Kentucky Bourbon

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soozycue520
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2007/11/29 00:53:59 (permalink)

Kentucky Bourbon

The NY Times has a great article in the Dining section about KY bourbons. It compares drinking good bourbons to drinking good vodkas.

This is a good history of bourbons as compared to sour mash whiskeys, and that KY bourbons are not the "only" bourbons.

I think you have to be subscribed to the NY Times to access this article, but it is a good one.

If Roadfood.com had a beverage section, I would post it there.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/28/dining/28bour.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=dining
#1

43 Replies Related Threads

    MikeS.
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 08:06:02 (permalink)
    Very good, a lot of information in this. So now I know the difference between whiskey and bourbon. Thanks Soozycue!

    MikeS.
    #2
    tonemonster2
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 08:30:37 (permalink)
    What I didn't understand was how dismissive they were about Makers Mark. I love that stuff, and I've had almost all of the bourbons on their list....also, Eagle Rare, which was left off the list, is as good as MM in my view.
    #3
    seafarer john
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 10:10:07 (permalink)
    I bought a bottle of Pappy Van Wikle, Family Reserve, 15 years, old last Fall. For some unknown reason it is bottled at 107 proof - way too high in alcohol to be a pleasant drink - I, of course, cut the stuff with a bit of water ot make it palatable. It is my considered opinion that any booze over 90 proof is too damn strong in alcohol to allow for the real enjoyment of the fine flavors that may be present. On the other hand, anything below about 80 proof seems weak and watery. I was in my favorite liquor store last Tuesday and saw a very expensive bottle of 160 proof vodka - what the Hell does anyone do with that stuff ? And there was. on the shelf, a $140 bottle of straight Rye - I'd love to tatse that stuff if annyone out there would like to buy me a nice Xmas present.

    One additional point, my experience teaches me that any improvement in taste or texture in booze aged in barrels over about 7 or 8 years is so little as to not be worth the extra price paid for the longer ageing.

    Approving mention was made in the article of "Bourbon" distilled at the Tuthilltown Mill in nearby Gardiner, NY. I just dont understand how the stuff can even be labeled as Bourbn when the distillery has only been in business for two years and so far as I can determine the stuff has never seen the inside of a barrell? It is readily availale in liquor stores around here at about $40/500ml bottle. I wish this new business well because it is a local busness and they could, given tme and support, turn out a good Hudson Valley Apple Brandy - a traditional, if neglected, booze of our area.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the article as it did pont up the joys to be found in a good bottle of Borbon and that there's a whole lot of it out there to be enjoyed.

    Cheers, John
    #4
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 10:21:24 (permalink)
    Bourbon as well as Tennessee whiskey has always been a bit sweet for my taste. I prefer rye whiskey although I seldom buy it as I mostly get a blend of Canadian such as Windsor.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #5
    Davydd
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 10:27:28 (permalink)
    I sip all my Bourbon straight. It is usually Wild Turkey 101, Makers Mark or Knob Creek depending on the fatness of my wallet and the mood I'm in when in the liquor store.

    BTW, you do not have to be a subscriber to the New York Times to access the article. It came right up for me but you may have to log in if you have never been to the NYT web site before. Newspapers like to capture data about who reads them. Most are giving up the paid subscription access model.
    #6
    mayor al
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 10:54:47 (permalink)
    I only taste this nectar (Knob Creek) on special occasions, but adding a tablespoon or so of concentrated lemonade to about 6 oz of Creek-water,over ice makes a wonderful summer beverage.
    #7
    Robearjr
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 11:57:37 (permalink)
    I like Basil Hayden and Makers Mark, but I shy away from the stronger whiskeys. I find I have to mix, either with coke or Ale-8-One. I'm not old enough to sip my whiskey straight.
    #8
    jmckee
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 12:39:02 (permalink)
    Woodford Reserve. Lovely. Really.
    #9
    Sneetch
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 13:03:19 (permalink)
    jmckee - i second that! in a pinch i'll drink Knob Creek, but Woodfrod Reserve is my fisrt choice as well...
    #10
    rongmtek
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 13:15:19 (permalink)
    I am a Jack Daniels drinker. (I know, it's Tennessee whiskey, not bourbon.)
    The NYT article explained why I've never been too impressed by Maker's Mark: it is too refined. I agree. I like a bit more "youth" to my drink, I suppose. Actually, I'm not aging too well, myself.
    Mayor- I'll trade you a great winter beverage for your summer version, which I'll try when the mercury heads upward again.
    I was introduced to this at a ski lodge, on my first road gig as a drummer (back when dirt was new):
    BROKEN LEG: bourbon (or TN whiskey), in hot apple cider, stirred with a cinnamon stick. It takes all the pain away.
    Ron
    #11
    Russ Jackson
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 13:59:17 (permalink)
    My first bourbon was JTS Brown which is still made and very reasonably priced. Currently I enjoy Elijah Craig,Bulleit,and Old Fitzgerald. But whenever playing cards or shooting pool its JTS Brown. Maybe its me but in the past two years Makers mark seems to have lost its flavor it even seems like its viscosity is different. I would use it with coke but it could never match a good Jack Daniels and Coke. Speaking of mixing things with Coke have you tried Cuervo Black and Coke? I dont know what they are doing with that Tequila but it mixes well with Coke and makes a lousy Margarita.
    #12
    mayor al
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 14:11:32 (permalink)

    Thanks Ron, I feel a long cold winter coming on...
    #13
    rongmtek
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 14:31:16 (permalink)
    Speaking of Coke:
    When did people start drinking anything but rum with Coke?
    I have been served Jack & Coke a number of times lately, after quite clearly asking for a Jack & soda. I think some of the younger servers equate "soda" with "Coke", and I would guess it is because that's the popular drink these days.
    Yeccchhhh. We used to laugh at people drinking spirits with Coke. Just go ahead and have a ZIMA.
    Ron
    #14
    improviser
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 14:54:25 (permalink)
    I enjoy Jack and cokes on occasions.

    Now Beam and coke, those are foul beyond belief.
    #15
    Russ Jackson
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 15:05:58 (permalink)
    I was a Bartender in Detroit in the 80s and Jack and Coke was very popular served with an 1/8 segment of lime squeezed in. Try it with a squirt of very dark brown sugar simple syrup. And please lets not compare Jack and Coke to Zima. Thats not fair.And if you only drank spirits straight one could never make it past half time.
    #16
    Heartburn
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 15:12:05 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tonemonster2

    What I didn't understand was how dismissive they were about Makers Mark. I love that stuff, and I've had almost all of the bourbons on their list....also, Eagle Rare, which was left off the list, is as good as MM in my view.


    I agree
    Makers Mark is great
    Go to their website and join the Ambassadors Club
    They send you good stuff(glasses,stirrers,ect)
    They will even put your name on a barrel while it is aging
    #17
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 15:12:55 (permalink)
    My brother owned a restaurant in the twin cities called TR Mc Coy's. They served Jack and Diet Coke in a narrow stem glass and called it Slim Jack.

    It worked.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #18
    rongmtek
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 15:31:58 (permalink)
    Well, there's no accounting for taste; otherwise, none of us would have ever got married.
    How about serving Jack & Coke in a bucket, and calling it Jack Sh*t?
    Ron
    #19
    Scorereader
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 16:10:58 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by rongmtek

    Speaking of Coke:
    When did people start drinking anything but rum with Coke?
    I have been served Jack & Coke a number of times lately, after quite clearly asking for a Jack & soda. I think some of the younger servers equate "soda" with "Coke", and I would guess it is because that's the popular drink these days.
    Yeccchhhh. We used to laugh at people drinking spirits with Coke. Just go ahead and have a ZIMA.
    Ron


    jack and diet is a favorite of mine. Too much sugar in coke for me. Bad anough I'm drinking alcohol. It's a better cut for Jack than water. Been doing it for years. Jack and soda is good too.

    Truth be known, I since I'd rather drink bourbon on the rocks or neat depending on my mood, I don't really care for Jack Daniels compared to Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve and Makers Mark. Since I'm basically destroying the Jack Daniel flavor by mixing it with diet coke, Evan Williams works just as well - though I'd never drink Evan Williams neat.

    Although, even the article admits that it's a little odd to be snobby about bourbon. Scotch drinkers, while very accute with knowing their flavors, are rarely snobby when discussing blends and single malts when speaking to other scotch drinkers. In fact, even single malt drinkers enjoy blends and can sometimes tell you what the different flavors in the blends are. I have a friend whose scotch cabinet has a better selection of fine scotches than some of the areas top scotch bars (he's very serious about his scotch.) He enjoys Islay single malts. Me, I can't stand the heavy peat. To me, it tastes like dirty socks. But he's more than happy to pour me some western highland or speyside single malt of my choosing. Never snobby about it either. So, I find it tough to take serious anything a bourbon drinker says if they're being snobby about it. Some people actually enjoy Old Crow - despite it being second babana to Jim Beam. Which reminds me, I agree with the article that Jim Beam black is a very excellent value.

    As per the comment regarding the 160 proof vodka, since the best vodka should have no flavor, the strength is really there for people who use it to mix for cocktails. Personally, for the money, Smirnoff is the best value. Although, as a wine enthusiast, I also enjoy Ciroc (which is a vodka made from grapes).



    #20
    seafarer john
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 17:10:12 (permalink)
    Lets see if I've got this right: You crush grapes and ferment the juice and get WINE (if you know what you are doing). Then you distill the wine and the alcohol you draw off the still is called BRANDY (which still tastes of the grape, if you know what you are doing). So how the Hell do you get VODKA (a tasteless alcohol) out of grapes? Or, maybe the better question is: WHY the Hell would you want to make Vodka out of grapes?

    But, then, maybe I'm just old fashioned - the only use I have for Vodka is to make a Bloody Mary for Sunday morning breakfast.

    Oh, almost forgot: I like to put a bit of Vodka in my Marinara sauce - a trick I learned here on Roadfood.

    As to mixing any decent whiskey - Bourbon, Rye, Scotch- with coke? There aught to be a law against such crimes, with the trangressors being sentenced for all eternity to drink nothing but diet coke.

    Rum. Gin, Tequela, (the bottom shelf brands only) are all OK with coke, but please, dont waste good booze by mixing it with sugary sodas...

    Those of us who like to drink aged spirits straight can easily make it past halftime - we sip, we taste, we savor the stuff. A finger or two in a large glass can easily keep us happy for a half hour before we are lookng for a refill.

    Cheers, John



    #21
    kman160
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 17:39:36 (permalink)
    anyone know if Old Hermatige is still around?
    drank it out west when my gut was still cast iron
    now I tend to sip Jim Beam Rye
    #22
    mayor al
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 17:49:43 (permalink)

    If there is any group with more "rules" and "Do's and Don't's" than the Hard Spirits group it must be the Wine-Drinkers.

    I guess you guys won't join me in a Moxie and Old Overshoe will you?

    OK, 'Nuff said.

    Heartburn I wanted to add about the very successful Maker's Mark Ambassador's group. We signed up 6 years ago. Since that time we have received several nice little 'freebies' from the distillery. A siver Julep Cup. A bunch of holiday cards with the maker's seal in wax...fun things to have around.
    We do have our name on a barrel and will be invited down to the distillery when that batch is opened and bottled. If we reserve the barrel we can purchase it (or rather the contents thereof). Yep, all 53 gallons of 90 proof Makers Mark can be mine for a bit over $4000. Not wanting to invest that much, I can purchase a bottle from the BATCH (no promise it will be from MY barrel).
    For me the folklore around the contents is as much fun as the contents itself. Maker's Mark does some fine "special" bottles each year. Nothing like the Jim Beam Collection, but interesting as they relate to local history and events in Kentucky.

    Interesting to see that Four Roses has re-entered the Kentucky Bourbon market. I remember when my step-dad drank 4 Roses, then it seemed to disappear off the market.

    Taking the Bourbon Tour in central Kentucky is an interesting ride. We like to take visitors to the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center near Bardstown, KY. Heavens Hill may not be a the top of the quality list, but the tour and tasting room gives one a good basic introduction to Bourbon-culture.
    #23
    Russ Jackson
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 17:55:13 (permalink)
    I can see you now sipping your aged Buorbon while double dipping with the other hand leaving broken chip pieces in your wake.And I never said top priced aged Bourbon I said Jack Daniels.What I consider a great value for sipping out of a coffee cup straight or with coffee.It also mixes great with Coke and makes one of the best shots. I have always loved the rumble in the stomach,the burn going down and the slight watering of the eyes to finish.It to me is the great American Shot!
    #24
    Davydd
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 18:12:53 (permalink)
    I may have to sign up with Maker's Mark Ambassador group. My ancestral roots were in Kentucky from about 1778 to 1909 when my grandfather left Vine Grove, KY for Indianapolis.

    That first sip straight burns like the dickens then after that you don't feel it again as long as you keep sipping. I normally use a 2 oz. shot glass but when I am ready to really mellow out before bed on rare occasions I sometimes am apt to pull out my favorite Harvard 4 oz. The glass is gradated in ounces from Brown to Princeton to Yale to Harvard. I picked it up when I was visiting Harvard. It is just the right size with one ice cube if you like it that way. It can take a while to sip that down straight.
    #25
    seafarer john
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 21:00:41 (permalink)
    Go to bed children ( and that includes you, Al) while us adults sit up a while and enjoy a sip of good whiskey and branch water (along with our evening ration of pills)...

    Cheers, John
    #26
    mayor al
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 21:23:06 (permalink)
    John
    Ambien, Viagra, Bourbon and Lasicx..What a cocktail! G'Nite, Old Timer!
    #27
    Scorereader
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 21:34:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by seafarer john

    Lets see if I've got this right: You crush grapes and ferment the juice and get WINE (if you know what you are doing). Then you distill the wine and the alcohol you draw off the still is called BRANDY (which still tastes of the grape, if you know what you are doing). So how the Hell do you get VODKA (a tasteless alcohol) out of grapes? Or, maybe the better question is: WHY the Hell would you want to make Vodka out of grapes?

    But, then, maybe I'm just old fashioned - the only use I have for Vodka is to make a Bloody Mary for Sunday morning breakfast.

    Oh, almost forgot: I like to put a bit of Vodka in my Marinara sauce - a trick I learned here on Roadfood.

    As to mixing any decent whiskey - Bourbon, Rye, Scotch- with coke? There aught to be a law against such crimes, with the trangressors being sentenced for all eternity to drink nothing but diet coke.

    Rum. Gin, Tequela, (the bottom shelf brands only) are all OK with coke, but please, dont waste good booze by mixing it with sugary sodas...

    Those of us who like to drink aged spirits straight can easily make it past halftime - we sip, we taste, we savor the stuff. A finger or two in a large glass can easily keep us happy for a half hour before we are lookng for a refill.

    Cheers, John






    re grapes for vodka: answer - because you can and it's good.

    Vodka has many uses. The fact is, it's more popular than whiskey. Marinara sauce is a good use too

    I don't use sugary coke. I use diet coke. no sugar in diet coke. And even if one does use coke, as I said, no one is doing that to good whiskey, only Jack and down. As I admit, the coke destroys the depth of flavor in a whiskey, so using Evan Williams, Old Crow, George Dinkel will yield a cheaper lilt and won't wreck a fine spirit like Woodford Reserve.

    Aged spirits are lovely. But if one wants to be snooty about it, neither a fine bourbon nor a fine TN whiskey has the complexity of a fine scotch whiskey. But none of that matters, really. The only true way to be snooty in regard to alcohol consumption, is to be a teetotaler.

    Internet is a weird place. I'm sure if we met, we'd enjoy much of the same thing in regard to bourbon. Savoring a nicely aged bourbon sounds good to my ears.
    #28
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 21:59:57 (permalink)
    I drink bourbon with Coke. I'd be a sipper if they could make one that was as sippable as this stuff....

    #29
    Billfish
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    RE: Kentucky Bourbon 2007/11/29 22:01:34 (permalink)
    Well even at my advanced age I learn something every day.All these years I was under the impression that bourbon had to be distilled not only someplace in Kentucky,but necessarily in Bourbon County.And this is not a new thing either,Wikipedia says at one time more Bourbon was made in Illinois than in Kentucky.
    Maker's mark always seemed to be the whiskey of choice where I grew up in Southern Indiana and its still my preference.Its not all that popular here on the East Coast but still not hard to find.Just seeing the red wax seal and the familiar feel of the funny shape bottle makes me smile.Theres always a fifth in the kitchen cabinet,though the bottle seems to last longer and longer nowadays.
    Jack Daniels is another of those things that has always been around when needed.I think its difference from bourbon is what I like best about it.Four Roses,however,no,I dont think I will try that again.Not after the one disastrous experiment with it at the age of 16.

    #30
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