View Full Version : Gaggle of Bourbons

01-05-2005, 06:04
Not formal taste notes but just some random thoughts on a non-related group of bourbons which I bought in Florida recently or tasted in bars or at friends' there:

Ancient Age Bonded: This was a real surpise: a clean-tasting rich whiskey, on the sweet side, not complex but tasty and with power to spare, it trumps many higher-priced items

Ezra Brooks 12 years old 101 proof: This is a big bruiser of a whiskey with a good taste of old charred wood which only partly hides some feisty/funky distillery character, lots of tannic-like edge in the finish. Not sophisticated or smoothed down but one version (I am sure) of the real old time bourbon whiskey

Wild Turkey 101 Proof. This was tasted at a friend's and had the 8 year old moniker and probably picked up somewhere in the Caribbean. I never get tired of 101, it has its own taste profile of fulsome "bourbonness" one might say, this one showed a wood accent that wasn't much charred, a fresh wood accent almost. Another good example of a traditional whiskey

Old Crow - this was a well brand in a restaurant and I gave it a try. It offers a somewhat "unrefined" taste, something gamy/funky in the backgroud, very "out there". I can see it would taste fine in cocktails and with mix but I found it hard to sample neat. The taste reminded me of certain price brands in the 1970's, e.g., Bellows Bourbon.


01-05-2005, 10:09
Bellows Bourbon is still available and produced by Beam, as is old crow.; I remember the Bellows brand fondly. There used to be so many wonderful products under that label. I don't know how the name got to Beam,or if there are still spices under the Bellows name

01-05-2005, 10:57
Bellows was a fine old name in whiskey and also characterised a line of gins and other beverage alcohols. Indeed (as discussed in an earlier thread) bourbon and other liquor is still available under the Bellows name. I sampled Bellows numerous times in the late 1970's and early 1980's and found it hard to take with a rough character unredeemed by age or other factors (sweetness, fruity quality, etc.). Certainly it was a price brand even then and therefore did not offer the complexity or refined taste of more expensive brands such as Old Grandad, which is not to say it did not have its fans and of course, taste is personal. I think Old Crow also has become a price and well brand largely, and the palate has changed (in my view) to accomodate that.


01-05-2005, 14:02
Bellows came to Beam in the merger with/acquisition of National Distillers in 1987.