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Favorite Bourbon?

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Favorite Bourbon?

Postby tuddy24 » Sat May 08, 2010 5:08 pm

Hi Everyone,

After speaking with a Binny's associate last night, I've been interested in trying something new. Bourbon to be exact. I've tried Knob Creek and Jefferson's Repeal and didn't like either. The Binny's guy said that he didn't like those either but recommended Four Roses and Buffalo Trace. I like making Manhattan's with Crown Royal and he said the Four Roses is a good sipper or mixer for the Manhattan. Do you agree? I've heard a lot about Woodford Reserve but he didn't approve. He said it was bland. To try and find a common ground I compared my tastes in SM Scotch with his. He disliked Glenlivet 12 and inclined more toward Glenfiddich 12. I prefer the subtle complexity of the Glenlivet while he liked the more straightforward sweetness and pronounced flavor of the Glenfiddich . Which Bourbon would you say is more like the Glenlivet 12? Thanks!

-Pete
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby Megawatt » Sat May 08, 2010 10:48 pm

Not many bourbons available around here but I'm loving Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 year old from the Buffalo Trace distillery. It's quite sweet and tastes of almonds. Other ones I've been impressed with are Knob Creek, Jim Beam Black, and to a lesser extent Maker's Mark. Woodford Reserve isn't bad but has a flavour I can't put my finger on that puts me off a bit. Bourbon is good but can't really be compared to Scotch because the flavours are so different. I've tried some Scotches that had bourbon elements to them but have never tried a bourbon that reminded me of Scotch. Maybe others have had different experiences and can point you in the right direction.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby tuddy24 » Sun May 09, 2010 3:47 am

Megawatt wrote:Not many bourbons available around here but I'm loving Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 year old from the Buffalo Trace distillery. It's quite sweet and tastes of almonds. Other ones I've been impressed with are Knob Creek, Jim Beam Black, and to a lesser extent Maker's Mark. Woodford Reserve isn't bad but has a flavour I can't put my finger on that puts me off a bit. Bourbon is good but can't really be compared to Scotch because the flavours are so different. I've tried some Scotches that had bourbon elements to them but have never tried a bourbon that reminded me of Scotch. Maybe others have had different experiences and can point you in the right direction.


Thanks for your comments Megawatt. I was in Binny's today and the gentleman working was kind enough to let me sample a few Bourbons and a Canadian whiskey. My favorite was the Bulleit Bourbon. It wasn't over the top and it seemed well balanced, didn't leave a funky taste afterwards that a lot of Bourbons do to me. I had read somewhere that it's a good spirit to sip or mix and I got that from the tasting. It was a little smoky too in a way. Sometimes it's so much easier to just sip and try!
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby Megawatt » Sun May 09, 2010 4:24 pm

tuddy24 wrote:
Thanks for your comments Megawatt. I was in Binny's today and the gentleman working was kind enough to let me sample a few Bourbons and a Canadian whiskey. My favorite was the Bulleit Bourbon. It wasn't over the top and it seemed well balanced, didn't leave a funky taste afterwards that a lot of Bourbons do to me. I had read somewhere that it's a good spirit to sip or mix and I got that from the tasting. It was a little smoky too in a way. Sometimes it's so much easier to just sip and try!


Yeah, Bulleit isn't bad at all and is a little cheaper than the others. I found it has somewhat of a "softer" flavour, and the taste reminded me of cherries, whereas Woodford Reserve had a citrus bitterness like orange peel and Knob Creek has more of a leathery smokiness. Those are impressions from memory. If you like Bulleit I think you would like Eagle Rare. Bourbon must be made with at least 51% corn but the rest of the mash can be made up of varying quantities of other grains, and this recipe plays a big part in how the bourbon ends up tasting, from what I understand. Some are heavy on the rye; others like Maker's Mark use more wheat.

Probably what distinguishes bourbon the most from other whiskies is that they can only use new charred oak barrels for aging, so you always get that heavy smoky wood flavour.

Out of interest, what Canadian whisky did you try? Canadians generally don't get a lot of respect from whisky connoiseurs but there are some good ones if you're after something a little more subtle.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby ClarenceCarter » Sun May 09, 2010 5:02 pm

Whiskey exploration, formerly known as drinking, is a funny thing. One of the first Bourbons I tried was Wild Turkey 101 and it was just too much - I had to mix it. I knocked around and had Makers Mark, the Canadian Crown Royal and a couple of others and finally Old Grandad 100 blew my socks off. But now, several years later I prefer the Wild Turkey over the Old Grandad. The first Scotch I loved was Johnnie Walker Black, even after having some Single Malts. I like it alot today but I don't pine for it while I drink Caol Ila. I'm a little hung over.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby tuddy24 » Sun May 09, 2010 9:50 pm

Megawatt wrote:
tuddy24 wrote:
Thanks for your comments Megawatt. I was in Binny's today and the gentleman working was kind enough to let me sample a few Bourbons and a Canadian whiskey. My favorite was the Bulleit Bourbon. It wasn't over the top and it seemed well balanced, didn't leave a funky taste afterwards that a lot of Bourbons do to me. I had read somewhere that it's a good spirit to sip or mix and I got that from the tasting. It was a little smoky too in a way. Sometimes it's so much easier to just sip and try!


Yeah, Bulleit isn't bad at all and is a little cheaper than the others. I found it has somewhat of a "softer" flavour, and the taste reminded me of cherries, whereas Woodford Reserve had a citrus bitterness like orange peel and Knob Creek has more of a leathery smokiness. Those are impressions from memory. If you like Bulleit I think you would like Eagle Rare. Bourbon must be made with at least 51% corn but the rest of the mash can be made up of varying quantities of other grains, and this recipe plays a big part in how the bourbon ends up tasting, from what I understand. Some are heavy on the rye; others like Maker's Mark use more wheat.

Probably what distinguishes bourbon the most from other whiskies is that they can only use new charred oak barrels for aging, so you always get that heavy smoky wood flavour.

Out of interest, what Canadian whisky did you try? Canadians generally don't get a lot of respect from whisky connoiseurs but there are some good ones if you're after something a little more subtle.


The mash bill can have a huge impact on the flavor I agree. I thought all Bourbons were kind of the same until I tried the Bulleit. I liked it.

You're right, the Bulleit is soft and round. I have yet to try Woodford Reserve, the whole bitter orange peel flavor sounds intriguing. I always put 4 drops of Orange Bitters in my Manhattans :) I've heard nothing but good about Woodford Reserve, except for the Binny's guy, he said it was boring. He also said that Crown was boring and " was made so that lots of people like it". Well, I liked it and so what? I like Johnny Walker Black too because it's a damn good blend. I think the Crown works great in the Manhattan just because of it's subtlety and soft flavor. Everyone's palates are radically different though so it's just so much easier to taste and judge.

I don't remember the Canadian whiskey I tried but it was like $60 in Chicago dollars. I was not at all impressed and put off by it in fact. The other Bourbon I had was Elijah Craig 18 and didn't like that either. I just wonder how much Scotch there is I have yet to try under $40 that I would perceive as better than some of the stuff I spent over $60 on! My new rule is "try before you buy". It's just too expensive not to. The guy was also saying that some new import laws in Asia might drive Scotch prices higher.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby tuddy24 » Sun May 09, 2010 9:52 pm

ClarenceCarter wrote:Whiskey exploration, formerly known as drinking, is a funny thing. One of the first Bourbons I tried was Wild Turkey 101 and it was just too much - I had to mix it. I knocked around and had Makers Mark, the Canadian Crown Royal and a couple of others and finally Old Grandad 100 blew my socks off. But now, several years later I prefer the Wild Turkey over the Old Grandad. The first Scotch I loved was Johnnie Walker Black, even after having some Single Malts. I like it alot today but I don't pine for it while I drink Caol Ila. I'm a little hung over.


I agree with you regarding JWB! I always make sure I have a bottle of it. I'm not hung over but inspire to be there with you. :coffee:
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby Megawatt » Mon May 10, 2010 2:06 am

I've had very few whiskies that I didn't like so I usually don't mind taking a chance on something new. For me that is part of the fun. The trouble is when you only have enough to buy one nice bottle and you have three possibilities.

If Scotch prices go any higher I think I will scream. They have been going up aribitrarily for the last couple of years and I have to think that at some point high prices will start to drive people away. Let's hope the Binny's guy was full of crap!

Now I'm even more curious as to which Canadian whisky it was. There are only a few bottles that even cost that much.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby lockejn » Mon May 10, 2010 3:05 am

I've been starting to sample bourbons in search of a favorite. So far, Wild Turkey 101 is on top. I'm finding I prefer whiskeys with a greater proportion of rye in the bill as I enjoy the spiciness and am not such a big fan of intense sweetness.

A close runner up at this point is the Four Roses Single Barrel - a bit floral though. I enjoyed Bulleit quite a bit but didn't find it exceptional in any way (aside from being ridiculously drinkable). Plain old Jim Beam is decent but pushing the sweetness envelope. Maker's Mark is nice and a bit different from the others. I remember really liking Booker's, but it's been a long time now and was just a small sample.

I don't care much for Knob Creek (spirity and tons of banana), Basil Hayden's (yawn), or Old Granddad (harsh).

If you enjoy bourbon at all, I can't recommend strongly enough trying some Rye whiskeys. Really great stuff.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby ClarenceCarter » Sat May 22, 2010 3:11 am

It seems that many many Bourbon enthusiasts end up prefering whiskies that are 100 proof or higher. For most other people I recommend Russel Reserve Bourbon or Rye and especially Evan Wiliams Single Barrel 2000. I also seem to remember enjoying Woodford Reserve but that was a while ago.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby The Third Dram » Sun May 23, 2010 1:50 pm

ClarenceCarter wrote:Evan Wiliams Single Barrel

This would, I believe, represent an excellent choice... Very approachable yet also displaying exemplary balance and good complexity.

Other good alternatives that emphasize smoothness over power include Hancock's President's Reserve (lovely, plush texture to this one) and Woodford Reserve (I've always felt that the WR, with its faint whiff of smoke on the nose, is just made for Scotch enthusiasts).

Most of the other Bourbons that come to mind tend towards the denser, heavier and more powerfully pronounced end of the flavour spectrum. But that's not to say you won't grow to like them in time.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby Drammed » Mon May 31, 2010 9:10 pm

I am quite partial to Wild turkey Rare Breed and Blantons single barrel.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby shulaw05 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:59 pm

Tuddy - i'm also in Illinois and do my whisky shopping at binnys. of the bottles they sell here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):
buffalo trace
elijah craig (12 & 18) - maybe the best value bourbon imo
william weller (wheated bourbon, so it is a little lighter)
bookers
george t stagg
eagle rare (17 year is really good)
four roses (all bottles are good, but the mariage is great)
wild turkey 101 / wild turkey rare breed
russell reserve
any van winkle bourbon

this is not an exclusive list, just some of the great bourbons you can pick up at binnys

also, if you like rye whiskies, here are some i know binnys carries that i enjoy:
sazerac
thomas handy 17 yr
wild turkey rye
mitchers rye

cheers
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby hyperfuji » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:34 am

try the old charters proprietors reserve. not too expensive ($50) and its tasty.

sounds like what you could be looking for. nice nose thats not overpowering and very easy on the palate. its very drinkable.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby AshDLS » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:07 am

Just wondering if anyone has ever come across a straight Kentucky bourbon called Clementine? Oddly enough (or perhaps not, considering how distribution works), the only place I've ever seen it in a bar or liquor store is Japan.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby Wave » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:02 am

My 2 favorite Bourbons are Noah's Mill and William Larue Weller though neither I would call a mixing Bourbon. Strictly sippin' whiskeys. :smoke:


Cheers!
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:14 pm

I've not had a huge exposure to Bourbon but have tried at least 2 hand fulls of different ones :wink: okay, okay ... I did drink them out of a glass ... I'm not that much of a Irish savage :P

I've had 2 different George T Staggs. A 10cl sample of 1 and a botttle of another and it is the strangest thing ... I get a really bad headache from them ... even if I just have one drink I'll have a headache the next. The only other drink I've experienced this from is Heineken :o I ended up giving the GTS away eventhough it was not too bad.

MAkers Mark has been a favourite for years but my last bottle I was not too keen on. Have a MM black years ago which was wonderful stuff.

JD is a bit boring but the Single Barrel versions I've tried are not bad at all.

Regular Buffalo Trace is great for the price.
Bulleit Bourbon I found a bit rough..

I've tried a corn whiskey which I found way too sweet but can't remember it's name.

Woodford Reserve did not really do it for me and found that I ended up drinking it with ice ...

I have an Old Fitzgearld 12yo open which is for me a typical bourbon but enjoyable.

But for me the head and shoulds winner out of the above (with the Makers Mark Black Seal a good second by a distance also) is

William L Weller ... just a great and massive whiskey. Even at it's very high ABV of 60.95% it is great to drink neat but can take a bit of water.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby MacAttack80 » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:20 am

tuddy24 wrote:
Megawatt wrote:Not many bourbons available around here but I'm loving Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 year old from the Buffalo Trace distillery. It's quite sweet and tastes of almonds. Other ones I've been impressed with are Knob Creek, Jim Beam Black, and to a lesser extent Maker's Mark. Woodford Reserve isn't bad but has a flavour I can't put my finger on that puts me off a bit. Bourbon is good but can't really be compared to Scotch because the flavours are so different. I've tried some Scotches that had bourbon elements to them but have never tried a bourbon that reminded me of Scotch. Maybe others have had different experiences and can point you in the right direction.


Thanks for your comments Megawatt. I was in Binny's today and the gentleman working was kind enough to let me sample a few Bourbons and a Canadian whiskey. My favorite was the Bulleit Bourbon. It wasn't over the top and it seemed well balanced, didn't leave a funky taste afterwards that a lot of Bourbons do to me. I had read somewhere that it's a good spirit to sip or mix and I got that from the tasting. It was a little smoky too in a way. Sometimes it's so much easier to just sip and try!


If you like Bulleit bourbon, give Basil Haydens a try. Both have a high rye content on their mashbills, relative to bourbons.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:15 am

If you're leaning toward something with a higher than normal rye component, you might also want to consider one or both of the following:

Crown Royal Cask No. 16... A simply stunning Canadian finished in Cognac casks that offers a clean, crisp and quite intense interpretation of the classic Crown Royal flavour profile. Beautiful stuff!

High West Rendezvous Whiskey... Incorporates 6 and 16-year old whiskies, both of which exhibit a very high rye content. Just sooooooo smooth, and with tremendous subtlety/complexity to boot.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby bcrossan » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:40 am

Just tried AH Hirsch 16 for the first time, very nice stuff! :thumbsup: So that takes my vote
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby MacDeffe » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:25 am

AH Hirsch 16

/Macdeffe
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby hyperfuji » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:38 am

but the youll be paying a premium for the hirsch 16, so it might be a bit much if youre starting off with bourbon/ryes.

look into the
sazerac 18
thomas handy sazerac
george t stagg

those are premium spirits and you can find the at fair prices
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby talisker10 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:00 am

I have been away from the forum for a bit..but now that I am back my new rediscovered whiskeys..bourbon and rye! (Talisker and Laphroaig still top my list, though).

I will stick with readily available whiskeys:
Wild Turkey 101..very, very flavorful and smooth despite the 101 proof!
Russell's Reserve Rye or WT Rye...not sweet but complex, but tremendously flavorful.
Elijah Craig 12 year...amazingly dense, sweet, and refreshing!
Old Charter 10 year (12 and 13 are better but no longer available)...not complex, but perfect blend of sweetness and drinkability
George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Whisky (they spell it with no "e")..absolutely blows that other Tennessee Whiskey (Jack Daniels) away. Honey, pine nuts, caramel, almost Scotch like in it's complexity.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby Onefortheditch » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:04 am

Buffalo Trace so far, but I have lots more to try.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:24 pm

talisker10 wrote:Wild Turkey 101.. very, very flavorful and smooth despite the 101 proof!
Elijah Craig 12 year... amazingly dense, sweet, and refreshing!

I've just reacquainted myself with the WT101, and must say that I'm mightily impressed with its quality. Perhaps not quite as plush a pour as the older 8YO bottling, but still an excellent Bourbon - especially at its price point.

As for the EC 12YO... Real Bourbon! :thumbsup:
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby talisker10 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:50 am

I would like to add Old Grand Dad 114 as well. Don't let the 114 fool you...this is very drinkable stuff neat. Unlike anything I have had.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby hyperfuji » Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:58 am

Megawatt wrote:I've had very few whiskies that I didn't like so I usually don't mind taking a chance on something new. For me that is part of the fun. The trouble is when you only have enough to buy one nice bottle and you have three possibilities.

If Scotch prices go any higher I think I will scream. They have been going up aribitrarily for the last couple of years and I have to think that at some point high prices will start to drive people away. Let's hope the Binny's guy was full of crap!

Now I'm even more curious as to which Canadian whisky it was. There are only a few bottles that even cost that much.


the bourbon/rye prices have been jumping dramtically. TH sazeracs have been on shelves for 80-120, i saw a willet 16 for 130.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby hyperfuji » Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:59 am

The Third Dram wrote:
talisker10 wrote:Wild Turkey 101.. very, very flavorful and smooth despite the 101 proof!
Elijah Craig 12 year... amazingly dense, sweet, and refreshing!

I've just reacquainted myself with the WT101, and must say that I'm mightily impressed with its quality. Perhaps not quite as plush a pour as the older 8YO bottling, but still an excellent Bourbon - especially at its price point.

As for the EC 12YO... Real Bourbon! :thumbsup:


i thought the WT 101 was too abrasive. if you guys like the WT, try the WT single barrel, great oily grain on the nose and very smooth and balanced.
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby hyperfuji » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:01 am

The Third Dram wrote:
ClarenceCarter wrote:Evan Wiliams Single Barrel

This would, I believe, represent an excellent choice... Very approachable yet also displaying exemplary balance and good complexity.

Other good alternatives that emphasize smoothness over power include Hancock's President's Reserve (lovely, plush texture to this one) and Woodford Reserve (I've always felt that the WR, with its faint whiff of smoke on the nose, is just made for Scotch enthusiasts).

Most of the other Bourbons that come to mind tend towards the denser, heavier and more powerfully pronounced end of the flavour spectrum. But that's not to say you won't grow to like them in time.
:wink:


i agree, and at just a little over $20. its a great value. sipping on some right now
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Re: Favorite Bourbon?

Postby vcdman » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:31 am

I just wanted to add a few to the list:

Wild Turkey 12 yo.
Johnny Drum Private Stock 15yr
Tuthilltown Manahattan Rye (no government warning)
Rittenhouse Ry Bottled in Bond 100proof
Jeffersons Reserve 15yr
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