Attending: John, Ryan, Marya and Fuggles!
As usual, we did this as blind as possible. John and I brought four unknowns. Marya poured. Then I mixed them up. Then for no really good reason, we put them in smell order. We didn't know what anything was until it was all over.
- Blanton's Original Single Barrel (Blackwell's pick) (R)
- Blanton's Straight from the Barrel (J)
- Buffalo Trace (D&M pick) (J)
- Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Wheated 12 Rear Floor 9 (J)
- Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Straight Rye Bottled-in-Bond (J)
- Four Roses Single Barrel Private Selection (BevMo OBSO 11y) (R)
- High West Double Rye Manhattan Barrel Finish (Astors) (R)
- Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Bourbon - 11 Years (R)
We always have a known "starter" whiskey to open up the palate. John usually brings it.
- Maker's Mark Cask Strength
We revisted one of the few and notorious bad bourbons we've had. John has always thought my bottle might have been "skunked," so he brought a new one to compare. The results: mildly inconclusive...his bottle might be slightly better, but still not worth the money...
There was nothing bad in this round, but nothing really WOWed us, either.
The two winners really stood out in this round. The battle for the bottom was more contested. Marya really did not like the Double Rye: "I hope this is not one of yours."
The top three were pretty close.
Four Roses by a point. Smooth Ambler close behind.
John choose a theme...four Buffalo Trace products with different mash bills: #1, #2, Rye and Experimental Wheat. Crafty. I played it safe and brought stuff I knew was in our wheelhouse: I'm still scarred from being shut-out a few tastings ago. What started as just getting to know bourbon, turned into a mild competition. Also, I can only have so many "mixer" bourbons. Especially, when I prefer gin cocktails.
The surprise is the Buffalo Trace (D&M pick). Clearly, for $22, it can compete with things 3 times it's price. It is a clear no-brainer bargain.
Unfortunately, we have now tried all four of the regular E.H. Taylor products and they are all over-priced and mediocre.