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View Full Version : YMMV: Where to you veer off from the conventional wisdom?



TNbourbon
03-08-2007, 19:43
YMMV -- "Your mileage may vary". It's a common proviso on these boards, a nod to the fact that no two tonguefuls of tastebuds will be identical.
Still, don't you find it frustrating and doubt-inducing when you just can't like a bourbon/whiskey that others here rave about? Even if you find yourself in agreement 90% of the time, otherwise?
Along with many others here, I love (almost -- there's Cabin Still!) all things Stitzel-Weller, Wild Turkey 12yo, Jimmy Russell Tribute, AAA 10yo, Rittenhouse rye, Buffalo Trace, Stagg, et al.
But what's the big deal about Rare Breed, which shows way too much alcohol, to me, for its actual proof, or Very Old Barton, which strikes me little differently than Jim Beam White or current Old Taylor?
What's your 'poison' -- the whiskey everybody else loves for reasons you can't figure out?

full_proof
03-08-2007, 20:03
I think I veer off sanctioned opinion with Bulleit Frontier. But what perplexes me even more is hating a bourbon on the first try, then coming back to the same bottle some weeks (or months) later and picking up on tastes and complexities that I missed before. I sometimes attribute the later-in-time appreciation to a "bad" palate, i.e. eating something that tainted my taste buds, or allowing the bourbon to "air" a bit (even if in the bottle). I'm enjoying a double of Bulleit right now and am thoroughly enjoying it. Go figure. (?)

Jazzhead
03-08-2007, 20:26
I've made an effort to try to like it, but Baker's has just never hit the spot for me.

tmas
03-08-2007, 21:00
Bulleit, it does nothing for me. I bought it because it looked impressive in that bottle, after a couple of tastes to make sure I wasn't just having a bad day, I polished it off in mixed drinks when crowds showed up. Tom V

bluesbassdad
03-08-2007, 23:02
Tim,

For me it's Blanton's. I've tried hard to like it. Heck, a departed member once said "Anyone who doesn't like Blanton's doesn't like bourbon." Of course he's the guy who didn't like S-W bourbon.

Nevertheless, I've found it impossible to ignore Blanton's or to refrain from discussing it. A search on "Blanton's" with user id "bluesbassdad" yields a large number of hits.

I may try it again in a few years, but right now I'd buy another back-up bottle of Rock Hill Farms or two bottles of Buffalo Trace (assuming I'm ever in civilization again) rather than Blanton's.

Oh, and I'd rather have a bottle of Rare Breed any day. For me RB has heather and floral notes that more than overcome the alcohol.

As you say, it's a strange business.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

ILLfarmboy
03-08-2007, 23:11
I don't care for Baker's either. To me it tastes like a slightly nore mature Beam White on steroids.

barturtle
03-08-2007, 23:15
Elijah Craig 18yo, while I've always considered, it a passable pour, I never really thought it to be a great one.

T47
03-08-2007, 23:34
PVW 20 for me. It's my tribute bottle because it cost me so darn much I would be hard pressed to replace it because of cost alone.
I "enjoy" it, but PVW 20 to me was not worth the money. I would buy 2 VW 15 or Lot B's any day for the same price. To me the younger bottles have much more flavor. I want to make it clear...I don't dislike it...I just don't see the flavor being worth the price.
The only Bourbon I disliked upon first taste was EC18. A few months passed before I revisited it, and the "dislike" was gone. I found the flavor interesting and enjoyable.

HighTower
03-09-2007, 00:56
AH Hirsch 16 gold foil......wasn't a fan of this at all when I tried it, haven't revisited it for a while, it may be time to do so soon....

Scott

TBoner
03-09-2007, 04:50
ERSB 10 yo. It just bores me to tears. I use it as an after-dinner drink about once/wk, but that's mostly to finish off the bottle. I likely won't buy another, even though I know there might be great variation from one single barrel bottle to another.

TNbourbon
03-09-2007, 05:56
...For me it's Blanton's. I've tried hard to like it...

I differ with you, Dave, only in that I don't try hard to like anything. Oh, I might try it again sometime -- and discover, for example, that the barrel-proof version is more enjoyable, as with this one -- but if I have to worry a bourbon to like it, I don't bother. There are too many other good ones out there.

BourbonJoe
03-09-2007, 06:52
AH Hirsch 16 gold foil......wasn't a fan of this at all when I tried it, haven't revisited it for a while, it may be time to do so soon....

Scott

.......or send the bottle to the "yanks" to finish it off.
Joe :usflag:

smokinjoe
03-09-2007, 07:13
My choice here may come more from the price, rather than the product. But, I am not gaga for Rock Hill Farms. It has seemed rather pedestrian and thin to me.

JOE

nor02lei
03-09-2007, 11:44
For me it is about all JB law rye recipe bourbons and Blanton’s. Blanton’s is also the only brand I have tasted that taste less good unfiltered than filtered for me. I am also a bit sensitive about to much water in some brands like for instance wheat recipe bourbons from Bernheim and SW.

Leif

Big Chipper
03-09-2007, 12:42
Along with many others here, I love (almost -- there's Cabin Still!) all things Stitzel-Weller When was the last time you had Cabin Still. I recently went through four commemorative bottles from the '60s I got off eBay and wish I had a ton more. That stuff was incredible.

Virus_Of_Life
03-09-2007, 18:14
Eagle Rare 17 year, I don't dislike it, but don't think it is worthy of being in the conversation with GTS, Handy and Larue... Or Saz18 for that matter.

CrispyCritter
03-09-2007, 19:22
Going in the other direction, I was all prepared to be disappointed with Jim Beam Rye, only to find that I like it quite well.

Father&Son
03-09-2007, 22:16
EWSB 96 and Old Forester.

Steve

Vange
03-09-2007, 22:24
EC18. I have tried it 3 times now and I just dont get it. Too resiny and dry perhaps?

jinenjo
03-09-2007, 23:34
What a great topic! I can't really comment yet though as I've not had one of the high praised whiskeys on the forum that I haven't liked. Seems Blanton's is a popular one with this topic. I do have an unopened bottle to try.

There are several bourbons I also haven't tasted but quite eager to such as EC18, Rock Hill Farms, Pappy 15 or Lot B.

Why don't these distilleries make mini bottles more available? I would've tasted so many more that way.

But to at least attempt to add to the list of veering from conventional wisdom, I was not quite enthusiastic about my Michter's 10 y.o. Rye. It did seem to get better one it became half full.

Hedmans Brorsa
03-10-2007, 03:25
Great idea for a thread, Tim!

Although, at first I couldnīt for the life of me, come up with the goods! In accordance with my against-the-grain-nature, I found it much easier to recall all the stuff I like which seems to get the short shrift from many of the members here (MM, JB rye, TN whiskey in general etc).

Eventually, I managed to unearth my one and only bottle of Sazerac 18yo from the memory vaults.

I was sort of mentally predisposed to like this one, (Good reviews, BT:s pedigreee etc) so it took me half a bottle to eventually draw the conclusion that this wasnīt for me. I think I was partially misled by the admittedly delicious nose. On the palate, though, it was a frustrating affair. The whiskey just refused to go anywhere. Too old, was my final verdict. Love the younger version, though!

ILLfarmboy
03-10-2007, 04:56
I like JD single barrel and when out on the town I enjoy Jack and Coke. Jack Daniel's seems to get short shrift around here. My only complaint is their second and unforgivable drop in proof but that's another story.

I just don't like Manhattans made with rye. I know it is more traditional than bourbon but I'd rather sip my rye neat.

I like bourbon/rye an an accompaniment to a meal especially steak and the like. I seem to be in a pretty small minority on that one too.

Most people who like spirits/whiskey like beer. I don't. I've tried, really I have.

I don't particularly care for Old Forester. I especially didn't like the only Birthday Bourbon I had (blue label and neck tag). Can't recall the year.

ratcheer
03-10-2007, 06:31
First and foremost, I don't especially care for many of the wheaters I've tried, recently. That said, it was a bottle of Old Fitzgerald that moved me from common bourbon to better bourbon when I was a freshman in college in 1969. At the time, I knew nothing about wheat vs. rye, though. I also had a wonderful pour of Pappy 20 in a bar, a few years ago. Since I don't have access to any good wheaters in my state's ABC stores, maybe it is just that I don't have much occasion to sample them.

I am another who cannot really enjoy Baker's. It seems dry and astringent, to me.

Bulleit was a total turn-off. The Wathen's of about 4-5 years ago was not especially exciting. Nor was Virginia Gentleman 90-proof (The Fox).

On the other side of things, I have always enjoyed Woodford Reserve, which many folks around here are very negative about. But, I never drink it anymore, partly because of its negative image, here. The other part is political, so I won't get in to it.

That's most of what comes to mind, right now.

Tim

ratcheer
03-10-2007, 06:42
Going in the other direction, I was all prepared to be disappointed with Jim Beam Rye, only to find that I like it quite well.

Is that so? Maybe I should try it. It is the only straight rye available in my ABC, but I have always avoided it like the plague.

Tim

TNbourbon
03-10-2007, 07:44
...I was not quite enthusiastic about my Michter's 10 y.o. Rye. It did seem to get better one it became half full...


...Eventually, I managed to unearth my one and only bottle of Sazerac 18yo from the memory vaults...I think I was partially misled by the admittedly delicious nose. On the palate, though, it was a frustrating affair. The whiskey just refused to go anywhere. Too old, was my final verdict. Love the younger version, though!

It has been my belief since assaying the Michter's that it is the same whiskey as the Saz 18. After having questioned some of the principals involved with both bottlers, I've still no reason to discount that proposition. And, Lennart, some versions of each also strike me as pretty one-dimensional, though I've also liked some 'vintages' well enough.
As for the young Saz, don't assume it's the same as the older one (take the fact that you like one and not the other as evidence) -- if BT distilled the 18yo, it was during UDV days when they were doing bulk/custom for other labels, later buying it back.

jinenjo
03-10-2007, 09:48
It has been my belief since assaying the Michter's that it is the same whiskey as the Saz 18.

Yeah, I've seen that posted here (could've been from you). In fact, right before the Michter's Rye was polished off, a friend did a blind test for me. I forget the exact results, but the first guess for the Michter's was thinking it was either Saz18 or Van Winkle 13yo Rye.

Gotta appreciate the blind test...

-Lear

Hedmans Brorsa
03-10-2007, 10:41
As for the young Saz, don't assume it's the same as the older one (take the fact that you like one and not the other as evidence) -- if BT distilled the 18yo, it was during UDV days when they were doing bulk/custom for other labels, later buying it back.

Thanks for educating me, Tim! Iīm sure this has been discussed at some stage, but some of the comings and goings with the origin of and purpose for some whiskeys just makes me dizzy!

Iīm perfectly aware that Iīve only had one bottle of a whiskey that have a potential for big change each year a new vintage comes out. Once bitten, twice shy, perhaps? Kenīs negative comments might have played a big part, as well.

Hedmans Brorsa
03-10-2007, 10:45
I have always avoided it like the plague.

Tim

I know that we are supposed to be talking about whiskey we donīt like, in this thread. The opportunity to plug JB rye is one that I canīt resist, though.

Not only is it good. I find to be highly individual, as well. Iīm a bit curious as to why you have "avoided it like the plague". Does it have such a bad image in the US?

ratcheer
03-10-2007, 14:39
I know that we are supposed to be talking about whiskey we donīt like, in this thread. The opportunity to plug JB rye is one that I canīt resist, though.

Not only is it good. I find to be highly individual, as well. Iīm a bit curious as to why you have "avoided it like the plague". Does it have such a bad image in the US?

Yes, it is cheap and it is Beam, two things that have never worked together well, for me. Also, it is only 80-proof, and I generally try to maintain a 90-proof floor on my purchases.

Tim

Hedmans Brorsa
03-11-2007, 04:13
Yes, it is cheap and it is Beam, two things that have never worked together well, for me. Also, it is only 80-proof, and I generally try to maintain a 90-proof floor on my purchases.

Tim

I agree that the 80 proof is a minus. Itīs still worth a try, I think. Especially i if it comes with a low price. You could always use it for cooking or whatever, if you donīt enjoy it. :)

Also, if I remember right, it has received the thumbs up from both Jim Murray and Michael Jackson, so it canīt be that bad.

ratcheer
03-11-2007, 08:09
Ouch! I went to the ABc, yesterday evening, and the JB Rye is up to $14.49! The last time I remember looking at it, it seems like it was $10.99. Its not cheap, anymore. :smiley_acbt:

I didn't buy it.

Tim

ThomasH
03-11-2007, 08:34
One brand much trumpeted that I didn't care for is VOB BIB/100 proof. It didn't find it necessarily undrinkable and the price isn't bad, it just didn't have much flavor to it. Another one I haven't had much luck adapting to for similar reasons is Dickel #12. It may very well be my taste buds but neither of these 2 have given me cause to repurchase them!

Thomas

Edward_call_me_Ed
03-11-2007, 09:05
The one that comes to mind is the 2005 Spring release GTS. I tried hard to like this, I really did. I had three bottles of it. Sometimes, if the stars were in just the right places, it was wonderful. Other times, well, not so good. Burn. Add enough water to avoid the burn and it was just ordinary. The quarter bottle of the 2006 release I had back home was wonderful all the way through. I can't wait to get back home to drink the rest of it. I couldn't bring it home to Japan because it was HASMAT.

Ed

scratchline
03-11-2007, 09:11
I'll throw a couple out there. For one, I found the Old Charter Proprietor's Reserve pretty underwhelming. Not bad, certainly, but for the money, I expected a lot more oomph. I thought it had a thin mouthfeel, and a not-very-complex flavor. But about the same time that I had it, I tried the Classic. Phenomenal, I thought. Agreed with all the positive buzz. Only wished I had bought a case, as I found it in a little town in Texas that was well stocked with Louisville bottles.

And a couple of weeks ago, I finished a bottle of Weller 12. I had been holding out for a Louisville bottle, until Tim informed me that there's no such thing. D'OH! Well it's not easy to find in NYC, but I came across a bottle, picked it up, and found the finish unpleasant. The nose is easily one of the best ever. But even at 90 proof, the finish was rough to me. Now I had an open bottle of Frankfort Centennial and side-by-side, there was no contest. At twice the price, I guess the Centennial should be better, but what was most interesting was that at 100 proof, it lacked the unpleasant bite of the 12.

Could be I'm just trending toward younger whiskies these days. I also prefer the old bottles of Wild Turkey 8 yr to the Russell's Reserve.

-Mike

whiskeyhatch
03-11-2007, 21:21
I remember hearing many good things about Basil Hayden's. This stuff, however, was pushing 50 bucks! So every time I made a run to my local hooch I would tell myself, "next month." When I finally came up with the funds to purchase my first bottle, I excitedly brought it home and.... well... it was a bit of a let down. A quality Bourbon no doubt, but just way too smooth for my taste. I now give it to my girlfriend to keep her in the spirit (my collection keeps getting bigger and, so far she hasn't made any objections). I would, by no means, dissuade anyone from looking into this whiskey but... BH is an apparantly quality Bourbon that... I just can't do!

ratcheer
03-12-2007, 15:31
I remember hearing many good things about Basil Hayden's. .... A quality Bourbon no doubt, but just way too smooth for my taste.

Yes, a few "quality" bourbons are so bland that they have occasionally been given the moniker "brown vodka". Basil Hayden's is one of them.

Tim

cowdery
03-12-2007, 17:11
An interesting, confessional thread.

Overall, I say, Vive la difference.

Now I understand, Tim, why you gave me those old bottles of VOB BIB. Thanks again.

Here's my perhaps surprising confession. I'm not that nuts about Stagg. I "get" it and I don't dislike it--I have several bottles--but it's not a favorite, as I know it is for many.

I'm also another one who likes Woodford Reserve a lot.

jburlowski
03-12-2007, 17:18
Well, Chuck, I like Basil Hayden. It's not my everyday pour but, to me, its a perfect summertime sippin' whiskey.

cowdery
03-12-2007, 17:23
Confession is good for the soul.

jburlowski
03-12-2007, 17:24
If not necessarily the liver....

TNbourbon
03-12-2007, 19:27
...Now I understand, Tim, why you gave me those old bottles of VOB BIB...

Truly, Chuck, it was mostly because I know you love them:grin:. Want some more?:lol:

TnSquire
03-12-2007, 19:38
I don't like Four Roses Small Batch and just barely can drink the single barrel. I wan't to like them....I just don't.

jspero
03-14-2007, 05:38
Woodford Reserve - tastes average to me
ER17 - good, but not worth it compared to ER10SB
OF B-Day Bourbon (2006) - OK but too much alcohol taste to me
Blanton's and Bakers - tried these in 50ml bottles and found no reason to buy them again at their price points

Jay

tritioch
03-14-2007, 07:55
Maker's Mark and Macallan are two brands I get a lot of grief for not liking. Neither really blew me away through many experiences, just too bland for my taste. That being said, Macallan Fine oak is NTB.

koji
03-14-2007, 08:51
I never could understand Basil Hayden, I like KC,Bakers,Bookers.
If I were gonna pick between Basil Hayden and JB Black at the same low
price Black is my choice.

FR Small Batch is a question for me too, I would happily buy the Single FR.

In either case of these bourbons, I would drink them and enjoy if they were
the last bottles of bourbons left around me.

After 3 to 5 drinks they are all good bourbon to me.

Koji

Hedmans Brorsa
03-14-2007, 13:03
Interesting. Two persons who give FR small batch the thumbs down.

This is a bourbon Iīve been looking for eagerly but not yet managed to track down. I would be really interested to hear why it fell short of your expectations.

bobbyc
03-14-2007, 14:45
AAA 10 year, never got what the big deal is. I like regular AA bottlings better.

Gillman
03-14-2007, 15:08
Re AAA 10 year, the answer is (IMO), it used to be better.

Gary

OneCubeOnly
03-15-2007, 08:04
I have a real oddball dislike: WT Rye. It's really not that there's anything particularly offensive with it, but for ryes I think my tastebuds are programmed to expect more age. I guess Saz 18 and VWFR 13yo have spoiled my appreciation for the young ones.

I've also never "gotten it" with Woodford Reserve...that's definitely one I veer away from.

Stu
03-15-2007, 11:18
This thread is the only time I remember seeing anything negative about Four Roses. FR SB is one of my favorites and I really enjoy their other products. Another of my favorites that gets a lot of bad press here is EC 18yo SB.

Since the thread is about what we don't like I'd better get to the subject. At KBF gala last year is the only time I've ever tasted Old Forrester. It is the only bourbon I've ever tasted that I can say that I did not like at all. I'm looking forward to trying it again at the Sampler in April to see if my opinion changes. It certainly gets a lot of good comments on this site. Maybe it's because until KBF last year I was strictly a single malt drinker, and the heavily peated malts of Islay are my favorites. My taste buds may be warped for bourbon.

Stu

bobbyc
03-15-2007, 13:24
I'm looking forward to trying it again at the Sampler in April to see if my opinion changes

Unless you know something I don't and that's entirely possible, Brown Forman is yet to make an appearance at the sampler. I could handle a taste of Woodford or OFBB between all the other offerings!

TNbourbon
03-15-2007, 18:50
...Since the thread is about what we don't like...

No, it isn't -- it's about deviation from conventional wisdom, which can be either positive, neutral, or negative. For example, I'd say conventional wisdom on this forum is that Stitzel-Weller/Van Winkle is very fine bourbon (a positive thought); that Maker's Mark is overrated, but okay (a neutral thought); and that Woodford Reserve Four Grain is abominable (a negative thought). If you would argue with any of those statements, you counter conventional wisdom.

TnSquire
03-15-2007, 22:27
I never could understand Basil Hayden, I like KC,Bakers,Bookers.
If I were gonna pick between Basil Hayden and JB Black at the same low
price Black is my choice.

FR Small Batch is a question for me too, I would happily buy the Single FR.

In either case of these bourbons, I would drink them and enjoy if they were
the last bottles of bourbons left around me.

After 3 to 5 drinks they are all good bourbon to me.

Koji

There is not much that is just undrinkable.

In my younger years when I was short of cash we would buy a six pack of Michelob and a case of Mil. Best. Same principle I think!

ILLfarmboy
03-15-2007, 23:08
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/red2black/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?p=84276#post84276)
...Since the thread is about what we don't like...

No, it isn't -- it's about deviation from conventional wisdom, which can be either positive, neutral, or negative. For example, I'd say conventional wisdom on this forum is that Stitzel-Weller/Van Winkle is very fine bourbon (a positive thought); that Maker's Mark is overrated, but okay (a neutral thought); and that Woodford Reserve Four Grain is abominable (a negative thought). If you would argue with any of those statements, you counter conventional wisdom.

Keeping with the spirit of 'going against conventional wisdom' I would also add I simply don't like any high proof bourbon or whiskey of any kind with Ice. It blunts the flavor so I get mostly "cold ethanol" Oddly however, lower proof whiskeys like Jameson's 12 yr, standard Jameson's and yes even Redbreast on rare occasion's, are quite enjoyable on the rocks.

It is standard advice to newbies who are working their way toward drinking neat to bridge the gap between mixing and sipping neat by drinking "on the rocks" gradually reducing the amount of Ice. I wonder if any of the many newbies who come here for advice share this quirk of mine and are turned off of bourbon by trying to drink it this way.

cowdery
03-16-2007, 16:42
I was in a bar last night enjoying some Russell's Reserve, the new lower proof version, which I prefer to the old 101 proof version, contrary to most posters here.

full_proof
03-16-2007, 20:33
Quote:

It is standard advice to newbies who are working their way toward drinking neat to bridge the gap between mixing and sipping neat by drinking "on the rocks" gradually reducing the amount of Ice. I wonder if any of the many newbies who come here for advice share this quirk of mine and are turned off of bourbon by trying to drink it this way.

That's precisely the advice I followed and it didn't turn me off at all, but helped me advance toward enjoying some of the more intense drams neat. I wasn't able to enjoy Bookers neat very much when I first started sampling bourbons. Now, I pour it straight from the bottle into my sippy cup, no ice, no water. :lol:

Stu
03-18-2007, 12:45
Unless you know something I don't and that's entirely possible, Brown Forman is yet to make an appearance at the sampler. I could handle a taste of Woodford or OFBB between all the other offerings!

This will be my first sampler. Since they were at the gala at KBF last year I assumed they would be at the sampler. Yes, I do know what assume means, and this may be a good example of it.

JeffRenner
03-21-2007, 21:22
OK, confession time.

1) I really like Jim Beam rye. In general, I am fond of sufficiently aged young whiskeys, and I find this one to be that, with lots of assertive character. It isn't a big whiskey, but it has lots going on.

2) I water most whiskey down to about 70 proof, although I always taste a new one at full strength. I figure I have a good example for this - Booker Noe reportedly liked his barrel strength cut half with water, which would take it down to a similar strength or less.

I am sure there are more examples I can't think of just now. :)

Jeff

TNbourbon
03-21-2007, 22:02
OK, confession time.

1) I really like Jim Beam rye. In general, I am fond of sufficiently aged young whiskeys, and I find this one to be that, with lots of assertive character. It isn't a big whiskey, but it has lots going on...
Yo te absolvo, Jeff. I don't hate it, though I like other, more expensive ryes, better. I have a bottle open right now, and use it in mixed drinks as often as anything. 'Sufficiently aged' is a major proviso, but I tend to agree, in spite of generally preferring 10-12yo whiskeys.


...I water most whiskey down to about 70 proof, although I always taste a new one at full strength. I figure I have a good example for this - Booker Noe reportedly liked his barrel strength cut half with water, which would take it down to a similar strength or less.
Well, I'm not going to argue with Booker, either. But, I don't especially like watered-down (or 'cubed') whiskey -- instead, I'm as likely to do essentially the same thing with a diet Coke or ginger ale.

TimmyBoston
04-05-2007, 05:20
I find that my taste buds are very tempermental, sometimes a bourbon will taste astringent and mediocre at best and another pour from the same bottle in the same glass will be bliss.

On another note, I just don't get Jim Beam products. Any of them. I just don't enjoy them.

smokinjoe
04-05-2007, 08:22
I'm not sure this goes away from conventional wisdom, but my own preconceived notions have been tested in regards to "tax stamped" or dusty bottle bourbons. I am beginning to question the idea of these being somehow superior to todays bourbons. I have purchased dozens, and dozens, and dozens, of these over the last couple of years. And, to tell the truth, the majority have been duds. Fun to find, yes, but painful to drink. Maybe, that's the reason it's still on the shelf? Because the people who frequented that store years ago found out it stinks, and never bought any more? Or, are there other variables such as storage conditions that have imparted a negative effect? Whatever it is, I am much less giddy today when I stumble across a dusty, than I was when I first started hunting.

JOE

Rughi
04-05-2007, 09:28
I am much less giddy today when I stumble across a dusty, than I was when I first started hunting. JOE

I agree, smokinjoe. I've done my part to propose that dusty bottles are often superior, but it indeed isn't always true.

Some brands I have found to be hit and miss. Charter, Harper, and Kentucky Tavern, for instance, have been very variable in my experience, from great to barely drinkable. Brands that were bottom shelf in the '70s aren't necessarily great now, but might still be interesting (and then you cook with them). Many lower shelf SW whiskeys have been duds for me in the sense that when SW didn't have some great things going on in the bottle they were often just...mild... not bad, but boring. And Walker's, well the only bottle I've really liked of it was because of a perverse fascination with the out-of-control wood character, not anything they tried to make happen.

On the other hand, my taste buds tell me that neither Brown-Forman nor Jim Beam makes anything today that's as good as what they made in the '80s and earlier - especially comparing Beam's version of ND products to real ND. Old Forester's current offerings get good press on this forum, but I still can't find the bottles that compare favorably to dusties; my first love was Old Forester and I still do love what they had back then - maybe they just can't do the same things anymore due to wood availabilities, dogma about high proof stilling and aging, whatever. Ditto for Old Grand Dad. Every source says that Beam has completely respected the yeast and mashbill, yet... the body, the orangey fruitiness, the vanillins and the sweet oak that took the edge off the high rye is no longer there for me. And Old Taylor or Old Crow (I lower my voice).....

There is definitely a risk in dusty bottles, but for 1/2 or 2/3 the price of current whiskey that is somewhat ho-hum because I already have some and can buy more anywhere, anyday I think that the risk of having another kitchen bottle or mixer bottle isn't so high.

Also, I don't actually _need_ to buy whiskey for 5-10 years at the rate I drink, so the only reasons for me to buy are if it's a special edition, there's a new expression, I want to track how a brand's flavor profile might be changing, or I see a bottle I may never see on a shelf again.

Roger

PS - All that said, the only dusties left on the shelf in my area do seem to be the ones that smokinjoe warns us about. There's a reason everyone has passed most of them up.

jinenjo
04-07-2007, 21:11
Here's my confession: I like very much the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (i.e. Stagg and Weller), however, where I am right now in my one year+ bourbon exploration I find the extreme high ABV content hard to get past.
I like the pours, but as far as a tasting experience goes I have to add water to even gather a sound sense of the palette.

With the Weller, for example, I find the Pappys to be much tastier. As for the Stagg, I've only finished one bottle but I can't say it's my favorite by any stretch.

This is how it is for me so far. It may change as I grow. I certainly do seem to prefer well-aged bourbons and ryes, but when I taste an EC18 or Saz18 compared to the BTAC barrel proofs straight I lean toward the former pours instead.

TNbourbon
04-07-2007, 21:37
...This is how it is for me so far. It may change as I grow...

Lear, it's not necessary to 'change' or 'grow', in my opinion. We all get to experience our bourbon from our own perspectives.
I guess that was my motivation when I started this thread -- to understand that our differences are what make our agreements meaningful. If we all liked, tasted, described, appreciated the exact same things, bourbon would be pretty boring beyond the first tasting note. That would be it, no more explication needed.
As it is, because we don't agree on everything -- nor does everyone agree on anything -- it's pretty remarkable and telling when we DO find broad consensus.
I've become increasingly comfortable with my likes and dislikes, even when they don't match everyone else's, because I often concur with the wide-ranging agreements here -- e.g., Weller 12 is a great value, the WR Four Grain isn't very easy to drink, Jack Daniel's is an awfully expensive young mixer. Precisely because I understand why so many hold those viewpoints, I'm able to accept those instances where my opinion "veers off from the conventional wisdom". It's not because I'm crazy, but because I'm me.

jinenjo
04-08-2007, 16:51
Well said, Tim.

I only mentioned growth to mean that my palette may develop and I might come to appreciate the more subtle complexities of a Stagg or Weller. If it doesn't happen, that's fine too. I still know what I like and can usually tell right off the bat.

Great topic.

OscarV
04-08-2007, 17:07
YMMV -- "
What's your 'poison' -- the whiskey everybody else loves for reasons you can't figure out?

For me Jim Beam Black Label.
I have seen it here on this board many times, people saying they do not like JBWL but they love JBBL.
I just don't get it, I'll pass on both.

HighTower
04-09-2007, 04:24
For me Jim Beam Black Label.
I have seen it here on this board many times, people saying they do not like JBWL but they love JBBL.
I just don't get it, I'll pass on both.
I'm with you, Oscar. I don't like Jim Beam white or the black. I do, however, like the Beam's Choice 5yo, it makes a very nice mixer. The version we have in Australia is 37%:skep:(same as our white label).


Scott

HighTower
04-09-2007, 04:33
Here's my confession: I like very much the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (i.e. Stagg and Weller), however, where I am right now in my one year+ bourbon exploration I find the extreme high ABV content hard to get past.
I like the pours, but as far as a tasting experience goes I have to add water to even gather a sound sense of the palette.
Lear, I remember times where I used to try and sip Booker's neat, and had much difficulty in doing so. I don't know when that passed but last week Cam and I went to a bourbon tasting and I had Stagg for the first time (yeah I was a Stagg virgin!) It was 131.8, and although we had a few things to warm the palette beforehand like Saz 18 and Blanton's Gold, I found it very easy to drink, and I would also go as far to say I have a new favourite! Can't wait to open my 06 Hazmat, along with the WLW and Handy! I also found it helped to have a glass of water handy, and almost drink a glass for every glass of bourbon. It was also helping open to bourbon up (what was left on the tongue). I also think I owe it to this practice for how good I felt the next day considering I had around 15 bourbons/ryes.:bigeyes:

Scott

Edward_call_me_Ed
04-09-2007, 08:19
Not exactly a veering, but...

You know what I like? Beam's Choice with a dribble of JB Black. That is the nearest I have been able to get to the 80s JB White I remember liking so well.

Ed

TBoner
04-09-2007, 18:45
I'm not sure this goes away from conventional wisdom, but my own preconceived notions have been tested in regards to "tax stamped" or dusty bottle bourbons. I am beginning to question the idea of these being somehow superior to todays bourbons. I have purchased dozens, and dozens, and dozens, of these over the last couple of years. And, to tell the truth, the majority have been duds. Fun to find, yes, but painful to drink. Maybe, that's the reason it's still on the shelf? Because the people who frequented that store years ago found out it stinks, and never bought any more? Or, are there other variables such as storage conditions that have imparted a negative effect? Whatever it is, I am much less giddy today when I stumble across a dusty, than I was when I first started hunting.

JOE

I agree with your sentiments in a general way, as I have had some dud bottles (but they're always cheap). A few caveats:

ND OGD is always better at every proof point than the current bottlings.
Ditto Old Crow and Old Taylor. (That said, the current OGD are all great products, and I don't find great differences in going for older bottlings of bourbons that have not changed hands.)

If there have been proof changes (as in JB Black, Evan Williams, etc.) there are differences, and usually the older (higher-proof) version is better, but not always.

I guess what I'm getting at is, if it's a known quantity that's not available anymore (WTRR101, Old Forester BIB, etc.), it's probably a worthy buy. But if it's bottom-shelf and it's stuck around, there's usually a reason. Bottles of AA, HH, Sunny Brook, Walker's Deluxe, Bellows, and others have been, in the end, $10 bourbon. Not a bad thing, but not worth the gas money to go out and search for.

All that said, I'm still a dusty-bottle junkie, because you never know when the early-70s OGD or OFBIB or whatever is going to turn up.

cowdery
04-10-2007, 12:22
It's always good when we can help people dispel certain notions, such as that more aging is always a good thing, or that products made a long time ago are inherently better than products made recently.

The appeal of dusties is primarily in finding something you shouldn't be able to find and, therefore, having something you wouldn't have expected to be able to have. If the whiskey in the bottle happens to be really, really good, that's a bonus.

It's always hard to see a "Golden Age" when you're in the middle of it. Things were always either better in the past or we're hoping they'll be better in the future. I think the case can be made that we're living through the best possible time to be an American whiskey enthusiast.

CrispyCritter
04-10-2007, 20:26
It's always hard to see a "Golden Age" when you're in the middle of it. Things were always either better in the past or we're hoping they'll be better in the future. I think the case can be made that we're living through the best possible time to be an American whiskey enthusiast.

I'd agree heartily - even though I'm a latecomer to whisk(e)y. I have yet to come across an ND-era OGD, for instance, but I love the current-edition OGD BIB and 114.

I may sound like a heretic here, but I'm not going to go out of my way to look for old S-W stock when there are so many good current bottlings out there. Sure, I might luck out (like that VSOF I found), but I tend to concentrate on current offerings and relatively recent "dusties" that have a chance of still being on the shelves.

As for Jim Beam, while I wouldn't buy the white label, I wouldn't turn it down, either. I definitely like the black label and the rye, though.

Old Lamplighter
04-10-2007, 23:06
In moving back to the original question posed, the one borubon that jumps out for me thus far in my journey is Buffalo Trace. I am sure this will raise quite a few eyebrows for it seems to be a favorite here.

I just don't know what it is, how to describe it, nor am able to put my finger on it exactly in terms of why I cannot develop a liking to BT. I have tried several bottles and the one currently open I usually reserve for non-discriminating company or the wife. It is about half empty and I have tried it at different points in time since the original opening but it is always the same. In any event, for those who do enjoy BT it is definitely a bargain. For me though, I will instead spend the $20 on WT101, Weller Antique or JB Black. The nutty thing is - I dearly enjoy other BT offerings from the same mashbill. For that matter, I cannot think of anything else from BT that I do not enjoy - except their flagship bottle. Crazy, isn't it?

SBOmarc
04-10-2007, 23:15
I'll let you know after I taste it.

Old Lamplighter
04-11-2007, 22:12
the one currently open I usually reserve for non-discriminating company or the wife.

Well, spoke too soon. Tonight, my wife wanted a nightcap of bourbon so I handed the BT to her as I continue to slowly & deliberately liquidate the contents slowly but surely. Much to my dismay, the wife described the BT as 'old tasting.....too old'. She is about the last person that I know who would ever be able to tell a difference between one bourbon or another. Not being a frequent partaker like myself, I would dismiss any idea that she is developing a more discriminating palate for bourbon. So, all I can assume at this point is that perhaps I have just had the bad luck of getting several lower quality bottles of BT, or, something happens to BT when it crosses my threshold. In any event, I can no longer pass off the remainder of the BT bottle to my wife. Oh well, there are always the neighbors!

Edward_call_me_Ed
04-11-2007, 23:22
One way that I veer from the norm is that I have developed a real liking for the earthy, some would say musty, note that sometimes shows up in Blanton's, especially the Straight From the Barrel. I had a bottle of that and the first pour was, "Oh, no. A musty bottle." Later I tried it and deliberately thought, "earthy" and it was not so bad, actually kind of nice. I found that it was nice in a Manhattan. When that bottle started to get low, I realized that I liked it to much to use it as a mixer.

I threw away a bunch of empty Blanton's bottle that I had cluttering up my room the other night and I noticed a couple of drops in the bottom of the bottle, not even a sip, just a tiny taste. I sure miss that bottle. Now every time I open a bottle of Blanton's I find myself hoping for a musty one.

Ed

BourbonBalls
04-12-2007, 08:08
I agree with so many of the "I-just-don't-get-it" choices discussed here....

Add this to my list too:

Barton's 1792 . . . great bottle...nice attempt at a premium, BUT........

ratcheer
04-12-2007, 16:14
Barton's 1792 . . . great bottle...nice attempt at a premium, BUT........

I'm in 100% agreement on that one.

Tim

jburlowski
04-12-2007, 17:11
I'm in 100% agreement on that one.

Tim
Me too... nice but not premium.

barturtle
04-12-2007, 18:21
Me too... nice but not premium.

When considering the market it is competing in, Woodford, Makers, Elijah Craig 12yo, Buffalo Trace, I think it competes well.