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Nov 21, 2011 12:17 PM

Bourbon question

I have been drinking Makers for a while and have had the Makers 46 as well. I actually liked the original better. Can I get a few reccomendations for some top shelf Bourbon I may want to try. Nothing more than $50 per bottle.


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  1. I don't know about top shelf, but Bulleit bourbon is a high-rye bourbon. It would make an interesting comparison to the high-wheat Maker's Mark. The stuff is delicious, I think, neat. True "top shelf" bourbons are going to be more than $50, I'm afraid.

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    1. If you like Maker's, I would try the Weller line. Like Maker's, these are wheated bourbons (bourbons that use wheat instead of rye as the secondary grain).

      Other good bourbons under $50 to try if you are starting out:

      Eage Rare 10 year old single barrel

      Four Roses Single Barrel

      Buffalo Trace

      Elijah Craig 12 or 18

      Wild Turkey Rare Breed

      4 Replies
      1. re: sku

        Thanks for the help. What would you say are the flavor differrence between a wheat and rye bourbon. What would be a good Rye bourbon to try?

        1. re: princeofpork

          Rye brings a spicier flavor to the bourbon. All of those I've listed above are rye recipe bourbons with the exception of the Wellers.

          1. re: sku

            I really like the WL Weller bourbons. Wheated but with a much more complex flavor than Maker's. Buffalo Trace is pretty much my house bourbon.

            I also really like the Evan Williams Single Barrel and think it's a screaming bargain.

        2. re: sku

          Great suggestions from sku. I might add Blanton's to the list as a good bridge between the wheat-flavored and rye-flavored worlds. It's got a lighter, easier touch than many of the bourbons on the list.

        3. Have you tried Knob Creek's 9-year aged bourbon? Smooth, and quite drinkable. I'm also a fan of Basil Hayden's bourbon.

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Jeff Next Door

            Knob is a high rye bourbon but very good imo.

            I'm a Four Roses fan. Their single barrel expressions are very good and way to easy to drink. Would just fly under the $50 limit.

          2. Woodford Reserve is nice. Small distillery owned by Jack Daniels. They only make 21 barrels a day.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mtoo

              Woodford Reserve is actually owned by Brown-Forman which ALSO owns Jack Daniels. The name of the company is Brown-Forman, not Jack Daniels.

              The Woodford Reserve distillery is lovely and their process unique in that they use pot stills imported from Scotland rather than the column stills everyone else uses. Unfortunately their standard expression mixes the pot still bourbon with column still bourbon distilled at Old Forester, which Brown Forman also owns. I think some of their deluxe expressions may use only pot still but I'm not sure. As to the bourbon itself, I like it well enough but it's not in my top ten.

              1. re: ravchaz

                The annual Woodford Reserve Master's Collection release is made entirely at the Woodford distillery using only pot still whiskey. The Master's Collection is a limited releases which is different each year. This year it is two rye whiskeys.


            2. Ended up buying the Bulliet and am really enjoying it. Funny thing is I went to a liqour store in my hood and they only had Makers and the Knob Creek 9. Then I went to another one and they had everyone mentioned upthread.

              2 Replies
              1. re: princeofpork

                Just a suggestion: When you visit a store, look at the shelves carefully. Try to note things that are hard to find and then remember where you saw it. Sometimes stores have a specialty -- for example, lots of bourbons and ryes or maybe an extensive single malt selection or maybe really great liqueurs. It really helps to have a idea of where you might find something.

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                1. re: EvergreenDan

                  Great advice Dan. I already have a mental catalogue of what to buy at which stores in my area, and it's nice to be helpful to friends and neighbors once in a while.