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Good Bourbon?

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Good Bourbon?

Postby ScotchPalate » Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:38 pm

I'd like to try a good Bourbon. What do you recommend?
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Postby shoganai » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:31 pm

I just has a bottle of Woodford Reserve and really enjoyed it. I haven't tried too many different bourbons, so I can't say how this ranks in the grand scheme of things but I found it to be very smooth and the flavor to be a nice sweet/spicy balance.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:50 pm

What experiences does anyone have from "Blanton's Gold"?
I know it's all single barrel bottlings and each will be different, but I would appreciate any comments and experiences.

MT
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Postby Admiral » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:25 pm

I would recommend either Elijah Craig 12yo or Blanton's Gold.


What experiences does anyone have from "Blanton's Gold"?


I really enjoy Blanton's Gold....it's quite rich with some really interesting spices and complex toasty notes that far exceed the wishy-washy vanilla that overpowers most bourbons.

Cheers,
AD
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Postby Miandi » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:31 pm

Both Woodford Reserve and Elijah Craig 12 are good choices. The Elijah Craig 12 is very affordable ($20). Another good bourbon that has been recommended to me and is next in line to be opened is Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon.
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Postby Wave » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:06 pm

In a nutshell, Blanton's. The Gold, Silver, Original, Special Reserves and Straight From The Barrel, any one of those is a winner! :D


Cheers!
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Postby badams » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:12 pm

Maker's Mark is a benchmark for good bourbon,
Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a premium benchmark,
Booker's is considered a benchmark for small batch,
I think the best from Pappy Van Winkle are classics.
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Postby l'chaim » Sun Jan 21, 2007 12:46 am

I’ve tried a few of the bourbons mentioned so far, and I think the Rare Breed is a cut above most of the others (that I’ve tried), for my taste. Smooth but powerful, very classy. A touch of vanilla and honey, perhaps, pretty complex. An excellent pour.
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Postby jimidrammer » Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:42 am

"Wheat recipe" Bourbon: anything from Pappy Van Winkle or WL Weller. "Rye Recipe" Bourbon: George T Stagg, Bookers, Blanton's, Wild Turkey Rare Breed. I'm sure Tim will be chiming in soon, but that should get you started. And coming from Scotch, give Bourbon awhile too grow on you, a fresh bottle can be completely different than one that has breathed. It took me awhile to take to it, but now it adds a whole new dimension to my choices or mood.
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Postby TheLaddie » Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:43 am

Bruichladdich XVII :wink:
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Postby Thesh » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:05 am

To get you started:

Elmer T Lee
Jim Beam Black
Wild Turkey 101
Eagle Rare 10
Elijah Craig 12
WL Weller
Knob Creek
Old Grand Dad 114 or Bonded

For a bit more cash:

Rockhill Farm's Single Barrel
Blanton's
Pappy Van Winkle 15 or 20
Wild Turkey Rare Breed or Kentucky Spirit

Those are all bourbons that I personally enjoy.
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Postby heatmiser » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:20 am

Here are some of my favorites:

Inexpensive:
Elmer T Lee - my favorite in this segment
Eagle Rare
Old Grand Dad 114
Old Weller Antique
Makers Mark

More Expensive:
George T Stagg - very very good
William Larue Weller - very very good
Pappy Van Winkle 12 Lot B
Pappy Van Winkle 15 - my favorite in this segment
Eagle Rare 17
Bookers
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:39 am

In this case, the inexpensive bourbons are usually good competitors for the expensive ones. Elmer T Lee and Eagle Rare both come from the same distillery (Buffalo Trace) as George T Stagg and the Van Winkles. Mr. Lee's bourbon and Eagle Rare are both excellent, as is Maker's and Woodford. Maker's is made with a bit more wheat in the mashbill, which gives it a different taste than other bourbons...and as I read somewhere else in this forum, the Reverend Elijah will never steer you wrong!

Mark
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Postby shoganai » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:51 am

Interesting thread. I'm going to have to keep these in mind the next time I'm browsing a store. Historically, Bourbon has been a rare buy for me. But I really, really enjoyed that bottle of Woodford Reserve.

Soon I shall try some others so that I can put all of this into context...
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:55 am

Go to Monk's...the back bar has a few good bourbons you can try...

Mark
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Postby shoganai » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:57 am

Go to Monk's and not drink beer? I don't know if I have it in me, but I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the tip!
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:59 am

I know...I know, but the selection of whiskies is just too powerful for me to drink beer when I get in there...

Mark
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:04 am

Let me take a different tack, and recommend one from each distiller that might be representative of a 'house style', very good, and fairly readily available (disclaimer: these are not necessarily my favorites, which are mostly esoteric, limited-production, or extinct bottlings. I see no point recommending something you can't find):

  • Jim Beam Black 8yo/86 proof (Jim Beam)
  • Evan Williams Black 86 proof (Heaven Hill/Bernheim)
  • Ridgemont Reserve 1792 93.7 proof (Barton)
  • Maker's 90 proof (they only make one domestic version)
  • Old Forester 86 proof (Brown-Forman)
  • Wild Turkey 101 proof (Wild Turkey)
  • Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10yo/90 proof (Buffalo Trace rye)
  • Old Weller (Antique) 107 Brand (Buffalo Trace wheat)
  • Woodford Reserve 90.4 proof (these are vattings of both Old Forester and Woodford Reserve distillates; only the limited Four Grain issue has been 100% Woodford Reserve-distilled)
  • Bulleit Frontier 90 proof (Four Roses; all other domestic FR products or KY-only)
  • Virginia Gentleman 90 "The Fox" (A. Smith Bowman/Buffalo Trace; narrowly distributed)

Those are all the existing bourbon distillers. However, you might also enjoy several bourbons from non-distilling bottlers (the bourbon comes either from the distillers above, or from no-longer-producing distilleries), if you can find them:
  • any Van Winkle (the current 10- and 12-year-olds are distilled by Bernheim Distillery, the 15-, 20- and 23-year-old bottlings are from the defunct Stitzel-Weller Distillery)
  • Rowan's Creek or Noah's Mill (Kentucky Bourbon Distillers)
  • Ezra Brooks Black Label 90 proof (Luxco, formerly David Sherman Corp.)
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:09 am

Tim, was I wrong to suggest that the Van Winkles are distilled at Buffalo Trace? I'd heard that somewhere...

Mark
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Postby shoganai » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:11 am

MGillespie wrote:I know...I know, but the selection of whiskies is just too powerful for me to drink beer when I get in there...

Mark


For me the selection of beer is just too powerful...and the hamburgers are really good too.
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:14 am

True...and you're right about the burgers!

Mark
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Postby shoganai » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:24 am

I guess the bottom line is this: Monk's is a wonderful place.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:36 pm

MGillespie wrote:Tim, was I wrong to suggest that the Van Winkles are distilled at Buffalo Trace? I'd heard that somewhere...

Mark


Mark, Julian Van Winkle formed an association with Buffalo Trace (in essence, they bought his operation) a few years ago, but he continues to use his previously-owned Stitzel-Weller stocks for his older Family Reserve bottlings. (Stitzel-Weller is where Julian P. "Pappy" Van Winkle, Julian's grandfather, so long made his mark). The Van Winkles are BOTTLED by Buffalo Trace.
Buffalo Trace did not have a wheated bourbon -- which is what the Van Winkles are -- before purchasing the W.L. Weller brands in the late-'90s. But, they were part of United Distillers and Vintners (UDV) when it owned the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville (now owned by Heaven Hill), which DID distill wheaters. Thus, BT owns wheated bourbon distilled elsewhere of an age to fill Julian's younger bottles, for which he no longer has appropriately-aged Stitzel-Weller, which ceased distilling in 1992.
Buffalo Trace has begun distilling bourbon for the Van Winkle bottlings, but none has aged enough to match any of the bottlings, the youngest of which is 10 years old. So, eventually, Buffalo Trace distillate will fill Van Winkle-branded bottles, but not yet.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:51 am

MGillespie wrote:I know...I know, but the selection of whiskies is just too powerful for me to drink beer when I get in there...

Mark


Duh! That's why you have two hands.
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Postby EdipisReks » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:53 am

TNbourbon wrote:[*] Old Forester 86 proof (Brown-Forman)

i think the 100 proof is much better, and it is just as easily available. otherwise, nice list :)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:08 am

EdipisReks wrote:
TNbourbon wrote:[*] Old Forester 86 proof (Brown-Forman)

i think the 100 proof is much better, and it is just as easily available. otherwise, nice list :)


Thanks, and agreed, I love the 100-proof Old Forester, especially the old BIB in dimpled bottles, of which I've stashed a few.
But, that's just the problem -- it's been first 'Bottled in Bond', then simply '100 proof', now 'Signature', all within about a 3-year span. I was afraid suggesting it was an invitation to confusion. The 86 is still pretty typical and identifiable, in addition to being pretty universal, too.
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Postby les taylor » Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:20 am

The Laddie wrote:-

Bruichladdich XVII

You could Add Bruichladdich 1970 in gold/copper tube to that list.


:)
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Postby Nock » Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:25 am

Having lived in Nashville for a number of years
and having friends from Louisville, KY
let me just say that I have a number of friends who have a vested interest in getting my mind off this "highfalutin single malt scotch kick".

So I have tried a number of the bourbons mentioned.
And I would gladly take any single malt over a bourbon any day
except for one:
George T. Stagg
That is a bourbon I can get behind 8)

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Postby Rory B Bellows » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:17 pm

I prefer Marker's Mark. It has dryness to it that I haven't encountered in other bourbons.
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