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Steve L

What's Your A = 440hz Bourbon?

45 posts in this topic

Back before chromatic tuners and robot tuning pegs, bands would tune to a 440hz tuning fork -- 440 is an "A" note all over the world.  (Well, almost everywhere.)

 

What's your tuning fork bourbon?   When you are starting to taste or need to get your bearings -- what's the bourbon that tastes like BOURBON to you?

 

Mine is OF SIG -- and I think the reason why is that Squire so eloquently testified about it in the BOTM thread for it.  I scored some, read his testimony and thought: this is true!  This stuff tastes like...BOURBON.   :P    

 

Also curious if you have only one -- or if you're one of those folks that has an A = 444 bourbon too.

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This is a good question The first thing that comes  to mind is Booker's. It's got big flavor of caramel, vanilla, oak, and spice that I associate with a good bourbon.

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I think regular ol BT is the "average" standard bearer.  

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I like ER as a classic bourbon flavor 

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Posts by Clueby and jvd99 are interesting!  I think Eagle Rare hits the 440hz note for me, though drinking regular Buffalo Trace as I type this. 

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Agree with BT. As someone said in its BOTM thread (IIRC), BT tastes like bourbon is supposed to taste, or it's the perfect example of what bourbon should taste like, or something like that. I agree with that sentiment.

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For me, it would have to be the first bourbon that I ever tasted: Wild Turkey 101.

My A = 444 bourbon is Elijah Craig 12.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

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Knob Creek

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Four Roses Small Batch. 

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WT101, though BT and EC12 both came to mind as well, probably the bourbons I have consumed the most of.

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I'd say ER10 or WT101 (with a little air in the bottle).

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23 minutes ago, gtg1 said:

Four Roses Small Batch. 

 

YES !

me2.

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If we did this for scotch my answer would be easy: Lagavulin 16.  But since it's bourbon and I can't pick just one, I'll cheat and name a few: Stagg Jr, WTRB, Henry McKenna 10, Four Roses Single Barrel, and Old Forester Signature.  For wheaters it's definitely OWA even though I really prefer HH wheated bourbon.

 

It may appear to the unevolved mind that I am indecisive and am simply naming off a list of bourbons that I like.  You would be wrong.  I am decisively thirsty.  

Edited by garbanzobean

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I'll approach this differently. When I'm having an off night, or a bad palate night, I go to OGDBIB or 114 because it's bad palate night proof and gets me back in tune.

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19 minutes ago, flahute said:

I'll approach this differently. When I'm having an off night, or a bad palate night, I go to OGDBIB or 114 because it's bad palate night proof and gets me back in tune.

When I'm getting over a cold, 4 roses single barrel is my go to indicator of whether or not I got my taste buds back

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wT101. For wheated OWA. For rye wt101. 

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Buffalo Trace (pre 2016).  I say pre-2016 because it seems to me the newer batches taste "younger".

Edited by starhopper

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For me, it depends what I'm trying to "tune" to.  For most bourbon, I go with EW Black (I prefer a lower proof dram that isn't very complicated, but has all the basics - if I'm not getting those, I'm off).  For rye, Ritt BIB does the same for me.  Although if I don't have either, I'll look to whatever I've recently gone to with some regularity.

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Your criteria can be interpreted two ways.  A=440Hz can be a reference standard, that all comparisons are trying to achieve.  A precise match will never exceed, and all others are inferior.  On a scale, that reference standard is a 100 out of 100 points.  Another interpretation, is a normalized standard, that represents a mean or median, where the standard scores a 1.0, and all superior comparisons score greater than 1.0, and all inferior comparisons are less than 1.0.  A "1.0" approach can also identify a threshold, or "good enough" standard, with the same scoring technique. 

 

Given that I've tried probably 4-5 dozen bourbons in recent years, I can't say I've surveyed them all, and even if I had, I'd still have to leave room for a new, better, yet-to-be-enjoyed bourbon, so I don't approach comparisons with a one best reference standard in mind.  I'd be surprised if anyone short of a full time professional taster could lay claim to developing a one best, 100 point reference standard.   I prefer to use the latter normalized approach. 

 

My reference 1.0 whiskey is Old Forrester Signature.  I still feel like it is consistent year to year, probably in the top five most available KSBs, and among those top five, the best.  My distribution of comparisons would probably put less than half above OFS, and more than half below.  I don't keep statistics, but if I feel a bourbon is inferior to OFS, Its not a re-buy, unless it has some other unique feature that justifies it, such as QPR.  I've got about 4-6 that fall into that category.  If a bourbon is superior to OFS, I then make a judgement on how much better it is, and price.  At $23 a fifth, there are many that cost more, that I feel are not that superior to OFS, and not re-buys. And then there are some that do impress me as worth 50% more than OFS, and warrant re-buys on special occasions.  I haven't identified more than one or two that I feel are worth more than twice the price of OFS. 

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For me it's OGD 114.  I could also make an argument for Bookers.

 

I maybe could say Knob Creek since that is the one that started my bourbon journey but I don't really drink it anymore.

 

For me, it would never be Four Roses.  I find a flavor in Four Roses that I do not find in any other bourbon.  I can almost always pick out Four Roses blind.

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Mine used to be EC12. If someone were to ask me, not for the best bourbon but for the most "bourbony" bourbon, that would've been my choice.

 

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For me, it has always (going back to the late 60's - note that I am old) been Wild Turkey 101-proof. It's not quite as good as it used to be, but it still defines the taste "bourbon" to me.

 

Tim

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My baseline bourbon/s are EW BiB, HH BiB or OGD BiB. Thats different than a favorite, although I am quite fond of them, these are what come to mind as Bourbon 101.

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I actually have 3-different ones that do it for me in somewhat different ways...

Standard Buffalo Trace

Evan Williams Black Label

Wild Turkey 101

 

I can find my way back from any of these, or forward, if need be.

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In terms of wheated bourbon, I've been drinking Maker's Mark for longer than any other bourbon. It's ubiquitous, so I've found it at Mexican restaurants, seafood restaurants, etc. I have a long history with the bottle dating back to my days in college, and I know exactly what I'm going to get every time. I don't drink it as often anymore, and I don't consider it a favorite, but I'd still say that's what I'm most acquainted with. 

 

If I'm just thinking about the last 5 years or so, I'd say it's a tie between BT and ER10, defining that classic bourbon taste to me, and getting me back to center.

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