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The random spirits thread...

John Setzler

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I have some great friends who look after me fairly well.  One of those great friends was asking me how I was coming along in my bourbon/whiskey tasting hobby.  I explained where I was in the process and he asked me if I had ever had Blanton's.   I told him it was on my list to try and if I ever stumbled across a bottle, I would definitely buy one.  I saw him again a week later and he handed me a bag with this in it and said "let me know how you like it..."  


I, like most others, seem to be a fan of a LOT of stuff that comes from the Buffalo Trace line.  I also like the sweeter bourbons with lower amounts of rye in the mash.  I have not grown accustomed to the 'peppery' notes that come with the rye.  I need to work on that a bit more.   THIS bourbon has those same notes.  However, the Elmer T. Lee single barrel that I have from that same mash bill is better than this Blanton's in my opinion.  But you know what they say about opinions...  

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I do like Blantons...but being harder to find lately, and the price jacked up a good $15 or so over where it should be make it  bottle to keep on hand from time to time but not always in the cabinet.


Basil Hayden was always a favorite...part of that being that it was consistent, can always find it, at the right price point.  Also the lower proof point made it an easier drinker when I first started drinking Bourbon straight up vs. cocktails.  I still always have a bottle of it in my cabinet.  It seems to be a great go to when introducing others to bourbon...a good conversational pour for when you have people over.  I mean, when its not the closer friends who get the better stuff automatically if they would like it.  You know...if my wife has some of her friends over and one of the husbands would like a glass when I offer...if I don't really know the guy, probably not offering up Blantons or Weller Antique, or EH Taylor.

But Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Basil Hayden...sure.

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9 hours ago, jark87 said:

Finally getting around to whiskey and bourbon as fall settles in…




John, I see Angel’s Envy in the background in your picture above. Are you a fan? I haven’t tried it yet.


Nope.. I don't care for it at all.

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There are early morning lines at ABC stores in VA on the delivery days waiting for Buffalo Trace.  I have been trying for 9 months to get a bottle.  Just not quite willing to get there at 8:00 am hoping I can get one.   Can you hook me up?

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On 11/25/2021 at 11:43 AM, jtemple said:

Agreed. Angel's Envy is pretty overrated.

I like it...just overpriced for what it is.  A bit stronger flavor than Basil Hayden...for a premium price comparatively.  Though, at the moment, about everything is overpriced.

Which give me an idea....

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Piggybacking on where I was going with my idea and now seeing John's post about best for the money...what are your go-to bourbons (or other) with best bang for the buck.


I would agree with him on Buffalo Trace (though, I am not as much of a fan of the Elijah Craig).  Also in the BT family is Eagle Rare which I love at its usual price.  Prefer it to BT.  But both are not always in stores.


One in my picture earlier is the Evan Williams Single Barrell Vintage.  A solid bourbon usually around $30 and can usually find it  (don't have to wait for allocations at stores or lines when they are released to a place).

Actually, quite a few of the Evan Williams make my list.  The white label 100 proof  "bottled in bond" is solid and super cheap as is the 1783 Small Batch.  These are typically lower shelf in a liquor store and cheap...but up there with some of the good $30 bourbons for less than that.



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Best bang for the buck: Evan Williams black or white label
Best mid-range: Maker's Mark


Sam's Club prices beat the local grocery stores by a good margin around here, as well.




Maker's Mark 1.75L

local grocery store: $66.99 

Sam's Club: $41.32


Evan Williams Black Label 1.75L
local grocery store: $31.99

Sam's Club: $20.52

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Another nice, small batch, local whiskey - Witherspoon. Not bad at all! I’ll follow up with a Texas Gentleman - 2 parts Texas whiskey, 1/2 part coffee liqueur, 2 dashes of chocolate bitters. Beautiful fall beverage!



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