What is the best sipping bourbon?

Discussion in 'The Speakeasy' started by Lopyswine, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. I am a poor student. What is the best sipping bourban? Lets say 20-30 bucks is my budget.

    Maker's Mark?
    Gentlemen Jack?

    I already have found some scotch blends I enjoy in my price range, so now I'd like to find a bourbon.

    I don't mean only bourbons. I'll take "normal" whiskeys also.

    Lets hear the advice.
  2. Deciding on a sipping whiskey is like deciding on a shaving cream or soap. There are good choices, great choices, and even a few spectacular choices. But all of them are best enjoyed as part of a rotation or when there are other selections to change it up with.
  3. There are many. The best bang for the buck and in fact one of the best at any price is Old Weller Antique.:thumbup1:
  4. My favorite has been Pappy Van Winkle's 20yo Family Reserve. But it's expensive, and hard to find.

    So, for "every day", I'd choose Woodford Reserve or Makers Mark.
  5. boboakalfb

    boboakalfb Moderator Emeritus

    $20 well spent. Weller 12 is another good one for about the same price. While the 12 is smooth and well rounded, the higher proof of the OWA gives it a more rustic, spicy feel.
  6. boboakalfb

    boboakalfb Moderator Emeritus

    Couldn't agree more, I like variety.

    To the OP, what have you tried and liked? There are so many choices but without knowing what you might like, it's tough.
  7. I agree - what makes a great bourbon is as individual as the person sipping them. Awesome bargains can be found in that price range though, especially if you shop online.
    Four Roses isn't bad
    Buffalo Trace is excellent - lots of complexity, but greatly drinkable at 94 proof
    Bulleit is ok...it's a good starter, as it's very mild.
    Maker's Mark - another good all-rounder
    Knob Creek - moving up the scale at 100 proof, nicely aged and balanced
    Evan Williams 12 year old - very smooth, drinkable, but not overly-complex.
    Pappy Van 20 - hell yeah, now your talking! A bit out of the target price range though.
    Noah's Mill - one of my faves. Small batch, cask strength (114 proof), aged in oak for 15 years, and very complex, yet goes down like caramel on fire, lol...in a good way...again, a bit over budget though. Bevmo has it for $68, but I got mine online at Sam's for $45.
    Rowan's Mill - Sister to Noah's...same maker, and slightly different. Less aging, less complexity, less price, but not inferior in ANY way.

    For a really good information site, check out http://www.bourbonenthusiast.com/forum/DBvd.php?id=105&task=durbu

    Good luck! Finding one you like is a lot of fun!
  8. Finished off a bottle of Gentleman Jack last night and got a bottle of Maker's Mark today. Can't wait to try it tonight!
  9. After a couple of tastes of Maker's Mark, I have determined that it is better than Gentleman Jack. Even though it's 90 proof compared to 80 for the GJ, it seems to be much smoother. I hope I don't like Knob Creek better, since it's $34.99 for a fifth where the Maker's Mark is only $27.99.
  10. TimmyBoston

    TimmyBoston Moderator Emeritus

    Spend $10 buck more and get Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year. :wink:

    Best bang for the buck, Weller 12, top notch and around $17-$20.
  11. George Dickel No.12 is very nice.
  12. Eagle Rare is also quite good.
  13. Not that long ago, I was given a bottle of bourbon from a Kentucky native, as a thank you for some work I'd done. It was a bottle of Jefferson's, which I found to be a damn-fine sipping bourbon, and which hasn't yet been mentioned in either this thread or the older one. If you nose around a bit, you should be able to find it in the higher end of your price range.
  14. I am no expert - but isn't George Dickel a Tennessee whiskey as opposed to bourbon? I have heard GREAT things about George Dickel.

  15. TimmyBoston

    TimmyBoston Moderator Emeritus

    George Dickel is not bourbon. It is Tennessee whiskey. But as Tennessee whiskeys go, Dickel is good stuff.
  16. Other than geographic regions, they are the same thing essentially, aren't they? They are both minimum of 51% corn...
  17. TimmyBoston

    TimmyBoston Moderator Emeritus

    Not even close. Tennessee is filtered through sweetned maple charcoal, totally alters the taste.
  18. What he said. I just tried this stuff, and it is really wonderful!

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