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View Full Version : $30 vs $60 Bourbon, what do you think?



dhineline
06-03-2008, 11:50
I was going to head down to Northern Ky to restock my bourbon shelf. A friend of mine who knows I have been lurking on this forum and that I have been trying lots of stuff asked me to pick her up something good. Her and her husband drink Makers Mark. She gave me $60 and said I could get whatever I wanted. I decided I would get the best Pappy Van Winkle I could. (I was actually very jealous because I have only had the 10 year 107 proof because I am tight with my wallet). When I got there they were out of the Van Winkle's and said they would have more in July. I also looked for Stagg but it too was gone (might be over $60 anyways). I didn't really know about the rest of the bourbons between $40 and $60. (The other two I have seen mentioned a lot would be Blantons and Rock Hill). I ended up getting a bottle of Elmer T. Lee and Four Roses Single Barrell for a total of $56.

Almost all the bourbons I buy are between $20 and $30. This got me thinking: there are so many good bourbons around $30 (Different Wellers, Eagle Rare, Woodford, Knob Creek, ETL, etc.) which ones that are in the more expensive price range are actually worth it?

Thought this could make and interesting/informative thread.

Thanks.

Tom Troland
06-03-2008, 12:23
There are many ways to spend well over $30 a bottle for bourbon if you want something rare and unusual. But if you just want something good, and you get to Northern Kentucky from time to time, pull over at Cork Ďn Bottle. This shop is located in Covington, right by the I75 bridge to Cincinnati. They have a large selection of whiskies, and they usually have custom bottled, single barrel bourbons. Just recently, I picked up bottles of their Buffalo Trace Barrel 16, and their Four Roses Barrels 1 and 2. All are well under $30, and all are outstanding. Iíve tried other custom single barrel bourbons from Cork Ďn Bottle in the past. I have found all of them to be of highest quality and very reasonably priced. True, you donít get a velvet bag for your bottle, nor a wooden box. But you do get bourbon of exceptional quality and character. And, no, I donít work there!

smokinjoe
06-03-2008, 12:33
Welcome aboard, D. First, let me congratulate you on what I think were absolutely great choices, with ETL and FRSB for your friend. It is hard to beat those two.

As to your question on the worthiness of certain expensive bourbons, that is very subjective, and difficult to say. I may think Stagg is more than worth $60 (which I do, BTW), but I'm sure there's somebody who would disagree, for very legitimate reasons to them. At the end of the day, listen to your own taste buds, and drink whatever you want, at the price point that makes sense to you. Other expensive bottles I think are worth their price would be Parker's Heritage and Thos. Handy Rye. One's I don't, are WT American Spirit and ER17 (except the 2004).

Cheers!

JOE

ACDetroit
06-03-2008, 12:44
The current Four Roses 120th at $65 is a great buy as well as limited to 2238 bottles. That's what I would drop my $ on at this time! If it's fall then yes the Stagg, or any of the BTAC would do just fine for $60.

Welcome aboard and I look forward to you participation in the future.

Cheers!

AC

RedVette
06-04-2008, 12:13
A $60 anything is not worth 2 $30 anythings, whether we are talking about baseball bats, chaise lounges or claw hammers. The law of diminishing returns applies to everything, including bourbon. Having said that, I can't imagine being a bourbon fan and not enjoying Pappy 15, Saz 17, WT Kentucky Spirit or Blantons.

mgilbertva
06-04-2008, 13:00
Since they drink Makers, which is a "wheater" (i.e., uses wheat in the recipe), I would encourage your original intention. Specifically, the Pappy 15 yr is extraordinary in just about everyone's book. Hopefully you can find some. The Van Winkle Lot B is very good, but some (including me) think it's a little overpriced. I would suggest a second wheater, the W.L. Weller Antique (I just noticed it's also called "Old Weller") 107pf, 7yr to finish off the $60.

dhineline
06-04-2008, 14:27
>>whether we are talking about baseball bats, chaise lounges or claw >>hammers. The law of diminishing returns applies to everything, including >>bourbon

Although I do not disagree with you in general that a $60 bourbon will not be twice as good as two $30 bourbons, your statement about diminishing returns applying to everything is not quite correct. Since I have nothing better to do at work, I will digress:

The law of diminishing returns says that an additional bottle of PVW will not increase your enjoyment as much as the previous bottle of PVW (the exact same bourbon). Comparing different goods is totally different. I think one bottle of pappy van winkle is much more than 6 times better than 6 $10 bottles of someting equivalent to Kentucky tavern. (I would pay money to not have to drink Kentucky tavern).

In fact you can get increasing or constant returns at low levels of consumption for the exact same good. The enjoyment of a second potato chip may be as much or more than the first (nobody can eat just one Lays), but clearly the enjoyment of the 1000th is less (maybe negative), so eventually diminishing returns set in.

The law of diminishing returns does NOT necessarily apply to vareity. You may have constant or increasing returns to variety. I love danishes, and could eat a cherry danish everyday. I might be more than twice as happy though if I could alternate between a cherry danish and a blueberry danish every day. (substitute in differnt bourbons for danishes :grin:). It is very possible that a $2 danish is more than twice as enjoyable than two $1 bagels, diminishing returns just says that the enjoyment from the third to the fourth danish is less than going from the second to the third).

wildcatdon
06-05-2008, 09:59
I agree with Smokinjoe..You picked two very good ones to take back with you. FRSB is awesome just drinking neat..A great after dinner drink..Next time try Eagle Rare and you will not be disappointed...Oh and by the way Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year 107 is one of the best out there...Julian Van Winkle told me the other day that there wont be any here until Sept..

dhineline
06-05-2008, 13:03
let me clarify.

I have lots of under $30 bottles on my own shelf, ETL, Eagle Rare, OGD BIB, OGD 114, Rip van winkle 107 10yr, Antique Weller 107, Weller 12 yr, Woodford, Russells Reserve, four roses small batch, Elijah Craig...

But I don't have ANY expensive, i.e. $40 to $60, bottles. All of the bottles I have are due to reviews/recommendations from this site. IF I was to buy an MORE EXPENSIVE bottle ($60), OTHER than the Pappy Van Winkles, what is worth it?

fishnbowljoe
06-05-2008, 16:31
Ahhhh, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One @ $60, or 2 @ $30? As my dear departed mother used to say, "Same old seven and six." ie Six of one, half dozen of the other. I would probably take 2 @ $30, unless I found one of the Van Winkle bourbons I've been itching to try. Joe

PhilsFan
06-05-2008, 18:55
let me clarify.

I have lots of under $30 bottles on my own shelf, ETL, Eagle Rare, OGD BIB, OGD 114, Rip van winkle 107 10yr, Antique Weller 107, Weller 12 yr, Woodford, Russells Reserve, four roses small batch, Elijah Craig...

But I don't have ANY expensive, i.e. $40 to $60, bottles. All of the bottles I have are due to reviews/recommendations from this site. IF I was to buy an MORE EXPENSIVE bottle ($60), OTHER than the Pappy Van Winkles, what is worth it?

I would second AC Detroit's recommendation (if you're willing to spend just $5 more than $60) to purchase Four Roses 120th anniversary bourbon.

I bought 2 bottles for myself and sent one up to a friend already.

-Joe