Help me rank a few Bourbons...

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Brandon R
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Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#1 Post by Brandon R » December 5th, 2018, 5:26 am

Hi, All. Over the past few months, I've been grabbing the odd bottle here and there and would like to gain a general concesus as to which of these Bourbons are regarded as the "best" by this knowledgeable group. Here's what I've got:

Blanton's
Bookers 2018-01 Kathleen's Batch
E.H. Taylor Small Batch
Old Forester 1920
Old Forester 1897
Noah's Mill
Michter's Small Batch

Why? Simply out of curiosity. Please rank this list, in your opinion, from 1 to 7 with 1 being the best and 7 the worst.
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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#2 Post by bweimer » December 5th, 2018, 7:12 am

I will not rank them as I have not had them all, but among the list I like Blanton's and OF1920 best. OF1897 is just a step below those. EHT small batch is good but maybe a bit too sweet and light for me. Noah's Mill has too much oak influence for me but others may like it more. Booker's is generally too hot for me but better with water. I have not had that particular batch though.
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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#3 Post by Robert M yers » December 5th, 2018, 8:36 am

I think those are all kind of a similar quality level really. As Bruce lays out there are stylistic differences and any rankings will be based on those, not necessarily speaking to one being best vs worst. In a wide poll I’d bet Blantons would be first, but it is hot right now because supply is low, Bourbon is like that.

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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#4 Post by RDHudak » December 5th, 2018, 9:24 am

Bookers- Always loads of flavor.
Old Forester 1920- Same
Noah's Mill- Same, but varies significantly.
Blanton's- Well made and consistent.
OF 1897- Just darn tasty
Michters- Solid and underrated, not to mention a great value.
EH Taylor- Too light and simple. Way overrated, but my sample size is one bottle.
The above are also based on my bias for bold, barrel proof bourbon. That said, they obviously must be made well, which Bookers does every time. I'll also include that Bookers and Elijah Craig barrel proof are the best values on the market for barrel strength bourbon, IMO.

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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#5 Post by Scott Butler » December 5th, 2018, 9:28 am

RDHudak wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 9:24 am
Bookers- Always loads of flavor.
Old Forester 1920- Same
Noah's Mill- Same, but varies significantly.
Blanton's- Well made and consistent.
OF 1897- Just darn tasty
Michters- Solid and underrated, not to mention a great value.
EH Taylor- Too light and simple. Way overrated, but my sample size is one bottle.
The above are also based on my bias for bold, barrel proof bourbon. That said, they obviously must be made well, which Bookers does every time. I'll also include that Bookers and Elijah Craig barrel proof are the best values on the market for barrel strength bourbon, IMO.
I like your ranking except I'd have Blanton's at #1 or #2, it and Bookers are so good, but so different.

I agree on EH Taylor, I was excited to find it once, and didn't love it. Then someone gifted me a bottle, and I hoped to suddenly love it, but didn't. I've never had their single barrel's, and their Rye is quite good, but the small batch bourbon is just ok.
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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#6 Post by bradkaplan » December 5th, 2018, 5:43 pm

My top three would be Blanton's, Bookers, and 1920, in no particular order.
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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#7 Post by Mike Maguire » December 5th, 2018, 9:56 pm

bradkaplan wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 5:43 pm
My top three would be Blanton's, Bookers, and 1920, in no particular order.
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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#8 Post by Albert_H » December 5th, 2018, 10:27 pm

1920 and Kathleen’s Batch are tied for first, skip second place, maybe blantons for 3rd, then everything else
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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#9 Post by Brandon R » December 6th, 2018, 9:46 am

Thank you, All. This is helpful and I appreciate your perspectives.
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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#10 Post by Michae1 P0wers » December 11th, 2018, 10:35 am

RDHudak wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 9:24 am

The above are also based on my bias for bold, barrel proof bourbon. That said, they obviously must be made well, which Bookers does every time. I'll also include that Bookers and Elijah Craig barrel proof are the best values on the market for barrel strength bourbon, IMO.
For my money, the best value for barrel strength bourbon is 4 Roses Single Barrel. I much prefer it to the two you mention, though it is a few bucks more.

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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#11 Post by Todd F r e n c h » December 11th, 2018, 10:42 am

Yeah, Old Forester 1920 is the best Old Forester since their Birthday Bourbon. That said, I'd put Blanton's on top, then Bookers, then 1920, Noah's Mill, Michter's, then 1897 which I feel it too 'banana-y', as can be an issue with Old Forester
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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#12 Post by RDHudak » December 11th, 2018, 1:43 pm

Michae1 P0wers wrote:
December 11th, 2018, 10:35 am
RDHudak wrote:
December 5th, 2018, 9:24 am

The above are also based on my bias for bold, barrel proof bourbon. That said, they obviously must be made well, which Bookers does every time. I'll also include that Bookers and Elijah Craig barrel proof are the best values on the market for barrel strength bourbon, IMO.
For my money, the best value for barrel strength bourbon is 4 Roses Single Barrel. I much prefer it to the two you mention, though it is a few bucks more.
I'm fresh off a "store pick" Four Roses Single Barrel that I really didn't care for, so it's not on my radar compared to the other barrel strength versions I listed. That said, it was around $45, which was significantly less expensive than the others. The issue I have with Four Roses is that they have 10 different recipes, so while the recipe is listed, they vary greatly from bottle to bottle.

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Re: Help me rank a few Bourbons...

#13 Post by Michae1 P0wers » December 11th, 2018, 6:26 pm

Bob they can vary a bit but when they’re on they can be really, really on. I’m usually less excited with the store picks to be honest with you. I actually like the regular single barrel quite a bit, and I can get that for $32 locally. I’m not sure if that’s barrel strength or not, but I think it comes in at 100 proof.

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