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Irish's Comprehensive Grouping of Whiskey

90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
Ok so here's my attempt at grouping all of the whiskies I have or have tried; 1) always have in the collection, 2) really like and would pick up again, 3) not really my thing, and 4) steer clear from these. That being said I am pulling on memory here and it is getting a bit late and I'm not thinking all that well right now haha, I'm sure I will forget some that I have had thanks to samples from people so if I do please someone remind me and I will assign it to the right list. Hopefully this can act for myself as well as some others as a bit closer to a comprehensive list of what I have tried and a blurb about what I think about it.

Make Sure To Have On Hand Always (If You Can)

Four Roses Single Barrel Barrel Proof (I prefer OESF and OESO most so far and these really are close to being my all time favorite whiskey, there is just so much flavor and so smooth with flavors I can't find in almost any other. Always always always have this on hand!)
Heaven Hill Bottled In Bond 6 Year White Label (holy crap this stuff is just brilliant and I wish it was sold in my area as its one of my true all time favs!)
Stagg Jr. (This one can be a bit harsh but wow the strength, flavor and profile is unlike anything and this is such a brilliant dram!)
Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 Year (Right up there as one of the single best values in bourbon around, 10 year old single barrel that is that smooth and perfect for $30, nuff said will always have on hand!)
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year (I had a sample thanks to Doug and if I could find a bottle I would buy it instantly, probably my second or third most sought after bottle I am hunting still)
Pappy Van Winkle 12 Year 'Lot B' (another one of the samples from Doug and from Justin, and once again if I could locate a bottle o would instantly)
Smooth Ambler Old Scout 8 Year Single Barrel Barrel Proof (sample from Justin and it was brillaint, but it's an exclusive bottling so will likely never get it again sadly)
Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel (I can say with confidence that at least my bottle since these are single barrel and differences between bottles can be noticed, but that my bottling is hands down the single most flavorful, unique and floral/rich fruit flavors of any whiskey I have, it is simply divine and neck and neck for my all time fav whiskey!)
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage (mine is a Total Beverage Exclusive bottling but it's 2004 vintage and brilliant)
Four Roses Small Batch (This or the 1792 is my go to everyday non-barrel strength bourbon. So so sweet which I like, so smooth and rich and lush with zero burn!)
Jefferson's 10 Year Straight Rye (once again a Total Beverage Exclusive but holy cats brilliant)
Old Weller Antique 107 proof (at right around $20 when you can locate it, one of the best and most low profile bourbons out there and very very smooth and surprisingly soft for 107 proof thanks to being wheated!)
Ridgemont Reserve 1792 (This or the Four Roses Small Batch is the best value and my fav daily pour, smooth, rich, and flavorful like no others just do it. Always have no matter what!)
Suntory Hibiki 12 Year Japanese Whiskey (Japanese whiskey is growing in popularity and after trying this guy I can see why in spades, I want to always have a bottle or two of Japanese whiskey on hand and this will be one of them with how layered in complexity, changing flavors and depth that it has plus it has a hint of the sweetness that I like in whiskies as well as those rich fruit tones that are my favorite! Part of the batch that is blended comes from The Yamazaki 12 year and another part is aged in plum wine barrels too. Super deep and smooth with brilliant fruit and sweetness without overpowering the single malt characteristics!)
Very Old Barton (Thanks to Zach for bringing this one to me, if you can get it in your area it will be the best "cheap sleeper" whiskey you ever come across hands down brilliant! This one will hang neck and neck with bourbons two to three times its price if not more!)
W.L. Weller 12 year (This is the poor man's Pappy Lot B. It's the same mash bill, age and barrels as the Pappy Lot B, these are just the barrels that barely missed the cut to become Lot B. That pretty much says all that needs to be said, one of the greatest wheated bourbons you will ever have short of paying hundreds of dollars for a bottle of something else. If you can locate these and yes I know how hard that is to do right now, then buy every single bottle you can find and at less than $30/bottle when you do its one of the all time great values in whiskey.)
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit (I'm not sure why but the overall general profile I get from Wild Turkey products is trending to be my favorite distillery. I love the spice and depth of flavor and char I get in all of these, and when you look at just how smooth and clean these are compared to the spice and char I am amazed, if I can find this one regularly it would be a constant pour for me!)
Wild Turkey Rare Breed (This is hands down my favorite and now my daily barrel proof pour, the richness, depth and amazingly sweet dark chewy fruit notes are second to none for the price! It's not quite as smooth and clean as there is a bit of burn, but it really is my fav and one of the bottles I reach for more than any other in my collection LOVE this stuff!)

Really Like and Would Pickup Again

Willet XF Exploratory Cask Finish (I had this one as a sample blind but it was pretty good, wasn't as smooth as I would hope but it did have great flavor to it, but sadly I would say it is wildly overpriced. I'd love to have a bottle or have more but I wouldn't be willing to pay the MSRP on this guy.
Booker's Barrel Proof Bourbon (I really really enjoy this one and its a toss up honestly about being here or in the other category of always having on hand no matter what, but I just don't think its worth the price asked here and should be close to $40-45 and if it were then it would be above. Its just a bit drier than I normally like and currently I like a bit of a sweeter whiskey.)
Chivas Regal 12 Year (This one was my Grandfather's favorite actually and a fond memory, but for the purposes of taste it is a solid and really enjoyable consistent blended scotch whisky and I can always find it at a good price point.)
Crown Royal Monarch 75th (I should make it clear straight off, the MSRP for this one is way too high, I got mine on a flash sale for a fraction of that. At the price I got it at this baby is a complete gem and really smooth with surprising complexity and depth and had some really nice notes that I enjoy with my favs.)
Crown Royal (Similar to Chivas for me in terms of how I feel about it, just solid and consistent blended whiskey and something I can always find at the right price point and very much enjoy them. Assuming I found it on a good sale and wanted something to drink mixed or neat or without feeling bad how it gets drank)
Evan Williams 1783 (ok cheap cheap whiskey you can drink when a bit gone and it's not a waste lol)
Glenmorangie 12 Year Quinta Ruban Port Finish (very tasty good scotch)
Henry McKenna 10 Year Single Barrel (this one is riding the line between this category and the always have on hand. It's drier and a bit spicier than I typically prefer but I also see myself wanting that on occasion and that I may easily head here more in the future.)
Jefferson's Chef's Collaboration (Similar to what I said with the Henry McKenna, this one also rides the line. It's very very unique and it's not like rye and it's not like bourbon it doesn't really fit anywhere but I do love it. I would buy this in a heartbeat.)
Jack Daniels Old No. 7 (I dunno why but I still enjoy drinking this Straight or on the rocks or mixed or anyway I want lol. It's not particularly refined or smooth lol but it's a unique flavor and what I used to drink a lot in college and still like it lol)
Gentleman Jack (Got a small flask bottle from Brett and I really liked it and would absolutely buy it again if I found for the right price.
Jack Daniels Single Barrel (Gray sent me a shooter of this and I really really liked it and if it were cheaper like I feel it deserves and should be then it would be in the category of always having on hand no matter what as its like Jack with the flavor that I love but smoother and more refined and much more complex.)
Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve (mine is a Total Beverage exclusive bottling and also was just outside the category of always have on hand. If I could get this bottling everytime then I would always have it on hand, but it's got a bit of a bite even at 120 proof more than many of my other fave barrel proof offerings. I would always have the Rare Breed over this but I do still love this one.)
Maker's Mark (just a good and consistent Wheated bourbon)
Michter's Small Batch (nothing about this one stands out but it is really smooth and the quintessential expression of when you think of a "good bourbon" but with nothing standing out I think it costs too much but I really enjoy the flavor all the same.)
Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch (this is really damn good blended scotch, sweeter and smoother and pretty interesting.)
Noah's Mill Barrel Proof ** (This one is tricky. If I drink it over an ice ball I really enjoy this and it's great, but if I try to drink it any other way I just dislike it quite a bit even though I want to like it so bad! For that reason I am putting it in this category as well as just not my thing category.)
Peach Street Colorado Straight Bourbon (this one is special to me since it's the first bottle my wife picked out for me herself without me telling her I wanted X bottle etc. It also tastes brilliantly and for being only 2 years aged it's really great for being so young, but at nearly $60/bottle after tax I think it's ovwrpriced compared to some that I just love for half the price. I will still buy it because I like it and it means something to me but I think it should be cheaper by a bit.)
Rebel Reserve Small Batch Wheated Bourbon (this one was pretty nasty on the first poor being really thin and hot, but I put it away for several weeks after the first pour or two and revisited it. The time opening up and oxidizing with the air in the bottle made this really a enjoyable cheap bourbon at $20 a bottle and well worth it. So you won't like it at first so mix the first pours then put it away for a month and then you will enjoy and can easily drink it neat!)
Sazerac Rye (this is another one that rides the line on being in the always have on hand category because man oh man this one is flavorful, unique and smooth and decent priced, but for nearly the same price I can get that Jefferson's 10 year rye and that is the one o would reach for every time of I could and not run out. That being said it could easily be in the always have on hand category but feels a bit redundant for me right now. I would always buy if I come across only because it's so hard for me to find in CO.)
Tullamore Dew 12 Year black label (this is a terrific irish whiskey and a special one as my brother Brett got it for me for Cael's birth, I just don't reach for scotch or irish whiskey anywhere near as often as other whiskies.)
The Knot (A decent irish whiskey but a bit too sweet for my tastes. But at 100 proof and $20 or so it's a pretty good value and I like it well enough.)
Jameson Irish Whiskey (doesn't even need an explanation lol)
Widow Jane 8 Year Bourbon (It's decent enough and does have a nice deep dark chewy fruit note that I loveable the bottles really cool, but it's a bit harsher than it should be or needs to be at the low proof compared to my barrel proofs that I love and it's way overpriced typically, but I picked up mine for $40 and at that price I would get it again because I did enjoy it well enough.)
Woodford Reserve (no explanation needed, just a good simple and solid bourbon.)
Cragganmoore 12 Year Single Malt Scotch (the scotch that first got me into scotch and the first fone spirit my Pops ever introduced to me and is his favorite. If I were more of a scotch drinker compared to a bourbon drinker lately it would be on hand always.)
The Balvenie Double Wood 12 Year (this one really could go in this category or the always have on hand category, it's one of the very next bottles I get soon as I had a sample of this that I loved!!)

Just Not My Thing

Bulliet Rye (just was completely unremarkable and unmemorable, not bad per say just not my thing.
Corner Creek Reserve (it's not bad it just really was never something I thought all that great and was not very memorable.)
Jim Beam Jacob's Ghost (I tried a touch before putting in the cask and not my thing. Let's see how I like the whiskey that comes out when I am done though I think that will be pretty decent)
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Release #5 (I tried this one as a sample so I am not sure how fair this is, but it was hot and thin and just overall unpleasant for what I like.)
Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition 2014 (Same story as the ECBP, just hot and thin and not my thing.)
Kings County Distillery (it's got too young and wet fresh woody notes to it that I just can't get into, but I do think that it's a decent whiskey just not for me but I appreciate the chance to try it!)
Noah's Mill Barrel Proof Bourbon** (as explained earlier unless it's over an ice ball I dislike this. It's just to thin and hot with a lot of burn and a grassy finish. But over an ice ball I really freakin' love it!)

Completely Avoid
I'm surprised by the time I get down here in my post that honestly I just can't think of any whiskies I have had lately that I just thought must be avoided. I've been very lucky and blessed and thanks to everyone who have sent me samples or bottles to get this opportunity!
"When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."


  • SM0K3YSM0K3Y Posts: 1,114 ✭✭✭
    I was reading this in another thread, Irish this is awesome!
  • 90+_Irishman90+_Irishman Loveland, COPosts: 12,440 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks Ray. I have a few more to add thanks to samples but will add those in and get them posted this evening. Will edit the first post and add them in there and will do that for future updates when I have a new one to add that way the thread doesn't get uneccesarily long.
    "When walking in open territory bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them."
  • jd50aejd50ae West Gnawed Pencil, TNPosts: 7,934 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I was reading this in another thread, Irish this is awesome!

    (Just between you and me, I am starting to worry about the Irishman. I think as many of us as possible should head over to his place and do an intervention and drink all of his bourbon.)

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