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VERITAS
11-26-2006, 11:15
After lurking on this site for about 3 months I figure I might as well start posting. I've been drinking bourbon for about the past 3 years, but have only been serious for about the past 6 months. Its been tough for me to distinguish all of the flavors, but I am finally starting to get it... how long did it take any of you to really develop a palette?

A few of my favorites are Booker's, Eagle Rare 10 yr & Knob creek, but I know there are a ton out there that I NEED to taste.

For all those California (especially Bay Area) posters, where do you shop? I find that Bev Mo just doesn't have that decent of a selection, espeically for the higher end bourbons.

I work as a spirits analyst for a large grocery chain, so its nice to kind of have an "in" to the different distilleries/companies, as they are always willing to answer my questions - unfortunately I am not allowed to ask for bottles (bummer!).

I have definitely learned a lot from this site and look forward to learning more!

Kevin

mythrenegade
11-26-2006, 12:13
Well, I think you need to taste Blantons and Elijah Craig 18 year old, and I think both of those are available at Bevmo. These are my two favorite bourbons. The choices you've identified are good pours, although I didn't love the Knob Creek. You should also give Maker's Mark a shot as an accessible, affordable pour.

Joel

Rughi
11-26-2006, 12:21
A few of my favorites are Booker's, Eagle Rare 10 yr & Knob creek, but I know there are a ton out there that I NEED to taste.

For all those California (especially Bay Area) posters, where do you shop? I find that Bev Mo just doesn't have that decent of a selection, espeically for the higher end bourbons.
Kevin

Kevin,
The local Bevmo to me (Albany) usually has all 3 in stock, and I've found Bevmo staffers to be helpful in transferring bottles from one store to another.

I think you wrote elsewhere that you couldn't find Stagg, Larue or Handy locally - I think they have yet to hit the shelves, but they should soon. Bevmo and Ledger's have had BT's Antique Collection on the shelves for weeks or months in past years, but I wouldn't bank on that this year.

That said, I shop at Ed Ledger's in Berkeley. He went to the trouble at my request to educate his rep that they did indeed represent Wathen's, and now he sells it at a good clip. He also was the one who stuck his neck out to carry the Willett's 22 year rye (that has been discussed elsewhere on the forum recently) when there was no certainty that it would have any success.

What part of the Bay are you in? If you're in the South Bay, Beltramo's does barrel programs and K&L is active in hosting whisky tastings. In the city is Civic Center, with whom one sb.commie is associated.

Check out postings of our West Coast Study Group. You may want to participate.

Roger

melting
11-26-2006, 12:45
Funny that you asked how long it took to develop a palette. I've been drinking bourbon for as long as I can remember. Either my taste buds are disfunctional or I just don't pay enough attention but I have never tasted 15 percent of the flavors I see others post.

I guess I go by another scale. It goes kind of like this.

Awefull - desperate times only

Decent - Jim Beam white, Old Forester

Good - Wild Turkey 101, Knob Creek, Buffalo Trace etc. Solid mid shelf products. This is where the bulk of my purchases end up being. Wild Turkey is one of the best values out there in my opinion.

Excellent - Baker's, Wild Turkey Rare Breed.

I've kind of limited this to what's readily available and what I routinely purchase. Funny, when I try to put the flavors that I taste into words it wants to come out as bourbon.

Chris

VERITAS
11-26-2006, 18:34
mythrenegade - Thanks for the input, I received a bottle of Blanton's as a gift about a year ago - quite tasty - as for the Elijah Craig 18 yr, I'll put that down on my list.... I always have a bottle of Maker's Mark around while I do enjoy it, I use it mostly for mixed drinks.

Rughi - Thanks for the information - I'm in the east bay (Pleasanton to be exact) - so Berkley is just a short drive - I will have to check out Ledger's next time I am out that way. I will definitely check out the postings of the West Coast group. Thanks!

Melting - I know what you mean, I know what I like and what I don't like but as far as tasting candied walnuts and tobacco - I think its going to be a while.... My buddy just got a bottle of the Rare Breed, and is eager to crack the seal... so I will let you know what I think.

Pappy's Friend
11-28-2006, 20:56
If you are ever in the Concord area, check out Monument Liquor. They have an extensive selection, and reasonable prices. I found their selection much better than the BevMo in PLeasant Hill or Danville.

TimmyBoston
11-30-2006, 03:43
Kevin -- Welcome to SB.com. Good luck in your spiritual journey! :cool:

drli
01-02-2007, 18:14
Well, I live in the bay area and I shop at BevMo, www.klwines.com (http://www.klwines.com), and http://beltramos.com/spirits.htm locally. I also order from www.Binnys.com (http://www.Binnys.com) and www.hitimewine.net (http://www.hitimewine.net) online. As for a really good mom and pop store... I dont know of any.

Personally I dont like the Knob Creek, but you Should try Emer T Lee, Evan Williams Single Barrel, Old Forester, Old Weller 12y and 107P, Old Grand Dad 100P and 114P, Rock Hill Farms... ect to name a few.. All available at Bevmo.

robert.o
02-13-2007, 11:47
i've generally made purchases of harder to find items at D & M on fillmore in s.f., but yesterday, my buddy got a bottle of george stagg for himself and one for me from John Walker & Co ...apparently, they have one more just sitting on the shelf... it was about $75.00 plus tax

ggilbertva
02-13-2007, 19:59
Wow....$75 for Stagg? That's pretty high. Although VA is a nasty controlled state and typically have higher prices than elsewhere, I just picked up a 2006 bottling for $55 to keep my Fall 2005 bottle company.

OscarV
02-14-2007, 17:26
Wow....$75 for Stagg? That's pretty high. .

Thats a lot cheaper than I pay.
I get mine on eBay for well over a hundred dollars plus fifteen to twenty for shipping, and the actual shipping cost is only eight dollars,(so they pocket the extra).
But then no Stagg is worse than over priced Stagg.

ggilbertva
02-14-2007, 17:49
You have a point. I suspect that as the BTAC becomes more and more popular the price point will increase. I figure that just the 2006 offerings ran me over $250. I'm assuming you can't order online? VA carries mostly the mass production stuff so at times I have to find other avenues to acquire my bourbon. Today I ordered OFVS 12 and Weller 12 since I can't find it in VA.

robert.o
02-19-2007, 21:21
Wow....$75 for Stagg? That's pretty high.
i agree, but san francisco is one of the most expensive places to live in the u.s.--everything here is overpriced... and boutique liquor stores in high-rent areas charge substantially more than just about anyone. i'll probably save this bottle for a special occasion. meanwhile, here's a pic of what i'm working on...