Worst youve ever had?

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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby p_elliott » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:39 am

The worst I ever had was Garrison Brothers I admire what they're trying to do but they need to do something different with their whiskey.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby gillmang » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:32 am

John L told me something recently that I think reconciles the different views here. He said, he looks for variety in whiskey-tasting. Primarily that is his goal, not to find the "best" whiskey or reject the worst one. It's an approach I've come more and more to accept and am getting away from the classic "what is best?" approach.

I think one can argue that all whiskey is an acquired taste. Most people don't acquire it in that a majority of spirits sales are in the vodka and blended whisky categories (blended American whisky, and Canadian whisky, have relatively little traditional whiskey taste).

So to begin with we are in a minority area and it breaks down from there. Also, most whiskey-drinkers mix it with soda or vermouth so even then one can argue that the straight taste didn't really appeal even to the core audience.

Jack Daniels is a good example, it took me many years to acquire the palate and I like it now, partly due to the generally excellent Single Barrel iterations now available, but also I think I just "got" the taste finally, just as for anise drinks from Europe which I couldn't stand originally. I truly admire good Scotch and Irish whisky but again only after many years of sampling them now and again. All the traditional whiskeys are pungent drinks and indeed if blandified too much - I think some wheat-recipe bourbon crosses the line - depart the sphere of the traditional palate in whiskey.

Nonetheless for bourbon, definitely there are some I don't like. The current Beam profile is one I cannot accustom to (or so far), it's just not my thing. But 100 years ago, if that was the local available taste and I became a spirits drinker, would I have taken to it? I think so. So it's all relative in other words and provided a bourbon is in the range of what the type is - is not blended, or a liqueur, or gin, say - it is as valid a taste as any other in the range, and some will like it and many won't.

The old Heaven Hill profile, which featured a strong "eucalyptus" note that today has (IMO) been almost completly eliminated from the bourbon, was something I didn't like. I much prefer the range now.

To summarize: I like most bourbons produced today. In terms of the house flavours, Beam's is the only one I can't abide much but in a pinch it is fine too. Woodford Reserve has never been a big favourite due to its evident pot still flavor - it's a good example I think of historical bourbon, but probably too an example of why, as John argued again recently, so much pre-Pro whiskey probably was blended or vatted to get an even, consistent taste.

If you ask me what is the "perfect" bourbon, I would say, i) it must be rye-recipe, and ii) it should be rich, on the sweet side, and not too old but probably 6-10 years. ETL when it is on is just about perfect for example.

But to return to the point I am trying to make, it's all good, basically.

Gary
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:42 am

Gary,
A very good post. I have always said that taste is very subjective and nobody should use another person's opinion as a basis for what they like. There are too many flavors in bourbon for some one to say this is a bad bourbon. Someone out there likes it because it keeps on selling. To your argument - I hate musty flavors in my bourbon, but John Lipman likes it. Does that make my taste better than his - No, just different.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby gillmang » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:15 am

Agreed Mike, and I still remember that bottle of BT some years ago we both sampled that had a strong earthy note. We didn't like it but some people do and fair enough.

I like a strong rye tang in bourbon if it is balanced by some sweetness and age. Many people detest that though, and to this day, I believe that that taste was never really liked by the founder of Maker's Mark, so he found a way to moderate it via the wheat-recipe of bourbon. It's a valid approach for those who don't like the taste of rye or want at any rate a softer taste in bourbon.

Many people too like corn whiskey and young bourbon - I don't really but I understand that many do.

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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:12 am

Gary,
I think that to really know a bourbon, then you must know what to look for in a young bourbon. I don't look at it so much as I like young bourbon, but I appreciate it for what it is. If it has the elements that I know will mature into taste I like, then I consider it a success. I tend to like modern bourbon in the 8-12 year range. Older bottles can be fantastic at the 4-10 year range.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby Mike » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:46 pm

Gary and Mike, you two have graced us with what I consider to be a great discussion.

After having gone through most of the phases Gary suggests, I certainly think he is right on all counts, except Beam - I like Knob Creek very much, especially the newer Single Barrel, which to me fits his description of a very good bourbon. Still, I do not really have a go to bourbon, my delight is in the variety, some old, some new, some sweet, some soft, some challenging, some relaxing, some smooth, some biting. I have a number of 'cheap' bourbons on my shelves, I drink them and find something to like in them all.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby SWC » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:50 pm

Sam Houston American Straight. After one sip, I was brought to a dark place and wept. Maybe it was a bad day but I seriously poured the rest out. Wow.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby KettleOne » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:24 am

All Four Roses...miriage to small batch. Overrated. just my opinion.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby Birdo » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:50 pm

KettleOne wrote:All Four Roses...miriage to small batch. Overrated. just my opinion.



I was severly disappointed with Four Roses Small Batch, but I found the single barrel to be excellent. It makes no sense. Haven't had the nerve to try 4R yellow lable, pretty sure its standard 80 proof swill.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby Bourbon HQ » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:33 pm

It's 80 proof, but it contains all 10 of their recipes. Probably the only 80 proof bourbon I've tasted that doesn't taste young, or like corn. Very nice and spicy, fruity.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby Birdo » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:48 am

Bourbon HQ wrote:It's 80 proof, but it contains all 10 of their recipes. Probably the only 80 proof bourbon I've tasted that doesn't taste young, or like corn. Very nice and spicy, fruity.


Just bought it. Had half a shot on ice. 4R yellow is very nice. Great complexity and nice spice, with oak finish. This stuff has been aged at least 6-8 years. $19/750ml is in the price range I like. I think they should bottle at 86 or 90, but that's not a deal breaker.

We really shouldnt be talking about 4R under a thread dedicated to bad bourbon.

Reminder: Bourbon festival this weekend in Bardstown KY America.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby ethangsmith » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:34 am

KettleOne wrote:All Four Roses...miriage to small batch. Overrated. just my opinion.


Couldn't agree more. To me, Four Roses is extremely acidic- to a point that I really don't get any flavors or anything out of it. It's like drinking pure citric acid to me. I also get the same effects from the vast majority of the Buffalo Trace line- totally one-dimensional and purely acidic in taste. They're a struggle to even finish a bottle. I'd take a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 any day over Eagle Rare or Four Roses Single Barrel.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby Eggman » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:33 pm

Howdy,

Devil's Cut.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby gauze » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:42 pm

I still have no taste for Makers Mark, it tastes like kerosene to me, I know people who say it goes down like water it's so smooth but to me it's just stinging after taste.
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Re: Worst youve ever had?

Unread postby Birdo » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:41 am

gauze wrote:I still have no taste for Makers Mark, it tastes like kerosene to me, I know people who say it goes down like water it's so smooth but to me it's just stinging after taste.


Helluva a marketing job for only average bourbon. I get the alcohol finish too and don't care for it. It does in a pinch as its the best bourbon at some establishments, but if there is wild turkey, I choose that.

I filled my empty MM bottle with VOB for company, Company usually mixes with Coke so they can't tell what they are drinking anyway. VOB 86 proof 6y/o is really pretty good, and at $17.49 for a 1.75 liter, its cheap.
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