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GOOD whiskey for cocktails?


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Without starting a discussion on what the folks round here consider is a "good" whiskey Im keen to hear what you use in your cocktails. Most recipes call for a "good" bourbon or rye, or whatever. Good is subjective but does anyone here use their favourite for cocktails? Do you think its a waste of your favourite stuff when you add sugar and bitters etc?

I usually use whatever is my highest proof for cocktails as most cocktails I have are made for a change from neat whiskey and I dont enjoy my drink being diluted too much with melting ice.

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Rittenhouse is pretty widely acknowledged as an excellent mixing rye. Sometimes I'll use Baby Saz.

For a bourbon I vary it more. BT, EWSB, OWA, OGB114, and FR1B are switched around depending on the proof and amount of rye spice I want in the finished product.

All of these are $30 USD or less where I'm from, so you might have to be more discerning based on your local prices. I've dabbled with using high end whiskeys for cocktails, but they can get lost in the mix. An old fashioned is the perfect cocktail to hold back a bit on the bitters/sugar and let the base spirit shine through.

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It may seem strange, but despite not caring to drink Knob Creek straight, it is one of my favorite cocktail bourbons. I would probably never have tried it, if not for a persistent bartender at Gary Danko's that convinced me that his special cocktail would not be the same if not made with KC. I tried it and loved it and have since tried other cocktails with KC and enjoyed them.

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It may seem strange, but despite not caring to drink Knob Creek straight, it is one of my favorite cocktail bourbons. I would probably never have tried it, if not for a persistent bartender at Gary Danko's that convinced me that his special cocktail would not be the same if not made with KC. I tried it and loved it and have since tried other cocktails with KC and enjoyed them.

I completely agree.

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To answer the question, yes, I do, always have, as I'm not one to let things sit around waiting for a future moment. The time to enjoy the good stuff is right now in however form suits my mood.

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Cheers to you Squire!

It may seem strange, but despite not caring to drink Knob Creek straight, it is one of my favorite cocktail bourbons. I would probably never have tried it, if not for a persistent bartender at Gary Danko's that convinced me that his special cocktail would not be the same if not made with KC. I tried it and loved it and have since tried other cocktails with KC and enjoyed them.

Ive had a bottle of ORVW107 that ive held onto for a while that I never much enjoyed, but yesterday it made probably the best old fashioned I have ever had, and I would normally consider myself a high rye guy.

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To answer the question, yes, I do, always have, as I'm not one to let things sit around waiting for a future moment. The time to enjoy the good stuff is right now in however form suits my mood.

Really agree with Squire here, if I'm in the mood I'll mix whatever I have with whatever I want. Actually what is best neet is also best mixed.

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  • 1 month later...

TomH, I agree, the Knob Creek profile does very well in cocktails. If you don't want to feel bad about the cost, grab a bottle of the costco Kirkland 7 year bourbon. Same profile, 2 less years, but the wood balances well in the cocktails. At 19.99 a L, no need to feel bad about mixing it.

Ive had a bottle of ORVW107 that ive held onto for a while that I never much enjoyed, but yesterday it made probably the best old fashioned I have ever had, and I would normally consider myself a high rye guy.

I experimented with ORVW 10/107 in old fashions and I agree, it makes a great Old Fashioned. The last bottle I had, half of it probably wound up in Old Fashioned. I've tried several wheaters hoping to replicate to no avail. One day I'll get bored and make a Sazerac with Saz 18.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Man what I would do for a bottle of saz18!

How about using an original bottle of sazerac de forge cognac from the mid 1800s? Just need a spare $10k or so but wow, I would die a happy man! Its just cool to know that bottles still exist.

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I use Bulleit or George Dickel rye and Old Grand Dad 86 or Wild Turkey 101 bourbon for most of my whiskey cocktails.

Tim

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I prefer rye accented Bourbon as well for cocktails. Grand Dad usually because I have it on hand but have used Bulliet in the past.

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Good topic! It depends on the cocktail. I prefer middle or lower shelfers for cocktails, and I prefer higher proof in richer flavored ones and lower proof in more delicate ones. This is how I usually roll:

Juleps: Buffalo Trace, Four Roses

Manhattans: Very Old Barton, Wild Turkey 101, Old Grand Dad BiB, Bulleit (bourbon and/or rye), Rittenhouse. I often use a mix of bourbon and rye.

Sazerac: Baby Saz, Russell's Reserve

Old Fashioned: Four Roses, Evan Williams, Beam Black or a Canadian Whisky

Bourbon & Benedictine (4:1): Wild Turkey, Old Weller Antique

With Coke (+cherry bitters): Wild Turkey, Charter 101, Old Ezra 101, Fighting Cock, HH or EW White Label BiB etc.

With Ginger Ale (+orange bitters): Rittenhouse, Bulleit Rye.

I feel the same way about Wild Turkey 101 as Tom feels about Knob Creek.

Edited by Josh
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Dude! Thank You Josh! Just tried EW BIB and it is amazing. Beats the heck out of Jack and Coke, and it's about $5 cheaper by the fifth. Gonna have to track down some cherry bitters though. Any suggestions for giod cherry bitters and their orange cousins?

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Dude! Thank You Josh! Just tried EW BIB and it is amazing. Beats the heck out of Jack and Coke, and it's about $5 cheaper by the fifth. Gonna have to track down some cherry bitters though. Any suggestions for giod cherry bitters and their orange cousins?
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Glad I could be of help! Fees is always good. I am currently using The Bitter Truth orange bitters and they are very tasty too.

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Fees is OK and personally I think having a variety of orange bitters to play with is useful as they all bring something to the glass. I like Regan's for my every day orange bitters (it is a bit spicier than Fees to me) but they only make orange and not cherry. It is also an alcohol based bitters whereas Fees is typically a glycerin based bitters. Angostura also makes a very orange forward bitters but is a bit tougher to find.

Somehow a touch more alcohol in my drink (even if it is grain neutral spirits or basically vodka!) seems more appealing than adding glycerin. But I use Fees a lot as well. For cherry bitters Fees is probably the most readily available unless you make your own. Supposedly Woodford has a barrel aged cherry bitters but I have never tried it and don't know anything about it.

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Angostura Original and Orange are both available at Wal-Mart where I live. Don't know how the price there compares, but if it is like most everything else there it will be cheaper than the competition.

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Angostura Original and Orange are both available at Wal-Mart where I live. Don't know how the price there compares, but if it is like most everything else there it will be cheaper than the competition.
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Angostura Orange is good. Having a variety of orange or other bitters around is fun, but for casual cocktail drinkers you probably only need one of each of whatever types you use frequently.

You should also know, Jonny, that tanstaafl2 is a serious cocktail guy who actually makes his own bitters too. I've had them and they are very tasty. If anyone knows bitters, it's him!

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Angostura Orange is good. Having a variety of orange or other bitters around is fun, but for casual cocktail drinkers you probably only need one of each of whatever types you use frequently.

You should also know, Jonny, that tanstaafl2 is a serious cocktail guy who actually makes his own bitters too. I've had them and they are very tasty. If anyone knows bitters, it's him!

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While I would love to take credit for the homemade bitters, if you are refering to the bitters at the sampler last year I can't take credit for those. But they were excellent!

I find I am better at drinking them than making them. I do however admit to being something of a cocktail enthusiast!

Yes, that's what I was thinking of. Thanks for bringing them! They were delicious.

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Then again you can have liquor stores attached to grocery stores in Kentucky. Won't find that here in Atlanta and probably won't anytime soon thanks to our still largely antiquated liquor laws.

Cinch another notch in the Bible Belt.

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Cinch another notch in the Bible Belt.

Bizarre and antiquated liquor laws, as blind as they are, do not know geographic boundaries.

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