venturing into "bourbonista"-hood

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patrick dicaprio
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venturing into "bourbonista"-hood

Postby patrick dicaprio » Wed Dec 28, 2005 1:36 pm

as much as i hate to damit it, i live on long island in new york where there is a distinct dearth of good liquor shops. so i have essentially exhausted the scotch whisky that is available in the best shops here and i am too far away from NY City to go that often. so i decided to try some bourbons.

My experience with bourbon has basically been limited to organized tastings, rare is the occasion where i have bought a bottle. so i started out with a bottle of Woodford Reserve, which i really liked at a tasting. all i can say is WOW!!! this is a great whiskey. i gave it a rating that would place it in my top ten on my notes.

so my question to the multitudes is what other readily available bourbons or non-scotch/irish whiskeys would you recommend??


Eric in ABQ
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Postby Eric in ABQ » Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:39 pm

I never hesitate to recommend the Wild Turkey premium line (Russel's Reserve, Rare Breed, or Kentucky Spirit.) I find them to be quite a bit more robust than Woodford, so be prepared for something quite a bit different than the Woodford if you decide to try one of them.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:47 pm

If you see a Van Winkle -- any Van Winkle -- consider it a premium bottle. Don't overlook Jim Beam Black-label for a value bourbon (but, please, steer clear of the white-label offerings). W.L. Weller 12yo is another great bottling that's easy on the wallet.
Other suggestions:
  • Buffalo Trace
  • Eagle Rare Single Barrel
  • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel
  • George T. Stagg, Eagle Rare 17 (parts of BT's Antique Collection), if you can find them
  • Evan Williams Single Barrel (any 'vintage' -- distilling year is listed on the label)
  • Old Forester Birthday Bourbon
Not a single one of the bottlings I've listed will top $50 (well, the Pappy Van Winkles, if you find any, will and the Antiques approach it). Many can be had under $30.

LeNell's in Red Hook (Brooklyn, I think -- barely on Long Island, I realize) has as varied a selection of bourbons as can be found in the NYC area.


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Postby MGillespie » Fri Dec 30, 2005 3:15 am


The Evan Williams 1995 Single Barrel is's my favorite bourbon yet...

You might also like Bulleit...I've been working my way through a sample of it, and it's quite good. A bit strong for some tastes, but still quite good. I think 750ml bottles go for between $25 and $30 or so...


Crispy Critter
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Postby Crispy Critter » Fri Dec 30, 2005 3:46 am

Other good ones to try:

Weller Antique 7/107
Old Fitzgerald BIB
Old Grand-Dad 114 (red-hot spicy!)
Elijah Craig 12

I've also heard good things about the Weller Reserve and 12yo, but haven't tried either of them yet. Then, there's the William Larue Weller barrel-strength bottling (another one of the Antique Collection series), which I have - and it's superb.

Of course, all of the Antique Collection bottlings are premium whiskeys, and not cheap - but $50 for a bottle is fairly low by Scotch standards.

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Postby Badmonkey » Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:54 am

I have traditionally pushed friends in the direction of the following when they start their bourbon adventures:

Elijah Craig 12
Evan Williams 7
Jim Beam Black

All three deliver tremendous value and should be enough to spark an interest in more challenging fare (though I always come back to the Reverend Elijah). I also like to pour Jim Beam Yellow to show how much fun straight rye can be.

I'm relatively new to Irish whiskey, but my friends got me started on Jameson's 12, Black Bush, and Powers.



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