Vital wrote:Favorite bourbons so far: Jim Beam's Devil Cut and Knob Creek. What else would you guys recommend with lots of wood flavor?
Nearly anything from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers.
That would include:
Willett (any brand with that name on it)
Rowan's Creek (one of my own personal favorites)
Pure Kentucky XO
Peter Jake's (if you can find it)
Also (these aren't KDB brands)...
Nearly anything Van Winkle (yes, very expensive; yes very worth it)
Wild Turkey 12-year-old, if you can find any. This is actually too woody for ME, even.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed (as close to the original Ripy bourbon as you'll find, and with a lot of the 12-year-old WT in it)
Elijah Craig 18 year old - This has so much wood it actually turns some afficianados off. Me? I love
Ezra B 12-year-old - if you like WOOD, this might turn out to be your favorite bourbon. It used to be a 15-year-old, and that version was even better. But they ran out of that lot, so the current version is 12. It's still d@mned good.
By the way, you may not realize this, but that "wood" flavor you appreciate isn't just wood. It's "wood, modified by age and oxygenation". One thing that a lot of "craft" distillers don't seem to realize is that the size of the barrel and length of maturation does indeed make a helluva difference. There are lots of wonderful flavors to be drawn from the wood the barrel is made of. We all know that. But there are also lots of flavors that you REALLY DON'T WANT that will -- inevitably -- be extracted from the barrel.
What to do?.
The answer is... wait.
Small barrels -- the five- to ten-gallon ones many "artisan distillers" use -- provide lots of wood flavors. Good ones... and bad ones.
Larger barrels (industry-standard 53-gallon) do, too. But the larger barrels will allow oxidation and evaporation, given years of aging, that reduce or eliminate most of those "bad-wood" flavors. You just can't do that with a small barrel and a short distillation-to-market timeframe. If it's just WOOD you want, please don't hesitate to try Tuthilltown's Hudson Bourbon, or M.B Roland, or several other "micro-distiller"'s products. Personally, I'm not totally happy with that flavor profile (well, M.B.Roland has so much more going for it that I don't mind the small-barrel nuances), but if you're really into WOOD, you just might find that to be the best whiskey you ever tasted. Both of those brands, as well as many others, are being purchased and enjoyed by a whole lot of people, more this month than last; that has to tell you something.