PDA

View Full Version : New Mamber/First Tasting



Virginia Gent
10-19-2006, 06:27
Hello All,
I've been lurking for a week or so, and in that brief time have learned a lot from the folks here, for which I am greatful!

Since I was a wee little tike about 25 years ago, I've enjoyed bourbon, as well as most anything else alcoholic. But more and more I have recently begun to appreciate the enjoyment of a good glass of bourbon. A friend of mine turned me on to Eagle Rare, and we've enjoyed that on several occaisions. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a bottle of Bakers on a whim. WOW! Good stuff! I love the complexity, the caramel, and the peppery finish! That bottle was the turning point for me. I am definitly a bourbon lover now!

So.. After doing some reading here, I've decided to conduct my first little blind tasting, to help me try and pick a couple of favorites to be my regular pours. I guess I am looking for my favorite bang-for-the-buck. Can anyone suggest how to go about this? Should I try and sample them all in one sitting, or would I fry my taste buds? As you see below, I've already sampled most of my recent purchases.

Here's what I have to compare:
Bakers - So far, my favorite, but too pricey to be my regular pour. I think if there was a moderate-priced version of this I would be very happy!!

Maker's Mark - Already tried this too. Really like the smoothness. This is definitely a keeper

Eagle Rare - Very good. I think I like MM just a tad bit better

Elijah Craig - To those who are fans, sorry, I didn't think this worthy of being on the same shelf as the others. This is now my cocktail bottle. Reminded me of something my friend might have brought home from the lab. I've been drinking everything neat, or with a little water. EC needs a bit more help!

Bulleit - Just got a mini. Haven't opened yet.

Knob Creek - ditto

Elmer T Lee - I just bought this yesterday after reading extensively about it here. Tried a little last night. Good, but not as complex as I'd hoped. Maybe it was the snifter I used , but it almost singed my nose hairs! I'm anxious to try it again though, a very solid pour.

Wild Turkey 101 - Of course. Just bought this yesterday too. I expected this to be pretty rough compared to the ETL, but I was very pleasantly surprised! Overall, it actually seemed smoother and more flavorful than ETL, with an amazingly smooth finish!

Any suggestions? Either things to try, or methods to objectively testing my new babies? I think I should throw in a version of Evan Williams, since I've always liked that as a lower cost bottle.

Thanks, and sorry for the long post!

Edward_call_me_Ed
10-19-2006, 08:06
Hello All,

Maker's Mark - Already tried this too. Really like the smoothness. This is definitely a keeper

Eagle Rare - Very good. I think I like MM just a tad bit better


You will get over that...

Just Kidding! But if you like MM then you should explore wheaters. Any of the Van Winkles available in your area? Weller's?

Ed

Edward_call_me_Ed
10-19-2006, 08:09
Elmer T Lee - I just bought this yesterday after reading extensively about it here. Tried a little last night. Good, but not as complex as I'd hoped. Maybe it was the snifter I used , but it almost singed my nose hairs! I'm anxious to try it again though, a very solid pour.

That doesn't make any sense to me. But then, I have found the ETL to be rather variable. Either Stellar or Excellet, but not the same from bottle to bottle. But I have never had any nasal hair combustion with it.

Ed

Edward_call_me_Ed
10-19-2006, 08:11
Wild Turkey 101 - Of course.


They just don't make any bad whiskey at WT. It is all good.

Try the WT Rare Breed.

Ed

Virginia Gent
10-19-2006, 11:31
That doesn't make any sense to me. But then, I have found the ETL to be rather variable. Either Stellar or Excellet, but not the same from bottle to bottle. But I have never had any nasal hair combustion with it.

Ed

I really think its the glass I just bought yesterday. I havent seen one like it before. It's basically a cross between a rocks glass and a snifter. Starting at the bottom of the glass, the wall extends up and out at about 90 degrees, then abrubtly curving back inward. Basically snifter-sized, but kind of diamond shaped. I'll have to try and upload a pic. It's a great drinking glass, but it seems to really concentrate the aroma *too* much. I'll try the ETL again in what I'd previously used, a crystal wine glass.

Virginia Gent
10-19-2006, 11:44
You will get over that...

Just Kidding! But if you like MM then you should explore wheaters. Any of the Van Winkles available in your area? Weller's?

Ed

Negative on Wellers. We do have VW Special Reserve 12 yr at $36 vs $25 for MM

Actually, I need to try the MM and ETL on the same day. I can't believe the ETL didn't impress me better than it did. But I only had one small pour and kind of rushed it.

Is the bold/flavor-packed/spicy-smooth character of Bakers due to a higher rye profile? If so, what should I try with more rye?

Virginia Gent
10-19-2006, 11:51
They just don't make any bad whiskey at WT. It is all good.

Try the WT Rare Breed.

Ed

I'll have to try that. We also have Russells Reserve
Ultimately I'd like to end up with 2 "everyday" favorites, one a mellow Makers or Elmer T Lee type, and a punchier, bolder Bakers type.

Ahhhh, the joy of discovery!

jspero
10-19-2006, 11:57
Negative on Wellers. We do have VW Special Reserve 12 yr at $36 vs $25 for MM


Try the VW. It's worth the extra money.

Jay

jburlowski
10-19-2006, 13:01
Welcome, congratulations, and (sigh) condolences.

Welcome to the world of bourbon and, more importantly, to this community. Here you will find expertise, experience, opinion, and friendship.

The condolences part comes with the seductiveness and allure of bourbon. Some days she (a particular brand) is the most exciting and intoxicating thing in the world... then you glance upon another and have a taste and you heart and soul are captured anew. The old love dims and seem callow and shallow. The new seems vibrant and alive....

The process repeats and repeats... at some point you remember and pine for the love that has past. In hindsight (and perhaps desperation) she seems to be the love of all times. "How could I have been so shallow?"

So enjoy the moment... look for the promise of tomorrow... and, when possible (or necessary) revisit and re-live the past.

Virginia Gent
10-19-2006, 13:26
Thanks John and Jay!
It does indeed seem like a very friendly and helpful community here, and I appreciate the ability to participate in my humble newbie way.
Some days she (a particular brand) is the most exciting and intoxicating thing in the world Nice metaphor! Makes me feel like I have a harem waiting for me! I hope Wifey doesn't get jealous!

Ahhh 40 minutes til quitting time. Hmmm.. what will it be, the ETL or WT101?.....

Nebraska
10-19-2006, 16:03
Nice metaphor! Makes me feel like I have a harem waiting for me! I hope Wifey doesn't get jealous!


That's not your biggest problem, wait till she asks why do you have to have so many bottles of bourbon. My wife knows the answer to that already, of course her answer and my answer are not the same.

My answer is it's scientific exploration for the benefit of future generations. Her answer is that I like bourbon and I'm a nut. Why quibble.

Virginia Gent
10-19-2006, 16:41
That's not your biggest problem, wait till she asks why do you have to have so many bottles of bourbon. My wife knows the answer to that already, of course her answer and my answer are not the same.

My answer is it's scientific exploration for the benefit of future generations. Her answer is that I like bourbon and I'm a nut. Why quibble.

LOL Good man! I sense that you are like me, a giver, one who bears the burden of selflessly testing fine things like good bourbon, over and over, for the betterment of our fellow man!

Wifey is pretty cool, she hasn't questioned it yet. I think she feels that I can only get in so much trouble if I confine my drinking to home!

Speaking of which, at this moment, I am giving my ETL another chance. I gotta say, it is really starting to grow on me! Much more refined than I remember from yesterday. Very smooth, a little heat, and kind of a fruity finish. Very nice.

Nebraska
10-19-2006, 18:44
If she's not questioning it yet, you don't have enough. Variety is the spice of life and sometimes the cause of divorce.

Virginia Gent
10-20-2006, 10:18
If she's not questioning it yet, you don't have enough. Variety is the spice of life and sometimes the cause of divorce. Thanks Mark. As always, I guess thats the key, finding the proper balance. Just curious, how many bottles does it take before the wifeys say enough is enough?http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif :lol:

T47
10-20-2006, 11:06
Having a wide variety of bottles is just being a good host...its not just drinking its educational. They can now try the same Bourbon at different ages, wheaters or high rye, a variety of proofs. We care enough about our friends to go that extra step, add that extra shelf, and seek out that uncommon bottle.
I further suggest that in this time of political and world unrest, it is our patriotic duty to further the love of this uniquely American drink, to reach out to our Bourbon loving brothers and sisters across the world and share a common ground that may further the cause of world peace.
What wife would stand in the way of reaching out to neighbors and furthering the cause of world peace. It is a sacrifice, a burden that we must shoulder.

Virginia Gent
10-20-2006, 12:07
I further suggest that in this time of political and world unrest, it is our patriotic duty to further the love of this uniquely American drink, to reach out to our Bourbon loving brothers and sisters across the world and share a common ground that may further the cause of world peace.
What wife would stand in the way of reaching out to neighbors and furthering the cause of world peace. It is a sacrifice, a burden that we must shoulder.

My profound thanks! Its all so clear now. How could I have been so selfish. Its NOT about the hedonistic pleasure of imbibing in a soothing drink. It IS about supporting the economy! Supporting the farmers and distillers! ("We are the World" begins playing in the background) Its the American way! Shaking off the shackles of the mundane and ordinary. Its about taking a stand and saying we will not drink crap! Exporting goodwil to the bourbon-deprived humanity all over the globe! Its an awesome reponsibility, and one we should not take lightly! I say GO FORTH AND BOLDLY EXPAND YOUR BUNKERS! Its not just enjoyable, its the right thing to do!

T47
10-20-2006, 12:30
You GO American!!!!! We are helping our Country one bottle at a time... Now you know what they were singing about..."For Amber Waves of Grain"

Nebraska
10-20-2006, 16:31
Thanks Mark. As always, I guess thats the key, finding the proper balance. Just curious, how many bottles does it take before the wifeys say enough is enough?


Balance smalance. Two suggestions, don't ask her if you can empty the china cabinet out so that you have more room for your bourbon (she actually said yes to that, I love that woman). And number two, if she asks if you can go with her to the symphony don't say, "Man, I really set aside tonight to reorganize bottles by distiller and mash bill".

To answer your question, she gave me the first sideways glance when I got close to topping 100 bottles.

barturtle
10-20-2006, 17:18
ask her if you can empty the china cabinet out so that you have more room for your bourbon (she actually said yes to that, I love that woman).

Okay, so I selectivly edited your quote:cool:

Of course she said yes...it's now your job to dust it:slappin:

jinenjo
10-20-2006, 18:05
Elijah Craig - To those who are fans, sorry, I didn't think this worthy of being on the same shelf as the others. This is now my cocktail bottle. Reminded me of something my friend might have brought home from the lab. I've been drinking everything neat, or with a little water. EC needs a bit more help!


Virginia Gent,

Welcome. I too am much of a beginner. After having been a single malt scotch guy for years I fell in love with bourbon (Your post, John B, was great!) in the last year.

I have to tell you that I had little enthusiasm for Elijah Craig at first. By the time I finished the bottle (over a few month period) I was deeply impressed. Take time with it. EC is rich stuff. Very different than MM or ETL. Come back to it from time to time is my advice.

When I bought my second bottle I was convinced it is so-called "top shelf" stuff.

That's my humble whiskey drinking plug for now.

Cheers!
Lear

HighTower
10-21-2006, 02:53
Just curious, how many bottles does it take before the wifeys say enough is enough?

I remember coming home for lunch one day and there was a package waiting for me, it was a Maker's Mark Affirmed Keenland bottle. When I opened up 3 different cupboards to put it in and there was no room....my wife suggested that it was time to stop. In saying that, there was a knock at the door and it was a courier with my bottle of WT Japan Tribute. His words were "Hey Scotty, I think I have another bottle for you" :lol: - a priceless moment!
Needless to say he - Gary (yes we are on a first name basis) - has delivered many bottles to my door, and there will be many more!!

I find trying to take an interest in my wife's hobbies helps a bit....
Here's to the bourbon.....
Scott

HighTower
10-22-2006, 03:56
So here's what all the complaining is about......
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c132/dickheadofthemonth/DSCF3935.jpg

And that doesn't include my Jack Daniels collection:lol:

Scott

Virginia Gent
10-22-2006, 07:41
Wow! nice collection Scott!

I find trying to take an interest in my wife's hobbies helps a bit....
Here's to the bourbon.....
Scott I'm guessing the bourbon helps with that, huh? :grin:


I have to tell you that I had little enthusiasm for Elijah Craig at first. By the time I finished the bottle (over a few month period) I was deeply impressed. Take time with it. EC is rich stuff. Very different than MM or ETL. Come back to it from time to time is my advice.

Thanks, I'll do that. I think there's something to the idea of re-visiting a bottle every now and then. the past week I've been alternating between the WT101 and ETL (mostly the WT, which I was preferring) But last night, wow, the ETL REALLY hit the spot! Finally started getting the combination of warm/sweet, a lttle spice, and was that a hint of menthol as the end of the finish?

I also discovered that the "snifter" type glasses I'd bought work TOO well, concentrating the nose to point where it is overwhelming. I switched back to the wine glass I'd been using and it made a world of difference. So as of now, the current faves are:
1 Bakers
2 ETL
3 Wild Turkey 101
4 Makers Mark
5 Eagle Rare SB

mythrenegade
10-23-2006, 22:09
current faves are:
1 Bakers
2 ETL
3 Wild Turkey 101
4 Makers Mark
5 Eagle Rare SB

The Elijah Craig you don't care for, I assume that's the 12 year old? That is a pretty inconsistent bottle, from what I can gather by the vast difference of opinion on the stuff around here. I enjoyed my bottle, but I didn't buy another.

The 18 year old, on the other hand, is simply phenominal. It quickly eclipsed Eagle Rare 10 yo as my favorite bourbon. Give it a try!

Joel

Virginia Gent
10-24-2006, 06:47
The Elijah Craig you don't care for, I assume that's the 12 year old? That is a pretty inconsistent bottle, from what I can gather by the vast difference of opinion on the stuff around here. I enjoyed my bottle, but I didn't buy another.

The 18 year old, on the other hand, is simply phenominal. It quickly eclipsed Eagle Rare 10 yo as my favorite bourbon. Give it a try!

Joel

Correct Joel, the 12 yr. I tried it again the other night, and although I'm noticing I appreciate different bourbons from one evening to the next, I am consistently unhappy with the EC12. It definitely has that metallic taste that others have mentioned. With all the other great bottles out there, I don't think I will be gambling on EC12 again anytime soon. If I dislike it straight, will it also make a bad Manhatten? (I'm trying to find some bitters before I can make my first one) I'll check and see if we have the 18 yr old here.

On another note, I poured some Eagle Rare SB last night, after about a week away from it, and really enjoyed it. In fact, it was kind of scary how drinkable it was. After about a week of pretty much just drinking ETL and WT101, I found the ERSB to be more "crisp" and very well balanced! To me, this seems like the perfect bourbon to introduce someone into the world of drinking straight, and perhaps something for a more experienced drinker to "come back to" after some time with some of the heartier choices. Just a humble newbies opinion.
I also tried a small pour from my mini of Bulleit. It was OK, I guess I was expecting it to be "bigger", maybe it was that "Frontier Whiskey" term on the label:slappin: . Anyway, The current top 5 has been revised:

1 Bakers
2 ETL
3 WT101
4 ER SB
5 MM (losing ground!)

Next up: Cracking open my first bottle of Knob Creek! Stay Tuned!

mythrenegade
10-24-2006, 17:37
I don't think I will be gambling on EC12 again anytime soon. If I dislike it straight, will it also make a bad Manhatten? (I'm trying to find some bitters before I can make my first one) I'll check and see if we have the 18 yr old here.

I've never made a manhattan, I only drink my bourbon straight (ok, I do dump it in egg nog, how else do you think I got rid of a bottle of JB White?). So I can't help you there. Keep the watch out for the 18. You can see two bottles in the oval packages in the picture of all the bourbons posted earlier.


On another note, I poured some Eagle Rare SB last night, after about a week away from it, and really enjoyed it. In fact, it was kind of scary how drinkable it was. After about a week of pretty much just drinking ETL and WT101, I found the ERSB to be more "crisp" and very well balanced!

ERSB is a really great pour. You might also try Evan Williams Single Barrel, I think you enjoy it.


To me, this seems like the perfect bourbon to introduce someone into the world of drinking straight, and perhaps something for a more experienced drinker to "come back to" after some time with some of the heartier choices. Just a humble newbies opinion.

I still think MM is the best pour to introduce people to fine bourbon. It is high quality and straightforward. It may be creeping down your list of favorites, but remember that it used to be at or near the top. The extra complexity of a ERSB, EC18 or Blanton's can be a little shocking at first...

Enjoy the Knob Creek! Not one of my favorites, but I enjoyed the bottle I bought. The only bottle I have ever regretted purchasing (not counting JBW which I bought to put in egg nog before I drank bourbon, needless to say it didn't encourage me to try more bourbon...) was Woodford Reserve. No flavor and a high price point that one...

Joel

Virginia Gent
10-25-2006, 13:22
I've never made a manhattan, I only drink my bourbon straight (ok, I do dump it in egg nog, how else do you think I got rid of a bottle of JB White?). So I can't help you there. Keep the watch out for the 18. You can see two bottles in the oval packages in the picture of all the bourbons posted earlier.



ERSB is a really great pour. You might also try Evan Williams Single Barrel, I think you enjoy it.



I still think MM is the best pour to introduce people to fine bourbon. It is high quality and straightforward. It may be creeping down your list of favorites, but remember that it used to be at or near the top. The extra complexity of a ERSB, EC18 or Blanton's can be a little shocking at first...

Enjoy the Knob Creek! Not one of my favorites, but I enjoyed the bottle I bought. The only bottle I have ever regretted purchasing (not counting JBW which I bought to put in egg nog before I drank bourbon, needless to say it didn't encourage me to try more bourbon...) was Woodford Reserve. No flavor and a high price point that one...

Joel

Yeah, I get the feeling that the Woodford Reserve is not one of those bang-for-the-buck bottles. I am anxious to try the Knob Creek, as I've heard it is similar to Bakers:toast: Damn I wish that stuff was less expensive! I'd love to try Blantons, sounds like it would be tasty!

I'll be going to play pool at a friends house, and told him about my new "hobby", and he is intrigued. I was thinking of taking ERSB and WT101, Maybe I'll take the MM, but I only have a little left - hmmmm on second thought, thats a good way to retire that one!

I might pick up a bottle of the EWSB. Never had it, but I always liked the Black label version back in my days of debauchery. Its at the same price point around here as the Eagle Rare and Elmer T Lee. They are all on sale this month for about $21. Looks like my list for this month is to stock up on the ETL, ERSB, and WT101. Maybe pick up a bottle of KC (also on sale), and perhaps try the EWSB and some Va Gentleman 90 - again, also on sale (yes, I am a cheap Scottish bastard)

Virus_Of_Life
10-29-2006, 22:14
So here's what all the complaining is about......
Scott

The only problem I see there is that there are too many unopened bottles! :slappin:

smokinjoe
10-30-2006, 05:21
The only problem I see there is that there are too many unopened bottles! :slappin:
Kinda along the same lines, invite just one friend over and you could probably knock off those almost empty 9 bottles on the left side of your picture.:D Should take no more than a Saturday afternoon. Tell her these are your favorites and would like to keep them, but you're doing it for her...:rolleyes:

JOE

HighTower
10-30-2006, 13:59
not bad advice, although I encountered trouble with a few of the bottles...there simply wasnt enough to share....so I created a vatting instead. It contains bookers, basil haydens, knob creek, bonded beam, beam green, elijah craig 12, evan williams single barrel 1990 & 1992, maker's mark and WT 8yo 101. I tried it the other night, but wasn't impressed. I had been sick for a few days and I think that had something to do with it, so I will try it again soon!

Scott

Gillman
10-30-2006, 16:51
Scott: add a shot of vodka, for "display".

Gary