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  1. #1

    New Bourbon Drinker

    I am a long time scotch drinker. I prefer the single malts from Islay, no ice, no water. I have maintained for years that I didn't like bourbon. (Probably as a result of drinking low cost whiskey mixed with coke.) But, I decided to give bourbon a try after reading some reviews by Dave Broom and Jim Murray.

    I have tried Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Elijah Craig 12 yr and Maker's Mark 90 proof, no ice, no water. The Wild Turkey is execellent, the Maker's Mark is great and the Elijah Craig is very good.

    I have the following on my shopping list:

    Blanton's Gold Edition
    Elmer T Lee Single Barrel
    George Dickel Superior No 12
    Jack Daniels Single Barrel
    Knob Creek 9 yr
    Booker's 7 yr
    Evan Williams Single Barrel

    Any suggestions or comments welcome.

    Regards, Jim

  2. #2
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    Re: New Bourbon Drinker

    Welcome to the board Jim. Without knowing your location it is hard for me to say this for sure, but if you are in the US finding the Blanton's Gold edition will be hard. The standard Blanton's is superb so I would guess the Gold will be as well. I know it is very good at Barrel Proof. Keep in mind that George Dickel and Jack Daniels are not technically bourbon's but rather Tennessee Whiskies. Many on here have had mixed reviews about George Dickel No 12, some even saying they have tastes vitamins in it. The Jack Daniels SB is not too bad. All of your other choices are also very good. Let us know your impressions as you try each new bourbon off of your list, we'd like to hear them!

  3. #3
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    Re: New Bourbon Drinker

    Jim,

    Welcome aboard, and congratulations on deciding to expand your horizons.

    It's remarkable that you enjoy three such varied bourbons as those you mentioned. (In all honesty, it's your liking Maker's Mark that really caught my attention. It has few fans on this board.)

    You didn't say anything about considerations of cost. I suppose that your experience with scotch has accustomed you to a price range that far exceeds all but extremely limited bottlings of bourbon.

    In that case I unhesitatingly suggest that you look for just about anything with "Van Winkle" on the label (Pappy VW, Old Rip VW, VW Family Reserve), with Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year/107 proof being as a good a place to start as any. IMO it's one of the best bargains in bourbon at around $25. Another favorite of mine, and much different in style than those on your list, is Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 y/o.

    BTW, if I were you, I'd move the two Tennessee whiskies ("whiskeys"? neither looks right) to the bottom of your list, if not to a different list entirely. I have both in my collection, and each is interesting in its own way, but I seldom drink either of them; there are just too many bourbons that I enjoy more.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  4. #4
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    Re: New Bourbon Drinker

    Hi Jim, we share a common past. Gotta love the Islay's but my personal favourite is the Talisker (Skye). I too was a staunch single malt follower. I started on Bourbon about 10 years ago and I'd have to say that in the last two years, the Scottish single malts have slowly faded to the background. I'm not suggesting this will happen to you, but watch out! :

    Having said that, you will likely find many bourbons do not have the body and flavour that will entice your tastebuds, if you're looking for the same kick as an Islay. From the list you have submitted, I imagine you'll find the Knob Creek and the Bookers most to your liking. Lots of woody flavours.

    One brand you'll definitely want to search out is the Van Winkle lineup. Most readily available might be the 10year old 107 proof, but my favourite, for the price, is the 15 year old. The 12 year old is a great all-round bourbon.

    On the less expensive side, you'll see alot of folk on this forum recommending the Weller 12yr. IMHO one of the best for the price.

    Enjoy!




  5. #5
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    Re: New Bourbon Drinker

    I found it strange as well Dave, that he liked Makers Mark, even placing it before Elijah Craig. I'm not overly fond of Elijah Craig 12 year, but it beats Makers Mark! Also in agreement is moving the Jack and George to the bottom of the list. There are too many other fine, and if cost is a matter, inexpensive bourbons out there to enjoy. I particularly like all of Julian's bourbon (and rye!) and the 10 year 107 proof is a good buy. Also, I didn't mention any suggestions in my post so I'll one too. If you can find it and it is within your budget, grab a bottle of AH Hirsch 16 year old. It is superb bourbon and will eventually be all gone so try it while you can!

  6. #6
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    Re: New Bourbon Drinker

    Hi Jim,

    Welcome aboard! I too am a Single Malt fan, and love Islay's. We should talk about that over in the Foreign Whisky area. Regarding Bourbon, my fondness for Bourbon has increased significantly over the past year. Like others, I highly recommend any of Julian Van Winkle's fine products, and the very fine Buffalo Trace line-up. At the Bourbon Festival, I was introduced to the Barton Bourbon's and recommend those also. They are all very reasonably priced. I'd recommend their newly released 1792 Ridgewood Reserve. It is VERY GOOD!

    Bob


  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: New Bourbon Drinker

    Welcome Jim,

    There's really nothing wrong with liking Maker's . You have to start somewhere and they are aiming at new drinkers with their marketing and brand mystique. After a stroll around the Bourbon Block most find a better way, and things that are to their liking in a more specific way. One of our Bourbon Festival conversations dealt with the fact that when we sometimes say we don't care for Maker's or Jim Beam White or Jack Daniels, which are top selling brands, Jack and Jim sell the most and Maker's sell all they can make. Then someone new to the board comes on only to see unfavorable remarks about a favorite drink. What we most don't like about Maker's isn't the whiskey, but price etc. I would think that given your drinking history, you should fairly easily find your way though our favorite drink here . In the end, your own opinion is what counts , enjoy.

    Jim Beam Black is similiar to Knob Creek and cheaper

    Old Forester 86 is reasonable, If one were to pick a representative sample of Bourbon, This would be the likely choice.

    WT 101 or Russell's Reserve

    I would second the idea of putting the Tennessee whiskey down on the list, nothing wrong there, it's just a different page.

    Welcome to this near endless journey!

  8. #8
    Administrator in exile
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    Re: New Bourbon Drinker

    Great post Bobby and I agree wholehartedly. As someone who enjoys Maker's Mark I am sometimes bewildered by the abuse that it takes here on the boards. I agree that the price is a little steep, but it's not the rotgut a newbie might expect after reading some posts here. I believe Maker's Mark has done more for the total image and recognition of bourbon world-wide than any other producer. For that at least they are deserving of some level of respect.

  9. #9
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    Re: New Bourbon Drinker

    I'll simply add my welcome and say you've had a great start and now you've gotten a lot of good suggestions by others.

    You may want to try at least a brand from each major distiller. You'll find you can sort by distiller if you go to the straightbourbon.com home page and go to "brands."

    An example: (forgive mispellings as I'll be in a hurry here)

    Austin-Nichols -- you like Rare Breed so try Russell's Reserve or Kentucky Spirit

    Jim Beam -- you already have the 2 on the list: Knob Creek (Definitely try this one) and Bookers (127 proof), then if you want a big comparison try Old Grand Dad BIB

    Heaven Hill -- you like E. Craig so the Evan Williams Single Barrel would be next

    Brown Forman -- try Woodford Reserve (though I think you'll find it a little less Kick)

    Barton -- try 1792

    Buffalo Trace -- so many great brands that I'd have to just try several: Elmer T. Lee, Weller 12, Eagle Rare (both single barrel and 19 are superb, and I even love the 10 yo), Blanton's.... PLUS, VanWinkle (anything)

    HAVE FUN and let us know how it goes!


  10. #10
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    Re: New Bourbon Drinker

    Excellent post, Bobby.

 

 

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