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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Moving Away From The High End

    Looking at my recent purchases, they included Weller Antique, ETL and VOB. On other occasions it might be Rare Breed, Four Roses, EC 12 or one the Heaven Hill-branded labels, or Fighting Cock, or something else in that price range. I've tried many (far from all) of the limited editions, experimentals, 15 years plus and other more costly bottles. And I find now I am not inclined to them generally speaking. I get the same satisfaction, sometimes more, from the regular bottlings. It's not that I don't see the extra quality the expensive bottlings often (not always) have, I just find it's not worth the extra cost. (To the extent I want variety and increased quality beyond what I buy, I vat them to get that, but I am trying to make a more general comment). I think a lot of it has to do with age, that beyond 10 years in the wood or so I find the taste generally not appealing. A bourbon or rye aged from 4-8 years generally seems just right.

    Gary

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Moving Away From The High End

    Gary, I find myself in the same place... the GTS, PHC, etc. sit on the shelf as I enjoy Weller 12, EWSB, OBH, VOB, etc. on a regular basis. As I mentioned in another thread today I get caught up in the hunt for the latest and greatest while getting the most enjoyment from what would best be described as "pedestrian" products... here I speak both of spirits and cigars.

    For the most part I have begun passing on all but a few super bottlings with most purchases being in the under $35 range... many below $20.
    "The most futile and disastrous day seems well spent when it is reviewed through the blue, fragrant smoke of a Havana Cigar"

  3. #3
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Just East of the Big Chicken, GA
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    5,958

    Re: Moving Away From The High End

    Count me in as a believer, too. I'll still pick up the higher priced items, but with nowhere near the frequency and quantity as in the past. Now, it's the lower cost, everyday drinkers that have the most appeal to me. Usually, when I make my yearly pilgrimages to KBF and Sampler, I come back with dozens of bottles of pricey bourbon. I did pick up a few, but passed on many that I would have taken without hesitation in previous years. But, in reviewing what I brought back last week, it's clear my priorities have changed. The inexpensive gems were what made my cut: Old Fitz BIB, JTS Brown BIB, Old HH 6 yr BIB, Old Bourbon Hollow BIB, OGD 114, and VOB BIB....All, way under $20 (save the 114--$23), and all being thoroughly enjoyed, now.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Sep 2002
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    Re: Moving Away From The High End

    I buy all those mentioned too. I realise Rare Breed and maybe EC 12 and ETL are >$23.00 a bottle but those are the exceptions and it's just a few dollars more (plus with Rare Breed you get a high proof). But as for anything from the later $30 upwards I almost always give it a pass now. Not to say I don't enjoy them when I have the opportunity (Gazebo, friends' bottles here) but "inexpensive gems" states it perfectly, it's where I'm at.

    Gray

    N.B. I should mention also Old Forester 100 proof - can anything be more perfect as bourbon? Probably, but factoring the cost-benefit ratio, I find generally the answer is no.
    Last edited by Gillman; 09-23-2010 at 06:50.

  5. #5
    Guru
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    Re: Moving Away From The High End

    I have not yet moved away from the high end. This is probably because I live in a control state and do not have access to them unless I go to Kentucky. I drink regular stuff but I also like the high end stuff. It is usually very limited and I also prefer a little wood on my bourbon anyway, so I like the older bottlings. At my age, money is not the prime factor in my bourbon buying so I drink them all.
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  6. #6
    Guru
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    Dec 2006
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    Wash DC Metro
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    2,409

    Re: Moving Away From The High End

    Gary, I've had this conversation with a number of fellow enthusiasts where I state that while I have all these high end bourbons sitting in the bunker or in the "open bottle" cabinet and almost by default, I reach for an OWA, VOB or many of my low cost dusties. It's a strange phenomenon where we chase after high end bottles and then drink the mid to low shelf stuff. I'm glad I'm not alone. Doesn't mean I'm not interested in the limited release offerings but I'm with Joe, my purchase frequency is much less that it was in the past.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
    Greg's "bourbondork" blog

  7. #7
    Disciple
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    Jan 2009
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    NE OH
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    1,781

    Re: Moving Away From The High End

    Depends on what we call the high end. I'm a big fan of the mid-range products say $25 - $40. I'm not much for many of the lower end selections for example HH BIB and JTS Brown BIB I've had bottles of in my house and choked them down. I want to like the cheap stuff but my floor seems to be regular BT.

    If I had regular access to dusties I would drink a lot more lower end products.

    The next couple years will be interesting for the high end. I think the ceiling is getting pretty close these days.
    ~Robert BTOTY #2 2009

    GBS Member - 2011 Indoctrination

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Sep 2002
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    Toronto, Canada
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    Re: Moving Away From The High End

    Robert I hear you but I find Fighting Cock (current issue of course), Jim Beam Rye or Rittenhouse 100, Weller SR and Antique, and OF 100 (which I think is around $25 or less) very worthy. Some of the HH-branded bourbons, or say EW Black, are pretty good too. I sometimes buy in the price range you mentioned, but can get disappointments there too. E.g., for some years I found some of the Buffalo Trace products just not to my taste, that earthy thing they sometimes get. I would however consider the range you mentioned included for my main point, but so many bourbons and ryes today are costing way more than $40.00. I rarely buy them now.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Guru
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    May 2005
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    Las Vegas NV
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    2,095

    Re: Moving Away From The High End

    Adding my voice to this trend. I think in my case it was "forced" upon me when I made the decision to start mt business. It was economic reality, yet I found myself looking for the value pours more and more. Not just due to cost, but the taste also.
    Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.

    Bob Marley.

  10. #10
    Virtuoso
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    Aug 2008
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    Tallahassee
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    1,374

    Re: Moving Away From The High End

    It depends on the mood I'm in. All the lower priced gems mentioned most would classify as pretty easy drinkers - not particularly challenging pours. Very often I'm not in the mood to sip barrel proof or any big pour for that matter. A bunker of oldies is where I turn for my tasty easy drinkers - 70's and 80's Old Taylor, Eagle Rare 101, Old Grand Dad, Dant, and Old Forester Bib. Current release stuff includes ET Lee, Blantons, JTS Brown Bib, Virginia Gent 90, Van Winkle 10/90, 4 Roses SB and Old Bourbon Hollow.

    Somehow I seem to want to save the really high end stuff to share at special times with special friends - and that just doesn't happen often enough to keep up with my rate of purchase.

 

 

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