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 Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon

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alfredo_buscatti

alfredo_buscatti

Age : 64
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PostSubject: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyThu Jan 19, 2012 11:11 am

I've been exploring the world of bourbon of late, and the article below has been of great help.

Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon: High Quality Bourbon for Discriminating Consumers by Mark H. Waymack, from StraightBourbon.com

Introduction:

The Bourbon drinker of today has at his fingertips higher quality Bourbon than has ever been on the market before. This is a bold statement, but one that I think is true. It is true partly because of greater attention being paid to quality control. But it is also true partly because of a new kind of product on the market -- single-barrel and small batch Bourbons.
When Prohibition was repealed, the Scots and Canadians already has stocks of aged whiskies on hand. The Bourbon distillers, on the other hand, had to start from scratch. By the time they had new Bourbon in the barrel aging in the warehouses, imported whisky already had a substantial head start. So for economic reasons, the pressure was on to get Bourbon out of the warehouse and into the market as quickly as practical. Consequently, Bourbon distillers rushed things along and bottled a product that had a hard time competing in terms of quality with the better imported whiskies. And Bourbon thus earned an image of a relatively low end spirit.
Bourbon has climbed its way back, however, and its latest moves in the market are its best so far. Noticing the phenomenal success of high-end, single malt Scotch whiskies, the Bourbon distillers persuaded their corporate offices that the American consumer was indeed willing to pay a bit more for a particularly high quality drink. But what was that special, high-end Bourbon going to look like? All straight Bourbon is already 'single' in the sense of single malt Scotch (since it is not blended with any neutral spirits and comes from only one distillery), so 'single' by itself wouldn't say much about Bourbon. The distillers came up with three different ideas.

Single Barrel Bourbon

The first is single barrel Bourbon. The idea is something like this: Each barrel of Bourbon is a little different, and the whiskey in its acquires a slightly different flavor. Furthermore, where store the barrel is stored in the warehouse can make a considerable difference in how the whiskey ages. Typically, when a distiller bottles a Bourbon, he collects together several hundred or even thousand barrels. These are dumped together, chilled and filtered, cut with water, and then bottled. What results is a reliably uniform whiskey. What the master distiller does, then, is to periodically sample the whiskey in barrels, especially those barrels in the best part of the warehouse. Usually this is the very center of the warehouse, called 'the heart' of the warehouse. Those barrels that are discovered to contain unusually fine whiskey are recorded and tracked with care. They are allowed to mature in years far beyond the average Bourbon. When they are at their peak of perfection, they are taken from the warehouse -- one by one -- and bottled one barrel at a time. In this way the cream of the crop, so to speak, becomes single barrel Bourbon.
This idea was first developed by Leestown Distilling, formerly known as Ancient Age Distilling. Long-time master distiller Elmer T. Lee managed to persuade the office folk to go along with his experiment: to take especially good barrels and bottle from them a single barrel at a time. And under Elmer's guidance, the first single barrel Bourbon, "Blanton's", came on the market in 1984.
Elmer chooses the barrels that go into Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon as well as a slightly lower proof Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon. Elmer has since retired, though he still plays as active role. Gary Gayheart is the current master distiller, and the barrels he chooses as most excellent go into Hancock's Special Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon as well as Rock Hill Farm Single Barrel Bourbon.
Other distilleries have followed suit. As a companion to its other ultra-premium version of Wild Turkey, called Rare Breed (an exquisite melding of six, eight and twelve year old Wild Turkey, Wild Turkey has introduced Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel Bourbon, bottled from barrels chosen by master distiller Jimmy Russell. As Russell says, "What I'm doing in the single barrel version is tasting each single barrel to keep that special quality and consistency". When asked just what it is he's looking for, Jimmy Russell rocked back in his chair and replied, "that deep amber color, that good vanilla-caramel flavor along with a touch of sweetness."
Heaven Hill Distilling has also entered the market with Evan Williams Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon. The distinctive result is, in no small measure, due to the talent and skill of Parker and Craig Beam, the father and son distilling team at Heaven Hill.
Small Batch Bourbon
The second approach to ultra-high quality is that embraced first and foremost by the folks at Jim Beam. The Jim Beam philosophy here is that single barrels are much too quirky, too idiosyncratic to bottle individually. If you're going to put your name on the bottle, you want the person who buys it to be able to trust that what's in that bottle is what they expect, that it's like the last bottle that they liked so much. From Jim Beam Brand's point of view, it makes far more sense to select your choicest barrels, but instead of bottling them one at a time, they are dumped together to make what they term small batch Bourbon.
By using two different grain formulas (the regular Jim Beam formula and the 'high rye' Old Grand-Dad formula), different ages, different bottling proofs, and different filtering techniques, Jim Beam has come up with four distinctive small batch Bourbons: Basil Hayden is from the high-rye formula, bottled at a fairly standard alcoholic content of 40%. Knob Creek shares the high-rye formula, but is well-aged and then bottled at a higher proof -- 50%. Baker's uses the standard Jim Beam formula, but is aged for seven years and bottled at 53.5% Finally, there is Booker's Bourbon. Booker's Bourbon uses the standard Jim Beam formula and is aged for six-eight years, but what makes Booker's unique is that it is the only Bourbon on the market that is then bottled unfiltered and without any added water at whatever the barrel strength happens to be -- usually around 125° proof. It goes straight from the barrel into the bottle. As Booker himself puts it, "this is the way it was a hundred years ago, the way my grandfather, Jim Beam, made Bourbon before Prohibition. Back then they didn't go through all this chilling and filtering. So Booker's Bourbon is different, it's got more natural barrel flavor in it."
United Distillers has also introduced something like a small batch series, called, "The Bourbon Heritage Collection." Our favorite comes from their Stitzel-Weller distillery in Louisville, the W.L. Weller. And in the past year, United bottled and sold off some of its older whiskey in small batch style under such labels as "Finch's Rare Whiskey."
Most recently, several new "small batch" whiskeys have appeared on the market with labels ascribed to distilleries that are really legal fictions. (For example, try out a bottle of "Rowan's Creek" small batch Bourbon.) Some of these are nice whiskeys, but I at least would prefer a bit more clarity in labeling -- because if you hope to drive down to Kentucky and find some of these homey sounding distilleries you will be sadly disappointed.

Small Scale Bourbon

The third approach to producing and bottling high quality Bourbon is to make sure that all the Bourbon you take from the barrel and bottle is of the highest quality. Such uniformity of product and consistently high quality can be difficult to attain on a large scale. This philosophy of Bourbon is exemplified by Maker's Mark Distillery, which at around 54 barrels of Bourbon a day undoubtedly ranks as the smallest Bourbon distillery in operation -- well, at least the smallest legal Bourbon distillery. You could think of Maker's Mark as the "micro-distiller" of the Bourbon industry.
While Maker's Mark is one of only two Bourbon distilleries that uses wheat instead of rye -- arguing that doing so produces a "softer" Bourbon -- in other respects it is hyper-traditional. It cooks its mash gently and slowly; it ferments in the traditional (but hard to maintain) cypress tanks; it uses a beautiful, all copper still; the wood for its barrels is seasoned an extra year before being made into barrels; and in a labor-intensive process, it diligently rotates its barrels around the warehouses in time- honored tradition, starting on the hottest, top floors and gradually working downward to the more temperate and stable lower floors.

Conclusion:

So, if you have a hankering for really fine Bourbon, you can thank your lucky stars that you live in some of the best of times. Many of the single barrel, small batch, and micro-Bourbons on the market are better than anything that's been on the market before.
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyThu Jan 19, 2012 11:34 am

Interesting. have you tried Bookers? Sounds interesting. I've had Bulliet and it was quite good. My whiskey interest has mainly been in the better, more readily available Scotch Wiskeys like Balvenie Double Wood and Laphroig, but these small batch Bourbons could be quite fun to look into.

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyThu Jan 19, 2012 12:28 pm

I've been on the lookout for Bookers for a while. A friend recommended it highly but it's a rare item in these parts.
I've been on a Bourbon kick for about 20 years and these recent small batch/barrel Bourbons are the cream of the crop. It took the push of Bourbon becoming trendy to start the ball rolling, but now it's in high gear. I've enjoyed Makers Mark, Rare Breed and Knob Creek although some of the others mentioned in the article I suspect are being greedily consumed not far from the distillery and fail to make a lengthy journey to my local liquor stores,,,,(and who could blame them,,, Very Happy ). It's a good time for Bourbon lovers for sure.

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alfredo_buscatti

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyThu Jan 19, 2012 2:32 pm

I've yet to try Bookers, and as I remember it to be a $40 bottle, it may be some time. If you try some of these better bourbons, which can be had in NC for $25-$30, I think you'll save money compared to single-malt and still enjoy a sturdy beverage. I can make no comparisons between single-malt and bourbon as I've not drunk much of it.

I think Jim Beam Black is on par with Jack Daniels, more earthy, equally as complex.

The two that I've liked the best are Eagle Rare and Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage, 10 y/o when I purchased it; the Evan Williams by far the best of the two. While Eagle Rare has more in common with Jim Beam Red, a lightness of touch, the Evan Williams has a pronounced earthy note, is gloriously thick, sweet, with deep flavors. I love that whiskey!

I'm drinking a bottle of Jim Beam Red now and am finding it not a fit companion. I've drunk too much better bourbon and am planning on digging deeply in my wallet to buy another bottle of the Evan Williams.

However, I don't plan on getting into the $40 or $50 bottles anytime soon. Are they worth it? If so in what way? I'd love to be drinking single-malt but am not prepared to pay for it.
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyThu Jan 19, 2012 3:44 pm

It's been some time since I've purchased any single malt, but I beleive the Laphroig was around $32 a bottle, very peaty and amazingly aromatic, and the Double Wood was around $40, probably the smoothest scotch I've ever had. Seems you have to break the $30 mark to be in good single malt territory. I don't recall anything below that price point that was worth bothering with, may as well drink a blended scotch Like Chivas or Famous Grouse. I like Pinch, but it's a blended scotch in the price point of a single malt.

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alfredo_buscatti

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyThu Jan 19, 2012 3:51 pm

I've looked closely at single-malt prices. Buying through NC's state system, they sell for $50-$90, or so I thought. I'll check again. I'd love to drink them.
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alfredo_buscatti

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyFri Jan 20, 2012 3:59 pm

Just got back from the liquor store; Laphroig was $52.00.
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deepbass9

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptySat Jan 21, 2012 12:39 pm

I've had plenty of Bookers and it's definitely unique. At it's concentration, I find it best to open up the flavor spectrum a tad via a splash of water or a wee bit of ice. It definitely stands up to full-blown rocks, but I prefer to drink less and fuller. Highly recommended; even at it's price...it'll be hanging around the house for a while.
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Dixie Dandy

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptySun Feb 05, 2012 11:10 pm

Booker's is a wonderful bourbon. Due to it's price, it is reserved for special occasions (or when someone else is buying). My "go to" drink is Wild Turkey 101.

Be on the lookout for Bookers at bars, because sometimes it's not much more than any of the regular bourbons (Beam, Makers, etc).

I prefer Booker over all of the other small batch bourbons, with Wild Turkey Rare Breed as a close second.
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glpease
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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyMon Feb 06, 2012 3:51 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
Interesting. have you tried Bookers? Sounds interesting. I've had Bulliet and it was quite good. My whiskey interest has mainly been in the better, more readily available Scotch Wiskeys like Balvenie Double Wood and Laphroig, but these small batch Bourbons could be quite fun to look into.

Bulliet makes a superb Manhattan, especially with Carpano Antica vermouth. There's 30% rye in the mash bill, so it's got a nice rye spice, without being dominated by it. It's a nice bourbon, especially at the price. (On the other hand, High West's Rendezvous Rye is one of the most exquisite expressions of Rye Whisky I've ever tasted.) I'm quite taken with 1792 Ridgemont Reserver, a small batch Bourbon that comes out of Bartons Brands. This thing has a nose that goes on for days. I could spend an hour just smelling it. Best neat. The stuff out of Buffalo Trace and Van Winkel is brilliant, too. I was lucky enough to taste the Pappy Van Winkle 20 year, and it was magic in a glass. Too 'spensive for my budget, though.

There's a sort of new renaissance in US brown spirits, and some brilliant things are showing up from smaller distilleries. Quite exciting. For years, I was strictly a malt drinker, but I've turned more attention to bourbons and ryes in recent years, and am glad for it.

Laphroaig, by the way, is still available at Trader Joes for about $37, significantly lower than in most stores. Too bad they don't have the Quarter Cask.
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alfredo_buscatti

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptySat Feb 11, 2012 8:04 pm

I'm close to finishing a bottle of Bulliet Rye. This is my first acquaintance with rye whiskey, and overall, I liked its flavor so distinct from bourbon or Lismore Single Malt, the only other two categories of whiskey that I've had.

It's distinct flavor tastes like, well. . .rye! And although the rye didn't change the fact that this was still basically whiskey, it did all but transform what could be regarded as the flavoring agent, the rye, apparently one of the basic constituents of the recipe.
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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 1:25 am

alfredo_buscatti wrote:
I'm close to finishing a bottle of Bulliet Rye. This is my first acquaintance with rye whiskey, and overall, I liked its flavor so distinct from bourbon or Lismore Single Malt, the only other two categories of whiskey that I've had.

It's distinct flavor tastes like, well. . .rye! And although the rye didn't change the fact that this was still basically whiskey, it did all but transform what could be regarded as the flavoring agent, the rye, apparently one of the basic constituents of the recipe.

I'll have to try the Bulliet Rye. I've only had the bourbon, so far. It's one of those rare whiskeys that's not only very good, but also a very good value. I've paid more than twice the price for a lesser experience.
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 2:34 am

Anyone else have a palate not agreeable with Jim Beam products? I've tried all the Small Batches and white and black as well. I honestly would rather be drinking Evan Williams for $10 than their Small Batch selection. Something in their process is consistent through their entire product line. I'm not sure what it is, but it is always there. Like I'm sniffing a kerosene or oil lamp.

I'm envious of those who live near Trader Joe's. Now that Lagavulin is $80 here, I look to Laphroaig, but even it is in the $50+ range. The best value in single malts in my area is Balvenie DoubleWood for $38. I lucked into it at a wedding reception several years ago, and it thoroughly impressed me.

One of my favorite true sippin' whiskeys is Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve. I've been in a fair share of dusty leather and saddle shops and cobblers, and until I tried this bourbon, I didn't realize how much I would enjoy those scents as a set of flavors. Throw in a hint of fresh-cut hardwoods, chew on some leather, and there you are. A short finish, but a really unique burst of flavor. I don't like to drink it every day, but I sure do get in the mood for it on occasion. Nothing else like it. Time travel back to the time of the Deadwood set. $24 here.

I like standard Maker's Mark an awful lot, but they're pricing themselves into a different set of options. It was a no-brainer for a long time, but now that it is in that $25 range, I'm willing to gamble with other whiskeys that hover around that same price. Makes it easy to explore elsewhere. I wouldn't think that would be good for business. They could stop sending their Ambassadors all these silly trinkets and lower the price or email us a coupon code. I mean...does anyone really want a knitted sweater for their Maker's bottle?
https://www.keepio.com/media/upload/itemimages/4293/large/photo27.JPG
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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 3:22 am

Zeno Marx wrote:
Anyone else have a palate not agreeable with Jim Beam products? I've tried all the Small Batches and white and black as well. I honestly would rather be drinking Evan Williams for $10 than their Small Batch selection. Something in their process is consistent through their entire product line. I'm not sure what it is, but it is always there. Like I'm sniffing a kerosene or oil lamp.

I'm envious of those who live near Trader Joe's. Now that Lagavulin is $80 here, I look to Laphroaig, but even it is in the $50+ range. The best value in single malts in my area is Balvenie DoubleWood for $38. I lucked into it at a wedding reception several years ago, and it thoroughly impressed me.

One of my favorite true sippin' whiskeys is Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve. I've been in a fair share of dusty leather and saddle shops and cobblers, and until I tried this bourbon, I didn't realize how much I would enjoy those scents as a set of flavors. Throw in a hint of fresh-cut hardwoods, chew on some leather, and there you are. A short finish, but a really unique burst of flavor. I don't like to drink it every day, but I sure do get in the mood for it on occasion. Nothing else like it. Time travel back to the time of the Deadwood set. $24 here.

I like standard Maker's Mark an awful lot, but they're pricing themselves into a different set of options. It was a no-brainer for a long time, but now that it is in that $25 range, I'm willing to gamble with other whiskeys that hover around that same price. Makes it easy to explore elsewhere. I wouldn't think that would be good for business. They could stop sending their Ambassadors all these silly trinkets and lower the price or email us a coupon code. I mean...does anyone really want a knitted sweater for their Maker's bottle?
https://www.keepio.com/media/upload/itemimages/4293/large/photo27.JPG

I agree on the JB range, though I haven't tasted the Devil's Cut, yet. I'm mildly curious, but not enough to actually buy a bottle.

I'll have to seek out the Russell's Reserve. All I see locally is the standard WT and the Rye. I like the Rye pretty well, but the 101 bourbon is a little rough round the edges to my taste.

And, I'm totally with you on the Maker's Mark swag.
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 3:33 am

glpease wrote:
I agree on the JB range, though I haven't tasted the Devil's Cut, yet.
Is that the cherry flavored deal? At X-mas, my father was excited to share a new bourbon with me, and it was the cherry Beam. The first thing I thought was, "codeine cough syrup?" I kid you not. I almost heaved right there. How did that ever make it beyond the first test group?

I see all these honey bourbons, too. We're doomed.
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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 3:46 am

Zeno Marx wrote:
glpease wrote:
I agree on the JB range, though I haven't tasted the Devil's Cut, yet.
Is that the cherry flavored deal? At X-mas, my father was excited to share a new bourbon with me, and it was the cherry Beam. The first thing I thought was, "codeine cough syrup?" I kid you not. I almost heaved right there. How did that ever make it beyond the first test group?

I see all these honey bourbons, too. We're doomed.

Gak! I think you're talking about the Red Stag range, which sounds truly dreadful to me. The Devil's Cut is some alchemical process by which they extract the wiskey that soaks into the staves of the barrels (I don't imagine wringing them out is the right answer to, "How?"), which they then blend with a 6-year old Bourbon. I'm more curious about it than anything else. I suspect it'll be quite woody, which might be quite interesting. There are a lot of interesting compounds in that oak. But, with the long, rich history of bourbon, I can't imagine something like this hasn't been tried in the past.

This all has me craving a wee dram, myself.
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alfredo_buscatti

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyMon Feb 13, 2012 5:27 pm

My liquor store advisor has steered me away from the Bulliet bourbon. I'll read more about it.
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Ol'Dawg

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyTue Feb 14, 2012 1:01 pm

alfredo_buscatti wrote:
My liquor store advisor has steered me away from the Bulliet bourbon. I'll read more about it.

A few years ago I either read or someone told me that Bulleit and Old Forester were about the same. Naturally I had to see for myself and found they were almost identical in a side by side comparison. You can probably find both in minis if you want to duplicate the experiment.

Jim
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyTue Feb 14, 2012 2:20 pm

I haven't been impressed with either Bulliet bourbon or their rye (green label). Love the bottle, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyTue Feb 14, 2012 6:25 pm

Zeno Marx wrote:
I haven't been impressed with either Bulliet bourbon or their rye (green label). Love the bottle, though.

I tried the Bulleit Rye last night at a friend's house, and found it surprisingly pleasant. Not the most complex rye in the world, but quite drinkable, and I think it would make a nice Manhattan. It paled in comparison to the 16-year old High West (wow!) on the depth and complexity scales, but I enjoyed it enough to pick up a bottle next time I'm at the booze store. And, yeah. The bottle IS cool. Wink
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyTue Feb 14, 2012 6:56 pm

I'm looking forward to trying both some High West product and Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey. High West Double Rye and Stranahan's are both within my budget reason, but the other High West products are out of my reach. Then again, the only liquor store in town to carry any High West product is very much a boutique store. I think their least price on High West is $85. I see you can find the Double Rye online for around $35.
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PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyTue Feb 14, 2012 7:56 pm

Zeno Marx wrote:
I'm looking forward to trying both some High West product and Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey. High West Double Rye and Stranahan's are both within my budget reason, but the other High West products are out of my reach. Then again, the only liquor store in town to carry any High West product is very much a boutique store. I think their least price on High West is $85. I see you can find the Double Rye online for around $35.

I'm pretty fortunate to have a friend who has a deep passion for good spirits, and can afford his hobby. I get to try stuff I'd never buy, though this blade cuts with both edges. Sometimes, he pours me something I desperately want, but cannot get, either because of cost or availability. (His seemingly never ending parade of amazing, "unavailable" bottles is a lot of fun to watch - and taste. "You're not going to actually OPEN that, are you?" "Of course I am. That's what it's for. Let's taste!" He's definitely got the right attitude, though I'm not always sure his wife agrees!)

I bring the rare tobaccos, he brings the spirits. It's certainly the formula for a good time!
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LPcreation

LPcreation

Location : State College, PA
Registration date : 2011-07-22

Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon Empty
PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyWed Feb 15, 2012 10:51 am

Bourbon is my thing! I'll add a few thoughts and touch on a bourbon or two I haven't seen mentioned....

Booker's is fantastic and absolutely worth it, but it should be reserved for special occassions only. It's easily the strongest bourbon I've had and it's surprisingly smooth with a LONG finish. The deep amber color and vanilla/caramel notes really come through. Old Grandad 101 is comparable for cheaper. It's not on the same level as Booker's but still good and crazy strong with a long finish.

I found Bulliet to be hit or miss. I seem to remember the brand switched distillers (i think Four Roses was involved) and whenever the switch took place, quality control suffered. Regardless, it's pretty cheap so I almost always have a bottle.

While I'm on value bourbons, Buffalo Trace cannot be beat. $20-$25 for a bottle and quality bourbon. Lots of vanilla in this one. I like it with 1 or 2 rocks, but it's fine to drink straight. It's my everyday bourbon.

Anyone try the Maker's 46? They use a different aging process (i think french oak). It's good but has a different finish than most bourbons. My wife loves mixing it with Barq's root beer. I like 46 or Angel's Envy (bourbon aged in port wine barrel) to mix it up.

Woodford Reserve is another great bourbon, although it's in the upper range of price. I think it's the bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. I personally think it's a small step up from Buffalo Trace with a big jump in price. That's not knocking Woodford as much as it's complimenting BT. Woodford is really good stuff and worth the price (because BT is a steal).

Knob Creek is nice and has a really strong finish. Charred wood is what I get.

I'll pipe down now......love the thread!
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alfredo_buscatti

alfredo_buscatti

Age : 64
Location : Piedmont, North Carolina
Registration date : 2007-12-17

Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon Empty
PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyWed Feb 15, 2012 2:38 pm

A Review:

Jim Beam White - One of the first I bought; rowdy
Jim Beam Red - very smooth, not much taste, good value
Eagle Rare - elegant, tasty
Evan Williams Single Barrel 2001 - thick, strong caramel and spice notes, luscious
Four Roses - a taste combination of Eagle Rare and Evan Williams - delightful
Jack Daniels - contender for the best value in both taste and price, especially in the 1.75
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LPcreation

LPcreation

Location : State College, PA
Registration date : 2011-07-22

Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon Empty
PostSubject: Re: Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon   Single Barrel, Small Batch and Small Scale Bourbon EmptyWed Feb 15, 2012 3:28 pm

Jack Daniels isn't really bourbon. They call themselves a "tennessee whiskey" (even if they're legal defined as a bourbon). They run their stuff through maple charcoal prior to barrelling which is a no-no in the bourbon world.
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