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My name is Brian and I'm new to this forum and the world of bourbon. I've taken up an interest lately after my cousin suggested that if I bring drinks for the holidays, it should be bourbon.My initiation was split between a bottle of Eagle Rare 10 Year and a bottle of Woodward Reserve Double Oak. I enjoyed both with a splash of water, which I liked because it smoothed the flavor out more. I tried my best to identify what I could in the taste but it was fleeting at best. But the overall experience was very very enjoyable.I started doing a little bit of reading and found out that some of these bottles can fetch up to a few grand and even tens of thousands of dollars. I want to start getting into the more sophisticated stuff and maybe work my way up to some of these bottles that are going to 2-3k, eventually.Like I said, I'm a complete newb. 1) What are some suggestions you guys can make for the very beginner as far as easily obtainable bourbons are concerned?2) Any tips to help enhance my drinking experience?3) Do you guys ever sit down with a few different bottles and do things like blind taste test and such?Thanks for the consideration.
Welcome to the world of bourbon! I have pasted in your questions below with some recommendations:
1) What are some suggestions you guys can make for the very beginner as far as easily obtainable bourbons are concerned?
a) Try bourbons from all of the major distilleries to get a feel for what you like. Check out their websites to see the bourbons actually bottled by them and avoid any others until you gain more knowledge and experience.
b) Keep the price point under $50 for a year or so until your palate and personal tastes develop. (I actually would be happy to drink only bourbons that cost $50 or less).
c) Understand that the white whale bourbons that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars are no better (and not even as good in some cases) than some of the regularly available bourbons you can always find on the shelves. It is simply a case of marketing, scarcity, and perception.2) Any tips to help enhance my drinking experience?
a) Focus on quality not quantity. Spend some time with a small amount of bourbon in a Glencairn or similar glass and really focus on the aromas and tastes.
b) Add enough water to dial back the burn to the point that your palate gets the most aromas and tastes. Barrel-proof bourbons are popular right now, but drinking them without adding a fair amount of water is a sure way to miss many of the flavors.
3) Do you guys ever sit down with a few different bottles and do things like blind taste test and such?
That is a great way to learn about different styles of bourbons and also how some inexpensive bourbons can be really good (and conversely how some expensive bourbons can be inferior when you strip away your perception of their reputation).
@Carlton Hey man, thanks for writing all of that out for me. I appreciate the tip about keeping it under $50. I've been "window shopping" so much that its hard to get a grasp on what I should be spending to get the proper initiation into this world. I'm going to order a set of Glencairn glasses this weekend. Would you mind sharing with me some of your favorite bourbons?
@bdam123I think Carlton said almost everything in his post.I usually go to a bar/pub and try various different bottles so I know what I should spend money on to buy home.I have done a blind tasting twice in my life and it was interesting. A great way to learn whisky.For me the favourite bourbon is Makers Mark. But compared to Carlton I have not tried as much Bourbon.
You're welcome. Below are some good bourbons that should give you a feel for the flavor profiles of the major distilleries:
Jim Beam-Knob Creek (both the standard small batch or the single barrel), Jim Beam Black, and Baker's.
Four Roses-Small Batch and Single Barrel.
Maker's Mark-Standard MM and Maker's 46.
Buffalo Trace-Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare 10 Year Old.
Heaven Hill-Elijah Craig Small Batch (or Single Barrel), Larceny (their wheated mash bill).
Brown Foreman, Shively-Old Forester Signature, Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style (this is a bit over $50, but it is one of the best bourbons available at any price).
Woodford Reserve-Distiller's Select and Double Oaked.
Wild Turkey-Rare Breed and Russell's Reserve 10 Year Old.
Barton-1792 Small Batch (several other versions are available and all are good).
MGPI-Their bourbon is bought and bottled by other companies, and one of the best of these is Smooth Ambler Old Scout.
Nice. I like the tip about going to the pub to try a few out. Going to hunt for some good spots this weekend. @CarltonThanks for the extensive list brother. Looking forward to tasting all of these!
Not a big bourbon fan, but my favourite is jack daniels single barrel. Markers mark is also very good.
Those are also two of my favorites.
@DaFin yeah I agree jack daniels single barrel is fantastic.
there master distiller series bottles are also very good
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