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Favorite Bourbons?

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Tom Clemons

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for years, my favorite bourbon was Maker's Mark. It is still my "go-to" or more frequent bourbon.

A couple of years ago, a couple of friends joined me in bourbon tasting. While lots of fun, we approached it pretty seriously. Surprisingly, there was amazing congruence in ranking the blends. The results -

1. Booker's (94) - But I usually add a couple of splashes as it is very potent (126 proof).

2. Baker's (92) - Probably what I'd drink most if I was a rich man. sweeter than Bookers to me.

3. Basil Hayden (90) - least alcohol of the lot. Very elegant, almost scotch-like.

4. Blanton's (89)

tie 5. Woodford Reserve (88) - smooth with a hint of maple to me

tie 5. Knob Creek (88) - nice bold flavor

7. Rip Van Winkle (85) - Actually, I preferred Maker's Mark, but here I was out-voted.

8. Maker's Mark (85) - as I said, this is still my usual bourbon. I went into the tasting thinking this would come out on top for me.

9. George Dickle's (84)

Well, there it is. YMMV. I know there are other good bourbons I've not tried. I'd be interested in your thoughts. Cheers and happy sipping.

TC
 

Rail Man

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I've only had, from the list, Knob Creek, Blanton's, Woodford Reserve, and a sampling of Booker's and Makers Mark.

Personally, out of what I've had, I would say:

1) Blanton's
2) Knob Creek
3) Maker's Mark
4) Evan Williams Single Barrel
5) Woodford Reserve

Evan Williams wasn't on the list but I have a bottle, it seems like it has a lot more "scotchy" flavor than any other bourbon I've had.

One of the saddest days of my life was when I was a resident assistant in college. Part of the job involved disposing of alcohol we found when someone was caught drinking in the dorms. Usually it was just stuff like Bud Light, cheap vodka, and Jack Daniels that we found, but one night I had to dump a near full bottle of Knob Creek down the sink. The kid that had it was with in the bathroom where we were dumping it and I had to comment it was really sad to dump such fine liquor, so we both took a pull off of it before it was dumped :( :( That's some real alcohol abuse right there! :)
 

Justpipes

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Nice resource Tom!

I will give some of those a try. I know that all of them are not available in our Communist controlled State ABC stores.
 

Natch

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Maker's Mark, or what ever you're buying.

Natch
 

JohnnyFlake

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I have, at one time or another, tried all that are listed except for the Basil Hayden & the Baker's. My go to burbon and obviously my favorite is Maker's Mark. It is an exceptional burbon, extremely complex, especially if you open it up with a splash of ice cold spring water, and it sells for a very resonable price!!!

I also like Booker's & Blanton's a lot, my number two choices!

The rest that I've had are all very good. The Van Winkle , Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve and the Dickle's all ranking about the same.

Johnny




Tom Clemons":omg6cu6b said:
for years, my favorite bourbon was Maker's Mark. It is still my "go-to" or more frequent bourbon.

A couple of years ago, a couple of friends joined me in bourbon tasting. While lots of fun, we approached it pretty seriously. Surprisingly, there was amazing congruence in ranking the blends. The results -

1. Booker's (94) - But I usually add a couple of splashes as it is very potent (126 proof).

2. Baker's (92) - Probably what I'd drink most if I was a rich man. sweeter than Bookers to me.

3. Basil Hayden (90) - least alcohol of the lot. Very elegant, almost scotch-like.

4. Blanton's (89)

tie 5. Woodford Reserve (88) - smooth with a hint of maple to me

tie 5. Knob Creek (88) - nice bold flavor

7. Rip Van Winkle (85) - Actually, I preferred Maker's Mark, but here I was out-voted.

8. Maker's Mark (85) - as I said, this is still my usual bourbon. I went into the tasting thinking this would come out on top for me.

9. George Dickle's (84)

Well, there it is. YMMV. I know there are other good bourbons I've not tried. I'd be interested in your thoughts. Cheers and happy sipping.

TC
 

Dock

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I've sampled most small batch bourbons that are available at my local package store as well as most of the commonly found stuff too.To my taste Jim Beam is the best of them all....

Best,
Dock
:pipe:
 

Tennessee Dave

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Any great bourbon list has to include Old Weller Anitique. At 107 proof it approaches some on the barrel bottlings in alcohol. It's taste is like fresh baked bread, vanilla, cloves. Wonderfully complex and it's price is unbelievable low for this quality of bourbon. Could very easily pay a whole lot more for a lot less bourbon than Old Weller Antique. A true wheater.
 

ftrplt

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Not a big Bourbon drinker. Lost my taste for it when I started on Scotch. However, I do enjoy a bit of Booker's single barrel, and George Dickel on occasion. I do keep some Wild Turkey (100 proof) around for a few of my friends..and, of course, I always keep a big bottle of REBEL YELL on the bar!! And, yes, before anyone points it out; I'm acutely aware that George Dickel is not Bourbon...it is Tennessee Sippin' Whiskey!!!!! FTRPLT
 

Slow Puffs

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I guess it might make a good investment as well as drink:

Bourbon distillers gain popularity worldwide
BRUCE SCHREINER, The Associated Press




LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — To Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell, the piercing sounds of a warehouse rising in the Kentucky countryside are the sounds of prosperity.

“As long as you see work going on — and the construction, and increasing your size — you know your business is doing well,” said Mr. Russell, who started working for the bourbon maker in 1954.

Distillers are expanding their bourbon production and storage and dispatching sales teams around the world, bullish for a traditionally Southern beverage gaining popularity worldwide. Surging exports, the weak U.S. dollar and rising popularity among younger Americans are driving the boom.

“It's an exciting time to be in the bourbon business,” said Max L. Shapira, president of Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc., a family-owned liquor company based in Bardstown. “Most of the time that I've been in the business — up until about the last 10 years — everybody was trying to consign the bourbon category to that great liquor store in the sky.”

Heaven Hill recently spent nearly $4-million (U.S.) boosting capacity 50 per cent at its distillery in Louisville, where it makes Evan Williams and Elijah Craig bourbons.

Wild Turkey, part of beverage company Pernod Ricard SA, based in France, sold more than 1 million cases worldwide last year for the first time. Its $36-million expansion near Lawrenceburg will nearly double its production. The distillery at Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey in Lynchburg, Tenn., is about to undergo a nearly $6-million addition to install nine more fermenters.

Maker's Mark is preparing for a second expansion. And Jim Beam, the world's biggest bourbon maker, is in the midst of a $70-million expansion in Kentucky. Beam and Maker's are part of Fortune Brands Inc.

International expansion in this quintessentially American segment is more than offsetting the pinch of rising grains and fuel costs. Grain accounts for a fraction of the overall cost of making bourbon, even though it's made from a mix that must be at least 51 per cent corn.

Eric Schmidt, research director at Beverage Information Group, formerly known as Adams Beverage Group, said much of the sales growth has been in higher-priced small-batch and single-barrel products.

“Younger consumers are interested in drinks that were, you might say, their grandfathers' drinks,” Mr. Shapira said.

According to Beverage Information Group, a market-research firm tracking the liquor industry, 14.7 million 9-liter cases of straight whiskey sold in the United States last year. Up about 1 per cent from 2006, the figure still lags behind vodka and rum in sales and percentage growth but is outpacing Scotch whisky, the firm said.

But Maker's Mark U.S. sales rose 8 per cent last year, while Evan Williams sales grew 5 per cent and Wild Turkey 4.6 per cent, Beverage Information Group said. There are no figures tracking international bourbon sales.

Heaven Hill spokesman Larry Kass said the company expects to recoup its investment “in short order.” It will pass along higher grain costs eventually, but bourbon makers can do that gradually because bourbon ages for years before reaching store shelves, Mr. Kass said.

Virtually all the bourbon made in Kentucky ages at least four years.

F. Paul Pacult, an industry observer as editor of Spirit Journal, said that, despite escalating production costs, American whiskeys remain “the best bargains in spirits.”

Wild Turkey is projecting 12 per cent growth this year in its export business, having beefed up distribution of its premium brands and expanded offerings in such key markets as Australia and Japan. Heaven Hill expects low-double-digit growth overseas, where it has boosted its sales staff.

At the Heminway Bar at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, Kentucky bourbon is the choice for one in five cocktails, head bartender Colin P. Field said, though it still trails vodka and cognac in popularity.

“Although bourbon wasn't made to make cocktails, it works so well with cocktails,” Mr. Field said.

Keith Neumann, global director of bourbons at Beam Global Spirits & Wine, said Jim Beam has had strong growth in Russia, Spain, India, China and Italy and positioned itself as a spirits leader in Australia.

Jim Meehan, bar manager at PDT in New York City, said the same premium small-batch products that made him a bourbon drinker in college are attracting new fans.

“You get a taste for bourbon, you don't stop drinking bourbon,” he said.
 

Justpipes

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mark":5w1uu30h said:
rotgut? ROTGUT?,,,,,SO BE IT
Old Charter is the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of John Middleton Walnut. It is about as good as it gets!
 

Natch

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"it boasts of cheap sour mash and dozens of unmentionable additives"

Yea, that's what I want... :affraid: It sounds like the wart recipe for my home-brew; KFC has nothing on me with its "11 secret herbs and spices".

Natch
 

ftrplt

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The Raleigh NC News & Observer had a big article (I believe last Sunday, July 6th) on the Bourbon industry and its expansion, especially overseas! It seems that the present (drinking) generation is interested in their "grandfather's" tastes in alcoholis beverages. Also, Bourbon is becoming extremely popular overseas, especially in the "emerging" markets. Many of the distilleries in Tennessee and Kentucky are funding large expansion projects to increase their distilling capacities. Of course, it still takes 4+ yearts before the stuff is ready to enjoy!! FTRPLT
 

puros_bran

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Ftrplt.... Kentucky = Bourbon
Tenn = Tn Whiskey

Fun Facts.... Jack Daniels, you know Tn's pride, owned by Kentuckians :D :D

Someone mentioned one of the Bourbons listed being close to shipping grade.. I say Nay.. I used to haul JD in ISO containers bound for Australia, the proof test always fell between 165 and 185 proof.
Several minutes after arriving at the load wrack you couldn't help but giggle a bit, the air itself must have been 80 proof. The wild part was about halfway from TN to Louisville I'd develop what felt like a hang over.. The guy at the load wrack said he suffered from it the first several weeks until an old hand told him to have a couple shots each night......

I've also been on the truckers tour of several brands.. Its far diff from the farce the set up for the tourist.



And Winslow... Keep up trash talking Kentucky Heritage and I'll have to ban you.
 

puros_bran

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In retrospect scratch that Winslow... Bourbon is nasty compared to a good Rum.. And I don't mean that Capt Morgan or Malibu crap JP :D :D
 

ftrplt

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Oh yes, PB ol' buddy, I'm acutely aware that whiskey from Tennessee is not Bourbon (see my earlier post on this thread)!! Without going into a too long story...My first wife's uncle-by-marriage was a VP for Schenley, way back when! Schenley bought the George Dickel rights, and old Uncle Ralph was sent down to Tullahoma to crank up the GD operation! When you visited Ralph's home, you could drink anything you wanted....as long as it was George Dickel straight or mixed with "something!!" FTRPLT
 

Winslow

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My uncle had a bar in his basement where the men of the family gathered at family functions.He kept a Crown Royal bottle full of Four Roses on hand to discourage moochers like his neighbor who liked to drop in for a free drink whenever he could.Talk about a velvet bullwhip to the tongue............. :twisted:

Winslow
 

puros_bran

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That's why I pointed it out... You were quick to seperate them in the first post, but lumped 'em together in the second... Figured you'd forgot..what with ole age an all.:D :D :D :D


oh George had no idea the college girl giggles he'd garner with his name though...
 

Ol'Dawg

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puros_bran":d48n6xij said:
Fun Facts.... Jack Daniels, you know Tn's pride, owned by Kentuckians :D :D
It's hard to go into a liquor store without buying something that's owned by either Brown-Forman, Diageo, Fortune Brands or Pernod Ricard. There are lots of fun facts about who owns what and how they're marketed or made. One I think is interesting is Early Times. If it's made for the US market it's a whiskey but if it's made for export it's a true bourbon.

Jim
 
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