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kickert
06-29-2008, 16:49
Hey folks,

I have a deal with my wife where I can buy 1 bottle of burbon a month for under $30. I am about to spend some time with friends for July 4th so I want to make sure my purchase for this month is top notch. Since I am a relatively new bourbon drinker I like to try something new each month. I would love your suggestions.

Here is what I have tried so far:

1792
Blantons
Buffalo Trace
Bulleit
Eagle Rare
Elijah Craig 12
Four Roses Small Batch
Jim Beam White
Knob Creek
Maker's Mark
Very Old Barton 86
Wild Turkey 101
Wild Turkey 80
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
WL Weller Special Reserve
Basil Hayden

I usually drink my bourbon with ice and have found drinks around 90 proof are a good balance for me (although I certainly don't stick only in that range). Of those I have tried ER10 has been my favorite. I also really like 4R Small Batch. Basil Hayden and EC12 are also on my good list. I like Maker's for its smoothness, but find it lacks any complexity. Knob Creek has been my least favorite (i pick up a strong earthy taste in it) and although 1792 was my gateway bourbon it no longer is a favorite pour.

To give you an idea of prices around here, with the exception of Rare Breed and Blantons, I can get all of these for under $30 (many for right around $20)

Thoughts for something to try?

mozilla
06-29-2008, 17:00
Welcome,

without knowing exactly what is available in your area.....btw, what area are you in?

I would suggest Wild Turkey rye or a bottled in bond bourbon. If your in an area with a great sellection or have access to dusty bottles there are lots of others to look for.

Maybe you could describe the style your looking for...ie. lots of wood -or- something with some caramel and a little sweet...

Also, how about trying the BOTM every month?

chefmel
06-29-2008, 17:16
I recently tried Bulleit which I really like - around $24.00 here in Mi. Also, EWSB is a regular pour for me - just under $30 in these parts. A little smoother than the Bulleit, but I like a little bite in my bourbon. Good Luck and Happy 4th!

Mark

OldJack
06-29-2008, 17:20
I'll second the BOTM idea- though some months, the selection will stress your budget.

In that price range and with your preference for higher proofs (which are two realities you and I have in common) I think Weller Antique, Old Granddad Bottle-In-Bond, and Old Granddad 114 are must-tries. I also agree that WT Rye, though not a bourbon, is worth checking out. All these are great tasting pours and excellent values. They are over 90 proof, but you can dilute down to 90 with a little good spring water if you like. This, of course, will also make your monthly handle-o-happiness last that much longer.

Benchmark and Old Charter 10 Year Old are also decent options as they are both made by the same distillery who makes ER-10 and may hit some of the same notes at a lower price-point. They are both under 90 proof. If you can find it, the now-discontinued Old Charter 12 is 90 proof and and great tasting bourbon.

kickert
06-29-2008, 17:53
Of the bourbon of the month's under 30 in these parts (I live in Bowling Green, KY by the way and have acess to most of the bourbons I read about here) I have not tried the following in my price range: Ten High, Classic Cask, Old Charter 12, Old Grand Dad 114, Elijah Craig 18, 4R Single Barrel, Elmer T Lee SB, Old Forester.

I tend to like a bourbon that has more flavor to it. That being said, I can appreciate a sweeter bourbon (like a Bulleit), or one with more bite (I like Islays if it is a scotch night). A bourbon that is flat and one deminsional is the worst for me (which is how I found the 1792 to be). I am not afraid of buying a bourbon I won't like because my taste is still evolving so I often go for the ones I hear mentioned the most on this forum.

I am intrigued by EC18 and Weller Antique. The Van Winkle 10 is in my price range, but I hear it is worth $10 more for the 12yo. I might not go with a WT just because in my early tastings I have already tried so many and want to widen my experiance. I have shyed away from Old Forester, Old Charter and Old Granddad because of my percetion of them being cheap. I have been eying Elmer T Lee and EWSB for a while, but have not commited.

In my mind, the running is down to ORVW10, EC18, ETL, EWSB. Any thoughts on those, or should I try something beyond that. Any other "must try" bourbons you keep on your shelf.

mozilla
06-29-2008, 18:44
IMO, price has little to do with the qaulity of flavor. I would put some of my under $20 retail up against higher priced offerings at any time. Most bourbons come out of the still the same, anyway. For example...Stagg and Old Charter come out of the still vertually identical. Same with AA 80, ETL and Blantons...all from the same mashbill. For bourbon to be bourbon, it all is held up to some very high standards. It is rare for a low quality product to be distributed these days. I am not saying that every bourbon is outstanding....because some are not(old crow), but that is another story.

So, if you like some of the HH products....give them all a shot. See some of the common threads between them and the differences that aging can make.

Also, don't forget that distilleries often share products between them. So, without your knowledge, you might have already tried some of the bourbons that you so easily...poo poo.

My main point is that...bourbon is bourbon...until you try a label, you will never know if you like it. So, don't be afraid of the Tiger!

Special Reserve
06-29-2008, 19:44
kickert,

First, you need to strike a better bargain with your wife. There will come a time when you will need to work on your bourbon IRA stores. (Just kidding about the bargain, but not the IRA.)

Anyhow, my taste evolve, and I'm hard pressed to say there are bourbons I don't like. As a general rule, I like bourbon at about 90 proof. To that end, the 90 to 100 proof bourbons are neat, the high alcohol content bourbons are diluted to about 90-100 proof and I enjoy most. Weller Special Reserve and Van Winkle Special Reserve might just average $30/ month in KY or perhaps 2 Weller and 1 Van Winkle could average $30/month over 3 months. I know I'd be happy with that.

Eagle Rare SB is a nice bourbon and presents well, that too is a good choice.

Will

spun_cookie
06-29-2008, 20:13
For good quality to cost to proof, very hard to be that WT 101, but for something different than what you have had, under $30 or near there, look for the Weller Centennial, Elmer T, Blanton's Silver, or something new on the shelf you have not had.

That is what I started with and I found lots that I liked

d_nelly78
07-04-2008, 09:38
I am envious of your access to many good bourbons. I am wanting to try some more Van Winkle's and some Weller's. I would go with the 10 yr VW.

ratcheer
07-04-2008, 09:48
For bourbons with "a little more flavor to it", I would recommend the Elmer T. Lee and the Old Grand Dad 114, of the ones mentioned.

BTW, you have great access to good prices. You have several on your original post that I couldn't get for anywhere near $30, such as Blanton's and Basil Hayden's.

Tim

chilidawg7
07-04-2008, 10:02
For bourbons with "a little more flavor to it", I would recommend the Elmer T. Lee and the Old Grand Dad 114, of the ones mentioned.


I second the motion for Old Granddad 114. It is one of my favorites. Reasonably priced ($25 or less per bottle), although it is a bit higher proof than you say you like, I think it is worth a shot.

fishnbowljoe
07-04-2008, 11:09
I just tried the ORVW 10/107, and to me it is fantastic. It's also in your price range. The ORVW 10/90 is good, but as I said, the 10/107 is great. Good Luck, Joe

Jono
07-04-2008, 14:41
Your purchase solution is to just hold off for a month or two and then splurge with $60-90 to spend.

Add some rye...you won't be disappointed....for cost and excellent taste the Rittenhouse BIB cannot be beat.
The WT Rye is good also........

JamesW
07-04-2008, 14:42
I agree with most of what's been said. Go with the ORVW 10/107 it is a great bourbon at the price point. If you can get the Centennial then grab this months and next months purchase right now as it will be gone gone gone.

I can also suggest the Weller Antique 107 although it isn't that much different from the special reserve (which I sometimes like better) but man are they inexpensive (so you can drink 2 bottles in a month!)

Given your deal with the wife, you also might want to check out the following thread....some tips on stealth bourbon collecting :70358-devil:

Crouching Husband, Hidden Bourbon- Becoming a Whiskey Ninja (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9781)

HipFlask
07-04-2008, 23:36
To keep with the deal you have going with the wife I would buy ETL for this month, ORVW 107 next and ODG the month after. Being the sneaky one I would try to slide a Baker's, or WT Rare Breed past as it is just outside of your range. One other bourbon I haven't seen mentioned is Weller 12 yr. I have edited this post to make sure it gets on your radar.

Now for the cool part. Since the deal with your wife is 1 Bourbon a month you are free to buy all the straight rye you want. So I would pick up WT Rye 101, Baby Saz, Rittenhouse BIB 100 with that 1 bottle of Bourbon. And if it is your birthday month then you gotta pickup a bottle of VWFRR. It is $47 or so but it would be a b-day present to yourself and the wife cannot possibly say no to that.

CorvallisCracker
07-05-2008, 11:48
Now for the cool part. Since the deal with your wife is 1 Bourbon a month you are free to buy all the straight rye you want.

Tim, have you ever considered a career in law? I can tell you'd be good at it!

kickert
07-08-2008, 20:44
UPDATE:

I went with the Elmer T. Lee and I could not have been more pleased. It really hit the spot. I went back over my tasting notes and have realized that I really have a thing for Buffalo Trace bourbons so I think I will be going with a Van Winkle next. Hopefully I can sneak the 12yo in.

bluesbassdad
07-08-2008, 21:18
UPDATE:

I went with the Elmer T. Lee and I could not have been more pleased. It really hit the spot. I went back over my tasting notes and have realized that I really have a thing for Buffalo Trace bourbons so I think I will be going with a Van Winkle next. Hopefully I can sneak the 12yo in.

The Van Winkle line (including the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye) has many fans here, and deservedly so. However, the joining of VW and BT is a recent phenomenon, and one should not expect much similarity in the flavor of bourbons under those two names.

If anything, by trying a wheat-recipe bourbon of the highest caliber, such as the Van Winkle bottlings, you may be expanding your experience in an interesting and highly enjoyable direction. I know you've already tried Maker's Mark, another wheat-recipe bourbon, but IMO it's not in the same league as the VWs.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

StraightBoston
07-09-2008, 11:27
Great advice so far, and the ETL is a good choice. From your list (and building on what others have mentioned) I'd say that you're ready to try a better wheater and some more Heaven Hill products -- based on that I'd go with the OVRW 10/107 (you'll probably find the 10/90 too simple) and definitely an EWSB. Several Weller expressions would also fit the bill for a better-than-Makers wheat recipe -- I'd skip the Special Reserve as too light.

Since you liked the Basil Hayden, OGD 114 (or BIB) will give you a younger, kickier version of that mashbill.

I recommend EC18 (especially if you can get it under $30) but it's a love/hate bourbon -- get a few more under your belt before trying it. It's not just an older version of EC12! If you can find Old Heaven Hill around your parts, I'd put one on the list first (but after the EWSB.)

The next BT bourbon to try would be Ancient Ancient Age (10yo, not 10 Star, if you can find it.)

Finally, I agree with your assessment of Knob Creek but I'm still a big fan of Jim Beam Black, and it should be well within your price range. (I'd do that the month after the OGD and before AAA or EC18.)

mozilla
07-09-2008, 15:57
Great advice so far, and the ETL is a good choice.....

The next BT bourbon to try would be Ancient Ancient Age (10yo, not 10 Star, if you can find it.)


So, just so we know....what is your beef with the AAA 10 Star? You seem to be fine with its brothers...ETL and AAA 10 year.

StraightBoston
07-09-2008, 18:42
So, just so we know....what is your beef with the AAA 10 Star? You seem to be fine with its brothers...ETL and AAA 10 year.

I personally find ETL a little too sweet for my tastes, but it is a good fit for the OP's list. I really like the AAA 10yo profile as an example of capital-B Bourbon, and I have no beef with the 10 Star (just relaying what I've read here about its quality relative to the 10 year old.)

mozilla
07-09-2008, 18:51
Gotcha.

Its quality is just as good as ETL and AAA 10 year. Its profile fits right in line between the Bib and the 10 yr. Actually, I think that I like it better than the 10yr for price and proof reasons. The 10yr is damn good, though. I often stretch my 10 yr bottle with the Bib, since I forgot to refill my supply of 10yr last trip to Ky. Made sure to get some Bib, though. I think the Bib handle went for just over $20, the 10yr is near $40, IIRC. Seems like the last 10 star I bought was around $26 all 1.75ml's.

Hands down...this mashbill has to one of the best in all of bourbon land.

kickert
11-10-2008, 20:23
Hey folks,

I have a deal with my wife where I can buy 1 bottle of burbon a month for under $30. I am about to spend some time with friends for July 4th so I want to make sure my purchase for this month is top notch. Since I am a relatively new bourbon drinker I like to try something new each month. I would love your suggestions.

Here is what I have tried so far:

1792
Blantons
Buffalo Trace
Bulleit
Eagle Rare
Elijah Craig 12
Four Roses Small Batch
Jim Beam White
Knob Creek
Maker's Mark
Very Old Barton 86
Wild Turkey 101
Wild Turkey 80
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
WL Weller Special Reserve
Basil Hayden

I usually drink my bourbon with ice and have found drinks around 90 proof are a good balance for me (although I certainly don't stick only in that range). Of those I have tried ER10 has been my favorite. I also really like 4R Small Batch. Basil Hayden and EC12 are also on my good list. I like Maker's for its smoothness, but find it lacks any complexity. Knob Creek has been my least favorite (i pick up a strong earthy taste in it) and although 1792 was my gateway bourbon it no longer is a favorite pour.

To give you an idea of prices around here, with the exception of Rare Breed and Blantons, I can get all of these for under $30 (many for right around $20)

Thoughts for something to try?

Having put back quite a few bottles since first posting this, I am now able to give myself advice. Looking back I would tell myself this:

Ya gotta get some rye in there. Try Rittenhouse BIB, you can't go wrong. I would also recommend Elmer T Lee. It is a BT bourbon and has some nice complexities.

If you like Maker's Mark, you should try WL Weller 12 yo. It is a similar mash bill, but has a much more complex flavor. I think you will find the smoothness and the flavor there.

No matter what other people say, don't try the OGD BIB (but if you do, only by a 200 ML). Trust me, you won't like it.

funknik
11-10-2008, 20:47
Just to throw in my 2 cents, I would definitely recommend Sam Houston VSB. No one has mentioned & I don't read too much about it on the forum, so perhaps it's not especially popular, but I've had most of the bourbons on your initial list and I prefer Sam Houston to almost all of them (ALMOST). It has a peppery taste that is balanced with some sweetness, classic flavor but different than most bourbons I've tried.

polyamnesia
11-10-2008, 21:29
...No matter what other people say, don't try the OGD BIB (but if you do, only by a 200 ML). Trust me, you won't like it.


i thought that myself, really, a year ago...and about 1/5 into that first 5th of OGD100!

then it got better. and butterscotchy. the bite was a pleasure. etc.

just finished off my second bottle and it was the best $14.99 i ever spent.

still, that OGD 114 i spent $20.99 on a week before was pretty much even better money spent!

to be honest, OGD 114 is a good 11 parsecs away from the local solar system bottling of OGDbib....no matter what part of the cosmos you orbit, either pour is a pleasure!:grin:

kickert
11-11-2008, 20:27
i thought that myself, really, a year ago...and about 1/5 into that first 5th of OGD100!

then it got better. and butterscotchy. the bite was a pleasure. etc.

just finished off my second bottle and it was the best $14.99 i ever spent.

still, that OGD 114 i spent $20.99 on a week before was pretty much even better money spent!

to be honest, OGD 114 is a good 11 parsecs away from the local solar system bottling of OGDbib....no matter what part of the cosmos you orbit, either pour is a pleasure!:grin:

I have only had one bottle of it and it was a 200ml. I would be willing to retry it, but certainly not on my own dime. It tasted like paint thinner last time I had it.

SSWC
11-12-2008, 01:44
Kickert, the OGD 114 is a fine pour - and if you can find pre-Beam (Clermont) OGD 86 or OGD Bottled in Bonds, these are excellent as well. There are multiple threads on this site that go into considerable detail on these bottlings. And if you can find them, they are likely to be priced low. Happy hunting.

SSWC