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  1. #11
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    Re: I still find myself not knowing what bourbon to buy.

    I have to agree with White Dog about trying as much as you see fit,find your suited flavor profile by way of mashbill,age and distiller and go from there.
    "To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."
    Larry Wachowski

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WAINWRIGHT View Post
    I have to agree with White Dog about trying as much as you see fit,find your suited flavor profile by way of mashbill,age and distiller and go from there.
    This really highlights something that is key for me to find things I want to try. Learn about mashbills, learn which distillers make which products, and when faced with a decision about whether to buy something you'll be able to make an informed choice. Look at the whiskey tree thread, it's a great place to start.
    Jim

  3. #13
    Advanced Taster
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    Oct 2011
    Location
    Arizona
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    124

    Re: I still find myself not knowing what bourbon to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by White Dog View Post
    When I started, my goal was to try all of the standard releases from every distillery, and that's what I did.
    I wish I had done this sooner. I worked the top shelf too long at first and now I'm going back and hitting the mid-shelf standards. Most nights I drink the mid-shelf products and let the high end stuff sit for another night. I'll work back to the top shelf more later after my education is more complete.

    Here are my recommendations for a good starting pointing to get the lay of the land. All are reasonable good labels and none of them will break the bank.

    Baker's Small Batch
    Blanton's Single Barrel
    Buffalo Trace
    Elijah Craig
    Four Roses Single Barrel
    Four Roses Small Batch
    Jack Daniel's Single Barrel
    Knob Creek
    Maker's Mark or even Maker's 46
    Old Weller Antique
    Wild Turkey Rare Breed or Kentucky Spirit

  4. #14
    Connoisseur
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    Jun 2010
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    Greenwood, IN
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    551

    Re: I still find myself not knowing what bourbon to buy.

    Concerning Early Times and Old Crow, I like Early Times 354. There are two versions of Early times, and 354 is bourbon. There are also two Old Crows. I think the black label is aged a bit longer, and 6 more proof. These along with Beam white label are ones I avoid. If you like Evan Williams, there are many other Heaven Hill brands to try. The same for Weller, and Buffalo Trace and their brands.

  5. #15
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgast1 View Post
    Today I bought Old Grand Dad 114 and W. L. Weller 12 year Binny's single barrel.
    Look at that Weller bottle again. What do you see that makes you think it's a Binny's single barrel? It's been years since Binny's did a Weller 12yo barrel. At which location did you buy it?
    "A man comes from the dust and in the dust he will end-- In the meantime it is good to drink whiskey."
    -->WhiskeyWonka<--

  6. #16
    Taster
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    May 2011
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    Long Beach, CA
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    71

    Re: I still find myself not knowing what bourbon to buy.

    As far as what to avoid goes, price always enters into it.

    I don't bother avoiding anything bottom shelf. Like others, the best cheap bourbon I have found to my taste is EWB and I usually have a bottle around, but I never avoid buying anything cheap just to try it out. I am never disappointed because I don't expect a lot and frequently these bottles, while not always great, are better than I expect. Similarly, I find the $20-$30 range to be easy to pick from. People have mentioned a lot of bourbons already that are great values. To me, $35-$50 is more likely to create disappointment. There are some excellent bourbons in that range, but this is also where I have most often had my expectations dashed. Probably because price creates expectation. Also, some of the microdistilleries try to sit in this range and I just haven't found one I thought matched up.

    I remember buying Breaking and Entering (a St George's distillery blend of a bunch of sourced bourbons) for about $36 because I kind of liked their single malt whiskey. I hated it at first sip. It wasn't a "bad" bourbon. It just didn't fit into the price point. If it were under $20, I think I would have been ok with it. So, for me, I need to hear good things about these micros several times from people I trust before I will buy one.

  7. #17
    Virtuoso
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    Aug 2008
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    Re: I still find myself not knowing what bourbon to buy.

    Are there any bourbons out there that are just plain bad and should be avoided?
    Taste is a matter of personal preference. Label popularity contests that show up on the forum are fun but you should never let them trump your personal choices. It's always your own palate that will be the deciding factor.

    I'm not aware of any Bourbon on the shelf that is so outside the norm that it is universally regarded as bad.

  8. #18
    Connoisseur
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    Apr 2011
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    Toledo, OH
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    703

    Re: I still find myself not knowing what bourbon to buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor22 View Post
    Taste is a matter of personal preference. Label popularity contests that show up on the forum are fun but you should never let them trump your personal choices. It's always your own palate that will be the deciding factor.

    I'm not aware of any Bourbon on the shelf that is so outside the norm that it is universally regarded as bad.
    I don't know about that. Is there anybody out there who likes Old Crow? Once upon a time it was a respectable bourbon. I haven't had in years but my recollection is that it was pretty horrid stuff.
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

  9. #19
    Enthusiast
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    May 2012
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    Glendale, AZ
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    489

    Re: I still find myself not knowing what bourbon to buy.

    Like others have said... it's tough to find a bourbon so bad you can't at least use it in an Old Fashioned or at the very least a whiskey and coke, so don't be too timid to try different brands out.

    I tend to avoid Maker's Mark (even though I love that damned bottle and am always drawn to it) because I feel it's too 'plain' for its usual price point.

    My biggest disappointment was Jim Beam Black, despite its fairly low price. I love KC 100, and was in the mood to give JBB a shot, and it just didn't cut it for me... it had a really bitter taste, and not much else.

    Old Forrester 86 was odd... I found it pretty enjoyable if I was in the right mood for it, but it seemed to be the wildest deviation from 'normal bourbon' to my palate (must be the pot still? Woodford Reserve seems to mellow that odd flavor out more).


    Lastly... I too am on the EWB 'value brand' bandwagon. I always have a handle of it kicking around.

  10. #20
    Disciple
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPBoston View Post
    Old Forrester 86 was odd... I found it pretty enjoyable if I was in the right mood for it, but it seemed to be the wildest deviation from 'normal bourbon' to my palate (must be the pot still? Woodford Reserve seems to mellow that odd flavor out more).
    Old Forester is made on a column still.
    Jim

 

 

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