Author Topic: Whiskey  (Read 69580 times)

Offline barliman

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #825 on: June 04, 2017, 08:55:43 PM »
I'm ready to join in. I'm a novice when it comes to bourbon, and am trying a few bourbons in the $20-30 price range. The first purchases were Elijah Craig, Evan Williams Single Barrel, and Jim Beam BIB.  I've had all of them neat, with a splash of water, with a couple cubes of ice, and with Coca Cola. The best of those to drink neat was the Beam. It was very smooth. The other two were great with a splash of water, as well as with some ice. 

Next, for me will be the Four Roses Single Barrel. With all of the positive reviews for it, I'm pretty excited to try this one.

J
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Offline ethinson

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #826 on: June 05, 2017, 11:57:47 AM »
I'm ready to join in. I'm a novice when it comes to bourbon, and am trying a few bourbons in the $20-30 price range. The first purchases were Elijah Craig, Evan Williams Single Barrel, and Jim Beam BIB.  I've had all of them neat, with a splash of water, with a couple cubes of ice, and with Coca Cola. The best of those to drink neat was the Beam. It was very smooth. The other two were great with a splash of water, as well as with some ice. 

Next, for me will be the Four Roses Single Barrel. With all of the positive reviews for it, I'm pretty excited to try this one.

J

I'm still in the exploring stage myself, isn't that the fun part?

One thing I've learned with whiskey is the adage holds true (to a certain extent) that you "get what you pay for".  That doesn't mean you have to drop $300 on a 27yr single malt.. but that you can tell a pretty big difference between an $25 bottle of Evan Williams and a $45 bottle of Eagle Rare. I've enjoyed a lot of stuff in the $40-60 a bottle range. Of course, personal preference varies both in taste and willingness to spend, so what you like may not be the same.

That said, I haven't had the Four Roses, but also from word of mouth, I think you'll really like it and it should be a step up from the previous three you mentioned.

A lot of my favorites come from the Buffalo Trace Portfolio.  Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Colonel E H Taylor and Blantons are all quite good.  Woodford Reserve is another favorite.

Cheers!
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #827 on: June 05, 2017, 04:26:06 PM »
I'm ready to join in. I'm a novice when it comes to bourbon, and am trying a few bourbons in the $20-30 price range. The first purchases were Elijah Craig, Evan Williams Single Barrel, and Jim Beam BIB.  I've had all of them neat, with a splash of water, with a couple cubes of ice, and with Coca Cola. The best of those to drink neat was the Beam. It was very smooth. The other two were great with a splash of water, as well as with some ice. 

Next, for me will be the Four Roses Single Barrel. With all of the positive reviews for it, I'm pretty excited to try this one.

J

I tried the Beam Bottled in Bond over the weekend.  I did not enjoy it.  I'd rather have regular Beam.

It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline MDixon

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #828 on: June 05, 2017, 09:18:52 PM »
It's always a different strokes for different folks kinda thing with Whiskey. Be sure to find what YOU like. I tend to not like high alcohol and harsh flavors. For that reason Booker's is not a favorite and Woodford is a little rough around the edges for me. The nice thing about Bourbon is in the sub $50 price range you can go just about hog wild. I tend to find the $25-35 price point is a sweet spot for good quality Bourbons so have at it.
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Offline barliman

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #829 on: June 06, 2017, 01:33:41 AM »
I don't really see myself spending more than $40 on a bottle of bourbon. Like you said, there are very good options in the $25-35 price range.

I have read through the entire thread, and here is my list of bottles that I want to try: Knob Creek, Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Henry McKenna, Elmer T. Lee, Basil Hayden, and if I get lucky, Weller Antique or Special Reserve.

I may also have to revisit Jim Beam White, and Black Label.

Seems like I have some work ahead of me.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #830 on: June 06, 2017, 02:27:58 AM »
You'll need to be lucky to find some Elmer T.  If you're really lucky, maybe some Weller 12.

I'm by no means recommending Beam white label but I was disappointed with the BIB.  I'll certainly try it again but based on the Old Grandad BIB I was expecting more.  Beam white is great with ginger ale.  But most bourbon is.
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Offline barliman

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #831 on: June 06, 2017, 03:45:01 AM »
I knew that you weren't a huge fan of the JB White label. I am going to use them as a baseline that I can compare the others to.

As I was reading through the thread, it seemed like my tastes were most similar to yours and mdixon's. As I said before, I am a novice when it comes to bourbon. I figured that using yours and his recommendations would be a good place to start.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #832 on: June 06, 2017, 11:17:44 AM »
Old Grandad BIB is fantastic for the price. You will probably not find Elmer T. Lee and depending upon where you live Eagle Rare can be difficult. In NC we are nasty with Eagle Rare whereas in SC you cannot find it anywhere.
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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #833 on: June 06, 2017, 01:32:21 PM »
You'll need to be lucky to find some Elmer T.  If you're really lucky, maybe some Weller 12.

I'm by no means recommending Beam white label but I was disappointed with the BIB.  I'll certainly try it again but based on the Old Grandad BIB I was expecting more.  Beam white is great with ginger ale.  But most bourbon is.

The Old Granddad BIB is a different mash bill from the beam label.  Granddad is the same bourbon as Basil Hayden's (just younger and bottled in higher proof). Big fan of the Bonded Granddad!

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #834 on: June 06, 2017, 01:52:11 PM »
So, after reading through the thread, it amazes me the hate directed at the "bottom" shelf.  American bourbon, especially the bottle shelf, are some of the best deals for quality:price in booze.  I think a bunch the dislike of it is marketing bias. Take Granddad BIB for instance.  A couple years ago when it still came in the gaudy bright orange bottle with the plastic screw cap, it got no love but it was amazing for the price point (remember it is just young basil haydens). Then they redesigned the bottle with a cork closure, bumped the price per bottle by three bucks and then it started getting recognition.  Evan Williams is from Heaven Hill (who consistently make some wonderful bourbons and the bartenders darling Rittenhouse Rye) and is a wonderful bourbon for how DIRT CHEAP it is.  The big problem with it is the bottle is terrible.  If I served it out of a decanter, most people wouldn't think twice about it.  If you want a dirt cheap no thinker wheated bourbon Old Crow is a good stand in and in my market is $12/liter.  Blows the doors off of a Canadian, scotch, or irish at that price.  The high dollar bourbons aren't really worth it in my experience (we are talking like north of 35 bucks here) when we have a plethora of beautiful bourbons for not a lot of scratch.  ****end rant and apologies to the thread****  #allofthesaltiness

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #835 on: June 06, 2017, 02:13:47 PM »
I don't see the "no love for bottom shelf" but maybe that's my limited perspective.

I went on a bottom shelf tour somewhere around 8 years ago and found some good stuff there.  VOB, Ancient Age (though the last bottle did not hold up to my memory), and Weller (Antique and Special Reserve) were some of the best.  Of course, you can't get Weller anymore and the price point has jumped significantly.

Heaven Hill used to bottle a private label for Zimmerman's Liquors in Chicago and it was a great bourbon.  Supposedly the same juice as the Heaven Hill bourbon, which again I cannot find anywhere any longer.

Evan Williams was awful when I had it.  Black Lablel, though.  There may be better options.  Their Single Barrel is nice.

Perception certainly plays a role in it, but everyone has different preferences, too.  Some days Makers tastes good to me.  Other days, not so much.
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jrdatta

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #836 on: June 06, 2017, 02:27:17 PM »
That's fair, and palates are all different so that plays a factor too.  I just let my inherent saltiness get the better of me.

That said if it has been a while I would give the black label a try again.  Just pretend it is in a nicer bottle. Also, if you can find it and can deal with the fact that it looks like something a frat boy would buy for the giggle factor Fighting Cock (see, told ya) is a pretty solid bourbon, especially for serious cocktail mixing.  Made by Heaven Hill and it usually runs like 16-18 for a 750.  At 103 proof, it is a pretty big whiskey, but good stuff.  Definitely throw it in a decanter before serving to company.

 

Offline ethinson

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #837 on: June 06, 2017, 11:41:25 PM »
I went on a bottom shelf tour somewhere around 8 years ago and found some good stuff there.  VOB, Ancient Age (though the last bottle did not hold up to my memory), and Weller (Antique and Special Reserve) were some of the best.  Of course, you can't get Weller anymore and the price point has jumped significantly.

Evan Williams was awful when I had it.  Black Lablel, though.  There may be better options.  Their Single Barrel is nice.

At first I was like "Weller's Bottom Shelf?" but I see now the change...

I also didn't like the straight Even Williams when I tried it, but my wife and I are both very fond of the Evan Williams Cherry.  Of course, it's sweet and flavored and goes down smooth as silk. 

To me, how and where you're going to drink something makes a difference.  If we're going out of town just for a fun weekend we'll grab a bottle of that $15 EW Cherry... if we're at a fancy cigar bar I'm gonna order a 16yr Bushmills or something of that ilk.  I think a lot of the people in this thread are enthusiasts (which makes sense for a group of homebrewers) and if they are going to try something they want to taste just that, not mixed with water or soda or whatever.  Doesn't mean these guys and gals don't care for a jack and coke every now and then, but when they're on a forum they're gonna talk about the white whale they found like a 20 yr Rip Van Winkle. I totally get the point of your "rant" but just offering up a side angle of what could be going on.

I'm looking at the price list for this month (I love that Oregon Liquor Control does that) and I'm a bit shocked how low the prices are for the EW 1738 and the EW Single Barrel, so I will absolutely have to give those a try. I'm also fairly sure I tried the Green Label and not the Black Label.  (Oddly, the Green Label is not on the EW Website). 

My wife had the pleasure of visiting the Evan Williams Distillery in Kentucky and was very impressed with it.  I can't remember the details but she said that had a bourbon you could only buy at the tasting room, but it was well north of $100. She enjoyed everything there and appreciated that they are still family owned and American owned (unlike Jim Beam).
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Offline barliman

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #838 on: June 07, 2017, 02:26:18 AM »
Old Grandad BIB is fantastic for the price. You will probably not find Elmer T. Lee and depending upon where you live Eagle Rare can be difficult. In NC we are nasty with Eagle Rare whereas in SC you cannot find it anywhere.

My local municipal liquor store had Eagle Rare last time I was there. I think it was about $40.

I saw the grandad bonded last time I was at another liquor store. I did give it a second look, but went with the Old Grand Dad 114 instead.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Whiskey
« Reply #839 on: June 07, 2017, 02:36:46 AM »
It seems like in Chicago availability by store depends on who the distributor is.  I can get Eagle Rare every day at Whole Foods.  Never at Binny's.

Some of the smaller places don't carry any of the Buffalo Trace brands.  Others it seems like that's all they carry.

I'm giving the Beam BIB another run tonight.  Still not loving it.  For me, it's too much spice and not enough vanilla.  But it's not bad by any measure.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton