Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 35
  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,138

    Over-empasis on rare/expensive items?

    I think there tends to be here an over-emphasis on rare and expensive items and I'd like to see more discussion on everyday bourbons. There are a number of reasons for this: first and foremost, the actual quality difference between a high-end and low-end bourbon is quite small. True, the high end usually is "better" but the amount of improvement is usually very small in relation to the price difference. Second, not everyone can buy or source expensive brands.

    And I say this as someone who can buy (more or less) what I want. Just the other day I bought an Old Overholt for 15 dollars and a no-longer-available Van Winkle rye 12 year old for 25 dollars and they will give me more pleasure than, say Classic Cask rye, Birthday Bourbon, Stagg and many other expensive whiskies because they are better value for money but also arguably better whiskeys ounce for ounce. Older and stronger are not always better for example and I am tiring of a tannic edge on a lot of the old whiskey that's out there.

    So e.g. Jeff's choice of a price brand as BOTM was an excellent one. As it happens, Old Fitzgerald is one of the few price brands I don't like. But I discovered that only after trying it and I bought it before knowing it was August's BOTM. But I like Ten High, Barton's brands (almost all of them), the Heaven Hill-branded whiskeys, many of the smaller labels in bonded form, Beam Black, all the 4 year old ryes out there, many of the American blendeds out there (especially Barton's brands) and much else that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I love rock and rye which is very versatile. In fact when you factor in that to make most cocktails it doesn't matter what straight whiskey is used, the emphasis on the high end brands seems a little contrived and marketing (as always) can work its magic on those here no less than any other kind of consumer.

    The only part about the whiskey renaissance I don't like is the tendency to focus on high end brands to the exclusion of the solid middle and even lower shelf. That may create a situation where producers put out very old tannic whiskeys on the one hand and a slew of poor quality lower-shelvers on the other hand. I hope that never happens but auguries are not good, methinks..

    Gary

  2. #2
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Victoria Canada, Whistler, Maui
    Posts
    454

    Re: Over-empasis on rare/expensive items?

    Isn't it way more fun talking about Corvettes, Stealths and BMWs, than say, Pontiac Sunfire or Ford Focus?

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Mentor, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    837

    Re: Over-empasis on rare/expensive items?

    I also welcome discussions of the better mid-level products. What I have found in most of them is a lack of finish with little wood influence (I don't know if that is the Tannin you are refering to??) My favorite aspects of Bourbon are the warm full alchohol opening, mellowing into the sweet, carmel middlings and a long complex finish of Oak.

    But let me be very clear, we don't get just everything here on the North Coast. We have WT101 which I like a great deal but will generally pass on for Rare Breed. We have a few other "basic Bourbon's" such as Beam Black but no Weller's, Fitz, Forester etc etc.

    We do have a nice but hardly complete selection of higher end products inc.: 1792RR, Blanton's, Rare Breed, Booker's, Baker's, Basil Hayden, Jefferson Reserve, Evan Williams Single Barrel and Elijah Craig 12 (but haven't seen the 18).

    My suspition is stores here stock more of the higher end products because they make more on a $50 bottle than on a $20 bottle. They also have a few suitable for mixing but don't want to cut into high end sales with almost as good much cheaper products.

    If I could find the same enjoyment from less expensive offerings I would certainly welcome that and reading what other's who have access to these think gives me something to keep an eye out for when I'm travelling.

    Also, please understand, I don't tend to mix drinks, other than adding water for a later afternoon refreshment, otherwise, strickly neat. I can easily understand how the "quality" of a spirit intended for Old Fashioneds or Manhattans matters way less. (I don't put Grey Goose in a Screwdriver either!)

    Let the discussions begin!

    Ken

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Near York, PA
    Posts
    897

    Re: Over-empasis on rare/expensive items?

    This is the Premium Bourbons/Specialty Bottlings section of the board. There are the other sections to discuss the everyday bourbons. I really don't see you point in posting this in the section set aside for the higher cost bourbons.

  5. #5
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,823

    Re: Over-empasis on rare/expensive items?

    Gary,
    Going over the many threads on tasting, it seems to me that many mid shelf and even some lower shelf entries have been disected quite well. I'll admit that the higher end stuff gets somewhat more press but "to each his own". I like to read 'em (and drink 'em) all.
    Joe

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,138

    Re: Over-empasis on rare/expensive items?

    First, I meant to post this in general bosubon discussion and thought I did, I must have hit the wrong field.

    Second, I should be more clear perhaps by saying, not that I mind the quality bourbon discussion (in which I often post myself) but that there should be more middle and lower-price brands discussed. Some are but relatively few, e.g., Ten High, when was that last discussed in any detail (as opposed to the stray comment)? I recognise bourbon availability varies over the land and that is a problem in getting enough people to discuss the same thing.

    The BOTM is a way to do it and Jeff, I would persist with choosing middle and lower shelf products. Many are very good and don't offer a woody edge. I am not even sure how woodiness became a hallmark of whiskey quality (the snob factor of an older and therefore more costly product, maybe?); whiskey in my view was aged historically enough to convert its congeners or most of them to more flavoursome elements not to make the whiskey too woody.

    Gary

  7. #7
    Novice
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    md.
    Posts
    4

    Re: Over-empasis on rare/expensive items?

    i have been feeling the same way for quite a while. when i'm enyoying a glass of whiskey i want to enjoy a glass of whiskey. more often than not i find that in the older whiskeys the oak is a distraction. whiskey doesn't need lots of oak to be satisfying. for my money i'll take wt-russells reserve, beam 8, old grand dad bib, old forester bib, beam rye and pikesville rye. there are others i enjoy but for me in general older is not better. my current whiskey of choice is pikesville rye @ $9.50 a bottle. just the right amount of florals and spice with the whole enveloped in a veil of lavender. wonderful stuff. delicate is the best way to describe it. reminds me of my southern aunts garden, when i was 12 years old, on a summers evening.

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,138

    Re: Over-empasis on rare/expensive items?

    Nicely put, thanks.

    Gary

  9. #9
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Chicago SW 'burbs
    Posts
    1,178

    Re: Over-empasis on rare/expensive items?

    Indeed, lately, I've been trying out some of the lower-priced whiskeys out there, and finding them to be highly enjoyable. Sure, I flat-out love some of the expensive stuff like Stagg or Hirsch 16, but there's quite a lot of bang-for-the-buck available in the $15-$30 range. AAA 10, OGD 114, BT, and WTRR 101 (bye!) are all quite good, and a lot easier on the pocketbook.

    I'm currently having a pour of Rittenhouse Rye BIB 100. It's nothing short of wonderful, even more so when I realize that I can get a bottle of it for a measly $12!

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    867

    Re: Over-empasis on rare/expensive items?

    whiskey in my view was aged historically enough to convert its congeners or most of them to more flavoursome elements not to make the whiskey too woody.
    Agree 100 %, Gary.

    Also, why is it that 6-8 yo whiskeys almost always have to be regarded as "everyday pours"? This does not correspond to my reality.

    You donīt have to travel that far back in time to find out that younger premium whiskeys (even in Scotland) were much more common (see for instance Talisker and Rosebank).

    Presently, when premium whiskey has been turned into yet another postmodern consumer artifact (no doubt purchased by people who read and write blogs, Gary! ) bottlings below 10yo of age have been withdrawn because they are deemed to be unworthy by the casual consumer. How sad.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Most expensive...
    By boone in forum Foreign Whiskey
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 07-28-2006, 23:02
  2. Rare
    By **DONOTDELETE** in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 10-03-2004, 13:47

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