General Bourbon Discussion Latest Topics

General Bourbon Discussion Latest Topics
  • There hasn't been a topic like this for a while (and I'm not sure if there has ever been a poll) and so I thought I would ask: Which of the large distillers is your favorite? Please vote using the above poll and feel free to comment as to why you picked a certain distillery.    This is not a question of which distillery do you think is current releasing the best bourbon, but which one is your favorite. Reasons for a distiller being your favorite could include: (i) the tour is really good, (ii) you've been drinking a particular bourbon for a long time, (iii) you like the history, (iv) you believe that the current bourbon the distillery is releasing is the best, or (v) you liked a certain ad-campaign (e.g., "Give 'em the Bird!").    As you can see, I didn't include bottlers in this poll. I don't have any good reason for this. If you want to include bottlers, make your own poll.    I'd also like to anticipate a few comments:  I know Maker's Mark is owned by Beam, but I thought I would separate it out because maintains a distinct identity. I know Brown-Form has a lot of distilleries, but I don't think there would be enough votes for any particular distillery of Brown-Forman to break them out. If you like Early Times, JD or Woodford (or are really excited about the new Old Forester Distillery) then vote for B-F. I also know that Diageo owns George Dickel, but, if I put Diageo, no one would vote for it and someone might vote for George Dickel.    As for my vote, I'm voting for Wild Turkey because I absolutely love their older stuff (and the current bottles aren't too bad either). I also really respect Jimmy Russel's devotion to making bourbon the right way even with all the ownership changes. 

  • Based on two new labels noted on SKU's blog it looks like Heaven Hill might be borrowing a page from Barton/Sazerac's book and their new "1792 Full Proof", also at 125 pf.   Elijah Craig Barrel Select - A 125 proof NAS bourbon. Terribly shocking for a company that was allegedly running short of whiskey and had to drop their age statement. If they start going through the younger whiskey at a high rate I don't see them going back to the age sttement any time soon (as if I ever really expected it to return without a significant price increase at a minimum).   To make matters more interesting there is yet another NAS bottle in the Elijah Craig line that has a new label application - Elijah Craig Small Batch 1789. As SKU noted in his blog it doesn't yet seem to be clear what the point of this one is unless perhaps it is a rebranding of the Elijah Craig NAS line (it is the same proof as the current small batch) in preparation for the return of EC12 at its new higher price point.

  • Opened my first bottle of Johnny Drum this evening. I have tasted multiple samples of this before, but had never gotten around to opening a bottle I have had for a while now. I forgot how smooth it was. Had a nice sweet vanilla on the finish for me which I really like in my bourbon.

  • My brother is heading over from the UK and will be passing through Duty Free at London Heathrow, and asked me what would I like.   Anyone been through there lately and can talk to what bourbon they may have, obviously I would like something I cannot find here, Blanton's Gold and SFTB spring to mind, but last time I was there a few years ago they were nowhere to be found.

  • The girlfriend is taking a trip overseas to China, Hong Kong, and also Vietnam.   Does anybody know if they have any bourbons there that I can't get in the States?     For example, I know Wild Turkey had their 101 in a 12-year variety available in Japan, but I don't know in the current NAS climate if that is still being sold at all anywhere.  I think she has a layover in Japan but only for a couple of hours so probably confined to duty-free shops only in Japan. But Hong Kong and China liquor stores should be options.   Anybody have any advice or know where I can look this stuff up?  Thanks

  • In my travels in Tennessee I've seen a bourbon called Old Forge, out of a distillery in Pigeon Forge, TN. It's age stated at 8 year, and I sure it sourced. The standard release is 89 proof and I have little interest in it, but there is also a cask strength version that I spotted at 131 proof for about $65. I almost bought it but decided to wait. Anybody tried this before? Is it good? Do you know where it is sourced from?   I can't find any reviews of it online. I think it's quite new. Any help would be appreciated.    

  • Of course you have. I'd venture that most of us whiskey geeks have an idea for something and I remember some threads in the past with a similar theme. I was fortunate to participate in this exact exercise at Heaven Hill's Build-a-Barrel event at the Kentucky Bourbon Affair. The description for this event didn't describe it fully so I wasn't expecting as much latitude as we had. If you don't read to the end, the critical detail here is that Heaven Hill is actually going to distill, age, and bottle this for us.   The event was held at the Evan William's experience in downtown Louisville. We were split into three groups of about 8-9 people each and went through three stations to discuss/learn about the grains that go into the whiskey (along with some sensory exercises and tasting of white dog); the mashing and distilling process with some detailed discussion led by Charlie Strong next to their pot still; and the aging process led by Bernie Lubbers in which we tasted sbs 1 year old bourbon aged in chinquapin oak along with two 7 year old bourbons aged in standard white oak at both #3 char and #4 char. All along we were making notes and over a lunch break were discussing what we might do.   We reconvened and Larry Kass led the final discussion and voting. As a full group, we first voted on grains to be used. HH gave us full latitude here to go with a malt whiskey, wheat whiskey, corn whiskey, odd mixed grains (if we really wanted to) along with the standards: rye whiskey, wheated bourbon and rye based bourbon. As a group we voted for a typical rye bourbon recipe with a mix of yellow and white corn.   With the grains decided, the three groups reconvened to decide on mashbills and came up with three different mashbills that we all voted on. Mashbill #1 - very standard, I'm forgetting the ratios off hand, but it was very close to the typical HH mashbill. Mashbill #2 - 65% corn, 25% rye, 10% malted barley. Mashbill #3 - 51% corn, 30% rye, 19% malted barley.   Mashbill #3 won. Wow!   We then voted on barrel type from both 3 and 4 yr air dried chinquapin oak and 2 and 5 year air dried standard white oak. We chose the 5 year air dried white oak at a #4 char. (Char levels 2,3, and 4 were available to us)   We then voted on entry proof and went with 115. (Could have gone as low as 110 and as high as 125).   We then voted on warehouse and floor level in warehouse. Choices were Bardstown, Deatsville, Glencoe, and new warehouses at Cox's Creek. Floor levels were low (1-3), middle (4-5), and high (6-7). We voted for Bardstown, middle floors. (I really wanted Deatsville).    Here's the really cool part. Charlie Strong is going to distill two barrels worth for us on the pot still at the EW Experience. HH is then going to age it for us and will make samples available to taste at various intervals along the way. They will also send us tasting notes for those who can't taste in person. We will decide as a group when to bottle these. (They won't let us age for a crazy long time of course). When ready, they will create a custom label and each person will get 2-4 bottles depending on barrel yield.    This was truly a unique and incredible opportunity and I have to give Heaven Hill massive amounts credit for coming up with this.