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  1. #1
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    BT single oak experience

    Looking for some input from anybody who has had (or just has an opinion on) the past BT Single Oak bottlings. I can get some, probably only last for a few days before its gone. My thoughts are its very pricey for a 375 mL bottle, and BT is so consistent usually with flavor profiles they seem to have the processes locked down pretty well, this just leads me to thinking I could buy 4 750 mL bottles of eage rare or regular BT for the same price. Is there anything that would make these SO projects worth the price or just the coolness factor of getting to take part in them trying to scientifically achieve perfecting bourbon (even though we all have different tastes so there is no "perfect" bourbon)?

  2. #2
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    Re: BT single oak experience

    I don't buy experiments. I'll let someone else sort through the trash, set aside the gems and then come get me. I get the geeky science part of the whole thing but it doesn't hold my attention. I skipped it.
    "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"
    T. Durden

  3. #3
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    Re: BT single oak experience

    jmj I used to buy these things as soon as they came out, partly out of curiosity and partly to have something different to serve at tastings but they no longer hold my interest. With Scotch it's easy, an 18 year old Mcallan, 15 year French Oak finished Glenlivet, 12 year Highland Park or something else in that range is noticeably and distinctively different as well as head and shoulders above the inexpensive blends. Even a neophyte to Scotch can easily taste the difference from high end to run of the mill stuff. With Scottish whisky you literally get what you pay for.

    Bourbon is simpler and more challenging in that there is a commonality of taste sensations in the more robust flavor of Bourbon as compared to Scotch or Canadians. All Bourbons carry the oak/vanilla/caramel base to the extent that many folks literally can't tell the brands apart. We who take a deeper interest of course notice the variance between rye or wheat formula mash bills, yeast (Old Grand Dad vs Beam, Four Roses with 10 different yeasts and two mashbills) or the lighter touch of a high corn content, but price rules don't apply. Fortunately with Bourbon we are getting the same high quality with a 4 year old BIB as with a twice as old single barrel expression from the same company so paying more isn't necessarily getting us more. Bourbons are designed to reach their peak maturity between 6-8 years and beyond that, with notable exceptions, we are literally paying for a label. Nothing wrong with that, pride of ownership is part of the enjoyment of what we buy to gift others or treat ourselves. When we seek something special we expect to pay more.

    The question we face is are we really getting something more for our money. I can get a bottle of Old Grand Dad BIB for $15.00 (insert the name of your favorite value brand here) or pay ten times as much for one of the hard to obtain bottles. Will I like the expensive bottle more? Possibly, or I may not, or may even like it less. Even if I like it more is it ten times better than Old Grand Dad? No, of course not. Is it five times better? Or even twice. Our guests who are casual consumers would rarely notice any difference but they certainly will notice the label.

    My idea of a high end Bourbon is a limited selection made under the direction of a Master Distiller who has the skill, experience, and, most importantly, the large stocks of aged whisky from which to draw. So I'm not interested in obtaining a hard to get or very expensive bottle just to have one because years of conducting blind tastings have taught me there isn't enough difference to justify the trouble or expense.

    Of course my perspective comes from a been there done that point of view. If I were a confirmed Scotch drinker who recently discovered Bourbon would I buy a bottle of BT oak experience? No . . . I would buy two.
    Last edited by squire; 06-29-2014 at 15:13.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  4. #4
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Re: BT single oak experience

    Quote Originally Posted by jmj_203 View Post
    Looking for some input from anybody who has had (or just has an opinion on) the past BT Single Oak bottlings. I can get some, probably only last for a few days before its gone. My thoughts are its very pricey for a 375 mL bottle, and BT is so consistent usually with flavor profiles they seem to have the processes locked down pretty well, this just leads me to thinking I could buy 4 750 mL bottles of eage rare or regular BT for the same price. Is there anything that would make these SO projects worth the price or just the coolness factor of getting to take part in them trying to scientifically achieve perfecting bourbon (even though we all have different tastes so there is no "perfect" bourbon)?
    Though I admire and appreciate what BT did with this experiment, like Kevin, it never interested me from the purchasing standpoint from the very beginning. Just too daunting a commitment from a monetary and time perspective. It seemed to me that unless I got all of them, the "experiment" lost much of its allure. But them again, if you have a hankerin' to get them, I would say, have at it. These are specialty offerings. Finally, these are specialty offerings that carry the high price tag because of that. Personally, I don't make a QPR evaluation on these types of offerings.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  5. #5
    Virtuoso
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    Oct 2011
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    Re: BT single oak experience

    I'd be up for the 144 bottle vertical tasting if we do it in one sitting. :laugh: wasn't there a
    reg chumpington that had a stickie on these. He was gonna actually try and keep track of them If I remember correctly. What ever happened to that guy?
    "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"
    T. Durden

  6. #6
    Virtuoso
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    Jul 2009
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    Massillon, Oh.
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    Re: BT single oak experience

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    jmj I used to buy these things as soon as they came out, partly out of curiosity and partly to have something different to serve at tastings but they no longer hold my interest. With Scotch it's easy, an 18 year old Mcallan, 15 year French Oak finished Glenlivet, 12 year Highland Park or something else in that range is noticeably and distinctively different as well as head and shoulders above the inexpensive blends. Even a neophyte to Scotch can easily taste the difference from high end to run of the mill stuff. With Scottish whisky you literally get what you pay for.

    Bourbon is simpler and more challenging in that there is a commonality of taste sensations in the more robust flavor of Bourbon as compared to Scotch or Canadians. All Bourbons carry the oak/vanilla/caramel base to the extent that many folks literally can't tell the brands apart. We who take a deeper interest of course notice the variance between rye or wheat formula mash bills, yeast (Old Grand Dad vs Beam, Four Roses with 10 different yeasts and two mashbills) or the lighter touch of a high corn content, but price rules don't apply. Fortunately with Bourbon we are getting the same high quality with a 4 year old BIB as with a twice as old single barrel expression from the same company so paying more isn't necessarily getting us more. Bourbons are designed to reach their peak maturity between 6-8 years and beyond that, with notable exceptions, we are literally paying for a label. Nothing wrong with that, pride of ownership is part of the enjoyment of what we buy to gift others or treat ourselves. When we seek something special we expect to pay more.

    The question we face is are we really getting something more for our money. I can get a bottle of Old Grand Dad BIB for $15.00 (insert the name of your favorite value brand here) or pay ten times as much for one of the hard to obtain bottles. Will I like the expensive bottle more? Possibly, or I may not, or may even like it less. Even if I like it more is it ten times better than Old Grand Dad? No, of course not. Is it five times better? Or even twice. Our guests who are casual consumers would rarely notice any difference but they certainly will notice the label.

    My idea of a high end Bourbon is a limited selection made under the direction of a Master Distiller who has the skill, experience, and, most importantly, the large stocks of aged whisky from which to draw. So I'm not interested in obtaining a hard to get or very expensive bottle just to have one because years of conducting blind tastings have taught me there isn't enough difference to justify the trouble or expense.

    Of course my perspective comes from a been there done that point of view. If I were a confirmed Scotch drinker who recently discovered Bourbon would I buy a bottle of BT oak experience? No . . . I would buy two.
    Great post!
    ..............

  7. #7
    Advanced Taster
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    Apr 2014
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    Pennsylvania
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    196

    Re: BT single oak experience

    Well squire always goes above and beyond to lend the thoughts us newbs don't have with that life of experience. I'm probably going to pass this and save for other bottles I truly love but rarely see. I'm only around 5 months into my bourbon love, but I've really seen this month there is so little difference, but it can be huge when you really take the time to experience each nightly dram. Again they all have such close profiles. I just can't pay the equivalent of a $100 bottle when I have 50 bottles on my shelf I'm enjoying tasting and smelling the difference every night and they were all significantly less for a full 750, and they taste even better knowing the fulfillment I get drinking that $30 bottle and knowing its easily replaced as its always on shelves.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2010
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    347

    Re: BT single oak experience

    I'd love to try one of these. I've seen them everywhere, but I haven't pulled the trigger. For a couple of reasons:

    1) It's damn near impossible to know what bottle is what -- why in the world didn't they put the parameters of the bottle on the bottle if it's supposed to be an "experiment"? They do with their Experimental Collection!

    2) It's expensive. Put in the chance that there may or may not be decent bourbon in there, and it is even more expensive.

    3) I always have a sneaking suspicion that someone else has come and cherry picked the good stuff -- kind of like the BTEC bottles. My local has still had the rice and oats experimental bottlings hanging out. They've been sitting on his shelves for two years. I always have this suspicion that the SOE bottles are probably the same.

    4) What's the fun in tasting unless you have at least two bottles that only vary by a single parameter? Isn't that the whole point? So, for example, what are the chances that your store is going to have a Wheated/X age/Top of tree bottle and a Wheated/X age/bottom of tree bottle, so that you would know what you're comparing? With point #1, this whole situation is even more exacerbated.

    So that's why I've stayed away. I can imagine this potentially being popular in a dedicated bourbon bar, or with a big bourbon tasting club, but these points have kept me away.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2010
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    Greenwood, IN
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    778

    Re: BT single oak experience

    Early on I went through the must try everything available phase. So, I can understand the interest in novelty aspect. I think if some one was truly interested in these, it would be wise to do a little research, to see if any got good enough reviews to merit $$$. I recall some were not highly regarded. One prominent reviewer said the oat experiment was just awful, and BT shouldn't have even bottled and sold it. On the other hand, I bet some are ok, but pricey. I have repeated this before (I think Chuck said it first) this was an experiment to see how much people would pay.

  10. #10
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    Re: BT single oak experience

    I have some Scotch drinking friends who would buy it but I also know those guys can't tell Old Grand Dad from Old Crow.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

 

 

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