View Full Version : Your top bourbons

17-09-2009, 08:57 AM
I'm a single malt man, islay mostly. strong n peaty is how i like them.
the sweet speysides, they have to do something special to get into my good books. irish whisky... treats me far too kindly, soft and sweet.

I'd love to try some good bourbons. I've been unkind to the bourbon because all i've ever had is Jim Beam standard and J.D which i haaaaaaated,

I fear I'm slipping down the road of single malt scotch snobbery, rescue me with your bourbons! :smile:

17-09-2009, 09:28 AM
I think you are likely to be disappointed in bourbons if you are a malt man, but I'll describe my experiences with what I've drunk. I only drink it neat without ice so your experiences may vary, and of course it's down to personal taste.

I find Jack Daniels and Jim Beam horrendous. I've tried a small batch JD which was just as bad.
Knob Creek has a nice oakiness to it I find, but it can be a bit harsh. Bit expensive.
Bulleit is nothing special, but it's certainly very drinkable.
Maker's Mark is nice. Can be a bit too sweet.
Woodford Reserve is 'good', but I find it a little too smooth for me. Hints of vanilla. Not exciting enough to justify the price to me.
Four Roses is my current favourite. Well priced. Hints of caramel. Smoooooth but tasty.

17-09-2009, 09:33 AM
Not an expert - prefer rums - but Buffalo Trace was very nice :pop2:

17-09-2009, 09:41 AM
Only tried bourbon once. I was on St Simons Island in Georgia and, as is my whim, decided to partake of the local hooch. It was over 100degrees and the AC wasn't working too well. The "Ol Granpa" was served at room temperature (i.e. blood temperature) and it was awful! I couldn't drink it! Since then, I've avoided bourbon like the plague!

17-09-2009, 11:02 AM
Buffalo Trace
Maker's Mark
Woodford Reserve (closer to a scotch than the rest)
Virginia Gentleman
Noahs Mill

Jack Daniels isn't a bourbon...it just tastes like a really sweet one!

17-09-2009, 11:27 AM
You mentioned Wild Turkey the other day didn't you Drew?

17-09-2009, 11:51 AM
Ah, Wild Turkey!

Ago, when I was still young, good friend and I got together one evening for Wild Turkey shots and beer. Ran out of beer. Continued with the Wild Turkey until, mysteriously, the bottle became empty.

Was drunk. Very drunk. However, still somehow managed to navigate my way home (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!).

Unfortuitously, it was a weekday and the next morning (which came extremely too early), my alarm clock rudely informed me it was time to awaken from my peaceful slumber and hie myself hither to the workplace.

Reached out to turn off the hateful alarm and found, to my horror, that my arm didn't work. In fact, no part of my body was under my volition. I was still BLIND DRUNK! Was grateful that my autonomic functions were still taking care of minor tasks like keeping my heart beating, since I was otherwise dysfunctional. Needless to say, I didn't get to work that day.

Drunkest I can ever remember being...

You mentioned Wild Turkey the other day didn't you Drew?

17-09-2009, 12:11 PM
although i'm not a bourbon drinker (mainly irish single malts), i have partaken in it's consumption many times (my father in law loves the stuff)! jim beam and jack daniels being the obvious, the ones i have truely enjoyed have been:
jim beam black
wild turkey

i was only ever drunk a couple of times on bourbon, and let me tell you, it was an absolute horror scene, rowley berkely qc meets steven segal on pcp, with lashings and lashings of vomit! lol! that's why i stick to the tried and tested bushmills or jameson's irish whisky! bourbon is for psychotic cowboys, irish whiskey is for jolly drunks! lol (no offence)!

all the best,

alex, belfast

17-09-2009, 12:21 PM
The "Ol Granpa" was served at room temperature (i.e. blood temperature) and it was awful!
Was it this stuff (http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-7232.aspx)? If it was, the high rye would make it well harsh. Might be worthwhile trying something like Maker's Mark which has no rye. BIG difference.

17-09-2009, 01:30 PM
That's the stuff! Wicked! In the old sense of wicked!

17-09-2009, 05:15 PM
I've tried most of the ones mentioned above and I have to agree with Dave that you'd be better off not comparing it to single-malt Scotch at all because they're such different drinks.

Wooford Reserve is one of the best I've had and is quite easy to get hold of. Smooth and lovely.

I seem to remember enjoying a JD single barrel, I think.

Jim Beam Black is widely available now - better than regular but it's a long time since I've had it so can't remember too much about it.

Bulleit and Buffalo Trace are fine but I wasn't amazed by them.

Maker's Mark is pretty good (quite sweet, I think someone already mentioned) and when I last had a bottle it was around the same price as JD, Jim Beam, et al, so very good value.

I don't get the Wild Turkey thing. It's priced as a premium bourbon in the UK but when I tried it it was rough as f*ck! Maybe some poeple like that? Very high in alcohol too, I seem to remember.

I've read than Knob Creek is a good one but I was always put off by the name, to be frank!

There's loads to choose from, though - take a look on the whisky exchange or somewhere.

17-09-2009, 05:54 PM
Jack Daniel's Gentleman Jack for me.......

17-09-2009, 06:09 PM
Huntly & Palmer

..oh, sorry.

17-09-2009, 06:25 PM
You mentioned Wild Turkey the other day didn't you Drew?

Indeed I did dave! It's a great bourbon. It kind of sits next to Buffalo Trace (my real fav) and Noah's Mill flavour wise.

Woodford reserve is very nice, but its not really my cup of tea. Its the one for the Scotch drinkers.

Bulleit is ok, nothing exciting. Jim Beam is grim....even when it has a black label.


17-09-2009, 09:35 PM
As a self-confessed Whisk(e)y and cognac snob, I have tried some very very serious malts and bourbons.....

Overall, the VERY BEST of all of them (regardless of whether cognac, armagnac, single malt, bourbon etc) is, in fact, a bourbon.

It is simply awe-inspiring! extremely strong (and I mean extremely!), yet in no way harsh or....un-bourbonish.

I am reluctant to say what it is, because the quantities are limited!

I may be persuaded to divulge in PM, but I should say that it isn't particularly cheap (less than, say, Johnny Walker Blue Label however, and in a different league as far as quality is concerned in my opinion)!

18-09-2009, 08:33 AM
Rip Van Winkle - 'Pappy van Winkle' special reserve 15yr old. I had some of this recently and was a bit blown away with what a good drink it was.... I think about 80 per bottle :eek:

21-09-2009, 09:30 AM
Hi there,

New to the forum (sorry for the no intro), but I just had to jump in to help some nice folks out...

If bourbon is what you're after, then some that haven't been mentioned, that belong at the tops of the list (in no particular order):

Booker's (generally among the top on everyone's list, not for new bourbon drinkers usually)
Basil Haden's (especially good for people new to bourbon)
Knob Creek
Woodford Reserve


16-02-2011, 11:23 AM
Rip Van Winkle - 'Pappy van Winkle' special reserve 15yr old. I had some of this recently and was a bit blown away with what a good drink it was.... I think about 80 per bottle :eek:

I just had to comment on this old thread, I grabbed a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle at christmas and was also totally blown away with the smoothness, streets ahead of other bourbons ........ so I did a little research and found the reason to be they use a little wheat in their production.

This has spurred me on to try some other bourbons, so far only Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve & Buffalo Trace stand out, but for me none come close to Ol 'Pappy' :849:

16-02-2011, 11:32 AM
I do like Woodford Reserve if I can get it at a good price but I'm always reluctant to spend serious money on a bourbon.

Nine times out of ten go for a good malt/armagnac/rum.

16-02-2011, 12:02 PM
To me Pappy's is in another class altogether.

16-02-2011, 01:37 PM
I agree on the Pappy - absolute class

I would also second the view that Bookers & Bakers are both really top class bourbons

Just to throw a different strand into the mix has anyone tried Rye Whiskey? Just bought a bottle of Sazerac and wow that is a firecracker of a whiskey. Definately recommend it.