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RogerMcAllen 11-10-2010 12:04 AM

Need some bourbon advice
So SWIMBO is taking me to her parents' for Thanksgiving, and they traditionally have a spirits tasting. This year grandma decided on bourbon. Everyone is supposed to bring one to try, and I now nothing about bourbon.

What's the Balvenie of bourbon ($30-40, but high quality)?
What qualities are in a bourbon drinker's bourbon (e.g. Scotch can be peaty)?

Nateo 11-10-2010 12:44 AM

I like Woodford Reserve. It's $25 on sale at my local liquormart, about $32 at the Asian liquor store on the corner. Drinks like it's a lot more expensive than it is.

Another, cheaper, option is Bulleit, which is usually around $18-20, but still good.

Wetfoot 11-10-2010 12:52 AM

The thing with bourbon is that it all contains at least %51 corn and is aged in new charred oak barrels. Therefore, the flavor profile probably does not vary as much as Irish whiskey or Scotch. The flavors that come out are primarily vanilla, caramel, etc. You won't get any smoke, for example.

I used to read a Bourbon forum, but nobody argues about anything. Everyone loves all the bourbons, it's just that some are better than others.

The very best you could do would be 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle. They release it twice a year, I think, and the fall release just passed. Good luck finding it...You have to get to know a local liquor store here to score a bottle and , last I checked, went for about $190 - $200.

Don't despair, though, just pick a bourbon at a price point you are comfortable with. Consider the following: Buffalo Trace (rye in the grist), Weller, Weller Antique, Sazerac rye, Eagle Rare (those are all from BT in Frankfort). Wild Turkey and Four Roses are good, as are Woodford Reserve. Locals here (Louisville) like Makers Mark (wheated, sweeter) and Old Forester. There are others, they are all good bourbons.

You can't go wrong, unless you mix with Cola or make a super sweet Julep. Pour it neat or on the rocks.

shelly_belly 11-10-2010 01:36 AM

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve. Yum. I've had the 15 year old but not the 20. I also like Basil Hayden's and Jefferson's.

Nateo 11-10-2010 01:56 AM

+1 to Buffalo Trace. It's pretty spicy compared to some. I'm underwhelmed by Maker's and Wild Turkey, but I'll drink them if they're around. Whatever you do don't get Jim Beam or Jack Daniels.

Donner 11-10-2010 02:20 AM

if you like makers mark and woodford reserve then try to find Black Maple Hills. Small batch and fantastic.

Sean 11-10-2010 02:29 AM


5L1mm 11-10-2010 02:40 AM

bulleit bourbon
one of my faves, plus its the one they drank in that HBO series deadwood.

Edcculus 11-10-2010 02:57 AM

Elijah Craig 12yo is always a good one.

Its not Bourbon, but Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey is an interesting wheat based American Whisky. May be weird to Bourbon lovers, but its a good break from the norm.

5L1mm 11-10-2010 03:00 AM

can you get away with scotch? gots lotsa suggestions for that one

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