OT - Favorite Bourbon

Submitted by 931 S State on August 18th, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Since I'll be consuming copious amounts of bourbon this fall looking for any suggestions.  I really like Basil Hayden's, but it lacks the sweetness to drink it on the rocks.  

And for those who don't know we should all be boycotting Maker's Mark because of this: http://mgoblog.com/content/need-whiskey-boycott



August 18th, 2010 at 1:12 PM ^

It's not my favorite but it's pretty widely available and it's comperable to some bourbans that are twice as expensive.

Of course, you can get a bottle of Old Crow for $8.  It's not Jefferson's Reserve but, for the price, it isn't all that bad.

The FannMan

August 18th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

Bullettin is good.  i may have spelled the name wrong.  I was starting to drink more bourdon before T-Wolf got hurt.  I now plan to hook up an IV drip for the next three months. 

By the way, given the way this off-season is going, I do not think that discussions of alcohol are "OT."

Yinka Double Dare

August 18th, 2010 at 12:14 PM ^

Bookers has the sweetness, and with the high ABV it stands up to drinking on the rocks.  I think it's the best choice for those that prefer their bourbon on the rocks.

BTW, Dickel isn't bourbon, it's Tennessee whiskey like Jack Daniels.

03 Blue 07

August 18th, 2010 at 1:02 PM ^

No, dude. You need to reassess. It used to be my go-to, and after that billboard, I will not pay for it ever again. They made a calculated marketing decision, which I am fine with: they likely figured that it made more sense to piss off Michigan fans and make OSU people happy from a financial standpoint. That's fine. That's how it is. I no longer drink the stuff.

Knob Creek for me now. I don't know when my boycott will end, but I'm still not over that billboard. They did what they had to do; I'm doing what I have to do.


August 18th, 2010 at 2:41 PM ^

If you've read any of my posts on this kind of stuff you will know that I'm all about rooting for your team.  But I'm cold on crap like this.  Makers Mark has insulted me.  I will never touch their stuff again.  I have written to their corporate office and never even heard back from them. Nuff Said.


August 18th, 2010 at 12:30 PM ^

Bourbon is sweeter than scotch, with occasional flavors of vanilla.  It is also sharper and spicier.  The corn gives it a bite.  Bourbon is made with at least 51% corn, and the rest is usually rye and other grains.

Scotch is usually described as smoky, which is how it tastes to me.  If you've been to the UK, scotch tastes like a peat moss fire smells (which is better than it sounds).  It is smoother, and perhaps a little richer than bourbon, although the higher-end bourbons like Blanton's will give it a run on smoothness and richness.

The subtleties are imparted by the barrels used for aging, so there is a lot of variation.



August 18th, 2010 at 12:53 PM ^

Most Scotch is produced using peat moss smoke to dry the malt. So, most are going to be somewhat "smoky". Highland malts tend to have a subtle-to-moderate peaty/smoky nose and taste, (Eastern less so; Western more so). Islay malts are like sitting next to a someone chain-smoking cigars, (though - I have to say - I'm still partial to Lagavulin).

For someone trying Scotch for the first time, (or someone who likes bourbon) I'd start them on an Eastern Highland or Speyside malt. My favorite Speyside, (and overall my favorite Scotch) is The Macallan. However, Glenlivet is probably the most popular.


August 18th, 2010 at 2:30 PM ^

Absolutely. Good call. Not my all-time favorite, but it was for a long time before I'd been seduced by the nirvana that is The Macallan.

Now, I'm thirsty, damn it. I've got to run to the store anyway.


August 18th, 2010 at 12:34 PM ^

I've read all about them, but I just didn't know the difference in flavor. I'm a huge beer drinker and can taste the most minute of flavors in them because I know what I am looking for. I have started with wine and will probably start on Whiskeys soon, but it just helps to know what I am supposed to be tasting so that I can try to differentiate between various styles.


August 18th, 2010 at 12:42 PM ^

While it does really differ from brand to brand, normally a scotch will be earthier and smokier, while a bourbon is woodier and sweeter.


That is a generalization.  The factors that make the difference are that scotch is normally barley based, while most bourbons are corn based.  The higher temperature and first-use barrels give the bourbon the woodiness and sweetness that the cooler scottish temps and once-used barrels give the scotch.  The smoky flavor in a scotch comes from the peat used in cooking the mash.

One thing that is misleading about scotch vs bourbon is the length of time the whisk(e)y spends in the barrel.  Because of the temperature difference and the barrels being second-use, scotch needs to be aged for a longer amount of time in order to get similar result.  Kentucky bourbon ages a lot faster than scotch does.  So a 12 year old scotch may have aged as well as a 6 year old Bourbon.  



August 18th, 2010 at 12:24 PM ^

Knob Creek

I have never tried it, but a buddy of mine is all about Four Roses lately.

I generally prefer Canadian Whisky actually.  Canadian Club 12 year blows Crown Royal out of the water if you aren't concerned with the pretty purple bag.


August 18th, 2010 at 12:32 PM ^

CC is great, and since its distilled in Windsor, it feels like I'm supporting the local economy, more of less.

But, Knob Creek: I can't go there with you. I bought a bottle a couple of years ago, and found it to have a harshness not present in my personal favorite, Basil Hayden. I'll have to try the Four Roses and Buffalo Trace, though. My liquor cabinet is empty of whiskey at the moment.

Brewers Yost

August 18th, 2010 at 12:26 PM ^

Even though Maker's Mark did the whole add thing their bourbon is still the best for manhattans, one of my favorite cocktails. My fiancee and I bought a bottle of the Elijah Craig Single Barrel 18yo, pretty good stuff. I have had several blind tastings but my notes from those are on the home computer.


August 18th, 2010 at 12:26 PM ^

i've loved bourbon ever since my dad n his brothers used to give me sips when I was 2 yrs old at christmas so's i'd be easily induced to go "tackle the wall, kid" and pass out for their amusement...then they'd bet on which present would break first when launched off the porch.  true story.

but my favorite spirit is actually RYE whiskey, which speaks to me with a subtler sweetness and aroma.  hard to find, tho.  best one's i've had are Black Maple and Rittenhouse, but more easily found is Wild Turkey rye which is still lovely with or without a couple cubes. 

go forth and surprise your friends with the wonders of rye.


August 18th, 2010 at 12:27 PM ^

I think the best is Buffalo Trace. We did a blind bourbon tasting with everything from inexpensive Bourbons to Single-barrel bourbons that cost over a hundred dollars a bottle. Hands down, the Buffalo Trace won. Available at A&L wine castle on Stadium and also on Jackson Ave west of Wagner (Shameless Plug). The bottle costs about $21.00.

A & L also has the bigges collection of single malt scotch in the Ann Arbor area (my favorite).


August 18th, 2010 at 2:54 PM ^

I was talking to the guys at A&L about Buffalo Trace, and they actually go down to the distillary a few times a year to taste and select specific barrels of bourbon.  Those barrels then get bottled and sold specifically by A&L.

I like it both straight, and in manhattans with Vya vermouth.