Re: how we taste
You're right and I thought about that as I was writing my previous post but forgot to mention it. On the distillery tasting panels, even, they do dilute with room temperature water (never ice) to experience the full range of the whiskey's taste. Of course, they're also starting with barrel proof, so they have to dilute to reach the proposed bottling proof. This is how they arrive at the proof we consumers will experience when drinking "neat."
That isn't to say that the distiller is the sole person who decides the release proof. It's also a business decision. Several distillers have told me about products they wanted to sell at higher proof, but the "bean counters" wouldn't let them.
Re: Best value bourbons
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
*Knob Creek 9 yr, 101 proof $18
Eagle Rare 10 yr, 101 $16
*Ezra Brooks 7 year, 101 $13
Old Grand-dad BIB $13
*Old Grand-dad 114 $19
Wild Turkey 101 $15
*Elijah Craig 12 yr 94 proof $15
(Author's note: I've experienced yet another computer failure and houseguests over the last week or so. It's good to be back.)
Years ago there was a TV antacid commercial which portrayed an actor doing yet another commercial, one for meatballs. Take after take he said, in a phony Italian-like accent, "That's some spicey meatball!", each take being spoiled by some production problem, which eventually caused him to need an antacid.
From your list, above, Old Grand Dad BIB, which I am drinking right now, prompts a like response from me, "That's some spicey bourbon!". Comparing it to the others I've tried that appear on your list (WT 101, EC 12 yr., and KC), I'd say it has the highest spice-to-total-flavor ratio of the lot. I happen to like its particular spiciness a great deal, and I'm actually very surprised to learn as much, as I become reacquainted with it (or at least the brand name) after not tasting it since 1960.
My first exposure to OGD BIB was under less than ideal circumstances. I was a barely-17-year-old college freshman, totally out of sight of my parents for the first time. The fraternity I had pledged made a weekly liquor run for all residents, regardless of age. Someone had told me that bourbon and ginger ale was a good way to introduce one's self to the drinking of bourbon, which I had never drunk before. One Friday evening I took my bottle of OGD BIB, a bottle of cold ginger ale, and a glass to the commons room and started drinking while watching TV.
Initially, I put a few drops of bourbon into a much greater quantity of ginger ale. That combination went down so easily that I started increasing the portion of bourbon with each drink. This process proceeded so rapidly that I was taken by surprise when I found it difficult to walk to the bathroom. Nevertheless, I rather enjoyed the overall sensation and my increased sense of glibness; so I continued as before.
Within a couple hours I drank about three quarters of the bottle. I found out later that my fellow pledges were making bets as to when I would start experiencing gastric upheaval. The outcome (pun intended) was so violent and prolonged that I suspended all activities, both social and academic, for the rest of the weekend.
With that history it was with a sense of foreboding that I bought my current bottle of OGD BIB, my first in over 40 years. Fortunately, I have since learned the virtues of moderation (in moderate amounts, of course http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbth...icons/grin.gif -- even moderation can be overdone), and OGD BIB is currently my favorite in the strictly-spicey, budget-priced category. (As a total flavor package WT 101 is the best value for me.)
BTW, I picked up a bottle of Old Grand Dad 114 a few days ago, but I haven't felt the urge to open it yet. What if it spoils my taste for the BIB? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbth...cons/crazy.gif
Re: Best value bourbons
Said by Dave: "BTW, I picked up a bottle of Old Grand Dad 114 a few days ago, but I haven't felt the urge to open it yet. What if it spoils my taste for the BIB?"
I'm afraid that it will. I have recently obtained my first bottle of OGD 114. It is near the top of my list. Of course, it is up there with some heavy company, but it is that good.