I would say my favorite is McKenna. The proof and age are perfect for the HH house style for me. But in Northern California we don't get any other HH BIBs (other than Fitz), so I might like some of those better for the price.
I would second the Henry McKenna SB BIB, although I honestly forgot it was BIB until I read dohidied post! My initial reaction was OGD BIB.
My favorites are VOB and HH6yo because of the identifiable distillery character they bring to the table, though I've never had the McKenna. I would say HH edges out VOB due to some sooty off-notes I've gotten from recent VOB. They definitely fall away over time, but linger just enough to still bother me a bit.
I haven't found one that I didn't like. My most favorite currently is the McKenna 10 year. That said, it also is not always easy to find, and costs twice the price as the 4-6 year old juice. Out of HH's 4 year olds, I prefer JTS Brown to the HH 4 year old, or the current Dant. I also have to give a shout out for Mellow Corn. OGD, VOB, and HH 6 year are 3 really solid pours; the definition of real bourbon. We can drink these, and laugh at the pappy poseurs. Although it is not technically a bond, I really like OF Signature too. OF Signature can't be labeled B.I.B. because it is a mingling that contains some older whiskey. Bonds can contain only whiskey made in the same season from a single distillery. I have read that 4R Single Barrel meets the criteria be called B.I.B. (but is not labeled as such).
hmmm....mckenna has popped up a few times. maybe that and rittenhouse will be on the list soon
I'd have to say Ritt and Fitz. Looking forward to tasting the new HH Ritt soon, and hoping it's different but just as good (or better). OGD is a solid answer, but I prefer the 114, so I don't feel I could really argue for the BIB with that caveat.
Doug I regularly drink Grand Dad and Barton simply because they are the choice of what's available locally in the small town where I've lived since retirement. Twenty five years ago in addition to OGD and Barton BIBs my cellar included Elijah Craig 12 yr, Very Rare Old Heaven Hill, 10 years old, 100 proof Bottled in Bond, Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old 90 proof (for guests who liked wheat recipe Bourbon), all of which I bought by the case. Also picked up anything new or interesting as it came on the market (Jefferson, Pogue, Bulleit, you name it) and the two primary locals would call my office when my allotments of Buffalo Trace Antique Collection arrived. Bought enough of the Pappys to decide I really didn't care for old, woody whiskys.
Now I no longer entertain professionally or give out corporate gifts so my needs have been reduced accordingly and Barton or Grand Dad suit me fine, though I could have most any of the others if I bothered to drive to Memphis.
thanks, squire....youre one of the most informative, and entertaining, members on here. thanks for the replies and explanations.
as a side question......ive heard a few rumors the HH 6 year white BIB is going away. is this true? i like it, but wouldnt say i love it. yet, if its going away, its cheap enough to buy a whole case and stash it away without spending a fortune.
back to the BIB's......currently i have EW, OGD and VOB. with my method of not replacing the lesser liked ones and keeping the most liked one to compare to future contenders....the OGD and VOB likely wont be replaced, as i think i prefer the EW a bit more. but, OGD 114 still beats them all, and it doesnt cost much more than a decent BIB ($21 here). So im thinking the Mckenna and Ritt will be next.
speaking of some HH stuff (unofficially at least).....what is the significant, if any, difference between the Ezra brooks? EB has several that sound interesting, but only the plain EB and the EB 7 101 are common on the shelves. ive not seen the Ezra B 12 year. i know, its not technically a BIB, but it is 99 proof and 12 years, so its close enough to toss into the 100 proof category, as is the 7 year 101. either of those worth throwing in the mix?
Quite a bit of difference actually, the 12 year is a single barrel (replacement for the much better 15 yr. SB) whereas the regular Ezra(s) are vatted from a large number of barrels. If you find a 15 year old dusty get it.