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Dr. François
12-05-2007, 22:43
Please rank the following in order according to your personal preference. I have not tried any of the bourbons listed.
I'm trying to find a solid bargain bourbon (receipts from the liquor store for BT, ORVW and ETL have made my wife suspicious). Your input is greatly appreciated!

1. Old Grand-Dad BIB 100
2. Ancient Age (80 proof, standard bottling)
3. Evan Williams Black (86 proof, standard bottling)
4. Benchmark
5. Rebel Yell
X. (insert your favorite inexpensive bourbon <$15)

TNbourbon
12-05-2007, 22:57
1, 4, 2, 5, 3 (unless it's 1, 5, 2, 4, 3.).

T47
12-06-2007, 00:45
For me hands down Old Grand Dad BIB sits at the top of the list...but here in WA it is at least $5 more than the rest of the bottles on your list going for $19.05. The rest are under $15. Maybe I'm splitting hairs with the price? As far as flavor for price...the rest on the list would be a push for me.
At least here in WA., my favorite budget Bourbon would be JTS Brown at $11.35 or Henry Mckenna at $13.35, I enjoy both of those more than the remaining 4 on your list.

:toast:

OscarV
12-06-2007, 08:59
I'll go;

1
3
x=6 Old Charter 10yo
2
5
4

HipFlask
12-06-2007, 11:20
Rittenhouse Rye BIB
1
3
2
4
5

Dr. François
12-06-2007, 12:38
Rittenhouse Rye BIB
1
3
2
4
5

I love that whiskey, but it isn't available at all in Michigan. I stock up when I go to Colorado, though.

barturtle
12-06-2007, 13:02
According to the MI LCC these would be my 5 picks

AA 10Star
Very Old Barton 90
Old Forester 86
Old Grand Dad (your BIB is above the $15 cutoff)
Old Fitz Prime

whiskeyhatch
12-06-2007, 14:19
1, (4 or 5), 2, 3. I will second all of barturtle's suggestions above and add Heaven Hill BIB.

squire
12-06-2007, 22:31
My first choice would be Grand Dad BIB. My second choice would be a BIB from Heaven Hill, any of the usual choices, EW, Brown, Dant, et al.

Regards,
Squire

stroker394
12-07-2007, 00:00
1,3,6 (VOB),4,2,5

I just like 80 proof Very Old Barton. Just drinks good for me.

Sijan
12-07-2007, 09:37
To my mind, OGD BIB ranks head and shoulders above the rest. Others to consider in that general price range are Old Forester 100 proof, Wild Turkey 101, and Jim Beam Black. All quite good, IMO.

See my related post on good, affordable bourbons and ryes here: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8142

Dr. François
12-07-2007, 13:31
Thanks, Dan. Excellent resource.

I went to the store last night and bought a pint of Evan Williams and also got myself talked into a pint of Forester. I figured that I'm sampling, so there is no need to commit to a whole bottle. The prices on a number of other suggested bottles are quite absurd here in Michigan due to our Minimum Pricing laws.
First impressions:
I don't like either nearly as much as BT. Both are better than my college Beam White days. I'll be digging into the forester more tonight.

Sijan
12-07-2007, 16:18
Are you drinking the 100 proof Forester or the 86 proof? 100 is markedly better, although I have had the occasional off-bottling. Regular Buffalo Trace is in the same price range as the ones we're talking about - roughly $20/bottle - in many areas. Don't know what it costs in Michigan.

Dr. François
12-08-2007, 10:34
Minimum price for BT in Michigan is 24/bottle. It is only available in 750ml. Even the Old Forester 100 runs 20/bottle.
Old Forester 86 runs 15/bottle by law. Many stores mark that up even further. Not much of a bargain in my mind.

After digging deep into my bottle of OF86 last night, I have to say I'm not impressed with it, especially compared to the Evan Williams. I kept detecting this off smell...astringent, orange scented household cleaner, etc. The whiskey was also hot...the alcohol dominated and masked the flavors. We killed most of the bottle by making baking-pantry Mint Juleps (simple syrup with a dash of mint extract). Standing around the campfire in 20 degree weather, we couldn't complain.

OscarV
12-08-2007, 17:42
After digging deep into my bottle of OF86 last night, I have to say I'm not impressed with it, especially compared to the Evan Williams. I kept detecting this off smell...astringent, orange scented household cleaner, etc. The whiskey was also hot...the alcohol dominated and masked the flavors. .


Old Forester can be bad.
Their Signature brand is good, very good on the rocks it is 100 proof.
The standard 86 proof is pretty bad.
A lot of people like the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon.
I got one that just so happened to be the lowest rated one of them all, Spring 1990. the first couple were good, but that bottle got bad fast.

Evan Williams Black Label is the most underrated, (taking price into account), bourbon there is.
I love it on the rocks, great minty tail on it.

squire
12-08-2007, 19:59
ovh I agree that Evan Williams black label is very consistent. The brand was sold here for a number of years at 7yrs and 90 Proof. Presumed that was its profile but was surprised to find it at different ages and proofs in other markets, Alabama and Florida come to mind, and believe I saw a younger, six year version in a shop on Boylston St. in Boston. That was at least twelve years ago, memory fades, but the no age statement stuff sold today in my local store ranks right up there with the brand that I've been conversant with for some years now. Its still good stuff.

Squire

Gillman
12-08-2007, 21:43
In general I too find Signature much better than OF 86.

Gary

texascarl
12-08-2007, 22:22
Under $18/750ml locally. These are excellent buys - in approximate order:

Old Fitz 1849
Wild Turkey 101
Rittenhouse Rye
Old Charter 10 year
Bulleit
W.L. Weller - 7 yr
OGD BIB
Old Overholt
Old Forester 100

The ones below are all 'good whiskey' for the price, no order.
Rebel Yell
Evan Williams
Ancient Age (10 star is in this price range)
Benchmark
Old Charter 8 year

ACDetroit
12-08-2007, 22:40
W.L.Weller Special Reserve 7 yr. 16.98 state min. You can still find some Lville bottles if you look around.

Tony

Sijan
12-09-2007, 07:25
texascarl, are you finding the 8 year old Old Fitz 1849 in stores still? Or just the NAS version? I find the 8 year old notably better, but can't find it anymore.

texascarl
12-09-2007, 14:19
texascarl, are you finding the 8 year old Old Fitz 1849 in stores still? Or just the NAS version? I find the 8 year old notably better, but can't find it anymore.

The 8 year old is all I've had...but with my luck it'll all be gone next time I try to buy some.

Sijan
12-09-2007, 14:33
You're a lucky man. If you find a cache of extra bottles of the 8 year old Old Fitz 1849, and don't mind doing a favor for a fellow SB.com member, please buy as many as you're willing to for me and I'll make sure you're fully compensated.

smokinjoe
12-10-2007, 06:39
1, 3, 4, 5, 2. I would insert Ezra Brooks 90 in here somewhere near the top of my list. Can be found almost anywhere, is $15.99/1.75 here in Atlanta, and very tasty.

Cheers!

JOE

felthove
12-16-2007, 20:51
For me hands down Old Grand Dad BIB sits at the top of the list...but here in WA it is at least $5 more than the rest of the bottles on your list going for $19.05. The rest are under $15. Maybe I'm splitting hairs with the price? As far as flavor for price...the rest on the list would be a push for me.
At least here in WA., my favorite budget Bourbon would be JTS Brown at $11.35 or Henry Mckenna at $13.35, I enjoy both of those more than the remaining 4 on your list.

:toast:

What is JTS Brown? Sounds like a good find!

Dr. François
01-12-2008, 23:15
An update:
I, over semester break, tried every one of the bottles I mentioned earlier. I should note that this list derived from my desire to find a cheap house pour, not an excellent pour. Here are my comments, in no particular order:

A.(2). Ancient Age (80 proof)
The only way I can describe this "bourbon" is to recommend that you shake (in a lead shaker): 1 part vodka, 1 park cheap spaghetti from a ultra-discount supermarket, and 1 part nastiness. Let stand at room temp until you remember it. Drink. Mix with something really sugary.
I found almost nothing redeeming about this bourbon. I was disappointed because I'm a big BT fan, and this is the low end of the BT line. I guess I know where all of those extra barrels go now...either to kill mice or make AA.

B.(1). Old Grand-Dad BIB 100 (evaluated at 86)
This bourbon should not have been in consideration, as it usually runs over 15 bucks a fifth. Thus, I will say that the 100 BIB is damn fine whiskey. The 86 is not to be ignored. Last summer, I took a full bottle over to a BBQ at a friend's house to make whiskey sours. Last week, said friend brought the remaining 1/30th of a bottle back to my house. I tried a neat pour. Good, spicy, yet still needing something to help it out. If you know a Beam White drinker, buy them a bottle of OGD86.

C.(5). Rebel Yell
From the SNL sketch, "Who's More Grizzled?," the winner recieves "some salted meats and a bottle of Rebel Yell." Huh. I never got this. It seems like the grizzled old men would be candidates for Fighting Cock, not RY. RY is a decent wheater. Cheaper than MM but no as good as Weller Reserve. I have no complaints. This is a decent wheat whiskey at a good price. If you don't want wheat, don't buy it.

D.(3). Evan Williams Black (86 proof, standard bottling)
I have to admit, I really, really like this cheapy. I bought a huge bottle for fifteen bucks. As OscarV writes: it's an underrated whiskey with a great "minty finish." I will always have a bottle of this on hand for any purpose. Once my taste buds are shot from drinking something stronger, EWB fills in nicely to keep me going for the rest of the evening.

E.(4). McAfee's Benchmark. This is the winner of the group for me. I picked up an extra bottle from ACDetroit this weekend. Upon venturing, it is smooth, elegant, and (most importantly) really cheap. I'm sure it could go into a cocktail, but you can also drink it neat. I'm on my third pour tonight. It tastes as if the AA was given the extra time it so desperately needed to age in order to develop all of the way to a young, yet refined, bourbon of character.

mgilbertva
01-14-2008, 10:37
Great write-up, Jeremy! And thanks for the suggestion on the Benchmark. I've never had it so I'll give it try.

As for the rest of the list, I love OGD BIB. An inexpensive bourbon I might add is Fighting Cock 103. One of the few examples of a marketing-led product that is actually pretty good.

mozilla
01-21-2008, 15:07
Jeremy,
It should be noted that the AA is 36 months old and that there are quite a few other styles of AA to choose from. On the shelves in other states are 86, 90 and 100 proof (bib) versions that taste a bit better than the 3/80. Give them a shot sometime.
Also, there was a Benchmark product that was aged 8 years as near back as 1999.....keep your eyes peeled.
Finally, all of these brands have gone through label and age changes in the past ten years, so....scan the shelf for oddities and age statements.

Sycamore Tree
01-21-2008, 15:36
1. Ezra Brooks-Better than the newer aged Evan

2. Evan Williams- It really is pretty good

3. Old Charter-8- A super clean bourbon, that goes down nice (finish)

3. Yell- Just don't like the mash bill

4. Grand dad-86--I brought some to the Hog lease. Everyone preferred Dickel and Evan and it was the last bottle to be finished. Tried real hard to like it but the bottle I had was bust.

4. Ancient Age- ugh.. one of the least likeable I have had.