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  1. #1
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    Which younger whiskeys do you appreciate most? And other thoughts on younger whiskey.

    I had my first taste of Evan Williams Black today. It was very sweet, with the same basic sweet flavor which I find in EC 12 and Henry McKenna 10 yo single barrel. There was nothing harsh or unpleasant, and I enjoyed the sweetness, but I found myself disappointed by its lack of uniqueness; it tasted like older Heaven Hill whiskey, minus the complexity and length. Perhaps, if this were the only whiskey produced by Heaven Hill, it would be worth consuming, but as is I suspect that I will never feel a craving for this bourbon.


    With other younger whiskeys, I experience enjoyable notes which seem to be modified with age, rather than just added to, so that I still desire to consume the younger whiskey for variety. Which younger whiskeys do you most enjoy?

    I recently have been greatly enjoying WT 101, although earlier in my bourbon drinking days I found it harsh and astringent. It has a salty taste, and a nice strong char. In Russel's Reserve, I find the salty sensation absent, and the char taste completely modified and softened. The char in WT 101 tastes like, what I imagine a plank of burnt oak would taste like were I to give one a lick (I have never done so), while Russel's Reserve reminds me more of burnt leaves. In Rare Breed, I taste more leather, which I have been attributing to its >10 year old component.

    Another younger bourbon which I appreciate is Jim Beam White. Again, this is a bourbon which I did not care for in the past; I found it harsh and bitter.
    Last edited by fog; 11-21-2007 at 17:14.

  2. #2
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    Re: Which younger whiskeys do you appreciate most? And other thoughts on younger whis

    This gets me to thinking, is young bourbon an acquired taste? From my first sip, I enjoyed the older bourbons, even at quite high proofs, yet it took me about a year of tasting before I developed an appreciation for the younger bourbons.

    After I had initially found Beam White distasteful, I never intended to drink Beam White again. Yet, while vacationing in Bonaire, Beam White was the only bourbon I could find, so I eventually ordered a pour at the beach bar. The bourbon was warm - beach bar temperature. Sipping it while admiring a few attractive Dutch blondes was one of the most pleasant bourbon experiences that I can remember; it tasted perfect at the moment.

    This brings me to another point. I have never appreciated bourbon chilled or with ice. With cold bourbon, it seems that the effects of the oak are muted, while other flavors come to the forefront, which were earlier overpowered by the oak. Effectively, chilled bourbon tastes younger to me. The only bourbons which I have found palatable while cold are those with the strongest oak influence, which even when muted by the cold still retain character from the wood.
    Last edited by fog; 11-21-2007 at 16:25.

  3. #3
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    Re: Which younger whiskeys do you appreciate most? And other thoughts on younger whis

    My favorite young bourbon is I W Harper. It's wonderful bourbon, a soft round vanilla character. It's not harsh or spirity as I find some other young bourbons.
    Ed
    Bourbon makes me happy.

    Go Fighters!

  4. #4
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    Re: Which younger whiskeys do you appreciate most? And other thoughts on younger whis

    I have a quick question that I hate to start a new topic for, and it fits in a way.

    I am visiting family in Georgia, and I have seen Evan Williams Bottled in Bond all over the place, even in stores with a very limited bourbon selection. I don't remember seeing this in Kentucky, and it's a pretty distinctive label.

    Is this going to be any different from Heaven Hill BIB? Would they go for different flavor profiles for these two low end bourbons, are is it the same stuff with different marketing?

  5. #5
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    Re: Which younger whiskeys do you appreciate most? And other thoughts on younger whis

    fog, i think you are right about be able to appreciate or "appreciate" the younger bourbons after having gotten some tasting ground under your belt...and having a small (or large!) wall of referentiality/experience.

    same here.

    i really appreciate the more "refined" WTs....(and glad you used this example because i am right now juggling and comparing Rare Breed, RR 101...and just knocked out a RR 90 a few weeks ago...and a good ole WT 101 before that. but i have gone back to the WT 101 with an even already deeper now deepened appreciation for it. i love the refined stuff. i like complexity. Rare Breed is doing that to me now! but i am missing that char, that saltiness, that 'whoa there fella, let me burn you a bit then you can enjoy the finish...' sense i get with WT 101.

    if i am ever offered the WT 80, i might try it...but i am sensing that i need higher proof in younger borubons so i can at least get a sense of resistance...the first signs of complexity?

    thanks for asking this interesting question!
    HUP!

  6. #6
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    Re: Which younger whiskeys do you appreciate most? And other thoughts on younger whis

    Good topic fog, and one that I have thought about myself. I agree that younger whiskeys are probably an acquired taste. Although many of us would probably say we like whiskeys of all ages and types, the reality seems to be somewhat different. Especially within the last couple of years, many of us have been caught up in the explosion of super premium bourbons and ryes. I am no exception to this rule as I have spent a good deal of time and money tracking down BTACs, heritage collections, anniversary bottlings and the like. Even the regular "premium" segment of EWSB, EC12, FRSB, etc. keeps one quite busy with many choices.

    With that said however, I find I am starting to really like some of the younger whiskeys. Just this week I drank the regular Buffalo Trace and Saz Jr all the while I had my recently acquired 2007 BTAC sitting on the counter next to me. Those are some good whiskeys! I even had some regular Jack Daniels on the rocks a couple a weeks ago at a party with a limited bar, and while it didn't knock me off my socks, it was still quite good in a simple way.

    The question for me is "youthfulness" in a young whiskey vs "burn." Is there a difference between these two things? Are these the more volatile alcohol components that are a result from a less than generous head and tail split and/or the result from less barrel mellowing? My guess is that yes there probably is at least some difference between youthfulness and burn, and that is what can make the difference between a good young whiskey and a bad young whiskey.

    I'm also guessing you can draw similar parallels between the above and barrel/wood influences. Maybe the reason you get some bad wood flavors in the cheaper and younger bourbons is because you simply can't be picky at that price range, and thus as a result you will get batches of whiskey more tainted by off barrels.

  7. #7

    Re: Which younger whiskeys do you appreciate most? And other thoughts on younger whis

    Quote Originally Posted by fussychicken View Post
    ...I find I am starting to really like some of the younger whiskeys. Just this week I drank the regular Buffalo Trace and Saz Jr..Those are some good whiskeys!..
    Agreed, but not young. Buffalo Trace is 8-9 years old. The first Saz was a 7-8yo, though it may have reverted to six.
    Anyway, many old-time (and, perhaps, current) distillers thought 6-8 years were the prime years for bourbon. Thus, I'd define 'young' as something less than 6 years old.
    Tim

  8. #8
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    Re: Which younger whiskeys do you appreciate most? And other thoughts on younger whis

    For me Heaven Hill's regular bonded (plus of course the 6 year one but I am speaking of the regular black and gold "4") is a winner, I just bought some and love it. It is my favourite younger whiskey (and Elijah Craig 12 is my favorite older one on an all-round basis).

    HH's bond has what I call the Bardstown taste (in rye-recipe), which has something in common therefore with Beam's and Barton's whiskeys of similar age but Heaven Hill's are superior in my view (before the fire, "during", after!).

    Next to that, Old Forester 100 proof although I thought the most recent sample I bought was not quite as good as recent years', seeming a little younger-tasting. Still, it is a solid favorite.

    Gary

  9. #9
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    Re: Which younger whiskeys do you appreciate most? And other thoughts on younger whis

    I have actually having Aristocrat right now, 3 old Heaven Hill.

    The nice is light, spearment, corn, mild. The palate, not much complexity or depth, more mint, a bit oak spice...Not a great deal there, but can I say it is bad? Just too light and thin for me to really enjoy- not a bad whisky for someone who wants to pound them..

    It was $9, so its worth the education, if nothing else....

    I do like Old Grandad BIB a good deal, and really love Old Weller Antique, 7 year old..not very young, but nice.

  10. #10
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    Re: Which younger whiskeys do you appreciate most? And other thoughts on younger whis

    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon View Post
    Thus, I'd define 'young' as something less than 6 years old.
    From a historical standpoint, you are absolutely right. However when looking at today's market, I think it is hard not to call a 6 year old young. (Although I'm sure some might counter that by saying today's older whiskeys are "too old" or "super old.")

    In any case, I had no idea Buffalo Trace was 8-9 years old! I figured it was in the 6 year range.

 

 

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