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Taggerung
01-23-2008, 20:40
Hello, I live in Metro Detroit and I am extremely new to bourbon. My sipping whiskey of choice has been Gentleman Jack (I can hear the jeers). I had a bottle of Maker's Mark and thought it was only ok, but I didn't want to give up on bourbon just yet (and retreat to GJ).

My second purchase was Woodford Reserve thinking it was "top shelf" and if I liked it then I'd be hooked on bourbon, but if I didn't then I'd know for sure that bourbon wasn't for me. The WR is most definitely better than the MM.

So I have two questions...First, what would you recommend a newbie that's in the $25-$35 per 750ml range (my Woodford Reserve was $33 OTD)?

Second question is, how does one discover that they are a "bourbon guy" vs. a "scotch guy"? My Dad drinks scotch, but when I've tasted single malt it's only served to remind me why they started blending it in the first place.

Thanks for the info

-Taggerung

Sycamore Tree
01-23-2008, 21:42
I also like Gentleman Jack. bourbon has a more refined, elegant taste than Tennessee whiskey. The extra step of TN. going through Charcoal gives it a rougher edge. I also was a heavy Scotch drinker years ago. That was clearly more cleaner of a taste than Bourbon.

For me the difference is Corn and and Sweetness. The corn in the mashbill is what sets it apart and gioves it that distictive taste, as well as the simple blends of the other grains.

I am not a Makers Mark guy probably because of the Wheat content is high.

In that price range and considering where you are coming from tastewise I would consider one of the 3 B's---Bakers, Bookers or Blantons-
They all are top brands with a good deal of Corn in them.
My personal favorite is Bookers. with Blanton and Bakers close behind.

I am also not Woodford Reserve people for some reason. But I have had it only 3 times. Each time it was so-so

spun_cookie
01-23-2008, 22:11
For about $35 I would go for teh WL Weller Centinal, the Barton's Birthday 2007, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, ... for $35 and under you can get some great Bourbons...

The reason you may not like Scotch is the peat... I do not like peat at all, so I do not drink Scotch...

.... and welcome to the group... I will toast you tomorrow with some of that WL Weller Centinal...:grin:

OscarV
01-24-2008, 03:27
.
So I have two questions...First, what would you recommend a newbie that's in the $25-$35 per 750ml range
-Taggerung

Hey Taggerung welcome to aboard, there are a few of us Michiganders hanging out here.

It is a few dollars below the price you asked for but try a bottle of W.L.Weller Special Reserve.
And for a few bucks more then try Old Rip Van Winkle 10yo 107 proof.
Then to spice it up get Old Grand Dad, BIB or the 114.
After that Jack, Maker's and Woodford will be long forgotten.

ACDetroit
01-24-2008, 09:38
Hey welcome! I'm north of the "D" in the metro area as well! Oscar nailed it! with his selections you can not go wrong! LOet me know where your at I might be close enough for you to stop in and have a free newbie drink at my place?

Tony

Special Reserve
01-24-2008, 17:26
Welcome aboard, I'm about half-way between the D and AA.

Weller Special Reserve is a good buy at $16.98. Eagle Rare at about $27/bottle is also a god buy. Weller Antique at about $22/bottle is also a good drink and a good value. Similar taste profile as Weller Special Reserve but it's 107 proof vs 90 proof for the SR.

Weller Centennial especially the Louisville variety is an exceptional bourbon, however, locally Tony has cornered the market there.

Cheer.

Will

OscarV
01-24-2008, 17:38
but it's 107 proof vs 90 proof for the SR.

Weller Centennial especially the Louisville variety is an exceptional bourbon, however, locally Tony has cornered the market there.

Cheer.

Will

Will,

Lets raid Tony's place, especillay the Louisville Centennial.
Let me know.

Oscar

ACDetroit
01-24-2008, 19:02
Come on Oscar!!! You of all people know I share! I think between you and me I have to open more bottles on the bar as they are gettin empty fast.

I agree bring Will with you though I'm up for meetin more Michiganders!

I'm sure the new guy could find Centennial if he looked around! I could help if needed!

Cheers!
Tony

Everman75
01-24-2008, 20:32
Welcome to the forum. It's already been said before, but try Wild Turkey Rare Breed. It's a good'er. And Tony might be able to help you out with this as far as availablity in your area, but my all time favorite is Old Weller Antique 107. TASTY!! Those prices should fit your budget.

I agree with Emerald...I don't really like scotch. It's the floraly aroma that I think comes from the peat.

birdman1099
01-24-2008, 20:36
you've had some great suggestions, but let me add a few.

Four Roses Single barrell
Evan Williams Single Barrell
Russell Reserve

And if you can find it - Van Winkle 12yr lot B. (about $42) is about as good as it gets.

Good luck on your Bourbon Journey, and keep us posted.

cas
01-25-2008, 06:51
And if you can find it - Van Winkle 12yr lot B. (about $42) is about as good as it gets.



Michigan is on the expensive side. The 12 year Van Winkle is more likely to run ~$60. The Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Russells Reserve, or Evan Williams Single Barrel are all in in the mid-upper 20s in MI - and are good bourbons. Elmer T Lee may be in that range as well.
Craig

Dr. François
01-25-2008, 10:07
Welcome to the site!

MI state minimum on ETL is 29.99. My highest recommendations for a 20-30 range bourbon is Buffalo Trace. It's a great flagship product from a great distillery.

Tony: when are you hosting your next "Drink Tony's Booze" party? I'll always make that drive.

B1bomber
01-25-2008, 14:03
Four Roses Single Barrel is great stuff if you can find it, although usually runs about $40 in the north NJ area. That said, it's superb, IMO, and worth it. The Four Roses Small Batch is a bit cheaper yet doesn't offer near the complexity and flavor (also IMO) so I'd pass on that one.

Eagle Reserve 10 is a great buy and is somewhere around $27ish. And then there's my old stand-by Elijah Craig 12 that I can often find for under $20.

ACDetroit
01-25-2008, 23:09
I'm trying to put a February tasting together but I think we need a theme!

My thoughts " Down with the old and Bring in the New"

Try ND OGD 114 vs. Current
Early 80's Old Forester Bonded vs. Signature
ND OGD BIB vs a 2002 bottle
Eagle Rare 10 101 vs. Eagle Rare SB 10 90

You guys can pic the rest! I have an older tax stamp Rebel Yell and a newer one so maybe?

Cheers!
Tony

Virus_Of_Life
01-26-2008, 00:06
I'm trying to put a February tasting together but I think we need a theme!

My thoughts " Down with the old and Bring in the New"

Try ND OGD 114 vs. Current
Early 80's Old Forester Bonded vs. Signature
ND OGD BIB vs a 2002 bottle
Eagle Rare 10 101 vs. Eagle Rare SB 10 90

You guys can pic the rest! I have an older tax stamp Rebel Yell and a newer one so maybe?

Cheers!
Tony

Tony, you do that and you'll be thinking more along the lines of screw the new I want to keep finding the old! ND OGD114 is one of my top10 all time whiskeys, and I only have 1 bottle left... Boo Hoo. That era OF Bonded is also marvelous stuff as well as the ER 10 101! You picked out 4 of the greatest bourbons of a sadly bygone era.

ACDetroit
01-26-2008, 16:35
Consider your self invited Christian!! :grin:

Tony

Dr. François
01-26-2008, 19:04
I'm trying to put a February tasting together but I think we need a theme!

My thoughts " Down with the old and Bring in the New"


Sounds like a lot of fun! I'm in.

Taggerung
01-27-2008, 09:26
Wow! Thanks for all of the replies, input, advice, and warnings. What a great site!

The problem now is, I've got so many choices I don't know where to begin. I've starting looking up tasting notes on some of the suggestings and writing down which sound appealing (leaning more toward "vanilla" or "woody" and away from "spicy" or "astringent"). Next would be to see which of the interesting bottles are available in my area. I live in Canton, so I too am between Detroit and AA.

If anyone can recommend a shop in the area with a well stocked bourbon selection I'd appreciate it.

Thanks again and I'm looking forward to tasting and posting...and tasting and posting...and...

-Tim

OscarV
01-27-2008, 09:40
If anyone can recommend a shop in the area with a well stocked bourbon selection I'd appreciate it.
-Tim

In Ann Arbor I recommend A&L Wine Castle at 2424 W Stadium Blvd. 48103
There is a SB.com member in Livonia that could recommend a place closer to you, special_reserve AKA Will, maybe he'll see this.

Special Reserve
01-27-2008, 09:47
Tim,

The Pilgrim on Ann Arbor Rd in Plymouth and The Wine Palace on Middlebelt in Livonia both have good bourbon selections.

Will

cas
01-27-2008, 10:48
A&L Wine Castle is probably your best. The Super Liquor IV is on State Road in Ann Arbor just south of I-94 and it's pretty good.
Craig

Special Reserve
01-27-2008, 11:27
I agree A&L Wine Castle in AA has the best bourbon selection that I'm aware of in SE MI.

The last time I was in there, they were charging the state minimum price for even the top premium products.

There were earlier times that they advertised minimum price but added 5% to the premium products. I don't mind paying a premium price for a hard to get product, but don't lie to me about it.

ACDetroit
01-27-2008, 20:04
Merchants on Michigan Ave. in Dearborn has quite a bit as well!

Cheers!
Tony

Taggerung
01-28-2008, 22:38
Well after careful consideration I made a purchase tonight based on your recommendations as well as the discussions on the BOTM threads.

My first StraightBourbon.com purchase was...

Buffalo Trace

It was at the right price point at $25 OTD, and of those bottles recommended so far it was the most universally liked in the BOTM threads.

Now, I know that's I'll regret posting this later, but I can't stop myself from making an initial comment from my first BT pour. Let me start by saying that first pours of a new brand are probably universally bad, are they not? My palette is so used to the Woodford Reserve (which I've actually grown fond of) that a new bourbon seems out of place. Anyway, the nose is fabulous! It smells warm and sweet and I really enjoy it, no alcohol smell at all. The first taste however is something different entirely. The first half of the taste is soapy and the second half, as well as the aftertaste is cough medicine syrupy.

On the plus side, the mouth feel is creamy and round, there's very little to no bite and seems easy to drink. I think the flavors will come around to me as I get further into the bottle and let my taste buds "adapt" to the BT.

Have no fear, I'm stickin' with it. Thanks again for the help and of course any and all comments, constructive or otherwise are certainly welcome.

-Tim

Dr. François
01-29-2008, 07:29
Tim,

You have the right idea...stick with it for three nights. Sometimes something else you've consumed will affect the flavor of the spirit. Salad dressing, olives, artichokes, lemon...all of these can throw off your taste buds temporarily.
Of course, you might just not like it. No problem there, either. I tried to love Old Forrester 86. I tried to love it for four days. I DO NOT LOVE IT.

Dip back into that bottle tonight and report your BT tasting Ver 2.0

Jeremy

cas
01-29-2008, 17:00
When I started my standard was Jack Daniels. I don't recall if, at the time, I explicitely realized it wasn't bourbon. But my first couple side-by-side comparisons with bourbon were a little disapointing, I was calibrated to the taste of JD. I still have an occaisional JD but it's no longer my standard for comparison or my favorite (especially since they dropped the proof). Similarly, when offered another pour - scotch, cognac, rum, whatever, it takes a glass or 2 to shift my expectations from wanting it to taste like bourbon. So give it some time, it may take a few glasses.
Alternatively, you may just not like BT... But there's lots more to try!
Craig

barturtle
01-29-2008, 21:15
Welcome Tim

As you get to the point that you rarely pour the same drink twice in a row, the first drink of a new bottling thing goes away.

OscarV
01-30-2008, 12:51
Hey Tim/Taggerung I opened a bottle of Buffalo Trace last week.
I to am sticking with it but what I am doing is pushing in the cork very firmly and saving it for summer.
Lots of ice in a tall collins glass in the summers heat will save anything.

So what I am saying is, don't force it down and not enjoy it, just enjoy it later.
Let me again suggest W L Weller Special Reserve, for under 20 bucks, a sweet wheater the way wheaters should be.
It's only 90 proof but don't hold that against it.

Special Reserve
01-30-2008, 17:08
Tim,

I like a lot of different bourbons, but I'll second Oscar's suggestion of W.L. Weller Special Reserve. It is a great bourbon for the price and proof. But, I tend to like the lower proof bourbons.

Will

Edit: I also agree that you should stick with a bourbon for a few different occasions as you taste will vary. One day a bourbon will be so so, the next day the same bottle will taste outstanding to the extent that I will be surprised at how good it tastes.

Taggerung
02-04-2008, 21:10
Well I've spent a week now with my bottle of BT and as was widely anticipated and prognosticated, I do like it very much. It is amazing that the flavors that were so overwhelming to me on the first pour were completely absent on the second and all subsequent pours. Thanks to all who recommended it and I believe my next purchase will indeed be the W.L. Weller Special Reserve.

If I wanted a fair wheat to rye comparison would the Weller Special Reserve be better than say MM?

-Tim

NickAtMartinis
02-04-2008, 21:24
Hello, I live in Metro Detroit and I am extremely new to bourbon. My sipping whiskey of choice has been Gentleman Jack (I can hear the jeers). I had a bottle of Maker's Mark and thought it was only ok, but I didn't want to give up on bourbon just yet (and retreat to GJ).

My second purchase was Woodford Reserve thinking it was "top shelf" and if I liked it then I'd be hooked on bourbon, but if I didn't then I'd know for sure that bourbon wasn't for me. The WR is most definitely better than the MM.

So I have two questions...First, what would you recommend a newbie that's in the $25-$35 per 750ml range (my Woodford Reserve was $33 OTD)?

Second question is, how does one discover that they are a "bourbon guy" vs. a "scotch guy"? My Dad drinks scotch, but when I've tasted single malt it's only served to remind me why they started blending it in the first place.

Thanks for the info

-Taggerung


I definitey recommend Old Rip Van Winkle 10/107 and Weller Antique. Both are wheated bourbons and very good. The ORVW is $30 in my areas while the Weller Antique is around $20.

I would also recommend Wild Turkey Rare Breed and Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. These are rye bourbons and very good but maybe slightly over your price range.

Davisdog
02-04-2008, 21:57
Well hey, I'm a newbie from Michigan too!!!!! Not a newbie to bourbon, though I can in no way claim to be a sophisticated bourbonite. I am an admited "Scotch Guy", but dang do I appreciate some fine bourbon. I believe that anyone with a sophisticated palate can enjoy any good spirit.

I'm North of the D just enough to be outside the "Metro" area, but I work out of Royal Oak (when I'm not on winter layoff.)

ACDetroit
02-04-2008, 23:35
Well hey, I'm a newbie from Michigan too!!!!! Not a newbie to bourbon, though I can in no way claim to be a sophisticated bourbonite. I am an admited "Scotch Guy", but dang do I appreciate some fine bourbon. I believe that anyone with a sophisticated palate can enjoy any good spirit.

I'm North of the D just enough to be outside the "Metro" area, but I work out of Royal Oak (when I'm not on winter layoff.)


Yo Dog!!! Where you at fella?? I'm in Harrison Township and Work in Rochester Hills! We need to have a sampling!

Tony

Dr. François
02-05-2008, 07:31
If I wanted a fair wheat to rye comparison would the Weller Special Reserve be better than say MM?


Tim,

I think the Weller is much better than MM and at a fraction of the price. Another wheater to check out would be Rebel Yell, which isn't bad. My ranking would be: 1) Weller SR; 2)Rebel Yell; 3) Maker's Mark

What are you using as your rye recipe comparison?

Taggerung
02-06-2008, 16:11
As the rye bourbon I'm using the BT that I've decided I like.