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  1. #11
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    1,841

    Re: Howdy from Houston

    From a beer perspective, yes Houston (and Texas) is behind the times but catching up quickly. I believe in drinking local microbrews and for the longest time St. Arnolds was it. But in past 2 years, several have opened in this area including, No Label , Karbach, Southern Star, Buffalo Bayou and there are a few others that will open in 2013. Our state laws make running a brewpup very difficult; if you brew on site and run a restaurant bar, you can't sell your product to retail stores. This came close to being overturned last year during legislative session and hopefully will be repealed in the future.

    Bourbon wise you can pretty much everything. Yes, Pappy Van Winkle or the BTAC collection disappears off the shelf fast, but that's the same everywhere.

    Oh, and welcome. We do occasionally have a Houston group get together and tasting. When we do I'll post details in the Bourbon Social thread.

  2. #12
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    384

    Re: Howdy from Houston

    Hey Joe. Moved from Houston about 11 months ago, but trust me, having Specs is a godsend, especially the DT store. The one up in Atascocita is pretty good too, if you're on the north side outside the loop.

    Don't know if you like tequila, but if you want to explore, go to TQLA. Amazing selection of tequila, great happy hour food (regular menu didn't dazzle me), and the BEST salsa (served warm!) I've ever had.

  3. #13
    Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    2,500

    Re: Howdy from Houston

    I've tried all of those except for the No Label. One of my brothers speeks highly of them. St. Arnold was a fave for a long time. It's a little too sweet for me these days. I'll have to give it a shot. I'll keep an eye out for the local meet ups.

    SFS I used to live downtown until recently, now I'm in the Memorial area. If I head to the north side of town I'll those places out. Thanks.

    Happy new year everyone! DON'T DRIVE IF YOU IMBIBE!

  4. #14
    Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    2,500

    Re: Howdy from Houston

    So, I'm no connoisseur when it comes to bourbon - yet - (I can hold my own with beer though!) and for the last several years I've regularly bought Jefferson's Reserve with the wood stopper not the clear stopper. What's the difference? I know the JPS is supposed to be great but I'm not talking about that one. Just the plain old JR with a wood stopper.

    Until recently that's all I would buy for fear of buying crap or wasting money on what I perceived as high priced Beam. Woodford Reserve, 1792, and Knob Creek I had years ago and they were ok and I've had a couple of the other Beam premiums, but I always preferred the JR for sipping and just bought Beam white for mixing. I was also never really impressed with MM. After reading around the threads here I currently have Weller 12, OWA, and Four Roses Small Batch open for testing. I prefer OWA right now. To me it has that classic caramel flavor I look for in bourbon and a very nice aroma after it has opened up for 15 minutes or so. The Four Roses was a pretty dissapointing first pour. Very heavy alcohol on the nose and the taste was like a better Beam. The second pour a few days later was much better and actually had a slightly floral taste. I'll have to try that one some more. The Weller 12 is a little odd to me. I need to drink a little more to form a better opinion, but initially I was surprised by the heavy char/wood flavor. It was almost Scotch like. I have Elmer T. Lee here as well waiting to be opened at some point. Any other suggestions, tips, or "you're crazys" are welcome.

  5. #15
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
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    384

    Re: Howdy from Houston

    Joe, I'm a relative newbie myself, and can't help you with the regular JR, but with respect to the JPS, here's where I'm at, after just one taste: I wouldn't spend the $88 again on a second bottle. To be fair, I do need to go back and taste again, as the bottle has now been open for about a week, and I've learned that things do change with air, often for the better.

    With respect to Weller 12/OWA/ 4R Small Batch: I have the first two open now, and had each last night. It's a close call for me, and I may be leaning slightly towards the 12. My bottle does not give me the heavy char/wood (that being my principal complaint about the JPS, actually). I had a bottle of the 4RSmB about three months ago, didn't care for it (it stayed floral for the whole bottle, too perfume-y for me). So you won't be getting a "you're crazy" from me.

    After repeated recommendations, I recently bought a bottle of Eagle Rare SB, and it didn't last long. I guess I had avoided it because I had the concern that if I find a SB (by anyone) that I like, the next bottle I buy will be different (from a different barrel) and I may be disappointed. What finally decided it for me is I had already bought the ER17 (which is still unopened), and I figured I better try the regular version at 1/3 price, in case I needed to reverse field on the 17. The good news: I liked the ERSB. The bad news: it was the opposite of helpful in terms of deciding where my bias lies with respect to wheat/rye levels. I like the Weller products, but I like the ERSB; I like ORVW 10/107, but I also like WT Rare Breed.

    One of the things I like about this forum is it seems very supportive of the idea that we all have different tastes, and there is no "Right Answer". I hope you continue to post, with tasting notes. (Tell me what YOU think of the regular JR.) I wish I were still in Houston, I'd invite you over for a pour.
    Last edited by SFS; 01-02-2013 at 16:54.

  6. #16
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    12,450

    Re: Howdy from Houston

    Joe I suggest you do some blind tastings of the major House styles, (Beam is different from Brown Forman who's different from Heaven Hill, who's different from Four Roses, who's different from Buffalo Trace, etc.) and say, stick with their rye recipe brands. Once you find a style you like then you can branch into the different expressions put out by that House.

    After all, JR is a sourced whisky so one of the major Houses made it.

  7. #17
    Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    2,500

    Re: Howdy from Houston

    Thanks for the tips.

    SFS you are right. The people here seem extremely helpful and friendly. A very nice change from the rest of the Internet and really unexpected. I actually left my last bottle of JR at a friends house. When I get another bottle I'll post a review. To me it's sort of like 4R SmB without the flowers, smoother, with some sweetness (caramel, butterscotch), a little spicy, and a nice viscosity and buttery aftertaste. That's from my years of biased and very narrow experience. Now, with the other styles and brands I've been sampling it will be interesting to see what I think about it.

    Squire I will definitely do it. You seem to know your bourbon!

  8. #18
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,841

    Re: Howdy from Houston

    ditto on what Squire said.

    When you are buying Jefferson Reserve, you are buying a no age statement sourced whiskey. That source could change at anytime and so could the age. Why spend your money on something that could vary so much bottle to bottle? FYI - the glass clear stopper bottles were age stated 15 years. They changed to the wood stopper about the same time they dropped the age statement.

  9. #19
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    2,862

    Re: Howdy from Houston

    Uh, oh. Another smknjoe? Ain't one already more than we can handle? But seriously though, welcome to SB and glad to hear you're a wheater, rye and beer guy, just like some of us civilized folks! Haven't had any Flying Dog lately. Do you get Cisco beers from Nantucket in your neck of the woods? They are fairly new to the Chicago market but have proven to be quite tasty, at least the ones I've sampled so far. Best wishes in 2013!
    "I distrust a man who says 'when.' He's got to be careful not to drink too much, because he's not to be trusted when he does." Sydney Greenstreet

  10. #20
    Guru
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    Dec 2012
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    Houston
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    Re: Howdy from Houston

    Quote Originally Posted by wadewood View Post
    ditto on what Squire said.

    When you are buying Jefferson Reserve, you are buying a no age statement sourced whiskey. That source could change at anytime and so could the age. Why spend your money on something that could vary so much bottle to bottle? FYI - the glass clear stopper bottles were age stated 15 years. They changed to the wood stopper about the same time they dropped the age statement.
    That would imply that the wood stoppers weren't around before the glass, but I only started seeing the glass within the last few years. I first bought JR in 2000-2001 at my friend's liquor store called Avalon (which he sold around 2003-2004) and the bottles had a spherical wooden stopper. Plus, I'm pretty sure that it had an age statement of 15 years. The last bottle I purchased was about a year ago and I'm pretty sure it was the same one. I left it over at a friends house over the Thanksgiving holiday (2012) so I don't have it here to refer to. Sounds like they have changed the bottle again and I may have lucked out and got an older bottle the last time.

 

 

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