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  #1  
Old 02-27-2014, 01:17 PM
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donmorgan donmorgan is offline
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Default Your Pick: Best Bourbon 2013

My Pick: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

For me it is, and was, an easy pick. 2013 was a great year for Bourbon, but with that said, it was also a year, IMO, that seen yet more hikes in prices, and unlike recent past years, most of those hikes were accompanied by a reduction in quality.

Many products and distilleries took a few steps backward on familiar products, most new releases were lack luster, at best, and overall, it just felt like (tasted like) many products were rushed and profit alone was the motive on many of 2013's releases.

Of course, there are products and new releases in 2013 that were good, some great and even a few amazing ones... which, IMO, an amazing bourbon, by all counts, perfectly describes the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof releases of 2013.

Amazing juice, amazing price... Not rushed, balanced, bold and beautiful flavors, clearly selected from barrels and bottled, not for swift high margin profits meant to cash in on novices who dont know anything about bourbon, but rather barrels selected based on the quality of the bourbon and then bottled for bourbon drinkers, for bourbon lovers, to genuinely cherrish and enjoy.

IMO, absolutely amazing bourbon. Unmatched in quality, price and intent from start to finish, from distillation to palate.

..

Last edited by donmorgan; 02-27-2014 at 01:20 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2014, 02:58 PM
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Pretty high praise and you've just put it on my search list.
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  #3  
Old 02-27-2014, 11:19 PM
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Mine too! Thanks for sharing!
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2014, 01:15 AM
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My Pick: Willett Family Estate 9 Year "Paul Robeson"

I know that Willett sources the barrels, but I've tried three different bottles of the "Paul Robeson" and it has blown me away every single time. Unfortunately, I've only been able to get it in bars, but I am on a waiting list at a local liquor store, so hopefully that comes through.

I'm also a big rye fan. I finally tried Saz 18 and it blew my socks off.
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2014, 07:10 AM
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This is a tough one.... There are so many I have tried and loved including PVW 20, 15, 10, ECBP, Booker's Roundtable, Four Roses SiB and SmB LE, Willet Rye, EHT Barrel Proof and Straight Rye, and the list could go on a bit.

I have to say my personal favorite so far is the Michter's 10 Year Bourbon. I know they source as well, but it was absolutely fantastic last year. I really want to try the upcoming 10 Year Rye to see if it is that good also.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2014, 07:30 PM
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This is also tough for me to answer because I was only a casual bourbon drinker until September or so of last year so I missed some of the limited releases that came earlier in the year. I did manage to get some of the Van Winkles and BTAC's and those of course are hard to beat. However, I hear from many that they didn't match up as well to previous releases so some were not as excited about them. The one that impressed me the most was the Handy, but that's a rye and not the target of the original question.
For me, the Pappy Van Winkle 15yr is a favorite and a stand out because I have nothing previous to compare it to. If I were to pick a less polarizing and more available bourbon, I'd agree with Don and pick Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. It was a new release and it really surprised people. Incredible flavor and balance for the price. Really hard to beat.
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2014, 08:17 PM
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I'm going to pick one that I really liked, was easy to find, and was not expensive. Willett Rye 4yr 110 proof. This is some excellent stuff and can be found for $35.00. I was drinking this frequently until the supply dried up around here. These are still around and if I find them I buy them.

Of the limited releases I'll go with Pappy 15 over ECBP and Stagg. All lthe caziness with the Pappy is absurd, but I can't get over the sweet nose, viscosity, and flavors of vanilla, cherry, cinnamon, buttered bread, and maple syrup. This is my favorite but I mentioned it second because it's not worth the secondary market prices of 400+. In my opinion at $80.00 retail it can't be beat.

Last edited by Mudcat; 03-01-2014 at 08:22 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2014, 04:10 PM
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I'm going to say 4R 125th was my top pick in 2013. I'm partial to 4R although I have tried most of the BTAC, ECBS and Pappy and still think the 125th stands alone.
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2014, 05:13 AM
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The regular 4R Small Batch is pretty good too, "IMHO".
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  #10  
Old 03-22-2014, 08:45 PM
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I agree 4 Roses is putting out some great stuff. The LE small batch this year was great. I also don't think their private single barrel expressions get enough credit. These are barrel proof expressions of of their various recipes so if you find a recipe you like it's well worth the price which is similar to their general single barrel offering.
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  #11  
Old 04-11-2014, 04:17 PM
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My favorites this year so far are PVW 15 & 13, ER17, TH, OFBB '13, and Bookers 25. Have to agree with my fellow Philadelphian that Willett is putting out some great products, love the 4 yr rye too.
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  #12  
Old 05-21-2014, 09:52 PM
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Thought I would chime in here. I have been a scotch drinker for most of my adult life and have slowly transitioned to liking bourbon. Angel's Envy was the bourbon that started the transition a few years back. Started drinking rye when a local distillery opened up (Dad's Hat Rye out of Bristol, PA) and Pappy 15 blew me away this year. My favorites have been William Larue Weller, VW15, VW13, and my killer bottle for the money is Old Forester BDay Bourbon 2013. Want to try ECBP though.
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  #13  
Old 05-23-2014, 09:49 PM
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This is a great thread. For me, my favorite was Four Roses 125. There are a number of other really good ones: Bookers 25th, ECBP, WFE 10. After all the ECBP mentions in this thread, I went back to it last night - simply great bourbon. Lots of flavor and a nice finish.

I travel to OK frequently for work, and I've found liquor prices to be very good in the state. I pick up a bottle of something about every week I go. I've been through a couple bottles of Bulleit 10 year - for $30/bottle, it's a great every day drinker.

*I have unopened bottles of OFBB, PVW 12, 15, ER17, GTS, Sazerac, and Thomas Handy, Jefferson's 21 and 25, AE Cask, but I haven't tried any from the 2013 release. I just have too many bottles open to crack into those yet.

Last edited by philk00; 05-23-2014 at 09:52 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-25-2014, 04:28 AM
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2013 FR Limited Edition Single Barrel... love at first sip!
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  #15  
Old 05-25-2014, 09:24 AM
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The Elijah Criag Barrel Proof was a cracking drop. Tried a few single barrels and this one was right on up there.
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  #16  
Old 06-04-2014, 11:56 AM
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There were a bunch of great offerings this year. I scored an entire complement of the Pappy and enjoyed the Lot B surprisingly the most. I am also apparently one of the few that liked this years GTS. The ECBP is hands down the best value in bourbon and has become my daily sipper. The Willett Rye 4 year and Black Maple Hill release are also very nice.

Biggest disappointment for me this year was the EC 21. A little too much cooperage for my pallet. I also found the 4R offerings to be a bit too sweet for my liking.

Last edited by getz; 06-04-2014 at 12:02 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-12-2014, 06:03 PM
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125 is my vote... I also would add stagg to the mix, very interesting in 2013.
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  #18  
Old 07-13-2014, 03:50 AM
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Default Tough to choose for 2013...

I was lucky to have a great year of success in snagging most all of the bourbons being discussed on this thread, and there were a lot of great bourbons.

I know some don't like to give credit to them, but I will say, every year I'm always pleased and impressed with the Pappy/ORVW bourbons, from 10 year up.

That said, my Top 3 for 2013:

3) ECBP (it's the absolute best value...plus, if you're close enough to the Heaven Hill Distillery, it's easy to come by a bottle of EC barrel proof at their gift shop)

2) Sazerac 18 BTAC (realizing this stuff is apparently the same stuff stored in one big container and little by little is bottled each year, but I thought last year's was amazingly good and many friends agreed...it was the bottle of the BTAC that I kept revisiting most often)

1) Four Roses 125th LE Small Batch --- nothing else that needs to be said, a wonderful bourbon.



Thus far for 2014, the Booker's 25th is definitely leading the way, the ECBP is once again great and a great value, and I really am enjoying the Elmer T Lee Commemorative a lot as well, also a great value. Just landed a bottle of Rhetoric, but haven't opened it...not blown away by the other two Orphan Barrel offerings, I think they're both good and I don't regret buying, but I don't think they're quiet on the level of the "best of the best," at least to my taste preferences.
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  #19  
Old 07-13-2014, 09:24 PM
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I thought the bookers was released last year?
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  #20  
Old 07-26-2014, 06:58 AM
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I'm having one [of a few] ECBP's right now - the current 137 proof edition. Life is good!!
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  #21  
Old 07-26-2014, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemilk View Post
I thought the bookers was released last year?
Booker's 25th was released this spring.
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  #22  
Old 08-29-2014, 02:23 AM
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Great thread.

ECBP is amazing indeed. I'm on my third one. If you are talking the hard to get bottles... WLW 2013 and GS 2013 absolutely cannot be left out of this conversation.

The FR 125 is delicious!

Best priced bottle is the Weller 12 year for me.
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2014, 02:22 PM
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Anyone heard from our King of Bourbon, Don Morgan lately? Seems we have one of our best missing in action.
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  #24  
Old 10-28-2014, 03:08 AM
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Have not heard from him in a long time. He must be holed up enjoying that big haul of Booker's 25th he pulled in.
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  #25  
Old 11-09-2014, 08:53 AM
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Sorry Gentlemen, I have been extremely busy the last few months. The Bookers 25th has been my best friend over the last few month and it will continue to be so for some months to come .
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:06 AM
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If you ever get tired of it and need to part with a bottle.........I'm your man.
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