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Bourbon.

venividivicibj

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For stuff that should be easy to find, HillRock does some interesting wine cask finished bourbons. Old Elk also. Barrel has some good bottles. Smoke Wagon uncut and unfiltered is also a nice bottle. The $100 price range is a bit of a no man’s land for bourbon, there is plenty of good stuff in the 40-70 range, then there is a void and then things pick up again north of $150, in my opinion. You can also have a bottle engraved for a more personal touch.

Also, “easy to get” means different things depending on where you live.
+1 on Barrell- totally forgot about them.

Their ‘batch’ series is really good, but again, higher proof if you’re used to drinking 40%.
 

gnatty8

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Sending out the bat signal to the bourbon expert @gnatty8
lol, by virtue of sheer gallons consumed, I probably know a little bit, but not an expert at all!

This:

"Does she drink a lot of bourbon? (aka, do you want a 'nerdy' bourbon, or something that has more mass appeal)"

Is an important question to answer. There are some great bourbons in the $40 to $100 area that a bourbon nerd might really appreciate, but if you're only looking to buy something that someone not well-versed in spirts would recognize as a nice gift, then that's another question entirely!

If the latter, you'll be constrained by the fact that most "high commercial appeal" bourbons (think Blanton's as an excellent example) are that because everyone recognizes them as such, so you won't find them on your shelf anyway. You'll need to dig deeper and combine something that is recognizable as premium, without being so premium as to be scarce. Most of the Maker's Mark barrel picks fall in this range. I don't like them myself, but not because they're bad (they aren't), mostly because I prefer more rye and spice in the mash than wheat. Also the Wild Turkey Rare Breeds are well under $100 and are very nice pours. Any of the widely available Beam small batches like Knob Creek and (I don't like the blandness of Basil Hayden's) Bakers (you won't likely find Bookers so I didn't mention it) are excellent (and most places do barrels with Knob Creek which are usually a little more special than the main label Knob Creeks) and good value. George Dickel (which is a bourbon, but also a Tennessee Whiskey) makes an excellent 15 year old, as well as Bottled in Bond versions which are really great whiskies, and usually easy to find.

Again, if you can give more detail on what kind of a bourbon drinker she is, folks might have more tailored suggestions..
 

gnatty8

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mass appeal for sure
Whoops, missed this. In that case, I'd look for Baker's, a Yellowstone barrel pick (if you can find one), Wild Turkey Rare Breed, or one of the Maker's barrel picks. No sense spending $75 on a whiskey a bourbon nerd might rave about and have the recipient wonder why you were so cheap that you gifted her with whiskey she's never even heard of. That said, my wife actually loves Garrison Brothers bourbon (the Single Barrel, which tops out under $100 in Texas) and she's a fan of whiskies in general, so if you genuinely want something nice, special, and unique, that may be worth a try
 

mak1277

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63BEF88E-44BC-4318-B3A8-D199520E67A7.jpeg


anyone had this batch yet?

Virginia does special releases by email now. I got to the store 10 min after the email was sent yesterday and there were dudes literally running through the parking lot to get to the store. Sort of hilarious especially because you don’t even know what’s going to be on hand. At least we can buy at msrp though.
 

gnatty8

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View attachment 1847486

anyone had this batch yet?

Virginia does special releases by email now. I got to the store 10 min after the email was sent yesterday and there were dudes literally running through the parking lot to get to the store. Sort of hilarious especially because you don’t even know what’s going to be on hand. At least we can buy at msrp though.
Haven't had that one. I sort of gave up on Booker's when they made their drastic price hike from $49.99 a few years back to over $80 if memory serves. That's almost besides the point, since in Texas, I've never seen a bottle of Booker's on the shelves, anywhere. I still have a few unopened ones from prior to 2017 sitting in my cabinet.
 

mak1277

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Haven't had that one. I sort of gave up on Booker's when they made their drastic price hike from $49.99 a few years back to over $80 if memory serves. That's almost besides the point, since in Texas, I've never seen a bottle of Booker's on the shelves, anywhere. I still have a few unopened ones from prior to 2017 sitting in my cabinet.
Nice. And here I was thinking I was really disciplined since I’ve gone three days without opening it yet.
 

gnatty8

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Nice. And here I was thinking I was really disciplined since I’ve gone three days without opening it yet.
Well, it helps when you already have a dozen or more bourbons already opened and ready to pour.

Speaking of bourbon, I bought a Milam and Greene Single Barrel over the weekend. Another Texas bourbon, but I think this one may be more to my liking than the Garrison Brothers that had previously held the top (Texas) spot for me. Can't recall exact proof off the top of my head, probably in the 55 range. These are truly small batch whiskies (the one I had came from a batch of just 280 bottles in total, period) and I must say, I was really blown away. It wasn't exactly cheap ($79) but a good $20 less than the Garrison Single Barrel, and a good bit better if you ask me. They make a "Castle Hill Series" that's 13 years old (retails anywhere from $139 to $249 depending on the batch) that I think I will try, it's just that good.
 

KarlHungus

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A little OF 1920 today. This bottle drinks a bit hotter than the last one I had (old labeling from 2019 I believe), if my memory serves me. Wonder what others' experience is but first guess is they are using younger whiskey as they increase production volume.
IMG_20220826_154107.jpg
 
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cocostella

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Haven’t tried the more recent iteration myself, but loved the older. Have been enjoying the 1910 a lot lately though.
 

gnatty8

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If anyone is looking for a whiskey that should be pretty widely available at reasonable cost, keep your eye out for Chattanooga Whiskey. These guys are putting out some really special stuff at great prices, and are definitely worth a look. My favorite is their Cask 111 Tennessee High Malt, but they have some Bottled in Bond whiskey out there that is at least as good if not better than anything in the Beam small batch family, and at a similar price.
 

Watchman1

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This one really showcases the beauty, intensity and quality of the EC brand and even more so Heaven Hill. Truly an amazing spirit!

Happy Friday!
 

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