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Old 04-13-2007, 08:47 AM   #1
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Bloofs Top 25 Bourbon 2/28/07

Top 25 Bourbon List


1. A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16 year
2. Vintage 23 year
3. George T. Stagg 2006, 140.6 proof
4. Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year
5. The Classic Cask 20 year
6. Vintage 21 year
7. Booker's
8. W.L. Weller 19 year
9. Distiller's Masterpiece I - Cognac Finish
10. 2005 William Larue Weller, 121.9 proof
11. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Fall 2006
12. Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year, Lot B
13. George T. Stagg Fall 2005, 141.2 proof
14. The Classic Cask 18 year
15. George T. Stagg 2002, 137.6 proof
16. Baker's
17. George T. Stagg 2003, 142.7 proof
18. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 year
19. Knob Creek
20. Pure Kentucky (original 12 year)
21. Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve (original 101 proof)
22. Old Rip Van Winkle 15 year
23. 1792 Ridgemont Reserve
24. Sam Houston
25. The Classic Cask 17 year
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:04 AM   #2
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Also my Top 10 Rye List. These will likely stay the same until the next NFL season, as no new bourbons are planned for purchase, and the "season" will soon be over.

Top 10 Rye List


1. The Classic Cask 22 year
2. Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 year
3. The Classic Cask 21 year
4. Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 year (final release)
5. Sazerac 18 year
6. Old Potrero Straight Rye (90 proof)
7. Sazerac 7 year
8. Vintage 21 year
9. Vintage 23 year
10. Black Maple Hill 18 year
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:56 PM   #3
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As per the recent post on Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon, this list supersedes all previous.

Top 25 Bourbon List

1. A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16 year
2. Vintage 23 year
3. George T. Stagg 2006, 140.6 proof
4. Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year
5. The Classic Cask 20 year
6. Vintage 21 year
7. Booker's
8. W.L. Weller 19 year
9. Distiller's Masterpiece I - Cognac Finish
10. 2005 William Larue Weller, 121.9 proof
11. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Fall 2006
12. Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year, Lot B
13. Four Roses Single Barrel
14. George T. Stagg Fall 2005, 141.2 proof
15. The Classic Cask 18 year
16. George T. Stagg 2002, 137.6 proof
17. Baker's
18. George T. Stagg 2003, 142.7 proof
19. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 year
20. Knob Creek
21. Pure Kentucky (original 12 year)
22. Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve (original 101 proof)
23. Old Rip Van Winkle 15 year
24. 1792 Ridgemont Reserve
25. Sam Houston
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Old 11-20-2007, 03:50 PM   #4
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Sir Bloofington, what's the big difference between single barrel and double barrel bourbons? Is one favored over the other? Thanks.

Rob
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Old 11-20-2007, 03:58 PM   #5
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  • Re:Number 8, Weller 19 is a thing of the past. Weller 12 consists of only 100 barrels per year. The 12 is once again available but remember, it's a short run. I rat-holed a 1.75 bottle yesterday.
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:35 AM   #6
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Weller 19, as many of the items on my Top 25, is indeed a product long gone from shelves. It may be possible to find a dusty bottle or two in a corner of the country somewhere.

Single Barrel bourbon should not be confused with any other term such as double barreled bourbon. Double barreled bourbon is a brand new term that arose as a result of an experiment by the company that makes the Prichard's label. It has absolutely no relation to the term single barrel bourbon, is not made according to the strict definition of bourbon, and the jury is out on exactly how good this Prichard's double barrel bourbon really is. I'm not going to address the term double barreled, as it is a brand new term, and has nothing to do with the making of conventional bourbon.

Single barrel anything, bourbon or other spirits, is when the bottle has been filled with the whiskey from a single barrel, rather than taking a number of barrels and using them for the bottling process to create a desired flavor profile.
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:37 AM   #7
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By the way, in addition, I have never really liked the taste of most single barrel bourbons, although there are exceptions, witness my favoring of the Four Roses single barrel bourbon.
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:35 AM   #8
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This list is amended due to the changes in Sam Houston as noted on the related thread.


Top 25 Bourbon List



1. A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16 year
2. Vintage 23 year
3. George T. Stagg 2006, 140.6 proof
4. Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year
5. The Classic Cask 20 year
6. Vintage 21 year
7. Booker's
8. W.L. Weller 19 year
9. Distiller's Masterpiece I - Cognac Finish
10. 2005 William Larue Weller, 121.9 proof
11. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Fall 2006
12. Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year, Lot B
13. Four Roses Single Barrel
14. George T. Stagg Fall 2005, 141.2 proof
15. The Classic Cask 18 year
16. George T. Stagg 2002, 137.6 proof
17. Baker's
18. George T. Stagg 2003, 142.7 proof
19. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 year
20. Knob Creek
21. Pure Kentucky (original 12 year)
22. Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve (original 101 proof)
23. Old Rip Van Winkle 15 year
24. 1792 Ridgemont Reserve
25. Sam Houston (original 10 year, 90 proof)
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by flagman
Sir Bloofington, what's the big difference between single barrel and double barrel bourbons? Is one favored over the other? Thanks.

Rob
Though this question was not directed to me I will attempt to give an answer. I run a small ad agency that does almost all the packaging work for the Buffalo Trace Distillery and the Sazerac Company, so I have some background in distilled spirits.

First, I have never heard of double barrel bourbon, but maybe that was a joke. Single barrel bourbon is the product of one single barrel verses a blend of numerous barrels. The first in this class was Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon, which came out in the eighties if I am not mistaken. Elmer T. Lee the master distiller for the Ancient Age Distillery in Frankfort, KY (which would later become the Buffalo Trace Distillery) was the person responsible for selecting THE barrel from which Blanton's would be made. He selected each barrel and each was dumped, deproofed, and bottled, one-at-a-time. Elmer was responsible for ensuring the flavor profile was consistent from barrel to barrel and year to year. As far as I know, Elmer is still doing that though he is technically retired.

Other bourbons are a blend of many barrels, sometimes limited to one year or perhaps a number of different years to achieve the flavor profile the distiller is after. This includes small batch bourbons, which are a blend of a small number of barrels, often from the same distillation run.

Which is better? The single barrel will be more expensive because it is hand selected from certain barrels usually in certain warehouses and hand bottled (at least those at BT are). It is assumed you will get a superior product and in most cases you do. The problem is that, as good as people like Elmer are, they are not perfect, and there is the possibility of some fluctuation of flavor from bottle to bottle, especially over a period of years. I love Blanton's but I prefer a small batch type which is more consistent. My personal choice is Buffalo Trace, which closely matches the Blanton's flavor profile.

CX
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:30 AM   #10
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Double barrel bourbon is not a joke, as I explained it in my previous post on this thread. Any further information can easily be found on the internet. I have trouble accessing certain web sites because of my computer's issues, so cannot provide links.

I also mentioned the name of the bourbon which is Prichard's. The distillery is using a new process, which I am a bit suspect of, as far as what it might do to taste. I have not tried this bourbon, and probably won't, unless and until the price comes down a lot.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:09 AM   #11
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The list is amended as of January 13, 2008, following my review of Parker's Heritage Collection Bourbon.

Top 25 Bourbon List


1. A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16 year
2. Vintage 23 year
3. George T. Stagg 2006, 140.6 proof
4. Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year
5. The Classic Cask 20 year
6. Vintage 21 year
7. Booker's
8. W.L. Weller 19 year
9. Parker's Heritage Collection
10. Distiller's Masterpiece I - Cognac Finish
11. 2005 William Larue Weller, 121.9 proof
12. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Fall 2006
13. Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year, Lot B
14. Four Roses Single Barrel
15. George T. Stagg Fall 2005, 141.2 proof
16. The Classic Cask 18 year
17. George T. Stagg 2002, 137.6 proof
18. Baker's
19. George T. Stagg 2003, 142.7 proof
20. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 year
21. Knob Creek
22. Pure Kentucky (original 12 year)
23. Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve (original 101 proof)
24. Old Rip Van Winkle 15 year
25. 1792 Ridgemont Reserve
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:33 PM   #12
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After my review of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2007, this is the new Top 25.

Top 25 Bourbon List

1. A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16 year
2. Vintage 23 year
3. George T. Stagg 2006, 140.6 proof
4. Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year
5. The Classic Cask 20 year
6. Vintage 21 year
7. Booker's
8. W.L. Weller 19 year
9. Parker's Heritage Collection
10. Distiller's Masterpiece I - Cognac Finish
11. 2005 William Larue Weller, 121.9 proof
12. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2006
13. Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year, Lot B
14. Four Roses Single Barrel
15. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2007
16. George T. Stagg Fall 2005, 141.2 proof
17. The Classic Cask 18 year
18. George T. Stagg 2002, 137.6 proof
19. Baker's
20. George T. Stagg 2003, 142.7 proof
21. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 year
22. Knob Creek
23. Pure Kentucky (original 12 year)
24. Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve (original 101 proof)
25. Old Rip Van Winkle 15 year


The following comments are as promised in the thread reviewing Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2007. The other comments with random names remembered from those no longer in the Top 25, but still considered good and good bargains, will be upcoming in a future post on this thread.

This is a review, of that which may no longer be found, or perhaps isn't advisable to buy at current prices or "bad" releases.

Don't buy No. 1 - don't ask, don't tell, because I've done this a bunch of times. The story is here. If you don't find it, I'll try to find it for you, but the price is too high for you to buy it. I know I got spoiled on an unusually low price, but it's unusually high now, and may be the victim of a "bad" release. Don't buy No. 1, don't ask, don't tell.

Buy No. 2, as much as you can afford, ditto No. 3, which you may not find, and of course, buy as much of No. 4 as you can afford, although there's no shortage, and not likely to be.

You'll never see No. 5 again, but if you find a dusty old bottle on a shelf in Montana, buy it, and even pay $100 to walk out with it (that includes tax/shipping), but no more.

Buy as much of No. 6 as you can afford, NOW!!!

Buyer always beware of No. 7, legendary inconsistency, but like Mae West, when it's good, . . .

You'll never see No. 8 again. Leave me alone if you find it, because I'll cringe if I hear it was seen again. Also let me know how much you paid and if you'll ship, hee, hee, heee!!!

You saw my review on No. 9

Don't buy No. 10. Way too pricey, special, but don't sweat it, and move on.

You won't find No. 11, but pay anything up to a "walk-out" price of $65-70 just once to say you tried it.

Buy lots and lots of No. 12

No. 13 has gotten pricey, and I'm suspicious of late releases. Haven't had it in a while. Consider it a gamble, but take the gamble. You'll probably beat the house.

Buy Nos. 14 and 15.

You won't find No. 16, but pay up to $80 to walk out with it just once.

You won't find No. 17, and just move on. Special, but if you didn't get to taste its 20 year old cousin, not worth the sweat and money.

You'll never find No. 18, although those that still have it are gouging big time, like they didn't do that when it was released.

Buy lots and lots of No. 19, it's always good.

You won't find No. 20, don't buy it, not special enough to pay the price, unless it's a "walk-out" price of less than fifty clams.

Buy lots of Nos. 21 and 22.

You'll never, and I mean never find the REAL No. 23, so forget about it. I got spoiled on a clearing house price. Just move on, and don't buy the ten year old that has the same name. Good when they moved from 12 to 10 for this label at first, but now they're releasing crap. Move on.

You won't find the real No. 24 either, but if you can, and it'll cost you $45 or less to walk out with it, get it. I paid lots less, but that was long ago, and it's over.

You won't find No. 25, but in similar fashion as above, pay $50 to walk out with a bottle just once in your life, if you find it.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:13 PM   #13
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Since I have not been able to access a really good explanation for the expression "double barreled bourbon," I have turned to the place where the REAL heavy hitters of bourbon knowledge reside, a place at least one esteemed member here hangs out at regularly. That place is the web site known as Straight Bourbon.

Please note the opening post of the thread linked below. It is a discussion of Prichard's Double Barreled Bourbon, and the poster is reading about the process right off his own bottle. Hopefully, this will serve to explain the term. It is a new one that I myself never heard until the release of this product about two years ago, or perhaps slightly less.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/s ... p?p=108307
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:27 PM   #14
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Brother Bloof - I'm not sure of the price ofa lot of your top 25. But, if you had only $50.00 to spend on a bottle- give me your top 3, if you don't mind. Thanks. I've got $150.00 burning a hole in my pocket.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by flagman
Brother Bloof - I'm not sure of the price ofa lot of your top 25. But, if you had only $50.00 to spend on a bottle- give me your top 3, if you don't mind. Thanks. I've got $150.00 burning a hole in my pocket.
Hey Rob, I've got fireproof pockets if you need someone to hold on to that for you...
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:38 PM   #16
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Flagman, if I read you correctly, you're looking for three suggestions that cost no more than $50 apiece, right? And since we live in a world with shipping charges and taxes, you mean $50 complete, a "walk-out price," right?

If that's the case, then I would go for Nos. 12-14. No. 7 would be a great idea in that price range, but the price has been going up recently, and it could top $50 in many areas.
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:07 PM   #17
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Re: Bloofs Top 25 Bourbon 2/28/07

Bloof, a liquor store here has a few bottles of the Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year at $100 a bottle. Is this a good price for it? I know you mentioned previously to buy as much of it as you can afford, which means I can currently buy zero bottles, but I may if it's not overpriced.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:29 AM   #18
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Re: Bloofs Top 25 Bourbon 2/28/07

Sorry to take so long to get back to you, acharpe. I presume you cannot order on line, because the best price I know of is at Shopper's Vineyard. If you cannot order from them, then I would suggest you not ever pay more than $90 as a "walk-out price" for Pappy's 20. $90 is a price I would never pay, but since prices on bourbon are going up because of the ethanol craze and other factors, we may soon be faced with no other choice. In the meantime, it can currently be had for approximately $80 from Shopper's Vineyard, inclusive of shipping, therefore, "walk-out price." I have always drawn the line at $80, but have recently realized that I may soon have to bend over for $90. I would still not recommend paying anything more than $80, unless you have $90 and really want to try it that badly. At $90 it's still not really overpriced, but don't pay $100, not by a long shot, not yet.
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:52 PM   #19
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Re: Bloofs Top 25 Bourbon 2/28/07

Thanks, Bloof! I'll hold off for now. Next time I go, I'll see if there's any wiggle room in the price. If not, I may have to order some. I believe it's legal to order booze in South Carolina.
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:57 AM   #20
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Re: Bloofs Top 25 Bourbon 2/28/07

The new Bloofingtonian Top Ten Rye List is updated as of today, 7/6/08.

[center:8x2xiua6]Top 10 Rye List[/center:8x2xiua6]
1. The Classic Cask 22 year
2. Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 year (A-E bottles)
3. The Classic Cask 21 year
4. Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 year (final release)
5. Sazerac 18 year
6. Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve Rye
7. Old Potrero Straight Rye (90 proof)
8. Sazerac "Baby Saz"
9. Vintage 21 year
10. Vintage 23 year
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