View Full Version : Single Barrel Tasting
Planning a head for a Single Barrel Bourbon tasting I'm hosting early next month. I have the whiskey & I need a
serving order. I've been to a fair number of Single Malt
& beer tastings so I'm generally aware of light to dark,
weak to strong etc tasting concepts. However I'm only
slightly familiar with one of the selection. Left to my
own devices I would serve them lowest alc/vol to greatest.
However at the levels of these Single Barrel's this may not
necessarly be the case & they're all close except for one.
The list: 1.Wathen's 2.Handcocks Reserve 3.WT Kentucky Spirit 4.George T.Stagg 5.Eligah Craig 18 6.Elmer T.Lee
Perhaps worth noting this is my first posting here but have
been reading almost daily for the past 3 or 5 months. It's
turned into a great relaxing end or the day read while sipping a whiskey.
I'd put the Hancock first because it is (relatively) light, then the Wathen's, then Blanton, then Elmer Lee, then the Craig, then Kentucky Spirit and finish with the Stagg. This gradation is based on going from lighter-bodied to heaviest.
Also, you might consider, for this or a later tasting, adding Jack Daniel Single Barrel. First, it is very good. Second, it is (in effect) a type of bourbon, different from the others only in being subjected to a pre-barreling draining through ground maple charcoal. Might be interesting to see if people feel the process adds something that the others lack - or vice versa..
While I understand doing a natural progression as Gary states, to me it would make more sense to stagger the order so that you can taste distinct differences from one to the next. If you run them too close to each other I think they run the chance of the tastes running together and having some subtle tastes get lost in the process. I'd take the last three and shuffle them into the previous three, but keep the Hancock as the starter. Definitely the Stagg is the icing on the cake though.
Also, if it's not too late it wouldn't hurt to add a wheater in there either as a change of pace.
Where in a tasting would you slip the Jack Daniel Single Barrel in. I might also have
to eliminate one of the other bottles. Experience from other tasting with the group I drink with, seven one once pours is about what most can taste & still benefit from
sensory pleasures of unique whiskeys. Which bottle would you eliminate?
As for Dane’s suggestion about adding a Wheater. Is there a Single Barrel Wheater
to be had? Thanks for your suggestions.
I would delete the Wathen's and cut the servings to a half-ounce each. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif At the end, I'd offer to each a dram of the whiskey people liked best. (I know you'll want to make sure everyone can get home safely).
I would serve the Jack Single Barrel at the end. Jack is strong enough in flavor, especially Single Barrel, to stand out, and that way people will have had the range of bourbon flavors as counterpoint.
As for a wheater single barrel, some W.L. Weller 12 year old is available in that form but it will probably be difficult to find. There is some Van Winkle 12 year old Lot B that is single barrel, but again probably it will be hard to locate. (Astor Liquors in New York City has some put up especially for the house). I'd go with a bonded Old Fitzgerald if you can find that, that is close enough, or any wheater, really, the filip of the single barrel is not to be disdained but is not essential in a tasting of this nature (IMHO).
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