Single Malt Scotch v Bourbon

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Alan Eden
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Single Malt Scotch v Bourbon

#1 Post by Alan Eden » July 9th, 2017, 6:43 pm

A few years ago it seemed that you could find Bourbon QPR's that matched a great single malt, for example Macallan 18 v Pappy 20 was a tasting we did several times with varying results for a winner but everyone concluding they were both great and each around $200. It just seems nowadays with the Bourbon boom that the QPR is just way out of whack and that single malt is just so much better quality for the dollar. So many Bourbons are being rushed out to market and are just hot messes, had the 2016 4R limited small batch the other day and it was almost undrinkable without ice this was around $160 a bottle and for that your buying a killer single malt that leaved the 4R in the dust.

Please dont say this is a British bias, i actually do love a great Bourbon, they are just becoming so hard to find. Like the aforementioned pappy, the current 20 & 23 are pale shadows of the stuff 7-8 years that had that wonderful sticky toffee pudding caramal nose
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Sarah Kirschbaum
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Single Malt Scotch v Bourbon

#2 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » July 12th, 2017, 9:21 am

Well, I do agree that single malt is the better quality for the dollar, but that is more a function of my palate than an objective evaluation.

The decline in quality accompanied by a rise in price is the reality in the scotch world as well. There are fewer and fewer quality, aged releases, and more and more silly packaging and marketing ploys. With NAS becoming the norm, I fear for a time when the dearth of truly well made aged single malts makes what there is even crazier in price than they are now.

Patrick M
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Single Malt Scotch v Bourbon

#3 Post by Patrick M » July 12th, 2017, 5:29 pm

I think it is a style change and not rush to market... the change is to cask/barrel strength bourbons. How can you say the 4R LESB was rushed to market with a blend of 2x 12 yrs and a 16 yr in the final product. That is pretty typical for that bourbon and the current 2017 has some 20yr corn juice. I can see the lower-end and no age statements being rushed to market, but not the high-end top shelf... they have age statements and can't legally be rushed to market. Again it is a style change of higher proof bourbons, I think your tastes don't agree with the style/trend. I equate it to the modern wines vs. Old-world wines... nothing wrong with either.
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Joe Hauck
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Single Malt Scotch v Bourbon

#4 Post by Joe Hauck » July 12th, 2017, 6:27 pm

I love the 4R LESB and also love most barrel strength bourbons. I think it's just a style that doesn't appeal to you. Try watering it back to your liking.
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Paul Fountain
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Single Malt Scotch v Bourbon

#5 Post by Paul Fountain » July 13th, 2017, 10:45 pm

I can't comment on the Bourbon mentioned but I think it is part of a trend that is happening worldwide in drinks in general. There has been a lot more local focus with beer and wine and I think we are seeing that playing out with spirits too. A lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon without having a full handle on what they are doing. I've certainly had conversations with US beer industry people that reflect that the quality isn't always there in the US market and that is true for my country as well. I am sure that is also happening with the spirits industry too.
The scotch industry also now has a lot more competition from various parts of the world which wasn't there before that is helping to keep prices low, along with an economy of scale that smaller producers just don't have

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Scott Butler
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Single Malt Scotch v Bourbon

#6 Post by Scott Butler » July 14th, 2017, 9:07 am

There really just isn't a lot of bourbon in that $150-200 range these days. Pappy skyrocketed, we all know that. The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is $100-150 retail, but is super limited and costs a lot more on the grey market. Michter's 10 is awesome for about $110 but is also super limited.

In my opinion, we are just in a down period for availability, and it affects pricing. What was it, maybe 5-8 years ago when bourbon took off? My understanding is a lot of the producers spent a couple years watching and wondering if this surge is real, then in the past 4-7 years they have been laying down a lot more product to age. Therefore, if you can find really good stuff, it is overpriced at the moment. It may take 10-15 years to correct, but I think it will.
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