Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Bolivar Petit Corona

All About Bourbon Whiskey

Recommended Posts

Alas, Tennessee is among those few states with arcane laws that make shipments (technically, even by private vehicle though, obviously, that's virtually unenforceable) of liquor/wine from out-of-state a felony. So, Sam's in Chicago is a no-go unless I go personally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps you noted on the "Bourbon" strand of this discussion board that 7-year-old W.L. Weller's (versus an average of 6 years for Maker's Mark, also a wheated bourbon -- contrary to a previous post stating MM is aged longer) is a frequent favorite among lower-cost bourbons. Weller's Special Reserve is 90 proof (45% abv). Why am I telling you this, you ask, when you're interested in Rebel Yell bourbon? Well, because it's the same thing, 'cept different, as they say in these parts.

Rebel Yell is Weller's Special Reserve diluted to 80 proof (40% abv). It comes from the same barrels, and both Rebel Yell and Weller's are now produced at the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, KY.

Note that if you line up 750 mL bottles of Weller's Antique 107, Weller's Special Reserve and Rebel Yell the only difference (besides the proof of the whiskey inside) is the labeling and color of the cap. It's exactly the same bottle for each brand. What's inside's the same, too, just different dilutions of the same bourbon.

All pretty good bargains, too. Good bourbon for the money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, Rebel Yell is only currently marketed in a handful of states -- Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia (and maybe the Carolinas, I think)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By the way, Rebel Yell is only currently marketed in a handful of states -- Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia (and maybe the Carolinas, I think)

Well, we've got it here in Washington State, and since our liquor setup here is pretty backwards, I'd be surprised if it wasn't generally available in most other states as well. But don't take my word on that...

Anybody wanting to check out the availability (and price, and store that sells it) of a liquor product in Washington can use this site:

http://www.liq.wa.gov/services/brandsearch.asp

It's very handy. I keep it on my "Favorites" of my internet enabled PDA so that when I'm in a bar, and ask for a cocktail that requires a product the bartender doesn't stock, if they complain about not being able to find it, I can help their bar manager locate it somewhere. :->

-Robert

www.DrinkBoy.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TNBourbon is kinda correct. Rebel Yell was originally a lower proof bottling of W.L. Weller 7 yr old, that is prior to 1991. It was also only marketed "Below the Mason-Dixon line". However, that is no longer true. In '91 UDV purchased the Stitzel-Weller distillery, along with several others, and promptly closed them down. Instead, they built Bernheim, which was producing Weller, Rebel Yell, Old Fitzgerald, Eagle Rare and several others. In 1999, UDV decided to get out of the Bourbon business, so they sold off all the brands. Heaven Hill purchased Bernheim and Old Fitzgerald. Sazerac got the rest. Later, they sold Rebel Yell to David Sherman Corp. who has the product manufactured at Heaven Hill for them. It still follows the original recipe however.

With regard to Maker's being the best bourbon hands down, that is certainly ultra subjective. There are currently four wheated bourbon lines on the market: Weller/Rebel Yell, Van Winkle, Old Fitzgerald and Makers. Frankly, I would choose any of the others over Makers. I, too, have drunk just about every bourbon made on the market and put Makers somewhere in the upper quarter, but not in my top 10. At 1/3 less than Makers, I will drink Weller any day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least according to the Old Van Winkle website (the page is dated 2002), Buffalo Trace is producing (as of the date on the page) Old Rip Van Winkle and W.L. Weller.

Old Rip Van Winkle page

I tried the W.L. Weller at the recommendation of MBE (and TNB) and I have to agree that it is the equal or possible even better than Maker's. The good thing about Maker's is that it is very widely available, especially in restaurants and bars.


Edited by bvus (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buffalo trace (owned by Sazerac co.) produces a plethora of bourbons including Old Charter, Ancient Age, Weller, Eagle Rare, Benchmark, Blanton's, Elmer T Lee, Sazerac, George T Stagg and Rain Vodka.


Edited by mickblueeyes (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all.

New to this section...

Don't know if UDV ever distilled a wheated bourbon in Bernheim.

In Louisville they pulled down Belmont Distillery (I.W. Harper and Old Charter brands) to build Bernheim plant on the very same site, and contemporarily (1992 ca.) closed Stizel-Weller (home of Weller, Fitzgerald and Rebel Yell). They used the new premise for a very short time span though, since they've sold it to Heaven Hill at the end of 90s after Heaven Hill distillery in Bardstown burned in 1996. For what I know Weller brand went to Buffalo Trace, Fitzgerald to Heaven Hill and Rebel Yell to David Sherman. Don't know from which stocks it's bottled now, for me Rebel Yell represents something near the low-end of market scale. Are they now distilling bourbon from a wheated mash in Buffalo Trace or Bernheim? I don't know. :unsure:

P.S.:

Eagle Rare was made not in Stizel-Weller or Bernheim but in Seagram's Old Prentice distillery in Lawrenceburg, home of Four Roses; now the brand is owned by Buffalo Trace, don't know if they use their own barrels or stocks coming from original site (great stuff, BTW :rolleyes:).

Slainthe!

Alberto


Edited by Alberto (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Rebel Yell is a pretty fair bang for the buck. It's definitely a decent thing to have around. I always keep a bottle in the house.

But my vote for best bang for the buck goes to Jim Beam, hands down. Way cheaper than Makers and just as good, in my opinion. Of course, I prefer my bourbon to be not quite so sweet, so maybe that's why I'm not terribly into Makers.

Rebel Yell is also available in Oregon, Texas, and California, for the record.


Edited by Exotic Mushroom (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upthread someone was asking about Bookers. I think this is an excellent specimen - among my favorites. My favorite review I ever read of it said something like "A nose and heavy and rich as a Southern summer evening right before a storm." I almost died when I read it because I had written something very similar myself while trying to describe it. Its just so potent and rich. If you aren't used to drinking uncut Bourbons though, you might not like it. It takes a little getting used to.

And I'll second the recommendation from someone upthread for Black Maple Hill. This is my favorite, hands down. I love, love, love it. While it's pretty pricey, it's definitely worth the cost if you can afford it.

----

And on to my actual reason for posting. I'm thinking of having a bourbon dinner in the next couple of months - several courses of dishes, all using bourbon as at least one ingredient and designed to highlight the flavors in the bourbons they're paired with (a different one for every course.)

I was wondering if anyone had any menu planning suggestions or if anyone had tried anything like this before?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you Exotic Mushroom, Jim Beam is an underrated bourbon. I also like their charcoal-mellowed Black Label 8 y.o. (don't know if they still do the charcoal filtering prior to bottling though).

Alberto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't know about the rest of you, but straight bourbon is my drink. post a list of your top five

1. Vanwinkle 12 yr lot 'B'

2. Van Winkle 18 lot 'A'

3. Knob Creek

4. Makers Mark

5. WIld Turkey Reserve

but i have to be honest.. i'm in college. i drink more Evan Williams Black Label than anything else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i don't know about the rest of you, but straight bourbon is my drink. post a list of your top five

1. Vanwinkle 12 yr lot 'B'

2. Van Winkle 18 lot 'A'

3. Knob Creek

4. Makers Mark

5. WIld Turkey Reserve

but i have to be honest.. i'm in college. i drink more Evan Williams Black Label than anything else.

Evan Williams is my house pour when I'm mixing. Maker's for a low level Manhattan.

My personal fave lately is the Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 yr. old. DAMN! That stuff is smooth as silk... :smile:

Knob Creek and Baker's are also favorites. Booker's is a little hot for my taste at approximately 114 proof, uncut and unfiltered, but it's an excellent bourbon for the stout hearted.

Last month I made arrangements to have Frederick Booker Noe, III, great-grandson of Jim Beam himself, come in and do a staff training and tasting on small batch bourbons. Fred Noe is the 7th generation of his family in the bourbon distilling business. It was fantastic, I learned a whole lot more about bourbon right from the source and got to try the Basil Hayden's, Baker's, Knob Creek and Booker's all side by side. Quite edifying. And Mr. Noe is such a nice man, so full of great anecdotes and just a wealth of information about distilling. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will I seem frightfully common if I confess to actually liking Jim Bean Black Label? Maybe its not a "favorite", but I found it surprisingly good--especially compared to "regular" Jim Beam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KATIE LOEB WROTE

Last month I made arrangements to have Frederick Booker Noe, III, great-grandson of Jim Beam himself, come in and do a staff training and tasting on small batch bourbons.

----so cool! i'm jealous. the heir to the McilHenny fortune used to live on my floor in my dorm my first year....the tabasco fortune. stoned outta his mind. all the time. seriously, this cat smoked too much pot. imagine Paris Hilton, and replace her witha pasty doughboy, and replace her shoe collection with 1 oz of pot (per shoe, not pair).

JHLURIE WROTE

Will I seem frightfully common if I confess to actually liking Jim Bean Black Label? Maybe its not a "favorite", but I found it surprisingly good--especially compared to "regular" Jim Beam.

----absolutely not! taste is taste, completely subjective. I like JB, but i've had too much. This whole list and thread came from my desire to branch out.

JASON PERLOW WROTE

Apparently Dickel is one of only 2 whiskies (Jack Daniels being the other) that are officially recognized as Tennessee Whisky.

---i have been told that Jack Daniels and Dickel (both tasty) are called "tennessee whiskey" because they are made 'near or in' Bourbon county tennessee but are not made to the 'bourbon' specifications.

I WROTE:

does anyone know exactly what it means to be bourbon? i know that you have to be in the county, i know that new oak barrels are involved, but beyond that, i am no sure what makes a bourbon. can anyone fill in the blanks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello folks.

In short, Tennessee Whiskey is made in Tennessee state; it's heavily filtered through maple wood charcoal to remove impurities and mellow the taste. For the rest, it's just like Bourbon in its making.

There's no relation in these days between Bourbon County and Bourbon Whiskey making; in fact there're no distilleries in Bourbon County. Bourbon can be distilled everywhere in the US, but to be designed Kentucky Straight Bourbon it must be prduced in Kentucky. Mash bill must be at least 51% corn; usually is around 70-75% with the remaining fraction made up by barley malt and rye or wheat.

Right now I'm enjoing Wild Turkey 8 y.o. at the good old 101 proof strength, a great bargain at $14. :rolleyes:

Slainthe.

Alberto

edit: spelling


Edited by Alberto (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To supplement:

Bourbon is made of from mash of at least 51% but no more than 79% corn. It is a "straight" whiskey that is aged at a minimum of 2 years, but usually for 4 years in oak barrels. The only additive is water to reduce the proof.

Last month I made arrangements to have Frederick Booker Noe, III, great-grandson of Jim Beam himself, come in and do a staff training and tasting on small batch bourbons. Fred Noe is the 7th generation of his family in the bourbon distilling business. It was fantastic, I learned a whole lot more about bourbon right from the source and got to try the Basil Hayden's, Baker's, Knob Creek and Booker's all side by side. Quite edifying. And Mr. Noe is such a nice man, so full of great anecdotes and just a wealth of information about distilling.

We had him, too, a couple of years ago for a cigar dinner. He was a treat.

I digress: Last Tuesday or Wednesday, The History Channel's Time Machine series did one called "Rumrunners, Bootleggers and Moonshiners" offering up evidence to support those were the three things that built this nation. I only caught about the last hour or so of it. :sad: The episode was fascinating and covered a story about one of the Beam brothers that were caught by ATF agents with a big ol' still of moonshine. Grandma Beam bailed him out of jail paying $1000 to keep the Beam name out of the news. Guess it was a family secret for 50 years -- so the narrator claimed! Other topics covered -- (of course Prohibition, Al Capone, The Purple Gang, Elliot Ness, etc.) The Kennedys made their fortune on bootlegging and NASCAR is entirely a result of moonshine. I'd consider purchasing a DVD of that one.

Bourbon? I enjoy Woodford Reserve. :wub: Anyone else?

edited for clarity


Edited by beans (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems nowadays people have forgotten one of the original small batch bourbons "Blanton's". It was around long before todays new Marketing bottlings(not that those whiskies are bad)

But, even a Scotch drinker like me loves Blanton's. Try it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Katie, I'm VERY jealous! Booker Noe himself! Damn that must've been fun. I am impressed by the many good bourbon's out there. Someday I'll be able to afford the 20 yr old Pappy Van Winkle's which I hear is incredible.

My personal favorites are:

Bookers (at 127 proof this is mighty powerful but very smooth)

W.L. Wellers 19 yr old

A.H. Hirsch 16 yr old

Jefferson's Reserve 15 yr old

Eagle Rare 17 yr old

These are all quite good and tasty, but I still prefer a good single malt scotch to these. BTW, I do think Woodford Reserve, Jim Beam Black, and Knob Creek are all respectable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Katie, I'm VERY jealous! Booker Noe himself! Damn that must've been fun. I am impressed by the many good bourbon's out there. Someday I'll be able to afford the 20 yr old Pappy Van Winkle's which I hear is incredible.

My personal favorites are:

Bookers (at 127 proof this is mighty powerful but very smooth)

W.L. Wellers 19 yr old

A.H. Hirsch 16 yr old

Jefferson's Reserve 15 yr old

Eagle Rare 17 yr old

These are all quite good and tasty, but I still prefer a good single malt scotch to these. BTW, I do think Woodford Reserve, Jim Beam Black, and Knob Creek are all respectable.

Hi David:

Actually I think Booker Noe is Fred's father, hence he's the three sticker (III). However, he's nonetheless a very cool guy and a great teacher about all things bourbon related. His business card (which is proudly saved in my personal Rolodex) says "Bourbon Ambassador". Yup. That pretty much covers it.

I forgot about the Eagle Rare - that's delicious too! The Hirsch is getting harder and harder to come by. The Hirsch 20 year old is GONE (at least in PA), to my knowledge, but the 16 year old can still be had. And the Woodford is delicious too. Yet another thing that Beans and I agree about :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pretty much like whatever happens to be in my cupboard at the moment, I haven't really met a bourbon I didn't like. Maker's Mark is always around for mixing and then there's always a bottle of something for sipping straight. Right now I have Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 15 yo and Blanton's. I find some of the overproof bourbons taste better with a splash of water in them, they're too hot for me to enjoy sipping straight.

regards,

trillium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×