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View Full Version : a few questions from a new drinker



fog
10-09-2006, 16:11
Hello, I turned 21 in September. I never drank much before then.

I do not like beer, wine, or most of the other things that I have tried. When I tried gin, I spit it out before swallowing.

I have been drinking a sip of Maker's Mark periodically for a while, and I have always liked it. So I decided to try some different boubons.

I then tried Jim-Beam white. I thought that it was ok when mixed with soft-drinks, but not that great plain. It tasted really bad when I tried it with ice.

I then had a sip of Early Times Kentucky Whisky (technically not a bourbon). I thought that it would be bad considering its price and packaging, but I liked it. It tasted similar to Maker's Mark: a sweet candy-like flavor.

After that, I read this forum, and then headed to wal-mart to buy some bourbon of my own. I got a bottle of Wild-Turkey 101, which I had read on here was fairly good. I do not like it at all. Taste wise, I find almost nothing in common with the other bourbons I have tried. All I taste is the woody flavors. I found that I like it even less mixed or diluted with water. I think that I might have dectected what I read here is called an oily sensansation. I am not sure if this is desirable, but I do not like it.

One question about the Wild Turkey. There are some suspended particles present which I notice when I pour it into a glass. Is this normall?

After reading some more, I decided that I might prefer wheated bourbons, so I headed to the liquor store. The only wheated bourbon they had other than Maker's Mark was W.L. Weller Special Reserve (seven years old), so I bought it. I tried it today. My initial impression was a somewhat spicy flavour dominated by alcohol burn with a slight sweetness, followed by the flavor which I am not sure what to call: when I had only tried Maker's Mark and Jim Beam white, it is the flavor which I thought was simply the primary flavor of bourbon (but that I can not detect in Wild Turkey 101, which I read on here is a typical bourbon). Anyway, I like this flavor, and I thought that the bourbon was acceptable. I then tried it diluted with water. When diluted, I do not notice the spicyness, the sweetness is more pronounced, and I notice a few other flavors (blueberry?). I prefer it diluted, as I do not care for the spicyness and I like the other flavors which I noticed only when diluted.

Maker's Mark is still my favorite. I like the candy-like flavor.

Anyway, can I conclude that I do not like bourbons with rye? Any recommendations for my next wheated bourbon (I will be heading to louisville this winter)? I noticed Buffallo Trace, Jim Beam Black, the high end Wild Turkeys, and Wilheam at the store. Do you think that I would like any of these?

bobbyc
10-09-2006, 17:27
Anyway, can I conclude that I do not like bourbons with rye?

I wouldn't think so, there are many more, something will turn up. Are the particles in the Wild Turkey black? If so that is a little barrel char. nothing to worry about.

Welcome here.

Nebraska
10-09-2006, 17:59
Hey welcome. Basil Hayden's is available all over the planet, it's a little over priced but it might be a good next step for you. It's also a very fun bourbon and very different. You also might want to consider a bottle of 1792 ridgemont reserve, not as pricey and a little lighter on flavor, but still pretty good (read the bottle of the month thread for this selection). As time goes on your taste buds will expand. But judging by what you've said, the Turkeys, Staggs, etc... are not a good place for you to start.

Nebraska
10-09-2006, 18:00
P.S. Blanton's would be a good choice as well.

CrispyCritter
10-09-2006, 20:25
Elmer T. Lee would also be a good choice, if it's available in your area.

Based on all the bad press, I've completely avoided Beam White - but Beam Black is quite good, maybe a bit underrated. It doesn't have WT's wood - though I don't mind a bit of woodiness. Note, however, that it's a rye-recipe bourbon, not a wheater.

jburlowski
10-10-2006, 14:44
Anyway, can I conclude that I do not like bourbons with rye?

Go with your current preferences but don't give up on rye bourbons forever. Most of us here have found that out tastes have evolved over time and that pours that initially seem unappealing can have an entirely different imprssion at another time and place. In other words, explore.

Another suggestion to try (if available in your area) is Berheim Wheat whiskey. No actually a bourbon but a very enjoyable (and different) taste.

Big Chipper
10-10-2006, 14:55
Old Charter 12 year old is a sweeter bourbon that's hard not to like. Buffalo Trace is also easy to drink...as is Eagle Rare SB. While these are not wheaters, they don't have a high rye content mashbill. If you can find it in your area, get some Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr...it's the best bourbon for the $$$ and is a wheater too.

fog
10-10-2006, 19:23
Thanks for the responses.

BobA
10-11-2006, 09:17
Unless I misread, the only ryed bourbons you've had are JB white and WT 101. If that's right, it's way too small a sample to draw that conclusion. There's a good deal of variability in bourbons, not really dependent on rye or wheat. I usually associate "spice" with a rye mashbill, but then again, you found it in the wheated Weller.

You've gotten some good suggestions about purs to try, and if the 50 ml "minis" are available in your area, they're a good way to get a wide sampling of bourbons. Just try a bunch of stuff.

Have fun.

Bob

Pappy's Friend
10-11-2006, 20:17
Don't give up yet on bourbon! If you're going to Louisville, go to one of the bourbon bars and try the various flights available. That is a nice way for a novice to get a taste of some very different bourbons.

As for the wheated bourbons, try Weller 12-year and Pappy Van Winkle's (my favorite is the 20-year).

As to others, try Buffalo Trace as well. They are my favorite distillery.

barturtle
10-11-2006, 21:14
Just a thought here, but if you're heading to Louisville this winter you may want to visit some of the more bourbon-centric bars there and try a "flight" (sampler) of bourbons. These will usually give you about half an ounce each of three bourbons. Pick one with a known "good" whiskey and then see what it is you like about it and see if those flavors are present in the others. Some places will even help you design a flight to try some things side by side.

One thing you might like to try are Canadian whiskies. While sharing many of the underlying flavors of bourbon, they tend to be a bit lighter and less spicy and usually a bit lower in alcohol (this will result in less burn). These could even be considered as a entry level American whiskey. In this vein you might like to give a shot to Cnandian Club Sherry Cask, Canadian Club 12yo or the ever popular Crown Royal. These may give you a good base to work off of while you grow accustomed to the more intense flavors of the higher strength/older bourbons. Canadians also tend to be extremely well balanced and drinkable. While some may consider that "uninteresting" I think it is a quite enjoyable experience, consider it like chillin' with some old Beach Boys as opposed to thrashing with Metallica.

Virus_Of_Life
10-12-2006, 00:04
One thing you might like to try are Canadian whiskies. While sharing many of the underlying flavors of bourbon, they tend to be a bit lighter and less spicy and usually a bit lower in alcohol (this will result in less burn). These could even be considered as a entry level American whiskey. In this vein you might like to give a shot to Cnandian Club Sherry Cask, Canadian Club 12yo or the ever popular Crown Royal. These may give you a good base to work off of while you grow accustomed to the more intense flavors of the higher strength/older bourbons. Canadians also tend to be extremely well balanced and drinkable. While some may consider that "uninteresting" I think it is a quite enjoyable experience, consider it like chillin' with some old Beach Boys as opposed to thrashing with Metallica.

May I also recomend Pendelton? I found it to be such an incredible intoxicating whiskey at the time that I insisted on drinking (with a little help from my friend) the entire bottle in about 36 hours. Needless to say I have not touched Canadian Whiskey since, but that is not to say I did not like it a great deal for a while. Along with all the things Timothy pointed out is also that it really has a sweet maple like flavor, and I think for beginning whiskey drinkers that really hits the spot.

... Take the Beach Boys, I'll rock out with Slipknot!

TnSquire
10-12-2006, 11:18
I used to think I didnt like Turkey because of the rye but I love straight rye. I think I have decided I dont like perfumey bourbon.

FlashPuppy
10-12-2006, 21:01
Hello, I turned 21 in September.

Well, it's official. I am no longer the youngest person on here! (barely)

You have found a great group of folks here, kid :stickpoke:

jburlowski
10-13-2006, 15:17
Well, it's official. I am no longer the youngest person on here! (barely)

:stickpoke:

Sigh... I guess Medicare must be right around the corner....

fog
10-22-2006, 08:49
I bought a bottle of Buffalo Trace last night, and I am very pleased with it.

It smells perfect (WT smells astringent to me). I initially taste fruit and caramel followed by a pepper like spiciness. I found no other tastes at various levels of dilution. I never detected any bitterness.

I am enjoying the Weller more than I did at first. Now I notice a strong chocolate flavor which I love.

I have learned to enjoy WT with coke, but I still dont like it straight or with water.

mythrenegade
10-22-2006, 20:49
Based on your comments, I would suggest you try Elmer T. Lee and Eagle Rare 10 year old. I think you will find both of those are not too expensive and have a lot to offer in the flavors you like. I would suggest you stay away from Blantons for now, it's expensive and I think it's probably spicier than you are looking for. Pappy Van Winkel is great, but it's $75 per bottle. The two I mentioned are available in CA for $17-$20 per bottle (about half what Blantons costs)...

Joel

fog
11-14-2006, 16:45
Yesterday I bought a bottle of Knob Creek.

I was suprised by how much it reminded me of WT101. The Knob Creek smells similar to WT101, but without the astringency I noticed in the WT101. The Knob Creek has the same woody taste as the WT101, but it is sweeter and more complex.

I did not notice any similarity to Jim Beam white, in which I noticed some unpleasant bitter flavors. I wonder if the bitter chemicals have been chemically altered by the additional aging, or if they are simply masked by the flavors released from the oak.

I prefer the tastes of BT, Weller, and MM, but Knob Creek is good enough that I enjoy drinking it straight.

I will probably buy a few more locally available whiskeys in the near future. Is Woodford Reserve worth trying? How about GentlemanJack?

FlashPuppy
11-14-2006, 18:46
I will probably buy a few more locally available whiskeys in the near future. Is Woodford Reserve worth trying? How about GentlemanJack?

1. There should be a lot of locally avaible stuff seeing as you are Indiana.

2. EVERYTHING is worth trying in my opinion.

3. Anything "Jack" is not bourbon, but a Tennessee whiskey. I think that the plain 'ole JD black is decent, but overpriced. My opinion of JD goes down hill as the bottle price goes up. I much prefer Dickel as Tenn whiskey.

If you like the Knob Creek, why not branch out and try some other JB small batch stuff? I really like the Booker's myself.

bluesbassdad
11-14-2006, 22:33
3. Anything "Jack" is not bourbon, but a Tennessee whiskey. I think that the plain 'ole JD black is decent, but overpriced. My opinion of JD goes down hill as the bottle price goes up. I much prefer Dickel as Tenn whiskey.

I generally agree with the above with one exception. I've drunk one bottle of JD Single Barrel, and I've had it in bars and the Prescott Rodeo. IMO it's the only JD product that's worth drinking, much less buying.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

mythrenegade
11-15-2006, 20:18
I will probably buy a few more locally available whiskeys in the near future. Is Woodford Reserve worth trying? How about GentlemanJack?

Woodford Reserve was, to me, a tremendous disappointment. It was $10 more per bottle than Elijah Craig 12 yo, Elmer T. Lee, & Maker's Mark, as well as about $6 more than Knob Creek or Eagle Rare 10 year old. All of those bourbons are superior to Woodford Reserve IMHO. Nice bottle though!

Gentlemen Jack. I liked it the last time I had it, but that was about four years ago. I'd say it's worth a try, but if you want to branch out the earlier suggestion for Canadian Whiskey is a good one. I would suggest Crown Royal. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Joel