Whisky and Scotch Recommendations

So a friend and I both separately bought, for a party my wife and I were giving, Bulleit 95 Rye, which was awesome, especially x2! I had been drinking Rip Van Something or Other, and it just wasn't very good, in my opinion, though I plied it with ice, water, and oxygen. But the Bulleit Rye was so good (their bourbon is good as well), that I sent my friend home with the Rip in thanks. Sucker!

Natus wrote:

So a friend and I both separately bought, for a party my wife and I were giving, Bulleit 95 Rye, which was awesome, especially x2!

Oh yeah, Bulleit is awesome stuff. If you liked it, try to get your hands on Elijah T. Craig or Eagle Rare if you ever see them.

I had been drinking Rip Van Something or Other, and it just wasn't very good, in my opinion, though I plied it with ice, water, and oxygen.

......

IMAGE(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2167/2742284496_70f7219522.jpg)

My kidneys hurt...need more water. Went to a friends house last night and tried some of his whiskeys.

Started with Bulleit 95 Rye which to my unsophisticated pallet tasted just like Bulleit Bourbon.

Ended with Laphroaig Scotch- I can still smell the smoke. Wonderful.

Edit - Actually ended with Slovak ORIGINÁL SPIŠ SLIVKA... Plum brandy. That was way better than expected.

Bulleit Rye comes in the bottle with the green label, right? I'll have to pick that up. Rye whiskey usually runs just a bit on the "too spicy" side for me, but I love Bulleit bourbon.

Question for the crowd: Can anyone speak from an educated standpoint on the Pappy Van Winkle line? I know how it's made, but it's typically impossible to find in Michigan. Is the 23 year worth the price over the 15 or 20 year? How does it compare to the "low end" 10 year old Rip van Winkle?

I'm asking because it's nearly impossible to find any of the Van Winkle line for sale in Michigan. I just tracked down a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 23 in an out of the way liquor store.They've been sitting on this for the last four years. The price is reasonable...but a "reasonable price" for this bottle is still extremely expensive.

Basically, if you're an enabler, now is your chance. Help me pull the trigger!

Seth wrote:

Question for the crowd: Can anyone speak from an educated standpoint on the Pappy Van Winkle line? I know how it's made, but it's typically impossible to find in Michigan. Is the 23 year worth the price over the 15 or 20 year? How does it compare to the "low end" 10 year old Rip van Winkle?

It barely makes it out of Kentucky, so that's not surprising.

Personal opinion? 23 is just a little bit worse than the 20 year, which is the best of all of them (I find the 23 to be too woody for my taste, though the flavors are a bit more pronounced, which is nice). The 15 year is also fantastic, the 10 year Rip is a good strong bourbon but isn't going to be a revelatory experience. 15-year is the sweet spot as far as price/performance ratio, as usually it can be had in the $70 range. The 20 is absolutely amazing and worth tracking down. Truth be told, so is the 23, but it isn't worth the roughly 1.5x price premium over the 20. However it is worth having once...there are only ever a few casks-worth in existence at one time. It's freakin' rare.

Spoiler:

IMO Eagle Rare 17-year (10 is great, but not like this) is even better than PVW. Don't tell anyone.

Thanks for the description. The local whiskey bar still has some PVW 23, and they've priced it at a pretty reasonable markup (from my math they only added a dollar onto the actual price of 2 oz of whiskey). I will "try before I buy," and keep looking for the 20 year.

I tend to prefer my bourbon less woody, so I will be careful. That's why I prefer wheat bourbons -- they tend to run a little sweeter than whiskey that have more rye. And while PVW is a wheated bourbon , I can see how sitting in a charred oak barrel so long the angels' share is ~80% of the entire cask would get woody.

Eagle Rare 17 is slightly easier to find. I'm a huge fan of the 10 year, so I'll look for it.

What's your opinion of Blanton's? When I was down there, the guy working at the distillery looked me straight in the eye and said "you're paying for the name. Get Buffalo Trace, it's better."

Seth wrote:

Eagle Rare 17 is slightly easier to find. I'm a huge fan of the 10 year, so I'll look for it.

They aren't even in the same league. If you have some 10 laying around, do a side-by-side comparison. It's quite eye-opening.

We don't currently have any 17-year around here (and I'm out :(), but it usually releases in late September/early October, so keep your eyes peeled if you can't find it at the moment.

What's your opinion of Blanton's? When I was down there, the guy working at the distillery looked me straight in the eye and said "you're paying for the name. Get Buffalo Trace, it's better."

Tastes like Tennessee Sour Mash. I don't consider that a good thing.

It's okay, but it's a bit light and spicy for my taste. I prefer more finish and body. And compared to all the other things made at that distillery, from Buffalo Trace to Eagle Rare to George T. Stagg, Van Winkle, and Weller, it's certainly not the first bottle I'm reaching for. That said, it's not bad. But I don't think it can stand up to mixed drinks or even branch water.

Seth wrote:

What's your opinion of Blanton's? When I was down there, the guy working at the distillery looked me straight in the eye and said "you're paying for the name. Get Buffalo Trace, it's better."

The thing Blanton's has going for it is that it's very smooth. Folks who can't drink neat bourbon can usually drink neat Blanton's.

Other folks collect the pewter horses.

Other than that -- I'd take a Buffalo Trace over it any day.

On the way home from my work trip to Lexington, we stopped at an airport bourbon bar. Quite a few to choose from. I got a double of Buffalo Trace, straight up, and the jerk put ice in it.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

On the way home from my work trip to Lexington, we stopped at an airport bourbon bar. Quite a few to choose from. I got a double of Buffalo Trace, straight up, and the jerk put ice in it. :mad:

I'm assuming you threw it into his face right?

KrazyTacoFO wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

On the way home from my work trip to Lexington, we stopped at an airport bourbon bar. Quite a few to choose from. I got a double of Buffalo Trace, straight up, and the jerk put ice in it. :mad:

I'm assuming you threw it into his face right?

Last time I checked, 'straight up', sounds nothing like 'on the rocks'.

+1 for Taco's suggestion for resolution.

I got to try Redbreast recently which is an Irish whiskey. It was yummy.
It's not a single malt because it's a pure pot still whiskey and uses some proportion of unmalted barley.

m0nk3yboy wrote:
KrazyTacoFO wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

On the way home from my work trip to Lexington, we stopped at an airport bourbon bar. Quite a few to choose from. I got a double of Buffalo Trace, straight up, and the jerk put ice in it. :mad:

I'm assuming you threw it into his face right?

Last time I checked, 'straight up', sounds nothing like 'on the rocks'.

+1 for Taco's suggestion for resolution.

It's depressing how many servers have come back to my table with, "The bartender wanted me to ask what neat is."

KrazyTacoFO wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

On the way home from my work trip to Lexington, we stopped at an airport bourbon bar. Quite a few to choose from. I got a double of Buffalo Trace, straight up, and the jerk put ice in it. :mad:

I'm assuming you threw it into his face right?

You know how airports are these days. TSA would probably arrest me on charges of terrorism.

LilCodger wrote:

It's depressing how many servers have come back to my table with, "The bartender wanted me to ask what neat is."

It's really disappointing. I once had to have an entire discussion with a bartender who thought I was nuts:

Seth: "Knob Creek. Neat."

Bartender: "On the rocks?"

S: "No, neat."

B: "I'm not sure if we carry neat..." [he obviously thought I was ordering some cocktail made with bourbon and "neat"]

S: "No. Pour three fingers of whiskey into a glass, and give it to me."

B: "You want...you want a warm glass of pure whiskey?"

S: "yes."

B: "Uhhh.......okay...." [dubious eyes]

And I would say "at least he knew what I meant by "three fingers," but what I got was a shot of Knob Creek. In a shot glass. /sigh.

(And I've completely given up on ordering Baker's in a bar. The amount of times I've had the waitress come back cheerfully with "here's your Makers [Mark]!" makes me very sad.

Yeah, you should be ordering Booker's anyway.

Q-stone, I'm pretty sure what the bartender did to you was an act of terrorism, so no jury would ever convict you.

This is why I drink at home.

Thanks to you goofballs, I have now tried 4 (plus) different scotches, whiskeys and bourbons:

Jameson's
The Glenlivet
Knob Creek
Glenmorangie
(with one small flirtation with Hibiki thanks to Hedgewizard, Demiurge and 7inchSplit)

And for my next trick:
Laphroaig

What I've noticed is that I had no idea how to appreciate This selection of drinks until I hit the Glenmorangie. That was similar enough to Knob Creek that I was able to distinguish the differences in finishes, and then it all clicked.

Everything I've enjoyed has been neat. I tried cutting with ice and water, but couldn't quite get into it, so switched back to neat.

So here's to more experimentation!

Fair point, Min. You'd think someone in Kentucky would know something about bourbon but I GUESS NOT.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Fair point, Min. You'd think someone in Kentucky would know something about bourbon but I GUESS NOT.

The problem is, you were (presumably) at the Lexington "International" Airport, in which the same guy is the janitor, bartender, and baggage checker. It's, uh, not exactly a major hub of industry. There are a great many bartenders in that city who are extremely knowledgeable of bourbon, but...yeah. That's not the place to find them.

No excuses!

I think I am getting a small bottle of Buffalo Trace tonight and a bottle of Rittenhouse 100 proof.

Oh dear lord. I just enabled myself. The only way to reduce this shame is to hook the rest of you into a purchase.

https://www.blantonsbourbon.com/prod...

I had no idea there were different tops.. Gotta drink em all~

KingGorilla wrote:

This is why I drink at home.

Alone.

wordsmythe wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

This is why I drink at home.

Alone.

No with Zane.

goman wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

This is why I drink at home.

Alone.

No with Zane.

Zane Lamprey?

Seth wrote:
goman wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

This is why I drink at home.

Alone.

No with Zane.

Zane Lamprey?

Of course. Don't you drink with him too?

Eagle Rare is my new favorite bourbon, displacing Buffalo Trace. It danced in my mouth! It danced and sparkled and would not stay still. Its texture changed constantly. What a delight!

Lobo wrote:

Eagle Rare is my new favorite bourbon, displacing Buffalo Trace. It danced in my mouth! It danced and sparkled and would not stay still. Its texture changed constantly. What a delight!

10 or 17? If the former, try to track down the latter. If the latter, congratulations! That may be the best bourbon money can buy.

My latest quest is to try every whisky on this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islay_whisky

So far I've tried Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Laphroig and they've all been fantastic. Been looking for a bottle of Caol Ila for quite awhile now but no luck so far.

I think my favorite for a drink late at night with some games or conversation is Glenlivet. It's very unassuming and doesn't have a overpowering flavor so I've converted some whisky haters with it.