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  1. #1
    Novice
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2

    Good bourbon for a beginner?

    Hey guys! Im new here and have a silly question.

    First off, Im mainly a beer drinker. I love craft beers and brewing my own, but Ive always had an interest in bourbon. A good friend of mine raves about his bourbon collection and Ive always wanted to buy a bottle of something to "start" with.

    I was wondering if anyone can reccommend a good place to start. I know its all a matter of personal taste, but the last time I even had bourbon was 10+ years ago, so I dont even know where to begin. Id say that Id like it to be on the sweeter side and around $20-30. Also, Im on the east coast if that helps.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Charleston, WV
    Posts
    1,447

    Re: Good bourbon for a beginner?

    My opinion of it has changed over the years, but I think Maker's Mark is a good place to start and meets your criteria. If you can find it, Old Weller Antique 107 is wonderful. Maybe Larceny as well?

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    459

    Re: Good bourbon for a beginner?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti View Post
    My opinion of it has changed over the years, but I think Maker's Mark is a good place to start and meets your criteria. If you can find it, Old Weller Antique 107 is wonderful. Maybe Larceny as well?
    All good suggestions. $20-$30 is a great range for bourbon, also with Weller 12, Eagle Rare 10, Elmer T Lee, Four Roses Small Batch, Old Grandad 100 and 114, Evan Williams Single Barrel. All of these would be interesting to delve into, all with different flavor profiles. But for sweeter side as you request, I would say Old Weller Antique 107 is a great choice, or its "older" brother Weller 12, or its lower proof brother Weller Special Reserve.

    Also, you might put your location in your profile so we can see where you are from. There are some regional bourbons that not everyone has access to, especially if you are in KY.

  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    149

    Re: Good bourbon for a beginner?

    I second the Makers Mark recommendation. Even though it is lacking in some of the complexity the more experienced members of this board desire it would be a good starting point on your journey. Enjoy and welcome to the community.
    Jim

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    237

    Re: Good bourbon for a beginner?

    Are you accustomed to drinking whiskey/liquor neat? If not, you may want to first build your tolerance. It won't matter what you drink if you're not used to the burn.

  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Loveland CO
    Posts
    153

    Re: Good bourbon for a beginner?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockefeller View Post
    Are you accustomed to drinking whiskey/liquor neat? If not, you may want to first build your tolerance. It won't matter what you drink if you're not used to the burn.
    Right. I recall seeing a video with Fred Noe in which he suggested that if you're winching taking a sip, then the proof is simply too high. And more importantly that its no sin to just keep cutting it with water (as much as necessary) until you're not winching. Different levels for different people, but lower the proof and start enjoying..
    Mark

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Raleigh
    Posts
    502

    Re: Good bourbon for a beginner?

    I would look at a decent lower proof bourbon to start with. Try it neat and/or on the rocks. Work your way up there. Old Charter 10yr @ 86 proof, Four Roses Yellow @ 80 proof, Evan William Single Barrel @ 86 proof.... All would make for a great start. Good luck and enjoy!

  8. #8
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    237

    Re: Good bourbon for a beginner?

    Quote Originally Posted by Halifax View Post
    I would look at a decent lower proof bourbon to start with. Try it neat and/or on the rocks. Work your way up there. Old Charter 10yr @ 86 proof, Four Roses Yellow @ 80 proof, Evan William Single Barrel @ 86 proof.... All would make for a great start. Good luck and enjoy!
    How I "trained" to drink whiskey neat years and years ago:

    Bought a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black
    1st night: 2oz + 4oz water
    2nd night: 2oz + 3oz water
    3rd night: 2oz + 2oz water
    4th night: 2oz + 1oz water
    5th night: 2oz + 0.5oz water
    6th night: 2oz + splash of water
    7th night: 2oz neat

    You now have a gradually conditioned brain/mouth that no longer overreacts to high proof liquor.

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    149

    Re: Good bourbon for a beginner?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockefeller View Post
    How I "trained" to drink whiskey neat years and years ago:

    Bought a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black
    1st night: 2oz + 4oz water
    2nd night: 2oz + 3oz water
    3rd night: 2oz + 2oz water
    4th night: 2oz + 1oz water
    5th night: 2oz + 0.5oz water
    6th night: 2oz + splash of water
    7th night: 2oz neat

    You now have a gradually conditioned brain/mouth that no longer overreacts to high proof liquor.
    When I first started drinking whiskey neat I just did it with no cutting. I made the whiskey face and did that little chicken wing move like Jack Nicholson did in Easy Rider after he took a pull from the JBW bottle.
    Jim

  10. #10

    Re: Good bourbon for a beginner?

    Go over to your good friend's house and sample some of his favorite mid-shelf bourbons. Add ice or water as needed if it is too hot. There's no good reason to buy too many bottles on your own if you can get a good idea what your preferences are from his stock.

 

 

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