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I'm going to the Bourbon Festival this September and I am planning on having a $500 bourbon budget. Some of my favorites that are readily available to me here in Virginia are: Blanton's, Kentucky Spirit, WT Rare Breed, & Knob Creek.
Two must buys in Kentucky are Hirsch 16 Y.O. and L&G's Woodford Reserve. What other bourbons should I buy?
You've got some good ones, but you're leaving quite a few good ones off, as well. Booker's (the only unfiltered bourbon and from the same makers as Knob Creek), Labrott & Graham's Woodford Reserve, Maker's Mark, and Old Rip Van Winkle's 15 year. This will make your list a little more expensive, but well worth the money.
Alas, I will not have the pleasure of attending the Festival this year (damn law school!).
But might I suggest Buffalo Trace. It's pretty inexpensive, but pretty damn good.
Pick up some Very Old Barton and try one or two of the Heaven Hill brand products. Other Heaven Hill products you might want to sample are Henry McKenna, J.W. Dant and J.T.S. Brown. They're all Heaven Hill whiskey, of course, but at least you can add a few new bottles to your collection.
--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)
Thanks for your suggestions Chuck! Very Old Barton is one I'd like to try. It's unavailable here in ol' Virginny. I'd also like to meet Jerry Dalton while I'm in Bardstown. He makes Barton does he not? He's a very impressive character on your documentery "Made and Bottled in Kentucky". Most but not all of the Heaven Hill products are available to me. I do like the Evan Willians Single Barrel. My brother in law drank Henery McKenna untill I spoiled him rotten with Knob Creek. Whenever my wife and I come to visit he asks "Where's that creek water?" We put on some blues, light up some good cigars and go wading Knee deep in Knob Creek. It's a good time.
Thanks Cowboy Buffalo Trace is a must buy. I'll be spending my first night in Frankfort KY and will be visiting the newly renamed Buffalo Trace Distillery.
I'd love to meet Gary Gayheart & Elmer T. Lee. I've been a BIG BLANTON'S Fan for quite some time. Finding a great bourbon is easy if you've got a fifty dollar bill to burn. I'm search ing for the holy grail of bourbon here. I'm looking for the elusive really fine very damn good nearly great bourbon that costs twenty bucks a half gallon. I'm still a-huntin'. Buffalo huntin'? Hmmmm....
Jerry Dalton is now working his magic at Jim Beam's Clermont distillery. I'm not real sure why, but Jim Beam hasn't seemed to have as much presence at the Kentucky Bourbon festival as most of the other distilleries in the past few years (since the days when Booker Noe dominated the show), so you might not have a chance to meet him. But you just might see Bill Friel there. Jerry was the chief chemist at Barton, but Bill is the master distiller. Bill's a funny guy and very straightforward - you'd appreciate him. If you check our web page about the 1998 Bourbon Festival, look for the photo of the Bourbon Discussion Panel; you'll see Bill as the only one not wearing a suit. He was also the first to risk tasting the dreaded pre-prohibition bourbon. (Oh, by the way, you will also see Sam Cecil in that photo, and Jimmy Russell, too). In fact, the attached photo (from a no-longer-existant www.specialtyfoodamerica.com webpage) shows that panel with yours truly and his lovely wife, Linda, seated in the front row at the right. Bill is on the right end of the panel, which also includes (from left) Chris Morris, Ova Haney, Max Shapira, Sam Cecil, and Jimmy Russell. This is a full-audience-participation event, plus you can talk with all of these fine folks before and after the panel event as well. THAT's why everyone who's really interested in bourbon and the folks who make it should try to attend the Kentucky Bourbon Festival (I won't go into such accidental details as the chance to talk to some big ol' balding guy with a cane in his front yard a couple blocks up on 3rd Street and have him ask you if you'd like to come to a barbeque tonight at his place with him and his wife Annis and some friends... and you find out later it's Booker Noe, and he has a LOT of friends). The Bourbon Festival is a very magic time -- you're gonna love it.
Thanks John! I'm counting on you to pull some strings and show me the ropes in Bardstown. What no bourbon picks for my shopping list?
Thank y'all for your comments and suggestions.
The 'list' as it stands:
Hirsch 16 YO
Very Old Barton's
And from another thread on wheaters we have;
Van Winkle 16 YO
Very Special Old Fitzgerald
W.L. Weller Centennial
So there you have it. $500 very quickly spent.
Oh and Nate quit your cryin'! Be a man son be a man!
Have Shotglass. Will Travel.
Better make that $517, Linn :-) You like big, solid flavor and once you've tried Old Weller Antique you're gonna want to add bottle of that to your collection, too. All 107 proof of it.
Oops, better set another $25 aside for a bottle of Wathen's.
Hi John thanks for your accurate calculations. $517! Right now it looks like there's going to be a bit of a shortfall. Where's a good place to go take a taste and narrow down the pack?
Have Shotglass. Will Travel.
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