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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Sep 2002
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    Best Bourbon Is?

    If I had to go out on a limb I'd say the best straight whiskey on the market today is Four Roses Single Barrel. This bourbon consistently reaches the heights. It has a fine texture, soft mouth feel (despite the proof), fine wintergreen-like taste and aftertaste and balanced overall character with the wood char echoing in the aftertaste (but not dominating). Also, it has a fine natural sweetness. There are whiskeys from other concerns I would rate as high but they are not available (as yet anyway) in general circulation. I'd include the 20 year old rye we tasted recently at HH and the barrel strength 1792 we tasted at Barton's.

    In any case, these are the three best whiskeys I've tasted this year and perhaps ever.

    Gary

  2. #2

    Re: Best Bourbon Is?

    It's funny, Gary, but because KY is so accessible to me, so far I've had an "I'll get it next time" attitude about the FRSB. Thus, I've only tasted it at the several Bardstown events I've attended. It has wowed me then, but I've not had it regularly enough to call it a 'best' -- though it may well be a contender. Agreed, too, about the HH 20yo rye and that Warehouse Z Barton sample. Great stuff.
    I poured a bit of the remainder of my Lawrenceburg Pappy 23 bottling last night -- which is a rye recipe, one I believe Julian said might be Old Boone whiskey -- and it's been fabulous each time I've had it, as has the 'cheesy' gold-label Wild Turkey 12yo from the '80s and early-'90s. All of these -- and George T. Stagg when I'm in the mood and I find the perfect dilution -- are on a plateau by themselves for me. I've never found a fault in a single sip of any of them.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Best Bourbon Is?

    Good notes, thanks. That Pappy 23 has eluded me, I'd love to try it. I have had very limited experience with Geo. T. Stagg but I'll keep an open mind (and I know what you mean by getting the dilution right). I had one WT 12 year old a few years ago that was outstanding but after tried two others that weren't as good.

    Gary

  4. #4
    Guru
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    May 2005
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    Eastern Pennsylvania
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    2,744

    Re: Best Bourbon Is?

    Hi Gary,
    Since I did not have the good fortune to accompany you to taste the 20 y/o Rye at HH or the Barrel Strength Barton and I've not had the pleasure of tasting a Pappy 23 in any form, I'd have to say that almost any of the Van Winkles qualify for top honors IMHO. I've had the 20, 15-107 (both), 12-90, 10-107. I don't think I've had anything better to date. I guess you can tell I like Wheaters.
    Joe

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Best Bourbon Is?

    Thanks for these thoughts, Joe, the Van Winkle products rate high in my book, too. Still, I'd have to give the laurels to a rye-recipe or rye whiskey since (with exception of the ORVW 12 and 13 year old ryes and the 23 year old bourbon Tim mentioned) Van Winkle is a wheat-recipe specialty house. While I enjoy wheaters, especially older ones, rye-recipe bourbons, to quote bourbon writer and taster extraordinaire Chuck Cowdery, are always more interesting. Of course, not everyone will agree.

    Gary

  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Beijing
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    122

    Re: Best Bourbon Is?

    Ive seen a few Four Roses Single Barrels on the shelves here in japan and i didnt think very much of them simply because their 'well' brand is everywhere and its pretty crappy.
    Well, because of your recommendation, i have to say the Single Barrel is next on my to buy list.

    So far, my favorite bourbon has been Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Its multidimensional flavor does the trick for me.

  7. #7
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Houston, TX
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    1,738

    Re: Best Bourbon Is?

    The KY only FRSB is on my top 5 list. Just means I need to make another trip back to KY. When is the sampler scheduled for 2006?

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2007
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    Jan 2003
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    NYC, Louisville, Shenzhen
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    1,594

    Re: Bardstown Sampler 2006

    When is the sampler scheduled for 2006?
    The next Bardstown Sampler is April 29, 2006.

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Feb 2002
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    Kentucky
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    2,942

    Re: Best Bourbon Is?

    I have had very limited experience with Geo. T. Stagg but I'll keep an open mind
    I have beat the Stagg drum a bit and now I am faced with having to rethink it. I'm tasting it at the Bourbon tasting and thinking it's WTRR 101. The hell of that is the WTRR 101 is history, too bad really, almost half the cost.

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Best Bourbon Is?

    Don't feel too bad, Bobby. I thought the Stagg was Maker's. Yikes.

    Gary

 

 

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