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Discussion in 'The Connoisseur' started by Jack Scorpion, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. Due to limited budget, my so-called liquor cabinet tends to follow supermarket sales, but I still have preferences. Having lived in Russia for awhile and really having LIVED Russia, I do know my vodka quite well, and now that I'm in America again I cannot bring myself to purchase vodka any longer. It doesn't really bother me, however, because my true tastes adhere more toward Whiskey, and Whiskey has been my main choice of drink for a good while now.

    However, like I mentioned, a limitfull wallet and a good dose of inexperience leaves me with little knowledge of this very rich topic. Usually my counter will sport proudly:

    -Cutty Sark
    -Jim Beam
    -Southern Comfort

    And all three of those I have returned to time and again because I do enjoy them. Cutty Sark was my first Scotch and the whiskey I taught myself to like first. It is only by chance that it also happens to go on sale regularly at Safeway. The truth is I like Cutty Sark more than I like Johnny Walker red label, and one time I had the luck of trying 12-year-old Cutty Sark, a time I remember quite fondly. Once I went out of my way to buy a bottle of J&B, and delicious as it is, Cutty Sark I adhere to loyally. (Another reason is Murakami's Wind Up Bird Chronicle.) But I ask you: What is your favorite Scotch? What is the best?

    The only Bourbons I've tried at any extent are Jim Beam and Jack Daniels. I like Jack Daniels more, but Jim Beam is far cheaper and I think not so much worse. I know very little in this area. Makes Mark I've only tried briefly. What is your favorite Bourbon? What is the best?

    Southern Comfort ain't a whiskey, I guess, but I usually consider it to be anyway. I enjoy a tumbler with ice and some Southern Comfort w/lime every once in awhile -- makes me feel like I'm sitting on a white porch looking over green land or swampy everglade.

    What about Irish? Japanese? Canadian? What do you prefer?
  2. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Jack Daniel's isn't bourbon.
    Jim Beam only technically so.

    Jack Daniel's is made in Tennessee. For a whiskey to be called "Bourbon," it must come from a designated area in Kentucky, of a certain water, a certain specific content and aging process. So Jack Daniel's is simply whiskey.

    Maybe you might like to try a rye? I don't know about your area, but Old Overholt is about the only Rye available around here. You may have better luck. Once common (in the US), Rye is a somewhat unusual find on the shelf these days. Good Rye is worth the hunt.

    My own taste is for Maker's Mark. Also some excellent Scotch and Irish whiskies - I inherited a bottle of Glenmorangie that I have about finished off.
  3. Well... blended Scotch Whiskeys are just that... blended.

    The 'true' World of Whiskey, for me at least, lies in the many and distinct Single Malts of Scotland- of which I have too many favourites.
    I prefer the Islay Malts- deep, smokey and peaty.
    But I can occasionally go a Highland or a Speyside.

    As far as blends go, many seem to like Chivas Regal but I prefer the price of
    VAT 69.

    If you didn't know- a Single Malt is a Whiskey from one distillery- blends are, of course blended from diverse sources- supposedly in orde to find a 'smooth' drink.
    But- I find most Malts tastier than blends.
    'Smooth' is a meaningless term to me.

    Bourbon... I'm not a great taster of but I hear 'Makers' spoken of often.

    Single Malt Whiskeys (in the Scottish vein)are also produced(only a few) in New Zealand, India and Japan.

    In a word; "Ardbeg" is my favourite Malt at present.
    Laphroiag, Highland Park, Tallisker, Isle of Dura and The Glenlivet are among some of my other favourites.

    But Vodka... I enjoy Finlandia, Stolichnaya and Wisent (Zubrowka/Polish Bison Grass flavoured Vodka)


  4. Big Joe

    Big Joe Familiar Face

  5. For a good ol' American rye, try Rittenhouse, if you're on a budget. To be an American rye, it has to be distilled from at least 51% rye, which is why Canadian whiskies don't qualify.

  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim One Too Many

    My own tipple of choice is good beer, but when I drink whiskey, it's usually Beam's Choice (green label). I just happen to like it.

    Or for ceremonial occasions, I drink a nice Scotch liqueur called Lochan Ora...just a wee dram over a single ice cube. My little bottle has lasted me 20 years.:icon_smil
  7. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson One of the Regulars

    I agree with Scotrace, Old Overholt Rye Whiskey is worth the hunt. A good 40s highball is Rye and Ginger on the rocks.

    For blended Scotch: Johnny Walker Red Label (I love Murakami's Wind up bird chronicle...but not his taste in Scotch!)
    For Single Malt: Macallans, 12 year (anything older gets expensive) or Lafroig
  8. Briscoeteque

    Briscoeteque One of the Regulars

    I too am a fan of whisky, and I've recently fallen in love with Manhattans made from Crown Royale Canadian Whisky. It is not the most flavorful whisky on earth, but I like the subtler taste and it makes the perfect Manhattan. And because Canada was the source for good whisky during prohibition, it has all of the historic value too. Plus, it's affordable, and has the best bottle presentation of any libation I've ever seen.
  9. I'm with the Tank. I spent my formative summers trawling the whickey trail with my parents and grandparents (back when they didn't care much about the kids having a wee dram). The Glenlivet is a fine single malt, and the one to which i normally gravitate. At $30 a bottle it's a little steep, but you can't get a single malt for much less in a general liquor store. I've also been known to sip on Glenfiddich. I cannot bear rye or bourbon. Jack Daniels is an abomination. Southern comfort is passable on a very cold morning. A friend of mine swears by Knob Creek. I've never seen the fascination.

  10. If you like Southern Comfort.

    You might like Yukon Jack. It's sort of the Northern counter-part to Southern Comfort.:cheers1:

    (Uhhhh,....apparently some of the smilies are not functional. The red x in the box was "cheers" :) )
  11. For bourbon, I still stand by Wild Turkey. Yeah, Makers Mark and Bookers and all the other 'high end' bourbons are good, but I like the idea of drinking the same bourbon that people drank back when. Same with my gin - Beefeater. Wild Turkey makes a really good rye whiskey too, (you can get it on the internet) and to me a Manhatttan isn't a Manhattan unless it's made with rye whiskey and a dash of bitters. JD I can't drink at all (as already noted - not a bourbon) and Jim Beam rye is terrible. Don't waste your money. Here's what I consider the basics for a period liquor cabinet:



    Rye (Real rye - which means 51% content rye. Blended Canadian is not rye - it just has rye in it.

    Scotch - blended to mix, single to drink straight.


    White Rum

    Dark Rum




    Orange Curacao - orange colored and not blue colored (though blue is nice to have for certain drinks)

    Vermouths - red and white

    White Creme de Menthe

    Pernod or Absinthe (if you can get it)



    Other Items

    Angostura Bitters
    Orange Bitters
    Falernum Syrup
    Rose's Lime Juice (I'm not a fan of Rose's but I know some people like Gimlets)

    Other nice things to have:

    Cherry Heering
    Marachino Liqueur
    Sloe Gin
    Green Creme de Menthe
    Creme de Noyaux (essential for tiki drinks)
    Okelehao (Hawaiian liqueuer popluar in the 30s)
    Apricot liqueur
    Martinique rum (for Mai Tais)
    Creme de Cacao
    Creme de Cassis
    Parfait Armour

    Yes, Vodka is missing from my list. It tastes like nothing and I find it non-essential.

    I've probably missed a few things. I've been drinking through this list!


    Senator Jack
  12. Drambouie

    Can't forget Drambouie! :beer:
    Scotch flavored with some sort of Scottish Heather extracts,....I think? Whatever it is, it's a great after dinner snort.
  13. Senator Jack,
    Do you actually have all of those in your liquor cabinet? It sounds like your place is the place for a real good mixer! How much would a bar set up like that cost? (And how come we don't have a "tipsy" emoticon?)
  14. Yes, Sefton, I should be ashamed to admit that not only do I have all that in my liquor cabinet but that's probably about 1/4 of my usual stock. I love a good cocktail, and have spent years perfecting what is right for me. My parties are known for the unlimited supply of great prohibition drinks, and people don't stop talking about it till the next comes around. Then by the time the next one comes around, I have all these other people that had heard about my last party and want to come too. Not much of a party for me I guess - I'm squeezing fruit and crushing ice all night!


    Senator Jack
  15. Partial:
    Started drinkin' and smokin' in mid-50s. My Senior Camp councilor, I was the Junior, introduced me to the joys of 100 proof, bottled in Bond, and I think 4 or more years old Old Overholt straight Rye whiskey. On days off we would also bring a pound of NY cheddar back from the City, along with 2 fifths of the Rye. Could have used more ice but we got by. :coffee: these days :cry:
  16. Katt quoting The Spiral Staircase:cheers1:
    - Hey the Cheers emoticon ain't working!
  17. Senator Jack, I don't get your cryptic reference.

    Please amplify.
  18. Southern Comfort???

    It's a Peach Liqeur (with added 'Whiskey').

    What the...'

  19. Forrestal

    Forrestal One of the Regulars

    Bourbon gets my vote. I think Maker’s Mark is as good as any of the “designer” bourbons like Knob Creek, Bookers etc.

    Someone on this thread mentioned they like to have a glass of Southern Comfort and envision themselves sitting on a white porch looking out at green land or swampy everglades……I hate to spoil your daydreams of the old south, but for many years Southern Comfort was made in an industrial park in the St. Louis, Missouri suburb of Ollivette; just behind a pizza joint and a garden supply store.
  20. Senator Jack lists all that is necessary for a perfect bar.
    I am not all that hot on Bourbon but some people like the burnt taste. :confused:
    For whisky I would have to agree, mostly with BT. I am not too hot on the Islays though. Laphroig just has too much iodine in its lexicon for me. Most of the Islays do though.
    Talisker is a good choice so is Dalwhinnie. Oban is a good choice and so is Macallan for Scotch whiskys. For Irish Whisky it is Bushmills, Jameson and Tullamore Dew.
    All of these are probably going to cost you a bit though. Beverages and More out here will save you a bit of money but you might be able to find it cheaper at a Costco or the like. :cheers1: :beer:



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