Sunday, January 20, 2013

The 12 Best Bourbons & Ryes I Tasted in 2012

I've declared the 2012 whiskey of the year, and now here is a list of the 12 best bourbons and ryes I tasted in the first 12 months of my American Whiskey obsession, in order (sort of).

1) Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year - $70
I went through 3 of these last year and every drop was just about perfect.

2) Abraham Bowman 18 Year - 147.5 proof, TPS private barrel - $65
Hot!  Almost makes the Stagg feel tame.

3) Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch - $90
Floral, fragrant, fantastic.

4) Sazerac 18 Year Rye - $75
Only 90 proof but oh so full of flavor.

5) George T Stagg (2012) - $75
Hard core kick-your-ass bourbon goodness.  Tough to find a bottle, but I know a bar or two around town that you can get a pour for $10.

6) John J Bowman 14 Year, TPS barrel #45 - $55
I proclaimed this my whiskey of the year so you may be wondering how it's at #6.  It's because, unlike the first 5 bottles on the list, you can still grab a  bottle, and I thought it was pointless to name a whiskey of the year if you can't get a bottle!  Good luck finding #'s 1-5, though you could get lucky.

7) Jefferson's Presidential Select 18 Year.  I wish I had stocked up on this, because the $70 price at Hi Time turned into $120 and now they are out.  A few BevMo's still have it for around $100.  A 21 Year version is set to come out soon, but that may be a $200 bottle.

8) W.L. Weller 12 Year - $25
A standard on my bar, tough to beat for the price.

9) Vintage 17 Year - $70
Out of production now but you can still find one collecting dust if you look hard enough.

10) Parker's Heritage Collection - 2012 Blend of Mashbills - $80
A blend of a ryed bourbon and a wheated bourbon.  Very unique flavor and thick, grainy mouth feel.

11) Elmer T Lee -  $25.  I posted a review of this bourbon last year.  Similar to the Weller in that it's tough to beat for the price.

12) Very Old Fitzgerald - Barreled in 1960, bottled in 1968.
I almost left this off the list, but the historical significance requires that I include it.  From the Stitzel-Weller distillery, essentially the original Pappy Van Winkle.  This was a tiny 4/5 pint bottle that was consumed, in it's entirety, after having tasted 10 or more other fine bourbons.  As a result I only have a faint, blurred memory of what it tasted like.

Honorable Mention:
Elijah Craig 12 Year - $23
Very Old Barton 100 proof - $14
Old Fitzgerald 100 proof - $15
Old Charter 10 Year - $18
Ancient Ancient Age 10 Year - $19
Four Roses Single Barrel 100 proof - $35
Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof - $23
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year 107 proof - $35
Wild Turkey Rare Breed -  $36
Buffalo Trace - $20
Booker's - $55
Willet 21 Year - $$$
High West Double Rye - $34
I could add 20 more, but I'll stop.

Worst Bourbon & Rye I tasted in 2012:
Old Fitzgerald 1849 - The only bottle that I poured out
Hudson Baby Bourbon - Aged 6 months, absolutely disgusting.  $40 for 375ml bottle, really?  Glad I only paid for one shot.
High West Pure Silver Rye - Okay, if the whiskey is clear, don't drink it.  It has not been aged.


1 comment:

  1. TITanium Games | Playtech-Tech-Tests
    TITanium Games titanium aftershokz is 2014 ford focus titanium hatchback one of the leading titanium dive knife software titanium color providers and the industry's leading gaming products. The company provides premium, titanium rimless glasses high-quality graphics,