Apis Bull

For Bourbon Folks

35 posts in this topic

Thanks for sharing...fun to read through.  I'm a scotch drinker but have been on a bourbon kick for a couple months and have developed a true appreciation for our native whiskey.  I was happy to see I'd had about 11 on this list already, and my personal favorite Eagle Rare is rated #4 (got a bottle in the cabinet right now).  Got a lot more to try still!  ;)    

I was less happy to see a clear price list of just how much North Carolina's monopoly on liquor stores is costing me per bottle...enjoy your free market in Florida, gents.  (And buying on Sunday...can't buy booze on the holy day here...)

  

 

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So many bourbons, so little time. I would add 4 Roses Barrel Select, if you can find it. Working on the Wild Turkey Rare Breed right now. Tastes very not aged and not what I was hoping for. They were spot on with the Elijah Craig 12 year. Great value there.

Thanks for posting Apis.

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Wow, this is great. At 56, I have just recently discovered  these spirits. I have tried several, but I am going shopping today! Thanks!!

 

 

Edited by footnfan1
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I finally gifted myself a bottle of Angel's Envy.  Very solid...the port barrel Finish gives it a subtle complexity.  It's almost too smooth, really.  Eagle Rare is still my top choice (in large part because it's $30/btl vs $45 for AE), but AE is a close second.

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#31 Bulleit Bourbon Frontier whiskey is my personal favorite on the list.  They make a 10 year that is worth the extra.  

Jim beam black is also good.

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On 12/27/2015 at 9:16 AM, NCBull said:

I finally gifted myself a bottle of Angel's Envy.  Very solid...the port barrel Finish gives it a subtle complexity.  It's almost too smooth, really.  Eagle Rare is still my top choice (in large part because it's $30/btl vs $45 for AE), but AE is a close second.

I tried a bunch over the new years time off. AE was spectacular, as was Gentleman Jack, J Daniels single barrel was wonderful. If you want full flavor and a wow factor, Elijah Craig and Four Rose single barrel stood out but the wow winner was  Elijah Craig. Also tried some Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace  which were both good.

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Great link, APIs!

Knob Creek will probably always be my sentimental favorite, best bourbon for the money I think.  I like Angel's Envy as a change of pace and possibly a bit better, but not normally worth the extra dollars.  Four Roses Single Barrel is another excellent choice in that price range, for a bit more you can't go wrong with Booker's.  The original Woodford Reserve has a somewhat similiar profile to Knob Creek but smoother if the Creek is too harsh for your taste.

I'm a fan of the whole Elijah Craig line.  Best bourbon I've ever had the pleasure of tasting was Elijah Craig 23 year.  As a general rule, i can't afford to buy that on a regular basis. :)  

On the lower end of the scale, I'm a fan of Four Roses Yellow Label and Buffalo Trace.

On the negative side,I personally don't like any of the Maker's Mark or Evan Williams lines. And I could name several other duds but they aren't worth knowing.

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11 hours ago, DataBull said:

On the negative side,I personally don't like any of the Maker's Mark or Evan Williams lines. And I could name several other duds but they aren't worth knowing.

Elijah and Evan are made in the same place, but I know what you mean and agree with you. I got the Makers cask strength as a gift for a friend a couple weeks ago and it wasn't bad if you let it sit for a minute with a drop or 2 of water, but definitely wouldn't spend the 50 buck on it again.

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13 hours ago, DataBull said:

Great link, APIs!

Knob Creek will probably always be my sentimental favorite, best bourbon for the money I think.  I like Angel's Envy as a change of pace and possibly a bit better, but not normally worth the extra dollars.  Four Roses Single Barrel is another excellent choice in that price range, for a bit more you can't go wrong with Booker's.  The original Woodford Reserve has a somewhat similiar profile to Knob Creek but smoother if the Creek is too harsh for your taste.

I'm a fan of the whole Elijah Craig line.  Best bourbon I've ever had the pleasure of tasting was Elijah Craig 23 year.  As a general rule, i can't afford to buy that on a regular basis. :)  

On the lower end of the scale, I'm a fan of Four Roses Yellow Label and Buffalo Trace.

On the negative side,I personally don't like any of the Maker's Mark or Evan Williams lines. And I could name several other duds but they aren't worth knowing.

Data, thank you. I am  Bourbon noob, so I am really just learning about the beverage. There is a LOT to learn! I purchased a bunch to try, and then checked some knowledge sources before I opened them, one I chose not to open. So, I am going to return it and thanks to you, try some Elijah 23 year!

I have passed on Makers mark and the like. I have tried Nob Creek, but my evaluation escapes me...so I will try it again.

I tend to be a neat sipper, maybe over some ice, I choose not to add water. Obviously the ice does that for me, but I like it neat or chilled.

Thanks to everyone for the information and suggestions.

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1 hour ago, George Jenkins said:

Elijah and Evan are made in the same place, but I know what you mean and agree with you. I got the Makers cask strength as a gift for a friend a couple weeks ago and it wasn't bad if you let it sit for a minute with a drop or 2 of water, but definitely wouldn't spend the 50 buck on it again.

I may try that as well, thanks GJ

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1 hour ago, George Jenkins said:

Elijah and Evan are made in the same place, but I know what you mean and agree with you. I got the Makers cask strength as a gift for a friend a couple weeks ago and it wasn't bad if you let it sit for a minute with a drop or 2 of water, but definitely wouldn't spend the 50 buck on it again.

Bourbons all start with the same basic recipe.  In order to be a bourbon, it must be 51% corn and aged in burnt oak barrels.  Flavor is influenced by the content of the other 49% of wheat rye or barley, the amount of "char" or how much the barrel is burnt, and the length of the aging process.

If I recall correctly, Maker's Mark uses wheat instead of rye and thus has just about the sweetest flavor of any bourbon.  I tend to like the bourbons that have more of a bite, which is why I favor a Knob Creek.  Once you determine the profile of bourbons that you prefer, it can make it easier to decide what bourbons you would want to drink.  Maker's and Knob are pretty near opposite ends of the spectrum, so deciding which one of the two you like better can go a long way towards determining what you like.

Though Evan and Elijah are made by the same company, the recipes are significantly different.  Actually, if I recall correctly, they are both made these days by Heaven Hill.  Heaven Hill has acquired and manufactures some 70 bourbons, so they cater to a wide range of tastes.  I also like the Heaven Hill branded bourbons.

On a side note, if you ever go to Kentucky this makes Heaven Hill one of the most interesting "tours" to take.  We went with the upscale "tour" which was a few dollars more but skipped the actual tour of the making of the bourbon and went to a tasting with four of the high end bourbons.  This is where I was able to taste the Elijah Craig 23 year.  

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52 minutes ago, footnfan1 said:

Data, thank you. I am  Bourbon noob, so I am really just learning about the beverage. There is a LOT to learn! I purchased a bunch to try, and then checked some knowledge sources before I opened them, one I chose not to open. So, I am going to return it and thanks to you, try some Elijah 23 year!

I have passed on Makers mark and the like. I have tried Nob Creek, but my evaluation escapes me...so I will try it again.

I tend to be a neat sipper, maybe over some ice, I choose not to add water. Obviously the ice does that for me, but I like it neat or chilled.

Thanks to everyone for the information and suggestions.

Going on several different tours is a neat experience, and while they are pretty much the same except for the bourbons you get to taste, you can learn little nuggets here and there which can be interesting.  I believe it was at Wild Turkey that we had a tour from a young college student that happened to be the niece of one of the master distillers.  Learned something interesting about adding ice or water that may be known to those that water down their bourbon, but was a new idea to me since I almost always drink it neat.

A touch of water (or melted ice) "opens up" the flavor because the water does actually break down the bourbon molecules.  This actually can and generally does make the bourbon more flavorful, but it breaks down quickly.  So this works better if you are going to down your glass relatively quickly.  I'm more of a guy that likes to gradually sip and savor for 20 to 30 minutes, so I favor a stronger bourbon neat so it doesn't break down quickly.  I came to these conclusions without understanding why I favored particular bourbons, so I thought it might be something interesting to pass along.

If you want to sip but prefer a more chilled drink, then look for some whiskey stones to chill but not water down your whiskey/bourbon.

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Yes, when you add a drop of water, they call it "blooming", and I don't think its technically breaking down anything (other than surface tension), but rather releasing more of the volatile aromatic molecules out of solution. I prefer stronger proof bourbons with a drop of water or 2 at room temperature, as I find these to be more complex with several different flavors as opposed to straight alcohol burn. It's pretty amazing some of the flavors that can come out of a bourbon if you can taste past the alcohol.

The science is pretty interesting and I find for me personally, learning about it adds to the enjoyment of the beverage. But by all means, feel free to enjoy your bourbon as you wish.

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43 minutes ago, DataBull said:

On a side note, if you ever go to Kentucky this makes Heaven Hill one of the most interesting "tours" to take.  We went with the upscale "tour" which was a few dollars more but skipped the actual tour of the making of the bourbon and went to a tasting with four of the high end bourbons.  This is where I was able to taste the Elijah Craig 23 year.  

I'm up there at least once a year visiting inlaws, and the Mrs. and I hit up at least one distillery every time. We have not been to Heaven Hill yet, but that part of the state is gorgeous, particularly in the fall/spring. It's on the list and thanks for the heads-up about the "high-end" tour. Thus far we've been to Maker's, 4 Roses, Woodford, Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam and the Evan Williams Experience in downtown Louisville.

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