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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
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    Jul 2004
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    Maple Valley, WA
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    Proof and Preferences..........

    Do any of you seasoned bourbon veterans prefer bourbon at or above certain proofs over others?

    The more I drink bourbon, the more it seems that bourbons under 100 proof just don't taste as good as those at 100+.
    I really like the following:
    [This is my current rotation]

    Booker's - 126.8 PR
    Baker's - 107 PR
    Knob Creek - 100 PR
    WT 101 - 101 PR
    WT Rare Breed - 108.4 PR

    I used to really like the following:

    Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 YO - 90 PR
    Buffalo Trace - 90 PR
    Elijah Craig 12 YO - 94 PR
    EW Single Barrel - 94 PR

    It just seems to me that anything below 100 PR is watered down, both in taste and "feel" in the mouth - watery versus "oily".

    Anyone understand what I'm trying to say?


  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    May 2004
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    Upstate NY
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    509

    Re: Proof and Preferences..........

    I agree..the higher proofs just have more flavor.

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
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    Sep 2003
    Location
    Asheville, NC
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    113

    Re: Proof and Preferences..........

    I notice that you say it is your current rotation. I too rotate through the bourbons in my collection. I sometimes will spend a few weeks with the wheaters, then for some reason my tastebuds want to go in the other direction and I find that I am drinkning a lot of rye. There was a period about a month ago where all I was interestedin was the barrel proof ones you list. I think that it just depends onw hat is going on in life, what I have been eating and how slow I want to drink my pour. The high proofs last a bit longer. Sometimes the lowere ones don't qutie do it so I move to a higher proof and at other times it is just the opposite. The key is to enjoy what you are experiencing in each pour you have.

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
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    Mar 2004
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    virginia
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    Re: Proof and Preferences..........

    I don't think of myself as "seasoned," but for me, bourbon choices are largely driven by mood. One day, Booker's neat in a snifter might seem right; on another, Old Fitzgerald on the rocks is the ticket.

    If your rotation is higher proof right now, have you tried the "standard" Eagle Rare 101 or OGD 114? Sounds like they're down your current alley.

  5. #5
    Guru
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    Sep 2001
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    Pelham, AL
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    3,900

    Re: Proof and Preferences..........

    Yes, me too. I have a strong preference for 100-proof and higher. I try to never buy anything below 90. I do, however, greatly enjoy Old Grand Dad 86. But, I never, ever buy anything at 80-proof.

    Some of my greatest favorites are WT Rare Breed, OGD 114, and the 95-proof Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (2002 edition). Also, 94-proof Blanton's.

    Tim

  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Proof and Preferences..........

    That OGD 114 looks tempting.

    Which distillery is it from?
    The reason I ask, is that I don't care for anything coming out of Heaven Hill right now - EC, EWSB, Fighting Cock, etc.... they just seem to be bitter.

  7. #7
    Guru
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    Re: Proof and Preferences..........

    It is made by the Jim Beam company, but I don't know which specific distillery. Others here will know.

    Definitely not HH, though.

    Tim

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
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    540

    Re: Proof and Preferences..........

    I tend to lean towards the higher proofs, too, but I certainly don't "poo poo" the below 100 proofs. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for the fuller flavors of higher proofs. I like Ezra Brooks 101 for a good everday kinda pour.

  9. #9
    Guru
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    Moscow Mills, MO
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    2,507

    Re: Proof and Preferences..........

    I certainly won't disagree with your personal feelings but I'm inclined to think that a lot of taste is preconceived perceptions. I think we expect a bit more 'kick' out of the higher proof bourbons and expect the 'higher alcohol' taste and therefore brace our tastebuds for it, trying to block out the alcohol and focus on the other tastes. Then when drinking the lesser proofs we let down our guard and don't focus as much. Therefore, we perceive more taste with the higher proofs than the lower or at least that's the way I see it and have experienced it.

  10. #10

    Re: Proof and Preferences..........

    Well said -- and I agree. Two of my regular favorites -- meaning I virtually never find them 'off' -- are the Stagg '03 (142 proof) and Rebel Yell (80 proof). If I have a 'house bourbon' it's 86-proof Jim Beam Black. I appreciate 114-proof Noah's Mill more with each sampling, but agree with many others here about the merits of Weller 12 (90 proof) and AAA 10yo (86 proof). Each is what it is, and proof is only one of variables.

 

 

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