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  1. #1
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Bristol UK.
    Posts
    272

    Lets hear your top 5

    I'm a long time Scotch drinker who has really got into American whiskey this last 12 months. Here is my top 5 (so far).

    1. Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13YO - best whisky(ey) I have ever tasted
    2. Sazerac 18YO rye
    3. Buffalo Trace
    4. Ancient Ancient Age 10YO
    5. EC12YO

    Don't like:

    1. JB White label - strictly for guests.
    2. Pikesvile (its ok)

    Are other Van Winkle whiskies as good as the rye ?
    Any recommendations - I like strong tastes.

    Cheers,

    B.

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,622

    Re: Lets hear your top 5

    You are a quick learner, Grasshopper. The only flaw I can find in your choices is that four of your five come from the same place, Buffalo Trace.

    Everything with the name "Van Winkle" on it is, indeed, quite good.

    This is not my "top 5" but some suggestions for products you should try, especially considering your preference for "strong tastes."

    1. EC 18 y/o
    2. Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve
    3. Ezra B
    4. Old Grand-Dad BIB or 114
    5. Pure Kentucky XO (a little too much barrel for my taste, but many here like it and it is unquestionably flavorful.)

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Bristol UK.
    Posts
    272

    Re: Lets hear your top 5

    Thanks,

    I hope to get a bottle of the WT Russell Reserve in a couple of weeks.

    Is that the black label Ezra b ?

    Pappy Van Winkle is expensive over here - what's the best 'bang for your buck' ?

    Cheers,

    B.

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,622

    Re: Lets hear your top 5

    The labels might be different, but it's a 15-year-old, 99 proof.

    Pappy is high everywhere, but here there are more moderately priced expressions. Look for the 15-year-old.

    I guess I have a thing for 15-year-olds.

  5. #5

    Re: Lets hear your top 5

    Buffalo Trace has the largest stock of 'old' bourbon out there, and 'old' will get you lots of flavor. Another UK poster mentioned the availability of Eagle Rare 17yo, also a BT product. I'd certainly suggest that if you can get it.
    2. Don't give up on Jim Beam -- try the black label, a close kin to Booker's;
    3. George T. Stagg, if you can get it (yet another Buffalo Trace bottling);
    4. Evan Williams Single Barrel (any year), if available;
    5. Any Old Forester (but, especially, the 100-proof or Birthday Bourbons).

    As Chuck said, this is not necessarily a 'Top 5', but a 'Suggestible 5'.



  6. #6
    Administrator in exile
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    3,904

    Re: Lets hear your top 5

    My top five as of today are as follows:

    1. Black Maple Hill 16yo (new style)
    2. George T Stagg 2002
    3. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2002
    4. Pappy Van Winkle 20yo
    5. Eagle Rare 17yo

    This list is effective until midnight tonight, at which time I reserve the right to completely revise it to meet the every changing demands of my taste buds.

  7. #7
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    virginia
    Posts
    441

    Re: Lets hear your top 5

    Can you get WT 12 year there? I am less experienced than others here, but I would add that to the suggestions above based on your biases. We have about 375ml left from a bottle we have been savoring for over 2 years. Unless I am mistaken (correct me if I'm wrong so I can track some down while in Kentucky!!!), it is now for export only.

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Victoria Canada, Whistler, Maui
    Posts
    454

    Re: Lets hear your top 5

    Bamber, as you're located in the UK, you're going to be seeing alot of posts here listing bourbons you'll never be able to find. I call that torture. So to reply to your original question "your top 5", here's my top 5, with number 1 being the most important.

    5. Any bourbon that says "now that was worth the price"
    4. Any bourbon you can find a good purpose for, whether it's taken neat, with an ice cube, a splash of water, or as a mixer in your favorite cocktail.
    3. Any bourbon a friend buys you, regardless whether they know what your favorite brand is (and regardless whether it's a well bourbon)
    2. Any bourbon your wife or signifant other can enjoy with you
    1. Any bourbon you can enjoy in the company of good friends

    Regardless of what you buy, enjoy!



  9. #9
    Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    SI, NY
    Posts
    2,083

    Re: Lets hear your top 5

    As of right now and in no particular order:

    Eagle Rare 17yo
    Evan Williams Single Barrel (Any Vintage)
    AH Hirsch 16 and/or 20 yo
    Old Rip Van Winkle 15yo
    Sazerac 18yo


    If you want to include something that is export only that I really like, include Wild Turkey Kentucky Legend, Single Barrel Barrel Proof.

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    621

    Re: Lets hear your top 5

    Here's my current all-time top-5:

    1. Pappy 20
    2. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon '02
    3. A. H. Hirsch Reserve 16yo
    4. Blanton's Single Barrel
    5. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Spring '03 (Yes--Spring over the Fall...I'm in a minority it seems!)

    Note that this is a top-5 for *ME*, not necessarily an answer to your "big taste" question. Booker's, OGD 114, Stagg, WT Kentucky Spirit are all take-no-prisoner types. It's probably also not a coincidence that they're high-proof offerings.

    Good luck in your search!

 

 

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