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  1. #1
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    Smoothest / Most Drinkable Bourbons

    I have been trying to drink my Evan Williams 7YO on the rocks but don't really like it. Before I go out and buy something else I don't like, I am curious what Bourbons are the easiest to drink?

    I found I liked the 7YO beBm maybe because it was sweet and easy to drink on the rocks. In my history, I used to like Scotch on the Rocks.

    I am curious which are the most drinkable Bourbons either straight or on the rocks?

  2. #2
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    Re: Smoothest / Most Drinkable Bourbons

    Basil Hayden (much maligned on this board) is very easy on the palette... it is what I typically use to "introduce" bourbons to the uninitiated. Elmer T. Lee (if available in your area) is also easy-going because of its "sweeter" profile. These are both "premium" bourbons.

    At a lower price, I'd suggest Buffalo Trace, Maker's Mark, or one of the Weller products.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Smoothest / Most Drinkable Bourbons

    Maker's Mark(also much maligned on this board) is also quite smooth. Elijah Craig 18yo I also find quite smooth.

  4. #4
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    Re: Smoothest / Most Drinkable Bourbons

    I'm with you on the Evan Williams Black. I usually drink my bourbon neat but this is one that I just can't stand straight up. It even made the Beam Black I drank after it taste bad. I was going to try it on ice to see if it made it any better. Fortunately, I only spent 6 bucks on it so I have no problem relegating this one to coke mixing.

    To me Beam Black is pretty darn smooth and is one of my everyday bourbons. I referred to it as liquid candy when I first started drinking it. I'll usually buy the 1.75L of this one when I see it on sale.

    Wade

  5. #5
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    Re: Smoothest / Most Drinkable Bourbons

    I am a relative newbie to the world of bourbon, but I ramp up fast!

    I recently went to a wedding and didn't like their choice of vodka, all they had was absolut. I ended up going with a Maker's Mark neat. Wow, what a bite! I could not drink it neat so I switched to it on the rocks. It went down much smoother, but still had a bite.

    I really like to drink most of my spirits neat. I even drink my bookers 8 yo (120+ proof) neat and it doesn't have the bite that the MM had.

    As for smooth and in a good price range go for the VW SR 12 yo Lot B. Great stuff!

    Just my 2 cents from a newbie.

  6. #6
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    Re: Smoothest / Most Drinkable Bourbons

    Well, the first two that came to my mind were Basil Hayden and Maker's Mark. I prefer the taste of the BH (but not its price), but since you seem to like sweetness, I'd say try the MM. At a lower price, you might give Old Charter 8 yr. old a chance. I'm pretty sure I've seen reference to it in KS, and many describe it as sweet (not the first description that comes to my mind, but I see what they mean). You should be able to get the OC 10 yr., or even the 12 yr., at less than the MM. The OC 12 is a particular favorite of mine.

    Bob

    P.s. Another budget try is Rebel Yell. I would call it "soft" rather than "smooth," because there can be some harshness, but it is sweet, at it's best over ice, and at 80 proof, just can't kick too hard anyway.

  7. #7

    Re: Smoothest / Most Drinkable Bourbons

    Basil Hayden (much maligned on this board)...
    I think the biggest problem most of us have regarding Basil Hayden's is the price -- $35-$40 for an 80-proofer is just asking too much. I can't think of an 80-proof bourbon within $10 of it for a 750ml. As for the whiskey itself, I like it a lot, and would buy it at, say, $20-$25.
    Weller 12yo is very mellow and sweet, and Jim Beam Black and Buffalo Trace are easy-drinking on the rye-recipe side. Among lower-end premiums, try Eagle Rare 10yo Single Barrel.

  8. #8
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    Re: Smoothest / Most Drinkable Bourbons

    Like so much on this site, it's subjective. Since you mentioned Even 7yo, I thought you were only into price. As a scotch drinker, you will find the Basil Hayden's a bargain. I like Weller Antique. At 107 proof, it's very smooth. I always add a drop of water to my single malts, yet with bourbon, it's always neat. Most scotch clocks in around the 80-90 proof. So it's all going to be relative. Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year is wonderful, as is Buffalo Trace. And both of these are at 90 proof. But, sometimes proof has nothing to do with smoothness; there are some 90 proofers that burn, and some high proofers (Old Grand Dad 100, Old Rip Van Winkle 107, and the aforementioned Weller Antique) that are incredibly smooth.

  9. #9
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    Re: Smoothest / Most Drinkable Bourbons

    Yeah Tim thanks. Do you have a brother named Larry in Kansas City? I guess it takes some tasting to figure out what you like. I do like the Jim Beam black label and at 16.30 a fifth I figure its a good deal. I don't know if there are any other smooth bourbons in this price range. I like this stuff. It seems like sometime in my life I tried bourbon and this is what I remembered it should taste like. JB Black is truly excellent IMO. Of course I haven't tasted much thats out there so from a very limited experience and a very new taster, I like it.

    Paul C.

  10. #10
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    Re: Smoothest / Most Drinkable Bourbons

    I ended up going with a Maker's Mark neat. Wow, what a bite! I could not drink it neat so I switched to it on the rocks. It went down much smoother, but still had a bite.
    Evangelos, I don't know anyone whose had that reaction to Maker's. That's interesting. May have just been your taste buds that day. There are days when nothing tastes good to me (few of them, thankfully). There are people who say it needs more zip, more age or whatever. I usually like it well enough.

    As to fogfrog's original question, I think you'll find your definitions will change over time. When I first started drinking whiskey (a LONG time ago) I liked Jack Daniels. Mostly because it was smooth. That was my main criteria. Now I go for drinks with a much larger flavor profile (like Kentucky Spirit or Tribute). To me those are amazingly smooth, but I wouldn't have thought so 30 years ago. I've changed. My perceptions have changed. Advice here on Maker's, Weller and Elmer T. Lee (to me the most "smooth") are right on. Will that mean they will be what you want in a few years? Maybe, but probably not. Enjoy the journey!

    Ken

 

 

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