And you must try the Basil Hayden's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (8 yrs old). An amazing array of scents - a bit of wood, sweet corn, banana (again).
Oh, and great bottle design, too (a copper belt around the bottle).
I must look that one up. Is Basil Hayden's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey hard to find in Europe?
My favourate drinks in the world are Green Spot, Redbreast, Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark, and Powers (brilliant and costs next to nothing), along with some scotch single malts and a few Scotch blends. I'll have to try some Canadian stuff.
A glass of wine now and then is always nice too.
I would love to like vodka, but I can't stomach it after an experience in my younger days.
Basil Hayden is a new one on me, but in Jim Murray's Classic Bourbon, Tennessee & Rye Whiskey he says this about it -
8 yo 80 proof
Magical and mercurial, this is one of Kentucky's most gentle noses, yet boasts wonderful riches. Dry and pleasantly oaky.
At the very end it sweetens out into cream toffee rather like a high class Canadian.
A lovely bourbon, a gentleman of a whiskey.
Every note is understated, almost ethereal. Delicious.
Jim lists Basil Hayden under the Jim Beam brands. Unfortunately,he does not say where you can get it !
I like Elijah Craig both the 12 and 18. They also are reasonably priced (which counts for a lot in my book). Even cheaper and able to hold it's own is Old Forrester. Those are two brands that I think are unrated and slept on!
if you are talking bourbon it just has to be
FOUR ROSES - but sadly you just can't find it
in many places outside of the US. ome to think of it, you can't find it in many places in the US either!
The Apple Vodka I mentioned in an earlier posting is, I am told, on sale at Schipol Airport ( I had it at a private club in New York City )
-Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit
-Wild Turkey Rare Breed
-Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve
-A.H. Hirsch 16yo
-A.H. Hirsch 20yo
-Wathen's Single Barrel
-Blanton's Single Barrel
-Eagle Rare 17yo
-Old Rip Van Winkle 15yo/107proof
-Pappy Van Winkle 20yo
And, how about some straight rye whiskey:
-Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13yo
Some of these may be a bit harder to find (particularly the Hirsch), but are all worth trying.
Also, also keep your eyes open for a soon-to-be-leased bottling called George T. Stagg, a 15yo reported stunner that clocks in at a whopping 67% a.b.v.!
It will be interesting to see what John has to say - and of course it's all very subjective - but the Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 yo was awarded 99 points out of 100, the highest mark ever given to a whiskey by the Beverage Tasting Institute in Chicago.
And I still think Four Roses just beats it!
Apart from whisky? I love a good Cognac too. My favorites are the XO Excellance and Louis XIII from Remy Martin, but a Remy Club is very nice too.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Remy Martin, LOUIS XIII !!!???... well... hummm... are you a millionnaire ???
I also like many different alcohols: cognacs (specially the Hine's ones), armagnacs (i've just bought a 1970 one for my birthday), vodkas (specially russian and polish ones), gins (Tanqueray is really the best for me), portos and other muted wines, wines (of course !), tequilas (Herradura is really good... but so hard to find), rums (french or cuban ones), calvados, bourbon, irish and Scoth whiskies !
As a cigar amateur, i often try cigar/alcohol associations; and after many many tastings, for me there is nothing like,
either a charming-perfumed rum, or a greatly smokey, peated single malt to go with a good habanos !
Is there any other cigar amateur here ?
If forced to choose only a few bottles, my personal preferences would be (in order):
1. Van Winkle Family Reserve Straight Rye Whiskey 13yo. (Mouth-filling goodness from start to finish. A true taste of America. My favorite American whiskey...at the moment
2. Wild Turkey Rare Breed. (A consistently outstanding marriage of 6-, 8- and 10-year-old Wild Turkey bottled at around 54%abv. So full-bodied and rounded you almost have to chew it.)
3. Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. (A single barrel bottling, the best of which are without peer.)
4. A. H. Hirsch 16yo. (From the now-closed Michter's Distillery in Pennsyvlania. You know how some folks lament the loss of Port Ellen? This is the American version of that story.)
5. Booker's. (A barrel-proof juggernaut that explodes with flavor and fire. Not for the faint of heart.)
However, if you or your friend are lucky enough to find a bottle of George T. Stagg 15yo or Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, grab them! I have not tasted either of these, but have read glowing reports from people whose taste I trust.
[This message has been edited by SpeedyJohn (edited 22 November 2002).]
I think when it comes to ratings, you have to find a rater with similar tastes to yourself, otherwise...
Bush Pilot's Private Reserve 13yo (single cask)
Century Reserve 15yo (single cask)
Breton's Hand and Seal
Wellen Centenniel 10yo
On whisk(e)y, other than Scotch, any of the Wild Turkey 8-year-old single barrels are gorgeous, and Rare Breed (1855 Reserve in UK duty free) is possibly even better. Wild Turkey rye is terrific stuff too. You can't go far wrong with any of the Jim Beam small batch range (Basil Hayden, Baker's, Knob Creek, Booker's, but especially Booker's), or pretty much anything from Van Winkle (I've now tasted Pappy, and it's great but can't live up to the hype and is very expensive indeed: but the Old Rip van Winkle 15-year-old is reasonably well available, reasonably priced and for me, maybe the best non-Scotch whisky out there). And Elijah Craig 12-year-old is excellent and great value.
Other than whisky, fine rum is a revelation - particularly stuff like Cadenhead's range of single still Jamaican/Bajan/Demerara rums or the best rhum agricole like Bally or Dhillon - or Barbancourt, which is up with Cognac, IMHO.
[This message has been edited by Gate (edited 25 November 2002).]
The standard Bushmills is also recommended. I have never tried the 16 and 25 years old Bushmills.
Let me also add that Bushmills has a superb visitor centre and that the 2 hours drive (or in my case; cycling) along the north-east coast of Ireland from Belfast to the distillery is brilliant. A very nice day out indeed.
Coleraine whiskey is best avoided. The same goes for the rest of the Irish whiskey. I love Guinness and Caffrey's beer though !!
Bourbon is not my kind of stuff.
As a Norwegian; I guess I should be into Aquavit. But I am not. But check it out.
Gin & Tonic is good stuff during hot summer days when whisky becomes too stuffy.
That's all, I guess.
You may not like Irish whiskey, but it is a bit much to say it's best avoided.
They are among the finest whiskies in the world, alongside Scotch and American whiskey. Unfortunately, pretentious preconceptions put them at a disadvantage. Thank God for Redbreast, Jameson 1780, Green Spot, Middleton VR, Powers, Connemara....
After highland park, redbreast is my favourate spirit. there are lots more excellent ones too. powers is not to my taste.
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