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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Punta Gorda, FL

    Rate your favorite bottler/distiller

    Hello. In the past we have all given our 5 favorite Bourbons etc. Now from the following list please list you favorite from first to last bottler or distiller. Here are your choices. I know I have left some out. They are in no particular order. Wild Turkey.. Buffalo Trace.. Van Winkle.. Jim Beam Brands..
    Jack Daniels.. Heaven Hill.. Makers Mark.. Others.. Here my list of favorites in my order or preference.
    1st Van Winkle.. 2nd Wild Turkey..Heaven Hill.. 3rd Jim Beam Brands.. 4th Jack Daniels.. 5th Others.. 6th Makers Mark. Lets see who gets the three highest vote count.Thanks Creggor.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Bloomington, IN

    Re: Rate your favorite bottler/distiller

    I suppose technically now Julian is part of Buffalo Trace, which makes it easier

    So.... 1) Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace - for the great VW products plus great variety, plus Blanton's and more

    2) Beam -- for mass quantities of "small batch" at pretty good prices

    3)Wild Turkey, (which sure is easier than using their corportate names)for consistently good product in several categories

    4) Brown Forman, for Woodford Reserve, and in anticipation of the new Labrot and Graham products which could move them up a notch in the premium category

    5) Four Roses for making great bourbon, and it is not the distillery's fault that most people here can't get it (thankfully I can buy their regular yellow bottle of very smooth product around here)

    6) Maker's Mark and especially Bill S for preserving history and tradition

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Re: Rate your favorite bottler/distiller

    I like WIld Turkey, Barton's and Maker's about the same and for the same reason, They keep it close to the ground and consistantly produce high quality products.
    Brown Forman and Heaven Hill because they do throw it under their headliners pretty good.
    Jim Beam, if there's going to only be one distillery better make it Beam at least we could all get all we wanted to drink and there would be something we liked.

  4. #4

    Re: Rate your favorite bottler/distiller

    Drum Roll if you please Creggor!

    1) Buffalo Trace => for all of their fine single barrels and their new working relationship with the Van Winkel family.

    2) Wild Turkey => Kentucky Spirit; Russell's Reserve, & Rare Breed are all good enough reasons.

    3) Charles Medley Distillery => That delicious Wathen's is why. Any distillery that makes a 'five pants' bourbon has got to be close to the top.

    4) Brown-Forman Corp. => Owsley Brown deserves a lot of credit for pumping 7 million plus dollars into the Labrot & Graham Distillery. He also keeps bottles of Old Forester, Jack Daniels, and Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select on my ABC store shelves.

    5) Jim Beam Brands => Knob Creek alone would be good enough.

    6) A. Smith Bowman => The 'Fox' is a great bourbon, and that's good enough.

    7) Heaven Hill => Elijah Craig 12 year old is still my favorite bourbon from this distillery.

    8) H.S. Barton => Very Old Barton. A great bourbon at a great price.

    9) Cascade Hollow Distillery => George Dickel #12

    10) Willett's

    11) Maker's Mark

    12)Four Roses

    13) Fritz Maytag's place out west for distilling 'Old Potato' rye.

    14) McCormick's

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Bryan, Ohio

    Re: Rate your favorite bottler/distiller


    1) Wild Turkey - The trifecta punch of Rare Breed, Russells Reserve, WT 101 is hard to beat.

    2) Buffalo Trace - The trifecta Punch of Blanton's, Eagle Rare, and Ancient Ancient Age 10 Year almost Does it.

    3) Brown Forman - Old Forrester & Woodford Reserve are good enough, but on top of that they invoted us to a special tasting in sept, most definately worth bonus points.

    4)A Smith Bowman - Open my eyes even further to the diversity bourbon can have.

    5)Heaven Hill - EC 12, EW 7, EWSB '90 & '91are all good reasons, plus I havent really hit a bad bottling from them yet.

    6) Maker's Mark

    7) Beam Brands - Knob Creek is good enough for this to get on my radar screen.

    There Ya Go


  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jul 2002

    Re: Rate your favorite bottler/distiller

    Can't say that I've tasted a good cross-section of each distillery to truly rate them fairly but here goes:

    1) Wild Turkey - the perfecter of big-bodied bourbons is at the top of my pecking order.

    2) Jim Beam - great variety, small-batch innovators, distillery (and family) heritage and history runs deep.

    3) Early Times/Brown Forman - Does the distillery still go by the name ET? Anyway, haven't had a chance yet to try Woodford Reserve but I think ET can stand solidly on the merits of Old Forrester alone. Excellent bourbon.

    4) Buffalo Trace - Great variety, rich heritage, home of the single-barrel. Maybe I should rate them higher considering this partnership with VW (which is awesome bourbon) but I feel like I need to get to know BF's other products a little better first.

    5) Heaven Hill - Elijah Craig and Evan Williams: great stuff to have around the campfire.

    I don't believe I can rate the others fairly at this time but I will give an honorable mention to George Dickel's Cascade Distillery and the Maker's Mark Distillery.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Central Arizona (near Prescott), U.S.A.

    Re: Rate your favorite bottler/distiller

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    1) Wild Turkey - The trifecta punch of Rare Breed, Russells Reserve, WT 101 is hard to beat.


    Heck, you didn't even include the champion of the lot, Kentucky Spirit, which I happen to be drinking right now (third glass, one over my normal daily quota) in celebration of getting my computer running again after two days offline and all the while wondering whether Bettye Jo would ever tell her story, and now I'm wondering whether she could possibly have exceeded the limits of my not-so-clean mind, but knowing full well that I'll respect her in the morning, noon, or night anyway. (You know I'm on number three from the fact that I don't usually write run-on sentences like the previous one. )

    If you rate Wild Turkey as numero uno based on RR, RB, and WT101 (not totally outside the bounds of reason), then KS must push Wild Turkey way over the top. (Can I have a "Bleeeee!"?)

    I raved on about ORVW 107/10 y/o a while back, and I haven't had any more since that first drink (or was it four?). I really need to revisit it to decide whether it, KS, or Wathens is currently my "Quick! Grab one bottle; the house is on fire!" bourbon. (In any event, I reserve the right to change my mind as my taste changes, and as I try more bourbons.)

    Maybe I'm too buzzed to send this post without some sober editing... Aw, what the hell...

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  8. #8
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Re: Rate your favorite bottler/distiller

    Dave, in case you need another reason to rate Wild Turkey highly, let me tell you what I heard from Mr. Jimmy Russell at the Whiskyfest 2000 in NYC. I (along with a gazillion other participants) was sampling the first RR, and talking with him and his son, trying to be cool and knowledgeable. I mentioned the fire that had occurred some months prior at WT, where literal burning rivers of bourbon poured over the cliff into the Kentucky river. He smiled and only said gently, "...Nobody was hurt...".

    Ralph Wilps

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Re: Rate your favorite bottler/distiller

    That reminds me of Peter Frampton, when he lost his Gibson LesPaul Black Beauty. A Black Les Paul Custom with 3 humbuckers . He was touring South America and they had the equipment on a different plane , It went down . He was on a radio talk show and someone called in and asked about it . He very quickly said that the lost of life was a hell of a lot more important than that guitar. Here you have Jimmy Russell noting that no one was hurt even though they lost millions of dollars in Bourbon. Big Men Indeed!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Kansas City metro, US of A

    Re: Rate your favorite bottler/distiller

    I think I'll rate Wild Turkey tops in my personal book, just because I like everything they make. All of it.
    Next, Beam. Knob Creek and my beloved Old Grand-dad BIB &amp; 114.
    Ethan, for my Noah's Mill/Corner Creek
    Buffalo Trace, the Van Winkle relationship is icing on the cake
    Heaven Hill for my EC 12 (the price on this is going up every day!) and the Evan Williams Single Barrel
    And David Sherman, the bottler in St. Louis who bottles my David Nicholson 1843 and Ezra Brooks 7 year/101 proof. I realize the David Nicholson is really 7 year old Old Fitz BIB...suits me fine.



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