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Bourbon.

Piobaire

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One of the folks that came over for our BBQ last night is an amateur photographer and he took some still life of things that caught his eye. He's going to print this on a giant photo printer and frame it for me!

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Huntsman

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Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond 10 Year. Well under $50 in most places and could very well take your breath away. It's been taking the scene by storm lately winning all types of awards. It did at least for me. I'm a huge fan of George T Stagg and William LaRue, and Henry McKenna is right up there in my top 5 easily.
Thanks. I snagged one bottle, and getting it was like going through hell and high water.

If those are your standards, there isn't much to recommend at that price point these days. The best $50 bottle in bourbon right now are some of the Knob Creek Single Barrel Select barrels that individual stores pick. They often come in at 14 or 15 years, which is enough time for the proof to mellow and the palate to be brown sugar-forward, backed by oak and heat in equal measure. McKenna is highly variable. The right barrel can deliver delicious rye/caramel flavors, but it can also be an overspiced, disjointed mess.

I'm at the point where the only thing I buy untasted is Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. Everything else, I either try at a bar or (especially if it's a barrel pick) sample first.

If you want to spend a little bit more, my favorites in the cabinet right now are Michter's 10 year old rye (2019), two different Four Roses Barrel Strength recipes (OBSK and OESV), and the 2018 George T. Stagg, which at 124.9 proof is considerably less aggressive than the usual GTS release. Based on what I've tasted, the bottle I most wish I had is last year's Four Roses 130th anniversary, followed at a distance by 2017 William Larue Weller.

Edited to add: You might already know this, but DO NOT buy the new Black Maple Hill thinking it's anything like the older sourced stuff. The new bottles are made of Oregon whiskey and are so bad that trading on the BMH name should be considered fraud.
I didn't so much as mean my standards, but that those were to my taste. I did grab some KC single barrel select. I have literally never seen the 4R Barrel Strength in person. As for the 'new' BMH, yeah, I saw it in a store and got excited, but a quick google disabused me of that notion really fast.

Smooth Ambler's Big Level is surprisingly good given its price point and given the fact that I don't normally like the wheated stuff, including PVW which I will drink from time to time just for the hell of it and to celebrate the fact that I at least had the foresight to load up on PVW when it was widely available,but didn't do the same with AMZN stock when it was sub $5/share.

Not bourbon, but I have never been disappointed with a George Dickel barrel pick, but I trust the person doing the picking, and I don't mind the sweetness of Tennessee whiskey, so you may not like it as much.

Booker's is still pretty consistently good year after year, and I second the comment about Knob Creek, especially a barrel pick from someone you know and respect. I have a barrel pick rye from an old friend of mine in TN, and I am drinking it a half ounce at a time, it's that good! I'm sure the mainline cask strength comes very close.

All should be easily found in the $50 range except for Booker's but for the extra 20 dollar bill, I think it's worth it.
Booker's is like unobtainium in my neck of the woods.

One of the folks that came over for our BBQ last night is an amateur photographer and he took some still life of things that caught his eye. He's going to print this on a giant photo printer and frame it for me!

View attachment 1234030
That's a great shot. I had a glass of that Barterhouse some years ago and it was damn good.

~H
 

Piobaire

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The Barterhouse is far and away the best in that line up. The 23 y/o has way too much oak tannins at this point. Interestingly they decided to release the remaining stock in a series of bottlings to create a vertical of it. If they run it up to 30 the stuff will be undrinkable straight.
 

gnatty8

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Booker's is like unobtainium in my neck of the woods.
Very odd, since Booker's is usually in stock even at the mediocre PA liquor stores. I was up at my place in Tennessee over the weekend and stocked up on stuff I never see here, including a couple bottles of the Dickel bottled in bond (haven't tried it yet) and another Dickel barrel pick from my a place that never seems to go wrong with their picks. I had a glass last night to soothe the pain of having to come back to Philly and it did the trick.
 

Piobaire

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Looks good man, what did you think of the Barterhouse?
It's the only one in that line up I'd buy again. Has this excellent vanilla cream on the finish that is really subtle yet definitely there and very nice.
 

reidd

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Had to drive to Tennessee for work last week so I picked up a few goodies on the way. Made a pretty good dent in the Dickel Single barrel over the holiday weekend. Very excited about trying the Makers as well.
 

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venividivicibj

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The Barterhouse is far and away the best in that line up. The 23 y/o has way too much oak tannins at this point. Interestingly they decided to release the remaining stock in a series of bottlings to create a vertical of it. If they run it up to 30 the stuff will be undrinkable straight.
Yeah- I get this. I think I prefer mid-length barreling with Bourbon/Scotch. After too long I don't taste the spirit anymore and I'm just drinking wood.
 

gnatty8

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Had to drive to Tennessee for work last week so I picked up a few goodies on the way. Made a pretty good dent in the Dickel Single barrel over the holiday weekend. Very excited about trying the Makers as well.
Ha, looks like we raided the same section!
 

Bhowie

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I’ve always really enjoyed the different wild turkey bottlings. I think most of the time they have one of the better WPR ratios on their bourbon. I always keep the 101 around for things. I find I usually drink their more rare things quickly.
 

gnatty8

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I’ve always really enjoyed the different wild turkey bottlings. I think most of the time they have one of the better WPR ratios on their bourbon. I always keep the 101 around for things. I find I usually drink their more rare things quickly.
I agree, I keep a Rare Breed in the cabinet and find I tend to hit it when the weather gets cooler..
 

gnatty8

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It's the only one in that line up I'd buy again. Has this excellent vanilla cream on the finish that is really subtle yet definitely there and very nice.
Sounds interesting! I’ll keep my eyes peeled for this one.
 

Gibonius

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On the subject of Booker's, picked up a bottle of the "Teresa's Batch" . Six years old, bottled at 126 proof.

1235953


First tasting, hot without water. Big nose, long finish. I didn't get much until I added some water. With a few drops, get nice peanut and toffee. Lots of spice. The grain comes out on the finish, with dry vanilla. The texture is nice and solid, even with water.

It's definitely in the "good stuff" category, which is rare enough these days. I saw the "Shiny Barrel" variety as well, might have to pick that one up too for comparison.
 

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