Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. #1
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Burlington VT, USA
    Posts
    336

    Semi-newbie - recommendations?

    Greetings, all! I'm somewhat new to the world of whisk(e)y in general, and to bourbon in particular. I've been lurking on the boards for a week or two trying to absorb some knowledge, and now I'm looking for some suggestions on what additional bourbons I should try.

    Here is what I have in my stash or have had at some time:
    <ul type="square"> [*]Knob Creek - My first "premium" bourbon, I like the vanilla nose and the smoothness. [*]Maker's Mark - Eh. It's ok. I have friends that love it. I've still got a 375 mL bottle that I haven't finished, simply because I don't drink that often. [*]Basil Hayden's - Cool bottle, but I'm not a big fan of the contents. Wish I'd read the boards here before purchasing, as it seems others feel the same way.[*]Elijah Craig 12yo - This is probably my favorite to date. And it's cheap enough to drink as an "everyday" bourbon. Only downside is that the state determines availability for all liquor in Vermont, so I have to special order this through their website.[*]Evan Williams Single Barrel (I believe 1993, not 100% sure) - I've seen raves of EWSB on these boards, but for me, the taste of charcoal dominates everything else - I have yet to find any other flavor in this bottle. Was a gift from the in-laws.[*]Jim Beam Black - Good, I (gasp) use this to mix with (whiskey sours, manhattan, and bourbon &amp; coke). Seems a good value for the price, but I prefer the EC12 for drinking neat.[*]Jim Beam White - Staple. Used for mixing when guests are over. I also have some friends who PREFER the JB White either on the rocks or *shudder* for shots.[/list]

    After reading the boards here, I compiled a list of "must try" bourbons. Here are the items that are available in-state:
    <ul type="square">[*]Harper Gold Medal 15yo - $28[*]Ancient Ancient Age - $12[*]Booker's - $48[*]Elijah Craig 18yo (single barrel) - $33[*]Rock Hill Farms - $38[*]Wild Turkey Rare Breed - $31[*]Eagle Rare Single Barrel - $20 (Eagle Rare is $16)[/list]

    In addition to these, there are several bourbons listed on the state page that I have heard no mention of here, and they look interesting:
    <ul type="square">[*]Very Very Old Fitzgerald - $27[*]Old Charter Proprietor's Reserve - $28[/list]

    Very few of these items are "in stock" at the state liquor stores, and must be special ordered. I know packaging is not important (think "Basil Hayden's), but I like to be able to look at a bottle before I buy it. So, I'm doing the next best thing - asking a bunch of folks who have hopefully seen (and even better, tasted) these bourbons, and can point me in the right direction!

    Thanks all!

    -Will

  2. #2
    Taster
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
    Posts
    60

    Re: Semi-newbie - recommendations?

    wrbriggs: I'm relatively new to this forum but certainly not new to bourbon. I've tried almost all of the bourbons you list in your post, and your "must try" list looks great to me. I would add as a great lower-cost bourbon the Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve. Also, I'm a big fan of the Van Winkle products - try the Old Rip Van Winkle 15yo 107 or the Van Winke Family Reserve 20yo if you want to go that high in price, and the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye. There are others, but with the above and your list, you should be in butter for a while.

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Burlington VT, USA
    Posts
    336

    Re: Semi-newbie - recommendations?

    Thanks for the response! I would have added the Van Winkle bourbons to my list, but unfortunately, none are available in Vermont...

    If anyone is interested, here are a list of the bourbon's that are readily available to me:
    Vermont DLC Straight Bourbon Listing

    There are certainly bourbons I'd love to try that aren't on my list, such as Stagg or Hirsch, but they are not available to me, and are not available in New Hampshire either... I am not as familiar with NY liquor laws, but it might be worth looking into. I've just discovered that I cannot have liquor shipped to Vermont either, so I will have to travel to get anything "special"; and unfortunately, while I do have some spare cash to spend on bourbon, I have very little for travelling...

  4. #4
    Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    SI, NY
    Posts
    2,083

    Re: Semi-newbie - recommendations?

    I like all that you have listed that you could get (cept' for the Fitzgerald and I will talk about that in a bit) but here are 4 I would get in particular in order of my preference. Again, this is just my opinion:


    Rock Hill Farms - $38 Beautiful bourbon, nicely balanced
    Eagle Rare Single Barrel - $20 Same, balanced nicely, just enough rye. If you can get the Eagle Rare 17yo, you'd have a REAL winner!
    Elijah Craig 18yo (single barrel) - $33 (I love this one for its great 'barrel notes' ) It's a love it or hate it though...
    Wild Turkey Rare Breed - $31 A very good example expression from WT. Priced a bit higher than I have seen it, but still different from the rest so I would say give it a go.

    Now about the Fitzgerald you speak of. Its not the Very Very old fitzgerald but rather very special old fitzgerald. Very Very old fitz has not been made in some time... I wish it were still made though, one hell of a bourbon. Anyways, I had one bottle of the VSOF and about gagged. It was one of the few bourbons I can say I hated and wouldn't want to try again.


  5. #5
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Bristol UK.
    Posts
    272

    Re: Semi-newbie - recommendations?

    Make sure you get the AAA 10YO - I think its much better than the other AA's.

    * Buffalo Trace *

    Cheers,

    B.

  6. #6
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Burlington VT, USA
    Posts
    336

    Re: Semi-newbie - recommendations?

    This probably doesn't belong in this thread, but I just finished an email exchange with my favorite liquor retailer in the area (the selection and prices are set by the state, but the stores are independently owned and operated). It turns out that there is a loophole in the VT state law that allows me to order liquor from out-of-state if I fill out the proper paperwork (I assume there is some limit to the amount I can bring in). Also, it seems that the laws are more relaxed for retailers than for individuals, and she may be able to special order any liquor I want, if she can find a distributor that carries it, even if it isn't distributed by the state.

    So, with that all said - I may have more leeway than I thought. Ignore my list - other than what's already been mentioned, what should I be looking for?

    Thanks all!

    -Will

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    867

    Re: Semi-newbie - recommendations?

    Hello!

    From your list I would choose :

    - Wild Turkey rare breed ( a must have in any bourbon collection)
    - Rock Hill Farms (perhaps the most hedonistic bourbon out there)
    - Ancient Ancient Age (best value for money)

    To be quite honest, my latest bottle of Booker´s took me by surprise, in a positive sense. Not that I ever have looked down upon it but it was so much better than my last bottling. I´m a bit wary about recommending it, though, partly because of the price but also, due to the fact that it seems to vary in style from bottling to bottling.

    As for the I.W. Harper 15 yo : well, wow! Wish I could lay my hands on that bugger (I have never, ever seen one).

  8. #8
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    10,614

    Re: Semi-newbie - recommendations?

    Evening wrbriggs,

    A couple not on your list but you may like are the 100 proof expressions of Very Old Barton and Old Forester. These and EC 12yr have been my daily and entertainment pours for several decades.

    Your distributor should be able to get the VOB and OF in the 1.75 ltr at a cost far less than one of the limited bottlings.

    Regards,
    Squire

  9. #9
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Moscow Mills, MO
    Posts
    2,507

    Re: Semi-newbie - recommendations?

    I see the Weller Centennial on the list and highly recommend it myself.

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    623

    Re: Semi-newbie - recommendations?

    I have to agree with two points here:

    1. Rock Hill Farms is a wonderful bourbon, and definitely worth the price. One of my top five all-time favorites.

    2. I had a very similar experience with VSOF. I thought it was horrible. It's the only bourbon I ever bought where I actually ended up throwing away part of the bottle because I couldn't stand the taste.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Rye Recommendations?
    By TimmyBoston in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 06-04-2006, 01:25
  2. Newbie needs recommendations...
    By Brennan77 in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 11-18-2005, 15:30
  3. Recommendations for newbie who likes Booker's
    By Kdross in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-23-2005, 19:55
  4. First-time Bourbon recommendations?
    By Bill in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-04-2005, 13:51
  5. Weller v. Old Fitz & other recommendations
    By Henry in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-27-2000, 10:39

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top