Best age for bourbon

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  • [Deleted User]
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    What is your preferred age for a bourbon? The sweet spot for me is about 7-10 years.

    Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets. (Ron Swanson)
  • bedlamborn Member bedlamborn Joined: 18.09.2016Posts: 611Collectionbedlamborns CollectionRatings: 21
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    @Carlton It is hard for me to say as the ones I have been drinking does not have an age statement such as Corner Creek and Makers Mark.
  • [Deleted User]
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    @bedlamborn

    Many American distillers are aging to a taste profile rather than a specific age, so the age can vary a bit from batch to batch (but not much). That is why most don't have an age statement, but you can find out the approximate age with a little research. Maker's is around six years old (some barrels in a batch might be a little older than 6 years and some a little younger than 6 years). I don't know about Corner Creek, but, if anything, it might be a bit more variable in age than distillery bottlings since it is bottled by the American equivalent of an independent bottler. I will see what I can come up with on Corner Creek.

    Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets. (Ron Swanson)
  • bedlamborn Member bedlamborn Joined: 18.09.2016Posts: 611Collectionbedlamborns CollectionRatings: 21
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    @Carlton
    Are there any that you suggest with an age statement? I need to buy one or two bourbons as the only one I have at home right now is the Blantons single barrel.
  • [Deleted User]
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    @bedlamborn

    It is hard to find one with an age statement these days. :banghead: Most of the few stalwarts that had an age statement have dropped it in the past couple of years. Single barrel store selections and special releases usually have an age statement (or the distilled and bottled dates), but I don't know how many of those make it to Europe. Do you have any of the Four Roses single barrel store selections available? Otherwise, what have you had that you liked? I might be able to point you toward something similar (or dissimilar, if you prefer to try something different).   

    Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets. (Ron Swanson)
  • SlàinteMhath Member SlàinteMhath Joined: 09.10.2016Posts: 134CollectionOslo Whisky ClubRatings: 156
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    @Carlton
    I haven't tried much bourbon so far, but I'd love to. I liked Michter's Small Batch and Woodford Reserve while Knob Creek didn't suite my palate. That's my list of bourbons I consider to buy:

    Baker's 7yr
    Blanton's Gold Edition
    Buffalo Trace
    Bulleit
    Eagle Rare 10yr
    Elijah Craig 12yr
    Four Roses Yellow Label
    Four Roses Single Barrel
    Knob Creek 9yr
    Maker's Mark
    Woodford Reserve

    Any comments or suggestions? Many bourbons are difficult to find in Europe and anything above 60% ABV is prohibited by law in Norway (no George T. Stagg...).

    Cheers!

    That's what I do. I drink, and I know things.” (Tyrion Lannister)

    >>> Whisky reviews by Slàinte Mhath <<<

  • bedlamborn Member bedlamborn Joined: 18.09.2016Posts: 611Collectionbedlamborns CollectionRatings: 21
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    @Carlton
    There is a four roses single barrel to buy from the Swedish Alcohol monopoly. And for the ones stated with an age is only the following.
    Fighting Cock 6 years
    John Medley's Aged 6 Years
    Old Ezra 7 Years
    Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Years
    I liked both Makers and Corner Creek Reserve, other than that I have not tried so much.





  • [Deleted User]
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    @SlàinteMhath

    I dropped in some comments beside your list below:

    Baker's 7yr - Same Jim Beam distillate as the Knob Creek but a couple of years younger. Not as oaky as Knob Creek, but you might not like it since you didn't care for Knob Creek.

    Blanton's Gold Edition - Made from Buffalo Trace's medium-rye mash bill. Regular Blanton's runs 6-8 years old, but I'm not sure about the Gold. Good bourbon but not sure it's worth the price, especially if you are trying to decide what you like.
    Buffalo Trace - Made from Buffalo Trace's low-rye mash bill, batches run about 8 years old. One of the best values in bourbon. 
    Bulleit - Contract distilled by Four Roses for Diageo. (That relationship ended a couple of years ago, but that won't change what you find on the shelf for a few years). Decent bourbon at a good price but won't set the world on fire.
    Eagle Rare 10yr - Same mash bill as Buffalo Trace above but with two extra years. Excellent bourbon and should be priced a bit cheaper than the Blanton's Gold.
    Elijah Craig 12yr - Distilled by Heaven Hill. This one has a lot of fans, but I am not one of them.
    Four Roses Yellow Label - Another excellent value. This one runs about 5-6 years old and is a mix of all 10 of Four Roses' bourbons (10 combinations of 2 mash bills and 5 yeasts). Easy sipper and good mixer.
    Four Roses Single Barrel - One of my favorites. Uses only one of the ten Four Roses recipes and runs 7-9 years old. Mash bill is 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley and the "light fruit" yeast. If you think some bourbons are too sweet, you might like this one.
    Knob Creek 9yr - The Jim Beam yeast lends a distinctive flavor to their bourbons that is not to everyone's liking. It is more prevalent in the younger expressions, but that could be why you didn't care for this one. It as also quite oaky. Solid bourbon, though.

    Maker's Mark - Doesn't get much respect from serious bourbon drinkers, but it is one of my favorites. Runs about 6 years old.  Unlike all of the other bourbons on this list, it uses wheat in place of rye in the mash bill. Maker's 46 is a spicier version that has had toasted French oak staves inserted in the barrel for a few months.
    Woodford Reserve - Mixture of pot- and column-distilled bourbons. A solid bourbon. The Double Oaked version is better if you can find it.

    @bedlamborn

    The Four Roses Single Barrel that you can buy is probably the standard version that I listed above. Four Roses has a barrel program for retailers in which they bottle each of their 10 recipes at barrel strength. However, the standard version is excellent. It is a very good example of a spicy, fruity bourbon that is not too sweet. 

    I'm surprised that you have the Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 year old available. I just finished off a bottle and would definitely recommend it. It is made by the big MGP distillery in Indiana (so not a Kentucky bourbon). It is 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley, so It is a high-rye bourbon like Four Roses.

    Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets. (Ron Swanson)
  • bedlamborn Member bedlamborn Joined: 18.09.2016Posts: 611Collectionbedlamborns CollectionRatings: 21
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    @Carlton
    The prices can be very strange in Sweden due to the monopoly. The fours roses single barrel cost 425 SEK while the Smooth Ambler Old scout 7 year cost 698SEK. As a comparison a Lagavulin 16YO cost 599SEK. So for some Bourbon it gets very expensive quickly.
    Buffalo Trace is quite decent price for 369 SEK in Sweden.
  • [Deleted User]
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    @bedlamborn

    At those prices, I would go for the Buffalo Trace or the Four Roses Single Barrel.

    Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets. (Ron Swanson)
  • SlàinteMhath Member SlàinteMhath Joined: 09.10.2016Posts: 134CollectionOslo Whisky ClubRatings: 156
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    @Carlton
    Thank you for this excellent overview! It certainly helps with future purchases. As an introduction, I have picked Four Roses Yellow and Buffalo Trace before moving on to the more expensive stuff. I always start with the simple stuff first to set the baseline. Jim Beam White was awful and I hope to make some better experiences with bourbon soon!

    I also bought a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye whiskey, as it was recommended on various platforms.

    That's what I do. I drink, and I know things.” (Tyrion Lannister)

    >>> Whisky reviews by Slàinte Mhath <<<

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