Bourbon and Rye

Discussion in 'Other Beverages' started by Leftofthedial, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (6,112) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado

    Really not a fan of Stagg Jr. or Elmer T Lee. good with coke, but not for those prices.

    TriggerFingers likes this.
  2. TriggerFingers

    TriggerFingers Disciple (340) Apr 29, 2012 California

    Ha! You can make just about any bourbon taste good with some Coke! :grin:

    It's been a few years since I had ETL. Lot's of brown sugar on that one that I really enjoyed. It was good in the $30-$40 range but not worth $100-$125 I see it now. Again a solid mid-shelf pour that is now over-hyped (and over priced).
    NextBestThing likes this.
  3. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (434) Jan 7, 2011 California

    lol. this is classic. the rye producers that made-up the original VWFRR13s (both) went out of business by 1985. so yeah, obviously the whiskey is not the same given the original sources vanished 34 or so years back. many people get another fact twisted. Stitzel-Weller/ Van Winkle only produced wheated bourbon. they never made a drop of anything with rye in it (bourbon or actual "rye" whiskey).
  4. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,804) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Everything considered EC 12 is really tough to beat, it’s worth the money if they were asking 2X the price. It was really high on M Jacksons whiskey list too if I remember right. And I think it’s 94 proof so it can stand on its own.
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  5. NextBestThing

    NextBestThing Initiate (189) Apr 5, 2008 New York

    Very good selection of Eagle Rare as a starter bourbon, the price is generally speaking right as well.

    Elijah Craig 12 and the standard Buffalo Trace are also good bourbons to take a shot at.

    I'm (already) drinking Jefferson's Ocean Aged at Sea Voyage 16 at the moment, it's a nice 9:45 AM on Sunday pour.
    GOBLIN, seakayak and mkh012 like this.
  6. NextBestThing

    NextBestThing Initiate (189) Apr 5, 2008 New York

    Redbreast 12 year old for $38 a bottle is stunning. Great, great bottle - probably my number one go-to at this particular moment. I pay $60 a bottle though, and do it gladly.
    Tilley4 and GOBLIN like this.
  7. mkh012

    mkh012 Defender (638) May 7, 2015 New Jersey

    Anyone have a recommendation for something in the 90 proof range that is under $50, approachable, and a little sweet? I gravitate towards toffee/caramel flavors, granted I've only had a few bourbons.
    GOBLIN, nc41 and ECCS like this.
  8. Longhorn08

    Longhorn08 Aspirant (217) Feb 4, 2014 Texas

    Love me some Glenlivet Nadurra
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  9. NextBestThing

    NextBestThing Initiate (189) Apr 5, 2008 New York

    Elijah Craig 12 all day.
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  10. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,804) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Elijah Craig 12 is 94 proof and a stunning whiskey, it’ll definitely hit the notes your looking for, I’d guess under $25 depending on where. There’s not a better bang for the buck Bourbon than this one imo.
  11. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (4,609) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Two currents fave have been High West and Widow Jane...
    High West tastes like marshmallow and nougat, Widow Jane has a sweet lime element...

    Two all-time faves have been Angel's Envy and Hillrock...
    Both of these get some extra barrel-aging action and it pays off - rich, sweet, smooth, complex - actually, my two favorite bourbons...

    Those four aside, partial to Basil Hayden and Buffalo Trace, and most of the popular bourbons, Elijah Craig, Four Roses, Bulleit, and Maker's Mark, for example...

    #51 Greywulfken, Apr 21, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  12. VoodooBear

    VoodooBear Zealot (570) Aug 25, 2012 Puerto Rico

    Booker's is my favorite bourbon to date (my current bottle is a 2018-01). Closely followed by Eagle Rare and while not technically bourbon, Michter's American Whiskey.
  13. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (588) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I love bourbon but I've never had the same instinct as with beer to explore too deeply or widely.

    I'm a cheapskate so Evan Williams 1783 is my go to for making old fashioneds and manhattans and Weller Reserve is my go to sipper. The Weller has gotten super hard to find here unfortunately, and I've read that they're planning to raise prices to try and stem demand a little.

    If i want to spend a little more I agree with others that Elijah Craig is amazing for the $30ish bucks it costs around here. I like Rye as well (I agree with the old saw that it works better in a manhattan than bourbon) but tend to bounce around brands and only buy them occasionally, so I don't have particularly strong feelings about what I like more than others.
    nc41, NextBestThing and GOBLIN like this.
  14. FFFjunkie

    FFFjunkie Crusader (710) Aug 26, 2014 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Thank you for your post! I’ve been eyeballing the widow Jane every time I go in and now I’ll be picking it up.
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  15. laketang

    laketang Meyvn (1,068) Mar 22, 2015 Illinois

    A friend of mine just moved and didn't want this hanging around anymore. So I gave him 2 Sixers of weihenstephaner. I currently am not thinking of opening it, but I might be persuaded. Probably worth more to a collector, which I am not.
  16. NextBestThing

    NextBestThing Initiate (189) Apr 5, 2008 New York

    Decent bottle but always best to uncork and enjoy as intended, you can get a month of good times with goodish company out of this one if you care.

    Cheers already.
    chrismattlin and laketang like this.
  17. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (2,804) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana

    It's the best bourbon under $30 IMO
  18. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Aspirant (258) Jun 13, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    I tend to prefer bourbons that have a higher rye content and/or pronounced oak influence, although my favorite at the moment is Maker's 46.

    There have been a lot of newer, craft bourbons flooding the shelves, and I'm wondering if any of you have experiences/recommendations with them?
  19. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,804) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Seems like I’ve been in bar room fights with many spirits, Jack Daniels was one of those deals, whopper drunk and hangover and it seems I never win the fight. But I am still able to enjoy whisky unlike the tequila
    brother_rebus and BeerseAnyone like this.
  20. jkblr

    jkblr Poo-Bah (1,650) Nov 22, 2014 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Tequila is dead to me. Rye seems to give a similar buzz to beer. I have even found through diligent research that I prefer the 90-95% rye whiskies to the 51% rye that is common here in bourbon country. There's a liquor store across the Kentucky line that has a craft beer draft bar and whiskey by the pour. It's a pretty inexpensive way to sample before buying.
    thesherrybomber and nc41 like this.
  21. darkandhoppy

    darkandhoppy Aspirant (259) Dec 26, 2008 Connecticut

    Knob Creek is my go to. Wish it still stood by the "Aged 9 Years" age statement but I still love it. Their rye is solid too! Four Roses Single Barrel is equally fine.

    when I first became a regular bourbon drinker, my go to was Woodford. The Labrot & Graham distillery had just been restored and reopened as Woodford but they didnt have any of their own pot distilled product to bottle yet. Until their own distillate had aged long enough to package, they raided cream of the crop honey-barrels from parent company Brown Forman's other distilleries. It had a super light body, very low heat, sweet caramel and vanilla. It was really, really easy to drink. Probably not a good thing in hindsight. I still like Woodford but it's just not the same, by a country mile, as their earliest product.
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  22. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,804) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I’m a complete rye novice, the bars here have pretty shitty selections on the shelf, and this one certainly is not in play. I look at them but they scare me, I’m afraid they might turn out to be a clone of some of the horrible Canadian whiskeys I’ve had over the years. What might be a good starting point? I’m going away in 3 weeks so I need to bring a bottle of something.
  23. Leftofthedial

    Leftofthedial Disciple (376) Nov 17, 2011 California

    I would say Sazerac Rye as a great introductory rye as it’s just over 50% rye and tastes a lot closer to a bourbon, but I know how strangely difficult that bottle can be to find in NC. Therefore my two recommendations are Pikesville and Old Forester Rye. Pikesville is at 110 proof so a little higher heat but absolutely delicious. I can find it for $38 at my Total Wine so not terribly pricey though not a budget rye either. Old Forester Rye is new, affordable, tasty, and works particularly well in cocktails.
  24. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,043) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Heaven Hill drop the 12 year statement from Elijah Craig a few years back? I've heard it's now a mix of 8 to 12 year old barrels. Still a great bourbon and one of the best values out there.
    chrismattlin, NextBestThing and nc41 like this.
  25. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,804) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    A few bourbons have dropped the age statement. My understanding is when blending the age posted on the bottle it reflects the youngest whiskey in that bottle. So I’m guessing with bourbons resurgence perhaps quantity became an issue, so if they decide to use 4 yr old bourbon in the mix it’s better marketing to lose the age statement. Don’t know just a guess.
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  26. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,043) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey

    Randomly found a bottle of Elmer T. Lee at retail price (~$33) about a year ago. Only time I've ever seen it in NJ. Was pretty excited to try it with everything I had heard about it but ended up pretty underwhelmed. It's good but nothing about it would make me pay over that price for it.
  27. TriggerFingers

    TriggerFingers Disciple (340) Apr 29, 2012 California

    Correct. It's no longer called Elijah Craig 12; rather Elijah Craig Small Batch.
    About 3-4 years ago, the moved the age statement to the back of the bottle. Roughly 2 years back they dropped the age statement completely. It's still a great value for sure, but it has changed a little with the mixing of younger barrels. The oak character on the finish isn't a sweet/smooth as it used to be. I still poke around small out of the way liquor stores hoping to find a few of the old EC12 bottles.

    Recently I tried EC Small Batch side-by-side with Buffalo Trace. Buffalo Trace was sooo much better.
  28. TriggerFingers

    TriggerFingers Disciple (340) Apr 29, 2012 California

    I bought my first bottle of ETL when I lived in NJ as well. It was about that price and I agree...good but nothing that warrants the secondary market prices you see now.
    Jacobier10 likes this.
  29. NextBestThing

    NextBestThing Initiate (189) Apr 5, 2008 New York

    It's called Small Batch now, no longer any age statement as you have said. All aside I for one couldn't tell one from the other and as you also said still an excellent bottle, especially for the price. In my area it's as low as $28 for a 750.

    Larceny is also a very good value, the 1 L bottle can be had for > $30 which makes it a mid-range bourbon for a bottom shelf price.
    Jacobier10 likes this.
  30. surfcaster

    surfcaster Champion (802) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Most of the "craft" stuff is low on aging due to new distilleries and the need to get things to market faster and generate income. Some are doing things like smaller barrels or staves to "accelerate" and increase the exposure to the wood. These seem like good ideas but cannot duplicate time. Others have sourced older stuff and blended it with their newer products but the amount of older/aged product is usually sketchy. I put most in the category of OK and try most out of interest.

    Two small production bourbons (not sure what you call "craft") under the Willet family are Noah's Mill and Rowan's Creek. Just found both out of state on a trip for 45$ and 38$ respectively and are just outstanding.

    Although not small, the Four Roses Single Barrel should be your thing. Most of their bourbons are in the 30% rye range. Great balance of sweet/spice. Shoot, even their regular bourbon is a winner.

    @Highbrow is probably your guy on this one.
    thesherrybomber likes this.
  31. Quilentro

    Quilentro Aspirant (271) May 12, 2017 Illinois

    I’ve been out of the bourbon game for a long time. So much chasing, hoarding, crazy prices, secret handshakes, and annoyances. Beer is much more straightforward!

    That said - where’s the love for Willett? Their 4 year rye is amazing. So much spice and range of flavor! I picked up a 6 year bourbon, too, but haven’t opened it yet.

    I’ve had a lot of bourbon over the years, and I’m a huge proponent of finding value. There is so much good stuff out there these days - don’t pay the big bucks for hype. Also, just like beer, do blind tasting from time to time. Great way to figure out what you actually like, versus what you think you like.
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  32. surfcaster

    surfcaster Champion (802) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I think the Willet "tree" now is the best value out there for great stuff.
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  33. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (434) Jan 7, 2011 California

    if you rewind back to around 2012, i tried warning Elijah Craig was going to drop age statements + take the 18 year old out of the rotation. that & i stated HH intended to eventually introduce a barrel strength iteration to distract from the pending disappearances.

    nobody is going to cop to it, but the obvious is Brown Forman was shadow distilling their bourbon (everybody [who could read] already knew Rittenhouse rye was using BF distilled spirit). as predicted, when the Brown Forman contract ended, the other dominoes began to fall. Elijah Craig lost it's age statements, surprise, surprise & just like clockwork & all those years of getting my ass handed to me on here for saying GI was gonna feel the brunt of it, Bourbon County stumbled like a mofo.
  34. brother_rebus

    brother_rebus Champion (858) Jul 28, 2014 Pennsylvania

    if we're talking budget rye, the Old Overholt and especially Old Overholt Bonded are spectacular for the price. Yes, plastic bound. But they stack up to things in the $40 range, when on deal you can find them $17-$20.
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  35. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (4,609) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    I've enjoyed rye whiskey, but don't really explore...

    However when I wanted to try my hand at a sazerac, I went with Whistle Pig...
    The cocktail was great, but I found I wasn't a fan of the rye on its own...
  36. Riff

    Riff Champion (833) May 12, 2016 Virginia

    Favorite rye is Pikesville Rye.

    Favorite bourbon. Hmmm dunno, I like a number of them so depends on the mood. Currently have a bottle of Buffalo Trace open with a bottle of Belle Meade waiting in the wings. Fun to have the flavors develop over time and exposure to air after opening.
    GOBLIN likes this.
  37. Dtapeski

    Dtapeski Initiate (87) Oct 26, 2012 Colorado

    When splurging, Whistle Pig. My everydayrye’s are Templeton 6yr and High West Double Rye. Usually a couple dashes of bitters and a drop of quality sweet vermouth with a cube or two.
    Got turned on to this about a year ago and really like it neat. Very light with strong vanilla presence. It’s from Firestone Robertson out of Ft. Worth.

    Tried a couple of times to copy/paste an image from the web in, but did not work. I was referring to the FR Blended Whiskey. It’s my understanding same Firestone family as Firestone Walker, but not the same person.
  38. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (6,112) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado

    Nice pour.

  39. TriggerFingers

    TriggerFingers Disciple (340) Apr 29, 2012 California

    Now there's a blast from the past! That is some good juice!
    chrismattlin and Wasatch like this.
  40. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (6,112) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado

    I still have one more left.:slight_smile:

    chrismattlin likes this.