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LBTRS
03-11-2007, 22:57
Anyone else spend a bunch of money to try a lot of the expensive bourbons only to find that the cheap stuff is your favorite? I have purchased and tried the following:

Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15yo
Van Winkle Special Reserve 12yo Lot B
Eagle Rage SB 10yo
Blanton's
Basil Hayden's
Woodford Reserve
Buffalo Trace
Elijah Craig 12yo
Jim Beam White
Jim Beam Black
Bookers
Knob Creek
Makers Mark
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Wild Turkey 101

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting, however, out of them all I find I keep going back to the Wild Turkey 101 with Buffalo Trace a close second.

Anyone else do the same thing?

TNbourbon
03-11-2007, 23:20
Absolute favorite: Pappy 23 rye-recipe 1999 bottling, green bottle.
Everyday favorite: Weller Special Reserve 7yo (especially Louisville labels, thus Stitzel-Weller), Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam Black, Evan Williams Black-label
Undersung: Ezra Brooks Black label 90 proof, Old Forester (any proof -- I hate it that Jack Daniel's, an inferior whiskey, is their flagship).

ILLfarmboy
03-11-2007, 23:39
Yes. "Cheap stuff" doesn't always correspond to bad flavor. Weller Antique beats the pants off a lot of bottles twice as expensive. And spending a lot of money doesn't grantee You'll like what's in the bottle once its in your glass. Basil Hayden Ain't nothing to write home about and it isn't cheap.

I have found if any rule of thumb can be a good predictor of what I will like it is this: Cheap and low proof, I probably won't like it, cheap and 90 and above, I may very well like it better than many bottles that are more expensive, and expensive bourbon is, well, an expensive crap shoot.

LBTRS
03-11-2007, 23:41
Yes. "Cheap stuff" doesn't always correspond to bad flavor. Weller Antique beats the pants off a lot of bottles twice as expensive. And spending a lot of money doesn't grantee You'll like what's in the bottle once its in your glass. Basil Hayden Ain't nothing to write home about and it isn't cheap.

I have found if any rule of thumb can be a good predictor of what I will like it is this: Cheap and low proof, I probably won't like it, cheap and 90 and above, I may very well like it better than many bottles that are more expensive, and expensive bourbon is, well, an expensive crap shoot.

Funny you should say that...Basil Hayden's is the bourbon I liked least out of all that I have tried. I like Jim Beam White better than the Basil Hayden's.

AVB
03-12-2007, 05:34
I have to agree, Basil Hayden is a big disappointment when compared to the others in the "Small Batch" line or most other bourbons in general.

CrispyCritter
03-12-2007, 07:28
I've never been disappointed with my top-shelf purchases (BTAC, Hirsch 16, PVW 15, ORVW 15, Lot B, VWFRR, various upper-mid-shelf Scotches like Glenrothes 1974 and Ardbeg 1977), but there are certainly inexpensive bottles that offer huge bang-for-the-buck. Bonded versions of Old Fitzgerald, Old Grand-Dad, and Rittenhouse Rye come to mind, and AAA 10yo (I've never seen a 10 Star).

Moving up a rung on the price ladder, there's a world of choices - OGD 114, Beam Black, WT101 (and Rye), BT, Weller 7/107 and 12, Baby Saz, the list goes on.

Ubertaster
03-12-2007, 07:36
I agree. Basil Haydens was thin, watery and with no character for me. I was glad it was gone so to free up space on my bar for the Beam White.

bj

MikeDS
03-12-2007, 08:13
I haven't tried some of the really expensive bourbons but my current favorite is Buffalo Trace. At $17.99/bottle I consider it relatively cheap. The most expensive I've ever had is WT Rare Breed. I like it alot, but have to be in the mood for it. Buffalo Trace I'll do any time, anywhere. I LOVE IT!

Hedmans Brorsa
03-12-2007, 11:21
Anyone else spend a bunch of money to try a lot of the expensive bourbons only to find that the cheap stuff is your favorite?

I wouldnt necessary use the word 'favorite', but Ive been in the business far too long to take anything for granted.

A cheap whiskey can be a real thrill but it can also be very bad. Same goes for the premium ones.

jburlowski
03-12-2007, 17:06
While I more often than not drink from the more expensive end of the spectrum, I often find my self coming back to good old WT 101.

full_proof
03-12-2007, 20:01
Anyone else do the same thing?

Sure. WT101 is one of my "everyday pours" as the term is commonly used on SB.com (one of the benefits of participating on this blog is new language skills :) ). You've sampled quite a variety, but I did not spot a straight rye bourbon (the wheaters you've tried, in my neophyte estimation, are PVW15 and MM). I've enjoyed WT Rye and have a new and unopened VWFRR that wasn't too costly, and I'm looking forward to tasting it. In developing my own collection, despite all the reading, research and contemplation about a particular bottling, there's just no way to place value on something until one has sampled it. I guess that's part of the fun (and frustration) of this hobby.

luv2hunt
03-12-2007, 20:34
I'm a gin drinker but have always drank the cheep stuff since I was mixing it (Gilbeys Gin).




I'm new to Bourbon and drinking in general. I drink a lot of Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey with diet coke and want to learn to appreciate some finer Whiskey's. Could you make some recommendations as to which is the best Bourbon to start with as I have not yet acquired a taste for it?

I have recently went through a bunch of Jim Beam white label mixed in cocktails and with water but am wanting something a bit more upscale as I learn to appreciate Bourbon.

I guess the only criteria is that I have a hard time with the strong stuff that "burns" going down. I have searched but have not found an answer to this question.


Thanks for all the information guys. I do have a question though, did you guys like bourbon from the first time you drank it or did you acquire a taste for it? I have tried to drink it neat but I can say that it isn't something I really enjoy right now. Will this change as I drink more bourbon?


That's my problem, I'm 40 years old and tired of ordering/asking for a fruity mixed drink every time I get a drink. I am wanting my drink palate to catch up to my age. I will continue to try new bourbons and learn from this site.

LBTRS,

It is my opinion that you've been sampling bourbon for a whopping two months now and your history of enjoying the "cheap stuff" mixed with the "sweat stuff" is clouding your ability to enjoy good bourbon for what it is.

You're trying to hard.....and I don't think you're appreciating each different bourbon for what it brings to the palate.

Dawn

wskybnt
03-12-2007, 21:02
I woudnt say that I like it better than the expensive stuff, but WT 101, and WL Antique 107, are everyday pours that I like better than a lot of stuff that I have spent twice as much on, and not like as much....

ratcheer
03-12-2007, 23:00
While I more often than not drink from the more expensive end of the spectrum, I often find my self coming back to good old WT 101.

I most often drink from the lower priced end (WT 101, ETL), but I do have a preference for the more expensive ones (RHF, Blanton's, Rare Breed, Ky Spirit). I try to save the most expensive ones for special occasions, which may include "just because I feel like it". :grin:

Tim

barturtle
03-12-2007, 23:40
"Just because I feel like it" may be the most special occasion of them all...treating yourself or the ones you love without a Hallmark approved reason is the ultimate.

full_proof
03-13-2007, 06:07
You're trying to hard.....and I don't think you're appreciating each different bourbon for what it brings to the palate.

Dawn

Listen to Dawn, my young Padawan, she's a Jedi Knight of Bourbon and a nurse practitioner. Drink plenty varieties of the corn-based firewater, LBTRS, and some day you will become a Jedi Master of the burning spirits. :slappin:

Gillman
03-13-2007, 06:30
A suggestion I have for those new to bourbon is to try to determine what it is supposed to taste like. If you have an idea in advance, this may help you see what bourbon, and the different brands, ages, etc., are all about. This doesn't mean you will enjoy it (and if you don't, that's okay - relatively few people like bourbon, even mixed) but it may help you understand the basic flavor, or "palate".

This is something we talk a lot about here: in general; in relation to the bourbons of one company; and as between different brands.

In general, I would say bourbon has a sweetish, grainy taste with a flavor in the background of toasted or charred oak wood. The corn flavors come through, and for bourbons made with an addition of rye, there is a spicy, minty note as well. (On top of that, some bourbons have a fruity taste which can come from the way it is aged). Some people sum this up by talking about a lightly smoky, candy corn and spice taste.

Some bourbons are high in alcohol (Crown Royal is a standard 40% alcohol by volume, some bourbons reach 50% or higher) so an alcohol aftertaste is a feature of a lot of bourbon. It can be moderated by adding more ice or water or mix - or using less whiskey.

Some people never come to terms with it and again that's fine, but I found in my own case I could "get" bourbon more when I read up on it before sampling different brands and expressions.

There's lots of great info on this board about all that.

Gary

MikeDS
03-13-2007, 09:13
This thread is making me thirsty!

LBTRS
03-13-2007, 20:41
LBTRS,

It is my opinion that you've been sampling bourbon for a whopping two months now and your history of enjoying the "cheap stuff" mixed with the "sweat stuff" is clouding your ability to enjoy good bourbon for what it is.

You're trying to hard.....and I don't think you're appreciating each different bourbon for what it brings to the palate.

Dawn

Dawn,

Thanks for the recap...as you noted I'm new to "bourbon" and hence my question about how others feel about the cheaper brands. I've spent a lot of money trying to discover what I like and find I can always count on WT 101 or Buffalo Trace to make me happy.

Trying too hard? I'm drinking bourbon and talking about it in a forum called straightbourbon.com. Maybe I need to find another place to discuss bourbon?

Thanks to all for the input and discussion.

full_proof
03-13-2007, 21:17
Trying too hard? I'm drinking bourbon and talking about it in a forum called straightbourbon.com. Maybe I need to find another place to discuss bourbon?

Thanks to all for the input and discussion.

Whoa, there. Don't leave me to fend alone with the neglect and insults here! There's much to learn, and you appear to be well on your way to developing an appreciation for bourbon--it is, our course, an acquired taste. Keep in mind there are seasoned bourbon consumers here, some industry experts, and professionals (lawyers, nurse practitioners, computer programmers, etc.). I think Dawn, without malice, was just ribbing you a bit. Hell, she's told me, in uncertain terms, in a chat room that I'm a smart-(|). Take a deep breath and and drink. :lol:

LBTRS
03-13-2007, 21:42
Whoa, there. Don't leave me to fend alone with the neglect and insults here! There's much to learn, and you appear to be well on your way to developing an appreciation for bourbon--it is, our course, an acquired taste. Keep in mind there are seasoned bourbon consumers here, some industry experts, and professionals (lawyers, nurse practitioners, computer programmers, etc.). I think Dawn, without malice, was just ribbing you a bit. Hell, she's told me, in uncertain terms, in a chat room that I'm a smart-(|). Take a deep breath and and drink. :lol:

Well, I could understand the ribbing if I were acting like I had all the answers, but getting the ribbing for asking a newbie question confused me. Or maybe that was the bourbon that confused me. Regardless, I'll continue my journey and hope that Dawn becomes an acquired taste.

And to address your previous post...I have not tried any Rye Bourbons and will have to put that on my list of the next to try. Thanks for the advice and support.

luv2hunt
03-13-2007, 22:02
OK....so because I'm bright enough to give advice based upon your history I'm the bad girl of bourbon?

There's nothing wrong with liking WT101 and BT as a regular pour. Obviously your taste buds haven't developed to the point of being able to appreciate a top shelf selection. And yes, I still think that you're trying too hard. You've tried 15+ bourbons in 2 months. Have you read any of the posts here where the guys discuss going back to a bottle months later and discovering that they really like it? Patience is a virtue. Being able to identify the unique qualities of each bourbon is learned.

Acquired taste?? Forget it. I won't be replying anymore.

Dawn

gothbat
03-13-2007, 22:24
Acquired taste?? Forget it.

You said it! I was pretty much hooked after my first shot from the 375ml of MM I bought on a whim because of the packaging. But then again, as I've seen several say on here, YMMV.

Anyway, to stay on topic, the more expensive stuff usually tastes better to me. I have been disappointed by more of the cheaper brands than the higher priced ones. I will admit that I generally buy the more expensive bottles so statistically my experiences make sense and that I know there is much to explore on the lower shelves before writing them off but when I buy it’s usually on a Friday after a week of work and my attitude is something along the lines of “Go ahead buddy, you earned it!”. In terms of the money I’ve spent on disappointing high end stuff and great low end stuff I’d say that in the end it all comes out in the wash.

LBTRS
03-13-2007, 22:27
OK....so because I'm bright enough to give advice based upon your history I'm the bad girl of bourbon?

There's nothing wrong with liking WT101 and BT as a regular pour. Obviously your taste buds haven't developed to the point of being able to appreciate a top shelf selection. And yes, I still think that you're trying too hard. You've tried 15+ bourbons in 2 months. Have you read any of the posts here where the guys discuss going back to a bottle months later and discovering that they really like it? Patience is a virtue. Being able to identify the unique qualities of each bourbon is learned.

Acquired taste?? Forget it. I won't be replying anymore.

Dawn

I wasn't aware that you had to wait for months to go back to a bottle before posting about it on SB.com. I still have all those bottles, plus a few more I've acquired since, that I'll have the opportunity to go back to months later. So when I get a "whopping" few more months under my belt I'll be ready to participate on sb.com. Hopefully my judgment won't be "clouded" then.

LBTRS
03-13-2007, 22:29
You said it! I was pretty much hooked after my first shot from the 375ml of MM I bought on a whim because of the packaging. But then again, as I've seen several say on here, YMMV.

Anyway, to stay on topic, the more expensive stuff usually tastes better to me. I have been disappointed by more of the cheaper brands than the higher priced ones. I will admit that I generally buy the more expensive bottles so statistically my experiences make sense and that I know there is much to explore on the lower shelves before writing them off but when I buy its usually on a Friday after a week of work and my attitude is something along the lines of Go ahead buddy, you earned it!. In terms of the money Ive spent on disappointing high end stuff and great low end stuff Id say that in the end it all comes out in the wash.

Thanks for the input...I'll continue to pour what I have and see what grows on me.

HighTower
03-14-2007, 00:53
LBTRS: I think you may be taking Dawn the wrong way. I don't think she is trying to attack you, but merely trying to say that as a relative newcomer to bourbon, you will find your tastes will change over time, and maybe that some of the bourbons you have tried that you may not find are your "favourites", may actually turn out to be just that.

The characteristics of a bourbon can also change in the bottle once it has been open, which also may change some aspects that you didn't appreciate in the beginning. Your palette is something that will also change given time, and I believe this is more of what Dawn was getting at about revisiting a bottle months later, not criticizing you.

Anyways, enjoy the bourbon journey, and if I haven't said it already, welcome to SB.com!!

Scott

LBTRS
03-14-2007, 03:14
LBTRS: I think you may be taking Dawn the wrong way. I don't think she is trying to attack you, but merely trying to say that as a relative newcomer to bourbon, you will find your tastes will change over time, and maybe that some of the bourbons you have tried that you may not find are your "favourites", may actually turn out to be just that.

The characteristics of a bourbon can also change in the bottle once it has been open, which also may change some aspects that you didn't appreciate in the beginning. Your palette is something that will also change given time, and I believe this is more of what Dawn was getting at about revisiting a bottle months later, not criticizing you.

Anyways, enjoy the bourbon journey, and if I haven't said it already, welcome to SB.com!!

Scott

Scott,

Thanks for the welcome.

I think you missed Dawn's first post to me where she quoted every post I've made on sb.com and commented on my "whopping" two month of drinking bourbon and how my past experience is "clouding" my ability to see bourbon for what it is and that I'm trying to hard. Who the heck is she to say I'm trying to hard? It's drinking bourbon not climbing Everest.

I simply asked a question about others experiences and how they relate to my limited experience. Please reread my original question and her response...I don't think her response had anything of value to add to this thread other than to let me know she doesn't approve of my newbie questions.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to post and the welcome. I really do appreciate all the people that answered the question and offered advice.

ILLfarmboy
03-14-2007, 05:49
Scott,

Thanks for the welcome.

I think you missed Dawn's first post to me where she quoted every post I've made on sb.com and commented on my "whopping" two month of drinking bourbon and how my past experience is "clouding" my ability to see bourbon for what it is and that I'm trying to hard. Who the heck is she to say I'm trying to hard? It's drinking bourbon not climbing Everest.

I simply asked a question about others experiences and how they relate to my limited experience. Please reread my original question and her response...I don't think her response had anything of value to add to this thread other than to let me know she doesn't approve of my newbie questions.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to post and the welcome. I really do appreciate all the people that answered the question and offered advice.

I can't speak for her but I can speak for my interpretation of her post. I think by quoting your previous posts she was showing your progression from being new to drinking in general, drinking Crown Royal mixed with Coke to having "trouble acclimating to the higher proofs", and now one of your favorites is WT 101. that is quite a journey in a compressed time frame. Imagine what you will think/ be drinking in six months or six years.

By "trying to hard" I think see meant you were trying to make up for lost time by overly compressing your taste experiences, ultimately missing out on a lot. I don't think she was disapproving of your newbie status. If anything you seem a little touchy about it. No need to be. As a girl several years my senior told me many moons ago, "everybody has to learn sometime":cool: I took her constructive criticism and put it to good use:cool:

full_proof
03-14-2007, 07:10
...as a relative newcomer to bourbon, you will find your tastes will change over time, and maybe that some of the bourbons you have tried that you may not find are your "favourites", may actually turn out to be just that.

The characteristics of a bourbon can also change in the bottle once it has been open, which also may change some aspects that you didn't appreciate in the beginning. Your palette is something that will also change given time...

Scott

What Scott describes is part of the progression of what "acquiring" a taste is. I have friends that still shoot bourbon in a shot glass, and look at me in dismay as I nose, sip and savor a dram. I acquired that technique by reading and interacting with bourbonites here and other web sites, and have acquired a better appreciation of bourbon through sampling different brands. I can't say I was hooked with my first try at any liquor, but I really enjoy bourbon more now than I did when I joined SB.com.


OK....so because I'm bright enough to give advice based upon your history I'm the bad girl of bourbon?

Being able to identify the unique qualities of each bourbon is learned.

Acquired taste?? Forget it. I won't be replying anymore.

Dawn

Are we having fun yet? I thought learning to appreciate the unique qualities of bourbons was part of "acquiring a taste". Jeez, don't get mad. This blog is a great way to unwind from the stress at the office, develop a (surprisingly) intriuguing hobby and learn from folks like Dawn. Let's not get so serious with each other. Like I tell my Sunday School Class...Bourbon is fun.

smokinjoe
03-14-2007, 08:08
Welcome, LBTRS. Soon after I became addicted to SB.com in the Fall of '04, a gentleman by the name of Marvin put together an awesome, 8 part series, entitled "How to evaluate the different taste in bourbon" on this site. It ran from Oct 13 2004 through Nov 17 2004. I'd post a link if I knew how, but I'm basically a dolt when it comes to these newfangled computer dohickies. :confused: But, you can get to it through the search function. Anyway, his series helped me greatly in enjoying the tasting of our favorite spirit. I refer to it constantly. It is a treasure.

Cheers!

JOE

gothbat
03-14-2007, 09:05
in the Fall of '04, a gentleman by the name of Marvin put together an awesome, 8 part series, entitled "How to evaluate the different taste in bourbon" on this site.

Well, you had the thread title almost exact so it was pretty easy to find for me. This looks pretty good and I look forward to reading it when I get home so thanks for the tip. Here are the links:

Parts 1 & 2 (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3293)

Part 3 (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3318)

Part 4 (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3333)

Part 5 (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3338)

Part 6 (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3339)

Part 7 (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3344)

Part 8 (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3421)

LBTRS
03-14-2007, 10:13
Welcome, LBTRS. Soon after I became addicted to SB.com in the Fall of '04, a gentleman by the name of Marvin put together an awesome, 8 part series, entitled "How to evaluate the different taste in bourbon" on this site. It ran from Oct 13 2004 through Nov 17 2004. I'd post a link if I knew how, but I'm basically a dolt when it comes to these newfangled computer dohickies. :confused: But, you can get to it through the search function. Anyway, his series helped me greatly in enjoying the tasting of our favorite spirit. I refer to it constantly. It is a treasure.

Cheers!

JOE

Joe,

Thanks, I'll look for it. Sounds like just what I need.

Gillman
03-14-2007, 11:40
And, I would add: my post in the tasting section just put up, and Chuck Cowdery's book, Bourbon - Straight, and searching various taste notes on the site.

Gary