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Thread: greetings...

  1. #1
    Novice
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    Apr 2007
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    greetings...

    New to bourbon and I need help. I love the smell of bourbon, but not so fond of the taste...I guess it's the "burn" I don't like so much. I've tried Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, and just opened an Old Van Winkle 10 yr 80 proof...this is more to my liking, and I've only tried them neat, but the OVW smells better than it tastes. Can anyone recommend something I might really really like...I guess I am looking for a smooth, pleasant, tasty, mildly sweet and not harsh bourbon. Or maybe I should try the bourbon in a mixed drink. I usually drink micro beer, wine, bombay sapphire, but would like to expand my horizons. Thank you all! Love the website and love reading about bourbon.

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
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    Re: greetings...

    Quote Originally Posted by bourbonwannabe View Post
    Can anyone recommend something I might really really like...I guess I am looking for a smooth, pleasant, tasty, mildly sweet and not harsh bourbon.
    Welcome bourbonwannabe,
    Since it's the sweetness for which you're looking, I'm going to give you advice that's counterintuitive.

    I think that sweetness is more pronounced at higher proofs where salty/tart is more pronounced at lower proofs, so I'm going to recommend that you look through the posts for 90+ proofers that have comments like "no alcohol burn." I believe cutting below about 90 proof (the exact number varies by person) makes the sweetness diminish considerably.

    Also, the age range and era of bottling could help. In my experience, the vanillins in white oak (that's right, the "artificial vanilla" that you bake with if you're too cheap to buy real vanilla) and the fresh, sweetness of wood usually peak in the 6-10 year range. Older bottlings often have more char, old fruit, leather, and perhpaps musty wood character. The era of bottling is significant, as we're in an age where sweetness, vanillins, and young wood are less evident than in bottlings of the '80s and before.

    That said, I think that Weller 7 year/107 proof is a great one to try. Start it strong and dilute until you hit your perfection point. If it happens to be 90 proof, then other Weller products might suit you even more. Old Charter and Elmer T Lee could also be good choices, but you can't start strong and dilute with those.

    Good Hunting,
    Roger

  3. #3
    Guru
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    Re: greetings...

    Some good advise. I second the motion on Weller 107. It's a fine pour. Another I would suggest that goes outside the 8-10 year range is the Van Winkle Lot B which is a 90 proof, 12 year old bourbon. Of course, taste is an individual thing but I find the Lot B to be extremely smooth and on the sweet side. It's one of my favorite pours.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
    Greg's "bourbondork" blog

  4. #4
    Moderator
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    Re: greetings...

    Welcome bourbonwannabe, it's a long journey, so buckle up!
    I have have limited exposure to all the offerings talked about on this board as I live Australia, however from what I have read here, I would also go with the likes of Weller 107, as it is a wheat recipe bourbon, and I intend on getting some of this myself, as I am a wheat fan. The Lot B that Greg talked about is also a wheat recipe bourbon.

    Enjoy the ride!

    Scott
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day" - Frank Sinatra

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: greetings...

    I've never tried the Weller 107, but I have tried other Wellers (Special Reserve, 12 Year, Centennial, and W.L. Weller). All of them I liked. For the price, I'd recommend the Weller 12 yr.

    As to Van Winkle products, any Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve would be good. The 20 and 23 year are the best, but a bit pricey. I just picked up my first Lot B this evening, but I can't imagine it being bad.

    My wife didn't like bourbon at first. Similar to you, she like the smell but not the burn. She has adapted quite nicely. What turned her into a convert was adding water. Try that.

    Good luck - and welcome to the fun and exciting world of bourbon!
    Mmm, dat's good!
    Pappy's Friend

  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: greetings...

    Another vote here for Old Weller 107 and Elmer T Lee. Also, I find Old Rip Van Winkle 107/10yr to be a tad bit richer than the Old Weller. You might like that one. Weller 12 yr is pretty smooth. Finally, while I don't drink it, Basil Hayden's is very smooth but not without a little complexity. It basically has all the good characteristics of bourbon, but you just have to concentrate a little. It also has almost zero burn. I'm also new here but welcome aboard!
    Kevin

    "Why don't you quit cryin' and get me some bourbon?"

  7. #7
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    Re: greetings...

    I just picked up my first Lot B this evening, but I can't imagine it being bad.

    If you like the PVWFR selections, you will certainly like the Lot B. For $36 I think it's an absolute bargain. I tend to lean toward a wheated bourbon and in my opinion, the Lot B is tops.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
    Greg's "bourbondork" blog

  8. #8

    Re: greetings...

    If its sweet and smooth you want Elmer T. Lee is where its at. One of the best "bang for the buck" pours around. Also, try putting your bourbon in the refrigerator and see if it smooths out the taste.

  9. #9

    Re: greetings...

    My suggestion would be Evan Williams Single Barrel. It's mid 80's proof, very smooth, and a nice overall pour. I think you will find it's got a lot of flavor but not a lot of burn.

    Joel
    "Oh Bother!" said Pooh as he slapped another magazine in his AK-47...

    http://vinesnwines.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
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    623

    Re: greetings...

    Welcome! Try drinking your bourbon on the rocks instead of neat and see if that works...same great taste, but the cold and the dilution (as the ice melts) really gets rid of the burn.

 

 

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