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MikeDS
09-29-2006, 12:27
...but I'd love to learn. I've been lurking here for about a week and a half and I can't stop reading! Honestly though, some of the members know so much it's almost intimidating. I feel so dumb! Luckily, I have a feeling gaining knowledge of bourbon will be very fun. Thanks!

MikeDS
09-29-2006, 12:29
Oh I forgot to mention the bourbons I've tried. Just like everyone I've had the ol' supermarket Jim Beam (and have always hated it) and have had some Old Grand Dad 114. The OGD was given to me as a gift (I have no idea why) and surprisingly I liked the taste. I always though something 114 proof would destroy my mouth but it was smoother than I thought.

FlashPuppy
09-29-2006, 12:47
Welcome to the board!! Lucky for you, Chicagoland has some great bourbon shopping. There is an awesome store right near called Binny's. The best advice is to just go out, buy some bottles and see what you like. Maybe, try to get a bottle from each of the distilleries, and see if one works better than the other for you. There are a bunch of great people here to help you out, you'll see.

MikeDS
09-29-2006, 12:57
I like that advice! On my lunch hour I bought a bottle of Buffalo Trace. After reading so many great reviews of it and not having to shell out much money, I decided to give it a whirl. I'll be cracking that thing open tonight :grin:

jeff
09-29-2006, 13:18
Welcome to the board Mike :toast: Don't feel intimidated around here, we were all novices at one time. The folks here are full of information and like to help. It's a fun journey!

jburlowski
09-29-2006, 13:23
Let me add my welcome as well!

The best advice I can give is explore and enjoy...

Nebraska
09-29-2006, 13:36
The first step is admitting you have a problem. The problem is you never have enough Bourbon.:lol:

Welcome aboard, nice to have you here.

I'm an Old Grand-Dad fan, try the BIB 100 proof sometime, it's a pretty good, inexpensive pour. I like the 114 as well. You should have Weller 12 year old available to you there at a very reasonable price, which I like too.

MikeDS
09-29-2006, 13:45
I'm sure I'll explore and enjoy but it just seems so overwhelming. There are SO many kinds of bourbons and when I read posts that say someone has 80 open bottles I can't imagine even buying 80 bottles in the span of a decade! How does everyone keep them all straight?

Is there any sort of cheat sheet of "must haves" that I should start with? Thanks again to all for the warm welcome!

TNbourbon
09-29-2006, 14:09
As Jeremy noted, you have access to several 'goodies' in Chicago environs many of us with we could easily find -- e.g., Rittenhouse rye (BIB and 80 proof), and Ancient Ancient Age 10yo. You'll get more than a little change from a $20 for either. Check out the 'Bourbon of the Month' thread, where many potential winners reside.
Welcome, and enjoy!:toast:

Nebraska
09-29-2006, 16:04
Hey Tim,

I may be wrong, but I'm thinking they don't have the AAA 10year old in the Windy City.

ProofPositive
09-29-2006, 17:21
Hey Tim,

I may be wrong, but I'm thinking they don't have the AAA 10year old in the Windy City.

FIRST, to MikeDS: a big welcome to this board. You'll find a wealth of information here as well as the nicest guys and gals anywhere - very understanding and forgiving. I don't know of a member here who is not always willing to advise and help you along in our journey together.

SECOND, I am beginning to think there is no AAA 10YO left anywhere but KY.....at least that has been my experience to date.

gmarston
09-29-2006, 18:46
Hey Tim,

I may be wrong, but I'm thinking they don't have the AAA 10year old in the Windy City.

Pick up a bottle of AAA 10 year old at Binny's last month and just check their web site and it is listed there.
Gordon

cowdery
09-29-2006, 19:09
Hey Tim,

I may be wrong, but I'm thinking they don't have the AAA 10year old in the Windy City.

Binny's on Clark usually has it.

Nebraska
09-29-2006, 19:35
I stand very corrected

MikeDS
10-02-2006, 06:36
Had a busy weekend folks, didn't get to post. Sorry about that. I believe I'll be taking a lunch time trip to Binny's in Highland Park!

So for the Rittenhouse Rye. I'm guessing BIB means "bottled in bond" but I don't really know what that indicates. How is that different from the 80 proof?

Thanks!

DrinkyBanjo
10-02-2006, 07:07
It's 100 Proof and six years old, the 80 is four years old I believe.

chasking
10-02-2006, 07:47
I've side-by-side compared the 80 proof and 100 proof Rittenhouse expressions and the BIB is definitely a different and better whiskey, although the 80 proof is not bad at all.

MikeDS
10-02-2006, 13:00
Sooo I made another lunch trip. This time to Binny's. I snagged a bottle of the Rittenhouse Rye but they didn't have the AAA 10yr old. I'm guessing there's a difference between the AAA 10 year old and the AAA 10 star? The plastic jug wasn't something that looked too enticing...

bobbyc
10-02-2006, 13:04
I'm guessing BIB means "bottled in bond" but I don't really know what that indicates.

The definition by rote is a pretty dry exercise. Basically it was the good housekeeping seal from the BATF and always 100 proof.

Welcome here.

bobbyc
10-02-2006, 13:49
I guess by definition some of my previous post misses it a bit.
I still think it means a quality product but the writer here (http://www.answers.com/topic/bottled-in-bond) doesn't think it always does.

thecrackup
10-02-2006, 13:52
You don't like Beam? I assume you're referring to Jim Beam White Label.

MikeDS
10-02-2006, 14:09
You don't like Beam? I assume you're referring to Jim Beam White Label.

Must be. Just the cheapo one in the supermarkets with all the other run-of-the-mill liquors. I like Old Granddad very much and I know that's a Beam brand.

cowdery
10-02-2006, 22:17
"Bottled in Bond," which has been around since 1897, was always intended to be a federal government guarantee of authenticity, not necessarily quality, but "BIB" does include quality requirements. Still, it's mostly a "truth in labeling" law.

To be called "bonded" or "bottled in bond," a whiskey has to be aged for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof. It must also be whiskey from one season, one distillery and one distiller. Only straight whiskey can be bonded. Straight whiskey is whiskey distilled out at not more than 160 proof, entered into new, charred oak barrels at not more than 125 proof, and stored there for at least 2 years. Only "named types" can be straight and, therefore, bonds. The most familiar "named types" are bourbon, rye and corn.

Although introduced in 1897, "bottled-in-bond" did not become common until after Prohibition. Throughout the 30s, 40s and 50s, when fully aged, full-proof whiskey was in short supply, bonds were widely considered “the good stuff.”

The federal government was able to guarantee the authenticity of the whiskey because it put agents in every distillery. Bonded whiskey had to be stored in a bonded warehouse, which was a warehouse at the distiller's premises that was 100% controlled by a treasury agent. Why did the distillers agree? "Bottled in Bond" was intended to benefit consumers. To induce the producers to participate, the government deferred their excise taxes until the whiskey was withdrawn from the warehouse, presumably to be sold. Originally, the excise was owed when the whiskey was produced, but this made it very costly for distillers to age their whiskey, since they had to pay the taxes years before they could sell the product.

The government discontinued on-site agents in the early 1980s but continues to monitor warehouses through a computer auditing system.

Today, bonded whiskey is no more "authentic" than any other straight whiskey, but the fact that all of the whiskey is from the same season, distillery and distiller remains interesting.

MikeDS
10-03-2006, 06:14
I am now smarter. I appreciate that! :thankyousign:

CrispyCritter
10-04-2006, 17:54
To be called "bonded" or "bottled in bond," a whiskey has to be aged for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof. It must also be whiskey from one season, one distillery and one distiller.
In that respect, it is even more "single" than typical single malt Scotches; while a single malt is from one distillery, it may be, and more often than not is, a vatting of more than one season's product. There are certainly single-barrel single malts (e.g. Balvenie Single Barrel) and vintage-dated single malts (like the Ardbeg and Glenrothes vintages) - but unless it's single-barrel or a year is declared, the age statement is for the youngest distillate in the vatting, and older whiskies may be inside the bottle as well.

I'm a bit surprised that bourbon makers haven't taken the BIB concept further and declared vintage years other than for single-barrel bottlings. Are there bureaucratic obstacles to doing such a thing? After all, even with BT Antique Collection bottles, you have to read between the lines (or buy an unopened case with the letter inside) to know when it was actually distilled.

barturtle
10-04-2006, 18:14
Back when bottles still had tax stamps, it seems that the bib bottles had the dates on the strip (correct me if I'm wrong). I don't believe there is anything preventing them from continuing that practice, but as the publics perception of BIB has fallen in favor of the newer single barrels and such and there have been few BIB bottlings added to product lines in recent times, it doesn't seem like they're out to promote what are usually less expensive whiskies than the new premiums they are spending big bucks promoting. I just like to consider it a bargin basement high quality secret that few know about anymore

CrispyCritter
10-04-2006, 18:18
Timothy, that's a very good point. The bonded Old Grand-Dad bourbon and Rittenhouse rye are outstanding values. They're good to drink neat, and they also make outstanding cocktails.

I'm starting to think that I should buy them by the case... :bigeyes:

cowdery
10-04-2006, 20:30
Yes, for BIB the tax stamps were required to show season of distillation and season of bottling.

As for vintage dating, that requires multiple label approvals and more set-up and change-over at bottling.

The problem is that very few people have ever known what you now know. In other words, even people who knew to regard "Bonded" whiskey as "the good stuff" had no idea why.

Edward_call_me_Ed
10-05-2006, 08:26
Yes, for BIB the tax stamps were required to show season of distillation and season of bottling.

As for vintage dating, that requires multiple label approvals and more set-up and change-over at bottling.

The problem is that very few people have ever known what you now know. In other words, even people who knew to regard "Bonded" whiskey as "the good stuff" had no idea why.

Don't you just hate it when the 'Rules' make it harder to do the right thing? I should post this over on the Pet Peeves thread...
Ed

cowdery
10-05-2006, 20:28
Actually, I might be wrong, or at least partially wrong. I don't believe it would require label approval to put a date on the bottle. After all, think about the products like Blanton's that have the hand-dated labels. They're not getting those individually approved.

Buffalo Trace is the one distillery that will give us pretty much any information we want. How about it, Buffalo Trace? Start slapping a "made on" date on your bonds.

barturtle
10-05-2006, 20:33
I'm trying to think...IIRC RHF is BIB, AA BIB what else...I can't think of any. Now HH and Beam, they put out some BIB

cowdery
10-05-2006, 20:48
Barton does too. That may be it.