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  1. Jim Beam Double Oak

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted September 30, 2019
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    Unfortunately a week after I bought this I bought a Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Single Barrel store pick, so my review is tainted by the discrepancy between the two. The clear benefit of Jim Beam Double Oak is its affordability and uniqueness compared to what you'll find in bourbons under $30. However, this bottle that is half of the price of the Woodford Reserve also packs roughly half of the flavor. For an 86 proof bourbon the nose is particularly strong, mostly due to the heavy oak influence. Other than oak I get a charred, dusty corn. The vanilla or toffee sweetness some note is absent for me. Overall the oak in this bourbon is astringent, young, or artificial, depending on what adjectives you want to use, both on the nose and taste. Unlike the Woodford Reserve and a few other double matured whiskeys, this does not have a rich, complex body that works in unison. There are hot sauces and barbecue sauces that add artificial heat or smoke in lieu of real ingredients to save on cost. I think of that same process with this bourbon, it tastes like artificial oak flavoring instead of the real deal. I know that's most likely not true, but what it signifies is probably a short second maturation with heavily charred barrels to increase production and save on time. I'm not saying this is a bad bourbon, but I prefer other Jim Beam products.
    26.95 USD per Bottle
  2. Wild Turkey Rare Breed 116.8

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted September 18, 2019
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    I picked this up shortly after finishing Russell's Reserve Single Barrel, on sale for $45. It is frequently $4 off in NC, making it one of the cheapest high proof bourbons you can readily buy. The nose belies the high proof. The Russell's Reserve was more potent. You cannot tell this whiskey is 116.8 proof by smell and usually by taste as well. I get oak char, spiced dessert, dark cherries and berries, and alcohol. Nothing stands out and the alcohol burn is subtle unless you swirl the glass. Oak char is the dominant flavor, with a long finish. I also get sweetness that is mostly derived from hot cherry compared to brown sugar or caramel. The finish is where the proof really presents itself to your taste buds. The spiced dessert is covered by the long finish of cherry oak and alcohol. Some of the more subtle flavors on the smell and taste vanish. In a blind tasting you may be fooled into thinking this is under 100 proof until the finish. Overall this is a great, affordable cask strength bourbon. I'd rate this and the Russell's Reserve about the same, so if you are looking to try one reach for Rare Breed since it is $11 cheaper in NC and probably significantly cheaper in most states. Just know you cannot go wrong with either purchase. I also have to mention I love the bottle design. It looked cheap upon first glance, but it has 2 things that are much better than most bottles. I can't tell if the top is real or fake wood but it feels good in the hand and fits snugly around the mouth. The real advantage to this bottle is the tapered mouth with thin glass. Most bottles have thick glass and a straight mouth, which leads to a wide pour and dribbling down the sides. This mouth produces a fantastic pour, I've never lost a drop. For me this is a bottle I'm keeping for other uses.
    48.95 USD per Bottle
  3. Bulleit Rye

    Rye — Indiana (bottled in Kentucky), USA

    Tasted September 17, 2019
    2.75
    2.75 out of 5 stars
    Before I got into whiskey I often ordered cheap rye on the rocks at bars, so I figured I enjoyed rye whiskey. However, now I realize the ryes I drank were lower rye content. I have never had a 95% rye until now and I haven't enjoyed drinking it neat so it's taken me a while to finish this bottle. I've mostly used it for amateur cocktails at home, which is a good use of this rye. The nose is very strong. I don't know if it's tobacco like the expert review states, it smells more herbal and perfumey. It is similar to scented candles I like, but that's not a smell I want in a whiskey. I guess that may be what everyone describes as eucalyptus or cloves, but for me it is a combination of many air freshener and cleaner type scents. I get more pine sap on the taste, with hints of pepper and cinnamon. It lacks sweetness on the taste and finish. If you told me I was drinking Pine Sol I would find it hard to disagree with you. The only reason I'm rating this as a 2.75 is it works really well in cocktails, but then again, cheaper ryes than this also work well in cocktails. If you don't like really strong rye, don't buy this.
    33.95 USD per Bottle
  4. Evan Williams White Label Bottled in Bond Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted September 5, 2019
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    I purchased this around the same time I also bought 1783 and Single Barrel for an EW comparison. I have tried the other two multiple times, but never purchased this. The EW BiB has received a lot of hype from whiskey enthusiasts. At this point I think it is slightly overhyped, but for $16 this is still a great purchase. Just don't buy this and assume you are getting a $50 bourbon. It is simply a cheap bourbon that is better than most $20-30 offerings. Up front I get much more alcohol than I do with 1783 or Single Barrel, as expected with 7% more alcohol. I get some caramel spice, but also oak and corn dust. I taste heavy corn and oak, with less spice and sweetness than expected. The finish is medium with lingering oak and everything else seems to disappear. I see the value in all 3 EWs. Personally I prefer the Single Barrel, but this is a good buy as well. The 1783 may be the worst of the 3, but it also comes in a plastic 375 mL, perfect for trips. Personally I recommend all 3 options and the Black, EW in my mind makes the best affordable bourbon on the market. I don't understand the Distiller rating of 80 considering the written review, it makes little sense.
    15.95 USD per Bottle
  5. Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey 7 Year

    Wheat Whiskey — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted August 27, 2019
    3.25
    3.25 out of 5 stars
    If you have a friend who is hesitant to drink whiskey neat due to limited experience, this is a perfect starter. Since the market is extremely limited for wheat whiskey, I compare this to the drinkability of Maker's Mark and Larceny. All 3 are widely available and sub $30. Bernheim is smoother and lighter than either due to higher wheat, which is why I recommend it for beginners. Oak is most prominent on the nose, due to the 7 year statement. I also smell caramel, but keep in mind everything I'm smelling is subtle. The taste is equally light. All of the flavors I see in reviews are mild at best, including the oak and alcohol. This whiskey basically disappears on the tongue. I barely know I had a sip of it 10 seconds after swallowing. It is honestly impressive how light and drinkable a 7Y whiskey can be. But that's not what I want these days. I see value in this, especially for $29 with its age statement and uniqueness. However, it is boring to drink and I'm having a hard time finishing the bottle because I always want to reach for something else. Buy this for your friend who drinks whiskey on the rocks or Crown Royale straight, I'm sure they'll enjoy this.
    28.95 USD per Bottle
  6. Maker's Mark Cask Strength

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted August 22, 2019
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    This was my first cask strength purchase, and I was eager to try this after thoroughly enjoying Maker's 46. This retails for $50 in NC and is widely available, making it one of the few cask/high proof bourbons regularly found on ABC store shelves. The only notes I get in line with the expert review are hints of hay and eucalyptus, but I smell no banana or tobacco. Up front you get a big alcohol burn on the nose after a swirl. This alcohol burn is stronger than other bourbons I've had recently at higher proofs. The other dominant smell is cherry oak, which is expected with Maker's. On the taste that alcohol continues and coats the mouth, with cherries and other dark or dried fruits. I get little of the spices noted in reviews. The oak I'm tasting does not have that sweet spiced dessert flavor, more of a woody vanilla sans cinnamon and nutmeg. The finish is medium-long, still fruit and oak and plenty of alcohol. I splashed a little water in this and it barely changed anything, so it holds up well if you wish to dilute it. Considering the relatively low proof of this cask strength, it packs a ton of flavor because it is distilled at a lower proof. I'm having a hard time deciding whether this is better than Maker's 46. But since they're both much better than Maker's Mark and widely available, I highly recommend trying both. My bottle is from batch #18-02 and is 55.45% abv (110.9 proof).
    49.95 USD per Bottle
  7. Evan Williams Single Barrel

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted August 13, 2019
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    When I purchased EW 1783 I decided to also buy the BiB and Single Barrel for comparison of EW "premium" products. I neglected to buy the standard Green or Black, but maybe in the future I'll try those again for posterity. I had them enough in college to know their pluses and minuses. EW Single Barrel was one of the first "nice" whiskey purchases I made out of college. And I thought it was great, always recommended it to my friends when they were looking for an affordable bourbon that seemed classy and tasted great. I still think this is hard to beat for a name brand under $35. But now I wish the proof was between 90-100 considering the BiB is half the price. The nose is heavy with caramel and oak, much stronger than the proof suggests. However, the taste is beautiful and somewhat light. That nose continues to the taste, with more cinnamon and caramel sweetness. The finish is moderate to light, mostly oak and spices and does not linger too long. If this was 95 proof then I think the Distiller rating of 96 would be justified, but I think the rating is closer to 90 at this proof. Either way, this is a great starter bourbon that should never disappoint. But if you have graduated to higher proof bourbons, the ratings you can find for this may seem over hyped. I am very appreciative of the transparency of EW compared to other large brands. They give you far more information than other single barrels. This bottle was barreled on 03-29-11 in barrel #274 and bottled on 01-10-19, a 7.75 year age statement. Hopefully other distilleries will provide this minimal information.
    33.95 USD per Bottle
  8. George Dickel No. 12

    Tennessee — Tennessee, USA

    Tasted August 12, 2019
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    I picked up a 375 mL plastic bottle of this for $12.95 in preparation for trying the new BiB offering. I haven't had GD 12 since college, so I could not remember how it tasted. I was pleasantly surprised how different this was from Jack Daniel's offerings, and how much cheaper all of GD products are compared to their TN rival. This is unlike most bourbons I've tried recently. When I've heard people describe cereal and corn dust for other whiskeys, I wasn't quite sure what they meant. Now I do. The corn dust jumps out of the glass for GD 12, with little hint of sweetness or fruit. I smell heavy corn with some oak. I may get a little butterscotch, but that could be because I've read numerous reviews. The taste is a little bit smoother and lighter than the nose, it goes down nicely. More bread/cereal on the taste. I get a medium oak finish that lingers but is not unpleasant. This is a really good budget whiskey, and the plastic bottle is great for camping trips.
    25.95 USD per Bottle
  9. Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

    Single Grain — Japan

    Tasted July 16, 2019
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    The combination of a possible shortage of Nikka whiskey, Whiskey Vault's love for Nikka, and $4 sale overwhelmed my typical restraint for buying whiskey in this price range. The normal bottle was $70, I purchased for $66, still expensive. Before I talk about the whiskey, I do have to complement the bottle. It is elegant and beautiful, one of the best bottles I've held. The glass is an opaque blueish gray. I love the hearty screw top. Note to every other major whiskey company that they won't read, this is the type of screw top you should use on your mass-produced bottles. The nose is floral and sweet with notes of corn, it smells like a sherry finished Scotch. Incredibly pungent for 90 proof, I really like it. If you didn't pick up the wine notes on the nose, you will definitely taste it. For me, it tastes like sherry or port finished Irish whiskey with more corn grain than what you may find in Jameson. I actually think if you finish George Dickel in a sherry barrel, you may get something really similar to this. (George Dickel please pay me for this idea.) I can imagine the dusty corn being rounded out by the wine barrel quite nicely. The finish is dry, reminding me of wine-finished Scotches from the Highlands region. I honestly don't get any of the dark fruit notes I've seen in other reviews, I mainly taste honeyed corn finished with red wine barrels. Overall this is a really interesting whiskey that I've enjoyed but is certainly not worth $70. You can get wine-finished Highland Scotches for less that taste similar. I should also note, Distiller lists this as 40% when my bottle is 45%. I'm confident they're getting this wrong or Nikka dilutes it for other countries.
    70.0 USD per Bottle
  10. Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon

    Bourbon — Kentucky, USA

    Tasted July 16, 2019
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    I remember having Eagle Rare a few times many years ago and liking it a lot, but never thought it would blow up in popularity like it has. In preparation for the possible barrel pick our local stores are getting this summer, I picked up the regular version for $34.95. Oddly enough I still frequently see Eagle Rare on the shelves but have not seen Buffalo Trace in multiple years. The nose is full of sugary dark fruits, what I commonly see referred to as a stewed fruit nose by more knowledgeable enthusiasts. I also get a strong hint of oak that certainly comes from the 10Y age. For a 90 proof bourbon the nose is much richer than others in this proof range. It tastes as syrupy as it smells, with more dried dark fruit flavor that probably is influenced by barrel tannins. The oily syrup is moderate on the finish, longer than you'd expect with this proof. In 2019 I've had a run of sweet bourbons that I've enjoyed, and I would say this is one of the sweetest I've had. I am a sugar addict, but I can only drink 2 glasses of this in a row before I have to switch it up. A few years ago I may have rated this a 4.0 or 4.25, but now I like something with a little more bite and a little less sweet. However, this is still a fantastic bourbon for the price and definitely a great starter mid-tier bourbon or gift for those getting into better whiskey. It's hard to see how anyone wouldn't enjoy a glass of this.
    34.95 USD per Bottle
Results 121-130 of 171 Tastes