bibamus, moriendum est
I have been really wanting to try the Blanton's straight from the barrel, but as it was indicated it is an export product only.
Disappointing that this isn't available for the domestic market.
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In hindsight, I should have purchased a bottle of the barrel proof Abraham Bowman when I had the chance. That is the last time I hesitate. The main reason I enjoy the barrel proof bourbons is that they typically have a more intense flavor. I could really care less what proof a bourbon is, but haven't found many non-barrel proof bourbons that can deliver enough flavor other than wood. Most times the finish is short or non-existent.
Has anyone had any luck with non-barrel proof bourbons that pack a punch in the flavor department and have an above average finish?
From a slightly more serious, but psychological standpoint, there is something that you can find to criticize in any bourbon, so with your pre-supposition that anything that isn't barrel proof will not have an above average finish, you will always find something wrong with the finish of the non-barrel proof bourbons making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
From a more subjective point of view (bearing in mind I do not have the experience to have tried as many brands as most others), most wheaters I have tried lean more towards a "clean" (short) finish (sorry CaptainQ, I love OWA as much as anyone, but it is a little short on the finish... which is what I like about it, but still, anybody looking for a complex finish would need to look elsewhere... I believe anyway). Most lower shelf brands either have a short, thin, or below average finish.
But once you get past that point, it becomes nothing more than a matter of taste. I am not personally one for the very high Rye products, so while I am no fan, you certainly can't say that (for example) Wild Turkey short of Rare Breed has a non-existent finish. I know Beam products tend to be the whipping boys of the enthusiast, but you certainly can't say that Knob Creek (though I will admit, I do think the KCSB is superior to standard 100 proof expression), or hell even Jim Beam Black has a non-existent finish (OK, the Black may be a little thin, but not awful). And of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention VanWinkle. I have never had Pappy (and at the price I am unlikely to have it anytime soon), but by all accounts it fits the bill of a less than barrel strength with above average finish. I can also from personal experience at least mention the ORVW 10/107.
My question in return though is... how do you define an "above average" finish that makes only "barrel proof" seem to fit the bill? Is it a long finish? Complex? Or is it just the intensity of the higher proof?
Edited to add: I left Woodford Reserve out of this discussion because I do not particularly care for it. But regardless, it is another that is hardly a thin or non-existent finish, just not one that I would personally call above average since its... unique... taste is not for me. (I almost wish the finish on this was thinner or shorter rather than having that metallic taste linger in my mouth for so long).
Last edited by JayMonster; 02-13-2012 at 05:17.
Wow...look at this post from the resident expert on finish...have you had the OWA that Dave is referring to? Well, I can answer that question...NO. So your comments here regarding OWA are ill-advised to say the least.
Finish like the rest of the bourbon experience is subjective...without a doubt based on your post here you and I have a different point of reference on what's important.
Your hypothesis that anything that isn't BP will have a something wrong with it is another one I completely disagree with...see Pappy 15, Weller Centennial, WT Tribute, VSOF, etc...I could go on and on and on!
Last edited by hectic1; 02-13-2012 at 08:01.
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