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Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
1/22/22 4:28 p.m.
Antihero (Forum Supporter) said:

I admit I'm not a huge bourbon fan, I've tried a few but haven't been impressed really. Blanton's to me is terrible for one. There's a local distillery that makes a good one but it's on a batch to batch basis that I like it 

I have a couple bottles of BT on my shelf....it's...ok. not bad for 30$ or whatever. I can't imagine paying the secondary market prices though. Realistically, if I'm picking a big name distillery, it's old Forester. I have yet to find something there I didn't enjoy, and I can get most of it very easily and inexpensively. 

My favorite way to find new whiskey is to go to the store and look. It inevitably brings me a whiskey guy, who asks what I'm looking for. When I reply big, weird, and NOT from BT, they light up. It's clear that they've been beaten to death over that juice. I've gotten some really interesting recommendations every time I've done that, and some fun bottles. 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/22/22 4:38 p.m.
Antihero (Forum Supporter) said:

I admit I'm not a huge bourbon fan, I've tried a few but haven't been impressed really. Blanton's to me is terrible for one. There's a local distillery that makes a good one but it's on a batch to batch basis that I like it 

The best whiskey is the whiskey you like in the way that you like it.   That's the opening message from the Whisky Tribe.   I would extend that to any alcohol.  

In terms of the local distilleries- that's one thing we try a LOT.  Wherever we go, we see if there's a small distillery nearby.

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/22/22 5:11 p.m.

My cousin has about 250 bottles of bourbon with about 100 open. Doing a pour session with him is pretty intense.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/22/22 6:10 p.m.

I'm fairly new to the whiskey/bourbon/scotch/spirits side of alcohol and started out with a few bottles of various peaty/Islay Scotches a couple of years ago - taking advantage of the large selection at one of the state stores in NH.  Since then I've tried some other types, but I have become fond of some of the local distilleries that have started to pop up in PA.  There is one less than 2 miles from me (1675 Spirits) that has some decent stuff.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
1/22/22 6:27 p.m.

In reply to preach (dudeist priest) :

And I thought I had a lot with maybe 15-20

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/22 6:31 p.m.

We found this place last weekend:

https://www.macgregorswhiskeybar.com/whiskey-list

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/22/22 6:56 p.m.

In reply to Mndsm :

I've had Jim Beam that was put in the keg in 1955 and bottled 10 years later. Last year!

I am a beer guy but it is neat drinking with my cousin and his neat pours.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/22 7:09 p.m.

A good peaty Islay single malt like Lagavulin tops my list.  Suntory Whisky is a close second.  But for just having a cocktail after work I keep a cheap bourbon in the cabinet.  Jack, Jim, Evan Williams, Ezra Brooks, something like that.  For splurges I'll get Buffalo Trace or Woodford Reserve.

johndej
johndej Dork
1/22/22 7:45 p.m.

I've picked up a bunch lately at very reasonable cost with the best being some Van winkle special reserve 12 year, Weller full proof, and Elijah Craig 18 year due to the Virginia ABC not being able to price above MSRP. Have Blanton's, Buffalo Trace, and Jefferson Reserve purchased in Kentucky for normal prices to round out the bourbon. Grabbed a bit over half a challenge car for friends and family on that trip. Glenlivet 18 and the full gauntlet of blue to red Johnnie Walker for Scotch picked up at duty free. Hope to expand on the Scotch side.

Still mostly sip some Mellow Corn or Old Forester.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
1/22/22 9:31 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

A good peaty Islay single malt like Lagavulin tops my list.  Suntory Whisky is a close second.  But for just having a cocktail after work I keep a cheap bourbon in the cabinet.  Jack, Jim, Evan Williams, Ezra Brooks, something like that.  For splurges I'll get Buffalo Trace or Woodford Reserve.

For cocktail whiskey, try out Tin Cup American Whiskey. We've tried a bunch of stuff for an infinity jar at the taproom. Tin Cup has been probably our biggest winner for value and punching above its price point.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
1/22/22 11:54 p.m.

I will say Pappy was decent but nothing like the crazy prices people pay. Jefferson Ocean ok but not worth the money imo. 

My personal two favorite bourbons right now are Angels Envy and Woodford Reserve Double Oak

Jay_W
Jay_W SuperDork
1/23/22 12:34 a.m.

In reply to Osterkraut :

Yeah, I am growing more and more fond of Kilchoman. But, surprise to me, I've sorta fallen in love with all the Islays. There was a time when anything Laphroig was just... too much. Too much smoke and peat and salt and iodine and fish guts but now, if all those contaminants aren't in there, I miss them. Laphroig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg, there's just something about the Islays. I love 'em.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
1/23/22 6:46 a.m.
93EXCivic said:

I will say Pappy was decent but nothing like the crazy prices people pay. Jefferson Ocean ok but not worth the money imo. 

My personal two favorite bourbons right now are Angels Envy and Woodford Reserve Double Oak

There just isn't as much variety in the characters of bourbon as other whiskies. Corn is not as nice of a grain. Requiring >50% corn and aging in new charred oak really defines much of the character.

The fanciest and most lauded bourbons, like Pappy, tend to be as low as possible on the corn and high on the rye or wheat (Pappy, Weller, and Makers are wheated).

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/23/22 9:23 a.m.
Beer Baron said:
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

A good peaty Islay single malt like Lagavulin tops my list.  Suntory Whisky is a close second.  But for just having a cocktail after work I keep a cheap bourbon in the cabinet.  Jack, Jim, Evan Williams, Ezra Brooks, something like that.  For splurges I'll get Buffalo Trace or Woodford Reserve.

For cocktail whiskey, try out Tin Cup American Whiskey. We've tried a bunch of stuff for an infinity jar at the taproom. Tin Cup has been probably our biggest winner for value and punching above its price point.

Agreed!  I keep a handle of that at camp and we save the shot cups.  It's a tradition that we do a shot when we get there.  But now that we're all getting old, that means we follow it with a nap instead of a second shot.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/23/22 9:38 a.m.
Beer Baron said:
93EXCivic said:

I will say Pappy was decent but nothing like the crazy prices people pay. Jefferson Ocean ok but not worth the money imo. 

My personal two favorite bourbons right now are Angels Envy and Woodford Reserve Double Oak

There just isn't as much variety in the characters of bourbon as other whiskies. Corn is not as nice of a grain. Requiring >50% corn and aging in new charred oak really defines much of the character.

The fanciest and most lauded bourbons, like Pappy, tend to be as low as possible on the corn and high on the rye or wheat (Pappy, Weller, and Makers are wheated).

I disagree about your characterization of corn and how it's done.  Given the definition of what the various whiskeys are here in the US, all grains have the same constraints- it's not as if rye has much variety in how it plays out, too- pepper spice, licorice, etc.  

But both grains are being experimented via the actual grain strain as well as how it's being distilled.  The big companies use column stills, which takes a lot of the character out for the sake of efficiency- so other than the really loud notes that make it through, it's up to the oak.

The smaller ones using pot stills allowing a lot of different flavors coming through.  And they are also doing more experimentation with the proof going into the barrel, how they are tempering it down, etc.  

Let alone the grain variety they are choosing- I'd really like to find some blue corn bourbon, or some really old corn bourbon- not just the yellow dent corn.

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
1/23/22 4:18 p.m.
alfadriver said:
Beer Baron said:

There just isn't as much variety in the characters of bourbon as other whiskies. Corn is not as nice of a grain. Requiring >50% corn and aging in new charred oak really defines much of the character.

I disagree about your characterization of corn and how it's done.  Given the definition of what the various whiskeys are here in the US, all grains have the same constraints- it's not as if rye has much variety in how it plays out, too- pepper spice, licorice, etc.  

But both grains are being experimented via the actual grain strain as well as how it's being distilled.  The big companies use column stills, which takes a lot of the character out for the sake of efficiency- so other than the really loud notes that make it through, it's up to the oak.

The smaller ones using pot stills allowing a lot of different flavors coming through.  And they are also doing more experimentation with the proof going into the barrel, how they are tempering it down, etc.  

Let alone the grain variety they are choosing- I'd really like to find some blue corn bourbon, or some really old corn bourbon- not just the yellow dent corn.

We've done a bit playing around on our own. We've also gotten samples of varieties of raw distillate from a mega-distillery*. We've played around with blind and non-blind taste tests of things including 100% malt, and 95%+ rye, wheat, and corn (using varying amounts of malt for enzymes).

Malt and rye definitely have a lot more flavor out the gate than wheat or corn. Wheat is very soft and delicate, almost rum like.

Corn has more sulfurous compounds and other things that make for a noticeably harsher distillate. You could clean this up by going very deep into the cuts, but then you're stripping out a lot of positive flavor. With other grains, you can be more liberal with your cuts and get interesting flavors that may need aging time to even out, but won't be as harsh

Malt whiskies definitely allow for a LOT more options. You're using a malted grain instead of raw, so right there you've got control and variety in flavor that will make it into your distillate. We did a malt whisky wash with a healthy proportion of Special B malt (a dark, Belgian caramel malt), and there was a point in the run where that flavor just jumped out.

International whiskies are not constrained by the same laws of having to use new charred oak. So you get malt whiskies using a variety of barrels for aging. The barrels as a whole leave less of an over barrel char and astringent character.

Sure, there isn't necessarily more variety with rye whiskeys, but you also don't see people collecting dozens or hundreds of different rye whiskeys. Malt whiskies have a far more varied flavor range.

*(For those who don't know, the majority of liquor in the U.S. comes from only a handful of massive distilling companies. Smaller spirits companies then frequently customize and make this their own through blending and/or aging)

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
1/23/22 4:43 p.m.

In reply to Beer Baron :

You're making me miss the booze industry. Stop plz. 

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