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View Full Version : Personal "Best QPR" picks



CorvallisCracker
03-28-2008, 17:02
From another thread:


Ahhhhhhh...that is tht exact term I was looking for!! QPR! That is what "ALL" (and I do mean all) of my purchases (from yogurt to whiskey to high-end wool suits) I base my purchases on. Some, with personal opinion (which..when it comes to taste I have to try), and others (mechanical, electronic, etc) I'll do all my research and make a purchase based on that.

Here are my own picks for best bang-for-buck. These are all good enough to drink neat (or, for gin and vodka, a dry martini, and for white rum and tequila, on the rocks with a slice of lime), but priced low enough that you won't feel too guilty mixing them.

Prices are from the March 2008 OLCC list.


Ryed Bourbon: Elijah Craig 12yo $20

Wheated Bourbon: Weller Antique $20

Rye whiskey: Rittenhouse BIB $14

Tenessee Whiskey: Dickel #12 about $22 (not sold in OR)

Canadian whisky: Forty Creek $20

Irish Whiskey: Powers about $22 (not sold in OR)

Brandy: E&J XO $19

Vodka: Sobieski $13

Gin: Beefeaters $19

White rum: Cruzan $11 but I've not tried the new 14-mo-old version

Gold rum: Appleton $14

(very) dark rum: Goslings Black Seal $19

Anejo rum: Pyrat XO: $25

White tequila: Milagro $30

Anejo tequila: Calende about $25 (not available in OR)


Have little experience with reposado tequila. Doesn't fit my drinking style.

Also can make no personal recommendations for Scotch. Based on what I've read, the following seem like good choices:

Speyside malt (rich, low peat, sherry-cask aged): Aberlour 12yo $32

Middle-of-road malt: Highland Park 12yo $40

Islay malt (peat, iodine, rotten seaweed, dead seagulls): Laphroiag 10yo $50

Hopefully others will chime in with their own picks. There's a lot of stuff I've tried, but a lot I haven't.

Dr. François
03-28-2008, 20:53
For brandy, I really like the Chalfonte VSOP Cognac. 20-25 bucks most places. It has a lovely vanilla character to it.

For Canadian, I like Wiser's Deluxe. 13-18 dollars most places.

mitchshrader
04-17-2008, 15:58
I'd be interested in tasting notes on that E&J XO, I bought some of their VSOP for cooking brandy and was surprised that a fraction of the blend was quite tasty.. the good part was nearly drowned in grape vodka, so no huge flavors but I was very curious if the XO had more of the 'real' brandy in it.

On my own bang for the buck search, I'd recommend Wild Turkey Rye over the Rittenhouse BIB, even though the Rittenhouse is better to mix with. Straight up, the WT is a little smoother and sweeter, easier to call it a sipping whiskey. (IMO)

I really try to find exceptional flavors for a medium price, rather than 'good enough' at bargain prices. On that basis I'd suggest Hardy's Whiskers Blake Australian Tawny Port, and the Rutherglen Muscat & Tokay sweet dessert wines. They are called 'stickys' in Oz, and if you don't have a sweet tooth they're too heavy.. but a very nice sip after a big meal. Instead of, not with, dessert.

The 2005 vintage Rhine wines were exceptional, and some of their late harvest wines are excellent. Shop around, as many stores have moved them back for new vintages... John Jos. Prum, & Schmitt & Sohn both have top rated examples.

Small estate cognacs are often underpriced for the vintage.. in general the 'middle' ages (15-35) can be found at reasonable prices... the XO is frequently the best value..

right now the best deal i know on cognac is the Pasquinet XO.. 18 years old, 40-50$, and good enough to put in a decanter and let them guess what it is.. ;)

I'd compare it to a blue-collar version of Martell Cordon Bleu, dark and chewy for a cognac, not the light pale version.. goes good with coffee. I'd guess if you like dark old rum, or old rye, you'ld like Pasquinet XO.

StraightBoston
04-18-2008, 09:01
I agree exactly with Scott's first four, except I'd swap Buffalo Trace for the EC12.

CorvallisCracker
04-18-2008, 09:51
I'd be interested in tasting notes on that E&J XO, I bought some of their VSOP for cooking brandy and was surprised that a fraction of the blend was quite tasty.. the good part was nearly drowned in grape vodka, so no huge flavors but I was very curious if the XO had more of the 'real' brandy in it.

It's seven years old, and a little less "grapey" than the VSOP. There's some caramel on the nose and palate, along with sweet dried fruit (raisins and prunes), with hints of other fruits (apple and pear). Some hot pepper on the finish. Not bad stuff for $18.

I tried it a couple of years ago, don't have any at the moment. Our "house" brandy is Gemain-Robin (the regular $40 bottling).

My wife keeps a small bottle of the E&J VSOP in the kitchen for cooking, although when she's feeling creative she'll raid the liquor cabinet. A few weeks ago she was making a rabbit liver paté; the recipie called for a small amount of brandy but she used some Aberlour a'bunadh instead.


On my own bang for the buck search, I'd recommend Wild Turkey Rye over the Rittenhouse BIB, even though the Rittenhouse is better to mix with. Straight up, the WT is a little smoother and sweeter, easier to call it a sipping whiskey. (IMO)

No argument. I keep a bottle of the Ritt for mixing. My current sipping rye is BMH 18, with an unopened Saz 18 in reserve.


I really try to find exceptional flavors for a medium price, rather than 'good enough' at bargain prices.

There are good QPR picks at all levels. The ones I listed are at what I call "level two", which is "good enough to drink neat (or in a dry martini for vodka and gin and on the rocks for white rum and tequila), but still inexpensive enough for guilt-free mixing."

In fact, most of what we have for sipping is at what I call "level 3", which is "good QPR but too good to mix."


On that basis I'd suggest Hardy's Whiskers Blake Australian Tawny Port, and the Rutherglen Muscat & Tokay sweet dessert wines. They are called 'stickys' in Oz, and if you don't have a sweet tooth they're too heavy.. but a very nice sip after a big meal. Instead of, not with, dessert.

The Buller Victoria Tawny is another good one for the money. As for the Rutherglens, I've been buying those for years, although lately I've been buying the Buller equivalents because that's what a friend of mine stocks in his store.


The 2005 vintage Rhine wines were exceptional, and some of their late harvest wines are excellent. Shop around, as many stores have moved them back for new vintages... John Jos. Prum, & Schmitt & Sohn both have top rated examples.

Yes, I've bought a lot of Prüm over the years, and I know abought the 2005 vintage. Unfortunately, I'm running out of room in my storage units.

A strange thing - we grow a lot of Riesling here in OR, and 2006 would have been a great year for late-harvest wines, but there seems to be little interest in those among local producers.


Small estate cognacs are often underpriced for the vintage.. in general the 'middle' ages (15-35) can be found at reasonable prices... the XO is frequently the best value..

right now the best deal i know on cognac is the Pasquinet XO.. 18 years old, 40-50$, and good enough to put in a decanter and let them guess what it is.. ;)

I'd compare it to a blue-collar version of Martell Cordon Bleu, dark and chewy for a cognac, not the light pale version.. goes good with coffee. I'd guess if you like dark old rum, or old rye, you'ld like Pasquinet XO.

Not on the OLCC list, I'm afraid. Small estate cognacs are rare in this state.

CorvallisCracker
04-19-2008, 19:59
...and I know abought the 2005 vintage...

How the heck did the gh get in there?