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something like old charter bourbon for the west coast

When I'm in the South I buy a lot of Old Charter bourbon. It's cheap, and very good. I gave blind taste tests to multiple folks using "much better" bourbons (makers mark, black maple hill, etc.) and old charter holds its own.

Thing is, the Sazerac company, which owns the brand, wont distribute it to wholesalers out here. The only other decent low price bourbon i have found out here is that 8 year joshua brook that the silver lake wine shop sells. But it isn't as good, and they've been out of it for a long time anyway.

Any other contenders on this side that ya'll know?


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  1. Right now, I'm drinking a bourbon from Costco, Kirkland brand. Who knows what maker this 100 proof whiskey comes from, but I like it. It is slightly sweet and has a complex finish. Needs a little water to avoid numbing your taste buds. It's only twenty bucks for a liter.

      1. What about Evan Williams? I think it's at least as good as Makers Mark, and much cheaper. I'll have to try the Old Charter if I ever get the chance. I wanted to like the Kirkland brand, but I just didn't like it at all.

        1. http://www.bevmo.com/shop/productdeta...

          I was given a taste of Buffalo Trace by a bartender who knows my love for bourbon and rye whisky. Gotta say, I was impressed. Nowhere near as sweet as Makers or Turkey but not as sour and downright aggresive in taste as Jack Daniel's. And yes, I know JD is not proper bourbon.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JeMange

            Buffalo Trace is my everyday bourbon. It's also owned by Sazerac. You might want to try it or one of the other good lower priced Sazerac brands like Elmer T. Lee, Old Weller or Eagle Rare.

            1. re: bg90027

              Buffalo Trace is delicious and affordable ;)
              But, if Eagle Rare is on the shelf (I don't see it everwhere) that's the one I'll order. mmm mmm good.

          2. Might be more that you want to pay, but have you tried Ezra Brooks?

            1. thanks for the ideas. i actually have some buffalo trace at home. its very good. and even though its reasonably priced, its not outrageously cheap like old charter.

              as far as the kirkland brand, i just couldnt drink it. like hillbilly, I tried to love it, but couldnt.

              evan williams is OK, perfectly functional. it just seems expensive to me compared to joshua brook, and especially old charter. i can't drive the point home enough: old charter is ridiculously good bourbon for the price. It seriously costs like $18 for a 1.5L. its costco prices for a genuinely great product.

              I didnt think eagle rare was that great; old weller is too high an alcohol content for me - and i can taste it. ezra brooks is indeed a bit more than the comparison im trying to make/ find.

              I havent tried the elmer t lee - where you find that bg?

              Again - thanks for the ideas. its a pretty specific thing im looking for i guess. and yes, i know im picky. but when you get used to the quality and price of old charter, it's a shame to be without.

              5 Replies
              1. re: mr mouther

                K&L Wine carries the Elmer T. Lee:


                Their local store is in Hollywood on the corner of Vine and DeLongpre, a few blocks south of Sunset. You might also talk to David Othenin-Girard, the spirits buyer at K&L. He'd probably have other suggestions. Maybe they could even special order Old Charter for you. Probably not but there's no harm in asking.

                1. re: mr mouther

                  My impression of Buffalo trace is similar - nice, clean, mellow flavor, very good value ($38/1.5L, BevMo), but not outrageous. I tried Eagle rare ($28/750mL, Wine House) based on the recommendations here, and found it excellent: interesting, distinctive, complex flavors that aren't available in the stuff that hillbillies normally drink, but it was sharp enough that I still wanted to add a little soda water. Tyrconnell Irish is in its price range, and I'd be sad to see it diluted.

                  All these are better than Evan Williams ($16/1.5L, Smart and Final, Food 4 Less $17 BevMo), but all are at least twice the price. You can't spend much less and walk away with a bottle made of glass and not plastic. Jim Beam is also worth mentioning, though it costs a little more than Evan Williams and its quality is similar, because it knows how to treat Hank Williams, Jr.

                  I have loved the ladies
                  And I have loved Jim Beam
                  Both of em tried to kill me
                  Back in 1973

                  1. re: Hillbilly Moonshiner

                    i love hank jr. too. and i order jim beam whenever im in a bar

                  2. re: mr mouther

                    Have you tried Old Crow? I like it better than Evan Williams.

                    1. re: jaykayen

                      Not recently. Isn't it essentially the same as Jim Beam, maybe rebranded, or a little lower on the shelf?