Need Bourbon Advice

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Need Bourbon Advice

Postby exoilman » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:40 pm

I have an unopened bottle of VXO Fitzgerald Bourbon. Its label says barrelled in 1955 and bottled in 1965. I never drank bourbon before and was wondering whether to drink (100 proof!) or see if a buyer would want it or just keep as a collector item?

Sam
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby chaz » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:47 pm

Sell it - 100 proof too strong for most of us.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby The Wizard » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:20 pm

If you've never drank bourbon before, you may not be in a position to appreciate it.
Best thing to do is give it to me; let me know next time you're in the Boston area.
100 proof is just fine. Pour a few ounces over 4 or 5 ice cubes in a glass and don't be in a rush...
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby Cash » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:32 pm

I had a glass of 107-proof Old Weller bourbon last night. One of my favorites. I agree with the water/ice suggestion, though if you've never had bourbon before, you might still find it too strong.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:34 pm

100 proof - that's fine. It's the 151 proof stuff you want to avoid.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby tainted-meat » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:55 pm

100 proof isn't too strong as long as it is a decent bourbon.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby bertilak » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:37 pm

exoilman wrote:I have an unopened bottle of VXO Fitzgerald Bourbon. Its label says barrelled in 1955 and bottled in 1965. I never drank bourbon before and was wondering whether to drink (100 proof!) or see if a buyer would want it or just keep as a collector item?

Bourbon is a fine drink and you will be rewarded by becoming familiar with it, if not already. I say leave that Fitzgerald alone until you have some idea of what different Bourbons offer then open it up and give it a taste.

Note that Bourbons are not like wine in that they do not continue to age once bottled. As long as the bottle is well-sealed it will be OK.

There are two major categories of Kentucky Bourbon: corn+rye and corn+wheat. Fitzgerald Is of the wheated variety, the less common. You might want to compare wheat and rye style Bourbons. For Wheat try Weller or Makers Mark. My favorite corn style is Blanton's but many people really like Woodford Reserve (I do too). Of course there are many others, mostly the corn variety.

The Fitzgerald brand is now owned by Pappy Van Winkle and produced for them by the Heaven Hill Distillery. Pappy Van Winkle is well known for their wheated variety of Bourbon. Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Fitzgerald and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wh ... y_bourbons.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby gerntz » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:13 pm

Before you open, take a tour of KY's Bourbon Trail & sample along the way. Then you'll know what to like. :sharebeer The Maker's Mark distillery sits in a gorgeous creekside setting. BTW, I'm never w/o it. Just bought a 1.75L refill.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby Austintatious » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:42 pm

chaz wrote:Sell it - 100 proof too strong for most of us.


As you probably know, it just means that it's 50% alcohol. There are more than a few fine bourbon whiskeys out there with greater percentages of alcohol. What matters is the story behind the whiskey and the resulting flavor and bite. Pop the cap and give it a try.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby mildred66 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:35 pm

exoilman, this article is worth reading: 52 Year Old Bourbon?.

Note that in the comments someone mentions a 60-year-old Fitzgerald and to sell it as treasure!

I echo the others in that you should try a couple other bourbons first. A $20 bottle of Maker's Mark, or see if you can find a local tasting.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby clevername » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:57 am

I googled around and you might be sitting on a $300-$500 bottle of bourbon. (Note that it isn't actually 50-60 years old; once bottled it ceases to age.) It would make a great christmas gift for someone you are trying to impress, like a boss or a new client.

If your first instinct is to put a handful of ice in it, you should probably sell it or give it away, or spend a few years cultivating a taste for this wonderful spirit so you can truly enjoy it. If you do try some I would recommend drinking it neat as all whisky snobs do, but there's no shame in adding a few drops of ice water - especially for a 100proof spirit.

Where'd you get it?

http://www.pandahi.com/1010995661.html
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby exoilman » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:01 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I will try a few bourbons and then decide. Every winter I do treat myself to Hennessey XO which is enjoyable, so for now I'll just keep it.

Happy Holidays :sharebeer
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby Lon » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:08 pm

Try "Wild Turkey" 101 Proof over the rocks. DEEElicious, but careful, too much of it and you will start to grow wattles.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby rustymutt » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:18 pm

All bourbon should be cut with water. That's how you drink it.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby brritscold » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:48 pm

OMG. Please do not drink it first before checking with these guys:

http://www.lawhiskeysociety.com/pages/Value-of-Whiskey

In the spirit of this forum, I think you owe it to yourself to at least find the right value of the whiskey first before you drink it (if you decide to), because selling/trading/auctioning it through the right forums could let you try many other fine bourbons that would be more approachable and perhaps more easily appreciated to someone not used to bourbon/whiskey.

Merry Christmas :)
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby chrisjul » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:37 pm

"All bourbon should be cut with water. That's how you drink it."

Ignore this advice.....I spent too much time in KY (unfortunately)....and you don't water down good bourbon.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby magician » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:14 pm

rustymutt wrote:All bourbon should be cut with water. That's how you drink it.

Most bourbon - like most Scotch - is already cut with water by the distillery.

There's nothing wrong with drinking bourbon neat.

That said, 100-proof is definitely sippin' whiskey. Take it slow.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby gatorman » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:23 am

This is slightly OT, but some time ago I purchased a bottle (4/5 Quart) of Hennessy Cognac, unopened, at an estate sale for $10 which, by the label, I think was bottled sometime in the early '60s, maybe the late 50's. I've had it for a year or two, just sitting in the cabinet waiting for the right occasion to open it. Any ideas where I could look to determine the value?
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby JArthur » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:38 am

I second the notion of Wild Turkey 101 on ice. I suggest a single shot, over a glass of small ice cubes (not fully crushed), and sip it while reading a good book, looking at the fire, or whatever you do to relax with the TV off. :beer
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby JupiterJones » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:33 pm

rustymutt wrote:All bourbon should be cut with water. That's how you drink it.


That might be how you drink it, but bourbon neat is perfectly fine for this Louisville-born whiskey drinker. :beer

Anyhoo, I agree with the advice to the OP to A) drink the stuff yourself, and B) delve into some other bourbons first, just so you know what you're drinking when you do finally crack the VXO open.

Personal tastes are, well, personal. But I think some good ones to start with would be Maker's Mark (either version), Buffalo Trace, and Woodford Reserve. You might even branch out into non-Bourbon whiskies too. There are some good ryes being made in the states these days. Then there's scotch, which is a whole subject of its own.

I will recommend that, if you drink any kind of whisky neat, you should buy one or more Glencairn glasses. They're not too expensive, and they really add to the experience, IMHO.

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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby Zeppcoustic » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:37 pm

Has anyone tried the Pappy Van Winkle 20 year-old or 23 year-old?
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby bertilak » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:21 pm

Zeppcoustic wrote:Has anyone tried the Pappy Van Winkle 20 year-old or 23 year-old?

I had a bottle of 23 two or three years ago. I remember it was very expensive but worth the price. It didn't last long. I have been unable to locate another bottle, but my attempts have been only sporadic.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby Random Musings » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:44 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:100 proof - that's fine. It's the 151 proof stuff you want to avoid.


Don't drink shots, just capfuls......

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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby rocket » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:29 pm

Don't drink bourbon. Drink Jack Daniels, it's better.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby atfish » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:38 pm

rocket wrote:Don't drink bourbon. Drink Jack Daniels, it's better.

+1
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby JupiterJones » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:33 pm

rocket wrote:Don't drink bourbon. Drink Jack Daniels, it's better.


While I couldn't disagree more with that opinion, it's always nice to see someone make the often-overlooked distinction between bourbon and Tennessee whiskies. It always bugs me to see Jack and Dickel lumped in with bourbons. :annoyed

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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby SPG8 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:54 pm

Zeppcoustic wrote:Has anyone tried the Pappy Van Winkle 20 year-old or 23 year-old?


Anthony Bourdain.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby chrisjul » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:41 pm

I definitely agree with the Woodford Reserve recommendation.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby paulsiu » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:59 pm

There's really no wrong or right way of drinking whiskey. Try it straight or on the rocks to see which one you like. Also tried different whiskey to see which one you will like. Like beer and wine, everyone's taste is going to be different. I don't like sweet things, so Jack Daniels is not my favorite (too much of a sweet taste). For economical everyday drinking, I actually like Wild Turkey. It's 101 proof, so just drink less of it. There's also a 80 proof version but doesn't taste as good. I also prefer to drink it straight. I know some people say that it opens up the flavor if you add a little water, but then it taste diluted.

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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby magician » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:08 pm

JupiterJones wrote:. . . it's always nice to see someone make the often-overlooked distinction between bourbon and Tennessee whiskies. It always bugs me to see Jack and Dickel lumped in with bourbons.

According to Wikipedia (and NAFTA), Tennessee whiskeys are bourbons.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby Lorenz » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:37 am

I just joined this forum to inquire about solo 401k accounts yet bourbon is the subject of my first post on boglehead.

Knob Creek bourbon whiskey comes from Kentucky, got a bottle in my hand right now. Pick up a bottle and see if you like bourbon.

I would hold off on drinking that old bottle until you decide if you like bourbon. Might be worth a good price.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby deanbrew » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:11 pm

JupiterJones wrote:
rocket wrote:Don't drink bourbon. Drink Jack Daniels, it's better.


While I couldn't disagree more with that opinion, it's always nice to see someone make the often-overlooked distinction between bourbon and Tennessee whiskies. It always bugs me to see Jack and Dickel lumped in with bourbons. :annoyed

JJ


Please clarify. From my knowledge of the subject, JD and Dickels are made with the same ingredients as bourbon, and distilled and aged exactly the same. Why would they not be bourbons, other than not being made in Kentucky? Are you limiting bourbons to Kentucky?
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby bertilak » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:42 pm

deanbrew wrote:Please clarify. From my knowledge of the subject, JD and Dickels are made with the same ingredients as bourbon, and distilled and aged exactly the same. Why would they not be bourbons, other than not being made in Kentucky? Are you limiting bourbons to Kentucky?

The process isn't exactly the same. JD and Dickels and other Tennessee Whiskeys use the Lincoln County Process which involves charcoal filtering. This process is not used by distilleries that use "Bourbon" on their labels and vice versa.

I'm sure if someone digs deep enough they will find an exception since there is no law *preventing* the use of the term "Bourbon" by Tennessee Whickey makers, but they generally choose not to do so. Reading further on the Wiki page linked above:
... most current producers of Tennessee whiskey disclaim references to their products as "Bourbon" and do not label them as such on their product bottlings.


So, by both process and convention there is a difference between Bourbon and other whiskeys (especially Tennessee whiskey). This is despite some legalities that allow that distinction to be blurred.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby chrisjul » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:39 pm

magician wrote:
JupiterJones wrote:. . . it's always nice to see someone make the often-overlooked distinction between bourbon and Tennessee whiskies. It always bugs me to see Jack and Dickel lumped in with bourbons.

According to Wikipedia (and NAFTA), Tennessee whiskeys are bourbons.


They are NOT bourbons and these are fighting words in Kentucky. There is a huge distinction between whisky and bourbon and actually cannot be called true bourbon unless distilled in KY.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby magician » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:42 am

chrisjul wrote:
magician wrote:
JupiterJones wrote:. . . it's always nice to see someone make the often-overlooked distinction between bourbon and Tennessee whiskies. It always bugs me to see Jack and Dickel lumped in with bourbons.

According to Wikipedia (and NAFTA), Tennessee whiskeys are bourbons.

They are NOT bourbons and these are fighting words in Kentucky. There is a huge distinction between whisky and bourbon and actually cannot be called true bourbon unless distilled in KY.

There is a distinction between whisky and whiskey.

As for the distinction you mention, you'll have to take it up with Wikipedia and NAFTA; I'm just the messenger.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby deanbrew » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:42 am

chrisjul wrote:
They are NOT bourbons and these are fighting words in Kentucky. There is a huge distinction between whisky and bourbon and actually cannot be called true bourbon unless distilled in KY.


A "huge" distinction? You're with a Kentucky PR agency or travel bureau, aren't you?
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby skibbi9 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:45 am

I love this article from a couple years ago:
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/666 ... van-winkle


What I'm drinking:
Eagle Rare (I enjoy this a lot)
Bulleit Rye (pretty good drink)
Buffalo Trace (same distillery, but nothing like pappy)
Hudson Bourbon (made in NY, so not really bourbon, its ok... way overpriced, neat bottle)

I also enjoy Maker's, Turkey (use this for mixers), and several others.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby bertilak » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:14 pm

magician wrote:As for the distinction you mention, you'll have to take it up with Wikipedia and NAFTA; I'm just the messenger.

Well, don't invite me to a Bourbon tasting! :beer

I don't disagree that NAFTA (as quoted by Wikipedia) has regulations on what is allowed to be called Bourbon. I just would like to point out that the bureaucrats seem to be ignoring over 100 years of customary usage. And, according to further readings in Wikipedia (whose pronouncements you seem to respect), the major manufacturers mostly go by customary usage.

When I go to the liquor store the Bourbons and Kentucky whiskeys are on separate, although nearby, shelves. To avoid confusion I also go by the customary usage.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby magician » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:54 am

bertilak wrote:
magician wrote:As for the distinction you mention, you'll have to take it up with Wikipedia and NAFTA; I'm just the messenger.

Well, don't invite me to a Bourbon tasting! :beer

I don't disagree that NAFTA (as quoted by Wikipedia) has regulations on what is allowed to be called Bourbon. I just would like to point out that the bureaucrats seem to be ignoring over 100 years of customary usage. And, according to further readings in Wikipedia (whose pronouncements you seem to respect), the major manufacturers mostly go by customary usage.

When I go to the liquor store the Bourbons and Kentucky whiskeys are on separate, although nearby, shelves. To avoid confusion I also go by the customary usage.

I don't respect them particularly; they were handy.

As I said, I'm just the messenger.
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby khollister » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:19 pm

JupiterJones wrote:Personal tastes are, well, personal. But I think some good ones to start with would be Maker's Mark (either version), Buffalo Trace, and Woodford Reserve. You might even branch out into non-Bourbon whiskies too. There are some good ryes being made in the states these days. Then there's scotch, which is a whole subject of its own.

JJ


+1 on Woodford Reserve and I am really fond of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve as well. While the Woodford has a marvelously smooth finish, the 1792 has the most velvety mouth feel I have tasted - almost like honey. The RR is considerably cheaper than the Woodford too.

Never was that fond of Makers Mark myself. I also do like JD a lot, even though it is not technically bourbon
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby BBL » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:52 am

gerntz wrote:Before you open, take a tour of KY's Bourbon Trail & sample along the way. Then you'll know what to like. :sharebeer The Maker's Mark distillery sits in a gorgeous creekside setting. BTW, I'm never w/o it. Just bought a 1.75L refill.


If you're a real aficionado you might want to stock-up while you can [they're cutting it with more water]:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerdooley ... kers-mark/

This is beyond the pale. :annoyed
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby at ease » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:28 pm

..BBL, thanks for link...so they don't think the customers will notice...we noticed when Jack Daniels and Evan Williams black cut back from 90-proof and 7 years aging....sad sad the way many American businesses are reducing quality and/or quanity as a new business strategy...ugh
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby BBL » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:58 pm

at ease wrote:..BBL, thanks for link...so they don't think the customers will notice...we noticed when Jack Daniels and Evan Williams black cut back from 90-proof and 7 years aging....sad sad the way many American businesses are reducing quality and/or quanity as a new business strategy...ugh


:beer You said it. I would have much rather seen a price increase than a recipe change. Now I have no choice - I get a different blend for the same $ but no way to get the original recipe. I hope this goes over like new coke in '80s.

Why not still make the original in smaller volumes, sell it at an increased price to those that want it the way it always has been and then roll-out a lesser quality high volume line for the 'won't notice' crowd. That's what I don't get. :?:
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby rocket » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:49 am

If you must drink drink Jack Daniels, not bourbon. [attempt at humor that could and was easily misconstrued as a personal attack (along with followup) removed by admin alex]
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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby BBL » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:38 pm

Looks the backlash got our friends at Markers Mark to reconsider their ill-conceived plan - crisis averted. The original recipe will stand!

Read here:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... f/1926081/

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Re: Need Bourbon Advice

Postby mickeyd » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:54 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:100 proof - that's fine. It's the 151 proof stuff you want to avoid.


I draw the line at Everclear. But that's not Bourbon. :beer
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