PDA

View Full Version : Name your perfect intro Bourbon...



Ambernecter
04-07-2006, 17:15
I have thought long and hard about this - at least 10 seconds!

If you met a newbie to Bourbon what would be your 1st choice to impress them?

I reakon it could well be a 2 horse race between ETL and VW 10YO 90 proof. The 107 VW is lovely but I reakon it could be a tad too much for a non enlightened drinker...

Any thoughts?

brian12069
04-07-2006, 17:20
I have thought long and hard about this - at least 10 seconds!

If you met a newbie to Bourbon what would be your 1st choice to impress them?

I reakon it could well be a 2 horse race between ETL and VW 10YO 90 proof. The 107 VW is lovely but I reakon it could be a tad too much for a non enlightened drinker...

Any thoughts?
Ohhhh but the non enlightened drinker would learn and enjoy quickly...

CrispyCritter
04-07-2006, 18:59
Wheater: W.L. Weller 12yo/90 proof
Ryed: Buffalo Trace

On the other hand, someone who likes strongly-flavored Scotches (especially cask-strength ones) might be well-served with a Stagg, Larue, or OGD 114.

T47
04-07-2006, 21:35
I am still new to Bourbon, relative to so many here. I think it really depends on the background of the person. Myself, I was a beer drinker, never drinking spirits at all for most of my life. While visiting my father in law, I tried some of his Makers and it won me over from the beginning. It was smooth, had nice flavor, the perfect entry level Bourbon for me. I think if I had started off with Bookers...I just wouldn't have appreciated it, or enjoyed it as much. When my non-spirit drinking friends have asked for a recommendation on Bourbon for them to try, I have recommended Makers, Basil Hayden, and Evan Williams SB. All nice, quality smooth pours.
If they have more of a background, I feel better equipped now (thanks to this forum) to ask some questions and maybe steer them to something I would consider more flavorful, with a little more bite. If they had tried those nice smooth wheaters and liked it, and came to me to ask for my favorite, I would be pouring them Bookers. That is my top bottle now and I love to share it.

Frodo
04-07-2006, 23:58
Makers Mark!

Ambernecter
04-08-2006, 06:41
Funnily enough as soon as I had posted this I thought of both Maker's (my 1st intro to the better stuff) and Buffalo Trace.

Great flavour these two, at a good price!

ratcheer
04-08-2006, 08:41
I would say something fairly soft, a little sweet, and not too aggressive.

Ideas would be Woodford Reserve or Evan Williams Single Barrel. If you want to take them straight to the top, Rock Hill Farms.

Tim

pepcycle
04-08-2006, 09:20
Just enough good stuff to warrant further exploration.
None of the intensity of longer aged and higher proof.
Great Price Point.
Its not gonna convert an SMSW fan. (As if we could or would want to)
:stickpoke:

Jazzhead
04-08-2006, 16:22
With the background of a lifetime of beer drinking and less than a year's worth of serious exploration of bourbon, the best bourbon I have tasted is Russell's Reserve 101. RR is the best combination of robust taste and drinkability I've encountered. And it just smells so sweet.

I can understand, if smoothness is a key trait for a newbie, the support for Makers Mark. That's good hooch. So is that 1783 stuff from Bartons - not complex but very drinkable.

bobbyc
04-08-2006, 16:35
the best bourbon I have tasted is Russell's Reserve 101
And to think they watered it down to 90 proof. I actually have a few more bottles of RR 101 than I realised.

BourbonJoe
04-08-2006, 17:27
So is that 1783 stuff from Bartons - not complex but very drinkable.
Or do you mean "1792"?
Joe :usflag:

elkdoggydog
04-08-2006, 17:46
I don't think you can beat Maker's Mark as an accessible bourbon that expresses the value of good bourbon. Basil Hayden's is also really good in that role. I would submit Elmer T. Lee as the tops here though. It's sweet, and smooth, but you still get the warmth from the 90 proof, and some interesting flavors. It was the first whiskey my wife appreciated.

ratcheer
04-08-2006, 18:04
I wanted to say Elmer T. Lee, too, but I realize that it has quite a bite. I really enjoy that, but it might be a bit much for a beginner's introduction.

I also wanted to say Wild Turkey 101. I would tell a beginner, this is real bourbon, this defines the flavor of bourbon, this is what you should look for when tasting other bourbons. But, it is still a bit too much for a beginner. Even though it is what I started with. :cool:

Tim

Jazzhead
04-08-2006, 18:04
Or do you mean "1792"?
Joe :usflag:

Yup! My bad - I shoulda just called it Ridgemont Reserve. I'm not sure I've ever had any other product from the Barton distillery. I'd love to check out VOB, but that stuff's never seen here in New Jersey.

Gillman
04-08-2006, 19:05
Interesting how many of us agree (shows that sampling whiskey is not completely subjective): I'd pick Elmer T. Lee or ORVW 10 or 12 years old. Maker's is a good choice too, but ORVW would be my preference for a quality wheat-recipe bourbon and I'd incline to one of those with someone not familiar with bourbon. I gave a gift last year of the 12 year Lot B to a friend who usually drinks gin and vodka and he still talks about it.

Gary

barturtle
04-08-2006, 19:42
Interesting how many leaned toward the wheaters. I too would avoid trying to introduce someone to bourbon by using a high rye recipe(though if I was really going to introduce someone to bourbon, they'd be getting a flight to show off the range of the spirit). I think though I might use Old Charter 12yo-not too old, low enough proof, light on the rye, but still presenting some of the spice that is expected of bourbon. Plus it's cheap enough that anyone could adopt it as their new house pour, and it's more readily available then the ORVW.

mythrenegade
04-08-2006, 22:25
Maker's Mark switched me from scotch to bourbon. I introduced my friend to Maker's Mark and he has nearly finished off a 1750ml of it since the end of January... Prior to that he had only had JB and had never tried it again.

Joel

BourbonJoe
04-09-2006, 02:24
As a young man I drank Old Grandad and water for about 15 years. Then, a good friend introduced me to Evan Williams Black Label 90 Proof. We'd go to Bluegrass Festivals and fill 16 oz. mugs with EW and ice and take 'em down to the music. Those babies lasted for hours. Once in a blue moon he'd give me some Makers Mark Gold Capsule (really good stuff).This is really what got me started into the world of bourbons.
Joe :usflag:

Grant
04-09-2006, 06:37
Elijah Craig 12 YR

Tastes great, easy to find, very well priced, and not too strong at 94 proof so it's very easy to drink neat.

Ambernecter
04-09-2006, 06:51
I wanted to say Elmer T. Lee, too, but I realize that it has quite a bite. I really enjoy that, but it might be a bit much for a beginner's introduction.

I also wanted to say Wild Turkey 101. I would tell a beginner, this is real bourbon, this defines the flavor of bourbon, this is what you should look for when tasting other bourbons. But, it is still a bit too much for a beginner. Even though it is what I started with. :cool:

Tim
I remember a cocktail barman called Rudolf in London. His main tipple was rum - he was in the know about about all drinks really. We shared many different Bourbon's one night from Blantons + Booker's to VW. The only one he didn't finish was a straight WT 101. He said it was too strong, very rough and undrinkable...

I really like WT but I fully admit that it does have one Hell of a sting in it's tail. Waaaayyy too much for a newcomer to Bourbon IMO.

BobA
04-10-2006, 09:18
Timothy's idea of OC 12 has a lot of attraction. It's a favorite, and always seems to give me whatever I'm looking for, simple or complex. Until he brought that to mind, I was looking in the "smooth, sweet, and inoffensive" direction (although some call OC sweet, I usually think dry), which made me think Maker's Mark. That would have the advantage of probably already being in the drinker's mind as a quality product. Others I'd try would be Ridgemont, which I've always thought of as simply pleasant, and BH; although it's high rye, at 80 proof it is very approachable neat. But then, I like everything in that mashbill.

I guess it could depend on what I knew of the drinker's pre-existing taste.

Bob

jspero
04-10-2006, 10:49
I think I would start a new bourbonite off with either JB Black, Weller 12yo, or Eagle Rare SB. If they were a good friend, Van Winkle "Lot B". I find all of these smooth and easy to drink. I would stay away from anything cheaper or younger as being generally to harsh.

Jay

clayton
04-11-2006, 13:30
ETL or Weller 12 is what I often pour for casually interested friends.

If someone seems truly interested in experiencing bourbon, however, I have no qualms about pouring an ounce of Stagg. Munching some palate-cleansing crackers, talking them through some things to look for in the whiskey, how they might best enjoy it, etc, is a great pleasure for me.

Ambernecter
04-20-2006, 07:40
Some good and interesting suggestions there, thanks.

I had a couple of friends come over for a feed and a dvd night in. I made sure there was WT101, Bulleit 80 proof and Makers to hand.

Makers was the hands down "winner" and the guys would not even look at the other two, after sampling a small shot of each.

I said nothing to sway them in any particular direction but the WT struck me as too full on for them to drink neat.

Mr. Jon
04-20-2006, 11:28
Like many, I would go with Weller 12 or VW Lot B or the EC 12. What's with the magic 12 year bottles?

For scotch or tennessee whiskey drinkers who expect a burn, I might part with a little of my Weller 19, but only a little, to show them how smooth a wheater can be.

Ken Weber
04-20-2006, 13:57
Another interesting thread! I was going to mention Elmer T. and Weller 12. But someone beat me to the punch.

Ken

fogfrog
04-20-2006, 15:04
well my intro bourbon was Old Crow. Then someone suggested Makers Mark (this was about 20 years later). Of the stuff I have drank lately, I like the VOB because it is so mellow. I think its hard for a newbie to take the bite. So it might be "What has the least bite". Maybe its Makers but I haven't had it in about five years so I don't know what it tastes like anymore. I hear that the wheat bourbons have less taste because like wheat bread is less spicy than rye bread, so goes the whiskey.