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If I Can't Get Van Winkle Bourbon, What Else Is Good?

I saw a profile of Van Winkle on TV and I immediately thought of getting some as a Christmas gift for a bourbon-loving relative. But after doing the research, I see that it is not easy to come by, especially in Pennsylvania due to our outdated Liquor Control Board system.

So what else is good? If you like bourbon, what would you want to see under the tree?

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  1. This ongoing thread should give you plenty of options to consider.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/450615

    1. We are living in a golden age for Bourbon. I like Noahs Mill, but easy to get Nob Creek is mighty fine as well.

      1. There are a number of other great bourbons out there that would make excellent gifts for bourbon lovers. Four Roses does fabulous bourbon. Look for their single barrel and the 2012 Limited Edition version of their Small Batch, which is every bit as good as Van Winkle, though cheaper and less well known.

        W.L. Weller 12 year old is probably the closest thing to Van Winkle that is readily available. Like Van Winkle, it's a wheat recipe bourbon and it is made by Buffalo Trace, the distillery which makes much of the Van Winkle bourbon.

        Parker's Heritage Collection is a special release that is different each year, but it's always quite good.

        9 Replies
          1. re: scubadoo97

            I second SKU's thoughts. Four Roses makes great bourbon..

            Also worth noting is that Eagle Rare does a 17 year bottling that comes out right about now, only once in a year. I had a dram of it a while back and absolutely loved it.

            1. re: The Big Crunch

              According to a retailer in Myrtle beach this is the last year they are making ER 17 so if you can find it stock up. They had it for $130 and Thomas handy right next to it for $60, and when I asked why the price discrepancy that's what they told me.

              1. re: ncyankee101

                Oh well... $130? If this is the last year for it, then it looks like I'm never going to own my own bottle. Unless...the Powerball is up to $425 million :)

                1. re: The Big Crunch

                  I saw the 10-year Eagle Rare single barrel today in the Virginia ABC store, and I believe it was $28. I think I'm going to go back and buy one. From what I've read, the 17-year bottle may be pushing up against the point where the wood starts to become excessive. I assume that for the price, it's still on this side of it.

                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                    I love Eagle Rare 10. Any time it's under $30, it's a pretty good deal on a damn tasty bourbon. Looking back at my tasting notes, my only complaint was that it was lacking in any complexity, though still a terrific sipper. I know some may disagree, but I think this is a great bourbon to use to try and get non-bourbon drinkers into the spirit.

                    1. re: The Big Crunch

                      Well, you may have just talked me into it. Then I need to decide about Bulleit Rye. Then I need to stop buying whiskey and drink what I have.

                      1. re: Jim Dorsch

                        My take on Bulleit rye: it's a tremendous value for the money. I use rye primarily for cocktails and Bulleit rye is my go-to, though I do usually have a bottle of Rittenhouse around because it's so damn cheap. I simply can't afford a lot of the newer, higher-end ryes, so those are my go to ryes.

                        1. re: The Big Crunch

                          I've traditionally bought Wild Turkey 101 Rye. I haven't paid much attention to spirits for a while, and now that I've perked up, I read that there may be a paucity of this spirit for a time. My take from poking around the internet is that Bulleit may be less rye-like, even though it has a high rye content.

        1. Some Delaware liquor stores have it eg Total Wine.

          1. What do you mean Sal? Pappy? Bullit or something else?

            1 Reply
            1. re: DrinkinLife

              I've never seen Pappy at my Total Wine