I've always enjoyed bourbon more than any other spirit but hadn't really experimented much (typically drank Maker's Mark on the rocks or Jim Beam in mixed drinks). After moving to WA state from Napa, CA about 6 years ago I started drinking a lot of WA wines to get to know the landscape up here and I have to say I've been impressed. About a month ago I got an urge to have some good bourbon and began searching for a site that could give me some tips.
I'd like to thank all of you for your helpful tips and great taste. In a short amount of time, based on your advice, I've acquired many of the bottles I've seen recommended by you all. I'm sort of limited living in WA since the state liquor stores have a somewhat limited selection although there is one store in downtown Seattle that is stocked with top-notch stuff. Still, I've really enjoyed the various styles of bourbons and I'm trying to find out what style I like the most. Here's what I've picked up so far:
Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 yr
Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 yr
Wild Turkey 101
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 yr
Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel
W.L. Weller 12 yr
Old Weller Antique 7yr
Elijah Craig 12 yr
Of these I'd say my favorites have been the PVW 15 (very complex), Baker's (great balance, spice, and some chocolate up front), Booker's (it's got a little of everything -- sort of the quintessential bourbon profile to me), and Weller 12 (went I want something really comforting, simple and smooth).
Anyway, thanks again for a great forum and I look forward to learning more and more from you all! I'm especially keen on honing in on some good bargain brands that are more amenable to making Manhattans w/out guilt.