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What bourbon are you drinking these days?

My favorite of the moment is Wathens. Unfortunately, I killed the bottle at my local watering hole, but that just meant that they poured me something else (I was introduced to Blanton's this evening and was duly impressed.)

So which bourbon are you reaching for?

http://www.wathens.com/
http://www.blantonsbourbon.com/

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  1. I'm back onto Knob Creek right now. And a bottle of 18 yo Sazerac Rye.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ccbweb

      Woodford Reserve. Most excellent bourbon.

      1. re: greglor

        Agreed. WR has to be one of the best out there.

      2. re: ccbweb

        Anything from the Small Batch distillery portion of Jim Beam is downright excellent. I've come to enjoy Baker's and Basil Hayden's a bit more than Knob Creek, but one would hope so with the price difference. They are both some of the smoothest, deepest-flavored bourbons that I have tasted.

        My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

      3. The Wathen's website doesn't say much, does it? Check out http://www.ellenjaye.com/medley.htm for much more info on Wathen's Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey.

        For more on Blanton's, check out http://www.ellenjaye.com/ancientage.htm

        And for KNob Creek, http://www.ellenjaye.com/makers-beam.htm

        1. Tried a bottle of Bulleit recently, thought that was pretty decent, had some good character for the price. Now that fall has returned to New England, I'm also mixing Maker's Mark into unpasteurized sweet cider on a regular basis.

          Mostly, thought, I'm drinking straight rye when I want a whiskey these days.

          I also bought a bottle of the Wild Turkey Honey Liqueur not long ago, which is bourbon based. I found it cloyingly sweet and syrupy, along the lines of a Drambuie without as much herbal/spice interest. An interesting experiment, but not something I would buy again.

          15 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I've been a bourbon drinker for years. Never got into the high end stuff unless I go out. At home I always just bought Jim Beam, but awhile back the price started going up and I gave Evan Williams a try and have pretty much stuck to it. I actually like it better and at 10 bucks a bottle cheaper it sealed the deal.

            1. re: Eric in NJ

              I'll have to give Evan Williams a shot. Bulleit is only about $15-20, so a pretty good value, in my book. Nice-looking packaging for a bottle that isn't priced like a super-premium, too.

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                As for rye, what do folks recommend? I just finished a bottle of Michter's US1 Straight Rye (and posting to Chowhound ... woo hoo!)

                1. re: Sgt Snackers

                  Rittenhouse, Sazerac, and Old Overholt. I think the Anchor offerings are way overpriced.

                  1. re: Sgt Snackers

                    I like the Jim Beam Rye (yellow label) and their high-end "baker's" rye.

                    1. re: cornFusion

                      i had a tough time w/ the yellow label, but i'm a big fan of basil hayden's

                    2. re: Sgt Snackers

                      Templeton Rye, supposed to be made with a recipe that was Al Capones favorite. Delicious.

                      1. re: corneygirl

                        Can't say enough about Templeton Rye. Great stuff

                  2. re: Eric in NJ

                    A bourbon gal. Like Beam, Evan, love Makers, tried some high end, but can't afford it. Many friends are Bourbon drinkers so high end I can't afford. Makers is good, but Evan every day is fine. Jack now and then.

                    Raised in Dearborn Detroit MI, but still a country gal. Shots of Jack with a beer chaser. Bea Rye or Jack Raye someone mentioned, not bad either. Knob is ok too.

                    1. re: Eric in NJ

                      Jim Beam Distillers Series is a 7 yr old whisky bottled at 90 proof. I buy it at Sam's Club for $9.81 a bottle. It is better than regular JB, as good as JB Black, and I think they may be using that for the Costco bourbon. JB is okay. Wild Turkey is okay, Jack Daniels is only good in coke. I like Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Blantons, Eagle Rare 17 yr old, Stagg, Pappy VanWinkel, Jefferson something, 1792 or something like that. Oh yeah, Four Roses has several in the $25-40 range worth taking a look at. I like to try different bourbons. I have approx. 10 bottles in my cabinet. I don't drink bourbon every nite but maybe after a full meal or when company is over. The Costco bourbon is decent and if they didn't see where it came from I am sure they would drink it down and accept a refill! Sounds like some people who write reviews are bourbon snobs. There is bourbon I do not like - anything from Evan Williams. Do not like it at all.

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Bulleit is by far my bourbon of choice these days. It has a bold flavor but is still smooth, which is really hard to pull off. My local store has it for about the same price as a bottle of Makers Mark or Knob Creek.

                        1. re: itsrob

                          Here in SF I get Bulleit (both the rye and the bourbon) for $20.99, but MM is about $27. I really enjoy the Bulleit more.

                          1. re: cosmogrrl

                            I can get Bulleit Bourbon for about $5-8 less than Maker's Mark [and I think it is better as well].

                        2. re: MC Slim JB

                          Somebody bought me a shot of the honey liqueur on my 21st birthday and I haven't seen it anywhere since. I remember thinking the same thing.

                        3. Only bourbon I had in months is a Hirsch. Truly nectar suitable for a God.

                          That should change, as I really do not drink much of any whiskey from May to November.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: Captain

                            That should change also due to the Hirsch distillery having closed a few years back. From what I understand, it's the current stock and that's it.

                            1. re: SauceSupreme

                              The distillery is closed, and it has been clseod for a long time. I think there is still enough that you could find a few bottles around. I recall reading that a goood amount of it's final products was stashed away for sale at some time in the future. I think that time began a few years ago, but think it's still available. When the supply will run out is not something I can tell you.

                              Anyway, I have two unopened bottles, so it should be a while before I run out.

                              Otherwise, you may soon find me drinking Van Winkle or Evan Williams, some single malts, or Irish whiskey, particularly Red Breast and Green Spot, is a favorite. I was lucky enough to have sips of both that were made in the now closed Bow Street Distillery, which is now a museum in Dublin. That ancient Green Spot was heaven.

                              Evan Williams is to me taste a good product that is reasonably priced. Van Winkle's whiskeys are almsot always very good.

                              1. re: Captain

                                I have a few bottles of the old Hirsch but I think it's mostly marketing hype. New Hirsch is available but that's even more marketing hype.

                                1. re: JMF

                                  I agree about the new Hirsch, but the old stuff I really like.

                                2. re: Captain

                                  My current favorite daily pour is W.L. Weller 12 year old 90 proof in their new bottle. Also, Four Roses single barrel 100 proof is very good. A few others I rotate are Old Bardstown 90, Elmer T. Lee 90 and Buffalo Trace 90.

                                  1. re: Captain

                                    Note to Captain and Sauce Supreme. If you might be interested in trading or selling your old bottles of Hirsch, let me know. I've always heard about it, but never tried it.

                                    Thanks and sorry if this isn't allowed, I'm new. I found this thread by searching for Hirsch.

                                    1. re: sionilli69

                                      You can order the 16 year online at Astor for $ 117 a bottle plus shipping.

                                      http://www.astorwines.com/SearchResul...

                                        1. re: sionilli69

                                          I bought my bottles as Astor, linked above. I've had it at the bar in a few places in NYC. Not trading either bottle.

                              2. Ridgemont Reserve 1792. Just shy of 100 proof but it is smooth. I've probably tried at least a dozen different bourbons within the last year and this ranks up with the best.

                                1. Rock Hill Farms 100 proof is what I'm drinking mostly, but when I can talk my friend into pouring HIS bourbon, we drink Pappy van Winkle Family Reserve.

                                    1. Maker's Mark.

                                      I wasn't overly impressed with Blanton's when I tried it.

                                      1. Anything by Buffalo Trace: Eagle Rare, Blanton's, Weller, Buffalo Trace.

                                        1. I was introduced to Bulleit awhile back and found it very sippable on the rocks. I have Maker's and Knob Creek in the bar depending on what mood strikes me. Of course, there's VO whiskey for a highball, too. I have others, but if I list them all you'll think I'm a brown-liquor lush.

                                          I'm intrigued by the Maker's Mark and cider, yummy. I recently came across an restaurant article in Sunset Magazine that mentioned a cocktail with Maker's and peach liquer (no recipe). I tried to mix my own without success. Any suggestions?

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: janeann11

                                            If you like the cider thing, I do a drink I've invented called a NorManhattan that's 2 parts good bourbon, one part Calvados and 1/2 part Liquer de Pomme (French Apple Liquer). Stir over ice and serve up in a martini glas with a thin wedge of tart apple. It's not sweet, but has a strong essence of apple

                                            1. re: chazzerking

                                              Ratio of cider to whiskey? I would like to try this combo....

                                              1. re: dcatwater

                                                The way I do it is a highball: about 1.5-2 oz whiskey to 5-6 oz of cider on plenty of ice. A dash of Angostura bitters is an interesting addition to this drink.

                                                1. re: dcatwater

                                                  I like it 1 to 1. The bitters idea sounds good, although I'd try some orange bitters.

                                            2. Van Winkle family reserve, Blanton's, woodford, Rock Hill, Booker's, Turkey single barrel, Bulleit, Basil Hayden,Eagle Rare, Weller Antique. then I switch to Rye. I get bored drinking the same thing all the time.

                                              1. I'll second Bulleit and add to that Elijah Craig 12. It's my favorite and an incredible bargain.

                                                13 Replies
                                                1. re: lennox53

                                                  I found Bulleit to be on the watery side, seemed like it lacked body (but that's just my opinion).

                                                  1. re: Spiritchaser

                                                    Really? Do you drink it neat? That's how I like to take mine. To be honest, I find some bourbons to be almost oversaturated with flavor. Too sweet, too woody, too much of everything. Knob Creek is especially guilty of this.

                                                    1. re: lennox53

                                                      Usually neat but occasionally with one rock. I agree with your comment on the overly done bourbons (if it is done poorly), the usual offense is in the sweetness category, yuck. I have NO LOVE for Knob Creek, it strikes me as a Hyundai trying to be a Porsche by putting on decals.

                                                      1. re: Spiritchaser

                                                        Haha, well put. Yet so many people swear by it.

                                                        1. re: Spiritchaser

                                                          i like knob creek. i like it with an ice cube or two in the summer or neat and really slow in the winter. i have had any number of bourbon's, there's a great bar in worcester, ma (o'conner's), where they have a great bourbon selection. but to each his own.

                                                        2. re: lennox53

                                                          I love Knob Creek but I can see why people might find it to be too much. I would say that the sweetness is balanced out by the heavy woody or buttery flavor. Without this balance I think it would be too sweet.

                                                          1. re: lennox53

                                                            I find all bourbons to be too flavorful, almost sickeningly vanilla and sweet. I do like Irish Whiskey though.

                                                            1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                              There's no shortage of very "dry" bourbons... try basic JD black for starters... I just find that dry bourbons tend to be very harsh, not nearly as interesting neat as scotch or old Irish.

                                                        3. re: lennox53

                                                          Last time I was in Louisville and drinking at a well-stocked bourbon bar the bartender highly recommended the Elijah Craig 12 and I cannot disagree. It seems to be a bit hard to come by at my local shop (which is crazy, because I can get Bulleit), but its good stuff.

                                                          1. re: lennox53

                                                            Elijah Craig ... sooooooooo underrated. Buy. More. NOW!

                                                            1. re: NYChristopher

                                                              After two rather medicinal bottles and an inordinate amount of time spent at straightbourbon.com, I feel compelled to retract my endorsement. I'm a big wine guy, and the term I would use to describe my experience is the same I would use with wine: bottle variation.

                                                              Instead, I have been drinking Old Grand-Dad Bonded. No complaints.

                                                              1. re: NYChristopher

                                                                "Instead, I have been drinking Old Grand-Dad Bonded. No complaints."

                                                                Get yourself a bottle of the much more flavorful (IMHO) OGD 114. Then you'll be complaining about the 100 proof! ;-)

                                                                1. re: Joe Blowe

                                                                  Thanks for the tip, I'll keep an eye out for it.

                                                          2. I like most Bourbons. I think one of the great things about Bourbon is the variety of tastes. Even the cheap ones are often very good. Mostly drinking Buffalo Trace and Old Crow right now.

                                                            1. Same as I've always drunk, 10 year old George Dickel.

                                                              I took part in an impromptu bourbon tasting at the Mimosa Grill in Charlotte, North Carolina. Paired with a meal of rabbit brochette, the Dickel left the Makers Mark, Bookers, Baker's and Elijah Craig in the dust.

                                                              14 Replies
                                                              1. re: charlesbois

                                                                I imagine you know Dickel is a Tennessee whiskey, not a bourbon. Same for Jack Daniels, though I often see it poured when bourbon is requested.

                                                                  1. re: charlesbois

                                                                    I'm not sure how meaningful the distinction is beyond the "controlled origin" nature of the term bourbon, which legally can only be applied to whiskeys made in Bourbon County, KY, with a mash bill of least 51% corn (70% is more common), distilled to no more than 160 proof before being diluted again to potability, and aged in charred new-oak barrels for at least two years (most makers age for at least four). I imagine Dickel could use all these methods, but being over the state line, still couldn't call their whiskey "bourbon". Jack Daniels adds a charcoal filtration step prior to barrel aging that's definitely outside the spec.

                                                                    I remember trying Dickel and liking it a lot. I think my bar could use a bottle of it. Thanks for the reminder!

                                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                      Actually, that's a popular misconception. There is no restriction that bourbon be made in Kentucky. Bourbon can be made anywhere in the US. It must be, as you state, at least 51% corn and aged in new, charred oak barrels.

                                                                      While the term Bourbon comes from Bourbon County, Kentucky, no bourbon is currently made within the county.

                                                                      The reason Tennessee whiskey is not technically Bourbon is because of the sugar maple charcoal filtering you refer to, known as the Lincoln County Process.

                                                                      1. re: sku

                                                                        Excellent info!

                                                                        Do you happen to know if TN whiskeys like Dickel and JD use bourbon-like mash bills?

                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                          They do, indeed. But for the charcoal filtering, they would be Bourbon, and some argue that the filtering really shouldn't make a difference and the Tennessee whiskies should be considered Bourbon.

                                                                          Bourbon is defined by the federal regulations, but Tennessee Whiskey is not. Jack Daniels received, upon request, a letter from the Feds many years ago recognizing Tenn. as a distinct whiskey style.

                                                                          Whatever its legitimacy, the current arrangement seems to work well for all the parties involved. Jim Beam likes to call itself the world's best selling Bourbon, and they couldn't do that if top seller Jack was considered Bourbon. Meanwhile, Jack and George enjoy touting the sweet smoke imparted by sugar maple charcoal that makes Tenn. Whiskey special.

                                                                          1. re: sku

                                                                            It's my recall that both Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon are defined by NAFTA, although it's been years since I looked at NAFTA. If my memory is correct, NAFTA is federal law. I think both may also be defined in either the U.S. Code or the C.F.R., but I'm not sure.

                                                                            1. re: Captain

                                                                              Here is a pdf from the ATF website it might clear up some of the discussion:

                                                                              http://www.atf.gov/pub/alctob_pub/bev...

                                                                            2. re: sku

                                                                              I've always found Beam harsh and yet insipid compared to Jack or George. Like Wild Turkey too. But in Ontario, you can get very few bourbons (or Tennessee whiskies) at the government store.

                                                                              I remember going on a business trip to California 25 years ago. I had to stay over the weekend, so I stopped in at a liquor store. I was frankly amazed at the huge variety of bourbons available, so I got about 6 small bottles to do a taste test. I was only 28 at the time, and I guess I had a bit of a baby face, as the clerk asked me for ID. Deciding to play with him a bit, I handed over my Province of Quebec birth certificate. He studied it for a minute before exclaiming "Hey, this is all in French!". "Of course" I said, "I'm from Canada - everyone speaks French there!" (Not - not at all true). "Oh" he says. He studies it for another minute before saying "It doesn't have your picture on it!". "Of course not" I say, feigning exasperation. "I'm from Canada - everyone KNOWS everybody else there."

                                                                              Pause. "Oh, right" says the clerk, and wraps up my purchase. I chuckled all the way home.

                                                                        2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                          The proof limit also is only measured prior to barreling, and so some bourbons get bottled as 162 proof due to evaporation during the barreling process.

                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                            My mama likes Dickel. And now, having written that, I'm picturing her in a rocking chair with a corncob pipe in her mouth!

                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                              It is true that bourbon can be made anywhere in the USA, legally, and is indeed made in about a dozen states. Tennessee Whiskey is bourbon; don't be fooled by the marketing hype. Dickel and Daniels use the Lincoln County process of filtering through charcoal but Pritchards does not; all 3 distilleries are of course in Tennessee, just a few miles from each other. Filtering does not alter the fact this is bourbon, from a legal definition standpoint; all it does is alter the flavor, as the filtering removes impurities. The original Bourbon County was huge....it included 36 present-day counties. When the white dog (aka white lightning) was shipped down the rivers to New Orleans in oak barrels, people liked the taste thanks to the 6 months the white dog spent in the barrels in transit, so they asked the distillers in Bourbon County to send more "bourbon county whiskey" in oak barrels; eventually the whiskey became "bourbon whiskey" and then later just "bourbon;" but make no mistake; it is all whiskey made from mostly corn, plus some rye, some malted barley, or wheat in lieu of the rye; most use no wheat of course, so most bourbons (including all 3 Tennessee bourbons) use the traditional recipes of corn, rye, and malted barley. The corn comes from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana, for the most part, with the rye and barley coming from cold climates like Wisconsin and the Dakotas. The business about what state it comes from is a marketing ploy and is nothing more than an urban legend; you can look all this stuff up on the internet or you can spend a week on the Bourbon Trail like I just did; even the tourguides at Daniels will tell you their product is a bourbon. Regardless of the legal definitions, if it is a corn whiskey whose mash includes rye and barley or wheat and barley, it is a bourbon; there is no other option except via semantics.

                                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                Legal Definition of various whiskies, according to the TTB (the branch of the Treasury Department responsible for regulating the production, naming, and sale of all alcoholic beverages with the US): http://www.ttb.gov/spirits/bam/chapte...

                                                                                Specifically,

                                                                                Bourbon Whisky
                                                                                • Whisky produced in the U.S. at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn and stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume (125 proof) in charred new oak containers.

                                                                                Straight Bourbon Whisky
                                                                                • Bourbon whisky stored in charred new oak containers for 2 years or more;
                                                                                • “Straight Bourbon Whisky” may include mixtures of two or more straight bourbon whiskies provided all of the whiskies are produced in the same state.

                                                                                . . . and the list goes on.

                                                                        3. I had my booze mule (aka my wife) pick up a 1.75 of Buffalo Trace in TN over the weekend. I really like it, and that's enhanced by its unavailability in GA.

                                                                          Other than that, I'm a big fan of Rittenhouse Bonded Rye (note rye, not bourbon), which is a relatively-recent introduction here. And Evan Williams Single Barrel is a fabulous value. Lately, I've also tried Ancient Ancient Age, which was good for its price point, but you'd be silly to compare it to any of the $40+/bottles folks have mentioned. When you get into that stratospheric level, I'd reach for Booker's or George T Stagg first.

                                                                          Much as I want to, I've resisted the urge to drop $100 on a bottle of Hirsh, Rock Hill, Van Winkle Reserve et al. And honestly, a bottle of Cuervo La Familia is in line ahead of any of those.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: ted

                                                                            Noahs' Mill. Very tasty, neat.

                                                                          2. Maker's or Knob Creek. Really like Sazerac, though I have not been able to find the 18 yr. Would like to try Old Potrero, but haven't been able to find it either.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: rollawaydadew

                                                                                  You should try ordering on-line from Park Avenue Liquors in NYC.

                                                                                  http://www.parkaveliquor.com/parkave/...

                                                                                  1. re: rollawaydadew

                                                                                    Both are available in New York City (Manhattan); I can't speak for sources actually on LI.

                                                                                    You can always contact Anchor directly -- http://www.anchorbrewing.com/about_us... -- simply send them an email (info@anchorbrewing.com), and they will tell you who in New York State distributes Old Potrero. Then, a call to that company will let you know who in your area has the whiskey. If youdon't want to email, you can call/write them at:

                                                                                    Anchor Brewing Company
                                                                                    1705 Mariposa Street
                                                                                    San Francisco, CA 94107
                                                                                    T 415.863.8350
                                                                                    F 415.552.7094

                                                                                    The same is true for Sazerac Rye -- http://www.sazerac.com/products.html -- you can email them at info@sazerac.com or simply call/write to:

                                                                                    Sazerac Company, Inc.
                                                                                    803 Jefferson Highway
                                                                                    P.O. BOX 52821
                                                                                    New Orleans, LA 70121
                                                                                    504.831.9450

                                                                                    1. re: zin1953

                                                                                      Both Sazerac and Potrero were at WhiskyFest on Tuesday night, and I've never seen a spirit offered there that was not for sale somewhere in New York. I am pretty sure both are available at Park Ave. Liquor, see: http://www.parkaveliquor.com/default.asp?, and also probably Astor Place, see: www.astoruncorked.com.

                                                                                      Among the bourbons and ryes I had the other night, I liked the Willet Rye and the Van Winkle Bourbon, of which I think I had the 21 year-old Pappy. No surprise on the later, I always like Van Winkle's products.

                                                                                2. re: rollawaydadew

                                                                                  I'm really not fond of Old Potrero, it has that faint hint of nail polish remover that I hate.

                                                                                3. My other half and I love manhattans in winter. We normally have a half-gallon of Maker's Mark for the mixing and a bottle of the old Hirsch 20 year old for sippin (and special celebrations like the 4th of July). Other high end whiskeys I love are:
                                                                                  - Wild Tuurkey (hic) "Rare Breed" (sipping)
                                                                                  - A. H. Hirsch 16 Year Old (sipping)
                                                                                  - WIld Turkey 101 (mixing)
                                                                                  - Booker's cask-strength (from Jom Beam - for good sipping after diluting with water or a good ginger ale)
                                                                                  - Jim Beam's Rye Whiskey (sippin - and this has a wonderful bready aroma/taste)
                                                                                  - Knob Creek (another Jim Beam product that's great for mixing and sipping)

                                                                                  1. I was able to try Elmer T Lee at dinner tonight here in Portland, and I have to say it's quite good. So I'll tack that onto the list. That's only because I told the barkeep that I like Wathens and they didn't have it, so they poured that instead. My dining companion noted that it wasn't as caramel-y as most bourbons, which is true, hence it exhibited a less viscous mouth-feel which I guess I find refreshing (I had never noticed that, to be honest, until she pointed it out).

                                                                                    1. Thanks to the hounds on the Spirits board I'm drinking Diabolique: http://www.infusionique.com/ver06/dia...

                                                                                      It's bourbon infused with figs, cinnamon and vanilla bean. It's an excellent sipping whiskey and makes a really great manhattan

                                                                                      1. Jim Beam Black. Bought a bottle as a result of several online pals recommending it highly. I have a bottle of Jim Beam white in the cabinet now. Looking forward to doing a comparison to see what kind of difference $3.00 a bottle makes....

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Jimmy Buffet

                                                                                          If you can find it, Jim Beam Yellow is also an outstanding sipper.

                                                                                        2. A recent trip to Clyde Common in Portland introduced me to a great bottle - Elmer T Lee

                                                                                          1. Also enjoying a bottle of Old Forrester. Recommended by folks on this board.

                                                                                            1. Old Rip Van Winkle, Basil Hayden, and Booker Noe are all on my list of favorites. But I grew up near the Maker's Mark distillery so Maker's Mark is the taste of home for me. I still prefer it to most everything else.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: bourbongal

                                                                                                  Updating my own post: I just returned from a Christmas trip to Louisville, KY where I spent the night at the venerable Brown Hotel. The lobby bar has a great selection of premium bourbon, including most of those mentioned above. The bartender recommended the 18-year old single barrel Elijah Craig and it was outstanding -- I think maybe the best I've had

                                                                                                2. You're all invited to try Hudson Baby Bourbon and Hudson Manhattan Rye. Made in the Hudson Valley of NY. Short aged, very tasty. A new direction in the old hand made tradition.

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: RalphErenzo

                                                                                                    I've tasted a few of Ralph's spirits and have found them all to be excellent. Real, well crafted, small batch, micro-distilled, artisanal spirits. Welcome to Chowhound Ralph!

                                                                                                    1. re: RalphErenzo

                                                                                                      It is great stuff, however difficult to track down and somewhat pricey. I understand that the limited production contributes to the cost.

                                                                                                      1. re: RalphErenzo

                                                                                                        I'm hooked.How does one obtain your product? By mail, or from what distributors?

                                                                                                      2. The Dining & Wine Section of NY Times today (11/28/07) has an article on a tasting of an assortment of premium bourbons. You can find it online at www.nytimes.com

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Cookiefiend

                                                                                                            To summarize the article's rankings:

                                                                                                            Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve (20 years old, 90.4 proof) at $90 got the highest ranking. The next 3 were:

                                                                                                            Vintage 17 Years Old, 94 Proof @ $45
                                                                                                            Knob Creek, 9 Years Old, 100 Proof @ $35
                                                                                                            W.L. Weller Centennial, 10 Years Old, 100 Proof @$35

                                                                                                            Jim Beam Black, 8 Years Old, 86 Proof @ $20 was rated the Best Value.

                                                                                                            1. re: DavidT

                                                                                                              I'm a huge Jim Beam Black fan. Recently saw it for sale in Boston for $19.99 for 1.75L which is an insane deal.

                                                                                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                PLEASE let me know where in Boston you were able to come by it so cheaply! I've been after a bottle for some time and have been waiting to come across a good deal!

                                                                                                                1. re: kitsune

                                                                                                                  I saw it at the liquor store at fresh pond next to Whole Foods but that was about a month ago. Lately they have had it for $29.99 for 1.75L which is still a "wicked bargain."

                                                                                                                  Give em a call to see if they still have it at a decent price:

                                                                                                                  Cambridge Wine & Spirits
                                                                                                                  www.mallliquors.com
                                                                                                                  202 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Cambridge - (617) 864-7171

                                                                                                        1. I have a bottle of Rowan's Creek, purchased about two weeks ago. It has a lot of character, seems almost raw in the sense that does not seem too cask mellowed. I have enjoyed it but it is pretty bracing and spicy.

                                                                                                          1. was just given a bottle of Jefferson's Reserve for the holidays...hope it is good.

                                                                                                            1. Definitely Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve.

                                                                                                              1. The Van Winkle 12 has made me change my rule about buying a different kind of bourbon every time I refill. There are also random, inexplicable sales here in the state-run stores in Pennsylvania. It's got a surprising bit of 'floral' to it, and since cowboys sometimes have flowers on their shirts, that's ok with me.

                                                                                                                1. I tend to go with a couple which are very different from each other: Wild Turkey and Maker's.
                                                                                                                  Reading this thread, I bought a bottle of Bulleit.
                                                                                                                  Very soft, and easy to sip. The Turkey, I drink on the rocks, Bulleit, neat.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: vickib

                                                                                                                    Elmer T.Lee is a great Single Barrel from Buffalo Trace and is about 1/2 the cost of Rock Hill or Blantons. Current batches are around 14 years old.
                                                                                                                    Just about anything from Buffalo Trace is excellent but the Elmer has the best quality to price ratio in my opinion.
                                                                                                                    I also enjoy Ralph Erenzo's Hudson Baby Bourbon and hope to get my hands on some rye of his rye one of these days - heard from people I trust (or share the same taste with) that it was great too.

                                                                                                                  2. I recently started drinking George T Stagg and was impressed. Its uncut and the recent release was 144.8 proof.

                                                                                                                    1. I'll have to chime in the with Pappy Van Winkle as my current favorite bourbon.

                                                                                                                      I also have Eagle Rare and Wild Turkey in my collection of American whiskies.

                                                                                                                      It's rare that someone will ask for bourbon and not like at least one of these three a lot, though I am not inclined to share my Pappy Van Winkle with people whose bo-nah-fi-des have not been established.

                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: fussycouple

                                                                                                                        Without bonafides established, certain bottles should never be exposed for even viewing. Unless I know you really know how to appreciate a good dram, you do not get to even look at my bottles of: Hirsch; Pappy Van Winkle; Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye; Ron Zacapa Centario; Green Spot; etc., etc. If you ask for a ______ and coke, I reach for things I would never drink myself. I applaud your discretion to not let the good stuff enter into unapppreciative or undeserving mouths.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Captain

                                                                                                                          While I understand your hesitation, I take the opposite tack. I love exposing people to new tastes and widening the horizons of what they think is Bourbon. The answer to, do you have Bourbon for me is...have you ever had Eagle Rare or Buffalo Trace, have you sipped a good Rye. More often then not, they never imagined Bourbon could taste that way and want to learn more...then maybe, after a few visits, they get at my stash of Pappy Van, Stagg or Elijah 18.

                                                                                                                          Lots of people seem to drink Bourbon and Coke because the only Bourbon they've ever tasted is crap.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sku

                                                                                                                            my dad tells a funny story about his father in law, my grandfather, and scotch. both of them really like their scotch. and in the early 70's lived near each other. anyhow, my dad was having a party and he put out the "good scotch" (no one remember the exact bottle) and a bottle of dewar's at the bar. my grand father, a slight and gentlemanly man his whole life, rush across the room and grabbed the good bottle from a guest who was about to pour it into his coke. with all the indignance he could muster said, "you can put THAT in your coke, not THIS." gesturing to the dewar's.

                                                                                                                            it's the only story i know of him correcting someone publically, and i've given him more cause than the guest.

                                                                                                                            the previous posts reminded me of the story.

                                                                                                                            1. re: japhyryder

                                                                                                                              It seems to me your grandfather was a wise man. He saved the good booze from being wasted and destroyed.

                                                                                                                              It seems to me someone who drinks coke as a mixed drink is a person who wants the effect of drinking wihtout the flavor of the spirit. I've introduced plenty of people to spirits I enjoy, but I have my limits.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Captain

                                                                                                                                Especially anyone who would even think of putting Scotch, good or otherwise, in Coke. I shudder to think...

                                                                                                                                1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                  Yes, what a waste of a perfectly good Coke. Bleah.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                    Johnnie Walker makes a scotch and coke in cans. I saw it on their website.

                                                                                                                        2. I really like Bulleit bourbon. It's high rye content offers a nice, dry finish. It does well neat or on the rocks.

                                                                                                                          1. I know this is kinda going off topic but there's plenty of other talk in this thread about Rye, and I just got a bottle of Hirsh 21 y/o for Christmas, and I like it a lot. Not quite as caramel-ly as Van Winkle 21, but very smooth and plenty of vanilla and spice in the nose. It drinks very well especially at this time of year.I also picked up a bottle of Black Maple Hill, but haven't opened it yet. Looking forward to trying that.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                              I have heard several people say they like the 16 year Hirsch better than the older ones. What are your thoughts? I've tried the 16 year and it is certainly one of my favorites but I haven't had the fortune of trying any of the other bottlings. I've read a few good reviews of Black Maple Hill. Let me know if you can recommend it.

                                                                                                                              1. re: tonabang

                                                                                                                                Can't speak to the 16, only the 21, which is very very nice, as I said above. I tried the regular Hirsch(Ithink it's 7 y/o, but not sure about that) and it is pretty good, but to my taste, not as good as Rittenhouse, for a base rye. I haven't opened the Black Maple Hill yet , but will report back as soon as I do.

                                                                                                                                1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                  I obviously didn't read your post very closely as I thought you were referring to an older Hirsch bourbon. I didn't realize they made a 21 year old Rye. Does it say where it was distilled on the bottle? Maybe I'll be lucky enough to have Santa drop a bottle of Hirsch or Black Maple Hill this year.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: tonabang

                                                                                                                                    Hirsch Bourbon that is worth spending some money on, IMO, is the stuff distilled at the Michter Distillery that was in Schaefferstown, PA and closed in 1988. To see some info, look at: http://www.hirschbourbon.com/html/his...

                                                                                                                                    Mtcher's made today is not, from what I recall, from the same distillery. It also is simply not as good.

                                                                                                                              1. Sippin on some George T. Stagg......slowly!

                                                                                                                                1. My sister bought me Van Winkle for Xmas---really delicious but, of course, expensive. I like Makers Mark for Manhattans, it seems quite smooth for a moderately priced bourbon. Bookers is good as well.

                                                                                                                                  1. Tried some of the bourbons in the picture below last night with friends. To my taste, which leans toward Knob Creek, the Elmer T. Lee was the stand out.

                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                      1. Knob is always yummy. Bookers is, too. I love all the Van Winkles but my wife likes Knob. This thread started pretty high on Wathen's./ It is good but I haven't seen it around for a year (in Austin). I noticed another thread on bitters. If you are inclined to mixed drinks, such as Old Fashioneds, try one with Angostura and another with Peychaud's...two totally different drinks, even with just a shake. Life doesn't get much better than Old Fashioned made with Knob Creek and a dash of Angostura bitters (except for Pappy Van Winkle and a small splash). Someone mentioned Old Overholt...I like it a lot, too.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                                                                          Tim, read your post regarding the Old Fashioned and couldn't resist. My dad's been piouring and drinking them my whole life, but I've never had a better Old Fashioned Sweet than at "Off the Record" in the Hay Adams Hotel, Washington D.C. Make sure John pours it for you. Go on a Friday or Saturday night. Low lit, rich red wallpaper and dark wood; wall sconces of gold and crystal--just unbelieveable with that drink in hand. Be warned, the Hay Adams is under construction until October, 2010. But by all means, if you can make it afterwards you will not regret it. And for a next stop (if you're so inclined), The Round Robin at the Willard for Mint Juleps.

                                                                                                                                        2. Bulleit is what I've been craving most recently, served on ice, but there is only one bar is SD that has served it to me. Otherwise, I'll have Knob.

                                                                                                                                          This board as over 100 post, thanks to everyone for sharing. Although does anyone want to just list any three to be on the look out when I'm out at a bar?

                                                                                                                                          Thank You Kindly!

                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: epicureous eggplant

                                                                                                                                            Most of the really old and fine bourbons will be pretty pricey in most bars. On the other hand, It will give you the chance to taste and see if it's worth the $100+ per bottle before you spend that. My choice for the best would have to be the Pappy Van W 21. at a little lower level, I do like Blanton's, Rock Hill Farms and Black Maple Hill a lot.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                              As long as you're buyin', I'll drink with you ANYTIME! I love Pappy and Rock Hill...

                                                                                                                                            2. re: epicureous eggplant

                                                                                                                                              I picked up a bottle of Jefferson's and one of Hancock's last week. That makes a total of 8 bottles tasted in the past month and a half, or so. As mentioned before, I prefer Knob Creek, in terms of widely available bourbon. Of the new ones I have tried I like Russell's, Elmer T Lee and my experience with Jefferson's was also nice (has a faint flavor of tea and not as sweet). I thought Rock Hill was a bit too scotch-like, in that it was not too sweet and thus the high proof tended to burn through. The van winkles were all nice and great deals for the money and Eagle Rare was pleasant but probably not worth the premium price point. I might have regretted it the next day but having bourbon tasting parties and getting through these 8 bottles has been a real pleasure, sip on.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: frankiii

                                                                                                                                                The Jefferson tastes like tree bark to me. It's the one bottle I truly regret ever buying.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: lennox53

                                                                                                                                                  I can see that, I guess it stood out because it was different from a series of bottles that, while good, were largely the same.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: vino5150

                                                                                                                                                Yep, it's Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare for me.

                                                                                                                                                Buffalo Trace distillery is my bourbon distillery of choice.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: theginguy

                                                                                                                                                  As someone who doesn't like the "new" eagle rare, I'd be curious to hear what your thoughts are in comparing the "old" Eagle Rare (8 year, 101 proof) and Buffalo Trace. I know Buffalo Trace came out before the "old" Eagle Rare was done away with, but I'm wondering if there's any similarity whatsoever?

                                                                                                                                                2. re: vino5150

                                                                                                                                                  i was introduced to eagle rare a couple of years ago; now it's my go to. this may be sacrilege...

                                                                                                                                                  but when i open a bottle, i drop in a whole vanilla bean. i'm not a big drinker, so it can be in there a while, and what i find is the longer it is, the smoother the drink

                                                                                                                                                3. My fav sippin Bourbon is Wild Turkey 101. My dad was a bourbon drinker and I've developed a taste for it as I get older. A few years ago, I ended up with many high end bottles to sample from.... For about 5 or 8 years, every time I visited my dad, I'd take him a fancy bottle of bourbon. We'd each have a shot or two and I assumed he'd finish the bottle over the next few weeks. He didn't. He was insanely thrifty and he put them away and drank his discount bourbon. When he died, I found about 30 different high end bourbons with a couple of shots missing. He never could bring himself to drink the good stuff by himself. It took me and my friends a while, but we had some great drinks and toasts to Dad. BTW.... drink the good stuff now while you can.

                                                                                                                                                    1. I always have a bottle of Early Times handy. However, the latest rotation was 101 proof Wild Turkey Rye. Once you adjust to it a bit, it's a pretty good rye.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FlaHopper

                                                                                                                                                        As far as ryes go, i agree - wild turkey rye is awesome

                                                                                                                                                      2. This summer; St. James Hors d'age Rhum Agricole. I'm surprised that more Bourbon drinkers don't take up high quality aged rums for sippin', especially in the summer.

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                                          I've enjoyed St James as an alternative to a sipping whiskey for over 10 years.
                                                                                                                                                          It's a great alt to cognac or armangnac too.

                                                                                                                                                          Has anyone tasted Proctor's(?) Bourbon? Local liquor store clerk pointed it out to me last week but I wasn't in the market for bourbon then.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                                            I love rum from Demerara, Guyana. Port Morant 12 year old It's a great alternative.Checkout www.classicrum.com I go back 'n forth between this and a good bourbon, except in the autumn when it's Calvados time.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                                              Another shout out for St. James. While I've not had the Hors d'age, I have had the Amber and thought it a great product and an even better value. I gave up drinking Mount Gay I liked it so much.

                                                                                                                                                              More here
                                                                                                                                                              http://scottesrum.com/2007/04/08/st-j...

                                                                                                                                                            2. Maker's Mark is a good default bourbon. Ancient Ancient Age (AAA) is the bang for the buck champ (I always have some around). Blanton's is the best >$25 bourbon I've tried.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. Booker's is my default but Knob Creek and Jefferson provide a nice set of alternatives, too.

                                                                                                                                                                1. right now i'm digging the sam houston's kentucky bourbon. killer stuff, made by the same folks who make jefferson's.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I was in Northern KY a couple of weeks ago and went to the Party Source to pick up some bourbon and different beers. By the way, there is nothing remotely like the Party Source on LI, I could live there! I ended up picking up Woodford Reserve and Knob Creek and I picked up Eagle Rare at a store by my house . After taste testing the three numerous times, I enjoy the Woodford Reserve for sipping the most, followed by the Knob Creek. As for the Eagle Rare, I found it to be on the harsh side for sipping. Because of that, I could not pick up other flavors in it. That said, it does make a good Bourbon with a ginger ale/club soda mix.
                                                                                                                                                                    My current vote for sipping Bourbon is the Woodford Reserve!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek.

                                                                                                                                                                      Maker's makes the best bourbon manhattan.

                                                                                                                                                                      New Discovery - The Rye manhattan! Try making your manhattan with Wild Turkey 101 Rye!

                                                                                                                                                                      Great thread.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Nakajima

                                                                                                                                                                        Of course, rye was the spirit used in the original Manhattan. Bourbon was more of a regional favorite until after Prohibition, which had put many of America's great rye distillieries out of business permanently. Nearly every whiskey cocktail that most bartenders now make with bourbon was originally based on rye. I like bourbon a lot, but for cocktails I'm much likelier to reach for rye these days. Got my girl going that way, too.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                          "Got my girl going that way, too."

                                                                                                                                                                          Other way around for me :) Well, sort of. I kept yammering about rye making a comeback, but she was the one that really started the two of us down the path of rye-dom.

                                                                                                                                                                          We haven't yet splurged on getting a bottle of good sipping rye, sticking with the sub-$30ish range for cocktail use, but it was a real eye opener how it made a positive difference in drinks.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. My favorite everyday bourbon is Basil Hayden, hands down. Smooth, smooth, sippin' and well priced.

                                                                                                                                                                        Other favorites that are currently on my home bar shelf are:

                                                                                                                                                                        Pappy Van Winkle 15yr (I love the spice here)
                                                                                                                                                                        Pappy Van Winkle 23yr (special occasions only!!)
                                                                                                                                                                        Corner Creek (This one is a HUGE sleeper. Highly recommended at $24-30/bottle)
                                                                                                                                                                        Eagle Rare 10yr (A fantastic bourbon, better in the 17yr form but eons more expensive)
                                                                                                                                                                        Blanton's (Love the spice and I have collected all of the corks!)
                                                                                                                                                                        Booker's (aka, the "ass kicker" bourbon at 125.4 proof)
                                                                                                                                                                        Ezra Brooks (Not one of my favorites but not bad. Kinda like Makers Mark)
                                                                                                                                                                        Wathens (I found this sucker in a small shop in West Palm Beach. Bottled in '97, small batch. First glass seemed a little strong but it was more like breaking in a leather chair as the next glasses were more comfy. Currently one of my favorites though its a tough find)
                                                                                                                                                                        Rock Hill Farms (Got hooked on this at Capital Grill in Boston where a NY visitor has them stock it just for him and bourbon lovers like me reap the benefit of his tastes)

                                                                                                                                                                        I also like Woodford Reserve as an alternative to Basil Hayden when at a bar that doesnt stock BH. Very similar in taste though I find WR to have a bit more of a floral bouquet and a little more bite at 90 proof rather than the 80 for BH. I also recently tried and really liked both Michter's (bourbon and rye) and Black Maple Farms though Ive yet to buy a bottle for my bar. The bar only holds bourbon, by the way, except for the essentials needed for the occasional Manhattan. :)

                                                                                                                                                                        I could probably go on and on about the other bottles Ive tried and my collection of empties but I will reel it in for now haha.

                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with all your comments and recs. I would add a few; Tuthilltown's Hudson bourbon and Baby bourbon. They aren't cheap, around $40 for a 375 ml bottle, but smooth and delicious. I've also recently aquired bottles of Rowan's Creek and Noah's Mill. Both are enjoyable and interesting, but I've only tried each once so I'm still making a judgment. I have yet to find anything to compare with the Pappy 23 though. I'm still looking

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chazzerking

                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, I also liked Rowan's Creek and Noah's Mill when I tried them in Louisville and Cincinnati respectfully. I just havent seen them in my area. The Pappy 23 is my all time favorite, but again, its for special occasions only. Ive had the bottle for over a year now and its more than half full. :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                              I just picked up a 1.75 of Bulleit ($39.99) and a 750 of Corner Creek ($23.99), both on sale. I love the Bulleit (I remember reading it has a different flavor profile due to more Rye) and like the Corner Creek.

                                                                                                                                                                              Overall, of the premium Bourbons I tried, Woodford Reserve is still my favorite, with Makers Mark and the Bulleit not too far behind.

                                                                                                                                                                              After tasting a range of premium bourbons, a friend had Jim Beam and I decided to have a nip, for old times sake. Boy, was that a shock. I remember reading somewhere that someone felt JB had a soapy taste and those were by exact thoughts...yeech!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Bookers!! Shake it with maple syrup, fresh lemon juice and ice--delicious!!

                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lchavezs

                                                                                                                                                                            that sounds tasty. I am guessing just a little maple syrup and lemon juice?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lchavezs

                                                                                                                                                                              man, that sounds amazing. So simple yet obvious. I'm going to try that mix tonight. What would you call it? I'm gonna use Bulleit though....or maybe I'll try the Woodford Reserve, which seems to be prominent on this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MacshashRIP

                                                                                                                                                                                I tried Woodford/MapleSyrup/LemonJuice shaken....didn't quite come out like I had imagined. It ended up sort of like a Long Island ice tea. Not really my thing. I will stick to either up or rocks....seductive as it is.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: lchavezs

                                                                                                                                                                                I gave this a try and really liked it. 2 oz bourbon, 3/4 oz lemon juice, 3/4 oz maple syrup

                                                                                                                                                                                Had a couple of Friday night, had a couple Saturday night ...

                                                                                                                                                                                Here's my question: I woke up with a slight headache both Saturday and Sunday ... could just be headaches, but it felt more like mild hangovers ... and I never get hangovers from bourbon.

                                                                                                                                                                                Ever get a hangover from this drink? Any see any reason why bourbon, syrup and juice would be more hangover inducing than just bourbon and water (which is what I usually drink)?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                  Could it be an intolerance to the syrup perhaps?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm thinking maybe it's the sugar in the syrup or something like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I think so. I drink a lot of water in general.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Im on a new one now... Black Maple Hill. Deelish

                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                    Black Maple Hill is great stuff. Too bad only the small batch version is still widely available. If you stumble across a bottle of the 11, 14, or 16 year, buy it up.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Duke of Sandwich
                                                                                                                                                                                    www.lawhiskeysociety.com

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dukeofsandwich

                                                                                                                                                                                      For my money you can't beat the Black Maple Hill. For about 3 years it was not available anywhere (rumor has it that a Chinese company bought it all up), but it has now reappeared on the shelves. If you live in Los Angeles, Top Line Wine has it. Unfortunately, the aged stuff went from $90 a bottle to $140 :( Feeling poor, I picked up a bottle of the Green Maple Hill and it is quite good and much more affordable.

                                                                                                                                                                                      THz

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Terahertz

                                                                                                                                                                                        uh, youre kidding, right? There is no such bourbon called Green Maple Hill...

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                          I assume the poster means the Black Maple Hill with the green label. They vary the label colors.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Terahertz

                                                                                                                                                                                          Finally had soem of the Black Maple Hill for my birthday, can't remember which label, but it was very tasty....

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Here in Portland I'm really loving Buffalo Trace, especially the single barrel stuff that some local bartenders selected from the distillery (limited production, of course). It's my everyday bourbon whether on its own or in a cocktail.

                                                                                                                                                                                      It's amazing that I started this thread a year and a half ago and completely forgot about it. I'm absolutely thrilled to see that it's still alive and well and that people are talking about whiskey and bourbon in particular!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                                                                                                                                                        Im also a Buffalo Trace fan for both flavor and value. Same with Eagle Rare 10yr and Corner Creek. Theyre all around the same price point. Buffalo Trace distillery produces their namesake along with Eagle Rare. If you have yet to make the trip to the Bourbon Trail, I strongly recommend a trip to the Buffalo Trace distillery.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I have several open bottles of Bourbon on the bar at any given time, but I seem to reach for a couple more than others: Elijah Craig 18 YO, Eagle Rare 10 YO, WT Russell's Reserve and Buffalo Trace. all are excellent, world-class spirits!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. had a bottle of Maker's Mark Mint Julep. It was gone in 4 days.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

                                                                                                                                                                                            It took that long, :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            Makers is my choice for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Ok, so rather than starting a new thread...

                                                                                                                                                                                            I am a newer drinker. Well, not newer drinker, but newer to exploring better spirits and caring more about nuances and flavors than getting a buzz off of the alcohol. (Ok, not THAT new. I'm not freshly out of college, and I haven't had any drink in a plastic solo cup for years. But still, more recently expanding my palette and appreciating the differences in taste.)

                                                                                                                                                                                            My family is Irish, so I grew up appreciating Irish whiskeys. I have loved Jameson's and Bushmills much earlier than I cared about cheapo beers or decent gins. (My other current quest is learning about the flavors of gins and discovering my perfect martini.) I've started drinking bourbons more, and I really like them. I haven't developed a taste for scotch, though. It seems too "harsh" somehow.

                                                                                                                                                                                            For someone who loves Irish Whiskey, is very interested in learning about bourbons, isn't a fan of scotch, and thinks Jack Daniels is too sweet... where would you suggest I begin learning about bourbons? I can't really afford to go out and buy multiple bottles of the high end stuff to do my own tasting, and there are so many listed in this thread...

                                                                                                                                                                                            Where should someone who really wants to learn, and experience the subtle differences and flavors begin? I've never really had a bourbon I didn't like, but I didn't try them near each other. I need some sort of direction, so I know where to begin?

                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ditdah

                                                                                                                                                                                              Based on your profile, I would say try some Woodford Reserve. It's a bit less sweet and fairly affordable. For contrast, a few other affordable brands to try are Maker's Mark (a bit on the sweeter side) and Buffalo Trace (spicy). These three are widely available and present a pretty wide range of flavors. If you find something you like, it will help you know what direction to go in.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ditdah

                                                                                                                                                                                                Here are 4 to get you going:

                                                                                                                                                                                                Woodford Reserve (about $40 for a 750ml with a nice, mild flavor, very floral)
                                                                                                                                                                                                Eagle Rare 10yr (this is a phenomenal bourbon and can be had for $26-$30 for a 750ml bottle. vanilla, caramel, with spicy undertones. a bold flavor for sure)
                                                                                                                                                                                                Corner Creek Reserve (great bargain at $24-28 for a 750ml. another mild bourbon with hints of vanilla, oak, floral)
                                                                                                                                                                                                Basil Hayden (about $35 for a 750ml. my favorite everyday bourbon. very smooth and mild in flavor with hints of pepper and honey.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                I also agree with the suggestion of Buffalo Trace Bourbon at about $25 for a 750ml bottle. Very similar to Maker's Mark but with more of a spicy kick rather than sweet. Also, if you want to spend a little more (about $45-50), look for Blanton's bourbon. This one is a fantastic bourbon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                All that I mentioned should be consumed neat or with 3 to no more than 6 ice cubes depending on the size of the cube to enjoy the most flavor from yer sippin sauce. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you both very much for your suggestions... based on your suggestions and the rest of thread, I think a bottle of Woodford Reserve is on my sights for this week, and then on to some of the others you've listed. I've had Makers Mark before, but not at a point where I was actually trying to learn the flavors and differences in the various bourbons. But, I do recall liking it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  For the record, my preferred way to drink bourbons is with just two or three small ice cubes. I like the very slight chill, and the flavors seem to come out a bit more. However, I'm not against sipping them neat, and tend to do so in the cooler months. If there are any that I sould NEVER put a few rocks in, please let me know, since I'm new to this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also adore having an Old Fashioned, but I never ask for a specifc bourbon. Maybe I need to start being more specific, but I've liked most I've had. Although I get really annoyed when the bartender says "an old fashioned what?" (Which has happened to me numerous times. How can a bartender not know one of THE original cokctails?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ditdah

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I too enjoy a few rocks in my bourbon glass because I live in a hot climate and like a cold drink. When it comes to some of the finer bourbons that are aged longer or a limited run, I tend to go neat.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tried Eagle Rare 17yr for the first time last night. It was absolutely wonderful. Had it basically neat with just 2 slivers of ice because it was a little warm out and I was completing a warm meal. I didnt expect it to be that much of a departure from the 10yr but it was. Hints of toffee, oak, and a little spice which was nice for a 90 proofer aged 17yrs. I gotta get a bottle of this. I think I saw it for about $60 online. Anyone know of a better price/vendor?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I probably drink Bulleit, Knob Creek, and Jim Beam Black the most. I used to be a big Woodford Reserve fan, but for whatever reason don't like it anymore. Others I enjoy from time to time are Buffalo Trace, Basil Haydens, and Russels Reserve. I had some Kentucky Tavern at a neighbors last week. It was the house liquor at the bars I hung out at while in college where I first was introduced to bourbon. Not bad for a budget bourbon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  For a bachelor party last year, I bought $40 something bottle of Black Maple Hill....and thought it was terrible. It tasted like tree bark. A few other guys gave it a taste; but nobody would drink it. Maybe I just don't have refined tastes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Wild Turkey 101. It's my standby, my one true bourbon love. I get sad when I don't have any left in the house for mixing or on ice as I'm so used to the combination of a strong "bite" but good flavor from it. That said, for sipping I enjoy experimenting with different brands; I like Knob Creek and have some Wild Turkey Rare Breed on hand now which, wow, does that do the trick...!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Lately I have been VERY impressed by the products from Tuthilltown Spirits a NY based microdistillery. They are distilling mostly NY state grains and I have tried all of their whiskeys at this point. I really like their plain corn whiskey and their other bourbon-like spirits and whiskeys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://tuthilltown.com/QUALITY/produc...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Jim Beam Black one a Double Gold at the 2009 SF World Spirits Competition:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.sfspiritscomp.com/pdfs/09R...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Well, I was back up in West Palm Beach, FL and managed to remember where the liquor store that I bought Wathens at was, intent on buying a bottle again as I really enjoyed it last time. Well, they didnt have it... However!! My buzzkill only lasted a moment when I noticed a bourbon Id never heard of before - I.W. Harper. 80 proof and about $36 I believe. This is a fantastic bourbon. Smooth like Basil Hayden @ 80 proof but with a nice spice. I killed 1/2 the bottle on the 1st night!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That bottle must have been on the shelf for a while. Diageo discontinued production of IW Harper for the American market three or four years ago. It is now only made for export to Asia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sku

                                                                                                                                                                                                            No way! Man, I gotta get up there and buy the last couple of bottles then!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I went back up to WPB and hit up that liquor store a few weeks back. After searching thru their bourbon section (bottles arent lined up by brand, really. you gotta dig) I found 5 bottles of I.W. Harper 15yr covered in a nice layer of shelf dust and bought them all. Guy cleaned off the bottles for me and gave me an 8% discount (hey, better than nothing!). I gave a bottle to my cousin and have almost finished one myself. Is this a rare bourbon or should I just drink away without any inhibitions? I love the stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, it's rare in the sense that it isn't available anymore, but it is not one that is particularly sought after by collectors, so I would say if you enjoy it, drink it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Thought I'd get this thread started up again as I've had the pleasure of finding some fantastic bourbons lately. I'll focus on my two most recent favorites - Woodford Reserve Master Collection - Seasoned Oak Finish and Jefferson's Reserve Presidential Select 17yr. The Woodford Seasoned Oak is a very dark colored bourbon with notes of toffee and cherry being most prominent on the tongue and a nice spicy finish. You really get the woody notes on this one too. Jefferson Presidential Select is smooth and sweet with little spice and a somewhat tamed alcohol burn. Loving them both right now. Got both at Total Wine & Spirits and paid $99 for the WR (which I thought was $10-$20 high compared to the last Master Collection bourbons I bought) and $78 for the Jefferson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm really enjoying Maker's 46 right now. It has surprised me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I really like the new Whistle Pig Rye.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Pure Kentucky XO. It's a little spicy, very pleasant on the rocks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Four Roses Small Batch. Smooth, nice to sip neat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. In the past few days I've really enjoyed the Russell's Reserve Small Batch 10 year (45% abv), Evan Williams Single Barrel put in cask 2000 (43.3% abv), and and the Elijah Craig 12 year (47% abv), the 18 year is very good as well, but I think I like the 12 better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Under $30 . . . my favorite is Eagle Rare . . . smooth, Under $20 . . . Four Roses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I agree on the Four Roses. It and Corner Creek have recently stood out IMHO as "different but still damned good." For a more traditional flavor profile I also like Virginia Gentleman 90.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Based upon some recommendations, I recently picked up a bottle of Corner Creek. I was told it was "very different" from a traditional bourbon, i.e. Elijah Craig. On the nose, it's very floral, not like other bourbons that smell more like caramel/maple syrup (although, upon letting the bourbon sit in the glass and "open up" a bit, I was able to detect some butteriness/caramel on the noce). On the palate, it's very light, but warm, and I can pick up some spice - rye maybe? I also get just a hint of saltiness/butteriness, but just a hint. Also, maybe a bit of graphite. Finish is pretty short. Overall, a very light and enjoyable bourbon. Definitely think it should only be drunk neat - water or ice would dilute the already light flavor too much. I'd definitely consider buying another bottle, and would make a great entry-level bourbon for non-whiskey drinkers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kyoung05

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Elijah Craig is not like most bourbons in that it's a wheater if I'm not mistaken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm fairly certain the mash bill for Elijah Craig consists of corn, barley and rye. Granted, it isn't a rye-heavy bourbon like, say, Bulleit, but I don't think I'd classify it as a "wheater," i.e. Maker's Mark, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kyoung05

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, I was thinking it was wheated due to it's sweetness and maple syrup nose. I stand corrected.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Maker's is my everyday brand, but I'm not a snob. I'll drink Jim Beam straight up and smile while I'm at it. Yeah, the Woodford Reserve is good. If you find it readily available, Evan Williams makes a premium product called Evan Williams Private Reserve or something like that. It is very good for the somewhat premium price. Step away from what you have heard about. Try the "1792" It's excellent. I also enjoy the Buffalo Trace. Bourbon drinking is fun, have fun with it. Use your breathing and sipping techniques to appreciate the nuances of everyday bourbons. And, by all means, don't add Coke or ice to anything you'd pay more than $10 a shot for. Drink it neat. Only add water if the proof is really high.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jack42

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would love to know the magic words to say to someone when they announce their love for "Jack and Coke". Someone recently said they had a great one, with the perfect ratio. I stood there silent and blinking. These are folks in the 40's and 50's. There is such an exciting world beyond sweet soft-drink-based cocktails.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually I'd say more like the 70's-80's. The 40's-50's had some great cocktails. It was around 1965-70 as vodka came into prominence that cocktails took the great nose dive into sweet and soda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Typo. Meant that the folks are in theIR 40's and 50's -- i.e. starting drinking in the late 1970's - 1980's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I just bought a bottle of the Four Roses Mariage 2009. Have not had a chance to try it yet but if it is anything close to the 2008 then I will be a happy man. I'll report back with some tasting notes soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. the new Makers Mark 46 is drinking mighty fine...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Johnny Drum bonded at $25-$30 in the Boston area is an amazing value - terrific with a rye-like edge vs. smooth sweetness of so many others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rlh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Where did you find the Johnny Drum in Boston?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Marty's Newton and Martignetti on Soldiers Field Road - both well-stocked a couple of weeks ago - slightly cheaper at Martignetti ($25.99 I think).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. FINALLY!!! Went by Total Wine & Spirits last night and they had the 2010 Buffalo Trace Antiques in stock!! Picked up the Sazerac and the Stagg. Cracked the Sazerac and loved it, possibly more than last years version. This year seems to have a nice orange/citrus undertone along with a little caramel and a nice rye flavor. Looking forward to cracking the Stagg tonite!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I just started drinking bourbon; I'm drinking Old Grand-Dad 86 right now. I want to try OGD 114 really soon, though. Any other suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rjh1967

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The OGD 114 is a good buy if you like the profile. Too many to list but some that come to mind are Wild Turkey 101, Knob Creek, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses Yellow label and Old Fitz just to name a few

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks; Four Roses is another that I've read about that I want to try. I want to drink bourbons that I haven't heard commonly talked about. Four Roses is one; well, all the others are, too, except for Wild Turkey 101.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rjh1967

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I happen to like Elijah Craig 12 as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rjh1967

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm judging from your interests/suggestions you are looking for lower price range?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If that's the case, Elijah Craig 12 is a winner for sure. Eagle Rare is another great bourbon. Corner Creek is underrated if you ask me and I've found it as low as $14.99 for 750ml. Four Roses Single Barrel is a new fav of mine found locally for $29.95. Buffalo Trace is a great bourbon too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow that's a great price for FR SB. It's in the $40 plus range by me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yeah, i thoguht so. going to pick some up this weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of the best bang for the buck in bourbon is Evan Wiliiams, just the low level black label, around $13 in NY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, lower price range; I've just started drinking bourbon along with beer instead of drinking beer exclusively. My dad used to drink Old Grand-Dad 86; he told me once that he drank enough of that to float a battleship. He was in the Coast Guard. Anyway, he mentioned Hiram Walker Gold Medal at that time. Does anyone know if that is still produced? I've looked for it, but I can't find it. Just Ten High.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rjh1967

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nope, Hiram Walker isn't around anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rjh1967

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A low priced bourbon I've been enjoying lately (mostly for mixing) is called "Kentucky Walker". I don't know if it is widely distributed, but I buy it here in San Francisco at Smart and Final. It costs $6.99 for a 750 ML and $14.99 for the 1.75 L. It's definitely on the lighter side, reminds me a little of Old Grand Dad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: rjh1967

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I second the Elijah Craig 12 yo - Bulleit is good - also try the Wild Turkey rare breed, especially if you can find it in a mini bottle - it's not cheap and the minis give you a chance to try it without investing much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I wish they would have the mini's on Long Island to 'try before you buy'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The only mini that I have seen bourbon wise was the Evan Williams cherry for .99 and it was too sweet. The smallest size you see of anything not mainstream is 750ml.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I was really impressed with the amount of smaller bottles of bourbons when I was in Cincinnati and went to the party source in Kentucky, but then again, it was Kentucky!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I do like both the Elijah Craig and Bulleit.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just got a bottle of Old Weller 107. It was a little 'high octane' but it worked well with a few drops of water. Next step is to see how it is in a Manhattan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: imhungryletseat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm a big fan of Old Weller Antique. I think it's one of the best quality/value spirits out there and it's pretty much become my house bourbon. I think it works well in a Manhattan (it can stand up to 'big' vermouth, like Carpano, nicely), although lately I've been on a Rittenhouse Manhattan binge so it's been a while. Hope you enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Four Roses Yellow Label is great; thanks for the suggestion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. "So which bourbon are you reaching for?"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reached for some 2010 George T. Stagg this evening. I'll need to do a side by side with a 2004 bottle Ii have. So far the 2010 is quite nice and smooth for this level of alcohol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I had a bottle of the Stagg for New Years, I actually wasn't that impressed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I currently have Eagle Rare 10 year and Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year on hand. The Eagle Rare gets used to make the occasional Old Fashioned, and the Pappy is slowly sipped neat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DanW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nice lineup, DanW. I shed a tear each day that my bar lacks a Van Winkle adorning it's shelves... Right now, I've got Woodford, Woodford Seasoned Oak Finish, Makers 46, Four Roses Single Barrel Ltd Ed (barrel produced for friend of a friend), Jefferson 17yr, 2009 Eagle Rare 17yr, 2010 Eagle Rare 17yr, 2009 George T Stagg, 2010 George T Stagg, 2009 Sazerac 18yr (BT Antique), 2010 Sazerac 18yr, 2009 Thomas H Handy Rye, Redemption Rye, Ezra B, Elijah Craig 12yr, Willett (forget the age but it's the lesser one), Rowan's Creek, Old Whiskey River (w/ Willie Nelson guitar pick LOL!!!), Black Maple Hill, and an unopened bottle of I.W. Harper. I think that covers all of them but I may have missed one or two (I'm out of town). Oh yeah, just bought a bottle of Old Grandad 114 on Scubadoo97's recommendation - not bad! I was shocked at how smooth it is for a 114 proofer. Finish leaves a lot to be desired though. Good value for $22 though. Favorites are the 2009 Stagg, 2010 Eagle Rare, and the 2010 Sazerac. Least favorites are Old Whiskey River and Rowan's Creek.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, and I went to that local store that advertised the Four Roses Single Barrel for $29.99 on the internet... Their bourbon selection was piss poor at the actual store which was odd. They were also kinda high priced compared to other shops around. I'm going to try and order on their site and see what happens...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My two bourbons are not a lineup—I am just getting started in my bourbon appreciation. Your list, on the other hand, definitely is a lineup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How would you describe the Eagle Rare 17 year, relative to the bourbons that I have?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DanW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The 17yr is similar to the 10yr in flavor but packs a little more spice and is more refined. I wrote about each here: http://blindtastes.blogspot.com/2010/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Van Winkle 20yr is in a class of its own. Quite possibly my favorite bourbon ever, even more than the 23yr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the info, it'll be a big help to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          From what I've seen, hardcore bourbon fans seem to prefer the Pappy 20 while the Pappy 23 appeals to the rest. I've only had the 23 which is awesome, but it sounds as if the 20 is more "bourbon-y"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think people would generally agree that the 23 is better than the 20, just not for the price. There are diminishing returns at that point. FWIW, I've had the 20 which I liked a lot, but it was $18/glass. I don't know if I'd be willing to try the 23 for $30+/glass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kyoung05

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've generally preferred the 20 to the 23, not just on price but on flavor, but the bottlings do differ from year to year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Decided to try George Dickel No. 12. I know it isn't a Bourbon. Any opinions?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rjh1967

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm a huge fan of Dickel 12 and think it's one of the great underrated American whiskeys. It's a great buy as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2008/0...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Knob Creek, Makers Mark and Buffalo Trace. Jim Beam with the Coke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Any whiskey/bourbon from Tuthilltown's Hudson.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Fighting Cock, 103 proof, aged 6 years. Recently brought a bottle back from a trip to Texas as I had not seen it in California. I don't usually buy things for the label, but just had to in this case. Very good, with a bit of caramel, some heat and a little spicy. It seems to have some rye in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wineguy7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Last time I saw it was in BevMo . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. It's not my usual, but I was VERY impressed by Jefferson's Presidential Select 17 Year Old Ketucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey . . . found it at D&M in San Francisco. According to their website -- http://www.dandm.com/product_info.php... -- it's wheated, and was among the last of the whiskies distilled by the old Stitzel-Weller distillery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FWIW, W.L. Weller is now distilled at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, formerly the George T, Stagg Distillery, formerly the Albert Blanton Distillery, formerly the E.H. Taylor Distillery, formerly the . . . and on and on and on -- but there is no mention of Jefferson's being distilled there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When Stitzel-Weller broke up, the Weller label was purchased by Buffalo Trace and the Old Fitzgerald label by Heaven Hill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jefferson Presidential is label used by independent bottler McLain & Kyne. It is unrelated to either Heaven Hill or Buffalo Trace. They don't distill, but acquire Bourbon and bottle it. The Jefferson Presidential Select, as you note, was distilled by Stitzel-Weller. McLain & Kyne purchased it from somewhere (many speculate from Diageo which was the last owner of the distillery) and bottled it under their Jefferson label.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2009/1...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sku

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks very much -- makes a great deal of sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Tuthilltown's Hudson 4-Grain Bourbon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Really enjoying the Knob Creek Single Barrel right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not a bourbon but I thought I would mention an absolutely incredible rye whiskey that I just tried in Vermont, Whistlepig. Imported from Canada, bottled in Vermont, overseen by a former Makers Mark distiller. Wonderful stuff, not cheap but well worth the price of admission...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Spiritchaser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Picked up the last bottle of Whistlepig in Burlington, I believe. Phenomenal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Spiritchaser

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I found it a tasty rye but it did not score well in a blind tasting of 18 rye whiskeys our group did. As I recall I found nice spice and fruit on the nose and vanilla, floral notes and mint on the plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Went out on a limb and picked up some of Jim Beam's Devil's Cut. Can't say I'm a fan. I'll stick wtih their small batch products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Been really enjoying Bakers lately, but the bottle unfortunately, is coming to an end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Woodford used to be my favorite, but either my taste has changed, or the bottle I got last time has a different flavor profile. It's still good, but I have been using it for Manhattans and using the Bakers with a little water for sippin!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I don't dare for the Devil's Cut that much myself. but I'll have to revisit it at a later point to see if I still feel that way. Sometimes a spirit that I like at first I care less for after a time, and vice versa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Four Roses Single Barrel is one of my favorite bourbons but I have to say I've really enjoyed the Four Roses Small Batch lately. It's a little more tame than the single barrel but the flavor is fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FR single barrel and small batch are excellent. With the single barrel you are getting 1 of 10 recipes so profile will vary. I like most all the FR expressions. The yellow label is a bit thin for my palate and I wish they would push the proof up but Jim is totally against it. I find my current FR single barrels OBSV are quite delicious and are easy to drink at the higher proof. No dilution required. It's a stable on my bar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Heard that, brotha. I have the OESK at home and OBSV at a favorite bar of mine. The single barrel, regardless of it's expression, is always on my bar especially since a local shop has had it at $29.99 for awhile now!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree. Last night I opened my second bottle of the Four Roses Small Batch this month.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. A new spot in town boasts having the Jefferson's Presidential Select 18yr Single Barrel on the shelf. I've got a bottle of the 17yr on my home bar but never tried the 18yr. Reviews I've read have been mixed and it seems as if each barrel bottled yields a different profile from the up and down reviews I've read online. Most say the 17yr is more consistent. Any thoughts from this board?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also, is there an 18yr and an 18yr Single Barrel or are they all 18yr SB? Reviews and other boards I've read seemed to imply that various stores around the country (K&L, Park Ave, etc) got the SB as personal bottlings that were mislabeled as "Batch 27" but were not and instead were SB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I believe they did a regular non-single barrel batch of Jefferson 18 as well as a Jefferson 18 single barrel, many of which went to retailers as their "private bottlings." The 17 yo release was not single barrel, but there was still some variation by batch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've had several different 17 batches and several 18s from different retailers and while there are subtle differences, they are fairly consistent. The 18 is obviously a year older and the ones I've had tend to have a bit more wood and less honey flavors, but it's a very subtle distinction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sku

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the info, I was wondering about the private bottlings vs product for the masses and if there was any distinction with the single barrel being just for private bottlings. I think there is a sticker designation for each retailer on the bottle to show that it's single barrel. Again, this is just from research I've done on the internet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sku

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Saturday I hit the store and lo and behold they had the 18yr. It wasn't a private bottling so no single barrel. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is basically the exact same bourbon as last year's 17yr, just aged an additional year in the barrel. I did a comparison when I got home and, while I like the 18yr, I prefer the overall flavor of the 17yr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. My first time on the spirits board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just bought and am loving a bottle of Eagle Rare Single Barrel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I bought it at Beverage Warehouse in Culver City, California. The only reason I mention that is that supposedly each barrel of this bourbon is a little different. The BW guys fly to Kentucky, taste different barrels, then have an entire barrel bottled for them. So, in theory, a bottle bought elsewhere might taste slightly differently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Be that as is may, it's very tasty, very complex. I've been a regular Beam drinker, who upgraded to the Black. Went in to BW to buy a bottle of Bulleit, which was recommended to me, then bought the Eagle Rare because I really trust the guys at BW. They've turned me on to some excellent tequilas at good prices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Eagle Rare was just under 25 dollars for 750 ml. So, a little more than JB Black, but not budget-busting more

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ER gets good reviews on other web sites, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eagle Rare is good stuff at a great price, and you're absolutely right that as a single barrel bourbon there is some variation from barrel to barrel (though they still manage to keep it fairly consistent).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They also do a 17 year old version (not single barrel) which they release once per year in the fall, but it's significantly more expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sku

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agreed - Eagle Rare 10yr is probably one of the best sub $30 whiskeys around. That said, I recently stumbled upon a bottle of the Eagle Rare 17yr, and even at $80, it's a bargain -- quality-wise, I think it's comparable to Pappy Van Winkle 20yr, which is significantly more expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kyoung05

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I recently highlighted 10 of my favorite bourbons under $30 here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://blindtastes.blogspot.com/2011/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eagle Rare is one of my all time favorite bourbons. It was a great day when my favorite bar added it as their "well" bourbon which sells for 1/2 off at happy hour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (Edit - the problems are with the board not your link.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How do you think the Weller 12 yr compares to the Antique 107?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have heard really good things about Elmer T Lee but missed the chance buy some before it was discontinued here in NC, have you had it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Though NC prices are usually higher than privatized states, we seem to be lucky with some Bourbons - I have gotten Elijah Craig as low as $18 on sale, and many of the others are a couple bucks less here. Florida has much better rum prices and selection though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've not yet tried the Antique 107, just the 7yr and 12yr. And the 12yr I only really had a glass or 2 before infusing w/ citrus & vanilla (which came out to be terrific in a Manhattan or sipped neat as an after dinner drink).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've not purchased a bottle of Elmer T Lee yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I visited the store this weekend and noticed a few I missed on my list for favorite bourbons under $30. They are: Knob Creek, Wathens, Four Roses Small Batch (I thought this one was more $35 range but last 2 local spots I've seen it was at $27.99 so I'm adding it), and Woodford Reserve (I'm surprised I didn't think to put this up)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wanted to add that even the Bev Warehouse guy suggested I buy Bulleit in the local Trader Joe's. It's about 23 or 24 dollars at BW and grocery stores but TJ's sells it for 19.99. Not a big difference I guess, but I'm in TJ's a couple of times a month, so I'll just pick it up there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Yesterday's pour was a 17 yr old Vintage Wheated Bourbon from KBD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Had an opportunity to get me some of that while in Houston but focused on some other bottles at a lesser hit to the wallet instead. It's on my wish list for the home bar though. Any comparison to anything else out there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe a Parker Heritage wheated bourbon even though the Parker cost as much or more depending on the expression. The proof on the Parker also varies on the expression. The cask strength is over 120 proof.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I was visiting my inlaws in Lexington, KY last summer and wanted to pick up some bourbon that I wouldn't easily find in NJ.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Quite frankly, the only reason that I picked out Willets single barrel was due to the distinctive bottle that it came in. I would have remembered that bottle at Joe Canals liquor warehouse!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It was phenomenal, even better than my favored Woodford.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had my father in law buy me a bottle prior to coming for a visit and it apparently is tough to get in Kentucky due to it being such a small distiller.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Luckily for me, they only had this huge 1.75 litre decanter left!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JNUNZMAN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just as an FYI, Willett's isn't a distillery, they are a product of Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD), which despite the name, doesn't distill. They buy bulk whiskey from other distilleries and bottle it under Willett's and their other labels. There is nothing wrong with that, but it means that one Willett's may be very different from another, since they may well come from completely different distileries. Generally, though, my experience is that the Willett's series whiskeys tend to be quite good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sku

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          @ one time they were an actual producer but not now. They also put out the Noahs Mill Bourbon which is my house tiple. Very luscious and a big round flavor profile. Had the Willett and liked it as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Anyone know anything about Black Maple Hill small batch? I picked up a bottle at Astor Wines last night and it was pretty tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Is that the one with the green label? Ive got a bottle of BMH on the way from Houston. Love that stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No it's red ink on an off white background.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, that's the norm. I was thinking of the 16yr which actually has a black label but the bottle a friend of mine had one time had ink that had gone bad or something and become green.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I saw the green label a few years ago at LeNell's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What is the green label bottle? I've seen the BMH, BMH 16yr, and BMH 23yr Rye and none have green labels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Have no clue, just remember seeing it several years ago. Next time I talk to LeNell I'll ask her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think it may have been the 18 yr rye

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Ok, I've got two questions about Old Rip Van Winkle 23yr...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1.) Saw this twice while on the road, once @ Husk in Charleston, SC ($100/glass) and the second time this past weekend @ Poison Girl in Houston, TX ($65/glass). I think if you're gonna pay for that bourbon, you buy a bottle. I looked online and found one on eBay but got outbid. Further searching has come up empty. Does this bourbon exist still? If so, any thoughts on where I could purchase a bottle?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2.) Is this something that will be done each year or is this a one time, one shot bottling?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I believe the 23yr old is one of their "standard" bottlings - stores like Cask in SF normally stock it (http://www.caskstore.com/pappy-van-wi...), although they're out of it currently. I've read several reviews that have indicated that while very good, it isn't much better than the 20yr bottling, while costing more than twice as much. That said, I haven't tried it personally, so I can't say how it compares to the 20yr (which I have tried, and even at $20/glass, thought it was well worth it).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kyoung05

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have actually read several reviews by people that preferred the 20 yr old to the 23 yr old.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hmmm odd chowhound does not seem to be allowing posting of external links today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kyoung05

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There is Old Rip Van Winkle 23 and then there is Pappy Van Winkle 23. Pappy 23 is a regular bottling which is released each fall. It goes for around $220.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Old Rip Van Winkle 23 was a one-time specialty bottling from last year. Old Rip sold for around $350 but it was in short supply and I haven't seen any on shelves for a while (though it certainly could still be in stock in some stores). It is higher proof and came in a fancy decanter. (See pictures at link).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought the Old Rip was fantastic though very pricy and I don't know if it is on any retail shelves anymore. Pappy 23 is okay, but I actually prefer the 20 and 15 year old versions of Pappy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2010/0...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sku

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sku - I was actually trying to post a link to the LAWS site but for some reason external links seem to be acting up today on this site. Some work, some send me to a dead page on this site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, if you go to the Site Talk area, they say they're working on it. Something to do with yesterday's site maintenance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: sku

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I was speaking of the Old Rip 23yr. Not really worth $65-$100/glass to me (nor is anything for that matter) but to pay $400/bottle wouldnt be bad. From what you say it's not likely that I'll find one though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, $65 for a glass of whiskey may seem a bit outrageous, but a glass of Château d'Yquem often goes for that, and I think it's well worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kyoung05

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just think for that money you might as well buy a bottle and enjoy it more often ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kyoung05

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Well worth it" is relative. Not everyone has $65 to spend on a single glass of booze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Been drinking Old Overholt these days - although a rye, there is a nice bready corn sweetness that comes through. My wife refers to it as a "caramel frito taste." And she's kinda right. Makes the best Manhattans, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: zmirzlina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I find Overholt lacking in rye spice, much prefer Wild turkey rye or Rittenhouse 100 which don't let the vermouth dominate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Was in Houston a few weeks back and was really impressed by the selection and even more by the pricing at Specs liquor store. They had nice stock on Black Maple Hill and Rock Hill Farms, two of my favorites, and a fantastic cash price (even the credit price was good), so I picked up a few bottles and had a buddy ship em to me as a favor. They got here the other day and I'm so happy to have Rock Hill Farms back on my bar. Great juice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes it is. RHF is a bit sweet and fruit forward but I like it. One I want to keep on my bar. I can't seem to find it on the shelves of my local stores but have ordered it online.+

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For those looking for Rock Hill Farms in L.A. -- they have it at Beverage Warehouse in Marina Del Rey. Beverage Warehouse ships as well, for those in other parts of the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As for bourbon, I'm working my way through a bottle of Bulleit that I bought at Trader Joe's, where they sell if for 20 bucks a bottle (it's a bit more at BW and the grocery stores). I'm enjoying it. It's a bit more mellow, I think, than the Eagle Rare I noted earlier in this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rock Hill Farms sounds great -- it's twice the price but maybe I'll indulge over the holidays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sipping some RHF as I type. Sweet, lot of fruits, floral. Really a nice single barrel bourbon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              $20 is a great price on Bulleit - if they have their rye for around the same price you should try it, I like it quite a bit, my favorite so far next to Sazerac.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Haven't tried the rye ... will look for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TJ's always has it at that 20 dollar price. Everywhere else it's like 23-25.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here in NC it's $28, I've seen it at online retailers for anywhere from $19 at Hi time to $34 at DrinkupNY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We're a bit spoiled for choice here in Nashville with the selection that's available. I recently tried the Blanton's Single Barrel and the Rowan's Creek KY Straight Bourbon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Both of which I'd buy a bottle of.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pete k

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You know what the Dusty profile in Nashville is? I bet there is a lot of old stock around unless they have been scarfed up buy those that know

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just paid $30 for the Bulleit rye, but DH and I are really diggin' it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I saw 2 bottles of Thomas handy today at the local ABC store, really had to resist the temptation to part with $71 and get one, I have been spending waaaay too much money lately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Looking around at the prices and (lack of) availability for this I think maybe I need to go back and grab both bottles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      $70 seems to be the new norm for specialty bottlings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi time has it for $99, and I see it on ebay for $85-115 - so for a change it would appear the NC price is actually pretty good. The cheapest price I see online is $79 and that one is out of stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Whenever I find myself "spending too much money lately" I just ride the wave, especially if it includes adding a nice whiskey to the home bar. Go for it! haha

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The high price of Handy is softened a bit by the high proof. If it were diluted to 80 proof, that $71 bottle would be $45. High, but not as obscene as it seems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like Bulleit, but it is a touch mild for mixing. I'm about to try a bottle of Redemption. (I thought I had a bottle, then couldn't find it last night, then found it this morning. Yeah!) Alas, I'm out of Green Chartreuse, and that restock is always painful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          --
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The redemption is really nice. A good bite that really holds up in cocktails.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It goes for around $23 a bottle here. I'm still debating the chartreuse purchase, it retails for around $60ish a bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree Bulleit does not hold up well for mixing, I prefer to sip that and the Sazerac 6 yr. Mixing duties go to Rittenhouse 100 and Wild Turkey Rye.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wouldn't mix Bulleit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just a few ice cubes ... let the ice work on it for a few minutes ... that's it for me

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like Bulliet bourbon for mixing but not so much the rye. That one I like w/ a ice sphere. Redemption is better IMO. Love that stuff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just mention GC a few extra times on your blog and I'm sure they'll ship you a bottle for free. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am really enjoying Jefferson's right now. Deep flavor with hints of chocolate or coffee for only $35 for 750mL. Highly recommend it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. What a great question! I drink George Dicket No. 17 at home for mixing with ginger ale (Schweppes, please). I have Eagle Rare and Woodford Reserve on hand for drinking straight (after dinner). When I'm out and ordering a Manhattan, my preferences are Eagle Rare or Bulleit (in those bars that carry them), Maker's Mark or Knob Creek otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had Pappy Van Winkle after dinner at Herb Saint in New Orleans, on the recommendation of the waiter, and I'll be forever grateful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ksherk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Water's for Washin', Dickel's for Drinkin' ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dickel No. 17? Typo I guess? I have only seen cascade hollow, No 8 and No 12. I have the CH and No 12, and even the low end stuff is better than JD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Geo. Dickel No. 12 is an old friend in my household ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Well, I had a hunch I would find some of the Antiques as I drove by Total Wine on my way home from lunch yesterday and that hunch was confirmed true. Since their stock was limited and my spending has already been out of control this month I figured why not pile on some more? I picked up the Eagle Rare 17, Sazerac 18, and Stagg. I left the Handy because I know that will be there when I go back (last year's was there a looooooong time) and for some reason they don't get the Weller. The 3 I got are my favorites anyways. Tried the Stagg last night, still as firey as ever but still damn good. A few drops of water and it shines. Liked it better than last year's version but not as much as the 09. I can see why some skip over this collection because it really doesn't change all that much but I still think it's worth the extra $$.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They have sazerac 18? is that this years release? I have been watching the online retailers and have yet to see it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yessir, it's the 2011 and it's as awesome as ever. I love the Stagg but the Sazerac 18 could be my favorite of all the BTAC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've had some high proofers that were pretty easy to drink. The Stagg isn't one of them. I have a few graduated cylinders that I use to dilute to a known proof when needed. You can play around with different proofs until you find the one that really shines as apposed to just splashing water in willy nilly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's a good idea. I raised an eyebrow at "a few drops" Blind Mind's Stagg -- seems like not enough. I prefer regular proof spirits without water, but overproof surely needs dilution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To what final proof do you usually dilute?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              --
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have found that 107pf seems to be preferred with many barrel proof bourbons. Certainly that's not in stone. There are several online dilution calculators that can be used to accurately dilute that high proof down if desired. Sometimes I like them at full barrel strength and sometimes they really shine a bit lower. Last nights pour was a 2010 BTAC W. Larue Weller at 126.6pf which was quite tasty with no dilution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: EvergreenDan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I drink the Stagg neat often, actually. Yes, it's fire but I sometimes like to "control my intake" i.e. - not have more than 1 drink in a night, so I take little sips. When I add a few drops it's to about a 1-1.5oz pour in a Riedel whiskey glass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I was hanging out yesterday with Lincoln and Wes Henderson. Licoln is the retired master distiller who created Woodford and many other bourbons, and sipped some of their new Angels Envy bourbon that is finished in port casks. really nice, medium light body, exceptionally smooth and approachable, a bit sweet up front, nice vanillins and just a bit of oak, with a dry finish that makes you look forward to the next sip. great neat, on the rocks, and in cocktails. Now I'm off to Whiskeyfest NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm a fan of AE, got a few bottles on the home bar. I like the floral notes, the way it coats the tongue and the madeira on the finish. Very smooth stuff but more like an after dinner sipper than an all-purpose bourbon IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Knob Creek Single Barrel is a bit strong for my taste, at least for sipping neat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Recently tried Basil Hayden, for the first time...but probably wouldn't purchase it for home.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I really like the Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel, and generally have that on hand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And, or course, Pappy Van Winkle. I managed to stock up a bit this year, though the 15 yr almost eluded me...most local places denied even getting it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hhmoore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Show off ;-D Nice collection
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you like Rock Hill Farms you will may like Elmer T Lee at a better price point. Both BT mash bill #2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've heard excellent things about ETL - I almost bought it several times at one store here in NC but there was always something else on sale that I wanted, and one time I finally went back to buy it - it was gone, and I haven't seen it since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Elmer T Lee is on my short list of bourbons to try. I appreciate the recommendation - thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hhmoore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Elmer T Lee is one of my favorites, as is Rock Hill Farms. Sazerac 18yr is another one I'm loving right now. Enjoyed with a Partagas yesterday which was a great combo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The bourbon I'm really impressed with right now though is Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel. Quickly became one of my favorites of all time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just wish I could find a bottle of Sazerac 18 -- I finished mine, and can't seem to find one to save my life!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have yet to see it anywhere online, I found a review that stated

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "around here, stocks of Sazerac 18 just disappeared from the shelves almost immediately this year, with good reason. Buy some if you can find it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: zin1953

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One of our local liquor stores lists it on their website but says in store only for $79.99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Seems to be the going rate for high end rye with significant age

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And then there's Ebay. One of the reasons it's hard to find is it get's scarfed up quickly to be resold on Ebay. grrrrrr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: hhmoore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You also may want to try Ancient Ancient Age 10 YO since it too is the made from the same mash bill by BT. I can't find it anywhere by me but some say it's is very close to ETL and RHF.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's on my "shopping list" at The Party Source right now. Purchase being made soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Blind Mind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe do a blind tasting of RHF, AAA and ELT if you have them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think I have a E. H. Taylor SB sample that we did a tasting of a while back. I have a part of that sample hanging around some where. Need to give it another try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The AAA 10 yr is the one you can only get in Kentucky, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that's where most of it is sold. I know Binny's has had it sometime in the past. Not to be confused with AAA 10 star. Boy it get's confusing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I just bought a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 year and really, really like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just to sum up: I'd been a Jim Beam drinker who recently moved up to the Jim Beam Black. Wanting to branch out, my liquor guy (Beverage Warehouse for those who live near Culver City, California) recommended the Eagle Rare and I finished off that bottle. Then i worked my way through a bottle of Bulleit (purchased at Trader Joe's -- 19.99 as opposed to 23.99), then yesterday my Bev Warehouse guy recommended the Elijah Craig because I wanted something in the same price range (the Eagle Rare is 25.99, EC is 23.99 like the Bulleit).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think I'm liking it better than the Bulleit, though I liked that just fine. I like the lingering flavor of the Elijah Craig at the back of my mouth a bit better, it's milder/more subtle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would recommend and/or drink any of them, but at the moment I'm liking Elijah Craig more than the Bulleit, and about the same as the Eagle Rare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for reminding me, I need to grab another bottle of EC 12 yr while it's on sale for $19 this month here in NC. Maybe Old Weller 107 also, for the same price, two of my favorites for the money. I just wish we had Old Grand Dad 114 here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              EC 12 is my go to off the shelf mid level bourbon. It's got that Heaven Hill profile which some find too minty but I like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, I need to taste it some more. I didn't get a minty taste. I'm not a big fan of that taste, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe it's really subtle. To me, it was less sweet than the Bulleit, with a hint more pepper flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can't say I really get anything I would call "minty" in EC 12 either. I do get a lot of rye spice, which I guess some people might call "minty" as it does sort of leave a lingering burning sensation on the tongue like spearmint does.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have to admit I don't get any mint. May a little grassy note but the caramel and vanilla and fruit are predominate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think it mightve been you, scubadoo, who turned me on to EC 12yr and it quickly became one of my favorite value bourbons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I'd just like to note that this is one of the best, most informative and friendliest threads I've ever participated in on this forum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. At the moment I am doing a side-by-side between two moderately high-proof Bourbons - Wild Turkey Rare Breed (108) and Old Grand Dad 114. Kind of hard to call, both are excellent - and mouth-numbing. I give a slight edge to the OGD as it has a slightly richer palate and smoother finish, but a large edge on the basis of price, as it is roughly $10 less in most places.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OGD 114 is an exceptional value. I prefer the WT 101 to the Rare Breed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I haven't had the 101 in a while, it was one of the first Bourbons I tried and I didn't love it, but I have acquired more of a taste for it and I really need to give it another try. I also didn't like Knob Creek the first time but do now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ncyankee101

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All higher rye bourbons. Do a side by side blind tasting of the WT 101 and the WT RB. Maybe even the WT 101, RB, OGD 114 and KC. Take some notes and compare. Best way to find out which drink you like best. I have little stickers I put on the bottom of my glasses when doing a blind tasting of know products. As long as you use identical glasses it's difficult to know which is which so you can do a fair blind tasting.