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You are here: Home / publicwork / public blog entries / Bourbon Recommendations

Bourbon Recommendations

Pulled from GLP emails

This is a condensed summary of the GLP emails pertaining to groupe member preferences in whisky/whiskey. Also see Is it whisky or whiskey and why it matters

The emails are organized chronologically by YYMMDD: Author.

200119: Ron

Might I suggests High West American Prairie Bourbon and also their Bourye
bourbon rye mix.

200119: Murray

Makers Mark is good for Mint Juliep cocktails, or maybe as a bourbon rather
than a rye Manhattan. But I won’t drink it otherwise.

200119: Jay

I would also mix in some cheaper bourbons.  Evan Williams beat out many of the
way more expensive ones in a blind taste test that the WSJ or NYT or someone
ran like 15 years ago. It also won a private blind tasting I did with like 6
people. Jack Daniels and Four Roses should also be part of the mix as some
people like them best. It's a very personal decision and not nec related to
price, so if you find your favorite is inexpensive, that's a score! Ironically
I found I like sipping Evan Williams more than many others, but I use Buillet
for cocktails I find it better for that.

I would do any comparisons between cheap and expensive bourbons on a blind
basis though, because the power of suggestion is strong.

200119: Eric

I did a blind taste test last night on the basic (~$16) and single barrel
(~$42) versions of 4 roses.  Both get good reviews, including the basic one
that is rated similarly to Evan Williams basic. But I found there to be a huge
difference.  The basic one smelled like alcohol and had no lasting taste.  The
single barrel stuff was much better.

200119: Phil

Several postings in order of receipt:

Weekly tasting

Jim Beam: I liked it more than I did the first time, perhaps because I tasted
it first rather than after some of others I liked better. I have to say, I
think I like this best of the three, which gives credence to Sean’s suggestion
that I try rye because this has the highest rye content of the three.

Jack Daniels: I liked the flavor but its very smooth in a way that I did care
for. It has none of the heat I like. Very low rye content

Evan Williams: There is a smooth quality similar to the Jack Daniels, perhaps
because this is also charcoal filtered and a low rye content. But it has some
of the heat and sharpness that I find I like as well. I can see why this does
well in blind taste tests. It is smooth and has a lot of flavor. It also has
the most pleasant aroma.

Notes from Christmas tasting

Makers Mark: A nice sweetness and mild. I can see why this is often recommended
as a good starter bourbon.

Knob Creek: The spiciest (heat) of the lot. I enjoyed the burn in the back of
my throat. Among my favorites.

Elijah Craig: Very intense vanilla notes but the most mild flavor of the
bunch.

Bulleit: Kind of a cross between Makers Mark and Knob Creek, with a pleasant
sweetness followed by a nice burn, although not as spicey as KC. Among my
favorites.

Coopers Craft: I like that they make their own barrels, but flavor-wise,
unremarkable. Tastes like whiskey.

Woodford Reserve: The most oak forward of the bunch, with a nice
smokiness. Also, the spiciest from standpoint of flavor rather than heat, with
the most notes of fall spices. One of my favorites.

Jim Beam: Good for sauces,and I like their commercials, but otherwise
unremarkable.

Phil's methodology and preferences

So, as we were briefly discussing bourbon on the ride this morning, here are
the results of my initial very preliminary testing involving the sample size
bourbons Santa left me

Since Christmas, I have resolved the following:

 — I don’t like rocks, dilutes the flavor too much
 — I seem to prefer bourbons with more heat
 — I read that a splash of water can help bring out subtle flavors. I find
   that to be true, but I also enjoy it neat.

Based on consuming one drink (50ml) of each of the following (selection based
on availability at ABC store in 50ml bottles)...

Bourbons I liked best

 Bulleit
 Knob Creek
 Woodford Reserve

Bourbons I liked ok (both wheated)

 Makers
 Larceny

Bourbons that didn’t do much for me

 Elijah Craig
 Coopers Craft (although it has a very pleasant vanilla aroma)
 Wild Turkey 101
 Jim Beam (which we happened to have in the house for making sauces that call for bourbon).

200119: Steve

Commenting on a picture of Basil Hayden's Dark Rye

Love this thread. Here, without doubt, is the best. Try it at your peril...

200121: Phil

Walthens Single Barrel. Good, lots of vanilla, smooth but limited heat

Old Foerster 1920 Prohibition Style: My favorite. Pleasant bite. Subsequent
googling revealed it to have highest rye.Also 115 proof,  highest abv of any
bourbon I have tried so far

John Bowman Single Barrel (Virginia). Meh. Pleasant enough, no heat, kinda
boring. Very pretty bottle

200315: Phil

GLP Whisky Tasting/Miller Party:

Old Grand Dad 100 brought by Thom Banks. We didn’t vote but this is the one I
liked the best, and I was the host. 2nd place, based on at least three people
agreeing that they liked it “ok”, goes to Old Forester 100. So I guess we like
100 proof bourbon.

200322: Phil

FYI, Old Overholt Bonded Rye is really good, as far as my novice palate is concerned.
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