lostone

Bourbon lovers come in here

94 posts in this topic

Help!  I want to get into this kind of thing, but I don’t really know where to start.  What kind of bourbon should be where I start?  Is there an etiquette?  Any tips would be appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, lostone said:

Help!  I want to get into this kind of thing, but I don’t really know where to start.  What kind of bourbon should be where I start?  Is there an etiquette?  Any tips would be appreciated!

It depends on how much you're willing to spend. There are plenty of high end bourbons that are excellent but will set you back a bit. I think a good place to start is Booker's, Basil Hayden's, or Buffalo Trace. 

As for drinking it, I normally go neat with maybe a small splash of water. If you go with ice, try just one cube first. 

Flip Flop, AF89 and lostone like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go to a bourbon festival where the vendors set up tasting and food pairings.  You get to try lots of bottles and see what is to your taste.   Dont think you have to like something just because its supposed to be good.  I have a bottle of Whistle Pig that rates like 8/10, but I dont care for it.  So, if you come to my house Im gonna offer you a glass of Whistle Pig Straight Rye 10yr, which is a good whisky that I have had for like three years now.

AF89, Scrunchomarx and lostone like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this interesting:

 

http://whiskyadvocate.com/bourbon-for-beginners-list/

Bourbon for Beginners: 7 Bottles That Every New Bourbon Drinker Must Try
APRIL 2, 2019   |   AARON GOLDFARB


Nobody ever wants to look like a beginner, even when it comes to drinking whiskey. Folks have their first sip of whiskey—and fall in love with it, of course—and all of the sudden they want to drink the rarest and most sought-after bottles, like Pappy Van Winkle or the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. But in order for a new bourbon drinker to understand why certain whiskeys are so highly regarded by connoisseurs he or she must lay the groundwork first.

Just like you don’t start college in a 400 level course, you shouldn’t start a bourbon hobby without first learning about, and drinking, the classics. These recommendations are essential bourbons for neophytes—not just in their crowd-pleasing, iconic flavors, but also in the history and cultural significance each displays. Knowing about and appreciating both characteristics are an important first step in your bourbon education.

BOURBON 101: START YOUR EDUCATION WITH THESE WHISKEYS
Wild Turkey 101—86 points, $25
The “kickin’ chicken” is a bourbon that many people may have tried way back before they had any aspirations of appreciating whiskey. That’s because Wild Turkey’s steal of a price tag has long made it a favorite of the young and thrifty crowd. That doesn’t mean the whiskey is lower in quality. Master distiller Jimmy Russell—who’s been making Wild Turkey for over six decades—and his son and co-master distiller, Eddie—who’s been making it for about half that time—have never compromised on making top-level whiskey. And despite a price that’s within reach even for loan-strapped college grads, this is a great, adult bourbon. It’s spicier and more aggressive than most entry-level whiskeys, but versatile enough to sip neat, on ice, or in cocktails.

Old Grand-Dad Bonded—82 points, $25
Another great value bottle, Old Grand-Dad is often derided as being bottom shelf—maybe in location, but hardly in taste. Using the same mashbill as the way pricier Basil Hayden’s bourbon, this has a higher proof which means bigger, bolder flavor. The “Bonded” designation indicates that the whisky is 50% abv and at least 4 years old, as well as being made by one distiller at one distillery during a single distillation season. Way back when, in 1897 when the Bottled in Bond Act was passed, that designation was intended to eliminate any shenanigans; today it can still be understood as a mark of quality.

Maker’s Mark—89 points, $25
The quintessential wheated bourbon, Maker’s Mark is easy to find on the shelf—unlike many others in the same style (such as Van Winkle and Weller) that have become so festishized they’re near-impossible to obtain. A relative newcomer, it debuted in 1958, with the first “luxury” price tag for bourbon—a strategy that helped usher the American whiskey industry through the doldrums of the 1970s and ’80s, when most people were drinking vodka and other clear spirits. Today, Maker’s Mark’s sweet and smooth flavor profile makes it an easy sipper for newbie whiskey drinkers and a crowd-pleaser in general. (And if you’re looking for more wheaters to try, we have some suggestions there too.)

Knob Creek—90 points, $32
For many whiskey lovers, this is the first “luxury” bottle they take the plunge on. Part of Jim Beam’s Small Batch line, Knob Creek touts its “pre-Prohibition” style that’s big on flavor and body. Oaky, spicy, and sharp on the palate, the cost-to-complexity ratio is about as low as they come. Bottled at 50% ABV, Knob Creek also serves as a bridge to higher-proof and more expensive bourbons.

Evan Williams Single Barrel—91 points for 2010 Vintage, $30
While America’s first single barrel bourbon, Blanton’s, has become a tad too scarce to recommend for beginners, another great single barrel offering, Evan Williams, is there for the score—and at a remarkable price. Of course, even the most unseasoned whiskey drinker knows that all bourbon ages in a barrel—but until trying a true single barrel offering, most folks don’t realize that all those millions of barrels taste different from each other. So, depending on which bottle you pick up, Evan Williams Single Barrel will have slight flavor variances—but it will always taste delicious.

Smooth Ambler Contradiction—86 points, $45
Many new bourbon drinkers are surprised to learn that bourbon need not be from Kentucky, just from the United States. Smooth Ambler Contradiction is technically a blend of bourbons, featuring the West Virginia distillery’s own bourbon as well as liquid from MGP Distillery in Indiana, which provides whiskey for dozens of different brands. Showcasing the importance of blending acumen, the current 46% ABV release demonstrates how a younger product—which might not be so great on its own—can add verve when combined with a more refined older whiskey. The resulting bourbon is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Booker’s—93 points for Batch 2018-02, $75
While perhaps too “hot” for beginner drinkers, it is still critical to learn why barrel-proof (meaning no water has been added) whiskey is so beloved—chiefly for its intense flavors and customization potential, where the drinker gets to add water to taste. Booker’s was the first mainstream barrel-proof bourbon to hit the market in 1988, initially created by Jim Beam master distiller Booker Noe as a gift for his friends. Remarkably complex, with intense peanut notes, this bourbon is best approached by first-timers with a big ice cube or some added water. (Yes, adding water to your whiskey is totally okay.) Give it some time, though, and you may find that your palate has ramped up to appreciate the full-throated intensity. (Batches vary in proof and score.)

 

I personally like Jim Beam Black- Extra Aged. I'll also be checking out some of the recommendations other people have\will make ITT.

slamee101 and lostone like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another list:

https://www.liquor.com/slideshows/best-beginner-bourbon-brands/#gs.rnjc4b


6 BOURBON BRANDS FOR THE BEGINNING BOURBON DRINKER
Contributed by Crystal Sykes

Posted on Sep 23, 2015

Celebrate #30DaysofBourbon by drinking the brown stuff like you mean it. Oh, sweet, sweet bourbon. Even though America’s first native spirit is rum, bourbon has stolen the hearts of Americans from coast to coast. Bourbon has become one of the most versatile spirits, great sipped neat and in cocktails—from the refreshing Mint Julep, the spirituous Manhattan to all the modern classics that are being churned out daily all over the country. Bourbon lovers have a large selection of brands to choose from. What if you’re a bourbon newbie? The endless bottles on the shelves can be daunting. Help is on the way! These bottles will make sure you start your bourbon journey off on the right foot. And priced at under $35, they’ll take the stress off your wallet. You’re welcome.

1: BUFFALO TRACE KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON ($30)
Used in many bars, Buffalo Trace is a solid, affordable choice for the novice bourbonite. This Kentucky straight bourbon carries all the rich and complex notes of spice, vanilla and toffee that fit right into the description of a great bourbon. It finishes long and smooth.

2: BASIL HAYDEN’S BOURBON ($50)
If there’s money burning a hole in your pocket, a bottle of Basil Hayden’s might be the way to go. At around $50 a pop, this bourbon is worth the slightly more expensive price tag. This bourbon is surprisingly light and smooth to drink and has citrusy overtones to match its peppery notes. Basil Hayden’s works well in an Old Fashioned but is amazing when drunk neat.

3: WILD TURKEY 101 PROOF BOURBON ($22)
For an introductory high-proof bourbon, this is a great place to start. Instead of the usual 80 to 90 proof that most bourbons are when bottled, this Wild Turkey brand goes to bottle at 101 proof for a stronger buzz. (You can still buy Wild Turkey 81 for a lesser price). Wild Turkey 101 has an even finish for such a high-proof spirit and is great with cocktails that appreciate its caramel notes. A suggestion: Go straight for a Mint Julep.

4: FOUR ROSES SMALL BATCH BOURBON ($30)
All the bourbons under the Four Roses lineup are solid. But a bottle of Four Roses Small Batch is an especially fine choice. With a robust, full body, fruity and spicy notes and a nice, smooth finish, this award-winning bourbon is perfect for Old Fashioneds, Manhattans or just sipping by itself.

5: BULLEIT BOURBON ($23)
Lately, Bulleit has become the darling of the affordable bourbon world. Usually wallet-friendly and easily drunk in cocktails and neat, this bourbon has taken off in certain places in the country. Bulleit carries all the traditional notes every bourbon lover looks for—caramel, vanilla, oak and cinnamon—but also a spicy note due to the spirit’s high rye content. The result is a bourbon that can also hold up in a lot of your favorite rye cocktails as well. All that for around twenty bucks? We’ll take it.

Slide 7
6: W.L. WELLER 12 YEAR OLD BOURBON ($27)
We’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s going to take a while to get your hands on a bottle of the very rare, very in-demand Pappy Van Winkle. But with W.L. Weller 12-Year, you can get close to the taste for a fraction of the price. The only wheated mash bourbon on our list (Pappy is also wheated), Weller provides a much more mellow taste than bourbons with a rye mash. It’s not the same as Pappy, but no shame in keeping this bourbon in your collection for when you feel like faking it until you make it.

This list has some of the stuff Gritz and Flip Flop recommended. 

 

Flip Flop and lostone like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, lostone said:

Thanks all!

trying something new and this looked like a fun hobby.

It can be as casual or following Alice down the rabbit hole hobby as you want/can afford. 

I love Buffalo Trace, Makers Mark, Elijah Craig, Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve. Typical daily drinker is Evan Williams Black Label or 1783. Old Forester occasionally cause that’s what dad drank. 

For “football drinks” I’ll mix a lower end bourbon with ginger ale or sprite. To sip, I drink on the rocks. I have silicon ice trays that make big ice squares or round balls. They last longer than ice out of the ice maker. Lots of great bourbon cocktails, Old Fashioned being my favorite. Manhattans are good too. Cocktails are a good intro to bourbon. Bourbon, especially proofs under 100, are inherently sweet so most cocktails are too sweet to my palate now, I prefer bourbon on the rocks or neat. I prefer scotch on the rocks as well. 

******, I really want a drink now. Long *** week, toddler is going nuts, but doing dry January. 

JDaveG and lostone like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Flip Flop said:

Gritz Nailed it.  I would add Four Roses to the list of good bourbons for starters.

I came here to suggest Four Roses. 

AF89 and Flip Flop like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, heyme said:

Eagle rare is an upgrade made by buffalo trace I would highly recommend 

The store around the corner from me has Eagle Rare for $33.

heyme likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always liked Woodford Reserve as a good intro into bourbon. Nothing too over the top about it. Just solid. I'd put Four Roses in that same category. I like my bourbon with a little more pepper on it but those are really good intro to bourbons in my mind. 

 

 

Elijah Craig is another solid intro to bourbon but it definitely has a stronger flavor profile (at least in my opinion) than the other two. I'd go with Four Roses and Woodford first and then try Elijah Craig. Also you're gonna have a really hard time finding a 12 year old Bourbon at a cheaper price. Or the 23 year old one for that matter 

lostone, mdrake34, JDaveG and 1 other like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Owsley said:

Elijah Craig. Widow Jane. Larceny

Pair it with a fine Nicaraguan cigar and enjoy

Man chilling on the back porch with a good bourbon, an Oliva serie V and a good book was my **** several years back.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a very good bourbon for the money. It can usually be found for around $40, and it’s a very good entry point into the sipping bourbons from the shooting/mixing types. As others have said, 4 roses is great too, just don’t get the entry line. 

lostone likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Return of the Gaucho said:

Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a very good bourbon for the money. It can usually be found for around $40, and it’s a very good entry point into the sipping bourbons from the shooting/mixing types. As others have said, 4 roses is great too, just don’t get the entry line. 

That high of a proof bourbon......I mean it's good and it reflects my like of a little pepper (see rye) in my bourbon....but I don't know that that's what I'd hand a newbie.

mdrake34 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jpowors said:

That high of a proof bourbon......I mean it's good and it reflects my like of a little pepper (see rye) in my bourbon....but I don't know that that's what I'd hand a newbie.

True, but I always thought it had depth that you don’t find in some of the other bourbons at the same price point. I always noted some sweetness and vanilla that you don’t find in the four roses and bulleits that are comprable, and it seemed to be a good introduction to the more complex flavors you find in the higher end bourbons. 
 

You’re right though, it’s barrel proof and really is a true sipper. Caution advised. 

Jpizzle likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I been working on acquiring a taste for whiskey recently. The StuFf tastes like caca to me. Makers mark is brutal, but what I been doing is putting some crushed ice in a glass and some whiskey and sipping that stuff slow until I get used to the taste and then I’ll strengthen it up a bit. I just been talked into picking up a bottle of bourbon to baby sit. 

lostone and Porkins like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, lostone said:

Help!  I want to get into this kind of thing, but I don’t really know where to start.  What kind of bourbon should be where I start?  Is there an etiquette?  Any tips would be appreciated!

 

10 hours ago, Jpowors said:

That high of a proof bourbon......I mean it's good and it reflects my like of a little pepper (see rye) in my bourbon....but I don't know that that's what I'd hand a newbie.

Lo, another good point here. Look at proof/alcohol content in each bourbon. Most bourbons are 80-86 proof, which is about 40% alcohol per volume. These are sweeter bourbons. 100 proof bourbons, usually labeled “bottled in bond,” are 50% APV. The higher the proof, the higher the alcohol content, so the spicier/more alcohol burn taste. 

Then you get into barrel/cask strength bottles that are 115 proof and up. I haven’t dabbled in those yet, but those are going to pack a much stronger punch and would probably not be pleasing for introducing yourself to bourbon, plus they’re more expensive. 

Start out with 80-90 proof for sipping and mixing, and bonded 100 proof (Evan Williams Bottled in Bond and Old Grandad Bonded are two tasty lesser expensive ones) are good for cocktails as they’re a little spicier and hold up to mixing ingredients. 

lostone likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Scrunchomarx said:

I been working on acquiring a taste for whiskey recently. The StuFf tastes like caca to me. Makers mark is brutal, but what I been doing is putting some crushed ice in a glass and some whiskey and sipping that stuff slow until I get used to the taste and then I’ll strengthen it up a bit. I just been talked into picking up a bottle of bourbon to baby sit. 

I found a finger or two with a single large cube of ice while watching old reruns of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge to be an easy sipping experience. I really enjoyed Woodford that way. Mostly, I've always liked my bourbon in an Old Fashioned, but I've been doing the same as you working on the transition to straight.

Scrunchomarx likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me there’s Woodford and there’s everything else.  Costco sells the 1.5L bottle here for $47.50.  I also have Basil Hayden, 4 Roses, Blanton's in my cabinet and I like all of them, particularly the Blanton’s.  But quality for price, Woodford Reserve is hard to beat.  

lostone and Porkins like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kicker said:

To me there’s Woodford and there’s everything else.  Costco sells the 1.5L bottle here for $47.50.  I also have Basil Hayden, 4 Roses, Blanton's in my cabinet and I like all of them, particularly the Blanton’s.  But quality for price, Woodford Reserve is hard to beat.  

I have had woodford and like it.  But I wanted to branch out a bit.  Think I’ll head to the ABc store today

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lostone said:

I have had woodford and like it.  But I wanted to branch out a bit.  Think I’ll head to the ABc store today

Woodford Double Barrel Select too.  I did the bourbon trail from Louisville to Lexington in October and hit Woodford toward the end.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now