salt Lake City for the winter. I will be skiing almost every day. (I know it is a tough job, but someone has to do it.) Anyway, my tasting had sort of stalled because I didn't want to move a lot of opened bottles to SLC. But I arrived here on December 12 and have opened several bottles since then. My tasting impressions are as follows.

WT Kentucky Spirit - Good example of Wild Turkey, but I think the Russell's Reserve is as good or better and at a lot less expense. I would like to try this one side by side with Russell's Reserve.

Elijah Craig 18 yr SB - Excellent whiskey. Full of flavor. No alcohol bite. Nice long finish. I have set this one aside for those special times.

WL Weller 12 yr - Good whiskey. Slight resemblance to Van Winkle 12 yr but not as robust. Not as much flavor as Elijah Craig 12 yr. The level in this bottle dropped pretty fast which indicates a very "drinkable" whiskey.

Blanton's SB - Second try for this one. Full bottle this time. This whiskey still has a strange cedar flavor. Not as much peppermint as the first taste, but still that dry, cedar impression. It does have a full body and a long warm finish. But it has a "pepper" tingle from alcohol and it is not nearly as flavorful as Elijah Craig 12 yr. Sorry, I just don't get it.

That's it for now.

Regards, jimbo

Paradox
12-26-2003, 13:43
WT Kentucky Spirit - Good example of Wild Turkey, but I think the Russell's Reserve is as good or better and at a lot less expense. I would like to try this one side by side with Russell's Reserve.




Those are the EXACT feelings I have expressed about KY Spirit as well. In my opinion, while still being a good pour, it does not justify a more than double cost over RR which I like better anyways. Better for me I guess! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

jimbo
01-03-2004, 10:57
Well, I have tried two more bourbons. (Not the whole bottles.)

Eagle Rare Single Barrel, 10 yr, 90 proof. (The tall, thin bottle.) This is a pleasant bourbon, but sort of bland. It has a nice mouth feel and is smooth and mellow. I get some oak in the nose and the taste and maybe some vanilla. Not too sweet and not too dry. It has a nice long finish with warmth on the tongue and cheeks.

Old Rip Van Winkle 15 yr, 107 proof. I get fruit, wood, vanilla and maybe caramelized sugar in the nose. Nice dark amber color and a full body with a nice mouth feel. On the sweet side, smooth with minimal alcohol bite. Finish is very long and warm with a persistent tingle on the lips, tongue and cheeks. This is definitely worth a repeat if I can find another bottle.

Regards, jimbo

Paradox
01-03-2004, 12:09
Those are two very nice bourbon's by my standards. A few months back while at my friends house I kept comparing Eagle Rare 10yo Single Barrel with Eagle Rare 10yo 101 Proof and I had a very tough time picking which one I liked better. In the end I chose the 101 proof to be a little more to my liking and being a tad cheaper than the single barrel helped too. Try that one Jim if you haven't already.

What else can one say about Old Rip Van Winkle 15yo! A superb bourbon that I always pick up while in KY because of its lower price there ($35 compared to near $45-$50 here). I have been meaning to open a new bottle and you just decided for me which one I will open. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif