The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:13 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
Bourbon aficionados, a moment please.

This Saturday I will be attending the Bourbon, Beer and BBQ festival here in Charlotte. I will have a tasting glass and six hours to try any of the bourbons on the following list. I will try to stick with ones I have not previously tasted, so that includes those listed below. Help me maximize my pleasure. Which ones should I definitely try? (I will not be driving, by the way.)

http://www.beerandbourbon.com/north-carolina/drink-menu


Ones I've had:

Larceny
Makers
Makers 46
Evan Williams Black Label
Evan Williams Single Barrel
1792 Ridgemont Reserve Small Batch
Eagle Rare Single Barrel
Blanton’s Single Barrel
Baker's
Basil Hayden's
Booker's
Knob Creek
Jim Beam 4Y
Jim Beam Black
Jim Beam Devil's Cut
Pappy Van Winkle 23yr (ok, even though I've had this once before, OF COURSE I will make a beeline for this table.)
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:27 AM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 40,762
They have Irish, shine and flavored crap listed undar "Bourbon." I wouldn't trust them with anything. Just park at the Van Winkle booth all day.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:34 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
They have Irish, shine and flavored crap listed undar "Bourbon." I wouldn't trust them with anything. Just park at the Van Winkle booth all day.
Yeah, and vodka as well. I'm focusing on the real stuff. I'm curious as to how many Pappy tastes I can get.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:37 AM
White SIFL White SIFL is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Hmm, that is a strange list. Sorry, nothing more to add.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:55 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
Maybe it would be easier to ask if anyone has opinions (good or bad) on the following:

High West Rendezvous Rye
High West Double Rye!
High West Prairie Reserve Bourbon
Campfire Whiskey
Broadslab Legacy Reserve
Broadslab Legacy Shine
Buffalo Trace Small Batch
EH Taylor Small Batch
Knob Creek Rye
Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve
Jim Beam Jacob's Ghost
Jim Beam Rye
Prichards Double Oaked
Jefferson's Reserve 18yr
Black Maple Hill
Parker's Heritage
1512 Barbershop Rye
Jim Beam Rye
Templeton Rye
Whiste Pig Rye
Sazerac Rye
Rittenhouse Rye
Tap 357 Maple Rye Whiskey
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:46 AM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 40,762
Shine is just a marketing gimmick to get you to drink un-aged bourbon. Try one and you've tried them all. I have had and enjoyed the Sazerac Rye, Rittenhouse Rye, Knob Creek Rye, and Jefferson's Reserve 18. I've tried and adored Knob Creek Single Barrel and every single drop of Black Maple Hill I've ever had. Truly marvelous stuff.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:52 AM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Nasty Nati
Posts: 14,841
I will second Knob Creek's single barrel. You MUST try it. I also really enjoyed Buffalo Trace as well. I've never tried a rye, although they seem to be gaining in popularity. How do they differ in style/flavor profile from bourbons?

From the list of bourbons that the OP has tried, Eagle Rare is one of my favorites along with good old Basil Hayden. Never had that Van Winkle stuff but I have heard great things about it...and I live right across the Ohio River from the bourbon homeland!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:58 AM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 40,762
If you've ever had a "peppery" bourbon, you've had one with a high rye content. Ryes are essential for a decent Manhattan. A lot of people find them too "spicy" for sipping neat, but I don't.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:59 AM
lieu lieu is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bedrock
Posts: 24,951
I think I've got four bottles of Pappy up in my cabinets now. I keep 'em on hand for friends that are bourbon lovers, I like it okay but Stranahans is the only whiskey I sip neat anymore, I much prefer it to any true bourbon. I think I've got maybe a 25 or 23 up there, it'll be for the 'good' friends.

I looked for Stranahans on your list. Sorry it's not there, it's become exceedingly hard to get outside of Colorado now.

Enjoy the show and yeah, park at Pappys.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-06-2013, 09:01 AM
DoctorJ DoctorJ is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Posts: 6,370
I haven't had the EH Taylor Small Batch, but I had the Single Barrel and the Straight Rye at a similar event and they knocked my socks off. (At $67 a bottle, they should.)

Keep in mind that at an event like this you probably have four or five samples max before your brain and taste buds aren't able to appreciate complexity anymore, so get to the good stuff early.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-06-2013, 09:43 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Shine is just a marketing gimmick to get you to drink un-aged bourbon. Try one and you've tried them all. I have had and enjoyed the Sazerac Rye, Rittenhouse Rye, Knob Creek Rye, and Jefferson's Reserve 18. I've tried and adored Knob Creek Single Barrel and every single drop of Black Maple Hill I've ever had. Truly marvelous stuff.
Excellent. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorJ View Post
I haven't had the EH Taylor Small Batch, but I had the Single Barrel and the Straight Rye at a similar event and they knocked my socks off. (At $67 a bottle, they should.)

Keep in mind that at an event like this you probably have four or five samples max before your brain and taste buds aren't able to appreciate complexity anymore, so get to the good stuff early.
That's why they also have beer and BBQ. Brilliant!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-06-2013, 09:45 AM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 40,762
If you bounce between van Winkle, Black Maple Hill and BBQ you will be well-served (in more ways than one.)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-06-2013, 09:49 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
We got VIP tickets, so we get 2 hours head start.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-06-2013, 10:05 AM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Funkytown (Fort Worth)
Posts: 1,729
From that list, I've had:
Larceny (maybe my favorite of the list)
Basil Hayden's (really good, but almost too smooth)
Buffalo Trace (fantastic)
Knob Creek (great, esp. for the price)
Knob Creek Single Barrel (fantastic)
Knob Creek Rye (damn good rye)

I personally prefer rye, but it's harder to find small batch runs, and it's usually more expensive than the equivalent bourbon when you can find it. My current favorite, Williet isn't on the list. However, Whistle Pig is on there. I've been eyeing it for a few weeks now, but haven't been able to justify paying almost twice for what I pay for Willet. If I were going instead of you, I'd make sure I got a taste of it.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-06-2013, 10:09 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by scabpicker View Post
From that list, I've had:
Larceny (maybe my favorite of the list)
Basil Hayden's (really good, but almost too smooth)
Buffalo Trace (fantastic)
Knob Creek (great, esp. for the price)
Knob Creek Single Barrel (fantastic)
Knob Creek Rye (damn good rye)

I personally prefer rye, but it's harder to find small batch runs, and it's usually more expensive than the equivalent bourbon when you can find it. My current favorite, Williet isn't on the list. However, Whistle Pig is on there. I've been eyeing it for a few weeks now, but haven't been able to justify paying almost twice for what I pay for Willet. If I were going instead of you, I'd make sure I got a taste of it.
Thanks! Whistle Pig is now on the priority list.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-06-2013, 11:44 AM
Kiros Kiros is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Newton, MA
Posts: 2,257
I can jump in and say that Whistlepig is pretty delicious, albeit pricey. I tend not to favor ryes all that much, but that one is a huge exception. Still a bit hard to grab it regularly at the price, but I'll get a bottle once a year or so, and split it between sipping and cocktails over the following month or two.

The other big one I'd suggest on the list of ones you haven't had yet is the Knob Creek Single Barrel, which has also been mentioned already. I've had a few of the others on the list, but I tend to think of them more as "good values" rather than "excellent bourbon/rye".
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-06-2013, 01:41 PM
zoid zoid is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago Il
Posts: 8,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
They have Irish, shine and flavored crap listed undar "Bourbon." I wouldn't trust them with anything. Just park at the Van Winkle booth all day.
Nailed it
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-06-2013, 04:14 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 30,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
They have Irish, shine and flavored crap listed undar "Bourbon." I wouldn't trust them with anything. Just park at the Van Winkle booth all day.
And apparently tequila, in addition to that and the vodka mentioned. (Hornitos makes bourbon now?) What a bizarre menu. I'm not a huge fan of the wheat-instead-of-rye bourbons like Pappy and Makers, but with the 23 yr being there, I'd find it hard not to park myself there. Otherwise, I'd be working my way through all the ryes (which are not bourbons, of course.)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-06-2013, 04:53 PM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
As to the non-bourbons, I don't really find it bizarre. It's a marketing event at its heart. The festival wants to be able to advertise a large number of participating vendors, and the brands want to be out in front of a large crowd of potential new customers. The Bourbon, Rye, Vodka, Tequila, Beer and BBQ Festival doesn't have the same ring to it...
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-06-2013, 05:06 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 30,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Yankee View Post
As to the non-bourbons, I don't really find it bizarre. It's a marketing event at its heart.
I get the marketing aspect of it as far as the name goes. But as far as the menu goes, they could have broken it down more sensibly.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 05-07-2013, 09:13 AM
Precambrianmollusc Precambrianmollusc is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Yankee View Post
Maybe it would be easier to ask if anyone has opinions (good or bad) on the following:

High West Rendezvous Rye
High West Double Rye!
High West Prairie Reserve Bourbon
Campfire Whiskey
The first two here from high west are fantastic, I have not tried the reserve, the campfire from High West is getting very good reviews.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-07-2013, 09:39 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
Thanks, Precambrianmollusc. My list is getting longer...
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-07-2013, 10:44 AM
Labdad Labdad is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 3,165
I have liked every High West Rye I've tried. The Knob Creek rye is pretty good - the single barrel is awesome. Jim Beam Rye is just OK. Templeton is excellent. Rittenhouse is good, but at 100 proof, a bit harsh on my palate. Is the Jefferson's a bourbon or a rye? I have a bottle of their rye on my bar now, and it's currently what I'm making my Manhattans with. Pritchard's is a small, newish distillery in Tullahoma, TN that has been making good stuff for a while now. Their rum is first rate. Now it seems their whiskey has been barrelled long enough to bottle, but I've not tried it yet.

As silenus says, everything by Black Maple Hill is superb, and some of their stuff (an 18 year old bourbon and a 23 year old rye) exceeds even Van Winkle.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-07-2013, 02:11 PM
August West August West is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Farmington, WI
Posts: 3,555
Just joining in the adoration of Black Maple Hill. I cry if they're out at the Seelbach Bar when I'm visiting.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-07-2013, 05:03 PM
Labdad Labdad is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 3,165
Quote:
Originally Posted by August West View Post
Just joining in the adoration of Black Maple Hill. I cry if they're out at the Seelbach Bar when I'm visiting.
Be prepared to weep. I understand Black Maple Hill is ceasing production. I have no particulars, but the beverage manager at my favorite Atlanta bar tells me he hears it from a reliable source.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 05-07-2013, 05:27 PM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labdad View Post
Be prepared to weep. I understand Black Maple Hill is ceasing production. I have no particulars, but the beverage manager at my favorite Atlanta bar tells me he hears it from a reliable source.
I wonder why they would bother to promote themselves at an event like this if that was the case? Not saying your info is wrong, it's just curious.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 05-08-2013, 09:13 AM
Labdad Labdad is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 3,165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Yankee View Post
I wonder why they would bother to promote themselves at an event like this if that was the case? Not saying your info is wrong, it's just curious.
Good question! If there is a distillery rep at the Black Maple Hill booth (as opposed to a distributor), why don't you ask about this rumor and report back to us?
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 05-08-2013, 09:36 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Keeping this list in mind for my next visit to the ABC store. Out of curiosity, for someone who prefers Woodford Reserve to Knob Hill or Maker's Mark, which of these bourbons would you recommend?
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 05-08-2013, 04:35 PM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 40,762
Black Maple Hill, of course!

For a much cheaper tipple, I really like Jim Beam Devil's Cut. You also can't go wrong with anything Buffalo Trace puts out.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 05-08-2013, 06:12 PM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Black Maple Hill, of course!

For a much cheaper tipple, I really like Jim Beam Devil's Cut. You also can't go wrong with anything Buffalo Trace puts out.
Do you really like Devil's Cut? I found it harsh. I much prefer the Black label Beam.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 05-08-2013, 07:23 PM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 40,762
Actually, I do. Remember I usually drink Wild Turkey 101 straight as a nightcap. Devil's Cut is a right nice dram to me. I like what the extra age does to it vis a vis normal Beam, which is plebian at best.

Different strokes.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 05-09-2013, 11:03 AM
August West August West is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Farmington, WI
Posts: 3,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Keeping this list in mind for my next visit to the ABC store. Out of curiosity, for someone who prefers Woodford Reserve to Knob Hill or Maker's Mark, which of these bourbons would you recommend?
5 years ago or so I asked for bourbon for Christmas and got maybe 8 different brands. I did side-by-side tastings for a few months and decided that Eagle Rare 10yr was my favorite, which agrees with silenus' statement about the general quality of bourbons from Buffalo Trace. So give that a try if you haven't already.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 05-11-2013, 11:19 AM
Hoopy Frood Hoopy Frood is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
I can echo Eagle Rare 10 year.

I always have bourbon around and Eagle Rare 10 year has been one of my staples. One of the best for the price (i.e. $30 or so for a fifth). Basil Haydn's is also a good one and priced around the same as Eagle Rare 10 year.

Liz and I were also at Cochon555 in Chicago a few weeks ago. We tried the entire High West lineup (including their single-malt whisky). I highly recommend all of their products, not a bad one in the batch. (Well, they do have an unaged one, which pretty much tastes like every other good-quality unaged bourbon out there. It's not bad, but don't waste your brain cells and taste buds on it.)
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 05-11-2013, 10:26 PM
Precambrianmollusc Precambrianmollusc is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
You should be posting live tasting notes, I doubt much will be rememberd tomorrow.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 05-12-2013, 12:04 AM
Pork Rind Pork Rind is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Santa Barbara
Posts: 1,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Precambrianmollusc View Post
The first two here from high west are fantastic, I have not tried the reserve, the campfire from High West is getting very good reviews.
I love all the stuff that High West sells that they've sourced, not made. Campfire, Rendezvous, Bourye and their barrelled Manhattans are all excellent. The stuff they make themselves, well, they've got a ways to go. That's generally my opinion of almost all of the craft distillers. It's very hard to compete with the big guys with their barrelhouses full of hundreds of thousands of gallons of spirits aged longer than the craft boom has existed.

Also, Black Maple Hill can't be ceasing production. That rumor is flat out untrue. I can say this with confidence since Black Maple Hill has never ever produced anything period. They buy overstock from the big distillers and bottle it. That's why their lineup, and sometimes quality, can vary so much. Their product line represents what they can get their hands on. That's also why you won't run into their distillery rep, 'cause they don't have a distillery.

There are a lot of brands that work in more or less that same way. The number of national-scale distilleries making bourbon and rye is very small.

Last edited by Pork Rind; 05-12-2013 at 12:05 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 05-12-2013, 06:46 AM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
All in all, it was a spectacular event. The weather was great, the BBQ was top notch and there was good music. Getting the VIP tickets was definitely the right move. The lines during the first two hours were manageable, with the exception of the Pappy line. The space was pretty large and the little vendor map didn't have specific brands on it. It had either the distillery, or in some cases just said "High End Bourbons"or "Rye Shootout," etc.

By the time I found the Pappy line it was already 30 people deep. I am sad to report that they only had one (!) bottle of the 23 and it was gone before I made it to the front of the line. Despite that disappointment, they did have plenty of 15, which I sampled multiple times.

Some of the other standouts I tried included:

Knob Creek Single Barrel
Knob Creek Rye
Templeton Rye
Black Maple Hill (very interesting post above about them, btw)
EH Small Batch


Due to the layout and the lines, I did not get to find everything I wanted. I got lazy. One table had the Knob Creeks, Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare 10 and Blantons. The lines were short and the pourer friendly. I had a quite a bit of each.

Some non-bourbons I tried and enjoyed included a Canadian called Pine Creek that is aged in port barrels, and a local Carolina rum from Broadslab.

I did not care for Woodford Reserve Double Oak at all (although they were nice enough to give me a t-shirt.)

I certainly got my money's worth.

Last edited by Southern Yankee; 05-12-2013 at 06:48 AM.. Reason: Punctuation
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 05-12-2013, 10:42 AM
Pork Rind Pork Rind is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Santa Barbara
Posts: 1,251
Let me make a small correction to my post. BMH doesn't do their own sourcing. They contract that out to KBD.

And if you really liked the Templeton Rye, go check out the Bulliet Rye. It's the same product, distiller by MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

From the excellent K&L Spirits Journal...

Quote:
The truth is that Black Maple Hill is neither a distillery nor a place of origin. It's an independent label owned by my friend Paul Joseph in San Carlos, down the road from our store... Paul pays Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (Willett, Vintage 17, Pure Kentucky, Noah's Mill, Rowan's Creek, etc.) to make this blend for him and then he slaps the label on it. So, in reality, Black Maple Hill is a Bourbon that's blended in Kentucky, but owned by a nice man on the San Francisco peninsula.

...Older ryes and older Bourbons were once available, but lately it's been tough just getting the regular expression – which is all that exists at the moment. Because Paul gets his Bourbon from KBD, he has no control over his own supply. Worse yet, KBD doesn't control their own supply either because they don't make any whiskey (although they did just recently begin production). The reason the Black Maple Hill is in short supply right now is because Bourbon is in short supply, and when you're third on the totem pole, you just have to wait your turn. It's an independent label purchased from another independent label.

Last edited by Pork Rind; 05-12-2013 at 10:43 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 05-12-2013, 11:20 AM
Labdad Labdad is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 3,165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
I love all the stuff that High West sells that they've sourced, not made. Campfire, Rendezvous, Bourye and their barrelled Manhattans are all excellent. The stuff they make themselves, well, they've got a ways to go. That's generally my opinion of almost all of the craft distillers. It's very hard to compete with the big guys with their barrelhouses full of hundreds of thousands of gallons of spirits aged longer than the craft boom has existed.

Also, Black Maple Hill can't be ceasing production. That rumor is flat out untrue. I can say this with confidence since Black Maple Hill has never ever produced anything period. They buy overstock from the big distillers and bottle it. That's why their lineup, and sometimes quality, can vary so much. Their product line represents what they can get their hands on. That's also why you won't run into their distillery rep, 'cause they don't have a distillery.

There are a lot of brands that work in more or less that same way. The number of national-scale distilleries making bourbon and rye is very small.
This makes far more sense! I would bet that the "rumor" came from a distributor who was tired of being badgered for BMH. Easier to say they're not going to make it any more than to say I can't get it any more!
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 05-13-2013, 06:19 AM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Funkytown (Fort Worth)
Posts: 1,729
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
Let me make a small correction to my post. BMH doesn't do their own sourcing. They contract that out to KBD.

And if you really liked the Templeton Rye, go check out the Bulliet Rye. It's the same product, distiller by MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
Sweet, I've been loving me some Bulliet Rye for awhile now. It's good, spicy stuff. My favorite, Willet, is distilled by KBD, runs about $35, and is on the shelves now. BMH fans may want to try it out (and I may regret making that recommendation, judging from the number of BMH fans in this thread).

Last edited by scabpicker; 05-13-2013 at 06:23 AM.. Reason: because it made absolutely no sense before
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 05-13-2013, 07:55 AM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
I've never been a fan of bourbons or ryes or whiskies. But as I get older, they are gaining in appeal. I have some pretty old Crown Royal and Chivas Regal in my liquor cabinet. When I say old, I bought these particular bottles in the mid 90's and never cracked the seal (for lack of interest thus far). The Chivas was a 12 year old when I first bought it. I don't suppose they've matured or changed much sitting in their bottles.

I know these are whiskeys, but how do these stack up to the brands in this thread? Should I pour them down the sink and get myself some real bourbon?
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 05-13-2013, 08:55 AM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 40,762
<hipster mode on> I thought you said "whiskey," not paint thinner. <hm off>

They haven't changed. They were crap then, they are crap now. Clean your drains and go get some of the bourbons mentioned up-thread. You won't regret it.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 05-13-2013, 09:10 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
I've never been a fan of bourbons or ryes or whiskies. But as I get older, they are gaining in appeal. I have some pretty old Crown Royal and Chivas Regal in my liquor cabinet. When I say old, I bought these particular bottles in the mid 90's and never cracked the seal (for lack of interest thus far). The Chivas was a 12 year old when I first bought it. I don't suppose they've matured or changed much sitting in their bottles.
Spirits age in barrels, not in bottles. The aging involves the spirit passing into and back out of the wood of the barrel and dissolving some of the chemicals in the barrel's wood. That can't happen in glass.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 05-13-2013, 09:17 AM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
I was pretty sure that the stuff didn't improve sitting around in glass. I did wonder if it possibly got worse. But I hear you saying it was never good to begin with. I will just keep it to give away as gifts to people I don't like very much.

So what's a good beginner bourbon?
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 05-13-2013, 09:25 AM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 40,762
Without knowing anything about your taste buds, I'd suggest Maker's Mark or Buffalo Trace. Both are inexpensive and good, without a lot of challenging flavors. Then you can move on to bourbons with a heavier rye content, or more age.

Gift the Chivas to the mailman or your auto mechanic.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 05-13-2013, 09:48 AM
scabpicker scabpicker is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Funkytown (Fort Worth)
Posts: 1,729
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickSilver View Post
I was pretty sure that the stuff didn't improve sitting around in glass. I did wonder if it possibly got worse. But I hear you saying it was never good to begin with. I will just keep it to give away as gifts to people I don't like very much.

So what's a good beginner bourbon?
Heh, I have a 1988 bottle of Jack Daniels that I inherited and haven't bothered opening yet, if that tells you anything. But if it's unopened, it's probably no worse than the day it was bottled.

My advice on a bourbon to try out without spending a lot: the bourbon that converted me from Añejo tequila was Knob Creek. Their standard product is very flavorful, very consistent, and I've never had a bottle taste bitter. Similar in price and quality/consistency is Bulliet. If I'm shopping in their price range, I know I can at least get them at any liquor store in my area. Both brands make a reasonably priced, tasty rye if you want to branch out. I also can't recommend the small batch or the single barrel Four Roses enough. Even the single barrel was reasonably priced, and always calls me when I'm walking the whiskey aisle.

On the other hand, the bourbon craze has made lots of boutique whiskeys hit the market, and sometimes it seems hard to go wrong, even if the labeling and distiller are strangely contradictory. I'm working off the end of a bottle of Sam Houston, distilled and bottled in Bowling Green, KY. Mr Houston had no link to Kentucky that I know of, but it's a nice whiskey for the price. The worst thing about it you can say is that it lacks any defining character. Like Basil Hayden's, it's almost too smooth for me.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 05-13-2013, 10:00 AM
silenus silenus is online now
Hoc nomen meum verum non est.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 40,762
Really the best way to learn is to either find friends who drink bourbon, or get a designated driver to take you to a bar with a decent selection. Order them neat and sip. Take notes.

scabpicker - Even the regular Four Roses is a decent tipple. What I am anxiously awaiting is this year's Birthday Bourbon from Old Forester. That stuff is amazing (expensive too!).
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 05-13-2013, 10:06 AM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Noted!

Thank you, both.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 05-13-2013, 11:10 AM
Pork Rind Pork Rind is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Santa Barbara
Posts: 1,251
Just a note that the Willett Rye is also the same make as the Bulliet and Templeton ryes. Until very recently, KBD did not have a distillery, and it's going to be a long time before they have product that they've made themselves. Until then, all their whiskey is sourced from elsewhere.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 05-14-2013, 06:46 PM
carnut carnut is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: State of Hockey
Posts: 3,303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labdad View Post
Be prepared to weep. I understand Black Maple Hill is ceasing production. I have no particulars, but the beverage manager at my favorite Atlanta bar tells me he hears it from a reliable source.
I am going to cry. This is sad, sad news.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 05-14-2013, 06:55 PM
Southern Yankee Southern Yankee is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In a country of hope...
Posts: 4,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnut View Post
I am going to cry. This is sad, sad news.
(Keep reading...)
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.