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mbroo5880i
06-08-2013, 19:16
I often hear and read about comparisons of various bourbons and ryes where someone says "If you like ___ you will probably like ____. I assume because the mashbills, distillation and a few other factors are similar.

Two examples that come to mind are comparison of Van Winkle and Weller 12, and comparison of Blanton's and Ancient Ancient Age 10 Year. I have never had Van Winkle so I can't comment on that comparison but I have had Blanton's and AAA10 and I do taste some similarities.

For those of us who prefer to not drop big bucks on ever increasingly over priced bourbon, it would be great if more experienced bourbon enthusiasts could guide us to cheaper alternatives.

black mamba
06-08-2013, 22:09
AAA10 is VERY similar to ETL. I have a decent palate, and it took me several glasses of each to be able to identify the difference, going back and forth between the two. Same distillery and mashbill for both.

One that's a little stranger because it's two different distilleries with very slightly different mashbills is EWSB10 and ER17 from the BTAC. After both were open a couple of months, the Evan 1B tasted almost the same as the 3 times more expensive 2011 ER17. No guarantee that this is consistent from release to release, or even bottle to bottle, as these are single barrels, but interesting none the less.

darylld911
06-09-2013, 04:22
You are correct about many of the pairings being based on mashbills/distillery/age, as well as folks experience. What I WISH I would have done is bought a lot of 200 mL bottles of some bourbons at the low end of the price range, and then blind taste those. You can pick up 4 or 5 of those for the price of one 750mL. Not everything is available in that size, but you can find a fair amount. I've found that I like EW black label as well as bourbons that are twice the price - along with OGD BIB and OF. You can find on this site things that are similar (check out the "Whiskey Tree" - that gives an excellent breakdown of which labels come from where on a lot of them, as well as mashbills where we know!), although the only way you'll know if you like - say AAA 10 Star as well as ETL - is to try them. The way I look at it is - who cares if my OGD 114 doesn't taste like a more expensive brand; if I get as much enjoyment out of it as I do a bottle that is half-again more expensive, good on me!

Meruck
06-09-2013, 07:38
I'll give you an inverted selection if you will. I really don't care much for high rye mash bills, but Recently i learned i do like Rit BIB. Go figure.

Flyfish
06-09-2013, 07:43
I'll give you an inverted selection if you will. I really don't care much for high rye mash bills, but Recently i learned i do like Rit BIB. Go figure.

Ritt is probably the most bourbony rye I can think of off hand. The mashbill is "barely legal." Even so, that is about twice as much rye as a high rye bourbon. As you say, "Go figure."

Flyfish
06-09-2013, 07:52
But, back on topic: If you like Baker's and/or KC, you may like Kirkland's. At $20 L, the equivalent of $15 per 750, it is a 7 YO, 103 proof value pour.

smknjoe
06-09-2013, 08:19
Wow, that is pretty much $15 for Bakers. Not bad.

The whiskey tree was mentioned and it's a must read, but don't read too much into it. For example WSR, OWA, and W12 are all the same mashbill, same age (first two), same distillery and they all have very different flavor profiles. Also, personal taste varies quite a bit. You'd be hard pressed to find more than a few people who don't like W12 and I'm one of them, but I didn't know that until I tried it. You can find alot of info and opinions here but you never really know until you try it.

If you still don't want to drop the cash on a bottle just to try it then ask some of the "old timers" around here that seem to have similar taste preferences as you.

smokinjoe
06-09-2013, 08:41
If you like Wild Turkey 101 (or, are disappointed with it's recent iteration), you will probably like Old Ezra 7yr 101 (or, Virgin Bourbon if you are close to one of the few uber-control states that carry it).

darylld911
06-09-2013, 08:44
smknjoe makes a great point - the whiskey tree gives you some insight, but I'm with him (I love OWA - not a fan of W12 - but will buy W12 to mingle with OWA).

Sometimes you can sort out folks who may have a similar taste profile as you. I've found some reviewers/bloggers line up fairly close to my tastes, while others don't. Even then, not everything they really like hits me just right. At the end of the day, you've got to try it (and ideally try it a few times on different days, as our tasters vary).

Finally - make friends with folks who share the passion. A group were everyone brings a couple bottles to a party is a great way to try several whiskies as well as meet new friends!

squire
06-09-2013, 10:14
For years I have maintained the quality is the same across the board and I'll use Buffalo Trace as an example. On any given day the whisky running off the still may be eventually bottled as 4 year old 80 proof Benchmark selling for $16.00 per family size which works out to about $6.80 for a 750.

Or it might be bottled at 8-9 years as one of the premiums that sell for $49.95 per 750.

Or at 9-14 years barrel proof in the Antique Collection for $79.95.

The difference is the barrel's age and location in the warehouse(s). The costlier bottles come from selected barrels that are either batched or bottled singly. We pay more for the extra aging and careful selection but the quality level is the same because it was all the same whisky in the beginning.

ramblinman
06-09-2013, 11:29
AAA10 is VERY similar to ETL. I have a decent palate, and it took me several glasses of each to be able to identify the difference, going back and forth between the two. Same distillery and mashbill for both.That makes me feel better since I've wanted to get a bottle of AAA10 but have hesitated to pull the trigger w/ shipping cost factored in. I'm sure I'd like it, but with ETL easy to find and going for $26 around here that makes the AAA10 move pretty low on the seek out list. :)

Flyfish
06-09-2013, 15:36
If you like Wild Turkey 101 (or, are disappointed with it's recent iteration), you will probably like Old Ezra 7yr 101 (or, Virgin Bourbon if you are close to one of the few uber-control states that carry it).
I have had both recently and prefer the OE 101.

soad
06-09-2013, 15:39
If you like Wild Turkey 101 (or, are disappointed with it's recent iteration), you will probably like Old Ezra 7yr 101 (or, Virgin Bourbon if you are close to one of the few uber-control states that carry it).


Yes, yes, yes. Listen to Joe. His advice a few years ago caused my love affair with Old Ezra and Virgin. If you like WT, pay less and get MORE with those two.

MauiSon
06-09-2013, 16:23
For years I have maintained the quality is the same across the board and I'll use Buffalo Trace as an example. On any given day the whisky running off the still may be eventually bottled as 4 year old 80 proof Benchmark selling for $16.00 per family size which works out to about $6.80 for a 750.

Or it might be bottled at 8-9 years as one of the premiums that sell for $49.95 per 750.

Or at 9-14 years barrel proof in the Antique Collection for $79.95.

The difference is the barrel's age and location in the warehouse(s). The costlier bottles come from selected barrels that are either batched or bottled singly. We pay more for the extra aging and careful selection but the quality level is the same because it was all the same whisky in the beginning.

I don't buy that argument because I don't buy white dog. The quality is a function of barrel-aging and selection. Some barrels will produce high-quality bourbon, others will not. The human factor - selecting, blending, filtering, diluting - determines the quality of product sent to market. Even the best white dog can lead to uninspired bourbon.

mbroo5880i
06-09-2013, 18:00
AAA10 is VERY similar to ETL. I have a decent palate, and it took me several glasses of each to be able to identify the difference, going back and forth between the two. Same distillery and mashbill for both.

One that's a little stranger because it's two different distilleries with very slightly different mashbills is EWSB10 and ER17 from the BTAC. After both were open a couple of months, the Evan 1B tasted almost the same as the 3 times more expensive 2011 ER17. No guarantee that this is consistent from release to release, or even bottle to bottle, as these are single barrels, but interesting none the less.

I have never had ETL but it has been on my buy list (which just means someday I will try it). The comparisons of AAA10 and ETL (and even Blanton's) makes some sense give the same distillery and mashbill while at the same time recognizing warehouse location MIGHT account for some differences. I like AAA10 and Blanton's. I only tried AAA10 once but I tasted enough similarity between the two recognize AAA10 as a significantly better value. I would like to compare ETL to both (with an expectation that they will be similar). ETL would be a nice alternative to Blanton's because AAA10 is not available where I live (Indiana).

mbroo5880i
06-09-2013, 18:02
You are correct about many of the pairings being based on mashbills/distillery/age, as well as folks experience. What I WISH I would have done is bought a lot of 200 mL bottles of some bourbons at the low end of the price range, and then blind taste those. You can pick up 4 or 5 of those for the price of one 750mL. Not everything is available in that size, but you can find a fair amount. I've found that I like EW black label as well as bourbons that are twice the price - along with OGD BIB and OF. You can find on this site things that are similar (check out the "Whiskey Tree" - that gives an excellent breakdown of which labels come from where on a lot of them, as well as mashbills where we know!), although the only way you'll know if you like - say AAA 10 Star as well as ETL - is to try them. The way I look at it is - who cares if my OGD 114 doesn't taste like a more expensive brand; if I get as much enjoyment out of it as I do a bottle that is half-again more expensive, good on me!

You are correct...the fun is in the trying! :grin:

I haven't looked at smaller size bottles. I will begin to look a little closer to see if there are sample options available for bourbons that I would like to try.

mbroo5880i
06-09-2013, 18:04
I'll give you an inverted selection if you will. I really don't care much for high rye mash bills, but Recently i learned i do like Rit BIB. Go figure.

Interesting. Based on Flyfish's comment below, it sounds like Rit BIB might be more bourbon-like than other ryes.

mbroo5880i
06-09-2013, 18:09
But, back on topic: If you like Baker's and/or KC, you may like Kirkland's. At $20 L, the equivalent of $15 per 750, it is a 7 YO, 103 proof value pour.

This is great example. I have never tried Baker's and its been long enough ago that I tried KC that I don't recall any thing about it. I pass Kirkland's every time that I am in Costco. I guess I didn't realize that it was so similar to Baker's. Do they share the same distiller and mashbill?

mbroo5880i
06-09-2013, 18:14
Wow, that is pretty much $15 for Bakers. Not bad.

The whiskey tree was mentioned and it's a must read, but don't read too much into it. For example WSR, OWA, and W12 are all the same mashbill, same age (first two), same distillery and they all have very different flavor profiles. Also, personal taste varies quite a bit. You'd be hard pressed to find more than a few people who don't like W12 and I'm one of them, but I didn't know that until I tried it. You can find alot of info and opinions here but you never really know until you try it.

If you still don't want to drop the cash on a bottle just to try it then ask some of the "old timers" around here that seem to have similar taste preferences as you.

That is a great suggestion. So looking at it from the other direction, my favorite bourbons (right now are) EC12, OWA, WL12, Blanton's, VOB BIB. I guess outside of Blanton's it might be difficult to find less expensive alternatives. Suggestions on alternatives? Or other relatively inexpensive bourbons (different mashbills, etc.) to try? ETL is on my buy list but it may be too similar to others that I have tried.

boneuphtoner
06-09-2013, 18:16
But, back on topic: If you like Baker's and/or KC, you may like Kirkland's. At $20 L, the equivalent of $15 per 750, it is a 7 YO, 103 proof value pour.

I could not agree more. The Kirkland's is becoming a staple in my household!!!

mbroo5880i
06-09-2013, 18:16
If you like Wild Turkey 101 (or, are disappointed with it's recent iteration), you will probably like Old Ezra 7yr 101 (or, Virgin Bourbon if you are close to one of the few uber-control states that carry it).

I am ok with WT101. Old Ezra is on my buy list but I haven't seen it at any of the stores that I frequent in Indiana.

boneuphtoner
06-09-2013, 18:17
This is great example. I have never tried Baker's and its been long enough ago that I tried KC that I don't recall any thing about it. I pass Kirkland's every time that I am in Costco. I guess I didn't realize that it was so similar to Baker's. Do they share the same distiller and mashbill?

Yes to both questions! The best online review to sum up the Kirklands I've ever seen is as follows...it is Baker's and KC's love child! LOL!!!

suntour
06-10-2013, 13:00
Maybe I've got a particularly rough bottle of Old Ezra 101, but I enjoy the WT101 much more. The OE is rough and spicy, WT smooth (if a little bland) and sweet.

Flyfish
06-10-2013, 14:29
Maybe I've got a particularly rough bottle of Old Ezra 101, but I enjoy the WT101 much more. The OE is rough and spicy, WT smooth (if a little bland) and sweet.

Some of you fans of the old and current WT 101 weigh in on this. "Smooth," "bland," and "sweet" are descriptors I have never associated with WT. I've always thought of WT as a more in-your-face bourbon.

Richnimrod
06-10-2013, 15:46
I don't buy that argument because I don't buy white dog. The quality is a function of barrel-aging and selection. Some barrels will produce high-quality bourbon, others will not. The human factor - selecting, blending, filtering, diluting - determines the quality of product sent to market. Even the best white dog can lead to uninspired bourbon.

I totally agree with you MauiSon! However it may start, the quality of the bottled end-product is certainly a bigger function of the skill used in the aging (which rickhouse, location of barrel in the rickhouse, which side, how high, etc.) then the 'barrel selection for profile' done by the Master Distiller, or whomever assists. All of that is what we pay more for in the finer offerings, as well as less for the lower shelf ones. :rolleyes:

MauiSon
06-11-2013, 02:35
Some of you fans of the old and current WT 101 weigh in on this. "Smooth," "bland," and "sweet" are descriptors I have never associated with WT. I've always thought of WT as a more in-your-face bourbon.

I'd say WT101 is sweet on entry, spicy mid-palate with a smooth finish whenever I sip it. If I gulp it down, it's in-my-face bold.

sailor22
06-11-2013, 06:02
Interesting thread. Sometimes it's one particular characteristic that is in one that is similar in another, not an overall profile that makes interesting comparisons. Other times they are more like siblings.

If you like WT 101 you might like Fighting Cock

If you like Rock Hill Farms you might like Elmer T Lee

If you like Basil Hayden you might like Old Grand Dad

squire
06-11-2013, 11:49
I totally agree with you MauiSon! However it may start, the quality of the bottled end-product is certainly a bigger function of the skill used in the aging (which rickhouse, location of barrel in the rickhouse, which side, how high, etc.) then the 'barrel selection for profile' done by the Master Distiller, or whomever assists. All of that is what we pay more for in the finer offerings, as well as less for the lower shelf ones. :rolleyes:

I believe you fellas read something into my post that I didn't put there as I made no mention of White Dog. My point was/is the distillate coming off the still as new made whisky is exactly the same quality no matter which brand it winds up being bottled as and if any of you have evidence to the contrary I would like to hear it.

Flyfish
06-11-2013, 15:11
My point was/is the distillate coming off the still as new made whisky is exactly the same quality no matter which brand it winds up being bottled as and if any of you have evidence to the contrary I would like to hear it.
Assuming that it is the same mash bill (as in BT's #1 or #2), my understanding is that any subsequent difference in the bourbon is solely a matter of where it rested in the rick house and how long it stayed there. On any tour of a rick house you can actually feel the difference in temperature and the change in humidity from one place to another. Smells different as well.

mbroo5880i
06-11-2013, 15:55
I think folks are saying the same thing. The distillate quality is the same, the finished product quality and/or desired characteristics are dependent on other factors.

For example, during the BT tour, they showed different barrels containing the same distilled spirit (mashbill #1) which depending on age, barrel storage location, bottling proof, etc.) will end up as very different products (e.g., White Dog, Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare).

Flyfish
06-11-2013, 17:24
You're right. I should have just said, "The Squire is right."

MauiSon
06-11-2013, 21:45
I believe you fellas read something into my post that I didn't put there as I made no mention of White Dog. My point was/is the distillate coming off the still as new made whisky is exactly the same quality no matter which brand it winds up being bottled as and if any of you have evidence to the contrary I would like to hear it.

First, the distillate coming off the still as new made whiskey is white dog, so you did indeed mention white dog. Let's say you're right and didn't mention white dog, just replace 'white dog' with 'the distillate coming off the still as new made whisky'. Now, what's changed? My argument rests with the contention that the quality of a bourbon is not singularly determined by the quality of the distillate coming off the still as new made whisky. What's more, if you enjoy a particular bourbon, you are no more or less likely to enjoy other bourbons made from the same batch of distillate that have been selected for qualities dissimilar to the bourbon you enjoy.

Second, how do you know the quality is always exactly the same? Are you suggesting the distillate never varies in quality? Or are you suggesting that when the quality of the distillate varies, it's tossed or reprocessed? I don't know how you can claim the quality of the distillate is always exactly the same unless the distillate (white dog) is tasted and tested continuously for exactly unvarying quality and dumped or reprocessed when (not if) it varies. For you to be right on this point, the whiskey cannot just always meet a certain standard of quality - it must attain an exactly unvarying quality. Frankly, I doubt that is the case.
Going back to your original statement, I would agree that likely the distillate is made to the same standards of quality for the various products, but that doesn't mean the distillate (before barreling) in one bottle had the same quality as the distillate in another, unless the distillate for each was comingled long enough for their qualities to become indistinguishable.

Finally, rather than suggesting someone prove you wrong, why not prove yourself right with evidence? ;)

squire
06-12-2013, 02:48
My, my Maui, you do use a lot of words but since you asked . . .

The whisky coming off the still on any given day is exactly the same quality no matter which brand it eventually finds it's way into.

Hope that's simple enough.

Richnimrod
06-12-2013, 04:43
[QUOTE=squire;349267]
The whisky coming off the still on any given day is exactly the same quality no matter which brand it eventually finds it's way into.

I assume that when using a 'conmtinous still (column still) you're correct (after the removal of the heads/tails).
I wonder if the same can be said for different days, and/or runs after the distillation is stopped and then re-started???
I can't believe it will always be IDENTICAL. VERY similar, sure; but IDENTICAL? I wonder? :rolleyes:

squire
06-12-2013, 04:54
I did not say always identical Rich, if you wish to quote me please do not add your words to my post.

MauiSon
06-12-2013, 15:31
My, my Maui, you do use a lot of words but since you asked . . .

The whisky coming off the still on any given day is exactly the same quality no matter which brand it eventually finds it's way into.

Hope that's simple enough.

No, I have no idea what that statement means, if anything. Does it mean the same standards are met for each day's production or does it mean each day's production is comingled? Does it mean that each day's production goes into a variety of different final products in the same proportions? If any of these are the intended meaning, so what? Does it add anything meaningful to the discussion? If so, I don't see it. I do know that the quality of the various end products does vary, not only between but also within product lines.

squire
06-12-2013, 15:35
It means you should look up the term 'cognitive dissonance'.

mbroo5880i
06-12-2013, 17:16
Interesting thread. Sometimes it's one particular characteristic that is in one that is similar in another, not an overall profile that makes interesting comparisons. Other times they are more like siblings.

If you like WT 101 you might like Fighting Cock

If you like Rock Hill Farms you might like Elmer T Lee

If you like Basil Hayden you might like Old Grand Dad

Thanks for the suggestions sailor! I have tried WT 101 and OGD. I believe I have seen Fighting Cock on the shelves. I have never tried Elmer T Lee but it is on my "want to try" list.

MauiSon
06-12-2013, 18:53
It means you should look up the term 'cognitive dissonance'.

Okay, after watching the second half of "Who Wrote the New Testament" on Hulu while enjoying generous pours of BT (smooth caramel with a spicy finish), FRYL (brash fruit with even more pepper), OGD86 (gum and pepper with an oily aura) and Dickel Rye (sweet floral entry with a peppery finish) on a fast day and becoming fairly well toasted, I agree with your assessment of cognitive dissonance - well done, squire! Well done.:shithappens:

JPBoston
06-13-2013, 21:00
I got a weird one for ya...

If you like Evan Williams Black, you may like Knob Creek... or vice versa.

To me, KC tastes a hell of a lot like extra-aged, 100 proof EWB... minus the HH minty-ness (that I only rarely detect, to be honest).

393foureyedfox
06-13-2013, 21:40
im guessing a 100 proof version of EWB is the EW BIB white label. Finally got one of those, and its a nice 100 proofer thats low on the HH minty/corny taste.

I have a friend who only buys EWB, and I got him to order a KC last time we hit the karaoke bar, and he enthusiastically said "I like it!", so I guess youre onto something JPBoston.






what would you guys compare Fighting Cock to? I keep resisting the tempation to buy / try a bottle....

VAGentleman
06-14-2013, 03:43
Yes, yes, yes. Listen to Joe. His advice a few years ago caused my love affair with Old Ezra and Virgin. If you like WT, pay less and get MORE with those two.

Thank for this recommendation everyone! I just got a bottle of Old Ezra 7/101 and I love it!

Richnimrod
06-14-2013, 05:25
I did not say always identical Rich, if you wish to quote me please do not add your words to my post.

EXCUUUUUUUSE ME! I didn't intend to "quote" you with any of my words added tours within your quote. The words I added were intended to be read as MY WORDS; and I assumed that would be clear to anyone reading same. If any other inferences are or were drawn that was certainly not my intention. Again, sorry! :bigeyes:

Flyfish
06-14-2013, 07:08
It seems to me that Squire is only saying that the very same distillate can become very different bourbons depending on where that bourbon is stored in the rick house and how long it spends there. It is all the same QUALITY when it starts out. Four YO from the outside wall of the top level is significantly different from the 10 YO in the center of the ground floor of the rick house. (Squire, did I get that right? Don't mean to misrepresent. And its presumptuous even to explain when you can do that quite adequately.)

squire
06-14-2013, 07:30
Couldn't have said it better Fly.

JPBoston
06-14-2013, 09:15
im guessing a 100 proof version of EWB is the EW BIB white label.

Thought that went without saying. ;)




what would you guys compare Fighting Cock to? I keep resisting the tempation to buy / try a bottle....

I'd compare FC to WT101. Same heavy rye kick, but much sweeter up front.

The first bottle I bought was a caramel bomb like I've never had, the second bottle I bought from a different store was much more dry and 'blah'. Though from the reviews I see online, I believe the second bottle to be the exception, not the rule.

And who are these punks that are riling Squire up? Why I oughtta.....

squire
06-14-2013, 10:44
Now, now, JP, much as I appreciate you shoring up my damaged reputation let's not call our fellow members names, Rich is actually a nice guy.

Flyfish
06-14-2013, 11:07
Now, now, JP, much as I appreciate you shoring up my damaged reputation let's not call our fellow members names, Rich is actually a nice guy.

We come to praise the Squire, not to bury him
For Rich is an honorable man,
So are we all, all honorable men.

JPBoston
06-15-2013, 01:13
Now, now, JP, much as I appreciate you shoring up my damaged reputation let's not call our fellow members names, Rich is actually a nice guy.

Haha -- I chose the word "punk" to be colorful yet light. No intention to begin forum wars. ;)

Though if they keep bothering the patron saint of OGD, shit's gonna get real in here. :cool:

mbroo5880i
06-18-2013, 19:08
One of my local stores provided the following information:

Heaven Hill White Label 6 year - No longer produced. We will be getting Evan Williams White Label BIB soon...although it has no age statement. This is a newly launched product for Indiana...we have it on order and should be getting our shipment soon!

Ezra Brooks 7 year- This is no longer produced. The closest we have available is the Evan Williams single barrel. It is the same producer. We have Ezra Brooks black label which replaced 7 year at a few stores. I can have some sent here if you would like.

I am not sure if the statement about HH 6-Yr BIB is correct. Not sure about Ezra 7 Year. However, my question is "are the Evan Williams products essentially the same products as the HH and Ezra?"

squire
06-18-2013, 20:25
Evan Williams Black Label is the flagship brand and it's very consistent within it's established age/maturity/flavor range profile. As for the other Heaven Hill products I wouldn't call them the same whisky but they certainly do share family traits and I could be happy with just about any of the higher proof labels.

393foureyedfox
06-18-2013, 21:19
i was VERY curious how the EW BIB would compare to the HH 6 year white BIB, so when i found out last month that it was now available in KY, i had a store order one bottle for me. If youve had the HH 6 year white BIB, the EW BIB is QUITE similar, just a tiny bit less of the HH distinctive taste (some call it corny, or minty). in a blind tasting, youd likely not notice the difference. both are well worth their prices. I'll be interested to see the EW BIB price when it becomes a normal shelf stocking. HH 6 year is everywhere here and about $11. the EW BIB was $15, but that may just be because of the tiny store that specially ordered one for me. I expect that just because the EW name, it will be about a $13 bottle.

393foureyedfox
06-18-2013, 21:23
now if someone could just tell me a cheaper (but still tastes a lot like) Knob Creek 120 proofer.......


doubt it. not a lot of 120 proofers out there