View Full Version : Want To Try A New Brand
Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and new to the Bourbon world. I started drinking JD on the rocks about 5 months ago and have been loving it. But I want to explore different brands. I just bought a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Lable, this is the only other brand I have tried so far. It was a bit different at first but starting to like it. Does anyone have any suggestions on which brands to try coming from a Jack Daniels?
Welcome, jh! Like you, I arrived at the world of bourbon through Jack Daniels (although as you probably know, that's Tennesee whiskey). I drank shots of the stuff in college while pounding the Budweiser. The first true bourbons that I took the chance to savor and really appreciate were Heavan Hill products, like Evan Williams and Elijah Craig. Most frequently these days, I drink Wild Turkey products, but it's fun to sample the wares of each of the Kentucky and Tennesee distillers.
Another Tennesee whiskey to definitely try is Dickel No. 12. A very distinctive taste, IMO, and perhaps the best value on the whole shelf.
I have had JD in the past, but not for a while. Pretty smooth and sweet is my recollection.
I am not a Scotch drinker so I don't know the flavor of the JW Black Label...
A bottle that does not cost a lot, is smooth and gets lots of respect around here is Elmer T. Lee (if that's available to you?). Makers Mark was my first Bourbon and I found it pretty smooth and it is widely available. Also Weller 12 has a smooth profile and great flavor. They are all a similar proof to the JD.
I enjoy all the WT products as well and you can't go wrong by them, WT Russell's Reserve is 90 proof now as well.
Enjoy your exploration.
Like you I am brand new to this forum, although I think I can offer a qualified opinion. I started expanding my horizons beyond Jack Daniels while I was deployed in Kuwait 3 years ago. We "technically" weren't allowed to drink alcohol over there, but I had my wife send some anyway. She ended up sending me Evan Williams in the plastic bottle, because it was almost identical in size and shape to a mouthwash bottle. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I have tried numerous different bourbons since then. My 2 favorites are Evan Williams Single Barrel, and Buffalo Trace. Both have all the complexity that I am sure you are looking for, and don't have much of the heat that is off putting when you first discover sipping whiskies. At around 25 dollars a bottle for either, they are about as affordable as the JD. If you want something a little cheaper, I am quite pleased with the Evan Williams black label. I also recommend picking up the Jim Beam small batch bourbon sampler set, which contains airline size bottles of Booker's, Baker's, Basil Hayden's and Knob Creek. Unfortunately I find that most of my friends will only drink whiskey if it's diluted with Coke, or followed by a beer back, so for now, I drink alone(...and I prefer to be by myself), but I'm excited to finally share my passion with true aficionado's.
Bourbon's to try for starters:
Elmer T Lee
Jim Beam Black
Wild Turkey 101
Eagle Rare 10
Elijah Craig 12
Single Malt's for starters:
Balvenie 10 or 12
If you don't mind spending a bit more:
Rockhill Farm's Single Barrel
Pappy Van Winkle 15
Wild Turkey Rare Breed or Kentucky Spirit
Highland Park 12
Caol Isla 12
I tried to pick whiskies that are fairly different from each other, to give you a wide range. Of course, this is limited to my personal preferences.
EDIT: Changed out BMH 11, for Eagle Rare 10 - just because it is easier to find and cheaper and still very good.
I used to drink Johnny Walker Black & JD. I then tried Glenmorangie 12 yo Sherrie Wood Cask, which is quite good. Maker's Mark got me started on bourbon. So I think I had a pretty similar profile as you when I decided to try bourbon, and Maker's Mark got me hooked.
It's relatively inexpensive as well. Go for it.
Are you looking for Scotches? Bourbons? Or other Tennessee Whiskeys?
Hey everyone, thank you, for all the feedback! I couldnt find some of the brands that are mentioned here, but i did picked up a bottle of JD single barrel, VERY good stuff i think. But i would like to explore Scotches, Bourbons, and Tennessee Whiskeys.
Visit your local bevmo, they have everything I listed. They have a few stores in Orange County.
You can also order online for pickup or delivery.
Better yet, go to Hi Times in Orange County. Probaby the best selection of spirits (and wine) I have ever seen in one store. In addition, their prices are much better than Beverages & More (aka Bevmo). Here is the link to Hi Times website: http://www.hitimewine.net/liquor.asp
JD Single Barrel is a very good whiskey. I had a bottle but finished it off and haven't replaced it.
Thesh listed a number of single malts also. A couple that are very good that I typically drink during the winter is Dalmore 21 and my favorite, Dalwhinnie 15. Both are a Highland Scotch so are less smokey and a little sweeter to the palate.
My favorite scotch is Macallan 18, but that's rather pricey. Another scotch you should try is Laophraig 10. Not too expensive, and very, very different. It's a peat bog in a glass!
You really need to buy a bottle of bourbon though, something like Maker's Mark or Wild Turkey 101.
Hi-Time Wines is great! i was just on their site, i think will stop by sometime very soon, its very close to my surf spot in newport. I was out at the local bar today, and i had Basil Hayden...WOW very very good stuff, so very smooth and great taste. Any thoughts on how this compairs to other Bourbons? So far i have JD, JD single, and Johnny W. Black to compair things to.
Basil is a rye bourbon. I don't care for it but strangely enough, I do like Sazrac. So, if you really liked Basil, you may just really really like Saz.
Most of us old sots find BH a little on the light side, especially for the price. I happen to think it's a dandy intro bourbon for those who can afford it.
You might find it intersting to try Old Grand Dad BIB, which the insiders tell me is from the same mashbill, but aged less and watered down less. The next step would be the Old Grand Dad 114 proof.
Both of those bottlings were available at HT when I last visited a couple years ago. (Now my local liquor store here in AZ tells me the 114, which I'd hoped to acquire for the BOTM thread, isn't distributed here. Sigh . . . )
Chin up Dave, at least you don't live in a controlled State. Bourbon selection is horrible in VA. If you want the good stuff (WLW, ER17, PVW), those are all special order and nigh impossible to get.
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