5 Replies to “Oh So That’s How It Is”

  1. The man’s a noob chasing pretty bottles. Blanton’s was great 17 years ago when you could buy it for $35. To me it tasted better back then, though I’m not sure if Blanton’s or I changed (probably both). There are still bourbons as good or better than Blanton’s in the $25-$60 range, so anyone who recommends a $50 bourbon selling for hundreds has spent his time chasing “it” brands rather than trying different bourbons. I’m no expert on bourbon, but I’ve tried many, and the in-demand ones just aren’t worth the money. Some may be slightly better, but they aren’t hundreds better.

    As for Basil Hayden, it’s fine if you like 80 proof bourbon, but it’s a rip-off at $50. What you’re getting is watered-down Old Grand Dad (same recipe, same distillery: Jim Beam) put into a trendier bottle. You can buy 100 proof Old Grand Dad (the Bottled in Bond one) for $25 and add a little water if you want. You’ll have a better drink at half the price, as watering down a small amount yourself will retain more flavor than having the distillery water down gallons of it before bottling. What you won’t have is a trendy bottle–which is fine, just use the extra $25 to buy a new record to play while you’re drinking it.

    OGD Bottled in Bond is wonderful. I always have a bottle of it. Some say OGD 114 is better, but I haven’t yet tried it.

    Hell, for around the same price as Basil Hayden you can get a far better Beam product: Knob Creek Single Barrel Select. (As it’s a single barrel, quality may vary, but a current store pick I got at Germantown Liquor is as good as anything I’ve had at any price. ) As far as I can tell, Basil Hayden is aimed at new bourbon drinkers who are skittish about higher-proof bourbons but think themselves too sophsticated for regular Jim Beam, Evan Williams or Jack Daniels.

  2. The YouTube Bourbon Guy wouldn’t have mentioned Four Roses because he was focusing on underrated bourbons. Four Roses gets a lot of love.

    The Four Roses I’ve tried is great stuff. The single barrel at its best is as good or better than any Blanton’s I’ve had, and the cost is still reasonable. Last bottle I bought a year or two ago was around $35, so I’m guessing it goes for around $40-45 now, still a pretty good deal. (As with any single barrel, look for a store pick–they really do attempt to pick the best barrels.) FR has a new offering called “small batch select” that’s gotten a lot of positive attention. I havent yet tried it, but I’m intrigued because it’s their first product that’s “non-chill filtered,” which has become something of a hipster bourbon obsession. I have no idea if not chill filtering a whiskey really makes it better.

  3. Agree on OF. If you ever feel like splurging, OF 1920 might be the best bourbon I’ve ever had. At $60 it’s only an X-mas or birthday option for me, so I only sip it occasionally to make it last.

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