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  1. #1
    **DONOTDELETE**
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    A good Bourbon to start with

    I just discovered this site and I have to say that I am quite impressed. Now for my Question.... I'm going to be buying my first bottle of bourbon Mon. or Tues. and was looking for some suggestions on a good one to start with. I was considering Maker's Mark until I stumbled across this site. After reading some posts, I now think I might go with Evan Williams Single Barrel. Or maybe Elijah Craig (any versions of this brand I should look for, or stay away from?) As for availability, I live in a city with a population of about 140,000 in No. IL(Rockford), so I should have quite a few brands stocked here, although I haven't looked yet. I also don't want to spend over @30 bucks for a bottle. So if anyone could point me in the right direction, or give me some tips it would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    **DONOTDELETE**
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    Re: A good Bourbon to start with

    Hunter,

    Welcome to the discussion. Any of those are fine bourbons, but don't, <u>DON'T</u> buy just one bottle! You'll either like it or not, but you'll never know why. You need at least three to even begin to understand: By noticing what they all have in common you'll learn what real bourbon flavor is. By noticing the differences among them you'll have something to compare to when reading the ENORMOUS amount of personal opinion (mine certainly included) that you'll find here :-)

    -John Lipman-
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    140

    Re: A good Bourbon to start with

    John:

    > You need at least three to even begin to understand: By noticing what they
    > all have in common you'll learn what real bourbon flavor is.

    Wise words. Lately (including this past weekend, in fact) I've taken to taking three widely varying bourbons along with me when visiting someone who's interested in trying bourbon. After a little experimenting, I've settled on a steady assortment of Old Fitzgerald 1849 (wheated), Old Charter 12 YO Classic 90 (big, rich, oaky) and either Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 1990 or Basil Hayden (lighter, less woody). These seem to do the trick of zeroing in on people's taste preferences. Let us know what you try and what you thought, Hunter.

    Stotz


  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,565

    Re: A good Bourbon to start with

    I would be inclined to start a beginner at the beginning, with the better "standard" bourbons, i.e., Wild Turkey, Old Fitzgerald, Evan Williams, even Jim Beam. That will give you a baseline from which to go on and explore the better expressions.

    However, if you want to start at the higher end, staying within your $30 budget, I would recommend Woodford Reserve or Knob Creek.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  5. #5

    Re: A good Bourbon to start with

    greetings from another (relative) beginner! i've been reading this board for a few months and would like to offer a blanket "thanks" to the regular contributers: you've taught me a lot...

    i'm wondering whether Chuck's post could be expanded a bit by the veteran palates here to become a snapshot overview of what to expect in the world of bourbon.

    i'm imagining a grid of sorts, with general "types" along one edge (wheated, high-rye, etc.) and "quality" (cost?) along the other. something i could print out and take with me on my next trip to the store.

    if this sort of guide is already available somewhere, i'd appreciate a pointer.

    thanks!

    -ez


  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,565

    Re: A good Bourbon to start with

    This isn't exactly what you described, but you might find it helpful. It is an article of mine called Tasting Suites: Bourbon Tasting with a Purpose.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  7. #7

    Re: A good Bourbon to start with

    thanks! that's a great starting point for me...

    BTW, i originally discovered the straightbourbon site through a link on your (Chuck's) site (which i found through a search engine). things fall into place a bit better after reading your articles a second time with a bit more, um..., "experience" under my belt.



  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
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    12,565

    Re: A good Bourbon to start with

    We're just here to keep everyone on the right path to gustatory bliss. (Pursued responsibly, of course.)

    --Chuck Cowdery

  9. #9
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: A good Bourbon to start with

    I think you would be better off not purchasing an entire bottle at this point in time.
    Go on a reconnaissance mission to the bars in your area. Check to see which one has
    the most brands at a fair price. After dinner walk there, sit down. Order a shot of Wild Turkey and a glass of ice water.
    Sip the shot. Sip the water when you must. Try some of the other "starters" recommended by Mr. Cowdery.
    Not too many now. Go home. Try it again with a couple of the same you found most enjoyable and
    a new one or two. Do this a few times and you'll begin to get a rough idea what you like or dislike.
    I learn so much here it's kinda' scary.


  10. #10
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: A good Bourbon to start with

    I found the replies to the inquiry "A Good Bourbon To Start With" most interesting yet feel these really haven't dug as deeply as they could. Delving deeper of course is a realm safely trod by only educated and experienced individuals so I cannot offer worthy comment myself.

    The best bourbon is very different for one individual than it is for another, personal likes and dislikes (tastes) play a major role.

    However, upon pondering 'ones' favourite bourbon, I believe these may not necessarily, especially for many, be the best so to speak, at least in technical sense. What makes a particular whiskey dear to ones heart could be many things. Tradition of course plays its role, the distillers heritage and such can make one feel proud to consume their product. Similar alliances can be forged due to heritage of a personal nature. For example, I always keep a ottle of Jack Daniels on hand. This is always drunk with a very good friend for old times sake and naturally for old times sake, other whiskeys simply will not do. And course likewise, I shall always find a bottle of Jack Daniels when I visit them. I have many fine memories of Jack Daniels and while I may have since discovered and even preferred others, I consider Tennessee whiskey mighty special and enjoy it equally so. If 22 years ago my bourbon options had been as vast as they are today my memories may have been built upon something other than Old Grand Dad of which I remain so fond. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the best bourbon, in perhaps a technical sense, ain't necessarily the best and the best tasting ain't necessarily the favourite. Whiskey drinkin', to me at least, is a pretty special thing, and a bourbon can bring with it many memories and re kindle old relationships. Things such as there can make a whiskey doubly special.

    I like the advice offered you here at this forum to visit a well stocked bar and explore your options. Its always a treat to discover something special in another bottle, although you will not always do so, the hunt they say is the reason for the chase :-)

    Now I reckon thats Great Mate - woof!

 

 

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