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Good Bourbon

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Good Bourbon

Postby xcel » Fri May 11, 2007 3:56 am

I don't drink much bourbon, but I did try some Elijah Craig 12 on the rocks (Lots of Ice) at a barbeque, and thought it was rather nice. What other bourbons would you guys recommend me trying. I did pick up a bottle of the EC 12, which is really cheap :thumbsup: , about $16 US at my corner store.

I'd love to hear some of the favorite bourbons on the forum. I've also found the EC 12, to go nicely with a good cigar.
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Postby pmullin » Fri May 11, 2007 4:12 am

My favorites are:
1. Woodford Reserve
2. Eagle Rare
3. Buffalo Trace
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Postby xcel » Fri May 11, 2007 4:27 am

Which one do you like the most out of those three?
I find most Irish whiskies taste pretty much the same, is it the same case in Bourbon would you say?
I don't get that in SMW, I taste the difference in all of them, but I just can't differentiate much in Irish whiskies.
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Postby pmullin » Fri May 11, 2007 4:45 am

For me, it's a toss-up between Eagle Rare and Woodford Reserve.

Bourbon (in general), is like Irish Whiskey, in that it is much more homogeneous than single malts. They all have a nice vanilla flavor with some fruit notes. However, I have see some interesting variety with some of the older single barrel Bourbons, like Elijah Craig 18.

As a poster in another thread pointed out, you should think of Bourbon as one style of American Whiskey (there is also rye, Tennessee Whiskey, etc.), much like you can categorize Scotch single malts into various categories (David's Wishart's Whisky Classified does an interesting job of this), such as "sherried", "peaty/smokey", etc.
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Postby pmullin » Fri May 11, 2007 4:47 am

BTW... If you want to try some interesting Irish Whiskeys that stand out from the crowd, try the Connemara and Tyrconnell single malts. Redbreast is also great.
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Postby Admiral » Fri May 11, 2007 4:50 am

It's a bit more expensive, but I'd certainly recommend Blantons Gold.

If you want to stick to the moderate price range, then try Evan Williams Single Barrel (the 1994 is a good one).

In the "bang for your buck" stakes, nothing beats Elijah Craig 12yo.

Cheers,
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Postby xcel » Fri May 11, 2007 5:06 am

pmullin wrote:For me, it's a toss-up between Eagle Rare and Woodford Reserve.

Bourbon (in general), is like Irish Whiskey, in that it is much more homogeneous than single malts. They all have a nice vanilla flavor with some fruit notes. However, I have see some interesting variety with some of the older single barrel Bourbons, like Elijah Craig 18.

As a poster in another thread pointed out, you should think of Bourbon as one style of American Whiskey (there is also rye, Tennessee Whiskey, etc.), much like you can categorize Scotch single malts into various categories (David's Wishart's Whisky Classified does an interesting job of this), such as "sherried", "peaty/smokey", etc.



That's good to know, I was under the impression that bourbon was all American whiskey and there were different variations of it. I have tried Jack Daniels, which is ok, I think most Bourbon has some rye in it, but I may be wrong. Is there a 100% rye whiskey?
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Postby xcel » Fri May 11, 2007 5:08 am

pmullin wrote:BTW... If you want to try some interesting Irish Whiskeys that stand out from the crowd, try the Connemara and Tyrconnell single malts. Redbreast is also great.


I've tried Red Breast 12, and bunch of the usual. Just not a fan of the taste. I've heard that Connemara is different, so I might put that on the wish list. I have so many others on there that it'll probably be a while before I get to it. Thanks
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Postby MrAwesome » Fri May 11, 2007 7:57 am

xcell, my wife likes Booker's, Bulleit & Pappy Van Winkle 15 y.o. bourbons the best. Those are the regulars, although she does like to sample other ones. If you can find a bottle, George T. Stagg is very good too. Cheers!
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Postby Aidan » Fri May 11, 2007 8:50 am

xcel wrote:
pmullin wrote:BTW... If you want to try some interesting Irish Whiskeys that stand out from the crowd, try the Connemara and Tyrconnell single malts. Redbreast is also great.


I've tried Red Breast 12, and bunch of the usual. Just not a fan of the taste. I've heard that Connemara is different, so I might put that on the wish list. I have so many others on there that it'll probably be a while before I get to it. Thanks


You probably believe that Irish whiskeys are all similar because there's only three distilleries here, and the vast proportion of Irish whiskey is made in one distillery. There just isn't the range that there is of scotch - which is unfortunate. But Connemara and Redbreast couldn't be more different.

I think the Blantons Gold is great. Or the young Sazerac (think it's 7 yrs old). Not sure about the prices, though.
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby Frodo » Fri May 11, 2007 11:45 am

xcel wrote:I don't drink much bourbon, but I did try some Elijah Craig 12 on the rocks (Lots of Ice) at a barbeque, and thought it was rather nice. What other bourbons would you guys recommend me trying.

I'd love to hear some of the favorite bourbons on the forum. I've also found the EC 12, to go nicely with a good cigar.


Hi xcel:

Two reactions.
First - I like Admirals recommendation of Evan William Single Barrel in that it comes from the same distillery that makes EC 12 (that and I like EWSB on it's own merits). Blanton's is a pretty good choice, but I would go for Elmer T. Lee if price is an issue. I feel that the ETL gives EC 12 a run for it's money in the "bang for the buck" department.

In terms of what I like, I don't get to try much bourbon as Ontario's selection is really poor. I can say that if you like a dry bourbon, Bookers would take you in a different direction. It's one of my faves, and I'd treat a glass of this stuff with great reverence.
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Postby Wave » Fri May 11, 2007 6:31 pm

Blanton's is a great bourbon unfortunately the gold, silver and straight from the cask are unavailable to us "poor" Yanks. :cry:


Cheers!
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Postby sku » Fri May 11, 2007 6:50 pm

xcel wrote:
pmullin wrote:Bourbon (in general), is like Irish Whiskey, in that it is much more homogeneous than single malts. They all have a nice vanilla flavor with some fruit notes. However, I have see some interesting variety with some of the older single barrel Bourbons, like Elijah Craig 18.



That's good to know, I was under the impression that bourbon was all American whiskey and there were different variations of it. I have tried Jack Daniels, which is ok, I think most Bourbon has some rye in it, but I may be wrong. Is there a 100% rye whiskey?

I would take issue with the description of Bourbon as homogeneous and all having vanilla and fruit notes; it really depends on the bourbon and the particular mash bill. Bourbons with a lot of rye in the mix (say, Buffalo Trace, for example) have a spicy rye character that differentiates them from Bourbons that are mostly corn or that have wheat. I can see how the flavor differences would be more subtle than those between, say a Balvenie and a Lagavulin, but they are definitely there, and as with anything, the more you taste, the more you recognize them.

As to straight rye, Anchor Distilling makes a number of single malt ryes under its Old Potrero label. I'm not aware of any others that are 100%.
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Postby Di Blasi » Fri May 11, 2007 8:18 pm

Good bourbon? How about excellent, top bourbon??? GEORGE T STAGG!
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Postby bjorn » Sat May 12, 2007 2:48 am

I'm a big fan of Wild Turkey's bottlings...I'd say their standard 101 might be the best bourbon under $20 american and Rare Breed is one of the best bourbons I've tried. That said, Buffalo Trace is also very nice and WL Weller 12 yo is a great wheater for a good price.

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Postby Steve Rush » Mon May 14, 2007 3:19 pm

Admiral wrote:In the "bang for your buck" stakes, nothing beats Elijah Craig 12yo.

Cheers,
AD


Pricing aside I would have to say that Elijah Craig is a great bourbon full stop. If comparing in price I would also say that its also as good if not better than some that I have tasted heading up to the £80 mark.
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby randall fairbrook » Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:38 am

i would have to go with buffalo trace, elijah craig 12 and my favorite thus far - van winkle speical reserve 12 yr old - lot b 45.2%..it tastes so very smooth and just downright comforting...
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby BourbonDrinker » Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:51 pm

Good Bourbon! Now you're talking. Many good recommendations here. George T. Stagg is by far the best (IMHO). Evan Williams Single Barrel is also a great recommendation. Although in my personal opinion Elmer T. Lee and Blanton's are overrated fro the money. I actually run a bourbon web-site at http://www.bourbondrinker.com which has a simple 5-Star style rating system with results generated from user ratings. It's a simple way to find a good bottle of bourbon to try. I know that users from the site have been known to sort the results by rating and take the list with them to go shopping.
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby TroyM » Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:00 am

Woodforde Reserve ( with the Henderson signature, not the new one)
Four Roses Single Barrel
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Buffalo Trace

and for a real bang for you buck

Wild Turkey Russells Reserve 101
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:57 am

I am not a great bourbon fan, but I have to agree with Admiral and say that Blanton's Gold is a great dram, but even better is the GT Stagg.

From the cheaper ones, I have found Elijah Craig to be better than Buffalo Trace, but that's about all I have tried as yet.
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:20 am

Honestly, I've never tried a bourbon. Period. I wouldn't know a good bourbon if one hit me in the head. I do have a Buffalo Trace in the Lair but am reluctant to try it until I've drained a few bottles. Getting further away, from my goal of only 20 open, every day it seems.

Once the opens have reduced sufficiently in number, I'd like to try a Blantons and Georgie T. ...and Evan Williams if only because they have clever advertisements on "aging".
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby Direwolf » Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:54 pm

Greetings,

My favourites are:

Wild Turkey Rare Breed CS (absolutely divine). Jim Murray's notes are right on the money with this one.
Four Roses Single Barrel CS
Evan Williams Single Barrel 1994 bottling is slightly better than 1997.
Knob Creek 9yrs
Wild Turkey Russel's Reserve (90 Proof, haven't tried the 100)
Buffalo Trace straight or in a Manhattan - Yum!


I've had the fortunate opportunity to taste a little over 20 bourbons, and so far, these are my favourite. I'm hoping to get my hands on some George T. Stagg, but so far, no luck.

Good luck!
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby MacAttack80 » Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:33 pm

Try the Woodford Reserve and Baker's. Redbreast is a great Irish Whisky. They may cost a few extra dollars, but are worth it :D
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby oldrip57 » Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:26 am

I love it -- I really do! :lol: I would not deign to suggest to any of you long-time single malt aficianados what label is 'best'. In exchange, I agree not to pay any attention to what you have to say about bourbon.
In a for-whatever-it's-worth vein -- here are my bona fides:
  • I've bent an elbow with most of the current bourbon master distillers, while discussing their product;
  • I believe I have tasted at least 90% of current bourbon brands, and many historical ones, dating as far back as 1899;
  • I've traded bottles with Julian Van Winkle III, whose bottling are admired by many;
  • I've helped select at least 10 single-barrel bottlings for various entities or groups, including myself.
My list of 'best' bourbons might proceed as thus:
For consistent high flavor quality, opt for Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit (rye-recipe) or Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20yo (wheat).
For utter value, Old Weller Antique 107 Brand (107 proof, too; wheated), and Evan Williams black-label (rye).
I've excluded 'special', one-time or annual bottlings. Of these, if I could justify it by availability, I'd include ALL of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection barrel-proof offerings: G.T. Stagg (which I think is very fine, but something of a 'flavor of the month'), Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye, and William Larue Weller. Lots of luck finding them. I'm lucky to live in a location -- and have a relationship with a retailer -- that allows me to pluck them each year; Parker's Heritage Collection #1, released this Fall by Heaven Hill; Early Pappy 23yo (1999 or 2003 releases) -- the latter ones are over-oaked; Willett #1 22yo Single-Barrel (as in, ONE barrel, folks) rye; the defunct Wild Turkey 12yo; non-U.S. current WT 8yo; Evan Williams 15yo (the best bourbon Heaven Hill bottles).
The very best bourbons I've every tasted no longer exist, but have a commonality: they came from the shuttered Stitzel-Weller (later, Old Fitzgerald) Distillery, once operated by Julian "Pappy" Van Winkle -- Very Old Fitzgerald 8yo Bottled In Bond (pick the year), and W.L. Weller 8yo Special Reserve BIB (1940-distilled, bottled in 1948). The only current Stitzel-Weller bourbons are the Pappy 20 and 23. No shame in seeking them out in a qualilty-history daily double.
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby randall fairbrook » Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:46 am

^real nice info, i appreciate it...got a question for you...your opinion..at my local shop....i am looking at these bottles..which would you choose and why...:

george t stagg barrell proof uncut/unfiltered 72.4/144.8

william larue weller barrell proof uncut/unfiltered 58.95/117.9

sazerac rye 18yr - fall 07

thomas handy rye - 67.4%
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby randall fairbrook » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:09 am

just bought...

george t stagg uncut/unfiltered barrel proof kentucky straight bourbon whiskey - 72.4% / 144.8 proof


just........wow...........

will give proper notes when i have recovered....
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby randall fairbrook » Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:33 am

just posted notes in tastings
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby oldrip57 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:30 am

Here's a tasting tip I learned from a former Buffalo Trace exec regarding Stagg: pour it deep in, say, a large brandy snifter, and let it aerate. Sip it (I find entry onto the middle of the tongue, where relatively little taste sensation resides, then letting it spread from there once diluted by your saliva, works best) over a lengthy period of time -- maybe an hour or two. You'll be amazed to find how the taste(s) change(s) over that time. You will not finish with the same whiskey in the glass that you started with. It's a salutary performance.
I'd also note that it makes little sense to taste Stagg only at its barrel proof. It loses little flavor at dilations down to 50%-55% abv, and makes about the best bourbon mixed drinks you've ever imagined.
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby BourbonDrinker » Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:09 pm

Ahhhhh Stagg!

My bottles of the 2007 release arrive today. I can hardly wait! Too bad I have baby classes to attend with my wife tonight! Maybe I should bring my bottle and pass it around with the other fathers-to-be!
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby oldrip57 » Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:16 am

Ignore the funky smell of the new Stagg, which will remind you of manure. It doesn't display on the palate, where it is pretty basic Stagg. But, you'll want to dilute it to 105-110 proof (52.5%-55% abv) to fully enjoy the range of flavors.
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby Paul A Jellis » Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:58 pm

oldrip57 wrote:Ignore the funky smell of the new Stagg, which will remind you of manure.


Ah! Now I know why I don't like bourbon.
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby BINX » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:56 am

It sounds like you had to watter down you EC. I would suggest Basil Hayden's. It has a bit of mellow a peat flavor that works very well over ice.
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Re: Good Bourbon

Postby Ganga » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:04 am

Paul A Jellis wrote:
oldrip57 wrote:Ignore the funky smell of the new Stagg, which will remind you of manure.


Ah! Now I know why I don't like bourbon.

I would suggest that most that really don't like bourbon don't like the sweetness of bourbon.
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