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« on: 9 Feb 2005, 08:34 pm »
If Tyson can have his Scotch reviews, we can have Bourbon :-)

Woodford Reserve - Smooth and refined
Blantons - smooth and a bit fuller flavored than Woodford
Bookers - at 126 proof the alcohol was a bit overpowering.
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit - very smooth and mild for a Wild Turkey, not as smooth as the WR or Blantons, but close.

Your turn to add to it.....


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Now a topic I actually know something about!
« Reply #1 on: 9 Feb 2005, 09:31 pm »
Anything from old rip Van Winkle is fantastic.  I am working on the 12 year old family reserve these days.



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« Reply #2 on: 9 Feb 2005, 10:09 pm »
I like Jack Daniels myself   :D


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Re: Bourbon!!!!
« Reply #3 on: 9 Feb 2005, 10:24 pm »
Quote from: Marbles
Bookers - at 126 proof the alcohol was a bit overpowering.

Bookers can be overpowering if you drink it straight out of the bottle. Try it in a snifter; swirl, warm, and sip it like a fine Cognac.


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« Reply #4 on: 9 Feb 2005, 10:36 pm »
:lol: all you people out there drinking 126 proof booze out of the bottle, now you know.


« Reply #5 on: 9 Feb 2005, 11:41 pm »
OK, here's my go (not complete, but will update over time):

Ancient Age NAS
Very strong rye on the nose.  Tastes isgrainy and sweet, with rye still dominating.  Interestinly, this one does not have a real "finish", but rather just sort of dies after a few seconds of being swallowed.

Bakers 7
Now we're talking!  A great bourbon.  On the nose it is passion fruit and malt.  Taste is sharp and very big/full.  Finish has mango and tropical fruit on top of the vanilla.  Long ginish.  A "big"and very satisfying bourbon.

{edit} With water added, this one smooths out but loses a bit of character and a lot of the bigness goes away.  I recommend drinking it straight.

Basil Hayden
Very smooth indeed.  Has very much an orange and malty nose.  Taste is a mix of Orange Serbert and Vanilla ice cream.  Quite delicious.  Finish is pretty short and subdued.  Overall a very drinkable whiskey indeed.

Black Maple Hill 16
Rich, rich, rich.  Great bourbon, thick, viscous, sweet, smokey, the only whiskey on this list that can give the Stagg a run for it's money.  Highly recommended.

Had this at a bar the other day.  Very impressive, very potent.  It's got a very thick, viscous feel to it, with super intense caramel and vanilla, and layers and layers of oak in the finish.  Almost as good as the Van Winkle bourbon, but just barely misses out because the Van Winkle is slightly smoother, and has greater depth and complexity on the initial taste.

Buffalo Trace NAS
No Age Statement on this one, but it has to be fairly old, as it is very, very smooth, with almost no alcohol sting. Goes down very nicely indeed. Very much an echt-bourbon flavor profile, similar but Bulliets, but much fuller, and even smoother. Great big caramel, vanilla, and oak. Exceptionally good and a great bargain. Highly recommended.

Bulliet NAS
NAS stands for no age statement, so this is probably a fairly young whisky.  Doesn't matter, it is one of the better whiskies on this list.  Very balanced, smooth, and soft on the nose.  Very malty.  Almost scotch-like in it's maltiness.  Finish does not turn hard or sharp like most other bourbons, but stays soft and malty.  Delicious.

Classic Cask 20
Picked this up on sale for $50 at my local liquor store. It is perhaps the most interesting bourbons on this list. Most bourbons get more vanilla and woody tasting as they age. Also, longer age tends to intensify the overall experience of it. I expected this one to be a bit like the Van Winkle I love so much. But in fact it was almost completely the opposite. Where the Van Winkle is toasty, bisciuty, caramel, and big oak, the Classic Cask emphasized the other side of bourbon - maple syrup mixed with passion fruit and lavander. The almost citrusy flavor of intense fruit is the dominating element of this whisky, and it carries through to the finish, which is only somewhat oaky. A nice compliment to something like the Van Winkle.

Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10
What an interesting bourbon!  Nose is very soft indeed, very similar to Bulliets in it's overall reticence.  If you really get down in the glass, it's got a touch of red grape or maybe raisin riding on the traditional bourbon aroma.  Taste starts off the same way, very soft when it first hits the mouth.  But then it transitions almost immediately to sharp rye with a caramel apple flavor.  Not a big full bodied bourbon, somewhat thin actually, but very tasty.  Finish is intense, sharp, and somewhat fruit like, a bit citrusy.  Very good bourbon.

{edit} With a bit of water this one smooths out a bit, but loses some of that interesting sharp transition.  Also recommend drinking this one straight.

Elijah Craig 12
Easily the smoothest of the bourbon's here.  Very mellow on the nose, with a good balance between caramel and vanilla, with a bit of all-spice thrown in.  Taste is remarkably smooth, again everything in very good balance, nice and sweet, smooth, full, and good oaky finish.  Great whisky, 2nd only to the Van Winkle in my experience.

Evan Williams 7
Very sweet up front, reminds me of cotton candy.  Suprisingly smooth since it's only 7 years old.  Middle transitions to a clove like flavor, and a short, not particularly woody finish.  Very little vanilla.  Reminds me of a slightly better version of the Makers Mark.

George T. Stagg
I picked up a bottle of this legendary bourbon by pure luck.  I was in the store to buy a bottle of scotch for a friend as a gift, and just happened to check out the bourbon section.  And there it was, the holy grail of almost every enthusiast.  Often pre-ordered and sold out before it even hits the shelves.  And on sale at $47!!!!  Snatched that puppy up post haste.  AND it lives up to the hype.  Best bourbon I've ever had, bar none.  Easily better than the Old Rip Van Winkle.  The taste if reminiscent of pipe tobacco, with a sweet overlay.  The finish lasts 15 minutes, literally.  And at 130 proof, you can only take the smallest of small sips.  A glass of this lasts and lasts, insanely good.

Jack Daniels NAS
This is the standard black label #7 Jack.  The nose is again strong on rye, but also strong on vanilla (unusual).  Taste is fairly astringent and grainy, but with a good woody malty flavor that redeems it quite a bit.  Finish is almost dark chocolate sweetness.  Not a bad bourbon at all.  Not great, but suprisingly good.

Jefferson Reserve 12-17
This is a vatting of their 12 to 17 year old stock.  It's a tricky bourbon.  It's very soft on the nose and is starts off quite smooth and malty, but very sweet ala Evan Williams.  But where EW stays smooth right to the end, the Jefferson Reserve explodes with a hard rye and corn sweetness about halfway through.  It just builds in intensity for about 15 seconds, overtaking the whole nasal cavity.  Then it transitions to medium strong vanilla with a bit of red licorice.  Good stuff.

{edit} With water this one becomes a very weak, poor tasting whiskey.  Drink straight only.

Jim Bean Black Label
Smoother than the Jack Daniels #7 but less smooth than the Bulliet or Evan Williams 7.  Flowery on the nose, particularly violets.  Taste is typical bourbon, but with a lavendar and vanilla potpouri flavor.  Finish follows along the same path, more vanilla potpouri.  Good overall, but not great.

Knob Creek 9
Nose is very overpoweringly alcoholic.  Taste is more balanced than Makers Mark, but less smooth overall.  Stronger wood/oak/vanilla finish, not as sweet upfront.

Makers Mark
Strong caramel/vanilla nose, very sweet.  Smooth upfront, caramel is over-riding flavor.  Transitions to a sharp grain intensity toward the end, with a not particularly strong finish.

{edit} Adding water certainly smooths this out even more, and brings out an orange marmalade on toast type of taste, while still retaining a bit of the sharp spiciness.  I like this one better with just a touch of water.

Old Rip Van Winkle 15
Easily the best bourbon I've had so far.  Even at 115 proof, it's nose is not overpoweringly alcoholic.  Cereal and toaste in the nose.  Taste is exceedingly smooth and thickly viscous on the tongue.  Bread pudding in the middle portion, with a finish of layers and layers of oak/vanilla.  Outstanding.

Old Whisky River 6
Strong alcohol nose.  Palate is not particularly sweet, with a strong menthol flavor and smell.  Finish is medium wood and shortish.  Not one of the better bourbons on this list.

Wild Turkey - Russel Reserve 10
Very, very similar to the Woodford Reserve.  But where WR is thin and licorice on the palate, the WT-RR is slightly fuller and stays with a lavendar and mint flavor toward the finish.  Have to give this one a thumbs up, very tasty and quite smooth.

Woodford Reserve
Strongly alcoholic on the nose, but not overpoweringly so.  Aniseed and peppermint also prominent on the nose.  Taste is disappointingly "thin", with a strong licorice flavor dominating toward the rather light finish.  Disappointingly mediocre.

{edit} With water this one improve a LOT.  The thin-ness noted before now becomes a softness and a smooth flavor of maple syrup and orange fruitcake.  Extremely good with 4 parts whiskey to 1 part water.
« Last Edit: 6 Nov 2008, 07:11 am by Tyson »


« Reply #6 on: 10 Feb 2005, 01:28 am »
I've been to the Maker's Mark distillery, so I'm kind of partial to it.
Grew up in Louisville, not too far from the ole place.

They have outbuildings on the property that the farmers used to drive up to in horse/buggy in the 1800's to get their whiskey.

Scott F.

« Reply #7 on: 10 Feb 2005, 02:21 am »
Hey Tyson,

Curious about your impressions on the Jim Beam Black label. I've got a bottle here but I haven't cracked the seal yet, you've got me hooked on Glenmorangie Burgundy and Dalmore 12.


« Reply #8 on: 10 Feb 2005, 04:53 am »
Added Bulliet, Evan Williams 7, Jefferson Reserve, and Old Whisky River 6 to my ongoing list above.

I haven't had the Jim Bean Black yet, although I almost picked up a bottle tonight when I got the Jefferson Reserve.  I'll post on it when I get a chance to try it (should be too long).

Todd A.

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« Reply #9 on: 10 Feb 2005, 10:27 pm »
You guys should appreciate this..... :lol:


« Reply #10 on: 10 Feb 2005, 11:14 pm »
No Jim Beam Black label fans?

"In a recent independent study, the Beverage Testing Institute rated Jim Beam Black® highest among leading North American whiskeys for its overall nose, depth of flavor and finish. Every barrel is aged 8 years to achieve a full 86 proof and distinctive character that anyone can respect.
Beverage Testing Institute - Professional Tasting - Chicago, Illinois 2003

Wine Enthusiast Magazine rated Jim Beam Black Superb (90-95)/Highly Recommended in the American Whiskey category of the Top 60 Spirits for 2003. "


« Reply #11 on: 11 Feb 2005, 02:00 am »
Please note that Jack Daniels is a whiskey, not a bourbon. Go to the Jack D web site, or better yet take the distillery tour, to get more related information. As an aside, when I was on the tour, it was interesting to hear how Mr. Daniels temper and a safe worked to end his life.


« Reply #12 on: 11 Feb 2005, 03:50 am »
Added Jim Bean Black label, Eagle Rare 10, and Bakers 7 to my list.

Rob Babcock

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« Reply #13 on: 11 Feb 2005, 04:27 am »
Quote from: tex-amp
No Jim Beam Black label fans?

Count me in, Tex-amp.  I really like it a lot.


« Reply #14 on: 11 Feb 2005, 11:05 pm »
Anybody know of a good website to buy some single malts and bourbons from?
Is there an "intra-state alcohol shipping" law I should know about??


« Reply #15 on: 11 Feb 2005, 11:14 pm »
Quote from: Andrikos
Is there an "intra-state alcohol shipping" law I should know about??

Yes, each state has laws regulating how, and how much, alcohol one may import. NH makes $$$ off MA, VT and other states' residents who come in to NH to purchase liquor. (NH usually sells most products for substantially less than the surrounding states, thus the incentive for those who live near the border, or are visiting NH, to purchase liquor in NH.)


« Reply #16 on: 13 Feb 2005, 05:01 am »
Added some notes about how a few of the whiskey's react with a bit of water added.  So far only the Woodford Reserve and Makers Mark improves with water.


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« Reply #17 on: 13 Feb 2005, 06:30 pm »
This is a list my friend sent me, along with his ratings:

Jack Daniels    C-
Knob Creek     B+
Maker's Mark     B
Jim Beam Black     B-
Woodford Reserve     A-
Buffalo Trace     A-
Elijah Craig 12year     A


« Reply #18 on: 14 Feb 2005, 05:50 pm »
Added Bookers to my list.


« Reply #19 on: 17 Feb 2005, 08:52 pm »
Added Wild Turkey - Russel Reserve 10 to my list on the 1st page.