Sorry Kickert, but my resonse stands.
Just a few bourbon novices asking a few good questions about a very good whiskey . Jeff's responses , while ok for experienced tasters, I do not find appropriate for a novices. Let them make their own decisions.
I haven't had a Heaven Hill product in quite some time, so it's long past due to pour a EWSB, a '96 vintage to be exact. Great nose, a little thinner than the Wild Turkey and Old Forrester that are my regular pours. And, of course, with the characteristic "grassy" flavor profile of HH (at least that's how I would describe it. )
I've had a number of EWSB vintages over the years but can't really say I can name good and better years; it's all struck me as similar whiskey but I've never had two vintages open at the same time. What I need to try is one of the newer vintages which were distilled after the big fire - I have four bottles in the bunker, all pre-fire (1987, 1994, 1995 and 1996). If there are differences they are subtle and need a side-by-side to appreciate.
Even though it was mentioned briefly, I think it bears repeating that the HH BiB's are not available everywhere. MI only has 1 very low end Gold Label HH. The only bond officially available in the state is OGD. So, yes Bonds are often better values than SB's but they aren't always available.
I happen to like EWSB I also think it's a good value. Hell I like EW black label, that's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.
I encourage the new members me being one of more or less to ask as many questions or give their opinion on any subject they like. But not everyone going to agree with those opinions. That's part of the process.
Your entitled to your opinion as well.
To me, it is not worth the extra price.
It should also be noted...I prefer a batched bourbon because I believe they are more rounded in their pallet and profile. Where as...a Single Barrel is more like a slice of pie. You might get a great piece...but you also might get a bad one. With batched bourbons...you hardly ever get an off bottle.
Hope that helps explain my point of view.
I have lately begun to try and ignore the designations and stick with paying attention to three things: age, proof & price. As Josh mentioned, BIB is a very rare thing in many states and there simply aren't any available up here save the Dant (lack of BIBs does not hurt my feelings at all, personally, I find them much too young tasting). I also agree that single barrel bourbons have a gimmicky, marketing scheme-type appeal, but it is interesting to be able to sample that "slice of pie" as Jeff so succinctly put it. Small Batch just means whatever you want it to mean.
I, personally, have not found a BIB or a Single Barrel that I would keep as a staple.
What I've noticed seems to be the most important factor to me is the age (particularly in the Heaven Hill products). EWSB is an 86 proof bourbon at 10 years old -- it's probably nicely mellowed. I haven't bought one for this reason: Elijah Craig 12yr is an older, higher proof and lower cost version of the same distillate -- the fact that it isn't single barrel is a non-factor to me. I'm sure I will try EWSB sometime soon just for curiousity's sake, but I expect not to like it as much as EC12 which is $10 cheaper.
I've had a chance to do a couple side-by-sides lately of Old Ezra 7/101 and EC12 and while both are very good and similar tasting, the difference is amazing to me . . . EC12 wins hands down for me and for only a few bucks more. Still, Old Ezra is a great deal for a 7yr old 101 proof bourbon.
So, I guess I agree with the marketing angle, but obviously not all single barrels and/or BIBs are created equal and therein lies the adventure!
Well put, Andy.
I don't think Dave meant any harm with his comments. I believe that he really likes his EWSB and was more currious as to what other dates he should try next.
I agree with evaluating bourbon on Age, Proof and Price. It, IMO, is the best way to cut through the hype and lock down the variables. My "best" level is the highest proof and age....for(most importantly) the LOWEST PRICE. This is MY angle...it might not work for all others. YMMV. :cool:
You know, it occurs to me . . . one bourbon I was extremely impressed by fits all of the aforementioned criteria: Henry McKenna 10yr Single Barrel BIB.
That, IMO, is a very nice whiskey at the same age & a similar price to the EWSB but 100 proof and BIB status. If I could find these around here, I would buy one.