Best Sipping Bourbon/Ten Whiskey/ Sour Mash

Discussion in 'The Speakeasy' started by beachape, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Hello All,

    I know there is a thread on the "smoothest bourbon" on the forum, but my question is a bit different. Thus far I have only tried the cheap ones: Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, and Evan Williams (the cheap one). I do enjoy scotch whisky, so I thought I might try some better sipping american whiskeys.

    I enjoy the sour-ish flavor of jack daniels, but am looking for something a bit more complex and well rounded. Is that sour flavor distinctive of a sour mash? I read that sour mash makes the drink sweeter...but I don't think jack daniels is very sweet.

    Any american whiskeys you would recommend with a similar flavor to jack daniels but more complex? If not similar to jack daniels, any gold standard american whiskeys that I should start with (made for sipping, not mixing)?
     
  2. Jack Daniels old no7 is really not all that! Now, Gentleman Jack, which is triple filtered is a far cry better. My favorite bourbon is Eagle Rare 10 year single barrel; it can be had for around $24 to $29 a bottle and it has ALMOST put and end to my testing of other bottles! Evan Williams single barrel is quite good also. I've seen a few posts here mentioning Elijah Craig 12 year and I have to say it was one of the worst bottles I've ever tasted; please avoid. All bourbons will have more similarities than single malt scotches. Scotch is far more idiosyncratic maker to maker. Bourbon is considerably sweeter than scotch because it is made primarily from corn (well, if you don't count the water) which contains more sugars than the malted barley used to make scotch.
     
  3. I haven't had any Jack Daniel's recently, so I can't speak to a comparison, but I do have a recommendation for sipping whiskey. I love Woodford Reserve. It is currently one of my favorites right now. I would rank it above Maker's Mark, but in a similar category of complexity and flavor.
     
  4. I like to sip Maker's Mark.

    Honestly, I really enjoy Jack Daniels much more than the pricetag would usually dictate, but I don't feel like it's a sipping whiskey. Gentlemen Jack is a nice step up and Single Barrel Jack might be good though I've never tried it.
     
  5. I liked Jack Daniel's more before they lowered the proof. My favorite sipping whisky is George Dickel in the tan label.
     
  6. Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, and Makers Mark are all good choices.
     
  7. +1 on Eagle Rare. If you are looking for a good step up from Jack and Jim, without spending crazy money, I'd look at Eagle, Maker's Mark, Knob Creek, and my favorite mid-range and house "well" bourbon Wild Turkey (101 of course). For my money Wild Turkey is a great sipping whiskey for $17 at Trader Joe's.

    Others might say, and I'd agree, that you might want to try out bourbons that start their name with the letter "B": Booker's, Basil Hayden, and Buffalo Trace.

    Have fun and I'll be interested to hear what you think.
     
  8. I'm rather fond of Evan Williams Single Barrel, myself. Booker's is another good choice...
     
  9. My "sipping" bourbon is Bulleit. It's smooth to my palette but not so smooth that it lacks character. I find Wordford smoother as well as some other bourbon brands but they are less bold in flavour IMO.
     
  10. How could I forget Bulleit in my list of nice "B" bourbons? :huh: Thanks for the reminder.
     
  11. Laz

    Laz

    One more vote for the Eagle Rare. You can't beat Maker's Mark for the price. I also enjoy Jack's Single Barrel. You should try it since you are fond of their standard. My favorite for sipping is probably Four Roses Single Barrel.
     
  12. No Blantons, Bakers, or Willett fans? Those 3 are my favorites lately...
     
  13. i enjoy makers mark and jack but i often grab a bottle of beams rye (yellow label in Australia). It suits me but then i have never tasted a bourbon i would not try again.
     
  14. Wild Turkey Rare Breed is probably my favorite. Four Roses Single Barrel is nice and recently a bottle of Old Forrester Birthday Burbon followed me home.
     
  15. Different strokes for different folks, YMMV, etc. I didn't care for Eagle Rare 10. It was a "rare" blind buy that just didn't do it for me in spite of the positive comments I've read. Otherwise, I've had good luck with blind buys of spirits that get a lot of recommendations around here. For my money, George Dickel 12 and Elijah Craig 12 are fantastic budget sippers. Also, don't rule out blends and Canadian whiskies. There are some good, sippable choices there as well.
     
  16. I'll throw a +1 your way on those!

    All good suggestions thus far. My advice is to get out there and start tasting until you find what you like.
     
  17. Just got back from the L-store with a botte off Bulleit (apparently pronounced "bullet") and have found my first glass very smooth and flavorful. Good call B&B, good call.
     
  18. Pappy Van Winkle or Bookers
     
  19. Pappy Van Winkle 15 yr or 20 yr family Reserve are as good as it gets. Less pricey, try Four Roses Single barrel or Rowan's Creek. Noah's Mill is also excellent.
     
  20. I would recommend Any of the Van Winkle bourbons (price point dependent), Basil Hayden, Woodfords and Beam Black

    Between those 4, you'll find a keeper
     

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