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  1. #1
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    Best mid priced beginner bourbon

    I have a friend who has little experience with bourbon but is interested in getting into bourbon. He wants to buy a mid range bourbon that still has some complexity- 50$ or so (I already told him to start lower end, but he doesnt care about money- he comes from a somewhat wealthy family and is sticking it to me). I have it narrowed down to these:

    1. Evan williams single barrel Binny's hand picked 2000
    2. Wild turkey Kentucky spirit
    3. BUffalo trace Binny's hand picked
    4. Elmer T. Lee (possibly Binny's hand picked)
    5. Blanton's
    6. Four roses single barrel 100 prf binnys hand picked
    7. Four roses binny's hand selected barrels (probably an OESQ or OESK)

    So, which one would you choose- both complex and approachable?
    I was leaning more toward EWSB, but the 2000 might be sold out by me, leaving only 2001 in its place. In that case, I might have to go with one of the others.

    Note: Normally I would just let him go off some of my selection, but it is mostly value examples (VOB, mellow corn, rittenhouse). You might have guessed we live near a binny's. I was also hoping to get one that I would enjoy- I would probably like any one of these 4 (I know- I'm selfish/greedy)
    Last edited by trumpstylz; 02-17-2011 at 02:20.

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb Re: Best mid priced beginner bourbon

    For the inexperienced friend, I think I would choose the Blanton's. It is not quite so "aggressive" in its taste profile as several of the others.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  3. #3
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    Re: Best mid priced beginner bourbon

    I find many of the Van Winkle 90 proofers a good starter. (if money really doesnt matter, get the Pappy 20. but the lot b or the ORVW 10/90 would work) The EWSB COULD be a good starter if it is a good barrel. (jury is still out on that Joe fella ). If you are doing a Wild turkey, I'd use the current Russell Reserve. ETL would also be a fair starter.

    Alot of this does depend on what he likes. I had a friend that was at my house and having Bourbon neat for the first time. I gave him Pappy 20, ER17, EC18, and 4 roses 40th, he said they were "ok" bnut not great.Then I gave him a sip of WLW, he said... "now there it is... I really like THAT one...." I never would have figured he'd like the barrel proofer best of all...

    Good luck on the recruitment...
    Cheers,

    Scott

    Reality is an illusion created by a lack of alcohol.

  4. #4
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    Re: Best mid priced beginner bourbon

    Yeah, the younger van winkle wouldn't be a bad idea except last time I was there they were completely sold out at my location. I'll have to check. Thanks guys.
    Last edited by trumpstylz; 02-17-2011 at 12:04.

  5. #5
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    Re: Best mid priced beginner bourbon

    I would go with the EWSB. Its just plain good, well-rounded bourbon.

  6. #6
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    Re: Best mid priced beginner bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by IowaJeff View Post
    I would go with the EWSB. Its just plain good, well-rounded bourbon.
    And (at least around here) pretty easy to find, versus some of the other stuff mentioned.

  7. #7
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    Re: Best mid priced beginner bourbon

    I second the choice of Blantons as a starting point for the Bourbons listed though I would hardly call $50.00 mid priced. More like half that. Since the friend in question can afford a tab a better way to begin might be a well stocked bar or restaurant where he can sample different expressions at leisure.

  8. #8
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    Re: Best mid priced beginner bourbon

    Great idea, Squire. Where are we meeting you?

    You have the first round, right?


  9. #9
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    Re: Best mid priced beginner bourbon

    In my experience with trying to get people into bourbon (or liquor in general), the bottle you choose has to have these 2 qualities, if not others as well:

    1) It should have the quality people always describe as being "smooth", which I guess means they don't like the anything too spicy or the burn that comes from drinking spirits. So I think you want something not too high in rye and not too high in proof.

    2) As stupid as it is, if you're not doing it blind, the bottle has to have some sex appeal. A fancy bottle added to buzz words people know (small batch, single barrel, etc.) and you will be on your way to winning them over.


    My go to is usually Eagle Rare SB. Nothing offensive, 90 proof, mashbill is high in corn, good looking bottle, and "single barrel" written on the label. Out of those you listed above, I would choose Blanton's. Probably the last I'd choose for myself (especially with ETL listed as well, which comes from the same mash bill), but for a newbie and someone who doesn't care about money, I think it has what it takes to get them started.

  10. #10
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    Re: Best mid priced beginner bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by nblair View Post

    2) As stupid as it is, if you're not doing it blind, the bottle has to have some sex appeal. A fancy bottle added to buzz words people know (small batch, single barrel, etc.) and you will be on your way to winning them over.

    Haha. Ironically, I think this may be the major deciding factor for a noob. The pretty bottles get all the attention!
    Last edited by trumpstylz; 02-18-2011 at 12:22.

 

 

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