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View Full Version : 80 proof, huh (yeah!), what is it good for?... (Younger members: Google Edwin Starr)



TNbourbon
02-04-2008, 20:15
Was trying to up-sell a store customer Saturday at the liquor store from Wild Turkey 80-proof to 101, and she looked at me askance as I attempted to explain that it was actually cheaper after her friend added his own water to bring it to drinking proof. She took the nominally-cheaper 80.
Which got me to wondering, what was the last 80-proof bourbon I drank? I couldn't think of it. I've had 80-proof rye recently (Pikesville and Rittenhouse), mostly in mixed drinks. But, I can't find a single 80-proof bourbon on my shelf (even when I looked in the 'ready-to-drink' closet). So, what was it?
Ironic, isn't it: 80-proof spirits are the basic money-makers for the general distilleries still existing -- and I can't remember the last time I had one!
How about you? What's your 80-proofer?

ACDetroit
02-04-2008, 20:27
I.W. Harper 15 yr. 80 from the BHC! I like it as a starter some nights but only as a starter! one drink of something else and you can hang the Harper up! It taste like water after a few stronger samples.

Tony

barturtle
02-04-2008, 20:31
I know the last 80 proof bourbon I had: 180 month old Jim Beam 1975...a bottle you yourself gifted me, Tim.

TNbourbon
02-04-2008, 20:37
I know the last 80 proof bourbon I had: 180 month old Jim Beam 1975...a bottle you yourself gifted me, Tim.

:lol: Well, there you go, Timothy! You got the last of it!

(That's "Edwin Starr", by the way, in the abbreviated title.)

jeff
02-04-2008, 20:41
In defense of your customer, I have to say that WT80 is, in my opinion, the best 80 proof whiskey on the market!

(but I agree with you, she should have bought the 101.)

TNbourbon
02-04-2008, 20:45
In defense of your customer, I have to say that WT80 is, in my opinion, the best 80 proof whiskey on the market!

(but I agree with you, she should have bought the 101.)

Agreed all 'round.

scratchline
02-04-2008, 20:48
I actually have an open bottle of 80 proof Setter on the shelf. Nothing special for drinking but you can soak fish in it before smoking, and it tastes pretty good. Picked it up because I'd never seen the label before, and it was 8 bucks.

-Mike

NickAtMartinis
02-04-2008, 21:07
Was trying to up-sell a store customer Saturday at the liquor store from Wild Turkey 80-proof to 101, and she looked at me askance as I attempted to explain that it was actually cheaper after her friend added his own water to bring it to drinking proof. She took the nominally-cheaper 80.
Which got me to wondering, what was the last 80-proof bourbon I drank? I couldn't think of it. I've had 80-proof rye recently (Pikesville and Rittenhouse), mostly in mixed drinks. But, I can't find a single 80-proof bourbon on my shelf (even when I looked in the 'ready-to-drink' closet). So, what was it?
Ironic, isn't it: 80-proof spirits are the basic money-makers for the general distilleries still existing -- and I can't remember the last time I had one!
How about you? What's your 80-proofer?


Eighty proof?! I can't remember the last time I drank anything sub-100 proof. :lol:

ggilbertva
02-04-2008, 21:07
I have an early 80's Old Fitz Prime that's not too bad. Of course I much prefer the Old Fitz BIB, but when I want something lighter for whatever reason, I reach for the prime.

gothbat
02-04-2008, 21:30
Aside from the 80 proof OO I had this weekend I think WT80 was the last one I had. I didn't really have a choice since I wasn't in the mood for beer and it was the only bourbon they had at the bar we were at during the summer, I don't think they had any rye either. The WT was decent, I couldn't really complain about it, but the OO wasn't so great. It will probably get another go this weekend but I do not have high hopes for it, unfortunately.
I'm kind of put off by 80 proof stuff although I do own a few bottles in the 80 - 85 proof range. Someday I'll open them but I always find something else I have that I want to try more when I'm thinking about it. The OO was an exception though, it was the only rye I had on hand that I had yet to try so I figured it was time.

T47
02-04-2008, 22:04
I have had some Henry McKenna and Rebel Yell most recently. Nothing to jump up and down about, but I enjoyed them.

:toast:

nor02lei
02-05-2008, 02:27
In defense of your customer, I have to say that WT80 is, in my opinion, the best 80 proof whiskey on the market!

(but I agree with you, she should have bought the 101.)

I did finish off a WT 80 just recently myself Jeff. All roe a bit thin it was ok and better than expected. Still I think Dickel number 8 is a much better whiskey in the 80 proof leagues.

Leif

BourbonJoe
02-05-2008, 07:34
A 4 y/o Benchmark 80 Proof. Nothing remarkable here.
Joe :usflag:

ILLfarmboy
02-05-2008, 08:41
Last year's bottle of Templeton Rye was the last bottle of 80 proof rye or bourbon I purchased. I have since been in a bar and ordered Turkey and water and gotten the 80 proofer, though that wasn't my intent.

Gillman
02-05-2008, 08:57
I buy regularly Four Roses, especially since the revamp of the profile, since this particular formulation is not available in a higher proof. If it was I'd buy it in that proof. Same for Pikesville and Overholt.

Other than that, as Tim says, it is just a value matter: why - if you have a choice - buy WT 80 proof when you can buy WT 101 and add a dash of water (for those who do) to bring it to 80? The 101 is clearly the better value. The only reason would be if the profile of the 80 is different and you like it. I am not sure if the 80 is different from the 101 (apart from the proof), but even if it is, it isn't that different, especially since the 101 dropped the 8 years aged statement domestically.

Gary

craigthom
02-05-2008, 09:44
It's more than a dash of water.

The math is pretty easy: add 250ml of water to a 750ml bottle of 100 proof bourbon and you get a liter of 80 proof. Those are the prices that should be compared.

Gillman
02-05-2008, 10:22
I generally use 3:1 whiskey to water, or a little less water, when I dilute, which brings 100 proof to about 80.

Gary

NickAtMartinis
02-05-2008, 11:39
It's more than a dash of water.

The math is pretty easy: add 250ml of water to a 750ml bottle of 100 proof bourbon and you get a liter of 80 proof. Those are the prices that should be compared.


I'm splitting hairs here but wouldn't that be 75 proof? I could be wrong.

scopenut
02-05-2008, 12:06
I'm splitting hairs here but wouldn't that be 75 proof? I could be wrong.

No, I think you're right. Looks like you'd have to add 187.5ml to the bottle.

-Kevin

jeff
02-05-2008, 12:38
I buy regularly Four Roses, especially since the revamp of the profile, since this particular formulation is not available in a higher proof. If it was I'd buy it in that proof. Same for Pikesville and Overholt.

Other than that, as Tim says, it is just a value matter: why - if you have a choice - buy WT 80 proof when you can buy WT 101 and add a dash of water (for those who do) to bring it to 80? The 101 is clearly the better value. The only reason would be if the profile of the 80 is different and you like it. I am not sure if the 80 is different from the 101 (apart from the proof), but even if it is, it isn't that different, especially since the 101 dropped the 8 years aged statement domestically.

Gary

Gary,

I was told by Jimmy Russell several years ago that the 80 proof is a mingling of 6,8 and 10yo bourbon, while the 101 contains 8,10 and 12yo. So they are indeed different. I do prefer the 101, but I was weened on WT80 early in my bourbon drinking years, so maybe there is a bit of sentimentality in my affection for the 80 proof:lol:

scratchline
02-05-2008, 12:45
The 101 is no longer 8 yrs old so it contains younger bourbon. When I was at the Wild Turkey distillery a couple of years ago, I was told that the 80 was 4,6, and 8 and the 101 was 6, 8, and 10. Whatever the fact is, I doubt very much that WT is releasing anything 8 yrs or older without noting that on the bottle.

-Mike

Gillman
02-05-2008, 12:45
Okay, yes, still some differences even though the 101 has dropped below a stated 8 years, thanks.

Gary

jeff
02-05-2008, 12:47
The 101 is no longer 8 yrs old so it contains younger bourbon. When I was at the Wild Turkey distillery a couple of years ago, I was told that the 80 was 4,6, and 8 and the 101 was 6, 8, and 10. Whatever the fact is, I doubt very much that WT is releasing anything 8 yrs or older without noting that on the bottle.

-Mike

I do remember him saying specifically that it contained some 12yo in the mix, as I was on the hut for as much 12yo as I could find and thought that it was a shame that some of it was going into the 101:lol:

jeff
02-05-2008, 12:49
Okay, yes, still some differences even though the 101 has dropped below a stated 8 years, thanks.

Gary
Sure, but I would bet that there is still some older whiskey in there, at least my palate thinks so. But to quote my wife, "you're probably wrong Jeff." :lol:

Gillman
02-05-2008, 12:51
The numbers mentioned have a pleasing progression, but I wonder why not 4-8-12, or 4-6-10 ...; of course too so much depends on how much of each is used. Maybe it is felt this is to some degree arbitrary, and results of each method are as good, I am not sure.

Gary

Gillman
02-05-2008, 12:55
I think you're right Jeff. I seem to recall that the bonded VOB has older whiskey than the other proofs (even though not stated). Probably it is an old practice to give a quality boost to the bonded expression in this way (WT 101 is not a bond as such of course, but broadly speaking the idea would apply here too).

Gary

jeff
02-05-2008, 12:55
Maybe it is felt this is to some degree arbitrary, and results of each method are as good, I am not sure.

Gary

And it could be that what he was telling me was the recipe for the last batch bottled, and maybe that changes from batch to batch based on availability and maturity.

scratchline
02-05-2008, 12:56
I agree. Who really knows and who's to say that it doesn't change from bottling to bottling. I'm willing to trust Jeff's palate as to whether there's some older whiskey in the mix. I remember being surprised because I just figured that the 80 was watered down 101. Evidently not. They're going for a different flavor profile for the two I guess.

-Mike

Gillman
02-05-2008, 12:57
Maybe, and then too the quanity of each used is so important. Oh to be a fly on the wall.

Gary

OscarV
02-05-2008, 14:48
A few weeks ago at a company party the only bourbon they had was Wild Turkey 80 proof.
At first I was dissapointed but after a few sips on the rocks I was glad that they didn't have anything stronger because, well you know, it was a company party.
And it tasted just fine.
As far as buying an 80 proof bottle, I got a couple of Four Roses yellow labels both the new and old labels a few months ago.

gblick
02-05-2008, 15:02
I've got some dusties of Old Fitz Prime that I consider to be pretty good.

Gillman
02-05-2008, 15:21
I always felt (I have mentioned this earlier on the board) that Old Fitzgerald Prime was excellent at 80 proof (it might have been 86, memory can play tricks, but I am pretty sure it wasn't 90). Try as I might in the old days, I could never get the same palate by diluting higher proof Old Fitzgeralds to 80. But I think I know why, now, 20 years later: it is because the higher proof expressions, certainly some of them, contained older whiskey. I recall trying this with 1849 for example. True, that used to state an age of 8 years, but I am not sure I'd have noticed that then. I recall there was a bonded Fitzgerald I would add the correct amount of water to to get it to 80 or 86 proof. It never worked but I am sure, now, that the bond contained older whiskey than the standard 80 or 86 Prime.

It wasn't the water I used, in other words, which was good Montreal city water non-fluorinated (it still isn't).

Gary

doubleblank
02-05-2008, 19:24
My favorite 80 proof whiskey.....that's easy. Red Breast 12yo. I don't think I have another 80 proofer open. FYI, Old Fitz Prime also came in 86.8 proof and 7 and 8 yo versions.

Randy

craigthom
02-05-2008, 19:36
I'm splitting hairs here but wouldn't that be 75 proof? I could be wrong.

Yeah, I had done the math in the other direction and, at the last minute, decided to change it. This works, then:

If you pour out five ounces, or about four pours given our recent discussion, and replace it with water, then you get 80 proof whiskey.

Gillman
02-05-2008, 19:38
Well, it was either the 86.8 or the 80 but I think actually it was the 80 I liked (7 or 8 years old, the difference would not have been apparent to me then). It had a soft deep taste, very balanced, a taste I enjoy to this day and try to replicate in my home minglings.

I agree that many good Irish whiskies show well at 80 proof.

Gary

Mamba
02-09-2008, 02:11
I agree that many good Irish whiskies show well at 80 proof.

I was going to post something to this effect but now I don't have to. Drinking Powers gold label as we speak and I'm reminded yet again how much I like it. Ditto the Redbreast and Bushmills 16 I used to have. Scotch whisky gets all the attention, but when I'm not drinking bourbon, I tend more towards Irish myself.

ggilbertva
02-10-2008, 20:57
Well, it was either the 86.8 or the 80 but I think actually it was the 80 I liked (7 or 8 years old, the difference would not have been apparent to me then). It had a soft deep taste, very balanced, a taste I enjoy to this day and try to replicate in my home minglings.

I agree that many good Irish whiskies show well at 80 proof.

Gary

I have early 80's Prime at both 80 and 90 proof. Both are very drinkable. I'm typically not a big 80 proof fan but the Prime is very nice even at the lower proof. I have one particular 1.75L Old Fitz BIB that's listed as 6 years old. There's no UPC so I put it's bottling late 70's. The color is so dark I have to believe that it's a much older whiskey than the stated 6 years. I've compared it to another 1.75L that I have and there's a definite depth of color not evident in the newer (mid 80's) OFBIB.

StraightBoston
02-11-2008, 08:10
I have a recent-ish vintage OF Prime (UPC 88076) at 80 proof and find it be be quite drinkable -- it's the youth of the bourbon (lotta corn) more than the lightness of the alcohol that keeps it simple, but it's a go-to pour when I'm looking for something simple.

Basil Hayden at 80 proof, on the other hand, is simply a waste of good Old Grand Dad...