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P&J
09-22-2006, 10:24
First off, let me say that my girlfriend and I have been watching your board the last few weeks and have really found it helpful. We are making the seasonal switch from lighter drinks (i.e. vodka) to our cool weather whiskey friends. The past few fall/winters we have been pretty exclusive Irish whiskey drinkers, but this year Bourbon has caught our fancy. And again, many thanks to this board for getting us rolling!

So, first off, tastes are very personal. What we may like others might eschew. That's cool. So, what do we like? First, we drink it all neat. A bottle of whatever in the freezer, sipped from a stoneware mug. We have gotten in the habbit with some of our bourbon tasting to drop a lone ice-cube in something we are struggling with just to see how it changes. One thing that is very important is "mouth feel". Our favorite vodka has become Monopolowa, a cheap little potato vodka with a delightful oilyness.

So, here's what we've tried... we are looking for recommendations of what you think should be on our wish list.

*Evan Williams Single Barrel - on our second bottle. First was a 96. We really liked this. It had the mouth feel we like. Second bottle was a 95; not quite the same, but still pretty good.
*Maker's Mark - not impressed. A little rough. Flavor was just "eh".
*Buffalo Trace - had to try it. Also a little rough, but liked the flavor.
*Knob Creek - whow! Nothing personal, but we'll save this for starting fires while camping.
*Eagle Rare SB - We went out to dinner last night and tried this. Yum! Great flavor. Our new favorite!... until......
*Elijah Craig 12yo - Our new, new favorite! We loved the complex flavors. Almost reminded both of us a cognac. We've read mixed reviews on here and were a little hesitant. Again, this was a bar pour and we didn't think to check the bottle. Loved the complexity (I said that already). Great sipping whiskey.
*Blanton's - We had to try it; this was supposed to be our treat. Funny thing though, it left us cool after ERSB and the EC12. It was "nice", but we liked the previous two better.

So, on out list is the EC18 and we are searching high and low for an Elmer T. Lee. Oh, and someone told my girlfriend we need to try Old Forester too. What other recommendations that might fit our unique tastes?

Ah, one recommendation from us for anyone interested in an Irish... Tyrconnell Single Malt!

barturtle
09-22-2006, 11:20
Welcome to the board. You have already had a great sampling of styles, which is really helpful in helping to figure out what you might like.

Of the Old Forester bottlings, you'll wanna try either the Birthday Bourbon or the 100proof/Signature.

ETL wil be good to find, as would a bottle of Rock Hill Farms.

You have yet to try Wild Turkey, I would suggest either the Russels Reserve or Rare Breed.

Also of interest is Old Grand Dad 114, I think it might have the oily thing you're looking for

Also try to get your hands on some straight rye whiskey, Wild Turkey and Rittenhouse BIB are two good ones, there are also some great well aged bottlings (Van Winkle, Sazerac, Mitchers)

If you like Irish, try the Redbreast.

jburlowski
09-22-2006, 11:31
I'd add any of the Van Winkle expressions, or a Weller --- 12 yo old or, if you can it, Centennial.

Keep searching for the ETL, it's worth it.

OscarV
09-22-2006, 12:02
.
*Knob Creek - whow! Nothing personal, but we'll save this for starting fires while camping.
*Eagle Rare SB - We went out to dinner last night and tried this. Yum! Great flavor. Our new favorite!... until......
*Elijah Craig 12yo - Our new, new favorite! We loved the complex flavors. Almost reminded both of us a cognac. We've read mixed reviews on here and were a little hesitant. Again, this was a bar pour and we didn't think to check the bottle. Loved the complexity (I said that already). Great sipping whiskey.


Ah, one recommendation from us for anyone interested in an Irish... Tyrconnell Single Malt!



I always reccomend Old Charter 12 year old to anyone who likes the sweetness of Eagle Rare, I am sure you will like that one, also in 10 yo. You will see why bourbon is sometimes called corn brandy.

I am suprised about your comment on Knob Creek. Try it again, neat immediatly after dinner.

Yes the Elijah Craig 12 yo is also to me like a cognac, one of the best values out there. But alot of people don't like it. (?!?)

I bought a bottle of Tyrconnell last winter, and my first reaction was, Oh my god, I wasted my money, I tried it again now I love it.

TNbourbon
09-22-2006, 15:05
Also missing from your 'tasted' list is anything from Four Roses, which can be a tough 'get' outside of Kentucky. Still, don't miss a chance to obtain the single-barrel or new small-batch, if available at some point.

CrispyCritter
09-22-2006, 21:13
Also, try some ryes, subject to availability, of course. (That's worth a rant in itself!)

Any one of these counts among my favorites.

Wild Turkey Rye (101 proof): spice cranked up to 11!
Rittenhouse BIB (100 proof): a bit sweeter, but still has a lot of rye tang.
Sazerac "Junior" (6yo, faceted bottle, 90 proof): falls between the Rittenhouse BIB and the WT.
Sazerac 18yo (90 proof, good luck finding it!): lots of depth to this, and it seems to change from sip to sip.
Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye (95.6 proof, also, good luck finding it!): definitely a peer of the Saz 18.

P&J
09-27-2006, 08:33
The girlfriend and I went out for another fine night of tasting! Yum!

First off, she wanted to try an Old Forester. They were out of the Birthday so, we got the "regular." We also were eager to try a rye, and of the three they had we went for the top and ordered a Pappy Van Winkle Family Resererve. The OF was ok. It didn't wow either of us, but considering the price I would have been happy with it. Ah, but then we tasted that rye... "Momma!" That was yummy! Paula pushed it to the back of the table and wouldn't let me touch it; she wanted to save it for the end. lol

Next was a Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve. We both really liked this a lot too. Not quite the complexity of flavors that we have enjoyed in the EC12, but it just felt so "alive" in the mouth. This one goes near the top of the list for me. A future purchase, for sure.

Last, we had a mix up in the order... we ordered a Wild Turkey Rare Breed SB, but they brought us an Eagle Rare SB instead. After the RR it tasted sweeter and more mapley - "smoother" :slappin:- but it did reaffirm that it was definitely one that we both enjoyed.

Ah, and so then we got back to the PVW rye! What a beautiful dessert. This was so full of flavor. I need a bottle of rye at the house now. I literally had six different dreams last night where I tasted this and revelled. Wow! They had two other Rye's there: Michter's SB and Old Overholt. We'll have to try one of those sometime too.

I will try to get Paula on here to give her comments too.

Thank you to those of you that left your recommendations. More nights of tasting in the future. Some of the suggestions we haven't found yet, but we are working some angles still.

Jeff

FlashPuppy
09-27-2006, 10:13
Jeff-

What bar are you going to? That place has a great selection, and I need to put it on my list for the next cross country road trip.

P&J
09-27-2006, 10:31
Jeremy,

It is called Hickok's Steak and Brewery in downtown Springfield, MO. Their food is very good! They have 8 beers brewed onsite on their menu, but also:

25 Bourbons from JB to PVWFR23
3 Tennessee Whiskeys
3 Ryes
2 "Americans"
5 Canadians
9 Irishs
30 Scotches
... and that is just on the menu.
When we asked, they also checked to see if they could get Elmer T. Lee and Stranahan's for us (neither available in the area).

We really like going down there! It's worth a stop-in.

Jeff

Nebraska
09-27-2006, 11:31
Wow great place!

arsbadmojo
09-28-2006, 08:53
I read you posts with much interest, as EC12 is absolutely my favorite bourbon as well.

I was honestly afraid to try straight rye because I wasn't initially fond of the 'pepperiness' of the Wild Turkey line, which to my understanding was rye-heavier than others. But since then I've had the Michter's Single barrel rye and found it quite enjoyable. More so than Russell's Reserve.

I know it makes no sense, but there ya go...

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that we seem to have similar tastes, so if you do find a gem, please be sure to say so here - I will be watching.

I'm also looking for Elmer T. Lee. I've seen it around but just haven't pulled the trigger, and I think this will be the weekend to finally do that.

Joeluka
09-28-2006, 09:31
Was the Michter's to 10yo or the 4yo??

arsbadmojo
09-28-2006, 11:53
I did not see an age expression on the bottle. I'm at work now, but I know the label looks just like this:

http://www.smithandvine.com/img_label/1533.jpg

P&J
09-28-2006, 12:03
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that we seem to have similar tastes, so if you do find a gem, please be sure to say so here - I will be watching.

I'm also looking for Elmer T. Lee. I've seen it around but just haven't pulled the trigger, and I think this will be the weekend to finally do that.
I can't wait to hear what you think of the Elmer T! I keep hearing people use the word "cocoa" when describing it and that has both Paula and I anxious for a taste.

It was all I could do yesterday NOT to buy a bottle of rye. I finally decided to try one more taste from another brand (probably the Michter since they have it downtown) before I commit to a whole bottle. I want to make sure that it was indeed the rye we liked and not that it was a PVW. The thing about the rye was that it was not something I'd want to drink every night, but I can envision particular times that it would be just about perfect. Same thing with the EC12, or the WTRR... it is just nice to have different tastes to play around with. And so, that is why we just keep trying new things. (pardon me for being "Captain Obvious")

Jeff

arsbadmojo
09-30-2006, 12:31
I can't wait to hear what you think of the Elmer T! I keep hearing people use the word "cocoa" when describing it and that has both Paula and I anxious for a taste.


I did get a bottle of ETL yesterday. You'll probably like it more than I do. It is more rye-heavy than some - in fact, I found it nearly identical to Russell's Reserve and would have a really tough time telling them apart. I didn't taste cocoa overtones, more english leather and spice, with a nice depth and good mouth feel.

Elijah Criag 12 still stands as my favorite.

I also bought a bottle of Old Forester. I'd heard decent things about it. It is probably too sweet for your liking, and slightly thin but I found it quite nice and for the price I think it is a hell of a deal. This is the 86, by the way, not the 100 proof.

arsbadmojo
09-30-2006, 12:41
I did not see an age expression on the bottle. I'm at work now, but I know the label looks just like this:

http://www.smithandvine.com/img_label/1533.jpg

Update - After doing some comparisons it was indeed the 4.

Russellc
09-30-2006, 16:14
Jeremy,

It is called Hickok's Steak and Brewery in downtown Springfield, MO. Their food is very good! They have 8 beers brewed onsite on their menu, but also:

25 Bourbons from JB to PVWFR23
3 Tennessee Whiskeys
3 Ryes
2 "Americans"
5 Canadians
9 Irishs
30 Scotches
... and that is just on the menu.
When we asked, they also checked to see if they could get Elmer T. Lee and Stranahan's for us (neither available in the area).

We really like going down there! It's worth a stop-in.

Jeff

Thanks for the tip, I went to college in spfld and get there frequently. Will have to check this place out.

Russellc

gr8erdane
10-01-2006, 04:34
Hi Jeff, wondering if you ever visit Brown Jug Liquors in your area? The one from that local chain that closed recently in St Louis is where I found a WT 12 split label and might be worth looking in one of your stores to see if there is a companion to it.

If by Stranahan's you're talking about the Colorado Whiskey, I brought a bottle with me to KBF and for the most part, our consensus at the gazebo that it was an interesting little 2 year old whiskey that definitely could have used more time in the barrel. At 55 bucks I expect more. Also, for the time being it's only sold in the Denver area since it's a very limited bottling. The packaging is first rate though with a metal shotglass supplied on each classy bottle. It's 100% barley malt as well, making it more akin to an Irish than a Bourbon. But then you did mention Tyrconnel I believe?

P&J
10-02-2006, 07:27
I did get a bottle of ETL yesterday. You'll probably like it more than I do.

Thank you for the update. I can't wait to try it.

-Jeff

P&J
10-02-2006, 07:32
Hi Jeff, wondering if you ever visit Brown Jug Liquors in your area?

If by Stranahan's you're talking about the Colorado Whiskey,...

We do look around Brown Jug, frequently. They are the major liquor store here and they have one fairly big store that has a wide selection. We are watching for specials now.

Thank you for the impressions on the Stranahan's. The interest is mostly novelty. I have a lot of ties in CO and it just sounded cool.

-Jeff

P&J
10-02-2006, 08:31
It was an interesting weekend of sampling! We enjoyed some very good whiskey, but nothing that really blew us away. The common theme was, "I'd drink this, and savour every moment, but it wouldn't be my very first choice." Good whiskey is like that, I guess....

First, we had a Michter's Single Barrel Rye (the young one). Paula immediately pushed this to the back of the table, "Mmmm, we save this for dessert." Sweeter and not as full-flavored as the PVW. It did confirm the high standing for rye's on both of our palates though. Paula says, “The rye was great. We need some.” Now how can I argue with that? (maybe i need to google www.straightrye.com)

What a contrast to the second pour… Woodford Reserve. Paula branded it, “the Kool-Aid of bourbons.” :lol: She didn’t mean that in a bad way, but that it was so mild in comparison to everything else. It was very easy drinking, with a simple flavor, no bite. This would be great for blending with other flavors in mixed drink. I thought it would be nice to drink if the goal was to get really loaded and I wanted something easy on the stomach. Okay, I think one of us might have said, “Girly wine” too. (No offense intended!)

We tried Wild Turkey Rare Breed as well. Maybe it was just us that night, but this tasted just a little sweeter and a little milder than the Russell’s Reserve we had tried a few nights earlier. Paula was initially a little intimidated by the alcohol content, but this was very much not an issue! It was very easy drinking and very enjoyable. But, in the end, both of us agreed that we’d give the edge to Russell’s Reserve because it felt more “alive” in the mouth.

We are really splitting some fine hairs here! These were some good whiskeys that we really liked! But, we’ve just tasted a some things we like a little bit better in each category.

Oh, and on the home front, we’ve had three bottles going… EC12, EWSB-95, and a BT. We bounced back and forth between all three, but the BT saw the most action this week. Something about the earthy finish kept me reaching for it. The week before I was so-so on the BT. Maybe I’m craving dirt in my diet? Whatever the explanation, it is (alas) empty :frown: and will need to be replaced.



-Jeff

cowdery
10-02-2006, 14:23
One thing I have noticed from judging tasting competitions is that things taste different based on what you taste them with, and sometimes the one that tastes a little different is the one that is singled out for either abuse or praise. Change the context and you change the results. I'm not saying they taste completelydifferent, but context is a factor. When I plan a tasting, I try to control for that, but when you are tasting more or less at random, based on what looks interesting out of what is available, and you taste serially (you don't have whiskey in all three glasses at the same time), that becomes a factor too. However, as a tasting experience it is no less valid than one that is more controlled.

P&J
10-08-2006, 08:27
Bit of a dilemma here...with Jeff returned to the frozen tundra for a three week hitch in Alaska I had been feelin' kind of lonely. So must admit I finished off the bottle of EWSB last nite. Now don't get excited, there was probably only 1/2 inch left (no more I swear!), but all the same.....Have found that an ice cube makes the EW much more palatable, sweeter...less harsh in the mouth. Unfortunately it doesn't have that nice smooth mouth feel I have come to enjoy so much. Alas, it is falling down rapidly on my list...

Now its not a question of do I still have something here in case loneliness sets in again. And I fear it shall! Still have two nice ryes-Rittenhouse and Wild Turkey. And I do love the ryes, yummy! Plus, don't forget the EC12, probably one of the top three things I've ever had in my mouth...but no, one can't eat Christmas dinner every day....or can they?

So the dilemma. Do I:
A. Try something new and shiny and tasty...with ya'lls endorsement of course. Remember, I do love the ryes but I am also an Irish girl by blood. Anything to recommend? The temp here in Missouri is heading down, so something warming with a nice little aftertaste for those lonely nites on the porch while talking to sweet Jeff long distance would be appreciated.
B. Buy another bottle of EWSB, spend the next two weeks drinking it down to that last 1/2 inch and when he arrives back in town let him see that in his absence I didn't have a single drop.
C. Just treat every day like Christmas and go for the EC12.
D. A, B, and C.

Any and all suggestions will be sampled and savored!
Paula

barturtle
10-08-2006, 11:38
Too late-you already messed up:grin: . You should have gotten the fresh bottle of EWSB to try side by side with the older one-leaving just enough for Jeff to try them both when he got home.:grin:

Since it's too late to fix that, go with D. and yet again I'm going to recommend the OGD 114. High in rye and enough proof to warm you up.

jburlowski
10-08-2006, 15:42
One thing I have noticed from judging tasting competitions is that things taste different based on what you taste them with, and sometimes the one that tastes a little different is the one that is singled out for either abuse or praise. Change the context and you change the results. I'm not saying they taste completelydifferent, but context is a factor. When I plan a tasting, I try to control for that, but when you are tasting more or less at random, based on what looks interesting out of what is available, and you taste serially (you don't have whiskey in all three glasses at the same time), that becomes a factor too. However, as a tasting experience it is no less valid than one that is more controlled.

I agree.. I find that it takes at least two or three tastings over a period of time to fully reach a conclusion.

P&J
10-09-2006, 10:47
You are already busted!!!:hot:

Just because I'm trying to keep from getting blown away here in the arctic...
far, far away from you and any whiskey(note the order)...
does not mean I'm not checking in on the message board to read about what everyone else is enjoying! Obviously that now includes you enjoying "my" bourbon!

There was at least half a bottle when I left!:smiley_acbt:

-Jeff

P&J
10-09-2006, 11:18
I agree.. I find that it takes at least two or three tastings over a period of time to fully reach a conclusion.

Typically when we have gone out tasting we do order up two or three at a time and then move back and forth. Same thing with home; typically there are three to four bottles open and Paula and I will each pour something different and then steal sips back and forth. I agree with everyone's suggestion in that this is the best way to go. One of our faults, I will admit, is that we have spread the tastes to far on a given night. The Woodford Reserve sipped side by side with a rye and WTRB was a little unfair. On the long flight up, Delta Airlines had WR and in that context (my last contact with "civilization"?) it tasted pretty good.

That said, sometimes you have to take a few shots across the full spectrum in one sitting. A wheat next to a rye, old verses new, high proof next to 80, etc. (Can you tell I am a scientist? lol)

The problem has been that with so many things to try, we have been too tempted to order new things instead of spending time revisiting with the exception of those things we liked and invested in a bottle. This does put those that left us cool at a disadvantage.

So:
1. Find a bar (or a generous friend) with a good selection
2. Line up about three and taste up and down the line
3. Try to stay in the same "genre" on a given night
4. Take a night or two run the gamut
5. Revisit what you like and what you don't think you like
6. Keep notes
7. Sign up on this fine site; read, learn, share
8. ENJOY

-Jeff