I’ve been drinking primarily Bourbon this summer, and need to keep track. I’m not at the point in my tasting career to begin using fancy words, so for now I’ll just list my order of favorites with a blurb if necessary.
Note that these comparisons are by memory – I haven’t done any “head to head” comparisons, as for some reason my bottles empty too fast and I typically don’t have more than one on hand (I have the opposite problem with Scotch).
#1 – 1792 Ridgemont Reserve (now known as Small Batch)
This stuff is plain incredible. I think it was my first bottle of quality Bourbon. I’ve read a few reviews of it that completely contradict what I think of it (short finish etc) so there may be variation among bottles.
I like everything about this bourbon. Plenty of spice & burn, but the aftertaste is what does it for me. It’s like a rollercoaster of different flavors for 15+ seconds. I’ve given it to non whiskey drinkers, tell them to sip and wait. Everyone, almost like clockwork, says “wow”…. 5 seconds … “ooooh”
Far and away my favorite. And it’s not close, every first sip, after not having it for a while, it typically met with a “holy shit that’s good”.
#2 – Blanton’s Original
I got this as a gift. I’d heard of it before in other reviews, as kinda the “benchmark” of good Bourbon. Many stories from people who could “Recall when they had their first dram”, which intrigued me.
It’s good. Nothing really jumped out at me that I can remember, but it’s just all around solid.
I will buy another bottle – the packaging & horse is definitely part of the allure. So far, I have “T”.
#3 – Elijah Craig 12
Four Roses Small Batch
Four Roses Single Barrel
American Barrels (this was a disappointment. Not cheap, the price is obviously for the neat bottle)