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Vange
10-14-2005, 11:57
This is a hypothetical question for now, but could turn into a taste test/article in a magazine depending on how it goes.

If I had to pick 10 bourbons of ANY value, but of decent availability to be tested and rated, what would be a good 10 bourbons to write an artcile with?

A few clarifications:

1) Limited quantity bourbons like Pappy 23 can be included.
2) Something hirsch 16 can be included, but Hirsch 20 cannot since it's too difficult to find and get a sample from it.
3) Price is of NO object. Distillers's Masterpiece, if deemed worthy, could be added. I don't know much about it except that it's expensive.
4) We want upper echelon bourbons if such a category exists, but with some dynamic od range.

Thanks in advance to anyone that could help me with this,
Evangelos

bluesbassdad
10-14-2005, 12:38
I humbly submit the following list, in no particular order, on the condition you don't ask me to justify my choices.

1. Elijah Craig 18 y/o (the ultimate expression of the charred oak influence)

2. Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit (I would substitute the 12 y/o if it were still being marketed across the USA.)

3. Rock Hill Farms (defines "bourbon" to my taste; robust; touches all the bases)

4. Eagle Rare 17 y/o (compare it to fine cognac; it will hold its own)

5. Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 y/o (I still haven't opened my bottle of this one, but its breeding is impeccable.)

6. Elmer T. Lee (a spicy flavor like no other)

7. Virginia Gentleman 90 proof (perhaps not in anyone's top 10, but included here to provide additional "range", as you put it)

8. A.H. Hirsch 16 y/o (probably should be excluded because of diminishing availability, but provides "range" in a manner like no other)

9. George T. Stagg (choosing which release is problematic; I'd simply go with the latest release because of availability)

10. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (see previous comment)

If the Hirsch were to be ruled out, I'd like to put in its place Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 y/o. I know it's not bourbon, but it's a close cousin -- and IMO deserving of a place in any top 10 list of American whiskey.

Others I wish the list had room for include Baker's, Wathen's and Old Grand Dad BIB (which I prefer to the more expensive 114 proof version).

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

kbuzbee
10-14-2005, 13:42
Great list Dave! I would exclude the Virginia Gentleman, the Hirsh 16 (sadly, but for the reason you state) and add 1792 Ridgement Reserve and Jefferson's Reserve.

Just my $.02

Ken

Vange
10-14-2005, 13:42
Your justifications were great. I am definitely keeping the Hirsch Reserve 16 in there. Pappy 23 is probably a definite also. So, I guess I need 8 more. Maybe 2 as alternates just in case availability becomes an issue.

Vange
10-14-2005, 13:46
Pappy 20 I mean, not the 23.

gr8erdane
10-14-2005, 13:51
I won't presume to list 10 bourbons as the original premise asks, but I'd think that you'd want to run the entire gambit from top to bottom shelf so that you can cover the whole economic spectrum of the readers of your article. If I had a Jim Beam White pocketbook what good would it be for me to find out about Pappy 23? Let those less fortunate know that bourbon does NOT have to be expensive to be good.

kbuzbee
10-14-2005, 13:53
I won't presume to list 10 bourbons as the original premise asks, but I'd think that you'd want to run the entire gambit from top to bottom shelf so that you can cover the whole economic spectrum of the readers of your article. If I had a Jim Beam White pocketbook what good would it be for me to find out about Pappy 23? Let those less fortunate know that bourbon does NOT have to be expensive to be good.



So you are suggesting AAA or VOB???

Ken

Vange
10-14-2005, 14:00
I had a typo before, Pappy 23 will not be in the list, but I think Pappy 20 definitely will be in the article.

We do want to run the gambit, but we want to touch on "excellent" bourbons since we can only feature 10.

KYBlue
10-14-2005, 14:48
Hey folks... 1st post. I've been lurking for a while, thought I'd join in.

I've been assembling a similar but smaller tasting when a couple of good friends are visiting the last weekend of the month. In no particular order, what I've got so far is:

Jeffersons Reserve 15
1792 Ridgemont Reserve
Hirsch 16
Pappy Van Winkle 15
Buffaloe Trace

I'd like to add one or two more, but in my case, I've already pushed my budget, particularly with the Hirsch. Any recomendations to round out the field?

Vange
10-14-2005, 14:57
Since I won't be paying for these bourbons, I added that price is not relevant, we just want excellent bourbons in the article.

Vange
10-14-2005, 14:58
One more thing, the article category is called Top Shelf. If it makes it to a magazine! Thanks again guys!

Chaz7
10-14-2005, 17:03
Well, I can certainly say Pappy Van Winkle 20 yr belongs, but maybe Old Rip Van Winkle 90 proof for contrast. Then maybe AAA 10 STAR (value), since it is much more readily available than 10 year, and rounding out the rest:
Old Grand Dad Bottled in Bond, just for grins-you could always blame the government and because it is B in B
Booker's Baker's or Knob Creek- one from the Small Batch Collection
Jim Beam, because it is EVERYWHERE
1792 RR, but only because it is the only Barton's with large distribution
Wild Turkey 101, because most people have heard of it
Evan Williams SB Vintage for a single barrel
And one cult find, such as Noah's Mill or Four Roses
I chose these not because they are my favorites, but because I hope with their diversity they are discussion worthy.

RedVette
10-14-2005, 17:17
George T Stagg
ORVW 15 107
WT Rare Breed
Bakers
Corner Creek
Sam Houston
OGD BIB
Elmer T Lee
Elijah Craig 12
Evan Williams SB

Not the most expensive, but a very solid roundup. I can't believe I made a top ten list without Blantons, or Old Rip lot B.

bluesbassdad
10-14-2005, 19:22
Lot B failed to make my list only because the bourbon going into the bottle has recently changed (per Julian). I'd like to give it the benefit of the doubt, but after my response to the replacement for ORVW 15/107 I cannot. The PVW 15/107 is a worthwhile bourbon, but IMO it is no match for its predecessor.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

ratcheer
10-14-2005, 21:30
For the eight others, I would choose:
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Rock Hill Farms
Elmer T. Lee
Blanton's
Booker's
Eagle Rare 17
Old Grand Dad 114

Tim

StraightBoston
10-14-2005, 22:50
I like the lists so far -- I'd choose mine to make sure each of the distilleries are covered, and I'd make sure that one of the extra-aged Kulsveens is on there (some have suggested Jefferson Reserve 15 but I haven't tried that myself!)

How about:
Elijah Craig 18yo
Pappy 20
AH Hirsch 16yo
Eagle Rare 17yo (or George T Stagg)
Black Maple Hill 21yo (or Classic Cask)
Bookers
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit (or Tribute; I personally prefer KS)
1792 Ridgemont Reserve (or VOB 100)
Virginia Gentleman "The Fox"

Too bad that Maker's Mark Select (Black Seal) isn't available in the States -- the red wax isn't "top shelf" enough for this list. There are a number of other tastes from distilleries already on the list -- OGD 114 or EWSB, for example. Corner Creek might work, too, as a unique taste, and of course there are many other BT products that would fit well as others have suggested.

gr8erdane
10-15-2005, 00:33
Ah then that makes a WORLD of difference. My Ten Top Shelf would be:

Stagg
PVW20
VW Lot B
Rock Hill Farms
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit (unless you can find a 12yo)
Elijah Craig 18
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon
Wathans
Black Maple Hill 14 or 16
Booker's

There is a wide variety here from many different distilleries that would provide a cross section of the industry as well as for the top shelf itself. I put in two VWs because each is completely different from the other and outstanding each in its own way. As others have said if I had an honorable mention category for these it would have to include Rowan's Creek, Woodford Reserve and Ridgeford Reserve 1792 to give a more complete cross section. They will each stand toe to toe in my book.

Vange
10-17-2005, 13:29
Thanks for the lists! They are great!

One thing I am unclear on. What is the talk about Lot B? I think I am missing something here.

Vange
10-17-2005, 14:07
Also, any thoughts on Jim Beam's Distiller's Masterpiece? Has anyone tried this one?

StraightBoston
10-17-2005, 14:19
"Lot B" = Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year old Lot B. Was Stitzel-Weller distillation until very recently, now Bernheim, I think. Very tasty.

I've tried the 1st edition of Distiller's Masterpiece -- what makes it unique (besides the price) makes it less like bourbon, in my opinion.

Vange
10-17-2005, 14:53
Is the VW Special Reserve 12 year always a Lot B? Or do I need to find a specific marking on the bottles?

RedVette
10-17-2005, 17:41
Is the VW Special Reserve 12 year always a Lot B? Or do I need to find a specific marking on the bottles?

http://www.oldripvanwinkle.com/newbs/vw/website3.nsf/files/b12y904pls.jpg/$FILE/b12y904pls.jpg

RedVette
10-17-2005, 17:53
For Christmas last year, my daughter gave me a bottle of the first Distillers Masterpiece, 18 years old, Cognac Finish. I have had two small samples, I just can't bring myself to drink a two hundred dollar bottle of Whiskey. The two samples revealed a very intense Bourbon (Jim Beam in the barrel for 18 years is going to be intense) with a very complex taste structure. Whether or not it has toffee or floral or hazlenut notes in the taste I don't have a clue. All I know is that it is a big hairy Bourbon with a bunch of flavor, and someday I will have a good enough excuse to drink a bunch of it.

AVB
10-19-2005, 16:48
There were two Distiller's Masterpiece released. The 20 year old had a port wood finish and came across really odd to me. Sorta like a bad scotch that didn't know which way to go. The 18 year old finished in brandy casks was much better. IMO.



Also, any thoughts on Jim Beam's Distiller's Masterpiece? Has anyone tried this one?

Gillman
10-19-2005, 18:04
But any way you look at it, these are fairly luxurious drinks! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Gary

Vange
10-22-2005, 09:16
They threw in a monkey wrench!! Since there are so many types of bourbons out there, they decided to go with an article on top shelf single barrel bourbons only.

These leaves room open for another bourbon article at a later date.

I guess my question is, is it easy to distinguish a single barrel bourbon from others? Meaning it's always on the label, etc.

I also might need some refined lists now.

Thanks everyone!

AVB
10-22-2005, 09:20
I gotta ask. How are you going to write an article on something you don't seem to know much about? It takes more then a few tastings and some reading to appreciate the the differences and nuances of bourbon IMO.

kbuzbee
10-22-2005, 09:31
AFAIK - yes, it's always on the label. Single barrel is only one component, though. What you will figure out quickly is the three main "high end" catagories may include any or all of the other two (well, kinda).

Single barrel may or may not be cask strength. - Kentucky Spirit is single barrel but not cask strength. Single barrel is NOT small batch.

Cask Strength may or may not be single barrel or small batch. - Rare Breed is cask strength but not single barrel. It is a mingling of 6, 8, and 12 year old bourbon.

Small batch, may or may not be cask strength but is not single barrel. Small batch varies tremendously between distilleries. So much so, it's almost meaningless - out of context.

(Almost?) all distilleries have single barrel offering and folks here each have their favorite. Mine is Kentucky Spirit. I find it smooth, but not TOO smooth. Plenty of characture. A very, VERY good Bourbon!

The one thing to remember about single barrel, every single barrel will be unique. Reviewing one barrel may or may not give your readers insight to the particular barrel they are able to find on the shelf. The master distillers do have a profile they are trying to match but they only have selection, not modification (mingling) to work with. They can age it more or move it to another area of the rickhouse, but that's about it. At the very least you should cite which barrel you are reviewing (it's on the label - Warehouse C Rick 9 barrel 6 or something similar). Any article on single barrel is, at best, a snapshot in time.



Ken

Vange
10-22-2005, 09:36
Thank you for the insight.

To respond to the otehr question, I won't be writing the article alone, but I am doing a lot of the legwork to get a nice list of 10 bourobs to use in the sampling. Others with the bourbon knowledge will be writing the majority of the article.

kbuzbee
10-22-2005, 09:38
I gotta ask. How are you going to write an article on something you don't seem to know much about? It takes more then a few tastings and some reading to appreciate the the differences and nuances of bourbon IMO.



Goes under the same theory that most teacher's colleges work under (Tim, do you agree??). You don't need to know the subject matter, all you need is teaching skills. My ex is a teacher. I always wondered how she could teach math when she couldn't do math (or science). and she wasn't even really interested in either one. (Geez, this is gonna be pulled over to the off topic area pretty quick, isn't it?)

I find I can teach anything but I have to be interested enough in it to actually learn about it first. I'd never have made it through teacher's college! And I think that is a huge problem today.

Ken

kbuzbee
10-22-2005, 09:43
Thank you for the insight.

To respond to the otehr question, I won't be writing the article alone, but I am doing a lot of the legwork to get a nice list of 10 bourobs to use in the sampling. Others with the bourbon knowledge will be writing the majority of the article.



That should help. I hope they know their stuff. Bourbon is a very complex subject and the folks most likely to be interested in what you write are right here (and not an easy crowd to impress). We are fortunate to have a couple very knowledgable people here who manage to keep the rest of us on track, so to speak. The bottom line (for me) is everyone's experience with something like taste, is, ultimately, unique to them. It may or may not follow what your article describes to them.

Good luck!

Ken

Vange
10-22-2005, 09:58
We'll try our best, unfortunately it's not some big great magazine. It's more a local magazine, but either way we want to write up a nice article. It's more of a showcase of top shelf bourbons rather than even a full length wordy article.

kbuzbee
10-22-2005, 10:02
I see. I'm sure it will be well received. Nice to see something going out to a wider (if smaller) audience. You are smart to use the expertice here to help with your "legwork". As I said earlier, several of the folks here are not just knowlegdable but also well respected in the field.

Post a link when it's published, I'd love to read it.

Ken

Vange
10-22-2005, 10:14
I plan on tapping some of the resources here when we get closer to writing the article. Maybe even for some text if possible for those willing to help. Believe me, we want the article to sound and look good.

The artcile is designed to make readers of this magazine, say wow, I never even heard of a lot of these bourbons AND/OR I didn't know wild turkey had a bourbon that tastes that good!

RedVette
10-22-2005, 12:27
This is a lot easier, there just aren't that many single barrels out there.

Blantons
Evan Williams SB
Elmer T Lee
Wild Turkey Heritage
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit
Rock Hill Farms
Four Roses
Wathens
Elijah Craig 18
Eagle Rare 10

TNbourbon
10-22-2005, 21:00
...Goes under the same theory that most teacher's colleges work under (Tim, do you agree??). You don't need to know the subject matter, all you need is teaching skills...



You're asking the wrong person, Ken. I have a 160 IQ (or, so they tell me) and a degree in English -- my education degree was my SECOND major, because my small, private liberal arts college would not allow one to graduate without a major in an academic discipline. A better question to me (veering WAAAYYY off topic!) would be how the heck did someone supposedly bright spend his life in careers that offer so little money or advancement?
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

gr8erdane
10-22-2005, 21:05
The only other three I have or know of in addition to RedVette's list are:

Hancock's from BT
Henry McKenna from HH
and
Benchmark SB (no longer produced).

kbuzbee
10-23-2005, 08:22
Just to keep it in the thread, Kentucky Spirit (Oh, I said that already)http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif



You're asking the wrong person, Ken. I have a 160 IQ (or, so they tell me) and a degree in English --



Don't get me wrong, Tim, I didn't expect you to represent this trend but I figured you'd have been exposed to it and have an opinion (whether concurring or dissenting)



A better question to me (veering WAAAYYY off topic!) would be how the heck did someone supposedly bright spend his life in careers that offer so little money or advancement?
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif



Understood. When I was in high school I went through career analysis looking at what things paid and what I could probably handle (as far as getting AND paying for the schooling). Trying to maximize the area under the curve, so to speak. I ruled out the things that I perceived to be too hard/expensive (Doctor, Lawyer) and settled on something I'd expected to pay well but was much easier (Civil Engineering). Got my first job out of school staking oil rigs in the Gulf for big $$$. Moved from there to computer support then sales. Mostly pretty good money along the way. Never designed one highway or bridge.... Oh well.....

Ken

RedVette
10-23-2005, 08:31
I have never seen or tried any of them, but aren't the Black Maple Hills also single barrels?

BourbonJoe
10-23-2005, 08:36
Yes, Black Maple Hill's are single barrels.
Joe http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/usflag.gif

KYBlue
10-27-2005, 08:05
Tonight's the night for my tasting. The lineup has changed a little:

Jeffersons Reserve 15
Elmer T. Lee*
Hirsch 16*
Pappy Van Winkle 15
Buffaloe Trace*
Basil Haydens

*1st pours for me

Being a novice, I really don't know what to expect... I really liked the Jeffersons Reserve when I had that early this year. Basil Haydens is frequently in my house, but most often I have Makers - which I like, but Basil Haydens I like a lot more.

Any predictions on what will emerge as tonights favorite?

TNbourbon
10-27-2005, 14:50
...Any predictions on what will emerge as tonight's favorite?



Don't know about a favorite, but I suspect your opinion of the Jefferson Reserve might fade a bit in that company.

Vange
12-07-2005, 13:18
If anyone is intested here are the 10 bourbons that are going to be featured in the "Top Shelf" article. Thanks to all for adding your input. I would like to say I was not the only person picking these, so if you don't like the list don't kill me for it!! Some were chosen almost just based on availability. I added a few notes to give some reasoning. Curious to hear any thoughts or opinions on the 10 chosen.

1) Baker's (small batch, readily available and young)
2) Blanton's Original (the ORIGNAL single barrel)
3) Booker's (small batch, but vastly different from Baker's)
4) Hirsch 16 (a piece of history)
5) Pappy 20 (one of the best and my favorite)
6) Elmer T Lee (unbeatable for the price)
7) Stagg (the hazmat label and its quality)
8) Wild Turkey Tribute (arguably best in the WT class)
9) Eagle Rare 17 (another great one)
10) Distillers Masterpiece Port finish (why this one? we needed a "WOW" type bourbon for the article in which readers would get a bit mystified by this selection, plus it has a very elegant and photogenic look)

barturtle
12-07-2005, 13:27
Scanning back though the thread I never found the name of the magazine.

kbuzbee
12-07-2005, 13:48
You have a good list there, Evangelos. Post a link when it's written?

Ken

Vange
12-07-2005, 14:24
Thank you, magazine is called the Good Life. Small local magazine at the New Jersey shore. Affiliated with a newspaper. It's fun to do it for them, I get very very very little money to do it. I did a tequila article already (I know more about those than bourbon, but like I said in other posts, I ramp up fast)

The magazine comes out in Spring 06. I'll post a link when it's posted.

bluesbassdad
12-07-2005, 14:47
I recognize that the selections that make for the ideal magazine article dedicated to a certain theme comprise a different set than one based on a consumer's criteria (flavor, value, availability, etc.).

On that basis I find your list admirable, with but one exception. I'm disappointed that no bottling from Heaven Hill made your list. After you mentioned an emphasis on single barrel bottlings (IIRC . . .or was it the "top shelf" angle that arrived late?), I assumed that Elijah Craig 18 y/o (my choice) or one of the Evan Williams Single Barrel vintage bottlings would be a slam dunk. The vintage angle would add a unique element to the article.

I might also quibble, albeit with less fervor, about your inclusion of Blanton's and Elmer T. Lee (from Buffalo Trace) while omitting their best (IMHO), Rock Hill Farms. (At the very least it photographs better than the Elmer T. Lee. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif )

Regardless, I look forward to seeing your article, and I'm honored that you considered our advice.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Vange
12-07-2005, 18:20
Honestly I wanted EC 18 and RHF, but other powers wanted Baker's for familiarity and blanton's for aesthetics. (it's good too of course)

Elmer T Lee was added because it has a great following on this forum and is sub $30. Fits that great buy category.

I didn't think to try and pick distilleries rather than just picking 10 great bourbons. Maybe next time.

I have a feeling we'll be doing a followup article on bourbon. I'll make sure to add RHF and EC 18 on those! Perhaps a 4 Roses or Noah's Mill as well. We'll see how this one goes first!

One question, can someone verify if blanton's was indeed the FIRST single barrel bourbon?

AVB
12-07-2005, 19:23
Where did you find the Tribute as you were looking as late as Monday? You can PM me if you don't want to post.




8) Wild Turkey Tribute (arguably best in the WT class)

Vange
12-07-2005, 19:30
Emailed a fe guys diretly from ebay that sold it in the past. We made a deal. I have a friend in Hong Kong that I just sent a list to of bourbons to look out for. I hope he'll have good news for me soon!

ratcheer
12-07-2005, 20:25
If anyone is intested here are the 10 bourbons that are going to be featured in the "Top Shelf" article. Thanks to all for adding your input. I would like to say I was not the only person picking these, so if you don't like the list don't kill me for it!! Some were chosen almost just based on availability. I added a few notes to give some reasoning. Curious to hear any thoughts or opinions on the 10 chosen.

1) Baker's (small batch, readily available and young)
2) Blanton's Original (the ORIGNAL single barrel)
3) Booker's (small batch, but vastly different from Baker's)
4) Hirsch 16 (a piece of history)
5) Pappy 20 (one of the best and my favorite)
6) Elmer T Lee (unbeatable for the price)
7) Stagg (the hazmat label and its quality)
8) Wild Turkey Tribute (arguably best in the WT class)
9) Eagle Rare 17 (another great one)
10) Distillers Masterpiece Port finish (why this one? we needed a "WOW" type bourbon for the article in which readers would get a bit mystified by this selection, plus it has a very elegant and photogenic look)



I will only comment on the ones I am familiar with:

1) Baker's - I didn't care much for this one. To me, it has a dry, astringent quality that I just don't enjoy.
2) Blanton's - I love it. Smooth, elegant, laid back. Every time I taste it, different flavors waft in and out.
3) Booker's - A very interesting drink, but too expensive for what you get.
5) Pappy 20 - Supremely elegant, deep flavors and aromas. Wonderful.
6) Elmer T. Lee - I don't care what it costs, this is easily in my top five bourbons. Rich aromas and flavors (tobacco, dark fruit, oranges, leather). And wonderfully sweet tasting . I currently look forward to each drink of it more than any other bourbon I know.

Tim

Edward_call_me_Ed
12-07-2005, 23:32
Hi Tim,
No cinnamon/nutmeg in the ETL?
Ed

Vange
12-08-2005, 10:41
need someone to doublecheck me here as well. i need the producers of each bourbon.

1) Baker's - Jim Beam
2) Blanton's Original - Buffalo Trace
3) Booker's - Jim Beam
4) Hirsch 16 - Michter's
5) Pappy 20 - Van Winkle
6) Elmer T Lee - Buffao Trace
7) Stagg - Buffalo Trace
8) Wild Turkey Tribute - Wild Turkey or is it Auton Nichols?
9) Eagle Rare 17 - Buffalo Trace
10) Distillers Masterpiece Port finish - Jim Beam

barturtle
12-08-2005, 10:49
#8- Austin, Nichols Distilling Company

Rest looks good.

chasking
12-08-2005, 10:53
Actually, the producer of #5 (Pappy 20) was Stitzel-Weller. Van Winkle selects and bottles its (his?) whiskey but doesn't distill it.

Vange
12-08-2005, 11:08
Stitzel-Weller is gone though?

ratcheer
12-08-2005, 15:53
Beats me! There are a lot of things going on in the flavor and aroma of this bourbon. But I haven't specifically noticed cinnamon or nutmeg, yet. Now that you've put them in my head, I might the next time I taste it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Tim

ratcheer
12-08-2005, 15:54
Yes, it is gone.

Tim

NorCalBoozer
12-08-2005, 16:47
FYI, this site shows all the brands that BT produces.

http://www.greatbourbon.com/index.html

ratcheer
12-08-2005, 18:14
So, I just went and had a nice tasting of ETL. It was everything I said above plus a very nice, hot, black peppery rye spice. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif But, nothing reminded me of cinnamon or nutmeg. Also, when I say "dark fruits", it seems to be mostly prunes with a hint of raisins.

Tim

Edward_call_me_Ed
12-08-2005, 22:10
Hi Tim,
Ah, the magic of single barrel bourbon.

I have had several bottles of the ETL. I think that they all came from two different barrels. I cleared off the shelf after I opened the first bottle. It tasted much like you describe. I still have one of those open, only one pour out of it.
The second barrel, I have had several bottles of as well. Completely different whiskey. Enormous cookie spice presence. All the other notes are overwhelmed. They are there but they take a back seat to the cinnamon. I once left a glass with a few drops left in the bottom and nosed it for a week. The cinnamon never faded. Finally, I filled the glass with twelve oz of coke. I could still taste it. It will be a sad day when I run out of this. I wonder what happened at Buffalo Trace the day they bottled this.
Ed

chasking
12-09-2005, 09:31
Stitzel-Weller is gone though?



I'm not sure if it's gone as in dismantled, but that distillery is not producing.

Stitzel-Weller made some fine bourbon, and one of the reason that the Pappy Van Winkle line is so highly regarded and desired is that the Pappy whiskies are some of the very few left featuring bourbon distilled there (and choice barrels of it at that). In fact, as I understand it the Weller and Van Winkle 12-year-old products have lately ceased to be Stitzel-Weller whiskey, so Pappy 15 and Pappy 20 are the only relatively widely available bourbons brands on the market featuring S-W product. It is still possible to find old bottles of the younger Van Winkles, or Weller or Old Fitzgerald, that came from Stitzel-Weller, but that is getting tougher all the time. Tracking them down is a hobby for a number of folks in our little community here; poke around on this forum and you will find lots of posts dedicated to how to tell whether an old bottle of Weller or Old Fitz is S-W bourbon.

barturtle
12-09-2005, 09:48
I doubt that S-W is gettind dismantled anytime soon, the cost to clean up the asbestos would be substantial.

Vange
12-09-2005, 11:23
I didn't realize Pappy 20 was a S-W bourbon, but it does make sense. I guess I never put 2 and 2 together. More of a reason that it's my favoriye bourbon to date.

So, should I put S-W as the producer of the Papy 20 in the article?

TNbourbon
12-09-2005, 17:58
...I'm not sure if it's gone as in dismantled, but that distillery is not producing...



Although the building itself is intact, somewhere I got the impression that the still is either dismantled/recycled, or past functionality.
Can anyone confirm/dispute this? Chuck? Mike V.?
And I believe it was the magical copper in that still that played a large role in the quality of the whiskey.

doubleblank
12-09-2005, 20:07
I'm having a taste of a ETL SB picked by Civic Center Liquors in SF. This one definitely has the pie spice flavors I associate with ETL....but not the overtly sweet flavors that sometimes come with it. I like the pie/cinnamon/nutmeg flavors in a bourbon......I find a lot of it in the Van Blankle.

Randy

chasking
12-10-2005, 06:58
So, should I put S-W as the producer of the Pappy 20 in the article?



Thinking about it a bit more, I suppose it depends on what your audience will do with that information. I suppose one needs to be a fairly sophisticated whiskey enthusiast to really understand the significance. The Van Winkle operation does call itself the "Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery", so if a reader is looking for more information about the whiskey and does a web search that would probably be the place for them to go.

Vange
12-10-2005, 07:43
Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery it is then! Thanks guys for all your help.

ratcheer
12-10-2005, 09:39
Yes, indeed. In my opinion, that is the great attraction of any single-barrel bottling. Each barrel can, and should, have its own unique characteristics, while still being similar in general to the overall set of barrels of the brand.

Tim