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  1. #41
    Disciple
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    Jun 2013
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    NWGA
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    Re: The allure of value bourbons: quality, quantity or both?

    I have several value pours that I really enjoy (WT101, EWBIB, AAA, 4RYL, OGDBIB, OGD114) and I also like the fact that they readily available.

    Meaning I don't have to bunker them which also means ETL, W12, OWA, and HH labels don't fit into this category for me because they are not.

  2. #42
    Advanced Taster
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    Nov 2013
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    Central Massachusetts
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    117

    Re: The allure of value bourbons: quality, quantity or both?

    I totally agree about the law of diminishing returns applying here. As I Approach Bourbon Zen, I'm finding less and less need to visit the top shelf unless I find something new or interesting to consider. I've identified and keep stocked 5-6 mid to low/mid shelfers, most under $25 if I shop around, that I find are each great representations of different parts of the bourbon spectrum. I've always got something on hand for every mood.

  3. #43
    Advanced Taster
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    Feb 2014
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    Lakewood, CO
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    144

    Re: The allure of value bourbons: quality, quantity or both?

    Price =/= quality.

    IMO many of the bargain brands like EWB, FC103, HH, BT, OGD are excellent quality.

    many of the pricier expressions are the same juices just aged/handled/selected for flavor profile differently.IMO above a certain point of quality, you receive diminishing returns on price to flavor/quality.
    you certainly must decide for yourself, but it is all newcharredoak aged corn dominant grain distillate.

    What I believe you pay premiums for are
    branding
    skilled barrel selection and blending
    time, care and effort aging
    uniqueness
    limited availability

    so definitely try things of low and mid shelf to tell if they meet your needs.

    I find low and mid shelf stuff delicious. I also have not invested more than 60$ on any one bottle so I can't speak for the high end bottlings.

  4. #44
    Advanced Taster
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    Feb 2014
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    Lakewood, CO
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    144

    Re: The allure of value bourbons: quality, quantity or both?

    Reading this thread, CoMobourbons answers are fantastic.


    If they seem evasive at all it is just the zen like quality of a master working with a student on the intangible.

    I will reread those a few times. Very well written to my mind.
    Myself I am quite the novice and do not have the eloquence nor the experience to posit an answer so succinctly.
    Last edited by Dannabis; 04-03-2014 at 09:35. Reason: wrote 'to' but meant 'so'

  5. #45
    Advanced Taster
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    Feb 2014
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    Lakewood, CO
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    144

    Re: The allure of value bourbons: quality, quantity or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by DBM View Post
    You will not find wine collectors discussing the merits of their Lafites and Margauxs while also singing the praise of $4.99 case buys from the corner market.
    I disagree on wines.. When I discuss wine and enjoy wines I try inexpensive bottlings and find many many fantastic varietals and flavors of quality.
    But you may be right. You made the distinction of collector and not drinker/connoisseur.
    I am an enjoyer and not a collector myself.
    please excuse if these responses are untimely.

  6. #46
    Advanced Taster
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    Feb 2014
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    Lakewood, CO
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    Re: The allure of value bourbons: quality, quantity or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoMobourbon View Post
    http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...ight=top+shelf

    Here's the link to the thread I mentioned earlier about the self-avowed "only top shelf" SBer. Much more recent than I remember! Whoops!
    An interesting thing that may have been relevant to the referenced thread is I believe I've read that women have more taste buds and or are generally more sensitive to flavors.


    Here is an article:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1216104035.htm

    I think I read about this originally while reading about hoppy beers and why women tend to be less often attracted to brutally hoppy beers.

    please excuse the tangent

  7. #47
    Enthusiast
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    Sep 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    372

    Re: The allure of value bourbons: quality, quantity or both?

    Interesting discussion. I like/own FC, OGD114, OF Sig, etc. and recently developed a newfound appreciation for WT101. I tend to find other (roughly) similarly priced brands, such as 4RYL, Weller SR and VOB 86 to be okay, but somewhat bland. And I'll fully admit my exploration of the lower shelves has been perfunctory at best. My limited experience has been that those brands are too, I dunno, is "astringent" the right word? Maybe there's another undiscovered gem in there, but I'm not going to strain myself trying to find it (and while I don't need barrel proofers, I prefer at least 90 proof).

    So, at the risk of snobbery accusations, I tend to stay away from what some would consider the "value pours". Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I'd rather drink EWSB or EC12 than plain ol' EW, BT or ER10 over Benchmark, KC over JBB. More often than not I'll spring for the extra $10-12 to buy WTRB over WT101.

    My bourbon drinking is most often done at home with no one else but my wife around, so I'm clearly not trying to impress anyone wiht my selection. My best guess in those situations is that I'll reach for a bottle that cost me less than $30 at least half the time, but it's not uncommon for me to reach for something higher on the shelf.

    Certainly there's a law of diminishing returns. I don't think my PHC POH is 3 times better than EC12, but I willingly spent at least that much on it. I'll drink much less of the former than the latter. But dang, sometimes it sure feels good to bust out that POH. Bottom line: I fully realize that pricier doesn't necessarily equate to better. But it often does, and perception does affect reality. Even if to some extent I'm fooling myself, what difference does it make as long as I can afford it and I'm enjoying myself?

  8. #48
    Taster
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    Jan 2013
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    71

    Re: The allure of value bourbons: quality, quantity or both?

    I agree with Tony, for as much as I pour myself a drink I want decent quality. Not saying its a $50 bottle every time but usually the $25-$40 stuff and i too like WTRB and spend the extra cash over regular WT101; why not?

  9. #49
    Novice
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    Jul 2008
    Location
    Glendale, Arizona
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    21

    Re: The allure of value bourbons: quality, quantity or both?

    Though I'm not that old, I'm going to sound old here... but I think bourbon is a lot more expensive than it used to be so it is somewhat amusing to hear conversations that have bourbon's value (today) as a point in a discussion. I bought nearly a dozen bottles of Stagg for $31 each in Kentucky when I last bought Stagg (was 2003/4) and now the price seems extreme to me. So, for me, bourbon was a great value and that was a major part of it for me. Similar anecdotes exist for other bourbons, and also with regard to availability. I remember seeing Pappy in the store glass case every time I went to the store for a few years way back when.

    I still love it, even with the higher prices. And even with those higher prices, there's still superior relative value compared to Scotch (for me, at least). If I spend $40 I can have many of my very favorites, but I cannot say the same for Scotch, and in that category I only have a small list of loved ones for about $60 or less.

    One thing I appreciate more about Bourbon is that I can have a range of preferred bottles at my disposal, all at very reasonable prices. On the whole, then, yes the value is a substantial part of my enjoying this fine spirit.

  10. #50
    Novice
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    3

    Re: The allure of value bourbons: quality, quantity or both?

    One of the things that initially drew me to bourbon was how you get could a great tasting bottle of something for cheap if you knew what to look for, and there was actually a wide selection of these cheap great tasting bottles so you can try different ones. I think this is much rarer for other liquors.

 

 

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