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Whoever put this post together needs a fucking enema. Jack Daniels is NOT a Bourbon. Bourbon's are made in Bourbon County Kentucky. Jack Daniels is a Tennessee Sour Mash. Completely different products! As far as Bourbons go, dollar for dollar you will not find a better whiskey than Buffalo Trace. If money is not an obstacle and your looking for a great Bourbon...
1) Woodford Reserve
3) Russell's Reserve
4) Pappy Van Wrinkle
These four are as good as it gets and definitely worth trying.
Not sure how anyone can call Jack smooth, it is extremely harsh when compared to a good bourbon. Eagle Rare, Woodford Reserve, Evan Williams single barrel.
To me Jack Daniels has a funny smell and syrupy after taste, and it's not Bourbon, it's Tennessee Whiskey. It's pretty overrated at that.
You don't have to spend a lot of money for the good stuff. My preferred brands are Maker's Mark, George T. Stagg, Pappy Van Winkle 15, Four Roses, and my favorite Elmer T. Lee. Goes great with a Padilla Miami Robusto. Cheers.
These dudes pallets are burned out from drinking too much Jack Danials! They don't know what bourbon is supposed to taste like.
I've had the cheaper bottely, about $20, but they had a couple more expensive versions of the Four Roses.
I did a flight of bourbons at a whiskey bar in town and actually liked Four Roses the best of what I tried. I know a lot of old-timers will cringe at hearing that (my uncle looked at me like I'd lost my mind) but the owner of the bar gave the recent history of the distillery and it's changed since the '50's. I've had the cheaper bottely, about $20, but they had a couple more expensive versions of the Four Roses.
"in the name of thorough reporting..." I must add some proper reference- Title 27 (Alcohol, Tobacco Products, and Firearms) of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 5.22 outlines the standards of identity. The five criteria are:
1. Made from a fermented mash with a minimum of 51% and a maximum of 79% corn
2. Distilled at less than 80% alcohol/volume (160 proof)
3. Stored in a new, charred, white oak barrel at a maximum of 62.5% alcohol/volume (125 proof) for at least 2 years
4. The original color and flavor of the whiskey can not be filtered or altered in any way - JACK DANIELS USES A CHARCOAL FILTERING PROCESS THAT DISQUALIFIES IT FROM BOURBON CLASSIFICATION
5. Must be produced and stored (for at least one year of the aging) in Kentucky to be called Kentucky Bourbon
6. Finally, The Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1894 is another important legal measure that applies to the bourbon process.
Dilligaf - You make a Good/Valid piont.
Jack Daniels in a BOURBON TASTING??? That's like including skimmed ("blue") milk in a cream sampling!
lol ;;;; I;m not suprised to see such vast difference in preference.We all like a little taste of something different.As a 5th generation KENTUCKIAN ,I know and appreciate that after most have retired is when they bring out the best.WOODFORD RESERVE, hence it's name.
As a long time and loyal bourbon drinker I am deeply distressed by 2 things. 1), you do not mention or rate Basil Hayden, A superior tasting Bourbon, smooth with a great finish (unless I missed something, and 2), you pick a Tennessee sourmash. I love Jack, but not hear. and in fact, George Dickel also offers a great Tennessee whiskey.
this has to be the dumbest stunt by any group of so called "executives" that i've ever seen.you perform a "taste test" of bourbons,then you choose a whiskey,not a bourbon,as the winner.surely this has to be a comedic effort,or did you just get too drunk and sailed off course? sheesh,can't wait till you test hamburgers and pork chops win..
I reach for the bourbon when there is no scotch....none....not even Johnny Walker Red...left in the liquor cabinet. True, I do fill my ice fishing flask with bourbon on occasion....and, if I do, it will be WIld Turkey 101, or Maker's Mark. Jack Daniels, other than having a cool label and good advertising, does not belong on the list. WHen you (editors of OUtdoor Life and/or FIeld and Stream) opt to field test whiskys, let me know....Teacher's Highland Cream is the best affordable blend....Highland Park single malt, 12 years old, is the best of the Highlands (well, sort of, because it has some Islay built in)...but Laphroig 10 years old, or Old Ardbeg, are the peatiest, smokiest, huntingest whiskys out there.
Im glad to see all the other people giving props to Woodfords, that is hands down my favorite bourbon (although to be honest Ive never tried Eagle Rare or George T. Stagg). Also, I understand that old JB was just thrown in to see how it stacked up, but Im still outraged that you thought it was better than all those delicious bourbons. Lastly, what in the heck kind of a bourbon taste test does not include Jim Beam original or black label? Even Williams is good, but when you can spend $3 more for a bottle of Jim, its not even a question.
Would have been nice if you guys would have included the average price per bottle.
I find it hard to believe that Jack won also. It's good but question if it is better than some of the other lesser rated ones.
Chad Ferguson - Mr Catfish
Have tried them all, and Woodford Reserve is the best. Been to their ditillery near Frankfort,
Ky.They make a smooth drink and worth the price.
I'm not a fan of bourbons. I just don't care for the flavor. I keep some Evan Williams on hand for barbecuing and grilling and I have a bottle of Woodford Reserve that I bought at the distillery. I do like Jack Daniels, but the flavor is so much different than bourbon, that I doubt that I would be fooled into thinking that it was a bourbon.
Oh well, only one way to settle the argument, savor the moment, grab a stogie, and then the mason jar with the clear stuff, if it has a red tint, then cherries may have been used for the base.
That's the problem with "Taste Tests"; things like Bourbon are way too subjective to declare a winner and most people don't even read the whole thing thoroughly. Let's just all raise a glass of whatever you prefer and toast to good times and fun outdoors!
I've tried a lot of these and my list wouldn't even be close. JD and Knob Creek are WAY over rated. My list would be more like 1) Eagle Rare. 2) Woodford, 3)Elijah Craig (a lot better for mixing than sipping. But it sips OK. 4) Makers, 5) Buffalo Trace. (A really good sipping bourbon for $18.)
Now I haven't tried a lot of the more expensive bourbons like the Pappy's and Blantons of the world. I'd hate to start an expensive habit. But for bottles in the 25 to 30 dollar range, NOTHING beats Eagle Rare IMO. I just wonder what these guys are use to drinking if JD and Wild Turkey make to top 10.
Different stroke for different folks I guess.
Best Bourbon is Pappy Van Winkle 23 year old Family Reserve. Best straight up.
I'm all for a Bourbon taste test. However, if you are going to include Tennessee brands I'd have like to have seen how my personal choice (George Dickel Old # 12) stood up. That said, keep up the good work. Tasting bourbon at work! You guy have got it made!
I think in all fairness the title of this article is wrong:..."The Bourbon Taste Test". I think it should have been "Staffer's at OL decide to get Sloshed and pick their #1 favorite booze" (and then write the article 10 minutes later!) I have no problem with that.
jharri1234 - Yes that should be JD's tagline: "close enough" No one is saying they didn't KNOW, I even acknowledged it. The question is why? and certainly WHY is it number one, and not perhaps an "honorable mention"? How can the NUMBER ONE BOURBON....not even be a Bourbon?...that's right.."close enough." The article is filled poor research:
Woodford : Woodford bourbon comes from a small but growing distillery in Kentucky Yeah, Brown Foreman is tiny.
Baker’s : This is a 7-year-old 107 proof bourbon from the Small Batch Distillery in Kentucky. Jim Beam is a “small batch” distillery??! Beam is only the largest bourbon distillery on the planet.
They show the bottle of EC 18 yr in the 12 yr review and the 12 yr bottle in the 18 yr review.
Then they didn’t even test anything from Buffalo Trace and for some reason listed Maker’s in the “Bourbons we didn’t test” even though it finished in 10th place in the test.
And there's the Pappy's gross error that was previously pointed out.
I have been drinking Buffalo Trace for a couple years now and would like to try some others. But there is nothing worse than purchasing a bottle of some nasty "rot gut" and letting it sit on a shelf. I might test my luck and try a few on this list.
Hey ......... All you GOOF BALLS they KNOW Jack Daniels is NOT a true Bourbon. It is considered by most unpretentious people to be "close enough" to be judged as/with Bourbons.
Give us a break!
I am a beer man myself, mostly because I brew. I have drank my share of bourbon though. I really like Knob Creek but I do not think that I paid $30 for a bottle. Makers Mark with a single ice cube takes some of the harshness away. I am from Irish stock therefor I will plug Bushmills it is smooth triple distilled amazing whiskey. Wild Turkey is the only distilled beverage that consistently gives me a hangover. Just one shot of it is all it takes.
No. I'm still going to write an angry comment. As many have posted and the editor's of this article freely admit. Jack Daniels is NOT a Bourbon. So why is this called the "Bourbon Taste Test" instead of "our favorite booze"? In a “best bourbon” competition, why pick a whiskey that isn’t bourbon. Doesn’t say bourbon anywhere on the bottle and can’t legally be called bourbon. How about Bacardi? Where did it finish? Or Stoly? How would it stack up in this bourbon tasting? I don't suppose JD is an advertiser in OL are they?
Hey mdhunkins and Architect,
Please read slide 12.
Architect has it right. Jack Daniels is Tennessee whiskey NOT bourbon. Completely different thing. And for the record Jack Daniels is the ONLY after hunting drink. Go down to Lynchburg and call it bourbon and see how fast you get your a** kicked.
One of my favorites is not listed, Old Crow. When I buy this I don't need to worry about my son and son-in-law drinking it. Besides, the name fits me.
Jack is not Bourbon and should never be included in a Bourbon tasting. Bourbon cannot be modified after it comes from the barrel, Jack is filtered thus not being Bourbon. All of those tasted are great Bourbons. I suggest that everone take the Bourbon Trail and visit the various locations and have a few samples of the clear and finished product. Best tour is Makers, best site to vist is Woodford and their rocking chairs.
It's no wonder things have been slow on this sight. Bourbon taste testing. Never used that one before. Jim Beam for me.
my standard has always been evan williams. $7.99 at the conoco in town!
I'm not surprised you included Jack No 7 but I wonder why you skipped over Gentleman.
sipping bourbons for a number of years I have found that I come back to "Old Grand Dad Bonded" Damn it tastes good without all the hype
Problem here is the # 1 in your list - you show a bottle of whats called "Pappy Van Winkle"- this is a 23 yr old as it clearly shows on the bottle in the picture - extremely limited quantities. I paid about $200 several times for a bottle in Indiana and considered myself lucky. This is an amazing bourbon. The other variations of ages and the rye are also fabulous and they are more reasonably priced. I believe the 20year is about $80-90 bucks. They do not however say "pappy" on the bottle. Doesn't give me a lot of faith in the research done for your list as there are some major heavy hitters not listed....oh well. I hope you are all lucky enough to find some pappy in your glass someday.
I have tried all of the bourbons listed and while they are all very good and a couple great. I know that the editor could not fit all of the great bourbons in this article, but I am surprised that Evan Williams Single Barrel did not make the list. It is very affordable at @ $25 a bottle, and just a pleasure any way it is served. You owe it to yourself to give it a look.
Not to kick dirt on anyone. I've tried several of those chosen, Makers,Knob,Woodford,and Bulleit(I like rye myself). My personal favorite is Rare Breed. I recieved a bottle during a very bad time.
My brother had just passed, and a friend(like a brother) brought it to me on the day of the wake.
We all sat around and drank to his memory.Even non-drinkers(bourbon) thought it was "nice".
Do yourselves a favor and try it.
WHATS THE WORD ? TURKEY BIRD !!!
Maker's Mark red wax is truly excellent, but you overlooked the Maker's Mark premium gold wax blend. I understand it's only available in five states, but well worth the search while travelling.
Jim Beam has been my brand for a long time. Old Crow,Rebel Yell,JW Dant were some of the brands I flirted with. I can tell you that Bullit is very good, especially with steaks. I'm gonna try that Buffalo. Sounds good and in my price range! That 140 proof job scares me......
Interesting timing. Opened this blog while medicating my tongue with a few sips of George T. Stagg. This bottle ... sadly, down to two fingers ... is 140.6 proof. It's the best ... but my favorite Scotch is Laphroig, if that gives you an idea of my taste.
I am truly a fan of Woodford Reserve, not only because of the quality of their blend, but because of their support of the SE Michigan Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society. The chapter auctions a trip to Woodford for a tasting, to select a special blend. A barrel of bourbon is blended and bottled. The bottles are specially labeled for RGS and are auctioned at banquets, along with the empty barrel itself. It's a great fundraiser, benefiting grouse and woodcock habitat ... and the bourbon lovers that walk away with the bottles. Many thanks to Woodford (the bourbon is not free but Woodford does their part). I appreciate that they give back.
Buffalo Trace is an amazing bargain. The Stagg is mighty tasty, but it can sure jump up and bite you!
Pardon my mistake for saying whiskey while refering to a bourbon.
The Bulleit is number one in my book. Not only for the price but it, in my opinion, is smother than Crown as a sipping whiskey.
Maker's Mark, all the way.
...Well, if I'm being honest, I'm an Old Crow man at heart.
If I'm making juleps, I generally use Maker's Mark. But for sippin? Nothing beats the Stagg.
There is a perhaps no better way to end a long day in the outdoors than with friends around the campfire and a good bourbon in hand. Embracing this idea we had a bourbon taste test at Outdoor Life magazine.
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