Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 38

Thread: Holy Grail

  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,563

    Holy Grail

    The discussion about the Hirsch 16 gold foil got me thinking about this, but it comes up all the time.

    There are people -- you know who you are -- who are on a quest for the whiskey version of the holy grail, that one bottle that stands above all others. For many, the only way they can think of to identify it is age, maybe proof, maybe utter rarity become it is from a defunct distillery.

    Sometimes this last one manifests itself simply as an obscure name.

    Recently on eBay, someone (I suspect we would know him by his Teutonic lilt) was selling part of his collection. It consisted almost entirely of bourbons aged 20 years or more from non-distiller bottlers. Though he was selling it as a set, the average price was $150/bottle.

    People, maybe the whiskey holy grail exists, maybe it doesn't, but it definitely will not be a 20+ year-old bourbon from a non-distiller bottler. Most of that stuff is too woody, some of it is undrinkable, and almost none of it is worth the price. Most of it is stuff Heaven Hill made and won't sell as anything you can trace back to them. Figure it out.

    I know the problem is that ignorant people think American whiskey is just like scotch, though even there older is not necessarily better. The Hirsch/Michter products happen to be older bourbons that are very good, as are the Van Winkles, but they are exceptions to the rule.

    A fool and his money are soon parted, and we're not supposed to feel badly about that, but I do feel a duty now and then to put the truth out there for any fool who might be inclined to be a little less foolish.

  2. #2
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    132
    I 'collect' older bourbons as a part of Americana -- though I'd be hard-pressed to spend more than $150 for anything other than Very Very Old Fitz (and would love to find that at $150).

    I've opened an occasional bottle and find that I'd agree with your assessment of most older, vintage bourbons. I need to post my tasting notes, but I purchased with my brother a number of AMS 17YO Bourbon from 1933 and we got together to taste the bourbon and while it wasn't bad (much, much better than the questionable Michters 86 I opened this week) -- it was very woody. That being said, there is something to be said for having the opportunity to taste bourbon as it was drank by our forefathers. Same with wine, I'd love to try a bottle of Bordeaux from Thomas Jefferson's wine cellar -- but I'm sure it won't be half as good as a decent bottle from 1986 or 2000...

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    862

    sangreal

    All this Davinci Code stuff, the recent Hirsch gold foil top discussion, followed by Chuck's posting entitled Holy Grail have made me want to chime in here. There probably isn't a universal Holy Grail bourbon, I can definitely agree to that. I do however think there is certainly a category of bourbons that could be deemed "holy grail" bourbons. I think I even started a thread awhile ago trying to accumulate a list of these "holy grail" bourbons when I was a newbie to this world and this great forum.

    If I had to think of a few that I assume (don't kill me here if some of you hate the 2 I list) would get overwhelming support by many members of this forum as being great bourbons and at the same time being so very difficult to find, I would select Hirsch 20 and VVOF.

    When I found my Hirsch 20 on a shelf way up high (10 feet up) with dust all over it, my heart literally fluttered and skipped a beat. I couldn't believe what I was looking at! A piece of history and to me a holy grail bourbon.
    Maybe I am nuts, maybe I get too caught up in the lore and mystique surrounding some of these fine bourbons. Whatever it is, it keeps me hunting and drinking bourbon. Cheers.

  4. #4
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,892

    Post

    I have no doubt as to what my "holy grail" bourbon is.

    Until last summer, it was Rock Hill Farms. I finally got a bottle on a trip to Kentucky. It is open and highly enjoyed, but only on special occasions. It was just too hard to get.

    Since then, my clear target has been Wild Turkey 12-year old, whichever style or label. I saw a bottle in Atlanta about five years ago and I could still kick myself for not buying it. A couple of years ago, I even went out of my way to go back to the same store, but of course, it was gone.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  5. #5
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Central Arizona (near Prescott), U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,235
    Tim,

    I'm going to try to help you out here.

    Don't waste your time looking for Wild Turkey 12 y/o. It wasn't all that great to begin with. Anything I may have written to the contrary in the past was probably the result of my falling for all the hype.

    Now the occasional bottle you may find will probably be priced about double what Rock Hill Farms goes for. Can anything possibly be twice as good as Rock Hill Farms?

    So forget about Wild Turkey 12 y/o, and sleep well, my friend. You're not missing anything.

    Of course, if you happen to find a bottle at a price you're willing to pay, you'll see for yourself, one way or the other. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

    I hope this helps.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  6. #6
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Alliance,Ohio
    Posts
    1,514
    I agree with the assessment of Wild Turkey 12. If you want a Holy Grail bourbon with Wild Turkey on the label, try getting a bottle of Russells Reserve 101, not that is holy grail bourbon!

    Thomas

  7. #7
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Las Vegas NV
    Posts
    2,095
    Right now being very new at this, I feel fortunate to have in my stash some fine bottles. I know myself well enough to know that I will continue the search for that "one" bottle. For me the Holy Grail of bourbon will be defined not just by the bottle, or the label. My Holy Grail will be that bottle, at that time, with the people, in that place which will never be duplicated.
    Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.

    Bob Marley.

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Issaquah, WA.
    Posts
    887
    I'm along the lines of SBOmarc. I am pretty easy in that I have found something to enjoy in almost all the Bourbons I have tried. At this point for me the Holy Grail will be anything I get to sample some day at the Gazebo with all you fine folks who contribute so much here. To actually enjoy a fine drink in more than your cyber company will be something else indeed.
    Todd

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    867
    Yipee! Trendy at last!

    Your post is, more or less, a concentrate on my thoughts, Chuck. One would almost be fooled to think that you have begun to read my posts.

    My Holy Grail bourbon, BTW, is Very Old Barton. Howzabout that for non-glamorous aspirations?
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    834
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH
    I agree with the assessment of Wild Turkey 12. If you want a Holy Grail bourbon with Wild Turkey on the label, try getting a bottle of Russells Reserve 101, not that is holy grail bourbon!

    Thomas
    Instead of suggesting 'Holy Grail' bourbon's that are not readily available, RR101 is scare in my parts but luckily I have two in storage, why not suggest one that is on the shelves now?

    For me that would be the current Rare Breed. I doubt that anyone would deny that this is one helluva bottle so get it before it becomes rare.
    Tim

    I am going where streams of whiskey are flowing...

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Holy Grail bourbons
    By Vange in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 12-27-2005, 12:42

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