PDA

View Full Version : A good bourbon vs. A GREAT bourbon



Vange
02-01-2008, 08:14
So recently I have been dipping into my Pappy 23 sb.com bottle. Every time I take a whiff of the cherry aromas emanating from this bourbon I get hypnotized. Each sip is so thought provoking that I want to swear and oftentimes do at how good this bourbon is. The day after having a dram of the sb.com Pappy 23 I poured a ER 10-101. Smooth, light, nice to drink, has nice bourbon characteristics, but its not in the same ballpark as the Pappy. I know I like intense whisky over the smoother and lighter. I want LOTS of flavor.

I am really asking a question or even starting much of a discussion here, but its just this feeling I have been getting lately everytime I dip into that special Pappy. I just needed to get it out.

mozilla
02-01-2008, 08:34
V,
Did you just call ER 10/101....light? Wow, what a kick in the shins. ER 101 is one of my alltime fav's. Oh well.

Have you tried any barrel proof bourbons. I was lucky enough to get a sip or two from Randy's bottle of Red Hook Rye, at the Houston get together. Damn, that was some powerfull juju. I have not had a whiskey with so much....well, anything. It was foot to the floor, bad ass rye.
So yeah, I know it's hard to get past that sort of thing...but you have to try. Not every bourbon can live up to the measure of 23 years in the Van Winkle's care. Heck, if I sent my Dodge pickup to live in Italy with the Ferrari family, I doubt it would come back and be the same. Those type of perfectionist can't be duplicated.
Cheers

Vange
02-01-2008, 08:42
I did call it light (oops sorry, not trying to offend!), but that was AFTER having the sb.com Pappy 23. Definitely an unfair comparison! I am not saying I dont LIKE ER 10/101 (I do like it), its just not the complex whisky monster that the Pappy is.

mozilla
02-01-2008, 10:00
Don't forget that the ER sold for less than $20 when it was current. So to keep things fair....at the price when both were available PVW23 $125 to ER $20. How does 1 PVW (750ml) compare to 6 ER's (4.5ltr). I'll stay with the ER, on my budget, thanks.

NickAtMartinis
02-01-2008, 10:24
I did call it light (oops sorry, not trying to offend!), but that was AFTER having the sb.com Pappy 23. Definitely an unfair comparison! I am not saying I dont LIKE ER 10/101 (I do like it), its just not the complex whisky monster that the Pappy is.


I feel that opposite about the PVW 20 and 23. To me, they're rather one dimensional and overly sweet. Not to my liking. Don't get me wrong, I'll drink them but neither is even close to my favorite. But, I haven't had the special 23 that you have so maybe it's different. Is the proof the same?

scratchline
02-01-2008, 10:43
Given the difference in age and price between the two bourbons in question, I would imagine that they would be playing in different leagues. But in my experience, the higher the price, the greater the expectation. A bottle at 100 or 200 bucks is expected to be great. While a bottle at 20 surprises with greatness. The 100 dollar bottle would surprise with mediocrity.

It is greatness as an element of surprise that is one of the essential pleasures of bourbon. A little corn and water and yeast and wood and time are brought together with some American ingenuity and...magic!

ER 101 is, to my palate, a great bourbon. And it's a shame that it's no longer available. Pappy 23 is a great bourbon. And, sadly, soon it will no longer be available in it's current incarnation. As to which is greater...?

On Sunday two football teams will play a game, and I will drink (at least) two shots of bourbon. If one team wins (the one expected to win), its greatness will be affirmed. It the other wins, its greatness will be discovered. And on that day, one team will prove greater than the other.

Just so, I will compare the bourbons, and the expected greatness of one or the surprising greatness of the other will carry the day. But it will be just one day. And unlike the game, rematches will come and results will vary and greatness will be more fluid in the glass than on the field.

-Mike

Merlin_AZ
02-01-2008, 15:03
Mike, very nicely stated.

felthove
02-01-2008, 21:50
I like the tenor of this thread and find myself distinguishing between great bourbons and good bourbons. However, price aside, I don't always want a great bourbon. Sometimes simpler and more primal flavors suffice and please in a way that a more complicated drink cannot. However, there are a few days a week when I like having a few bottles that make me sit and reflect.

When I got into bourbon just a few months back I went out and bought dozens of bottles -- each of which varying in complexity, price, etc. As I finish these bottles I am now faced with the decision to purchase each one again or not. I would not say that across the board I am going to buy just the great bourbons and say goodbye to the good. Rather, I'll probably stick with about 5 special top shelf pours that really evolve in the glass and 10 or so others that each have a distinct characteristic that I crave.

whiskydude
02-02-2008, 10:14
....On Sunday two football teams will play a game, and I will drink (at least) two shots of bourbon. If one team wins (the one expected to win), its greatness will be affirmed. It the other wins, its greatness will be discovered. And on that day, one team will prove greater than the other.

That is deep man....seriously. Gotta respect a man who can make a point using bourbon and football and how they relate. Nicely done.
I agree also with the thought process of whether to buy more of the same, which you know you like, or to try something different which may disappoint. Usually with the same amount of money spent. Just another reason I am glad to have found sb.com. Good knowledge and tasting points abound here. :toast: