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  1. #71
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,617

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

    The rye recipes ones taste more or less like Buffalo Trace. The wheaters are not quite Weller, but they're good. All of them are good, I liked some better than others.

    One thing they plan to do is have consumers review and rate every whisky, so each will have a score, and one will win. They intend to replicate that one, in terms of duplicating its specifications, and that will be the Single Oak Project product going forward (with, I assume, an interlude for proper aging).

    Yes, the idea is to learn what variables cause what differences and which combinations of variables are most pleasing to -- you. That's ultimately what they expect to get out of it.

  2. #72
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    232

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

    OK, I gotta admit it sounds a lot better after reading Chuck's posts. I still however, am pretty hesitant to buy these because I feel like it's going to be pretty hit or miss on what I'm buying and how much I will like it and unless I'm getting all 12 bottles(which I wont be) then getting 3 or 4 seems less exciting to me. If a local store did a tasting of all 12 though I would certainly go, as like I stated before, I think its a great concept, its just not very practical or affordable to be able to try more than a couple of these on your own.

  3. #73
    Disciple
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    May 2008
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    Swaziland, Africa
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    1,502

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

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanL View Post
    OK, I gotta admit it sounds a lot better after reading Chuck's posts. I still however, am pretty hesitant to buy these because I feel like it's going to be pretty hit or miss on what I'm buying and how much I will like it and unless I'm getting all 12 bottles(which I wont be) then getting 3 or 4 seems less exciting to me. If a local store did a tasting of all 12 though I would certainly go, as like I stated before, I think its a great concept, its just not very practical or affordable to be able to try more than a couple of these on your own.
    I hear ya... Just as some of these barrels are probably going to be very good, some are going to be not-so-good. I am too pour to buy up a bunch of these hoping to get the good ones. This is the type of experiment I would love to be a part of, but honestly the only way I could do it would be if these came in even smaller sizes than 375. I would gladly pay for a 12 pack sampler of minis!
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  4. #74
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    678

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

    For me personally, this is too complicated. I mean, I really appreciate that this sort of investigation and experimentation and innovation is going on, but I'd rather that it happen behind closed doors, or at least with a small, select group of folks. I sort of assume(d) that this kind of thing is always going on, I'm just curious as to why they've made it so public.

    I enjoy the challenge of trying to keep up with new releases, comparing older expressions of a whiskey to the newer expressions of the "same" brand, tracking where things were sourced or bottled, comparing brands within the same distillery (speaking of which, I tried KBSB the other day, and it was OK, but the most interesting thing to me was how much it tasted like the last glass of JBB I had, but at barrel strength). I like learning about and tasting whiskey: as Oscar as wryly noted, it's a pretty fascinating, "hobby."

    But if I'm reading all this right, BT essentially just released 192 different "brands" of $70 bourbon, and now they want us to sift through them and tell them which one is the best?

    As an illustration, I can tell my wife about the WT expressions: "Hey, here's the standard 101, but this bottle is called Russel's Reserve, it's the 'same' whiskey, but aged 10 yrs, as opposed to 6, 7 and 8 of the standard. RR used to be 101, but now it's 90, etc." It's a little complicated, but I can sort of wrap my head around it, and thus hers.

    But 192 bottles with 7 variables or whatever?

    It sort of overwhelms me, and does not fill me with fervor to rush out and start buying up these $70 experiments.
    There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. - GK Chesterton

  5. #75
    wripvanwrinkle
    Guest

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

    Hi Parkersback,

    I find your response really interesting in that it codifies 2 issues that I have been thinking about: the complexity and the diversity.

    For me, the breaking down of the variables is really neat. I really like that the distillers are acknowledging a set of consumers that increasingly want to understand their product in a more technical way. Although I believe that the sum is more than the whole of its parts, I really enjoy understanding the parts. Is that geeky? Sure, but then again, I’m a geek.

    There is going to be an unobtainable number of different releases…but that is fantastic. I won’t be able to try them all, but who cares? I love that sense of diversity! Each experience will be something unique.

    Yes, this is a hobby…but people hobby in different ways. The example that I have been thinking of concerns our national parks.

    Some people visit each park, enjoy it, get a “passport stamp”, and move on. Their experience is in comparing the parks.

    Some people visit one park, become fascinated by its geothermal and geological aspects and focus forever inward on the subtle details of volcanism and granite formations. Their experience is in how it works.

    I think that BT has only missed the mark with respect to the marketing. They should have just targeted this at the geeks. Although the website doesn’t really focus on the “quest for perfection”, I have clearly experienced it through other feeds (such as the Driscoll interview with Harlen Wheatley). This thin veneer of “respectability” does little to widen the audience. It only detracts from what makes it fun.

    (By the way, if I have offended anyone that thinks that this is cool effort...but is not a geek...don't worry...you *are* a geek...you just don't know it yet.)

  6. #76
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2011
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    Mesa, AZ
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    1,446

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

    This project, along with the information posted here, has been fascinating. While I agree that these releases will be nearly impossible to replicate, which would make them a source of frustration should the results be very good, I am interested to see what BT does with what they learn. Making bourbon regularly in this way would be prohibitively costly and likely never happen, but they may learn some things that produce an exceptional product. Whatever the results, I applaud their efforts.
    -Brian-

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
    -Agent Kay

  7. #77
    Connoisseur
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    Nov 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis
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    580

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

    All I know is after seeing John Hansell's picture up on Facebook last night.....I'm chomping at the bit to get my hands on these!

    ~Josh
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #78
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Venice
    Posts
    230

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

    Wow wow wow. So much unfiltered love in this post. I never thought I would be the cranky old man here!

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    I'm sure not there yet. There is no reason you should be.

    This thing is really deep and the only reason they're putting it out is to please people like the people on this board.
    I call BS. This "project" shows BT's total lack of understanding of how their limited offerings are distributed and sold.

    12 bottles each release that will probably go for about $70 a pop? Really BT? And there are 16 (192/12) releases of this? The stress that the honest distributors and retailers are feeling is palpable. I can already predict the email update from our favorite local retailer David from KL wines: "Oh man, I have been getting so many emails about this, so you guys are just going to have to fight it out in the store..."

    I'm sure someone will reply something along the lines of "BT isn't expecting you to purchase all of them." And again I say BS. What do you think their "points" system is encouraging?

    And please don't say some snarky line like "that's how capitalism works!" We all know that a huge chunk if not the majority of BT's limited editions get sold through back channels and bid up on eBay. And as a result, the real capitalism will be when BT manages to piss off all their previously loyal enthusiast customers who then stop purchasing their products.

    BT, it is great you did 192 experiments. But asking us to spend $10-15k to try them all? Not cool. You should have narrowed it down to something more reasonable. If you really really wanted to let us try all 192, that is great too. But don't do it at $70+ a pop, and don't fracture it. Make it a tasting "kit" where I could have gotten groups of this in smaller bottles like 187ml or smaller all packaged together so I don't have to track down 192 bottles.

    Is it cool to experiment with all these variables? Absolutely. Do I applaud the guys like Ronnie Eddins who made this project possible? Absolutely. Did I wish this was handled better? Absolutely.
    Steve
    "Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry. If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die" - Tex Ritter

  9. #79
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    362

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

    I wonder what the largest gap between one variable is- the part of the tree- coarse or soft, etc?
    Last edited by trumpstylz; 05-03-2011 at 15:37.

  10. #80
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    328

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

    From the press release I read, the bottles are 375ml and will retail for $47 each.
    Not sure if any will make it to Texas or not.

    Gregg
    2012 Straight Bourbon Fantasy Football Champion
    2013 Straight Bourbon Fantasy Football 3rd Place
    2014 Straight Bourbon Fantasy Football ?

 

 

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