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Yellowjacket
07-02-2007, 19:17
I have been reading the SB site for quite a while and have learned a great deal here. I’ve made some recent postings so I thought I would introduce myself. I am much more knowledgeable of Single Malt Scotch Whisky (SMSW) than the American Whiskeys (AWs), having experienced SMSW for a few years now, but really discovering the AWs for about 8 months now. I have scoured a large number of liquor shops in Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, initially for SMSW but now the AWs also, looking for good and unique buys. I enjoy 10 Downing Street Pub in Houston and usually visit there at least once every few weeks. I enjoy the wheat-based bourbons but tend to enjoy the rye-based ones better, at least for now. Currently I really like the Wild Turkey’s but the BTAC’s are also great (of course, I haven’t tried too many AWs that I didn’t like, just some better than others). Below is a list of the AWs I’ve acquired so far. Most of these purchases have been based on information I’ve gained here (I also occasionally read BourbonEnthusiast). You guys are so knowledgeable here and provide such great insight and comments. I look forward to continuing to grow my knowledge-base here on SB!

Regards -- Bob

* = opened

Blanton’s Single Barrel (dumped 10-12-95, 93 Proof)
Booker’s (124 Proof & 126 Proof)
Buffalo Trace
Eagle Rare 10 yo Single Barrel
Eagle Rare 17 yo (bottled Fall 2005)
Elijah Craig 12 yo*
Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel
Evan Williams Single Barrel 1995 & 1996*
Ezra B. 12 yo Single Barrel (bottled 9-03)
George T. Stagg (140.6 Proof)
Henry McKenna Single Barrel 10 yo
Jack Daniel’s 1954 Gold Medal
Knob Creek 9 yo*
Makers Mark*
Old Fitzgerald BIB
Old Forester 100 Proof
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2002
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Spring 2003
Old Grand-Dad 114 Proof
Old Grand-Dad Bonded (orange label)
Old Grand-Dad Bonded (white label)
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 yo 107 Proof*
Pappy Van Winkle 15 yo
Pappy Van Winkle 20 yo
Sazerac 18 yo (bottled Fall 2006)*
Sazerac 18 yo (bottled Summer 2000)
Sazerac 6 yo*
Thomas H. Handy (132.7 Proof)
Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 yo
Van Winkle Special Reserve Lot B 12 yo
Very Special Old Fitzgerald 12 yo
Virginia Gentleman “The Fox”
W. L. Weller 12 yo*
Wathen’s Single Barrel (bottled 4-7-98)
Wild Turkey 101 Proof*
Wild Turkey 12 yo (Split Label)
Wild Turkey 12 yo* (Gold Label)
Wild Turkey Rare Breed* (108.2 Proof)
Wild Turkey Russel’s Reserve 10 yo 101 Proof*
Wild Turkey Tribute 15 yo
Woodford Reserve

sku
07-02-2007, 19:47
Nice collection...but what are you going to drink next month?

TNbourbon
07-02-2007, 20:26
10 Downing Street is a great bar. Say 'hey' to Randy B. (doubleblank) for me when you see him there!:grin:
Looks to me like you're only lacking Four Roses (road trip to Kentucky!) and Barton. Is the Ridgemont Reserve 1792 available there? It's probably the best thing Barton does, though VOB is more a 'standard'. But, ya know, now that I think about it, even Kentucky Tavern or Ten High ain't bad as mixers...
Anyway, welcome -- it looks like you have a good start toward obsession.
(Oh, and try the Dickel #12 if you get the chance -- if only to help Tennessee's economy:lol: .)

bluesbassdad
07-02-2007, 22:01
Bob,

That looks like a very good survey of the AW world -- at close to a 99% sample rate. :grin:

If you are peat-monster fan in the SMSW world, I suggest you try Elijah Craig 18 y/o. There's no peat, of course, but the char influence is so intense, it may be a bourbon-parallel to the likes of Laphroig. You'll find very little to remind you of its 12 y/o cousin. The camphor/eucalyptus/mint/??? is almost totally overwhelmed by the char influence.

Almost in the same category is the Ezra B 15 y/o, which has now been replaced by the 12 y/o that you have. If you happen to find one while on a dusty bottle expedition, I suggest you pick it up. I think you'll find it interesting.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Yellowjacket
07-04-2007, 11:48
Thanks for the replies.

TNbourbon Ė Iíve tried the 1792 at Downing Street (came highly recommended there) and enjoyed it a great deal. Just havenít added it to my collection yet. I went a little crazy buying a number of whiskeys (mostly from info on SB) a while back. Iím trying to make a dent in my current reserve before purchasing any more. Thatís the plan anyway, but temptations are always great!

bluesbassdad Ė Thanks for the info on the Ezra B 15 yo, I wasnít aware of this. Iíll keep an eye out for it. Iíve tried the EC 18 and thought it was good, but actually enjoy the EC 12 better. For me the 18 yo has too much oak coming through while the 12 yo is a wonderful blend of fruit, vanilla, and honey. I really like the Laphroaigs (the QC is absolutely great!) but for bourbons I really enjoy the EC 12.

sku Ė Somehow, Iíll figure out something for next month! By the way, Iíll be visiting the Irvine area the very end of July. Iíve read your Skuís Recent Eat blog site http://www.recenteats.blogspot.com/ (http://www.recenteats.blogspot.com/) (I love the Whiskey Wednesday features!) and was wondering if you might recommend a good spot to find a whiskey (or whisky) drink in the OC area.

Thanks - Bob

bluesbassdad
07-04-2007, 12:32
Bob,

I must reemphasize that the OE 15 y/o would be a rare find at this late date -- but worth watching for. It integrates the wood influence much more successfully than does the EC 18, IMO. I'm told that the current OE 12 y/o isn't in the same league.

If you find yourself near Seal Beach, stop by Spaghettini (http://www.spaghettini.com/index.php) (a stone's throw from I-405/San Diego Fwy, Seal Beach Blvd. exit). It was one of my favorite spots before we moved to AZ in 2004. I am a connoisseur of neither restaurants nor whiskey bars, but I liked their food, and I had my first taste of Lagavulin 16 y/o there.

I also heard Coltrane play there. Okay, so it wasn't John; it was Ravi ... and Alice joined in, too. My favorite SoCal bluesman, Doug MacLeod was a regular there.

It's also the place where I hosted an impromptu pre-wedding party for our out-of-town house guests on the day my son was married. We were displaced from our home by a swarm of bees and needed a cool place to relax and regain our composure. It was such a pleasant way to while away an hour that I almost enjoyed paying the $300 bar tab.

I just now glanced at their upcoming events. The Al Williams Jazz Society is playing there on July 27. As a fan of 50's jazz I've always enjoyed his show. I wish I could be there.

Can you tell I miss living in Long Beach?

:cry:

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Yellowjacket
07-04-2007, 13:33
Dave,
Thank you very much for the info and the recommendation for Spaghettini, I looked at the web site and it looks to be a great spot! If we can find the time we'll certainly give it a try. We are very limited on how much free time we have (my daughter is in a national Scottich Highland dance competition) and the schedule takes up much of the time. But we are looking for good places to try. A number of us fathers were also hoping to slip out at some point and enjoy a good whisky (gives us a break!). I suspect we will enjoy the Long Beach area as much as you did, just with much less exposure. We are really looking forward to the trip!

Thanks - Bob

HighTower
07-05-2007, 13:56
Bob,
Welcome to the board! You have had a great start into the world of bourbon, well done!!

Scott

Yellowjacket
07-05-2007, 14:41
Scott, thank you very much. By the way, your new cabinet and whiskey display look great! Your WT and JD collections are very impressive.

I feel very much like a rookie here. People are talking about "SW" and "Louisville" on labels, so I'm just now learning about this particular qualification. I'll just have to keep my eyes open and learn more!

Bob

doubleblank
07-05-2007, 18:32
Be sure and look at the list of abbreviations we use here. Its here under "New to Straightbourbon". Many of us use this "shorthand" to keep our posts shorter. The significance of "SW" and "Louisville" ...... that depends on your taste preferences, etc.

Randy

TBoner
07-05-2007, 18:40
Welcome!

I'll echo the congratulations on amassing a fine array of whiskeys already.

And, since you're in Texas, a Barton brand you can pick up that I'm fond of is Tom Moore BIB. Not as refined as many, but a nice inexpensive pour, particularly if you can find bottles from the 1980s that are clearly aged longer than the requisite 4 years.

I'll go ahead and put in a plug for Baker's while I'm at it. I prefer Knob Creek, but not by much. Since you've already picked up KC and Booker's, it's a nice midpoint in age, flavor profile and proof.

Again, welcome to the forum.

Yellowjacket
07-05-2007, 21:58
Thank you for the replies.

Randy – Thank you for the heads-up on the list of abbreviations, this will come in very handy. As for SW and Louisville designations, from my research I assume SW will appear on the older OF label unless it is a more “recent” bottle (since June 1992), in which case it will show Louisville, Jefferson County? With the Weller’s, I assume the older bottles show Louisville on the label and the newer ones have Frankfort? And, finally, all of the PVW’s are bottled with SW stock even though the label indicates Frankfort? (Do the PVW’s contain exclusive SW or are they a “blend/vatting” using other Van Winkle stock? In bourbon, does the age indicate the youngest whisky but older whisky can be included? Is the SW stock available for PVW 15 about to become exhausted?) Sorry for so many questions, I appreciate your patience – they just started rolling out.

Tim – Thank you for the heads-up on the Tom Moore BIB. This is not one that I recall seeing, but then I was not looking for it either. I’ll keep an eye open for it. I’ll also be sure to try the Baker.

Thanks - Bob

doubleblank
07-06-2007, 05:00
I'll try to answer as follows.....its a lttle dangerous to make statements about a whiskey's provenance with 100% certainty. For example, a bottling/source location can change and the distillery is allowed some flexibility to use the older labels with an incorrect bottling city. But here's the conventional wisdom for the Pappy's, etc.

ORVW 10 and VWSR 12 Lot B are currently Bernheim distilled/Julian and Preston selected whiskeys.

Pappy 15 is currently (?) SW but some other source (Bernheim) has also been used before.

Pappy 20 and 23 are currently SW. Original versions of the 20 were Boone whiskey and the original 23 from an un named source.

We need to have a Houston area SB get together and we'll sample these original Pappy's against the newer ones.

Randy

TNbourbon
07-06-2007, 07:50
...As for SW and Louisville designations, from my research I assume SW will appear on the older OF label unless it is a more “recent” bottle (since June 1992), in which case it will show Louisville, Jefferson County?..

Well, no. The distillery name doesn't appear after it left the Van Winkle family's ownership in the early-'70s -- or, at least, not for very long. It was known as the Old Fitzgerald Distillery during the post-Van Winkle era, though the only place I remember seeing that is on barrel heads, not bottles. However, since it was located in Louisville, assumptions are that bottles prepared there contain S-W/OF whiskey.

Yellowjacket
07-06-2007, 07:57
Randy,
I appreciate the information on the various Pappy, etc, bottlings. This is an area (which distillery is associated with which bottling during particular time-frames) that Iím still trying to get my hands around. Iíve read Charles Cowderyís Bourbon, Straight and that has help a great deal, but still seems like you need a dance card to keep it all straight. But thatís part of the fun and interest, isnít it!

A Houston area SB get-together sounds like a great idea. I live in the Bellaire area. Glad to help in any way I can.

Bob

Yellowjacket
07-06-2007, 08:36
Well, no. The distillery name doesn't appear after it left the Van Winkle family's ownership in the early-'70s -- or, at least, not for very long. It was known as the Old Fitzgerald Distillery during the post-Van Winkle era, though the only place I remember seeing that is on barrel heads, not bottles. However, since it was located in Louisville, assumptions are that bottles prepared there contain S-W/OF whiskey.

Tim Ė I have a bottle of Old Fitzgerald BIB and a bottle of Very Special Old Fitzgerald 12 yo and they both indicate ďLouisville, Jefferson CountyĒ on the labels. How can one examine a bottle of OF and determine if it contains S-W/OF whisky? Iím sure I must be overlooking something obvious. Thanks for your help.

Bob

gblick
07-06-2007, 09:51
Tim - I have a bottle of Old Fitzgerald BIB and a bottle of Very Special Old Fitzgerald 12 yo and they both indicate “Louisville, JeffersonCounty” on the labels. How can one examine a bottle of OF and determine if it contains S-W/OF whisky? I’m sure I must be overlooking something obvious. Thanks for your help.

Bob
I'm not Tim, but..

From what I've gathered, the BIB stuff has to designate the distiller and the bottler by using DSP numbers. BIB bottles will have two DSP numbers (this is usually the case, someone correct me if I'm wrong), one DSP for the distiller and one DSP for the bottler. The DSP number for SW is DSP-16, so Old Fitz BIB containing SW whiskey will have DSP-16 on the label. The later bottles of Old Fitz BIB are from DSP-1, and it's still very good IMO and the bottles I've found were only about $13 each (a steal).

Regarding the Very Special Old Fitz 12yo..
From what I know, there are at least two different versions of this. One of them (the original first version?) will have plain black plastic on the neck with the letters BHC (for Bourbon Heritage Collection). The other later version doesn't have plain black plastic on it's neck, instead it has 'Very Special' repeated over and over on it's plastic neck sleeve. I've read reports that the one with the plain black plastic and BHC is better, but haven't compared them for myself. That's all I know about the VSOF12yo. I have two bottles (plain black BHC) but haven't cracked either one yet.

Hope some of this info is helpful (and not wrong).

I used to live in Bellaire (many years ago as a child), and I just recently picked up a Pappy 20yo at Rice Liquors (at Bissonette and Rice) for a good price.

Yellowjacket
07-06-2007, 11:26
gblick,
Thank you for the information. Now things make much more sense about what to look for with the OF BIB. If I recall correctly, mine is a DSP-KY-1, so no S-W. Still looking forward to giving it a try. As for the VSOF 12, I remember from looking at it last night that it had black plastic on the neck but do not remember any more details. I will check tonight.

I am very familiar with Rice Liquors, I've found several Scotch whiskies there for excellent prices. I haven't been by lately, I'll need to return to the home turf and check things out.

Thanks again - Bob

sku
07-06-2007, 11:47
sku Ė Somehow, Iíll figure out something for next month! By the way, Iíll be visiting the Irvine area the very end of July. Iíve read your Skuís Recent Eat blog site http://www.recenteats.blogspot.com/ (http://www.recenteats.blogspot.com/) (I love the Whiskey Wednesday features!) and was wondering if you might recommend a good spot to find a whiskey (or whisky) drink in the OC area.

Thanks - Bob

Thanks for your kind words Bob. Unfortunately, I can't give you much advice on Orange County bars.

In general, while Southern California has some good liquor stores (and there is a pretty good one in Costa Mesa-www.hitimewine.net), bars and restaurants with good whiskey selections are few and far between, though there certainly could be some gems in OC that I'm not familiar with.

Yellowjacket
07-06-2007, 14:36
sku - Thanks again. I'll go by Hi-Time if I get the time, we may want a special bottle to celebrate. If we find any spots we think are really good, I'll pass it on.

Bob

NickAtMartinis
07-09-2007, 15:18
Definitely throw back some Old Weller Antique. Great bourbon for the price. Up here it's sub $20.

To say it's a great bourbon for the price is a bit insulting, I guess. Let's just say it's a great bourbon.