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Thread: Guilty Pleasure

  1. #1

    Guilty Pleasure

    I don't know if I'm just a cheapskate, or a great bargain shopper -- but I sure get a lot of pleasure out of finding an inexpensive bourbon I really enjoy, and there are several.
    I've noted before around here that I really like Rebel Yell. Now, recently, I ran across a closeout basket that included some older Ancient Age 90-proof in the taller, slimmer version of today's squat bottles for around $10/750 ml, and I bought it all just on general principle. Good thing, too, because I find myself going back to it with some regularity. It's not quite up to the AAA 10yo (86 proof), but not far off, either -- a little tangier on the finish, maybe, a nice offset to the sweetness otherwise.
    Now, I like Stagg maybe as well as anything, and I have open bottles of BMH, Hirsch, Noah's Mill -- so I've nothing against the dearer stuff. But I really feel like I've beaten the system when I pour my cheap AA.

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Guilty Pleasure

    Tim, I find this post very interesting because I always thought the more expensive bourbons were better. Then one day I was in this bar that I frequent because he usually carries 30-40 different bourbons and I had a glass of something (which I really enjoyed) and I said "wow thats really good, I'm surprised because it's so cheap" and the owner looked at me kind of funny and said "forget about the price when it comes to bourbon" I think a lot of that is marketing and advertising. Hey...my favorite pour is 15 year van winkle...usually around 39 bucks around here...my VERY CLOSE second favorite pour is old fitzgeralds 1849 about 15 bucks around here!

  3. #3
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    Re: Guilty Pleasure

    I ran across a closeout basket that included some older Ancient Age 90-proof in the taller, slimmer version of today's squat bottles for around $10/750 ml, and I bought it all just on general principle. Good thing, too, because I find myself going back to it with some regularity. It's not quite up to the AAA 10yo (86 proof), but not far off, either -- a little tangier on the finish, maybe, a nice offset to the sweetness otherwise. I really feel like I've beaten the system when I pour my cheap AA.

    I'm inferring here, but I think you're saying that an important part of "beating the system" is being able to get the whiskey easily. AAA is easily available here in VA as well as cheap.

    I think consuming from the Weller line (SR, Antique, 12 Year) or Old Fitzgerald 1849 (I agree with Brian - GREAT whiskey) would make me feel like I was getting away with something if I didn't have to drive over 100 miles to get it.

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Guilty Pleasure

    Expensive isn't always better. Many expensive bottles are too aged, the wood has taken over. I don't mind age when deftly handled. For example, Weller 12 year old hits almost exactly the right balance of sweetness and charred oak character. Also, its woodiness is neither heavily tannic nor possessed of an "old wet wood" taste (what old-time distillers called a "punky" wood taste). (I find though Weller lacks something due to having no rye, which I remedy by adding a dash of rye whiskey or, say, Grandad 114; the improvement, to my mind, is quite evident). Some oldsters hit it just right: the earlier Hirsch 16's did, the round-tasting Black Maple Hill Randy brought to Gazebo last year did, and of course there are many others. I tend now to look for an ideal balance, not too old, not too young: Barton's Very Old (actually only 6 years old) is about perfect, so, it seems, are current batches of Woodford Reserve. Buffalo Trace is another example, also, EWSB 1994 (very high quality). All of these are good values.

    It was only after many years of reading and tasting that I felt confident enough to accept that expensive does not always mean better.

    Gary

  5. #5
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    Re: Guilty Pleasure

    Tim, I don't understand why you would feel guilty about such a great deal! I'd feel estatic

  6. #6

    Re: Guilty Pleasure

    I don't know -- maybe the guilt is that I also have some high-dollar bourbon sitting there w/out attention (opportunity costs, you know) while I'm drinking $10 bourbon.

  7. #7
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    Re: Guilty Pleasure

    I was shocked to discover a GENERIC "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey" at a local Jewel-Osco supermarket/drugstore last night after I decided to glance at their stock for a laugh. Needless to say, I will NOT "do the experiment" to see if this stuff would rank as a guilty pleasure (and it definately would be one of the first-order, only just above things that involve breaking laws!).

    It's enough to make you feel slightly queasy just looking at the stuff on the shelf. Very sickly coloring.

  8. #8
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    Re: Guilty Pleasure

    I'm inferring here, but I think you're saying that an important part of "beating the system" is being able to get the whiskey easily. AAA is easily available here in VA as well as cheap.
    That's a little quirk that's really never made any sense to me. Traditionally, VA ABC is a tax-laden whiskey nightmare. But our prices on AAA 10yo (the *REAL* thing...not the 10-Star!) are cheaper than in KY. ($9.90/750ml) Consequently, none of my bourbon-drinking friends have even considered the stuff because it's priced (and placed) with the bottom-shelf dwellers.

    As far as I'm concerned, it's the perfect diamond-in-the-rough! AAA 10yo is superb!

    Edit-fixed quote mechanism

  9. #9
    Administrator in exile
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    Re: Guilty Pleasure

    Hey, you want a guilty pleasure? How about EWSB '94 for $17 at the Florida ABC just outside of Disney World in Orlando? It's about $23 here in Lexington, so I picked up 3 bottles while there. Everything else was a bit more expensive than I pay here, but the EWSB was a steal

  10. #10
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    Re: Guilty Pleasure

    Bumping this for all the new folks, as I found it an interesting conversation. To add my $0.02, my favorite "guilty pleasure" bourbon is Old Grand Dad BIB. 100 proof, tasty, and $13 in my neck of the woods.

 

 

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