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  1. #21
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    347

    Re: Distillery of the year?

    HH is my vote.

    The distiller still retained their classic BIB brand profile. (while not increasing prices) Evan Williams White Label is now getting nationwide distribution. ECBP was one of the best releases this year - it hit all the right points for craft presentation at a ridiculous value price. Put out more age stated Elijah Craig. This years PHC release was focused on charity. EC12 is the same price as it was last year and still a fantastic pour. I know everyone loves four roses for being top quality, but take a second to think about how much Heaven Hill accomplished. It may not be the best bourbon ever, but for us enthusiasts, I'd say they are all about serving our tastes and then some.

  2. #22
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    187

    Re: Distillery of the year?

    I'll put in a vote for Four Roses. I'm really happy to see all the liquor stores who are doing private barrels of barrel strength in the different recipes. I currently have all 10. At $50 - it isn't inexpensive bourbon but it's not breaking the bank.

  3. #23
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    764

    Re: Distillery of the year?

    Four Roses is the only distillery with whom I don't have the slightest bone to pick. It might be picking nits, but the drastic increases in the prices of the EC20-21 (and presumably 22) ding HH a fair amount and its gift shop is reserved for BX+ pricing. Admittedly the quality of the gift shop is high up on my list of factors being within a short drive of most distilleries, and is probably what bumps Four Roses over the top for me. Buffalo Trace doing away with two value pours (AAA10yr and OC10) in order to put that juice in higher price bottles is ultimately what takes them down, too.

    My wife helped with a large event hosted by a law professor at UK earlier this year. She wanted to do something nice for the professor and I suggested getting a gift shop bottle from Four Roses. I called and asked whether Jim Rutledge could sign it and she said we had just missed him because he was on his way to his car and would be in New York for the weekend. Apparently another employee went to the parking lot and caught him and he came back inside and signed the bottle with a personalized statement to the professor.

    Four Roses was a very easy choice for me.

  4. #24
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    12,336

    Re: Distillery of the year?

    That speaks very well for both Mr. Rutledge and the Four Roses employees, well played indeed.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  5. #25
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    2,396

    Re: Distillery of the year?

    Quote Originally Posted by bingstein View Post
    Four Roses is the only distillery with whom I don't have the slightest bone to pick. It might be picking nits, but the drastic increases in the prices of the EC20-21 (and presumably 22) ding HH a fair amount and its gift shop is reserved for BX+ pricing. Admittedly the quality of the gift shop is high up on my list of factors being within a short drive of most distilleries, and is probably what bumps Four Roses over the top for me. Buffalo Trace doing away with two value pours (AAA10yr and OC10) in order to put that juice in higher price bottles is ultimately what takes them down, too.

    My wife helped with a large event hosted by a law professor at UK earlier this year. She wanted to do something nice for the professor and I suggested getting a gift shop bottle from Four Roses. I called and asked whether Jim Rutledge could sign it and she said we had just missed him because he was on his way to his car and would be in New York for the weekend. Apparently another employee went to the parking lot and caught him and he came back inside and signed the bottle with a personalized statement to the professor.

    Four Roses was a very easy choice for me.
    4R may not be my favorite, but Rutledge seems like a class act....ive never heard the slightest negative remark about him.

  6. #26
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Dunwoody, GA
    Posts
    781

    Re: Distillery of the year?

    Another vote for 4 Roses here.

    That being said, even though a lot of age statements are going away and we're losing some great value pours, I have to say, I am impressed with the quality of bourbon that is coming out of 4R, HH, and even BT. It would be easy in this boom to put crap in their long time labels to make a buck, but in my opinion they're still producing at a high level, even if it means there are some empty spaces on the shelves from time to time. I'm also excited to see what Smooth Ambler and HW can do with their own juice as we inch closer and closer to their stuff being aged.

  7. #27
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,534

    Re: Distillery of the year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
    Since we are pondering the virtues of bourbon of the year, why not discuss the status and state of the bourbon houses....those genteel purveyors of fine spirits, many of whom are near and dear to our hearts?

    At this moment in time....who is doing it very well, fairly well or not well at all? The world wants to know what the defining StraightBourbon Society thinks.

    I would cast a vote for the house of 4 Roses and ask....who is currently doing it better and more consistently than the good folks in Lawrenceburg?
    I agree that those good folks in Lawrenceberg, Indiana are consistent. Those minty Ryes all taste the same!

  8. #28

    Re: Distillery of the year?

    Not sure if a Tennessee whisky distillery can be distillery of the year but I'll give a shout out to George Dickel for putting out what a lot of us have been asking for. Older and higher proof single barrels.

  9. #29
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Louisville, ky
    Posts
    1,191

    Re: Distillery of the year?

    Four Roses. Quality, Consistency and Passion for their customers. Mr Rutledge stopped and signed my 125th bottle the day of the KBF event WELL after he was supposed to be hustled on stage. Despite the nice admin person pushing him to move, he took the time to sign and shake hands all with a smile on his face. Watching him up on stage telling stories for over an hour, caused me to gain a tremendous respect for a guy i already admired. The whole place seems to be filled with the "customer first" culture at all levels.

    Heaven Hill gets a distant second for some of their products, but to Bingstein's point above...while i can't blame them for earning a profit, they sure seem to have disconnected from their common customer as it relates to price.

    BT is a really distant third. Between their mid shelf stockouts and clear need for a taller fence, my manufacturing background tells me they have a wider cultural issue than they are letting on. Some great products mixed with some that are dropping in quality as time goes on.

  10. #30
    Guru
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    5,203

    Re: Distillery of the year?

    I'm going to go against the grain and say Four Roses with Heaven Hill in second place. Oh wait.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

 

 

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