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Mako254

Random Ruminations....

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Mako254
Posted (edited)

Some ruminations on various bourbon what not

 
1. Despite disappearance of age statements, some old favorites being hard to find (or non existent), and store picks getting cleaned out in a day—— there is still a shocking amount of quality bourbon readily available and affordable. My local group has made it a point to incorporate blind tastings at our bottle shares. Recently, the majority of folks listed ‘over $40’ for WT 101 after having a pour blind. An off the shelf Maker’s Mark cask strength easily beat out a store pick OWA that landed in town this spring. 
 
2. Has anyone else circled back to lower proof bourbons that you long ago ‘graduated’ from only to find notes and flavors that you had previously missed?
It hit me the other day that I had maybe one or two sub 100 proofers in the cabinet (approx 100 bottles). My baseline preference is still Four Roses private barrels and Russell’s Reserve single barrels, I have gone back to some lower proof offerings during the week and am enjoying them. 
I guess early on it is easy to make the ‘proof=flavor’ determination. 
 
3. I’m not convinced Four Roses small batch select is head and shoulders ($20) than a sturdy 100 proof single barrel. I’m on my third SBS, and while enjoyable, the blinds Mrs Mako has set for me end up with me picking the old reliable 100 proof single barrel. 
 
4. Touching on #2, Eddie Russell has done a damn fine job with Russell’s Reserve 10 year.  It has a different profile than just ‘batched and proofed down’ Russell’s.  I get a very distinct leather note on the finish. The 10 years provides a very nice depth and the 90 proof has enough heft to satisfy but remains approachable. An overall spice forward ‘classic bourbon’ profile. 
 
5. If y’all were going to put forward 1 available bourbon you would recommend to your friend who is ready to move past well bourbon and ginger ale, what would it be?
RR10 has moved to the top of my list. 
 
Cheers y’all!
 
Mako
 
 
 

07DE7096-8C46-44C1-A515-6876BA62A143.jpeg

Edited by jbutler
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dad-proof
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mako254 said:

Some ruminations on various bourbon what not

 
1. Despite disappearance of age statements, some old favorites being hard to find (or non existent), and store picks getting cleaned out in a day—— there is still a shocking amount of quality bourbon readily available and affordable. My local group has made it a point to incorporate blind tastings at our bottle shares. Recently, the majority of folks listed ‘over $40’ for WT 101 after having a pour blind. An off the shelf Maker’s Mark cask strength easily beat out a store pick OWA that landed in town this spring. 
 
2. Has anyone else circled back to lower proof bourbons that you long ago ‘graduated’ from only to find notes and flavors that you had previously missed?
It hit me the other day that I had maybe one or two sub 100 proofers in the cabinet (approx 100 bottles). My baseline preference is still Four Roses private barrels and Russell’s Reserve single barrels, I have gone back to some lower proof offerings during the week and am enjoying them. 
I guess early on it is easy to make the ‘proof=flavor’ determination. 
 
3. I’m not convinced Four Roses small batch select is head and shoulders ($20) than a sturdy 100 proof single barrel. I’m on my third SBS, and while enjoyable, the blinds Mrs Mako has set for me end up with me picking the old reliable 100 proof single barrel. 
 
4. Touching on #2, Eddie Russell has done a damn fine job with Russell’s Reserve 10 year.  It has a different profile than just ‘batched and proofed down’ Russell’s.  I get a very distinct leather note on the finish. The 10 years provides a very nice depth and the 90 proof has enough heft to satisfy but remains approachable. An overall spice forward ‘classic bourbon’ profile. 
 
5. If y’all were going to put forward 1 available bourbon you would recommend to your friend who is ready to move past well bourbon and ginger ale, what would it be?
RR10 has moved to the top of my list. 
 
Cheers y’all!
 
Mako
 
 
 

07DE7096-8C46-44C1-A515-6876BA62A143.jpeg

Love it. Could not agree more on RR10. I think I read someone else say that if aliens landed and asked - what does bourbon taste like? - RR10 would be a damn education.

 

RR10 is also my go to when wanting a bourbon with a meal out.

 

For a number of reasons, I've reduced my consumption since spring, and have really enjoyed revisiting lower proof bourbons, or adding an extra cube to higher proof options. I agree there is a lot of flavor to mine and appreciate. 

 

To be a contrarian, my 4RSmBS is the 4R bottle I've enjoyed the most, and I have had quite a number of single barrels and private selects. I raised the question of batch variation elsewhere.

 

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lcpfratn

Great little dissertation on your bourbon thoughts Mako! I also agree on RR10 being a great go to, but I have a hard time just sticking to one “go to” bourbon. I enjoy variety, and that’s why I have so many to choose from so I don’t have to do that. Cheers!

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Kepler
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mako254 said:

Some ruminations on various bourbon what not

 
1. Despite disappearance of age statements, some old favorites being hard to find (or non existent), and store picks getting cleaned out in a day—— there is still a shocking amount of quality bourbon readily available and affordable. My local group has made it a point to incorporate blind tastings at our bottle shares. Recently, the majority of folks listed ‘over $40’ for WT 101 after having a pour blind. An off the shelf Maker’s Mark cask strength easily beat out a store pick OWA that landed in town this spring. 
 
2. Has anyone else circled back to lower proof bourbons that you long ago ‘graduated’ from only to find notes and flavors that you had previously missed?
It hit me the other day that I had maybe one or two sub 100 proofers in the cabinet (approx 100 bottles). My baseline preference is still Four Roses private barrels and Russell’s Reserve single barrels, I have gone back to some lower proof offerings during the week and am enjoying them. 
I guess early on it is easy to make the ‘proof=flavor’ determination. 
 
3. I’m not convinced Four Roses small batch select is head and shoulders ($20) than a sturdy 100 proof single barrel. I’m on my third SBS, and while enjoyable, the blinds Mrs Mako has set for me end up with me picking the old reliable 100 proof single barrel. 
 
4. Touching on #2, Eddie Russell has done a damn fine job with Russell’s Reserve 10 year.  It has a different profile than just ‘batched and proofed down’ Russell’s.  I get a very distinct leather note on the finish. The 10 years provides a very nice depth and the 90 proof has enough heft to satisfy but remains approachable. An overall spice forward ‘classic bourbon’ profile. 
 
5. If y’all were going to put forward 1 available bourbon you would recommend to your friend who is ready to move past well bourbon and ginger ale, what would it be?
RR10 has moved to the top of my list. 
 
Cheers y’all!
 
Mako
 
 
 

 

 Copy-paste is a bitch. Lol.  Hard to read the gray text on black background, haha

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Vosgar

Rumination #2 - This happened with me 5-6 yrs ago. I'll always give any whisk(e)y a fair shake regardless of proof.

 

Rumination #4 - Agree 100%!

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Kepler
Posted (edited)

Made it through the post, and there is some good stuff in there. My input (fwiw):

 

1. I agree about MMCS. It's  very underrated for some reason. And it's  easy to see why wt101 tests above its price point: I think it's a little older whiskey than most sub $30 bottlings.

 

2. I don't  know, for me not really. Proof wise, my sweet spot has pretty much always been 100 to 110 proof. In my experience the problem with lower proof whiskeys is not actually the proof but rather the typically younger  age that they usually  carry. Take standard BT. It's probably my favorite  readily available 90 proofer but the one big drawback is that it's  sometimes too young and harsh.

 

3. Could this be due to recipe preference?

 

4. Wild Turkey  is my overall favorite, but not a huge fan of RR10. IMO it's  their weakest standard  offering  outside of 81.

 

5.  Probably  Knob Creek. More approachable than WT but still classic bourbon notes.

Edited by Kepler
typo
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ebo

I would go with OGD BiB. Very affordable, and a damn good pour on top that.

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evasive

I’m on board with this. I live in Montana, a distant, rural, low-population state with state-run wholesale. I don’t have the luxury of chasing all the hot labels and we don’t have many barrel picks. But what I do have is pretty good, and the pricing is fair. My last bottles of W12 and HMcK10 were each $35. I can get RR every day of the week, and even though my price for WT101 is higher than others cite, I keep buying it as my go-to cocktail bourbon.

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flahute

Excellent post my Lawrenceburg brother.  

I agree with just about everything here. My only deviation is the Makers Mark. I’m having a hard time getting any of their labels to work for me.

RR10 is my secret weapon. Vosgar is a big fan as well I know. Let’s not talk about this too much though!

WT101 might be my perfect bourbon. That requires an explanation - post on that forthcoming.

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The Black Tot

Haven't bought an RR10 for a long time, but the last ones I bought were my fave WT of all time.

 

I know you guys have had some great barrel picks but all the ones I've tried have missed the mark for me.  Would love to go on a RR pick. I know there's something in those rackhouses that will work for me.

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0895
10 hours ago, Mako254 said:

 

3. I’m not convinced Four Roses small batch select is head and shoulders ($20) than a sturdy 100 proof single barrel. I’m on my third SBS, and while enjoyable, the blinds Mrs Mako has set for me end up with me picking the old reliable 100 proof single barrel. 
 
 
5. If y’all were going to put forward 1 available bourbon you would recommend to your friend who is ready to move past well bourbon and ginger ale, what would it be?
RR10 has moved to the top of my list. 
 
 

3.  I agree with you on the 4R SmBS.  I honestly like yellow label and Single barrel better.

 

5.  Buffalo Trace or Elijah Craig

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FacePlant

Two years ago I made my first case purchase. I believed that a quality pour 10yrs age stated, BIB, smooth and very full bodied was not only underrated but also underpriced. Sitting on the shelf at $27.99, my local LS gave me a case price of $25 flat. I got the two six packs and now that little HH offering is all the rage after recent fanfare. (Another reason I was always jealous of those bunkered 10yr AAA bottles showing up on this site)

Last year I again did a case purchase with Beam's Distillers Cut. Shelved at $22.99 the 12 pack price was $21 and to my little buds a real bargain against all other local offerings. Unfortunately with limited space they are garage kept.

Now funny you posted this thread-w/ramblings-about your appreciation for RR10yr. Yeap, good guess my third case is sweeting it out in record setting Oct heat in my Memphis garage. One of the last sub-$30 10yr age stated, major distiller, great quality delicious pours still on the shelves everywhere. Those two little six packs were bought at $27.50 per. Like Mr. Flahute suggested, we should probably keep this to ourselves.

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Skinsfan1311

WT101 is what I would suggest. 

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TwoFingers

1.  Yes, I agree there is lots of good affordable bourbon out there.  One just needs to try new things and not chase the hype (I've been guilty of that).  

 

2.  Recently, I opened some basic FR tan label and thought the flavors were much better than I remembered.  Still thin but I've been enjoying the bottle.  Has been making me think about some lower proof pours.  Don't think I would stray too often to those over my normal 100 - 110 preference.

 

5.  Buffalo Trace.  I've recommended this before, when asked.  Not my favorite but a good solid pour that won't break the bank.  

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flahute
12 minutes ago, TwoFingers said:

 

2.  Recently, I opened some basic FR tan label and thought the flavors were much better than I remembered.  Still thin but I've been enjoying the bottle.  Has been making me think about some lower proof pours.  Don't think I would stray too often to those over my normal 100 - 110 preference.

 

Don’t let the peer pressure from 4R get to you. We still call this yellow label..

Also, try it out of the freezer in the summer.  Fantastic. 

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The Black Tot

Meh...

 

Yeah we can still buy some good bourbon at a reasonable price.

 

But that don't make it a buyer's market.

 

Typing from an old rustbucket of a ship off the coast of Suriname where no drinking is allowed, I'm the last to suggest that we shouldn't focus on the silver linings of life's clouds. Like how I'm enjoying a just OK cup of coffee right now.

 

But 10yrs from now, these ain't gonna be looked back upon as "The good ol' days"  

 

I'll go as far as "The worst of it was still pretty fair".

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Harry in WashDC
Posted (edited)

1.  While TBT is likely correct in forecasting that the last 4 or so bourbon years will NOT be looked upon with nostalgic love, I likely will remember them for the shortages of my fave ONE OR TWO which caused me to try manymany expressions I'd ignored.  Hence, "quality" at bargain/historical prices may have disappeared, but I'm pleased that the benchmark quality/consistency of the mass appeal brand expressions did not suffer permanent damage.  IN SUM, I found a bunch of things to like.  There was that apparent dip in WT 101 and in OGD 114 consistency a few years ago (solely a Beam problem????) and the difficulty finding basic BT, but nowadays, BT is available fairly regularly at non-gouge prices.

 

2. Return to lower proofs?  In an attempt to keep myself from destroying my liver with ultra-high proof neat pours, AND because of my increased participation on the VBT thread, I've purchased and consumed many more sub-100 expressions than I have in quite awhile.  This Summer, especially, I drank more of them because the heat and lack of rain had me skipping the daytime session beers while working outside so I consumed my alcohol via ice-chilled or from-the-fridge/freezer bourbons, most of which were sub-100.   Like Mako, I was surprised at HOW GOOD some of them tasted.

 

3.  I've always found the basic 4R SiB good but disappointing, but I LOVED the SmB Select.  I can't explain it.

 

4.  RR 10.  See #5 below.

 

5.  Blanton's for its sweetness.  KC for its wood.  WT 101 for a classic bourbon to judge others by (like, "How does this compare to WT 101?  Sweeter?  Hotter?  Spicier? Better balance?").  Basic BT for spices.  If a person is familiar with these, I go to whichever higher proof (equa to or greater than 100) is closest to my hand.  And to RR 10 to show that solid older bourbon doesn't need high proof to be really good.  I always keep water nearby in case the taster is woofing about how much bourbon has been tasted out of my sight and drink/add some myself without comment to avoid embarrassment.

Edited by Harry in WashDC

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PaulO

Mako, you convinced me I need to try RR 10 and MMCS.

I know a store with a great quarterly sale, and they have those.

 

If I had to suggest bourbon to a friend wanting to expand their horizon from well whiskey and soda, several come to mind.  Starting at 80 proof is Four Roses "yellow label".  Then moving up in proof: Jim Beam Double Oak, Maker's Mark, WT 101.  

 

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