View Full Version : Bourbon Recommendations wanted.
Hi, I am a longtime lurker, but finally bit the bullet and signed up for the forum. My favorite bourbon is GTS. I recently tried Weller Antique and I really like it too. Even though GTS is rye and Antique is wheat, they really taste similar to me (at least with water in each to take them down to a reasonable proof - I like to taste what I am drinking and the burn gets in the way) They are very rich and a little sweet and smell just like the barrel warehouse. What else do you think I might like? I like Elmer T Lee too, although it is a much milder taste. I also like Dickel in my diet coke once in awhile (I am a Tennessee boy and have to support the locals once in awhile) I tried Woodford Reserve and really didn't like it - Eagle Rare didn't do anything for me either. I am saving up my money for some Pappy - what else would you recommend?
You can't really go wrong no matter what you try. If you like it then great. If not then your out about 17 - 40 bucks depending on what you buy. Big deal. Buy whatever is on sale and expand your horizons.
Having said that here's what I would do.
First I'd go with any of the offerings bearing the Wild Turkey name. I think that they have some of the best deals out there from a bang for the buck standpoint. Standard WT 101 is a steal at around 15 bucks here.
Next I start working through the Small Batch Collection. Little more pricey so get them on sale and see what you like.
Heck, I'd even recommend Old Overholt. I'm sure some will say that it's swill but I admit to having quite a fondness for it. Especially at $10.99 for 750 ml.
Old Grand Dad 114.
Give those a try if you like strong bourbons.
When I started my bourbon explorations several years ago, it was immediately following -- and, in some cases, concurrent with -- similar explorations of Scotch and Canadian. I simply tried everything, usually by picking up a mini or two or 200ml bottles, where available. I also had the good fortune to find this site and started attending get-togethers of members where, to put it mildly, a fair collection of differing samples can be had.
Basically, I found few bourbons that did not have some charm, unlike the aforementioned Scotches and Canadians.
So, my recommendation would be to try as many as you affordably can. What you especially like, find similar or premium versions (say, step up from Jim Beam Black to Baker's or Booker's; or, Weller to Van Winkle), and try them, too. And don't be restrictive. I love the wheaters, but one of my most valued open bottles is my last early Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, a rye-loaded mouthful. And a good straight rye is worth traveling -- well, in my case, to Chicago -- for.
On the whole, I would recomend you concentrate on the 'middle shelf'.
OGD 114 or the BIB
WT Rare Breed is quite pricey to be considered 'middle shelf' but worth it.
those three should give you a feel for the high(er) rye bourbons.
BT is a good mid priced dram. As for the Small Batch Collection, I'd go straight for the Booker's but that's a personal prejudice not shared by all here at SB.com. KC would by my second choice.
Don't forget to try a couple ryes. Saz Jr. and WT rye are solid mid priced choices.
I would try Baker's, Blanton's, Rock Hill Farms. From the Wild Turkey brand Rare Breed, Russel's Reserve and their 101 Rye. Rittenhouse Rye 100 BIB and Saz Jr. Maker's Mark and Woodford Reserve can be hit or miss but quite nice. I almost always give a bottle a couple shots before I conclude if it is bad. Unless it is quite nasty like most of the canadian Whiskey's. Then it becomes a mixer bottle.
Thanks for all the recommendations - first up was Wild Turkey Rare Breed. It is pretty good, a lot of flavor, which I like. I can taste the leather and some kind of grain - oatmeal? and a little citrus on the front - a little drier than I like - not too much caramel or brown sugar like the Antique or even GT Stagg. The one drawback is to me, the finish tastes like spearmint with a little cinnamon. It's reminiscent of a mint julep, which is ok once in awhile, but not something I want to taste everytime I have a bourbon. Has anyone ever noticed the mint in Wild Turkey? I'll let you know when I try another recmmendation.
I've always noticed a floral or honey aspect to RB.
The elements you mention remind me more of Elijah Craig 12 y/o (mint) and Elmer T. Lee (cinnamon). It will be interesting to see how those two strike you.
P.S. If you have lots of time on your hands, do an Advanced Search, keywords: floral honey, user: bluesbassdad, show results as: posts, and start with the oldest post first.
Well, I'll probably get banned from the board from saying this, but here goes. I went ahead and took one poster's advice and bought the Old Granddad 114. I also got a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 20 y/o, because I have heard so many raves about it - it was only $80 at the store I went to. So I did a head to head and added in the Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Well, I am afraid I was a little disappointed with the PVW. It had a great nose - woody and leather, really rich. But the taste was also woody and leather, with some corn and a buttery mouthfeel. I could really taste the oak, which I didn't like. It was like a rich Chardonnay wine, with that buttery oaky taste and feel - unfortunately I prefer a crisp Reisling or Sauvigon Blanc. Maybe I should just pour a dab of PVW once in awhile and just smell it for an hour :)
The Old Granddad on the other hand was really nice - a far fainter nose - burnt sugar/caramel, with a little bit of cinnamon. The taste was similar - I liked it best of these three, I will have to compare it against the Antique next time. I guess I just like cheap booze! The same thing happens with scotch - I buy some expensive stuff to try but I keep going back to Laphroig if I want something peaty or Dalmore if I don't - both are less than $35 where I am. I will try some other suggestions and report back soon.
Well, I'll probably get banned from the board from saying this, but here goes..
If being opinionated would get you banned, I wouldn't have lasted here very long!
Glad to here you liked the OGD 114. It is funny you should mention wine because I have always likened the tannins in a bold big red with the woody (tannic) qualities in many bourbons.
Banned? I say praised! To me, it means there will be one less guy buying up bottles of the remaining SW supply. Welcome aboard and please try to convert a few of the fine gentleman around here!!
The same thing happens with scotch - I buy some expensive stuff to try but I keep going back to Laphroig if I want something peaty or Dalmore if I don't - both are less than $35 where I am. I will try some other suggestions and report back soon.
Laphroaig is probably one of the best values in scotch today. Not a daily drinker for me, as it's a bit too smokey for my taste...I prefer Highland Park or Bowmore Legend (both inexpensive too!)
So what have you been up to? Have you tried PVW lot B yet? I am also curious to know what you think of Rock Hill Farms or WT Kentucky spirit? How about Rittenhouse BIB that is another 10.99 bottle. how about WT rye?
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