Quote Originally Posted by Jwilly019 View Post
I just got around to having a pour of ERSB tonight...and I'm already on number 2.

While BT is very good and I found the 2 bottles shared quite a bit in common, ER seemed to be smoother. I believe I once again have a new favorite bourbon, but then again, I still have a lot to try.

I read the above post in another thread and it reminded me of my early days of bourbon tasting when it was easy to rank different bottles and when my quest was to find my "favorite." I think this is a noble goal -- especially for someone just getting started -- but I think most of us get to the point where we realize there are plenty of excellent bourbons out there and different ones are "best" for different times.

I tried to think back to what pours held the crown as "Ben's Favorite" and how they were replaced. Here is what I came up with.

1.) Maker's Mark - It "won" my personal 6 way taste test so it had to be the best.
2.) Four Roses Small Batch - The first bourbon that made me say "Wow, that is great"
3.) Eagle Rare Single Barrel - The oldest (and most expensive) bourbon I had had to date. It set a standard for "richness" and thus earned my top spot.
4.) Elmer T. Lee - Similar to Eagle Rare for me, but eventually displaced ER when I did several side by side tastings and found I preferred ETL. My avatar on SB.com was created around this time.
5.) George T. Stagg - This bourbon changed my world. I remembering being giddy the first time I tried it. I didn't know bourbon could taste this good. It was my first $50+ pour, my first uncut/unfiltered pour, and my first cask strength pour. Its march to the top of the BCS (Ben's Champion Spirit) was dominate.
6.) Pappy 15 - A gift in honor of the birth of my daughter from a member here at SB. I found it had everything I liked in GTS, but was more rounded and balanced. I realized it was #1 after someone asked me what the best bourbon for $75 was and I said Pappy 15 without hesitation.

After about a year of dedicated tasting, I realized rankings -- even my own -- were subjective and only relatively helpful. I no longer have a single favorite, but am thrilled to know of a good number of bourbons that make me exceedingly happy when I have the opportunity to sip on them.

So what about you, what were your favorites and how did they change.