next step

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next step

Unread postby ortho1121 » Wed May 23, 2012 6:06 pm

I was introduced to bourbon when a friend gave me a bottle of Basil Hayden which I found to be smooth and sweet. I then tried Woodford Reserve and found the finish to be a little harsh with the taste of alcohol. Any suggestions where to go from here?
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Re: next step

Unread postby EllenJ » Wed May 23, 2012 6:37 pm

Buffalo Trace, if you like the bourbon flavor but just not the Woodford "heat".
Old Charter, if you prefer the sweeter taste of more corn.
Or, for something completely different, try George Dickel (#8 if you can get it; #12 if not).
And don't be afraid to add a splash of water to anything that tastes too hot for you. It will bring out flavors that are otherwise masked by the alcohol taste.
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Re: next step

Unread postby schmluss » Wed May 23, 2012 6:40 pm

Early Times 354 if you like sweet. Plus it's inexpensive. This is my "desert" bourbon.
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Re: next step

Unread postby ortho1121 » Thu May 24, 2012 12:35 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I am not opposed to strong liquor, just felt the Woodford was a bit harsh. I know with my single malt scotch that the longer they are aged the smoother they become and they lose that sharp edge. Is it the same with bourbon? Should I be looking for aged whiskey?
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Re: next step

Unread postby EllenJ » Thu May 24, 2012 1:28 pm

No, actually older bourbon tends to become even more flavorful. Same is true for rye. Much of that flavor comes from the barrel, which is less of a factor in Scotch whisky, unless it's "finished" in a wine or sherry cask, of course.

The question really isn't so much "flavor" as "alcohol heat" (i.e., youth). Unfortunately (well, not really, but for some folks anyway) the older examples of bourbon/rye that are available tend also to be higher proof (way higher, in some cases). If you drink Booker's right out of the bottle (which is like drinking it right out of the barrel) you'll completely lose its wonderful flavor because the alcohol will simply blow you away. Kinda thrilling for the first few times; maybe not so much after you get used to it. Diluting it to something more reasonable (100 proof; 90 proof; whatever floats your boat) will make it a much better drink for everyone except those who take pride in how much alcohol they can tolerate. Of course, you might also discover that Booker's at 100 proof tastes a whole lot like Knob Creek, except that Knob Creek is a year older. Oh, and a lot cheaper, too.
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Re: next step

Unread postby William » Sun May 27, 2012 2:38 pm

1792, its as smooth as a 80 proof and is amazing.
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Re: next step

Unread postby RandyG » Thu May 31, 2012 1:19 pm

If the $40+ price is not out of reach, I would suggest trying Wild Turkey's Kentucky Spirit. It is one of the smoothest bourbon's I have tried. A more reasonably priced, smooth bourbon would be Evan Williams' Single Barrel. Mine was a 2001 and was especially smooth. Another suggestion, although not a bourbon, would be Redbreast 12 Year Old. This is an Irish wisky that is incredibly smooth and will surprise those who usually do not go for the Irish.

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