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Bourbon Recommendations

Bourbon Or Scotch?

  • Bourbon

  • Scotch

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Here are some Water of life

Macallan Cask Strength :001_tt2:
Ardbeg 30 Yr :001_tt2:
Lagavulin 16 Yr
Laphroaig cask strength
Bruichladdich 10 Yr
Glenmorangie 18 Yr
Laphroaig Scotch 10 Year 29$ a bottle is hard to beat
Springbank 10 Year Old :001_tt2:
Talisker Scotch 10 Year
Ah, Rick. It was probably doomed - any discussion of whiskey of any kind here is probably bound to devolve into a scotch discussion.

But some good Bourbon suggestions did pop up in the meantime...
rikrdo said:
ZACH: Ive been enjoying Jim Beam Black lately. Have you tried it? Very nice.

Haven't seen it -- I'll take a look next time I'm at the BevMo. I know the yellow label is Rye Whiskey, which I keep on hand to make Manhattans. I've also seen a green label JB, but no black...
I like them both, but choose bourbon more often. Bourbon is not as expensive, and it is a bit lighter. I'm sure that skulking around the Scottish moors in winter would require a heavy warming drink. But since I live in the Phoenix area, Scotch is inappropriately heavy during 10 months of the year.

For Scotch, I've only tried Oban and Talisker. I love them both, but Talisker is my main choice.

For Bourbon, I'll rank my choices (these are the only ones I've tried):
- Basil Hayden
- Woodford Reserve
- Bulleit
- Knob Creek
- Maker's Mark
- Jim Beam
inkling said:
I like them both, but choose bourbon more often. Bourbon is not as expensive, and it is a bit lighter. I'm sure that skulking around the Scottish moors in winter would require a heavy warming drink. But since I live in the Phoenix area, Scotch is inappropriately heavy during 10 months of the year.

Bourbon over some ice is something you can enjoy on those hot summer nights.
Old Rip Van Winkle (not Pappy... what's that?). Limited batch, handmade, numbered, from Kentucky. They make a rye as well. Now *that's* a good Manhattan.

Then, Knob Creek and Woodford Reserve are neck-and-neck.

Side note, am I the only person who thinks that Maker's is just rocket fuel with caramel coloring in it?
I've been lurking for a while now; it's time to post.

If you want to spend a lot, I like A.H. Hirsch Reserve. If you want to spend a moderate amount I'd say Woodford Reserve. And if you want to spend less, Jim Beam.

I like smooth Bourborns and all of the above are smooth to my palate. Knob Creek, Bookers and Makers Mark all are a bit more harsh to my palate. (But I'll still drink them!) :biggrin:
My favourite is definitely Bookers. Though for an everyday drinker it would have to be JD (though not strickly a burbon) or Wild turkey 101.
The worst burbon would have to be Cougar, tastes like cough syrup followed closely by the ultrea sweet rebel yell, yuck. Any budget burbon tastes better than those two.
I've always been a Jack Daniels drinker but, there's a friend of mine in Amarillo that swears by some Canadian Whiskey called 40 Creek. She drinks it straight up. I haven't tried it yet myself but, I've read good things about it.
I was on a multi-decade Scotch kick, but I have lost my appreciation for peat. There are still some good Scotches out there that aren't real peaty, but I have lately come to appreciate a good Bourbon. I'm not a fan of JD, but any of the smaller makes are usually good to me. Some are the same or less in price than JD.

As said earlier, cheap bourbon is a LOT better than cheap Scotch. I'm enjoying a few fingers of Elijah Craig right now (inspired by this thread) with a bit of water. I usually like it (as well as Scotch) with a cube or two of ice. The character changes as you drink it while it cools and dilutes. I also like it neat at room temperature with a Coca-Cola chase every few sips. That's something I could never bring myself to do with an expensive Scotch.

Speaking of Scotch, I have recently been wanting to try some of the Compass Box offerings. Has anyone tried any of them?


Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Bourbon- Maker's Mark, Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve

Scotch- Lagavulin

Pappy Van Winkle is a small batch bourbon out of Kentucky, actually I just checked and its part of the Old Van Winkle Brand, just a different offset specifically for the 15yr, 20yr, and 23yr bourbons.

Basically if you have the money to blow and want the best bourbon I've ever had, its around $200-250 for their 23 year bourbon. I've bought the 15 year on occasion and its worth the price, IMO.

I did want to comment on some other bourbons too.
1. Makers Mark v. Woodford Reserve v. Ridgemont Reserve
-These bourbons are all pretty similar, with the makers being a bit sweeter, the Woodford being slightly better (but more expensive as well), and the Ridgemont falling in about the middle. No jibs on the Makers, that's my sipping bourbon of choice.

2. Buffalo Trace v. Makers Mark
-Buffalo Trace was developed to compete with Makers, less so with Woodford Reserve. Buffalo Trace is a good bourbon, but I find it a bit too spicy for it to become my sipping bourbon. It kind of reminds me more of a lower kick Knobb Creek but lacking a small amount of smoothness. If I had to chose, I'd pick Makers any day over Buffalo Trace.

3. Bulleit- I don't know what is up with this bourbon, but I wasn't impressed at all and ended up giving it to my neighbor. I wasn't too hip on its taste whatsoever (maybe I had a bad batch, I don't know).

4. Bookers and Blantons- Both of these are excellant, and I sadly haven't had enough of them to distinguish them too much.

5. Basil Hayden- I classify this as a Scotch Drinker's Bourbon. I'd say its almost on par with Blantons

6. Eagle Rare 10 year- This my favorite, very smooth, but comes at a price. Less expensive than Blantons, maybe on par with pricing for Basil Hayden depending upon what state you are in. This is a good price to quality ratio, still being somewhat expensive, but not too much so.

7. Elmer T. Lee- I'd say this is a step above Makers, maybe above Woodford, but below Basil Hayden, and Eagle Sky 10 year. It's a good bourbon to try if you are just in the mood for small batch bourbons, but I don't distinguish it enough from Makers and Woodford to really pick one over the other.
Since I can no longer afford the good stuff, the cheap stuff:

Scotch - William Grant's (surprisingly good @ $25 for 1.75L!)

Bourbon - Early Times

I am also in the "both" camp.

As for what kind, the best I can afford at the time.

And I agree that cheap bourbon is much better than cheap scotch. If I have to go cheap I skip the scotch.
I do both single malts (mostly Islays) and Bourbons regularly. I'll skip the scotch talk (except to say that all American bourbons are better than MOST scotches - talk about THAT among yourselves!)

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Wild Turkey. Any of their 101 proof bottlings (Rye or Bourbon) are very nice whiskey. I'd avoid the 80 proof ones (meant to appeal to people who MIX their whiskey, I guess). I'd also look for their Russell's Reserve bottling. It used to be a 101, which if you find a bottle, grab it. Now it's a 90 proof and it's damn good (though I liked the 101 better).

I also like the Van Winkle stuff. Their 13yo family Reserve Rye, if you can find a bottle, is worth every penny (probably about 4,000 pennies/bottle in most areas).

I like Knob Creek as well, and since most bars that serve Maker's Mark ALSO have Knob Creek, it seems, give it a try if you only ever get MM.

A technical note, JD is NOT a bourbon (the charcoal filtering disallows that name). Besides that, it's crap these days. It smells and tastes like some sort of banana-flavored paint remover. Start drinking real bourbon and you'll leave the Jack to the Jack & Coke drinkers and Merle Haggard songs.

Also, learn not to wreck it with ice and/or lots of water. If you do that, you might as well be making yourself a Cosmo and watching Beaches with the girls. Be a man: learn to properly drink and appreciate fine whiskey. :biggrin: Drink it straight (or barely watered), preferably in some sort of spirit glass that allows you to fully experience it (I use a small tulip glass made for wine tasting).

"I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Wild Turkey"

I did just above. I'd avoid the 86 proof too, when they dropped the proof it lost a lot of it's flavour. I was told that it was done to lower the alcohol content and save on taxes to try and make it more competitive with the likes of Beam and JD.

"JD is NOT a bourbon"
Mentioned that also, but I thought it was because it was made in Tennesee and to be a it had to be made in Kentucky to be called a burbon? Many Jim Beam Burbons are charcol filtered and still refered to as burbons.


Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Wild Turkey's Kentucky Spirit was a bit rough for me, but I did enjoy a 10yo W. L. Weller's recently.
ouch said:
Wild Turkey's Kentucky Spirit was a bit rough for me, but I did enjoy a 10yo W. L. Weller's recently.

I spent a summer working at a country club, and from time to time had to help out in the bar. A local custom was to order "two dub", which meant "two W", i.e., Wellers and Water.


Bourbon can be made in any state. For example, Virginia Gentleman is a bourbon made in Virginia. Tennessee whiskey enjoys a separate legal status. What differentiates it from bourbon is that it is charcoal filtered before being put into barrels. There are some bourbons that are filtered, but that is done after aging in barrels.

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