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33 minutes ago, got_nugs said:

Didn't see Blantons at retail for 8 months, had to buy one at $150 just to try it, now i've picked 4 up in 3 weeks at Total Wine.  Is this seasonal or is Blantons ramping up production in the states since they're adding the SFTB and Gold to the US market?  Maybe just good timing for me.

ADHD Whiskey and Bourbon Junkies entertain me on the youtuber (aside from those 2 fellas mentioned above).  Watched some of Bourbon Night too.

Late summer early fall is peak season for all Buffalo Trace products, October is the best month

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13 minutes ago, Megla said:

Late summer early fall is peak season for all Buffalo Trace products, October is the best month

So are my 2 only real shots at BTAC close to retail going be via The Vault at ABC/Grand Reserve at Total Wine?  Are there respectable secondary online shops worth trusting at  3x retail or less?  This is my 1st BTAC season since becoming a collector and not just someone who just shot whatever was in front of me in quantity, pardon the silly questions.  

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31 minutes ago, got_nugs said:

So are my 2 only real shots at BTAC close to retail going be via The Vault at ABC/Grand Reserve at Total Wine?  Are there respectable secondary online shops worth trusting at  3x retail or less?  This is my 1st BTAC season since becoming a collector and not just someone who just shot whatever was in front of me in quantity, pardon the silly questions.  

BTAC / Pappy / Weller 12 etc are a once a year release in the fall, ### Megla said. October is when it starts but many markets hold till later. Memphis lets it out in mid/late December.

Your odds of finding BTAC/pappy at retail on the shelves are effectively zero.
 

IF YOUR SHOP SELLS TO REGULARS: 
If it is a shop you've been active at, start hinting around to the owner / manager that you'd like to try X or X. If you're new and don't spend a small fortune I'd aim low.... ORVW (10 year), GTS, THH, maybe WLW..... W12 should be pretty easy to get if it's a decent size place and you've been visible. 

IF YOUR SHOP DOES A LOTTERY
Enter. Be there. 

IF YOUR SHOP PUTS GOODIES ON SHELVES AT SECONDARY, OR SELLS OUT THE BACK DOOR TO FLIPPERS: 
Find another shop. Seriously. 

Try not to be annoying, but chat with folks. You can offer to crack a bottle and let the manager / staff taste if they really hook you up. Don't have to but it can go a long way in letting them know you're not capitalizing on their goodwill (selling to you at retail) by flipping it. 
 

BUYING SECONDARY: 
I would not buy "Pappy" on secondary unless I really trusted provenance. SOOOO many fakes out there. I'm a bit more trusting of BTAC but still be wary, 

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14 hours ago, got_nugs said:

So are my 2 only real shots at BTAC close to retail going be via The Vault at ABC/Grand Reserve at Total Wine?  Are there respectable secondary online shops worth trusting at  3x retail or less?  This is my 1st BTAC season since becoming a collector and not just someone who just shot whatever was in front of me in quantity, pardon the silly questions.  

If your state is like FL and ABC is your state store then yes, the vault is your best option but in my experience if you dont get to the vault within minutes of it opening then BTACs will be gone

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12 hours ago, Megla said:

If your state is like FL and ABC is your state store then yes, the vault is your best option but in my experience if you dont get to the vault within minutes of it opening then BTACs will be gone

I'm in Ft Myers, FL...so we'll be vault racing I guess. Opened '18 GTS last night to celebrate us buying a new house, so much flavor.

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On 9/13/2020 at 8:48 PM, mr roboto said:

Just cracked 1 and 2 of the Bucket List - wife is sampling with me. 
 

2 very different tastes!  Excited to try the rest this week!

Good to hear. They are indeed different... but the yet, a little of the same. :ph34r:

 

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On 9/19/2020 at 10:18 AM, mr roboto said:

Makers is my unashamed daily drink. 

Should never be ashamed.   Makers is one on the products that started the bourbon craze.  

I have tried everything from Rebel Yell to Pappy.  Makers is still one of my favorites over 75-100 dollar bottles.

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6 hours ago, BrutalPenguin said:

Will we get to see each others' notes and find out what each sample was?  

Yep sorry still waiting on a couple folks and been crazy busy. Will try to update soon. If ya didn't.. get your thoughts in!! 

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3 hours ago, Dan Lambskin said:

Found a nice cocktail bar with a great bourbon list tonight.  Got a pour of Elmer T Lee

How'd ya like it?

We went to a nice place for our anniversary dinner and they had everything from Buffalo Trace.  Got a pour of Rock Hill Farms.  Amazing.  

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Responses So far (Trying to wait till everyone is ready for the bottles to be revealed): 

Bucket List Survey: https://forms.gle/oo8swXQcDxX6ymhP8
Thanks to Bluesbomber, BrutalPenguin, Man with no name, and Gamma for completing so far! @mr roboto pending

Spectrum List Survey: https://forms.gle/QYQ9VM8n6UmqNoYbA
|
Thanks to George? and Redwes so far! Pending @Instinctive @Nathan R. Jessep @Freak Show 

 

Now, Since Top Shelf Samples were shipped labeled I can reveal them and the results, even though we only have 5 of 6 responses at the survey

EH Taylor : Four Grain (Special Release from 2018 IIRC) - Won Whiskey of the year. 
2 folks rated Exceptional (5/5), 1 rated Very Good (4/5). 

Notes: 

"EH 4 grain, delicious but last and was hammered by then."
"EH Taylor Four Grain - Exceptional sample. Smooth with a little heat. EH Taylor never lets me down."
EH Taylor 4 grain - wonderful flavor. This felt like the perfect whiskey

--

"Pappy" Van Winkle Lot B 12 Year
3 Rated Very Good

Notes:
Pappy Lot B - super smooth - but almost too smooth. I like a little kick. For sure this was the smoothest of all samples.
Pappy, so smooth there was no bite or real flavor. Kind of lost a star for the no bite, that said it was so smooth I’d probably drink the entire bottle in one sitting if it was in front of me.
Van WInkle 12 Yr - This was very good but not exceptional. Shared sample with brother in law. I think this sample is "hurt" by the expectations being "Pappy". You expect it to be amazing, and while it is very good... I think because your expectations are unreasonable, it mentally lets you down.

--

Willett Family Estate 12yr
2 folks rated Exceptional

Notes:
Willett 12 - damn - good stuff! Loved the bite.
Willett family estate 12 year - This was an exceptional sample. Smooth with some heat. Sweet finish. REALLY need to find a bottle of this for my own now!

--

Willett Family Estate 11yr
1 person rated it Very Good

Notes: 
Willett 11 year, bam hits you with bite from the first sip.

--

BTAC - Thomas H Handy Rye
2 Exceptional / 1 Very Good

Notes: 
Thomas Handy rye - one of my favorite whiskeys. This is the only one I've had before, but I just wanted to have it again. Ryes are my favorite, and this one is top of the list
Thomas H Handy Rye - This was spicy and unique. Being a rye it of course has more bite. Very good rating.
Btac handy rye, I wish I had a cigar to have paired with this. Bold and lip numbing.

--

BTAC - William Larue Weller
1 Average (3/5)

Notes: 
BTAC WLW - Of all, this was my least favorite. I am now five whiskeys in so this is the extent of my review

--

BTAC - George T Stagg 
None of the 3 had this

--

Old Forrester Birthday Bourbon 2016
1 Exceptional

Birthday bourbon, my purpose in life is to find a bottle every September when it’s released. Fan ####### tastic

--

Old Commonwealth - Van Winkle 1992
1 Exceptional

1992 Old commonwealth - Amazing sample. Smooth, cinnamon finish. Blew my socks off.

--

 

??? Mystery Sample - TBD... will be revealed once other groups test it. 
I will say it's the most polarizing sample across all groups with scores ranging from 1 to 5 and comments going from "far and away favorite" to "This was absolutely terrible!"  :lol: 

 

--

 

Overall Notes / Comments: 

This is a blast! I really appreciate you doing it. It would be interesting to know the price points of these whiskeys. They were really really good.

Icon is the man. Very awesome setting this up for everyone. Most of us never have a chance at finding most of these samples.

There was no second through five, just 1b, 1c...

 


 

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27 minutes ago, [icon] said:

??? Mystery Sample - TBD... will be revealed once other groups test it. 
I will say it's the most polarizing sample across all groups with scores ranging from 1 to 5 and comments going from "far and away favorite" to "This was absolutely terrible!"  :lol: 

If that is a sample of Rebel Yell I'm going to crack up. :lmao:

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Not trying to rush anyone, just a friendly reminder! I know some folk are looking to spread them out and that's cool.... I'll probably announce what everyone got and the rankings/notes for the other two groups sometime next week. 

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2 minutes ago, Dan Lambskin said:

Also I hit the work lottery having a plant located there 

I have friends that live on Long Lake there and my uncle lives on Elk Lake so we go there 3-4 times a year. My buddys son used to bartend at the top of the Park place in the piano bar.   Stumbled out of that place many a time.  4 finger pours.

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1 minute ago, Da Guru said:

I have friends that live on Long Lake there and my uncle lives on Elk Lake so we go there 3-4 times a year. My buddys son used to bartend at the top of the Park place in the piano bar.   Stumbled out of that place many a time.  4 finger pours.

Yeah Park Place is our preferred hotel for work.  We also have the Indigo as a backup, which I like because I get IHG points, but I like Park location and bar/restaurant better

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23 hours ago, [icon] said:

Not trying to rush anyone, just a friendly reminder! I know some folk are looking to spread them out and that's cool.... I'll probably announce what everyone got and the rankings/notes for the other two groups sometime next week. 

Don't wait on me, I've still got 5 left and had to take a break for a few weeks for medical reasons

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I decided to try and learn to like whiskey recently after pretty much being a vodka only drinker my whole life. 

I'm about halfway through this thread after starting from the beginning and wanted to get some suggestions. Also pissed that I just missed another taste test but I don't know anything yet so maybe I'll be ready for the next one. 

For our first foray into whiskey we bought two bourbons and two ryes. Elijah Craig Small Batch and Buffalo Trace for the bourbons then Bullet 95 and Woodford Reserve for the ryes. We blind tasted the bourbons one day then the ryes the next. We both preferred the ECSB over BT but I liked WR more whereas she picked B95. But between all of them we liked the bourbons the most with ECSB being the clear winner. 

So now I have two bottles of rye I don't know what to do with lol and am not sure where to go from here with bourbons. I've got a list going (they seem easily available in Oregon?) but wanted to see if you guys had any suggestions for ones to try knowing we liked ECSB the best. 

TIA

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2 hours ago, CR69 said:

I decided to try and learn to like whiskey recently after pretty much being a vodka only drinker my whole life. 

I'm about halfway through this thread after starting from the beginning and wanted to get some suggestions. Also pissed that I just missed another taste test but I don't know anything yet so maybe I'll be ready for the next one. 

For our first foray into whiskey we bought two bourbons and two ryes. Elijah Craig Small Batch and Buffalo Trace for the bourbons then Bullet 95 and Woodford Reserve for the ryes. We blind tasted the bourbons one day then the ryes the next. We both preferred the ECSB over BT but I liked WR more whereas she picked B95. But between all of them we liked the bourbons the most with ECSB being the clear winner. 

So now I have two bottles of rye I don't know what to do with lol and am not sure where to go from here with bourbons. I've got a list going (they seem easily available in Oregon?) but wanted to see if you guys had any suggestions for ones to try knowing we liked ECSB the best. 

TIA

Nowhere near the level of knowledge as a lot fo the guys in here, but I would suggest something  that is generally obtainable and affordable like a Four Roses Single Barrel and maybe  something from the Knob Creek line. I think the 1792 Small Batch is nice for the price too. (But I like the  Buffalo Trace stuff a lot, so maybe do the opposite of my palate, lol.)

Anyway, cast a wide net across the different distillers and you will zero in on what hits the spot for you.

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2 hours ago, CR69 said:

I decided to try and learn to like whiskey recently after pretty much being a vodka only drinker my whole life. 

I'm about halfway through this thread after starting from the beginning and wanted to get some suggestions. Also pissed that I just missed another taste test but I don't know anything yet so maybe I'll be ready for the next one. 

For our first foray into whiskey we bought two bourbons and two ryes. Elijah Craig Small Batch and Buffalo Trace for the bourbons then Bullet 95 and Woodford Reserve for the ryes. We blind tasted the bourbons one day then the ryes the next. We both preferred the ECSB over BT but I liked WR more whereas she picked B95. But between all of them we liked the bourbons the most with ECSB being the clear winner. 

So now I have two bottles of rye I don't know what to do with lol and am not sure where to go from here with bourbons. I've got a list going (they seem easily available in Oregon?) but wanted to see if you guys had any suggestions for ones to try knowing we liked ECSB the best. 

TIA

Lots of great rye whiskey cocktails.  My favorite being a Manhattan.  Just go pick up some sweet vermouth and some bitters.

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59 minutes ago, Rustoleum said:

Nowhere near the level of knowledge as a lot fo the guys in here, but I would suggest something  that is generally obtainable and affordable like a Four Roses Single Barrel and maybe  something from the Knob Creek line. I think the 1792 Small Batch is nice for the price too. (But I like the  Buffalo Trace stuff a lot, so maybe do the opposite of my palate, lol.)

Anyway, cast a wide net across the different distillers and you will zero in on what hits the spot for you.

Those were on the list from reading recommendations in here over the years so we’ll definitely give those a shot. Thanks 👍

50 minutes ago, AAABatteries said:

Lots of great rye whiskey cocktails.  My favorite being a Manhattan.  Just go pick up some sweet vermouth and some bitters.

Been looking forward to trying one of those, any specific sweet vermouth you’d recommend?

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I'm looking for a special bottle to celebrate the birth of our first kid in Nov/Dec. Around $100-$150 price range. Not really an expert and tried Googling but hard to decide with so much out there. You all have quite a bit of knowledge in here, would you have any thoughts or suggestions based on what you've tried?

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1 hour ago, Harris said:

I'm looking for a special bottle to celebrate the birth of our first kid in Nov/Dec. Around $100-$150 price range. Not really an expert and tried Googling but hard to decide with so much out there. You all have quite a bit of knowledge in here, would you have any thoughts or suggestions based on what you've tried?

Ordinarily I'd suggest Old Forrester Birthday Bourbon as it WAS in your price range ($100-110 retail), semi-easy to score and rather fitting for obvious reasons. Sadly that's been caught up in the hysteria and is now very tough to find and secondary value has spiked to $500+. IMO it's not worth anywhere near that. 

Blantons is always a great gift/occasion bottle due to cool packaging and a very solid and mild/smooth/sweet bourbon. Retail used to be $50 but is now around $70...but you're more likely to spend around $100 if you can find it. It's worth that in this market. 

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3 hours ago, Harris said:

I'm looking for a special bottle to celebrate the birth of our first kid in Nov/Dec. Around $100-$150 price range. Not really an expert and tried Googling but hard to decide with so much out there. You all have quite a bit of knowledge in here, would you have any thoughts or suggestions based on what you've tried?

You are the guy who lives in Paris, correct?  If so, you might actually be able to buy some very good bourbons that are hard to get in the US or aren't sold here. Blanton's in particular has some variations they sell overseas but not in the US. I know they are sold in the UK and I've seen them in Italy as well. No idea about France. Look for Blanton's Gold or Straight from the Barrel as two excellent Blanton's variations.

I'd love to learn what you can find easily there.

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1 hour ago, Ron Swanson said:

You are the guy who lives in Paris, correct?  If so, you might actually be able to buy some very good bourbons that are hard to get in the US or aren't sold here. Blanton's in particular has some variations they sell overseas but not in the US. I know they are sold in the UK and I've seen them in Italy as well. No idea about France. Look for Blanton's Gold or Straight from the Barrel as two excellent Blanton's variations.

I'd love to learn what you can find easily there.

Whenever you post in this thread I just see this - https://me.me/i/when-someone-at-the-liquor-store-asks-if-i-need-e4a65164a8b447acb0bcf985677f29a6

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5 hours ago, [icon] said:

Ordinarily I'd suggest Old Forrester Birthday Bourbon as it WAS in your price range ($100-110 retail), semi-easy to score and rather fitting for obvious reasons. Sadly that's been caught up in the hysteria and is now very tough to find and secondary value has spiked to $500+. IMO it's not worth anywhere near that. 

Blantons is always a great gift/occasion bottle due to cool packaging and a very solid and mild/smooth/sweet bourbon. Retail used to be $50 but is now around $70...but you're more likely to spend around $100 if you can find it. It's worth that in this market. 

Thanks! I'll check locally to see if Blanton's is around. As @Ron Swanson said below I live in Paris but should be obtainable. I see it online now for €60-70. I have a feeling I'm going to come out of this "search for one nice bottle" with about 6-8 bottles...

2 hours ago, Ron Swanson said:

You are the guy who lives in Paris, correct?  If so, you might actually be able to buy some very good bourbons that are hard to get in the US or aren't sold here. Blanton's in particular has some variations they sell overseas but not in the US. I know they are sold in the UK and I've seen them in Italy as well. No idea about France. Look for Blanton's Gold or Straight from the Barrel as two excellent Blanton's variations.

I'd love to learn what you can find easily there.

Thanks, didn't know that at all. I've got a couple of places I'll be going to check out and see what's in stock. Will definitely report back.

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On 9/26/2020 at 6:04 PM, CR69 said:

Those were on the list from reading recommendations in here over the years so we’ll definitely give those a shot. Thanks 👍

Been looking forward to trying one of those, any specific sweet vermouth you’d recommend?

Critical thing a bunch of people don't do - make sure you refrigerate the vermouth after opening. Americans as a whole dislike vermouth, in large part because we do not store it properly and it goes bad and we drink it anyway,.

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3 minutes ago, Instinctive said:

Critical thing a bunch of people don't do - make sure you refrigerate the vermouth after opening. Americans as a whole dislike vermouth, in large part because we do not store it properly and it goes bad and we drink it anyway,.

This is totally correct.  Buy a small bottle and then through it out after a few months even if refrigerated.  

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43 minutes ago, Instinctive said:

Critical thing a bunch of people don't do - make sure you refrigerate the vermouth after opening. Americans as a whole dislike vermouth, in large part because we do not store it properly and it goes bad and we drink it anyway,.

Good to know, thank you!

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