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CorvallisCracker
03-12-2008, 18:38
Posted several times already but still hadn't gotten around to intro. Better late than never.

I was born in Wisconsin, raised in north Florida, moved to Oregon a little over a year ago.

Introduction to bourbon was on a camping trip, circa 1965 (I would have been about 12). Jim Beam, IIRC. I approached it with caution, drank just enough to get a mild buzz. No hangover.

When I was 19 Florida lowered the drinking age to 18. I tried a lot of different whiskies. Realized I didn't care for Scotch.

Tried some of those just-released "light whiskies". Anyone remeber those? If not, I'm not surprised - they weren't memorable.

By college graduation (1975) I was a loyal WT 101 drinker. I occasionally sampled other brands, but WT was pretty much it for a while.

By 1979 my career had advanced to where I had disposable income, and I started casting a wider net. Got into wine in a big way (still am), plus distilled spirits other than bourbon, and a wider variety of bourbon. WT 8/101 remained my "go to" (around 1983 I even bought one of those Baccarat WT decanters - Austin Nichols commissioned 1,000 of 'em).

By the mid eighties I was regarded as an expert on such things amongst my friends and acquaintances, and in 1988 completed a non-published work, "Distilled Spirits - A Highly Biased History" which I handed to anyone coming to me for advice.

I hadn't seen it in years, but came across a hardcopy when packing for Oregon. Made for interesting reading. Things have certainly changed in 20 years. Maybe I'll update it.

It had a "Recommendations" section at the end. Here is the section for Bourbon:

Corn/Rye
Highly Recommended
Wild Turkey 12yo 101
Wild Turkey 8yo 101
Eagle Rare 10yo 101
Old Grand Dad 114

Recommended
Ancient Ancient Age 10yo
Beams Black Label 101mo 90
Benchmark 90
Blanton 8yo 93
Evan Williams 7yo 90
Ezra Brooks 7yo 90
I. W. Harper 86
Old Charter 7yo 86
Old Grand Dad 86
Old Forester 86
Old Forester Bond 100
Old Taylor 6yo 86
Walker's Deluxe 8yo 86

Not Recommended
Beam 52mo 80
Beam's "Choice"
Beam White Label
Evan Williams 80
Heaven Hill 90
Old Crow
Old Ezra 15yo 101 comment: "Proof you can age a bourbon too long"

Corn/Wheat Bourbon
Highly Recommended
Maker's Mark
Old Fitzgerald "1849" 8yo 90
Weller 7yo 107

Recommended
Old Fitzgerald 7yo 86
Old Fitzgerald Bond
Weller Reserve 7yo 90

Not Recommended
Rebel Yell

Tennessee Whiskey
Highly Recommended
Dickel 6yo 90

Recommended
Dickel 4yo 80

Not Recommended
Jack Daniels

Rye Whiskey
Highly Recommended
Wild Turkey

Recommended
Old Overholt

Not Recommended
Jim Beam


Regarding the 12yo WT, a few months ago I bumped into the bourbonenthusiast.com web site, they showed the early 90s gold foil version as the first release. I knew that wasn't right, and going back and looking at my 1988 document confirms that.

I'm also pretty sure those late 1980s WT 12yo bottlings had a label just like the 8yo (except with a "12" instead of an "8", of course). They were seasonally released, just before Christmas.

I had bought a case of it and reserved these as my "Special Occasion" Bourbon.

I guess it was around 1992 that WT pulled the bit with the "Old Number 8 Brand" on the 101. This was deeply offensive to me, not so much because they'd gone NAS but because they tried to obfuscate it with the ON8B bit. I've never completely forgiven them for that, and since have only bought WT when they introduce something new (trying to stay informed...). The exception was the Rye, because for so long all that was available was JB, OO and the WT, and the WT was definitely the best of the three.

Knob Creek became my "go to" choice, with Weller 7/107 when I felt like a wheater.

Bourbons tried since 1988 include (roughly in chronological order):

Knob Creek
Bakers
Bookers
Hirsch 16 BW
Weller Centennial
Weller 12yo
WT Kentucky Spirit
WT Rare Breed
WT RR 10/101
ER 17yo
EC 12
Saz 18 Rye
BT
PVW 15
BMH 18yo Rye
GTS (2007)
VW 12yo Lot B

The PVW was in December, the last two earlier this week.

The Hirsch 16 BW showed up at my favorite liquor store in late 1994, along with some 20yo. I bought one of the 16, tried it, went back and bought three more plus one of the 20. These supplemented the WT 12s as my "Special Occasion" stuff. However by 2003 all the WT and three of the Hirsch were gone. The BTACs were out by then, and I went through several bottles of the ER 17, but was never all that wild about it. Opened the last bottle of Hirsch 16 last fall when we closed on our house purchase here in Corvallis OR. The Hirsch 20 remains unopened.

I do believe that the PVW 15 and GTS will both serve nicely as "SO" choices.

I notice the SB.com software tags me as a "novice". I can only LOL.

BTW, the bike in the Avatar pic is a Yamaha V-Star 1100 Custom. The image is borrowed from the Yamaha web site. Mine has a windshied (for the bugs), saddlebags (for my stuff) and a wider passenger seat plus sissy bar/back rest (for my wife). I've been riding since I was 15, progressing from a Honda 65 to a Honda 175 to a Suzuki 500 to a Suzuki 550 to a Harley 883 to a Harley 1200 to the Yamaha.

Anyway, for those of y'all still with me here, I'm glad to be on board. Great discussions, and lots of useful information.

Virus_Of_Life
03-12-2008, 18:55
I notice the SB.com software tags me as a "novice". I can only LOL.


Scott, the titles as I'm sure you've surmised are purely post count driven other than those special titles such as "Bourbonian of the Year" and "The Boss", obviously. You are no novice to bourbon that is for sure. Again, welcome we're glad to have you around as I mentioned I am a native Oregonian who's temporarily lost his way. I still have family in Lebanon and Sweet Home among other places... I'll be back up there someday soon. :grin:

BTW, from what I have tried your recomendations would have served a lot of people well. There is still some 8 year Turkey to be found down here in Cali among many other dusty bottles as well as in other locales...

I've found a couple of old ER10 101 bottles from the late 70s and it is truly great stuff.

Barrel_Proof
03-12-2008, 19:30
Glad you are on board, Scott.

A few of us here do indeed have Oregon connections. I was born there and spent weekends every summer of my youth in and around Tillamook. On weekends we always played on the beach at Oceanside. I would learn much later of my good fortune to have spent time in one of the most beautiful places on planet earth.

Enjoy your stay here. We look forward to your contributions.

bluesbassdad
03-12-2008, 19:50
That's an interesting and informative bio. Welcome!

Two things regarding the "Novice" designation. Here it's based solely on the number of posts, nothing more. I'm a little embarrassed by my designation; I didn't know Jack (from Jim) before I arrived here a few years ago.

The other point is that everything is context specific. I remember my amusement when Formula 1 Champion Jimmy Clark entered the Indy 500 for the first time in 1963. He was tagged as a Novice, just like some guy whose previous race was on a quarter-mile track in Springfield, IL.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

TNbourbon
03-12-2008, 21:03
Scott, your early recommendations regarding bourbon speak both to your own fine palate, but also to those of many contributing members here, who led me to many of the same bottlings, though I joined the bourbon game after many no longer were in production.
Like Dave, I am startled by my own 'Guru' status, as much of what I know about American whiskey and bourbon, in particular, was learned right here, from these members.
Welcome, and please contribute as often as you can.

CorvallisCracker
03-13-2008, 11:32
Bourbons tried since 1988 include (roughly in chronological order):

Knob Creek
Bakers
Bookers
Hirsch 16 BW
Weller Centennial
Weller 12yo
WT Kentucky Spirit
WT Rare Breed
WT RR 10/101
ER 17yo
EC 12
Saz 18 Rye
BT
PVW 15
BMH 18yo Rye
GTS (2007)
VW 12yo Lot B

The PVW was in December, the last two earlier this week.

Also, somewhere along the way, the ER 10/90 SB.

And about a month-and-a-half ago, the NAS EW "1783". I tried this because Paul Pacult had given it a five-star rating, and at $16 I figured it was worth a try. Didn't impress me; I give it a B+.

In all fairness to Pacult, he reviewed it a couple of years ago when it was still a 10yo whiskey.

Also, last night tried the Ritt BIB Rye. See my post in the Rye section.

CorvallisCracker
03-13-2008, 11:36
I am a native Oregonian who's temporarily lost his way. I still have family in Lebanon and Sweet Home among other places... I'll be back up there someday soon. :grin:


Well, when you do, drop me a line and swing on by. We'll pour some of the Good Stuff.

JamesW
03-13-2008, 11:53
Quite an impressive "Bourbon Life" you've had. You will certainly be an asset to this site. Welcome and I look forward to learning from your experience.

Tennessee Dave
03-13-2008, 17:46
Welcome! Glad to have you here. Good folks. Man they make some good, real good Pinot Noir out your way. IMHO the equal of most of the overpriced Burgandies at a much more resonable cost.

CorvallisCracker
03-14-2008, 09:53
Welcome! Glad to have you here. Good folks. Man they make some good, real good Pinot Noir out your way. IMHO the equal of most of the overpriced Burgandies at a much more resonable cost.

Yes, they do. It's one of the many positive aspects of the move. I've already laid in a good supply of 2005 vintage, a great year. 2006 was very warm, and the wines are intense and alcoholic. I recently tried the St. Innocent "Villages" 2006 (sold only in Oregon); it smelled more like Syrah than PN, and was a bit hot, being 14% ABV.

2007, on the other hand, was very cool, with early rains in the fall (La Nina year), and I have my doubts about the wines from that year (none released yet). The vinters are upbeat about it, but you have to expect that...

CorvallisCracker
03-14-2008, 17:43
WOOOOOHOOOOO

I see I just graduated from "Novice" to "Apprentice"

It's gonna be PVW 15 tonight!

Tennessee Dave
03-14-2008, 19:39
Scott,
Do yourself a favor and get in touch with Russ Rainey at Evesham Woods. Try to get his Cuvee J. Outstanding Pinot.

Sijan
03-15-2008, 15:01
Welcome Scott! I am from Nampa, Idaho originally.

Sounds like you already have a lot of experience with whiskey (far more than me) and I look forward to your contributions.


and spent weekends every summer of my youth in and around Tillamook. On weekends we always played on the beach at Oceanside. I would learn much later of my good fortune to have spent time in one of the most beautiful places on planet earth..

Wow, have we talked about this before, Cliff? My family's favorite vacation spot -where we went every Spring Break for over ten years - was Rockaway Beach. We'd stay at the Silver Sands motel, right on the beach, with a great view of Twin Rocks. I've spent a lot of time in the Tillamook area.

Sijan
03-15-2008, 15:04
Scott,
Do yourself a favor and get in touch with Russ Rainey at Evesham Woods. Try to get his Cuvee J. Outstanding Pinot.

Are they the same folks that make the "J" brand sparkling wine? It is quite good also. I'll have to try their pinot sometime.

Virus_Of_Life
03-15-2008, 15:57
Welcome Scott! I am from Nampa, Idaho originally.

Sounds like you already have a lot of experience with whiskey (far more than me) and I look forward to your contributions.



Wow, have we talked about this before, Cliff? My family's favorite vacation spot -where we went every Spring Break for over ten years - was Rockaway Beach. We'd stay at the Silver Sands motel, right on the beach, with a great view of Twin Rocks. I've spent a lot of time in the Tillamook area.

It's a small world after all.... Dang, Dan you and I probably practically bumped into each other! Given I am a few years older than you, but as a kid we would stay at the Silver SURF motel just a ways south of that in Yachats. I love that place still to this day and have taken every significant other - - here's to hoping the current is the last - - through that area.

Wow, I smell an SB.com get together/reunion on the Oregon Coast in the future! :grin:

Sijan
03-15-2008, 16:23
I love that place still to this day and have taken every significant other - - here's to hoping the current is the last - - through that area.

I have done the same and have similar hopes! :grin: We are even talking - strictly hypothetically, of course - about a wedding at St. Mary's By the Sea in Rockaway (although neither of us is Catholic, so I'm not real sure how that would work out.)


Wow, I smell an SB.com get together/reunion on the Oregon Coast in the future! :grin:

Now, that's something I could be up for. Hell, I want to retire there!

Barrel_Proof
03-15-2008, 16:29
For those of you wondering what's up with all this Oregon Coast reverie, I provide you this link!

http://www.oceansideoregon.com/surf_cam.asp

bluesbassdad
03-15-2008, 19:36
I enjoyed that beach cam shots, but...

I was already having a hard time appreciating the harsh beauty of my desert environs today, and that gorgeous view is almost enough to make me post a FOR SALE sign out front -- if there were any buyers these days.

I was never much of a fan of the beaches during 31 years in SoCal, even the less-crowded ones, because I didn't care for sea spray on my glasses and sand in every nook and cranny of my body (sorry for the visual) upon arriving home. Right now I'd settle for Huntington Beach (Surf City) on a holiday weekend.

Today in central Arizona the wind is blowing 20 mph with gusts double that. I just came in from playing fetch with my dog, and now I feel dust grinding between my teeth. And the humidity is 9%. My girlish, SoCal complexion is but a distant memory, and hand lotion is a staple. It gets used up faster than soap. Instead of fog rolling in we get dust storms that'll dull the shine of a car's clear coat finish.

But don't mind me. I just ask that any beach dwellers or vacationers out there think of me while y'all are ducking seagull poop. :grin:

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

CorvallisCracker
03-15-2008, 20:51
Are they the same folks that make the "J" brand sparkling wine? It is quite good also. I'll have to try their pinot sometime.

No, that's from Jordan, in Alexander Valley, California. Last I knew, they only made the bubbly, a chardonnay and a Bordeaux style Cab/Merlot blend.

Yes, the "J" sparkling wine is pretty good, however my favorite CA bubbly is Roederer Estate, from Anderson Valley, much further north. My wife and I honeymooned there in 2001. Beautiful place, very unspoiled, particularly compared to Napa.

Sijan
03-16-2008, 00:19
Dave, isn't AZ just one big beach with no ocean? :slappin:

Scott, Roederer Estate is my favorite CA sparkler as well. It is a fantastic value - I think it is equal to or better than most NV champagnes, at only 2/3 the price. I've never been there however. Would like to visit sometime.

CorvallisCracker
03-17-2008, 12:15
Scott, Roederer Estate is my favorite CA sparkler as well. It is a fantastic value - I think it is equal to or better than most NV champagnes, at only 2/3 the price. I've never been there however. Would like to visit sometime.

Visited Anderson Valley and took an (prearranged) tour of Roederer in 1997. Fond memories of the place led to my suggestion of Anderson Valley as a honeymoon spot, followed by several more days on the CA coast (early April 2001).

Anderson Valley is a beautiful place. Only two highways going into it, both two lane and very twisty. The valley is about one third forest, one third farms (mostly orchards) and one third vineyards. There are several nice B-and-Bs, plus Boonesville Inn, which has a nice restaurant. At the time there was also a brewpub in Boonesville.

Roederer was closed to visitors at that point (I think they are open only Memorial Day to Labor Day) but there were plenty of other wineries, all with free tasting rooms.

There is a state park in the middle of the valley, about 600 acres, mostly second-growth redwood. However, in the middle of it is a 30 acre stand of old-growth. Monster trees, exceeding 200 feet in height. We had picked up a picnic lunch and snuck in a bottle of local Pinot Noir (they didn't check our basket), and sat in the middle of the OG stand enjoying the trees, the food, the wine and each other's company.

One of those Special Moments that you remember forever.

Gillman
08-22-2008, 10:22
Most interesting. I had a similar level of interest 20 years ago and would agree with almost all your picks of the time.

Gary