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  1. #21

    Re: Does the ‘perfect’ bourbon exist? Buffalo Trace's quest for "The Holy Grail".

    Here's the problem I have with even a 'quest' for a perfect bourbon, as Mark Brown proclaims: who's going to buy it?
    By and large, I'd posit, it's NOT going to be the bourbon drinkers most eligible and likely to enjoy it (and I'd argue a large portion of them reside on this forum!). I think it's most likely to be a handful of tasters -- like John Hansell, Pacult, Regan, our own Chuck Cowdery, Lew Bryson, who have samples provided to them -- and the collectors with enough money to seek out and enjoy owning one-of-a-kind, expensive items.
    Or, will Buffalo Trace -- once they've concocted this 'perfect' bourbon -- manufacture and market it in Jim Beam White-like quantities so that all of us can afford and enjoy it?
    Yeah -- the latter scenario doesn't seem likely to me, either.
    Also, I could offer many comments, questions, and doubts about how to even determine a 'perfect' bourbon, but you guys seem to have that angle pretty much covered already.
    Two points, finally: it's damned disheartening to suspect that only rich guys and insiders will be able to afford and obtain this so-called "perfection" -- but, it has ever been thus, so I can live with that; and, unless and until I get to taste and affirm it, I simply won't believe it's better than the 'perfect' bourbon I once received in a trade with Preston Van Winkle (an unfiltered, barrel-proof sample of 21+yo "Pappy", described here: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...37&postcount=1, and here: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...2&postcount=1).
    For me, anyway, it ain't perfect until it beats that one! And, I'd bet I'm more the rule than the exception in having an experience and attitude like that. So, Mark Brown is kinda wasting his rhetoric, isn't he? (Probably not wasting his time, though. I'm sure there's money in it. We're here talking about it, aren't we?)
    Last edited by TNbourbon; 04-10-2011 at 16:26.
    Tim

  2. #22
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Does the ‘perfect’ bourbon exist? Buffalo Trace's quest for "The Holy Grail".

    Let's not piss all over this until we have a little better idea of what it is, shall we?

    Of course it's an attempt to create buzz and sell product.

    And since we're all of legal drinking age, I doubt anyone here is naive enough to think the 'perfect bourbon' will, indeed, be achieved. We're not children. We're capable of approaching this realistically while still allowing a little room for wonder.

    No, it won't, in fact, be perfect but it might be interesting. It might be fun. It might be cool. It might be something to legitimately talk about. It might even, and this is the most ambitious part, move the ball and genuinely change the industry.

    You have to admit that as something new to release in the spring goes, it's ballsy. That's really all we know at this point. They're sticking their necks out. And by debuting it to writers and not to distributors and the rest of the trade, they're trying to go directly to the people with it, which shows a lot of respect for the people here.

    No, I haven't drunk the Kool Aid. I have yet to be presented with the Kool Aid. But I'm willing to keep an open mind and allow my fancy to be tickled.

  3. #23
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    Re: Does the ‘perfect’ bourbon exist? Buffalo Trace's quest for "The Holy Grail".

    It would be nice to try some at the Gazebo Friday night Chuck. Invite the folks from BT to stop by. What better place for them to get some feedback. Joe
    " I never met a Weller I didn't like"

  4. #24
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    Re: Does the ‘perfect’ bourbon exist? Buffalo Trace's quest for "The Holy Grail".

    Quote Originally Posted by sku View Post
    John, do you feel like this puts you in a difficult position as a professional reviewer? Is it awkward to have someone saying outright that they formulated a bourbon to get a 100 from you?
    I was wondering the same thing. I imagine Chuck and the others are
    professional enough to not be swayed when someone presents them
    with "Here, give this a try. We think it's our perfect, 100 scoring
    bourbon." but I wouldn't envy anyone put in that position.
    John Q.
    Tennessee Squire
    Quote Originally Posted by ggilbertva
    It won't be any cheaper than it is today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan
    Someone will pay it. Someone always pays it.

  5. #25
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    Re: Does the ‘perfect’ bourbon exist? Buffalo Trace's quest for "The Holy Grail".

    Quote Originally Posted by silverfish View Post
    I was wondering the same thing. I imagine Chuck and the others are
    professional enough to not be swayed when someone presents them
    with "Here, give this a try. We think it's our perfect, 100 scoring
    bourbon." but I wouldn't envy anyone put in that position.
    Tough job, but somebodys gotta do it. Glad it's not me.

  6. #26
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Does the ‘perfect’ bourbon exist? Buffalo Trace's quest for "The Holy Grail".

    Quote Originally Posted by fishnbowljoe View Post
    It would be nice to try some at the Gazebo Friday night Chuck. Invite the folks from BT to stop by. What better place for them to get some feedback. Joe
    You read my mind.

  7. #27
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    Re: Does the ‘perfect’ bourbon exist? Buffalo Trace's quest for "The Holy Grail".

    We all geek out and taste and post textual reviews about a lot of old bottles...but we really don't use a 100 pt scoring scale (that i am aware of). Generally, at most, it seems to be certain flights of things we throw together and rate within the 6 or 8 things in that flight.

    A question...are old bourbon's ever reviewed and given scores by industry reviewers or magazines? Seems like all the ones I see are for present day releases.

    Would be quite interesting, if a present day bourbon gets a high score...that there is least a comparable database of reviews from all the stuff from the past...If John or someone gives a new BT product a 100...well that's all well and good....but how does that compare to a '65 VVOF? Maybe the whole 100 point scale is currently skewed because a lot of the stuff from pre 1970 isn't included in scoring up to now?
    "That rug really tied the room together" -- Jeffery Lebowski

  8. #28
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    Re: Does the ‘perfect’ bourbon exist? Buffalo Trace's quest for "The Holy Grail".

    Yes, the perfect bourbon does exist. I know that for a fact. I've found it several times.

    When I first joined here, my mission was to find two perfect bourbons. The smoothest, sweetest one, and the most in your face, high proof one. I must say that I found both. More than once.

    As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is bourbon on the palate of the drinker. Like others have said, it's all subjective. I have given up my "quest" for the perfect bourbon. I'm at the point now where I've begun to appreciate and enjoy different bottlings no matter what. Usually. Yes, there are a few stinkers out there, but virtually every bourbon has something good to offer.

    FWIW, my list (in no particular order) of perfect bourbons includes:

    Weller Centennial
    WLW
    GTS
    Binny's Weller 12
    Everett's Weller 12
    Pappy 15
    Willett's 28 yr old
    ER 101
    Etc...etc...etc...

    Know what I mean Vern? Cheers! Joe
    " I never met a Weller I didn't like"

  9. #29
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    Re: Does the ‘perfect’ bourbon exist? Buffalo Trace's quest for "The Holy Grail".

    Quote Originally Posted by fishnbowljoe View Post
    Know what I mean Vern? Cheers! Joe
    I know what you mean... and my list is very similar.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  10. #30
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Does the ‘perfect’ bourbon exist? Buffalo Trace's quest for "The Holy Grail".

    There's a reason why I have never rated a whiskey (or whisky) higher than 97. It's 35 years worth of whiskey-drinking perspective--and knowing that the best whiskey on the market now may not be the perfect whiskey (or even close to it).
    Publisher and Editor of Whisky Advocate magazine.

 

 

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