Cocktails & Spirits 30

Bourbon Hype

Gargano | Feb 14, 2003 01:35 PM

There are a lot of unsupportable opinions in the earlier thread about Bourbon and Rye Whiskey. Several years back, the American Whiskey industry thought that they should have a piece of the Single Malt Scotch market and invented small batch, or single barrel Bourbons. Most of them taste excessively oaky and sweet...kind of like a caricature of a California Chardonnay. (Despite my opinion I'd have liked to have been involved in that focus group). There are exceptions, where a distiller took the opportunity to make something extraordinary (like the Maker's Mark Gold Label or Old Rip van Winkle) but basically this is marketing. Some of the most characterful (not the smoothest) Bourbons are also the cheapest. Someone mentioned Evan Williams...bravo! The Bourbon I drink is bottled in bond (ie. 100 proof), $7.50 a 750ml bottle and jam-packed with flavor...subtlety and complexity, yes...finesse, no. How do folks feel about this? Are you getting steered towards the thirty dollar stuff because you're scared of the ten dollar stuff?

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