Hello there. I'm a 34yo St. Louis native and I've been lurking around for a couple weeks and figured I'd post something. Bourbon (Ten High, Kentucky Tavern) and Coke has been my cocktail of choice for about 10 years, back into college. It wasn't until a year or two ago when I had some Maker's Mark neat, along with my brother in law telling me in awe inspiring verbiage about the holy grail of bourbons, Pappy, that I started thinking, "hey, maybe there's something to this stuff". I started comparing and contrasting Jim Beam White, Maker's Mark, and (recommended by this forum and purchased for a very reasonable price at Costco), Woodford Reserve. I was accustomed to the taste of Jim Beam, which I have to admit I don't really enjoy by itself, and Maker's Mark, which I find quite smooth by itself and pleasant to drink. But when the Woodford Reserve hit my lips I thought WOW. It was head and shoulders above. Now we're in a different arena. So since then I've been lurking around and getting more recommendations. I've picked up a couple more and presently my stash is:
Old Crow (I wanted a cheapie to use as a benchmark)
Jim Beam White
Evan Williams Single Barrel 2000
Eagle Rare 90 proof
My first inclination was to run out and buy a bottle of Pappy 20yr but as I'm wrapping my head around the aspects of these three small batch bourbons I'm realizing I've got a lot to discover before plunking down a Benjamin on something I may not appreciate. I'm doing a splash of one of those three each night to try to get a grasp on the differences. As I type I'm sipping some of the Eagle Rare. My only complaint is it's too tall to fit in my liquor cabinet!
I think so far the Evan Williams Single Barrel is my fav of the bunch. Sweet, rich, smooth, deep. Those are my thoughts. So far I can't isolate any flavors aside from caramel and vanilla but hopefully my palate will develop. Right now I'm just enjoying the ride. And making my wife wonder what the hell is wrong with me. I'll be doing some blind tastes in the future to see how I rank them. So far I've done a blind taste test between the Old Crow and the Beam white and rated the Old Crow higher! I didn't like either.
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. It's also great to see that there are some fellow St. Louisans on here! My other hobbies include playing guitar, cooking, reading.