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I recently made a comment on my local whiskey club FB page that bourbon bores me. In my opinion, bourbon only varies in degrees of sweetness. Different levels of butterscotch, oak, and vanilla. There is just no variety. I mean dont get me wrong, bourbon tastes good...but it gets old very quickly. I *WISH* I loved bourbon as much as I love scotch because here in the states, bourbon is CHEAP.
Anyway, i got blasted by everyone on the forum, lol. Everyone claimed that I had not tried enough bourbon and that my opinion is false. They might be right. I really havent had nearly as much bourbon as scotch. But i have had some top shelf stuff and I still feel like I have a valid point. Honestly, i think bourbon is the high fructose corn syrup of whiskey, lol.
Anyone else feel this way?
“I’m a simple man. All I want is enough sleep for two normal men, enough whiskey for three, and enough women for four.” ~Joel Rosenburg
Personally, I don't think it's a fair comparison. It is impossible to have the variety of flavors in bourbon that you can have in scotch.
There is one bourbon that I keep in my shelf at all times if at all possible: Col E.H. Taylor Single Barrel. If you haven't had it, it's worth the buy. For me, I keep picking up different flavor profiles as I taste it and as the bottle empties over time. And the nose on this is so good, you'll want to wear it as cologne!
It can be hard to find, but I would definitely recommend it. If you don't like it, bring it to your club and they'll worship you as a god!!!
@kroman It really isnt a fair comparison. The rules surrounding bourbon maturation are to blame for its limited flavor profile. If they'd ease up a bit and pull the virgin oak only rule, we could see a dramatic increase in variety.
I've heard about that E.H Taylor. I want to say Jim Murray listed it as whiskey of the year recently. As for me, I keep a bottle of Buffalo Trace, Four Roses Single Barrel (Delicious), and Michter's American Whiskey. The Michter's technically cant be called Bourbon because it was aged in ex-bourbon barrels. Its dangerously good though.
I'll keep an eye out for that EH Taylor. Wouldnt mind having some bourbon cologne just in case.
FYI...buffalo trace makes EH Taylor. they also make Eagle Rare, Blanton's, Sazerac Rye, and Pappy van Winkle...not a bad repertoire!
For me Bourbon and single malt is two different things. Both has different ways of production and for me Bourbon is not boring, if something tastes good it is not boring. It is different to single malts for sure.
Changing the rules would not be good. Then I would not know what to get if I bought a Bourbon and also it would make the brand very weak. It is like Diageo trying to water down the Scotch brand.
What is boring is this forum. Or maybe it is not boring, it is dead. No offence to the regular posters, I am sure you know what I mean.
To comment on the original question, for me bourbon is not boring, it is more like seasonal. For whatever reason I prefer scotch on the hot summer days, but as the temperatures outside drops and the first “white flies” start dancing around in the air, I am getting thirst for bourbon. Kind of like oranges, I only like them in the winter.
Here in Canada winter starts early. In fact, here in Calgary we already had 40cm of snow last week, which is rapidly melting right now. And I have been sipping bourbon since probably mid September and have no desire for scotch.
I don’t like “traditional” bourbon with a lot of corn influence. My least favourite for that reason is Wild Turkey Small Batch followed by Elijah Craig 12. My absolute favourites right now are Blanton’s Original (haven’t tried Gold yet) and the much lesser known Koval Bourbon. Next on the list to try are highly rated Booker’s and Baker’s. Hope they are both not heavy on corn either.
This forum can be quite slow sometimes.I am sipping Blanton's Gold right now and I quite like it. The barrel that they used for my batch is a bit dryer than the usual Bourbons that I normally drink. But I think that i prefer Blanton's SFTB as with some water one gets basically the Gold.
@Andyvans You arent wrong about this forum being dead! With the exception of our random spammer/terrorist/fake passpost salesman, we get comments/new posts *maybe* once a week on here. I wish things would pick up. Maybe @horst_s could devise a way to make this forum more phone friendly so people can get notices on their phone when new posts are shared?
As for bourbon, i've gone out and picked up a few more bottles since I posted this. I grabbed a few wheat bourbons (the cheap, accessible kind) Larceny and Rebel Yell. They're...ok. I didnt pay more than $20 for either so that speaks for the quality I guess.
Buffalo Trace is another cheap bourbon out there but it has a cult following and is very difficult to get your hands on. After searching several stores, i managed to grab a bottle. Its not bad. Not worth the 6 month wait list i've seen at some stores though.
I have to say my favorite so far is Four Roses Single Barrel. That is some good stuff! But, just like all other bourbons, i can only have one or two before i'm bored. I consider bourbon to be a 'dessert' whiskey. It's just too sweet.
Disclaimer: More or less in the subject of this thread.
Last time I drank bourbon was some regular Jim Beam, 5 years ago, on a beach resort during my honeymoon. It was the only drinkable thing they had.
Now, I have gone more picky.
What do you recommend for start exploring bourbon? Four Roses?
@Vasco The good thing about bourbon is the price. It's easy to pick up very good bourbon for a fraction of what you'd pay for decent scotch. I have 4 recommendations:
Woodford Reserve: Available everywhere, cheap, and very tasty.
Four Roses Single Barrel: This is my favorite bourbon so far.
Michter's American Unblended Whiskey: Technically not bourbon as it was matured in ex bourbon barrels instead of virgin oak. Makes no difference though. The flavor is exceptional! This was the bottle that actually made me change my views on bourbon.
Buffalo Trace: This one can be difficult to acquire. This is made at that same distiller as Pappy Van Winkle so it has a certain level of popularity. It's often sold out. But if you manage to find it, its usually less than $30 US and its very tasty. Certainly not worth the 6 month wait list i've seen at some liquor stores though.
There are people out there who go 'hunting' for what is known as 'wheated bourbon'. This is bourbon that uses wheat as its secondary grain in the mash bill. It has a very unique flavor profile and there arent many out there to choose from. The good ones are almost always sold out within hours of hitting the shelf. Pappy Van Winkle, Wellers, Old Fitzgerald... These are very expensive 'wheaters'. The Pappy runs anywhere from 1200-2500 US depending on which bottle and where you buy it. There are some cheap, readily available wheated bourbons you can actually find and afford if you're interested. Rebel Yell, Larceny, and Maker's Mark are all wheated. I've tried these and they are ok. Nothing special. Still prefer the Four Roses SB
It has been more than a month since I left my comment here and I was sipping exclusively on bourbon over this time. One thing I definitely noticed is how much my palate has opened up to bourbons the more I taste them. I am starting to find very distinctive notes in bourbons which I previously bought and dismissed because they “tasted like corn” to me. So am starting to agree with the feedback you received from the bourbon fans - in order to really appreciate the bourbon you need to train (develop) your palate by spending more time with it. There is no shortcut to the bourbon world, but once you passed this bridge, it is literally like you entered a different universe (comparing to scotch). Not a better universe per se, but certainly very different and certainly as complex as the scotch one. And honestly, I am starting to find scotch universe a bit more boring. It is like with scotch they always “cheat” by mixing in flavours from other spirits, or smoke. It is like finding over saturated colors in painting, or pop beats in music. Whereas bourbon universe is more pure, more clean - it is made of nothing but a variety of grains and fresh oak. It might look more subtle and possibly quite boring to an untrained eye, but once you start noticing those differences and appreciate them, you may never want to leave this part of the world. I haven’t even entered territory with the same price point as a good scotch and I am already so excited. So I certainly want to stay here a bit longer. :o)
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