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Bolivar Petit Corona

All About Bourbon Whiskey

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Old Rip Van Winkel

Blantons

Basil Hayden

Knob Creek

Makers Mark

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Maker's Mark is my go-to-bourbon. I usually drink Maker's & Cokes or Manhattans. It's also good on the rocks, but for sipping, I like Basil Hayden.

Has anyone had the Maker's Mark Reserve? It's pretty good for sipping as well.

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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.

:laugh::cool:

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As a personal preference I like Hirsch 16yr neat. For a Manhattan, which I prefer dry, I like Basil Hayden.

I've always thought they should call it Makers Marketing as they really do have a strong brand presence and what is specific to this Bourbon is that unlike most commercial Bourbons where the mashbill is corn, rye, barley, Makers is the only Wheated Bourbon with a mashbill of 70% Corn, 16%Wheat and 14% Barley

What I know about Basil Hayden is that the percentage of Rye is very high and this is what adds some great pepper and spice that works very well with the vermouth in a Manhattan.

In the wine world I believe in terroir and there is a limestone shelf that extends from Pennsylvania through MD, VA and KY and the water filtered through here is very sweet and I would think gives some characteristic to Bourbon that is not available (without manipulation) elsewhere in the US so while one can make Bourbon anywhere under the concurrent resolution, I wonder if that should be amended

Or ...

If what is really necessary for great Bourbon is great corn, why has no one set up shop in New Jersey and tried to distill from the sweet local corn?

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My top 5:

1. George T. Stagg

2. Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel

3. Woodford Reserve

4. Van Winkle 15 YR

5. Blantons

But my everyday pour is Elijah Craig or Weller...

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If what is really necessary for great Bourbon is great corn, why has no one set up shop in New Jersey and tried to distill from the sweet local corn?

I believe it's not "eating" corn but "feed" corn that's used to make bourbon. Fred Noe said there's three kinds of corn - sweet eatin' corn, pig farm feed corn and popcorn. I'm almost certain that he said it's the feed type used to make bourbon.

When I get to my office I'll check and see if his e-mail address is on his business card. If so, I'll ask this question to him myself and post back the answer.

Howzabout I ask Mr. Noe if he'd do a Q & A on eGullet for we Bourbophiles?

:smile:

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Howzabout I ask Mr. Noe if he'd do a Q & A on eGullet for we Bourbophiles?

:smile:

yes please.

i've been enjoying buffalo trace lately, and i think the new jim beam black is a great bargain.

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

That's my bourbon of choice, too.

I also like Jack Daniel's: but less of a "sipping and enjoying" whiskey and more of a "getting trashed at a bar and waking up in another state" drink. I lay the blame for that solidly on my childhood adoration of Slash.


Edited by Andrew Fenton (log)

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As with most things, I am late in coming to appreciate bourbon, but thanks to Lew Bryson, I am beginning to see the light. With his considerably educated palate, I have been turned on to:

1. Woodford Reserve

2. Van Winkle 12 yr. (my so-far personal favorite)

3. Van Winkle 18 yr

4. Blanton's

5. Michter's (used to be made in PA! Now revived)

At a recent tasting, I was blown away by ALL of the Van Winkle bourbons (12, 15, 18, 20 and 24 yr old), but the youngest one remains my favorite. The Woodford reserve was also stunning to me, nice vanilla and pepper notes, and a great finish.

I think cigars and some bourbon are called for ladies and gents--let's share some of both soon.

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Enthusiastic agreement with Katie's Q & A suggestion. Also, while not a bourbon, Van Winkle's Sazerac rye is a mighty tasty libation, as well...

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best bourbons...i must start with wild turkey...but of course...

the WIld turkey Kentucky spirit...a wonderful bourbon, not sold in many locale's, but widely available to any retailers...along with this i add the wild turkey rare breed, an amazing bargain in the much marketing small batch bourbon world... and for simple easy drinking Makers mark seems to do the trick

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And here is my two cents worth (or two baht as I am posting this from Thailand where you are lucky to get even Jim Beam...)

1. Makers Mark Black Label (95 proof)

2. George T Stagg

3. Woodford Reserve

4. Blantons Gold

5. Old Grandad

Some of thes are for taste reasons and some for sentimental.

Has anyone out there seen McKendricks American Whiskey? I had some in Tokyo... its been flavoured and aged with Mesquite wood... not a bourbon or a tennessee or even a Corn whiskey... anyone know if its available in the US?

And after the Cardhu/Vatted malt fiasco recently has anyone ever thought of vatting or blending bourbons? I always heard the story that there is a barrell of Makers in Glenmorangie and vice versa to see how different climates affect the whisky... anyone know anything about that one?

Oh and Old Fitzgerald, Weller and Rebel Yell are also wheated bourbons if my addled and pickled brain serves me well...

cheers

aw

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I also like Jack Daniel's: but less of a "sipping and enjoying" whiskey and more of a "getting trashed at a bar and waking up in another state" drink.

That's Wild Turkey 101 for me.

Jack Daniels is just mood accellerant, which normally results in the Cineplex Special: anything from Rick at the bar in Casablanca ("yew played it fer HER...") to an unique interpretation of Roadhouse (that nuanced and subtle classic.)

All of this has combined to make my bourbon of choice Maker's or Knob :)

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NASCAR is entirely a result of moonshine

I'm in the midst of reading a compilation of Tom Wolfe's short stories and just finished "The Last American Hero" (I think that's what it was entitled). It's a magazine piece that offered up a portrait of legendary stock car racer Junior Johnson. Wolfe does a wonderful job in the piece of detailing the historical connections between bootlegging and the development of NASCAR.

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Living in Canada we have a limited selection of bourbon, but I have managed to develop a taste for:

1.Booker's

2.Knob Creek

3.Maker's Mark

4.Baker's (thought I was getting Booker's)

5.Woodford Reserve (a little too soft for my tastes)

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Wonderful thread, I wanna play too!

My top 5 WOW bourbons (and one rye):

1. Hirsch/Michter's 16 Year Old

2. Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit

3. George T. Stagg

4. SAzerac Rye 18 Year Old

5. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2003 (Spring)

My top 5 all-night-long bourbons:

1. Baker's

2. Jim Beam Black Label 8 Year Old

3. Buffalo Trace

4. Van Winkle 15 Year Old

5. Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond

And my top 5 incredible bargain whiskies:

1. Elijah Craig 12 Year Old

2. Jim Beam White Label 7 Year Old (KY only)

3. Pikesville Rye

4. Wild Turkey 101

5. Old Forester

Gawd, I love whiskey. But let's talk about those definitions. By federal regulation:

1. Bourbon whiskey must be made from a mashbill of at least 51% corn. There is no top limit, there is no stipulation about what "small grains" are used. (The small grains always include some malted barley for enzymes in the mashing, and either rye or wheat (or both; there are some experimental 4-grain whiskies being tried out right now).)

2.The spirit must finish distillation at no MORE than 160 proof.

3. It can enter the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof.

4. The barrels must be new, charred, white oak barrels; no re-use of barrels for bourbon, it's once and done.

5. NO colorings or flavorings may be added to the whiskey.

6. It is bottled at a minimum of 80 proof.

7. It must be aged for a minimum of two years. If it is aged less than four years, the age must be stated on the label (Jim Beam White is aged for four years and one day; they refer to it as "birthday bourbon").

Note that there is no requirement that bourbon be distilled or aged in Kentucky to be called "bourbon." Check out a bottle of Virginia Gentleman or Hirsch (which was distilled and aged in Pennsylvania) for empirical proof.

All bourbon whiskey is sour mash these days. Rye whiskey follows the same regulations, except it's mashbill is a minimum of 51% rye.

Tennesee whiskeys, like George Dickel and Jack Daniel's, follow all the same regs as bourbon, but must add an additional step, the "Lincoln County Process." This entails filtering ("leeching," the distillery calls it) the unaged whiskey through ten feet of sugar maple charcoal before it enters the barrel.

I like my bourbon neat, splash of branch, or on the rocks when it's hot, and I do like a rye and ginger ale hiball with a slice of lemon. I used to drink a lot of mint juleps...till the day I was making one in the kitchen and glanced out the window to see my dog peeing on the mint. Haven't been able to bring myself to have one since.

If you get the chance, you really should make it to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. It's held in the fall in Bardstown, KY, and it's a blast.

Lew

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I used to drink a lot of mint juleps...till the day I was making one in the kitchen and glanced out the window to see my dog peeing on the mint. Haven't been able to bring myself to have one since.

That's why we put the bourbon in the julep -- you never know who's been peeing on the mint.

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Note that there is no requirement that bourbon be distilled or aged in Kentucky to be called "bourbon." Check out a bottle of Virginia Gentleman or Hirsch (which was distilled and aged in Pennsylvania) for empirical proof.

Sort of ancillary to this, the distiller, A. Smith Bowman Distillery, that produced Virginia Gentlemen was recently purchased by Sazerac Company, Inc. The interesting Fredericksburg.com article can be found here.

Tennesee whiskeys, like George Dickel and Jack Daniel's, follow all the same regs as bourbon, but must add an additional step, the "Lincoln County Process." This entails filtering ("leeching," the distillery calls it) the unaged whiskey through ten feet of sugar maple charcoal before it enters the barrel.

In the Jack Daniels instance, don't forget they like to stress they use local spring water. :wink:

I used to drink a lot of mint juleps...till the day I was making one in the kitchen and glanced out the window to see my dog peeing on the mint. Haven't been able to bring myself to have one since.

:wacko:

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NASCAR is entirely a result of moonshine

I'm in the midst of reading a compilation of Tom Wolfe's short stories and just finished "The Last American Hero" (I think that's what it was entitled). It's a magazine piece that offered up a portrait of legendary stock car racer Junior Johnson. Wolfe does a wonderful job in the piece of detailing the historical connections between bootlegging and the development of NASCAR.

There was very recently an episode of "Extreme History with Roger Daltrey" on the History Channel about this very thing.

http://www.historychannel.com/global/listi...82&NetwCode=THC

I think it was called "Surviving the Early Days of NASCAR"

They'll probably re-show it a couple of times, so if you have a TIVO, I'd set a theme for it.

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It is a pleasure to see so much activity regarding Bourbon, the most distinguished of American spirits.

Not to be a pedant, but as a teacher of American popular music, one of our lessons is that Bourbon whiskey began as a Federally sanctioned brew, taking its name from Bourbon County, Virginia (now in Kentucky, a county which has disgraced itself by voting to be dry!), with rules about the proportion of grains (+50% corn, which means that George Dickle breaks no law in smoothing its whiskey with other grains).

It was not until the 1820s that the Scottish chemist James Crow arrived, and began to apply science to what had theretofore been attributed to phases of the moon, or a menstruating woman visiting the still. That was also the beginning of "proof" as a measure of alcohol.

As to all the "boutique" bourbons that are found below, if you truly love this whiskey, nearly all are so expensive (Please! $80 a bottle?) as to render this a contest among Very Rich People. We don't need that. So simply don't go there.

The two that I enjoy are George Dickle (a bit more potency, but less smooth: thus a perfect vehicle for a mint julep - which, according to my Calhoun, Kentucky mama, should consist of "not too much sugar, nor too little whiskey"), and Maker's Mark (yes, I'm bothered by their marketing, but they make the best sipping Bourbon you can buy...for less than outrageous prices).

Friends, can we back up here a bit? These wild prices are not helping anyone. Yes, there is a high quality product available at $70-80 a bottle (well, don't count me among their victims). Why should anyone pay such an elevated price? If you are not rich, just don't do this.

The good news is that regular people can enjoy what only the elite could formerly.

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Welcome to eG byrdhouse! :cool:

I think there may be some confusion between George Dickel's Tennessee Whisky and what by law, is recognised as Bourbon Whiskey. Plus, I somehow thought that George Dickel highly guarded their proportion of grains... I could be wrong. However that 51% corn is a lawful protecting requirement in order to be labeled and distinguished as Bourbon.

...with rules about the proportion of grains (+50% corn, which means that George Dickle breaks no law in smoothing its whiskey with other grains).

With regard to the above assertion, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Department states as follows:

Rev. Ruling 55-399

* * * * * *

Section 21, Class 2(b), ©, and (d) of Regulations No. 5 provides that whisky bottled on or after July 1, 1938, and aged in charred new oak cooperage for not less than 24 calendar months may be designated "straight whisky" if a distillate from fermented mash of grain distilled at not more than 160 degree of proof and withdrawn from the cistern room of the distillery at not more than 110 degrees and not less than 80 degrees proof, whether or not such proof is further reduced prior to bottling to not less than 80 degrees proof; and further as "straight rye whisky" or "straight bourbon whisky" if distilled from a fermented mash of grain of which not less than 51 percent is rye grain or corn grain, respectively, and aged in charred new oak cooperage. The regulations define "age" in the case of American type whisky, other than the various types of corn whisky, as that period during which, after distillation and before bottling, distilled spirits have been kept in charred new oak containers. Section 39(a)(2) of the regulations requires that the age of any of the types of straight whisky be stated substantially as follows: "The whisky is (years and/or months) old."

* * * * * *

26 U.S.C. 5212; 26 CFR 225.640 (27 CFR 201.384)

Emphasis added.

Also to add, I directly quote this from George Dickel regarding the difference between their Tennessee Whisky and that of Bourbon Whiskey, via their Distillery Tour, Step 5, Charcoal Mellowing (click on those links to reach the following):

Step 5. Charcoal Mellowing

The process of charcoal mellowing is the difference between Tennessee whiskey and bourbon whiskey. In this process, the double-distilled whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal.

Now regarding prices. :blink: They can be steep, indeed.

Friends, can we back up here a bit?  These wild prices are not helping anyone.  Yes, there is a high quality product available at $70-80 a bottle (well, don't count me among their victims).  Why should anyone pay such an elevated price?  If you are not rich, just don't do this.

The simple economics of Supply/Demand apply here. Some will pay that much for boutique products of distinct, fine craftmanship -- hence I'm sure very much so helping those master distillers and distillery owners. Heck, I'm *far* from what one may call financially rich, but I've shelled that baht out for some special spirits. (Made that event all the more memorable and special). I hope to tour those distilleries to see that fine craftmanship in the works, that I really look forward to doing one day. :smile:

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I can still remember my first taste of Jim Beam. I knw this bourbon thing was going to be something good. I have never benn able to develop the taste for scotch. I became convinced that the perfect Manhattan made with bourbon was the greatest cocktail ever invented and i drank gallons of them.

Many years of bartending and beverage managment allowed me to taste lots and lots of bourbon, and I loved it all. I too eschew an 80 dollar bottle of bourbon just as I refuse to buy a bottle of wine for more than 15 dollars. There is a bottle of Makers Mark at home. I pour it over some ice, sit down in my chair, exhale a big breath and sip it and peace arrives.

I know longer work in the business and now only enjoy one drink a week or so and only at home as I did discover that I needed to leave that state I used to live in. It tastes so good now that i do it because i don't have to do it.

This may be considered nothing more than drivel however when i taste bourbon I taste the earth. The same as when I eat an oyster I taste the ocean.

I apoligise to everyone for this bit of self indulgence

Enjoy your bourbon, wether 8 or 80 dollars a bottle.

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Weighing in late: Count me as a fan of the Van Winkle 12 year old, also the Elijah Craig, Buffalo Trace, Makers Mark, and I LOVE the Sazerac Rye.

Bob R in OKC

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Welcome, Bob! Thanks for posting -- hope to see you around often.

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The recently concluded Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) cites reductions in tarriffs to American distilled exports (whiskey, gin and liqueurs) to El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Also of note:

CAFTA also includes an important provision recognizing Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey as distinctive products of the United States. The distinction is particularly important to U.S. distillers because it ensures that all Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey sold in the four Central American countries must be produced in the United States in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations.

This is very good news for the Bourbon distillers. :cool:

Press Release here.

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