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Mako254

Booker’s...consensus on recent batches??

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Mako254
Posted (edited)

Fellow SBers,

 

Beam has pretty much priced themselves out of me picking up each new batch and whiIe I don’t reach for it weekly, I like to keep an open on hand. My ‘noe hard times’ is heading to the recycle bin shortly and I need a replacement. I don’t keep track of Beam like I do Turkey and Roses.  I see at least 6 or 7 different offerings when making my rounds. Any one in particular stand out?

Edited by Mako254
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flahute

I gave up on Booker's after the price increase. I broke that position after reading very positive reviews of Kathleen's Batch and pretty much instantly regretted it.

I'm out on Booker's for the time being.

Sorry I can't help!

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fosmith

I thought Kitchen Table and Backyard BBQ were both really good.  Seen a couple of bad reviews of 2019-01. 

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Jazzhead

Here's what I'd like to know -  what is gained by paying $75 bucks for a bottle of Bookers, which I understand is always less than 10 years old, rather than spending $50 for a Knob Creek single barrel store pick,  which (at least recently) has been in the 14-year range?   

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Guss West

I liked Toogie's Invitation enough to stock up right before the price hike.  Still a case of it downstairs.  It was way sweeter, richer, rounder than all the others available at the time, a couple years ago. 

 

Some cool interwebs documentation of this roundtable batch also.  Thanks, Chuck!!  

 

Above mentioned batches also worth trying, but I've not bought a full bottle since Toogie stole my heart. 

 

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Guss West

At $55 vs. $60, both KCSiB and Booker's had a place in my permanent rotation. 

Since the price hike the KC is getting way more air-time these days. 

 

I also pulled up another handle of the older age-stated KC9.  Glad I have more of these too!!  At $50 a handle, this is the value buy I went deep on. 

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Richnimrod

I'll give you my opinion on recent batches, though it may be extremely 'unhelpful to you...

They Are All TOO EXPENSIVE!!!!!

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BottledInBond
5 hours ago, Jazzhead said:

Here's what I'd like to know -  what is gained by paying $75 bucks for a bottle of Bookers, which I understand is always less than 10 years old, rather than spending $50 for a Knob Creek single barrel store pick,  which (at least recently) has been in the 14-year range?   

The only tangible things you gain are a little bit of extra proof, and the wood box..... but 120 is plenty of proof for 99% of the people usually and who cares about the box? 

 

I think I have only bought one bottle of Booker’s in the last two years, and I have that one to my dad as a gift. But I’ve bought quite a few KC barrel picks in that same time period. 

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Paddy

I too am generally in the 'go with KCSB instead of Booker's' family.  However, it's worth noting that not everyone's palate appreciates the extra age on the former.  It's also worth noting that sometimes I do prefer the additional refinement that can often be found in a good bottle of Booker's. 

 

Having said that, I've not purchased any since the 'Off Your Rocker' batch was released.  If I'm not mistaken, this was the last batch prior to the price increase/change over to only 4 batches per year.  Given that, I have found this particular batch to be very enjoyable. 

 

In Kentucky, the going rate for Booker's has come back around to a more reasonable price over the last six months or so (generally $65-69.99).  Personally, I don't find  that to be particularly bad for a current market barrel proof product from a legacy distiller.

 

To summarize, if I didn't already have a bunker full of both Booker's and KCSB, I'd gladly buy a current bottle and give it a chance!

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Mako254
42 minutes ago, Paddy said:

I too am generally in the 'go with KCSB instead of Booker's' family.  However, it's worth noting that not everyone's palate appreciates the extra age on the former.  It's also worth noting that sometimes I do prefer the additional refinement that can often be found in a good bottle of Booker's. 

 

Having said that, I've not purchased any since the 'Off Your Rocker' batch was released.  If I'm not mistaken, this was the last batch prior to the price increase/change over to only 4 batches per year.  Given that, I have found this particular batch to be very enjoyable. 

 

In Kentucky, the going rate for Booker's has come back around to a more reasonable price over the last six months or so (generally $65-69.99).  Personally, I don't find  that to be particularly bad for a current market barrel proof product from a legacy distiller.

 

To summarize, if I didn't already have a bunker full of both Booker's and KCSB, I'd gladly buy a current bottle and give it a chance!

 

The 2012 and 2013 batches I have had have all been in the 7-8 yr range which seems to be where I prefer my Beam.  

I find the current 6yr 2 mos Bookers a shade young and 13 yr KCSB oaky as all hell. 

 

A barrel proof Beam in the 7-8 yr slot would be juusst right. 

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Harry in WashDC
Posted (edited)

My Booker's craving recently has been curbed by the typical price here - mostly asking $85 but "always" marked down to $75.   I have been passing because I did what a couple of the previous posters did - I loaded up on basic KC 9YR @ $22 and Booker's around $50 back when.  I did buy a late 2018 Booker's for $60 and was disappointed (never did figure out the best amount of water to add).  Fortunately, Baker's started showing up for me.  My recent Beam SmB line purchases have been of KC store picks and Baker's - all of which are around $40-50 - while I dip in the bunker.  When the bunker starts looking Booker-empty, I may take a chance.  Or not if KC store picks I can taste first and Baker's are still around.

Edited by Harry in WashDC

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Limegoldconvertible68

Put my name down as another one would reach for KC before I buy another Booker’s. I just can’t justify paying $85 for it. When I tire of KC I can find OF 1920 for less than $60. 

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kevinbrink

Last batch I bought was based on the fact that the store had it priced at $60 don't remember what batch it was, I still kind of buy on price but try not to buy any based on what I have bunkered at this point. Despite the price increase and the opinions of others it remains my favorite bourbon  regardless of price you can easily find on the shelf in a store or bar. Sent you a PM with some tips.

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Mako254

For science and stuff. Not blind. 

 

So far the ‘house signature/peanut note is very present on the kcsb. Even at 9 yrs 9 mos the kcsb has a dry note mid finish. Bookers finish more...developed for lack of a better term. 

The quest continues. 

 

 

F603EE3B-F176-44CA-A4F6-31BFA908BB20.jpeg

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EarthQuake
Posted (edited)

Here's a secret: there isn't significant variation between batches of Booker's. Or ECBP. Or Stagg Jr. These are all consistent products. You're unlikely to love one batch and then hate, or even mildly dislike another. If you like the base spirit, you'll like whatever the most recent batch is, as they are blended to hit a certain profile and the blenders at these big distilleries know what they are doing. The batch numbers and labels are first and foremost a marketing angle meant for the Pokemon types who need to collect them all (I will be the first to admit that I fall into this camp from time to time).

Edited by EarthQuake
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alcoholica

Until just recently, ECBP has been fairly easy to spot around here. If I do see a bottle, it’s about $60. I usually pick up a bottle when I see it for that price. Staff Jr is the same, only not nearly as available. 

 

It’s hard to find Booker’s for less than $90 here. So needless to say, i’m not buying Booker’s, unless it’s older. 

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ondarocks
Posted (edited)

BBbCBYPgh1Vx4ezvaE9D9ueD-mQzU7i7gDRm1wGjJaiRCcT6IE4F2G-YM6ONHP3j6RqMQWxYoWRfL3n3m4sos-EShVaPr3-dMy97XW_d45ve4tQdWNZkRgFBmWKRRCQrbsZ8y8rZholizo_1ci-PmFj9drjSirbsrZ2nXoC-A6BvhkfuldLtmXcnVfpmrW1LyRBEXXSmbViCBz-o_IzY8Lxk8aHYPihrUvDPHUUFfTnsloyn2kSrTF2ebM_8-LElXxQnW4JV-JPlrTUuqXcOd-L6a0zJDXmmMW6Rqu9Az9ecMvhQDZrHURRTxWdHHUS-ObR1pQxp0jc5aRXFBFFwYJZS82aFK4C5jnIK_iC0B_MPvfWHdKQ3vUOqPiRW8qmrpPaetWqbwa6Os4SLZ0vQjtxoHMjvKgwgMw439ANFTXaTh4Rp3xx9CX2C2vsnKx61iCUvSm7tSVCyYmATWVDWBejnrPnPcJ_BiWv8f1EUXUPRc6ezfAMMyd7JS3yrrm_Vl7_uCIjVkKdh8HRxCJ4FqWkobXcCoIUbMMCAmfZPaRK93HpKAo0sEWzhQ7SdMNg5I4FKLYeOvYKLIHgsDenjpRg2qS2vW7Ex3t9LwnxRWJaWA6H36W-B5QiFtzpUn87nIhJGv3wjL0BfHCC49qpTAa72CE28Fs0cE7l_5BTiQK_OgeSe68tqyJGrO76atFaf7Pt1cDGUn6SXmT8BqQaCpAWF=w681-h907-no   

 

Booker's for $80 to $90? Nah, not when I find a gem like this for $50.

Rich and refined. I am going back today for backups before the vultures descend.

Edited by ondarocks

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fosmith
6 minutes ago, ondarocks said:

Booker's? Nah, not when I find a gem like this.

Rich and refined. I am going back today for backups before the vultures descend.

Yeah, like I say, it's a good idea to stock up before the hoarders get them all.  :D

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fosmith

But, speaking of Booker's.  I bought multiple bottles of Kitchen Table 2018-04 at a local LS that still sells it for $55.  If it goes to $70, I'm done as I can get ECBP and Stagg Jr. for less, not to mention Rare Breed for much less.  With more and more barrel proofs on the market, I don't think Beam can sustain those prices for Booker's unless they cut back production or raise the age statement or both. 

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lcpfratn

I bought a bunch of Booker’s when they made the initial suggested retail price increase announcement of $100, which they later backed down to $75. I bought enough of around 6 to 8 different batches in the $50 range that I’ll probably never buy another bottle unless the average age increases enough that it entices me.

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kevinbrink
3 hours ago, lcpfratn said:

I bought a bunch of Booker’s when they made the initial suggested retail price increase announcement of $100, which they later backed down to $75. I bought enough of around 6 to 8 different batches in the $50 range that I’ll probably never buy another bottle unless the average age increases enough that it entices me.

Well last year they released an older bottle and got me to spend $200 on it :wacko:

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The Black Tot
11 hours ago, EarthQuake said:

Here's a secret: there isn't significant variation between batches of Booker's. Or ECBP. Or Stagg Jr. These are all consistent products. You're unlikely to love one batch and then hate, or even mildly dislike another. If you like the base spirit, you'll like whatever the most recent batch is, as they are blended to hit a certain profile and the blenders at these big distilleries know what they are doing. The batch numbers and labels are first and foremost a marketing angle meant for the Pokemon types who need to collect them all (I will be the first to admit that I fall into this camp from time to time).

This has not been my experience.

 

Especially during the boom/bubble where stocks are strained.

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The Black Tot

Also, aren't KCSB and Booker's aged in different warehouses/locations?

 

They may start out the same distillate, but I don't think they're the same animal. Booker's at it's best (for me) has more of a caramel thing going on that doesn't happen for me with KCSB, and KCSB has a lot more of a peppery spice thing than Booker's (although my favorite KCSB selections don't have this).

 

Both of them in rare instances can do the Beam red berry thing - those are my faves.  But even then, the Booker's spin on the flavor is different from the KC spin.

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kevinbrink
1 minute ago, The Black Tot said:

Also, aren't KCSB and Booker's aged in different warehouses/locations?

 

They may start out the same distillate, but I don't think they're the same animal. Booker's at it's best (for me) has more of a caramel thing going on that doesn't happen for me with KCSB, and KCSB has a lot more of a peppery spice thing than Booker's (although my favorite KCSB selections don't have this).

 

Both of them in rare instances can do the Beam red berry thing - those are my faves.  But even then, the Booker's spin on the flavor is different from the KC spin.

Agree with this 107%

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EarthQuake
Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, The Black Tot said:

This has not been my experience.

 

Especially during the boom/bubble where stocks are strained.

I mean, it depends on what we're talking about. I'm not say the batches aren't different, I'm simply saying they aren't so different that from one batch to the next it's going to tastes like an entirely different product, where someone would like one and dislike another. Have you tried multiple Booker's batches that have been drastically different? I certainly haven't, but I've only tried probably 4 different batches, so perhaps that's not a large enough sample size.

 

I think there is a range to all of this stuff, and when it comes to Booker's, Stagg Jr, ECBP, the go-to barrel proof regular releases, they're rather consistent. If we had a scale of say, 0-10 for variance, with 0 being the same whiskey from the same barrel, and 10 being completely different products from different distilleries, I would but batches of Bookers at about 0.5. I would put different single barrels of the same Four Roses recipe at about a 2, and I would put the different Four Roses recipes at about a 5 - the difference between a typical OESQ and OBSK is way, way more extreme than the difference between two Booker's, ECBP, or Stagg Jr batches in my experience.

 

Now, maybe a Booker's from 10 or 20 years ago is totally different, but that's not really what we're talking about here. I assume we mean relatively recent releases. I'm not fortunate enough to have access to really old batches, so I couldn't say.

Edited by EarthQuake

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