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callmeox
03-05-2008, 21:35
I'm Scott from the Cleveland area and I've been lurking around these boards since last June or so,. I've been skirting the periphery of Bourbon for a number of years after trying my hand at single malts and not finding much that I could stick with. The local Friday's had a nice lighted display with the Beam small batch collection on it and after I tried each, I was really impressed.

While travelling through all of the border counties of Ohio last summer, I jumped into Ashland, Kentucky and picked up a bottle of FRSB after reading about it here. I cracked it open while camping and it totally blew my doors off. That's when I knew I was hooked.

Unfortunately, Ohio keeps pretty tight control over the spirits that they sell here, so there's a limited selection in even the best stores, although I do see some new stuff on the March list (http://www.liquorcontrol.ohio.gov/dolc.liquor.pricelist.txt) (Jefferson's Reserve and Corner Creek look new this month).

I just finished reading Bourbon, Straight last evening and I found it to be a great education all around.

My current collection, (in order of preference):

Blantons
FRSB
WTRB
BT
Bulleit
EC12
FR Small Batch
FR 80

I'm headed to Chicago next weekend and I plan on a trip to Binny's with the hopes of expanding my horizons further. I'd like to pick up a bottle of Pappy 20 or the Van Winkle Special reserve 12 along with some others. Does anyone care to make a recommendation based on what I've got going so far?

shyster512
03-05-2008, 21:50
You are headed in the right direction with any of the Pappy drinks. The Winkle Lot B is also quite good. If you find Pappy 15, by all means buy it. I would also recommend the Weller brand. When I first started here it was recommended to me and the results were excellent. If you have the money, I still recommend the Gold Foil Hirsch. Some on the forum think it is overrated, but it is the best bourbon I have drank!

spun_cookie
03-05-2008, 23:19
Welcome and I concur. I would go for the Lot B VW prior to the 20yr. I think it is better for the $$$

HighTower
03-06-2008, 05:22
Welcome aboard, Scott!

If you have the opportunity to drop into the Binny's location at South Loop ( 1132 S. Jefferson Street) go and talk to Brett Pontoni. He is the specialty spirits buyer for Binnys and selects many barrels or bourbon personally. The Weller 12yo he selected is fantastic. He even has some 101 proof Russell's Reserve stashed somewhere....

It is possible that they may have some Pappy 15 but don't have it on the site, he's probably the best person to ask about it.
They now also have Four Roses Single Barrel and Small Batch.
On the new additions....Corner Creek isn't fantastic, and Jefferson's gets very mixed reviews.
I would suggest trying to get some Eagle Rare 10yo or Elmer T Lee in addition to the Lot B :grin:

If you do get the opportunity to go and see Brett, tell him Scott from Australia says hi!

Scott

OscarV
03-06-2008, 13:37
Welcome aboard Scott, I have friends who live in Cleveland (prof at CSU)and I get over there a couple a times a year.

NickAtMartinis
03-06-2008, 14:48
I'm Scott from the Cleveland area and I've been lurking around these boards since last June or so,. I've been skirting the periphery of Bourbon for a number of years after trying my hand at single malts and not finding much that I could stick with. The local Friday's had a nice lighted display with the Beam small batch collection on it and after I tried each, I was really impressed.

While travelling through all of the border counties of Ohio last summer, I jumped into Ashland, Kentucky and picked up a bottle of FRSB after reading about it here. I cracked it open while camping and it totally blew my doors off. That's when I knew I was hooked.

Unfortunately, Ohio keeps pretty tight control over the spirits that they sell here, so there's a limited selection in even the best stores, although I do see some new stuff on the March list (http://www.liquorcontrol.ohio.gov/dolc.liquor.pricelist.txt) (Jefferson's Reserve and Corner Creek look new this month).

I just finished reading Bourbon, Straight last evening and I found it to be a great education all around.

My current collection, (in order of preference):

Blantons
FRSB
WTRB
BT
Bulleit
EC12
FR Small Batch
FR 80

I'm headed to Chicago next weekend and I plan on a trip to Binny's with the hopes of expanding my horizons further. I'd like to pick up a bottle of Pappy 20 or the Van Winkle Special reserve 12 along with some others. Does anyone care to make a recommendation based on what I've got going so far?


Welcome, Callmeox. Glad to see you aboard.


Here are some recommendations. I've grouped them according to type of bourbon and/or similar flavor:

Wheated Bourbon:
Pappy Van Winkle 15 year
Pappy Van Winkle 10 year/107 Proof
Weller Centennial
Weller Antique
Van Winkle Lot B
Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond
Maker's Mark

Traditional Bourbon (meaning Rye'd Bourbon instead of Wheated Bourbon):
Wild Turkey Tribute (near impossible to find but...)
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit
Wild Turkey American Spirit (Near impossible to find but...)

Traditional Bourbon (the following two bourbons are similarly flavored, in my opinion):
Four Roses Single Barrel
Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel (100 proof)

Traditional bourbon, very earthy flavor:
Elijah Craig 12

Part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection:
Georg T. Stagg
William Larue Weller

Bourbon with a high rye recipe (unique flavor profile):
Old Grand Dad BIB
Old Grand Dad 114
Old Heaven Hill BIB (this bourbon comes from the same distillery as Elijah Craigh (both Heaven HIll) but it is place here due to its similar flavor to OGD).

Bourbon with a high rye recipe (tea leave nose/taste):
Eagle Rare 17 (this is also part of the BTAC, but I chose to place it here due to it similar flavor to Vintage).
Vintage 17

Jim Beam Small Batch Collection
Bookers
Knob Creek


Hopefully, the above list isn't too confusing. Within each section, I've put them in order according to my preference.

I hope this helps.

Good luck,

Mark

callmeox
03-11-2008, 05:03
Wow, great responses. Thanks to all for the tips and recommendations. I'm post an update after my Binnys run this weekend.

bigtoys
03-14-2008, 16:06
Welcome. Hope you get this.

Get Pappy 15 and 20 and vW Lot B.
Get George T Stagg--got to--for the 140+ proof experience.
Eagle Rare 10 or 17 (17 is BTAC), another good choice.
Old Forester 2007 Birthday--Malt Advocate Magazine's American whiskey of the year

May want to get at least one rye--van Winkle is getting hard to find.

Sam's HP had several WT American Spirit today.

Don't know where you're staying, but Sam's Chicago may also be a good stop. That said, Binny's usually has Papppy; Sam's not always.

I'd skip Bookers and Bakers.

And, enjoy Chicago. It's great. PM me if you need restaurant recs.

Tennessee Dave
03-14-2008, 16:58
Welcome to SB!

callmeox
03-15-2008, 22:04
Remember the scene in Moscow on the Hudson where Robin Williams' character hyperventilates after being exposed to all of the choices in an American store?

That was me at Binny's - South Loop today.

I am totally jealous of everyone on of you who lives in a state with competitive alcohol sales. I either need to move to a different state or run for governor of Ohio so that I can change the laws. :grin:

I had emailed a couple of questions to Brent Pontoni earlier this week, so he knew that I was planning on stopping at the store today. What a great guy, an awesome resource, and a huge asset to Binny's. He came in to the store (on what I think was his day off) to chat and to be sure that I got what I was looking for.

I left the store with a smile on my face (not because of the Pappy 15 that I enjoyed at the tasting bar) and with the following:

Old Grand Dad 114
Old Forester Signature
Elmer T. Lee
Sazerac Straight Rye 6
FRSB
Weller 12yo
Van Winkle Lot B.
Pappy Van Winkle 15
George T Stagg 2007
Old Grand Dad Bonded
Blantons
Buffalo Trace

(Only the last three are actually available in Ohio...isn't that sad?)

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions and tips. Once I get back home, I think I'm going to disappear into my man cave for a few weeks for to sample what I've purchased.

I believe that it is a task that I'm up to. :slappin:

Barrel_Proof
03-15-2008, 22:16
Brett Pontoni. What a great guy, an awesome resource, and a huge asset to Binny's.

Make that an asset to the spirits community, period, and a great friend of the sb.com community, in particular!

HighTower
03-17-2008, 05:01
You got a great haul there, Scott.......is there room for one more in your cave??:grin:

There's a few on your list I am yet to try, but from what I have had, you are in for a good time. That Binny's Weller 12 is some great stuff!!

A great cover of different bourbons in your list.

Scott