Bourbon Bleg


One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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23 Responses

  1. Plinko says:

    Since this is a blog, I’m not sure what mystery would serve?

    Are you looking to get through the more mass-market basics first or do we want to start with the good stuff? Answers will depend on this.

    Anyway, I’m enjoying trying ryes, I bought a bottle of Bulleit Rye just this week and Willet Reserve Rye a little while ago. The Willet is the first bottle I’ve had that’s clearly too good to just pour myself a small glass a few times a week.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Plinko says:


      More to the point, the prime factors that I’d be looking at are affordability and accessibility. If something is $125 a bottle or is made in tiny batches that only output 50 bottles a year, that won’t do well for the club. Otherwise, I’m open to whatever. Variety is good. I have no objection to trying a mass-market basic in one tasting and a bottle of ‘good stuff’ the next. This is a learning experience, primarily.

      I’ll add both yours to the soon-to-be-wittled-down-by-cats list.Report

      • Plinko in reply to Kazzy says:

        I’m not sure how purist folks are about bourbons to say if they’re interested in ryes or not, so keep that in mind – both of those distillers have true bourbons as well. I just happen to be on a rye kick.

        I’d would draw the line well south of $100 a bottle. There are tons of smaller labels out there in the $30s and $40s that we could get through first, I’m sure. I’m looking out for Elijah Craig 17 year as I’ve heard it’s great (maybe at the top of my price range, though). someday I’ll splurge on a Blanton’s or Booker’s.

        I’ve never tried Four Roses or Eagle Rare, but I hear them brought up by a few folks and have them on my list to try soon. Which Four Roses by the way? I usually see three or four types at my stores. Buffalo Trace is my go-to default, easily the best I’ve had for less than $25 a bottle. Woodford Reserve is outstanding.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Plinko says:

          Oh, I envision the cap being $50. Ideally, we can get them all for far less than that. The goal isn’t to bankrupt anyone… just to have fun, enjoy some good drinks, and learn a thing or two. I just threw that $125 number out there as exactly the type of bottle that won’t be considered. But, yea, we’ll keep it well south of that, since sharing a bottle with others here isn’t really an option for most of us.

          Perhaps we’ll do an inaugural at the Washington meetup we’re trying for next week?Report

  2. Eagle Rare and Woodford Reserve are the two I alternate between around hereReport

  3. Sterling Crews says:

    I’ll second the Eagle Rare. Also, Rowan’s Creek and Buffalo Trace are quite tasty.Report

  4. BlaiseP says:

    Bourbon is such a personal choice, as is scotch. As such, I simply won’t say what’s best. Among my favourite corn squeezins are Russell’s Reserve and Rare Breed from the Wild Turkey family and Elijah Craig. But I’m always on the lookout for the odd corners of that market: it helps to become well-acquainted with your liquor store owner to rootle around for such brands.

    I tend toward sweeter bourbons, though sickeningly sweet is repellent. Good liquor, like good perfume, (for that’s what it is at a fundamental level) is to be enjoyed for its own sake.Report

  5. One to try says:

    If you have a Costco near you, and it can sell alcohol (dagnabit NC won’t let THAT happen), try their Kirkland Small Batch Bourbon.Report

  6. James Hanley says:

    I’ve already thrown out my pitch for starting with Eagle Rare (small bottles, reasonably priced), and I’ll second the calls for Buffalo Trace (also available in smaller bottles, reasonably priced), Blantons, and the Bird (Wild Turkey, preferably the sub-100 proof varieties; in my experience the higher proofs overwhelm the flavors). I haven’t had the others mentioned, but I’d like to try them. And I’d also suggest Knob Creek, which used to be my go to ’til I started branching out. We could also try things like Wild Turkey’s American Honey (bourbon with honey in it), which I’m still trying to decide if I like or not.Report

  7. Kazzy says:

    In response to Mr. Hanley, I will say that it will be far easier for me to use recommendations put here than to dig back through the previous entry for them. So, even if you’ve made your ideas know there, please repost them here, for convenience sake. Thanks!Report

  8. Chasm says:

    IMHO (Whisk(e)y is as subjective as they come):

    Basic Bourbons One Should Know:
    Jack Daniels (just because), Knob Creek, Booker’s, Baker’s, Blanton’s & Buffalo Trace.

    Sazurac Rye is a classic cocktail rye. Old Overholt is the best bargain in all of whiskey.

    Try If You Get The Chance (Then splurge on a bottle):
    Old Potrero – This is what whiskey was like in the Old West.
    Hirsch Selection – Premium stuff.
    Any small batch distillery that the barman recommends.

    Avoid (or try in airline bottles so you know what they are):
    Makers Mark – Some like it as a fallback, one commenter on your last thread called it “used ban-aids,” which is how I feel about it.
    Woodford Reserve – Far more craft went into the bottle and marketing than the whiskey inside. A blend that pretends.Report

  9. Llama says:

    The true high end is Pappy Van Winkles. No one makes a better bourbon in my opinion. My daily cocktail bourbon is Bulleit’s, which is quite good for manhattans as well as straight.Report

  10. Mike Dwyer says:


    I have zero interest in bourbon but as the Kentuckian here, if you all reach any kind of consensus before the next Leaguefest and it’s a hard-to-find item I will volunteer to try to source it here locally and bring it along.

    Even though I am not a bourbon drinker I have been on several distillery tours. Jim Beam remains my favorite though it’s hard to pass up the chance to dip a bottle at Makers Mark.Report