View Full Version : Need a suggestion

05-26-2004, 18:00
Hi everyone. I'm just beginning to enjoy bourbon. When I was younger I drank it with mixers, but now I'm interested in becoming more familiar with it. I haven't developed my pallet, and enjoy reading the "tastings" section. I'm surprised how good you all are.

I'm in the middle of Makers Mark and Woodford Reserve. I like WR much more than Makers. WR has a more lush, less alcoholic taste to me. What other bourbons would you suggest that are at this level or better quality? Thanks

05-26-2004, 19:49
Boy, now you've gotten us started!
Seriously, there are a whole lot of good bourbons with which you get flavor before (or, at least, along with) the alcohol. I note you're not too far from Virginia, which means you can get ahold of Ancient Ancient Age 10yo (AAA 10). On the light side, but lots of flavor, little burn. Weller 12 is another. Don't give up on "wheaties" because of Maker's Mark -- the Weller is one, the Van Winkles others. Old Forester is another easy-drinking 'starter' (and, for many of us, 'continuer') bourbon. With the exception of the Van Winkles, all of the above can be labeled 'bargains': as easy on the wallet as on the palate.

05-26-2004, 20:17
Don't give up on "wheaties"

I've seen where you refer to bourbons by grains? Can you go into more detail there? Wheatie means wheat is the second most used grain in the mash and it's smoother then other grains?

05-26-2004, 21:42
Bourbon is made (http://home.si.rr.com/paradox7/bourbon_distilling.htm) from 3 main ingredients: corn, rye and barley malt. Some distillers/bourbon mashes use wheat instead of rye like Makers Mark. Rye produces a more spicy or hot bourbon whereas wheat tends to yield a more sweet (not sugary sweet) flavor... Search around on here and you can find out more info about the percentages etc that are in various mashbills and what is required by law...

05-27-2004, 10:29
Yeah, what Mark said.

05-27-2004, 11:07
Thanks...I think next up will be Basil Hayden's or Bookers. What do folks think of rye whisky?

Anyone know what the red (1) on the replys column on the topics page is for?

05-27-2004, 14:00
The red numeral tells you how many new posts have been added since you last accessed the page. It keeps you from having to browse through every thread to find new posts.

05-27-2004, 15:11
I think next up will be Basil Hayden's or Bookers.

I'd stay away from Basil Haydens... Even though you are beginning, I'd get the Bookers and cut it or throw in some ice and let it sit. It's a much more rounded bourbon. But if you want something similiar, and much cheaper, get Jim Beam Black; It's not bad at all.

05-27-2004, 16:34
Why should I stay away from Basil's? Too spicy from the rye? What do you think of rye whisky?

05-27-2004, 16:46
You'll get disagreement here, but I find BH way too light and thin for the money. It costs alot for an 80 proof watery bourbon with little flavor. Some have said that newer bottles were better, but still, its alot of money for what it is in my opinion... There are much better buys out there that cost the same if not less.

I like Rye whiskey, but when I do have it, I tend to always go with Sazerac 18 yo or Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13yo. I've had the Jim Beam Rye and not cared much for it. The WT RYE is not bad for the price, but I guess I'm spoiled by the previous 2 I mentioned. Michter's has a new Four year old rye (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=26872&page=0&view=col lapsed&sb=5&o=all&fpart=1) that is out. It was good but I really want to try the 10 year old version. I've been meaning to write some notes on the most recent release of Sazerac for some time now, maybe this weekend. Keep an eye out for it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

05-27-2004, 17:56
I had a dram of Jim Beam Black recently at LaGuardia airport - the bar next to the American Airlines check-in - and found it first rate. The only disappointment was that the advertised Michelob Draft (not the Light or the Ultra) was not available that day to chase it with. I found this Jim Beam very good, rich, well-flavoured, without that dry citric "wild yeast" taste that some Beams (including the premiums) have. A fine whiskey, that day there was no better anywhere.


05-27-2004, 19:35
A fine whiskey, that day there was no better anywhere.

That's a good point, Gary. While Mark's observations about Basil Hayden's are noted and some of them have been mine as well, on the day the Dane and I had a sip of it at the American Outpost at Jim Beams expense, we were near the place you were with the Jim Beam Black. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

05-29-2004, 13:59
A great little inexpensive rye is Old Overholt. I like this better than WT or JB Rye for the price. The VW can be hard to come by but is excellent. It's rye percentage is lower than some so it's closer to bourbon in flavor. A lot of renewed interest in rye.

Also great for the price is the Ezra 7yr 101. You can always cut it back if straight is too much. For a few extra bucks than the regular 4 year Ezra, the 7 offers richer flavor and bit more intensity.

05-29-2004, 14:49
Old Overholt, Pikesville and Jim Beam are three inexpensive ryes that I use to make sazerac cocktails or to mix with ginger ale for some summer coolers.

05-29-2004, 17:06
I agree... Bookers over Basil Hayden's.

Jim Beam Black isn't bad, either... it's worth the price!

05-29-2004, 22:52
I second that motion. I even got a frown from the lady pouring when I said it wasn't as bad as I remembered it. I think Bobby almost had BH coming out of his nose when I said that. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

05-30-2004, 07:00
Even if it has 'improved', I'd stay away from it at the price it's at; It's still an 80 proof bourbon... JMHO

05-30-2004, 07:24
Even if it has 'improved', I'd stay away from it at the price it's at; It's still an 80 proof bourbon... JMHO

I've got to agree. I can't think of a single 80 proof bourbon that really 'does it' for me any more. Even the Four Roses yellow-label I brought back from KY seems bland & boring. As for BH, I'd much rather have its lower-price higher-proof sibling OGD.

05-30-2004, 07:58
Based on more than one tasting of BH lately (different locales) I believe it is much improved from its profile of the last few years. It is deeper, "maltier" in taste with much less of what seemed a yeasty, tangy taste. I find similar improvement with Beam Black Label and also Knob Creek. Maybe someone at Jim Beam has realised that perhaps the "wild yeast" background flavor was taken a tad too far in recent years. Or maybe slow changes and variations in mingling methods and in the whiskies themselves are producing at present "better tasting" bottles than at other times. Whatever the reason, I find the current Beam Black and Knob Creek in particular tasting very good. As for proof, for neat drinking I still like around 80 proof and dilute generally higher proof liquor to approximately that range, but 86 is good neat too. Beam Black at 86 proof gets the balance just right for me. (So does VOB 86 proof, a whisky which in my view has always been very consistent).


05-30-2004, 10:45
Just to be sure we're on the same page, it's a price issue and there's nothing wrong with the Bourbon? That's my take on it. At 8 years I think they err on the side of lightness with the low proof, rather than an extra aged, high proof and very robust high rye Bourbon. I wonder what results printing a new label with 90 or 100 proof on it and running a batch or 2 of that would bring. I'd be happy to try a bottle of it.

I have read the "Brown Vodka " posts on here from a while back, But after trying the bourbon several times now, I like it a lot. I don't however like the 28-32 dollar price tag.

05-30-2004, 10:59
With the 'old' BH, yes there is alot wrong with it... As for the new one I don't know since I have not had it and probably never will unless I get a free sample from the outpost. Even if the newer one is better, I do not see myself paying that much money for an 80 proof product; and one that has left a bad taste in my mouth. With there being SO many other better bourbons out there for a more reasonable price, I wouldn't suggest it to a new bourbon drinker either.

05-30-2004, 12:06
I agree on the question of value.


05-30-2004, 15:30
Elijah Craig 12 Year Old 94 proof is an excellent value and a fine bourbon. If you are looking for flavor you will find it in EC. Many other good sugestions here, all the oferings from Wild Turkey are good.

05-30-2004, 15:36
I wouldn't suggest it to a new bourbon drinker either.

It's not the most accessible bourbon, I found it almost an acquired taste really. I'm not sure I'd recommend it to a newbie, I can't find a good reason not to. I wouldn't recommend Stagg to a newbie, I feel one needs to bring a few things to the table to appreciate that. I would say Regular Jim Beam, Barton, Evan Williams etc.

Someone used to evaluate bourbons with total disregard to price, If I apply that yardstick then Basil Haydens, for me, passes muster. Another thing is it is 1 of 4 expressions of Old Granddad.That in and of itself is a good thing. I wonder if any one here would complain if Makers had 4 separate expressions? Didn't think so!

05-30-2004, 15:46
I wouldn't recommend Stagg to a new person to bourbon either Bobby. Though I would recommend other great and lesser priced bourbons that offer varying tastes such as Old Forester, Weller 12, WT RR and the list can go one and on.

This Basil Haydens discussion could of course go on forever, but it comes down to a matter of personal preference; Both in personal tastes and opinions. I don't think either one of us is wrong. (not to mention more discussion would need a whole new thread to be started and I'm not that enthusiastic about it http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif)

I would like to see Makers Mark have 4 different expressions, yes! But if, like in the case of the small batch collection, one of the expressions was not 'up to par' in my opinion, a relatively low 80 proof and overpriced, I would have the same thigns to say about it.

05-30-2004, 16:39
I wonder if any one here would complain if Makers had 4 separate expressions? Didn't think so!

I think we all would like to see what else they could do. I'm not holding my breath.

05-30-2004, 16:49
I'm sure every other distillery would like to have Maker's problem, which is that they already sell every drop they make running at full capacity. They have already (a few years ago) doubled the size of the distillery once. Maybe they need to do it again.

05-30-2004, 17:21

As I said I'm not holding my breath. I wish my paper had a marketing department half as good as Bill's.