Good store bought spirits

Putting older posts here. Going to try to keep the novice forum pruned about 90 days work. The 'good' old stuff is going to be put into appropriate forums.

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Bob E
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Good store bought spirits

Post by Bob E » Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:53 am

I used to think that Budweiser was as good as beer got until I started to brew my own.
So, can anybody recommend a good example of the different kinds of whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, brandy, or any others I could pick up?
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Husker
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Re: Good store bought spirits

Post by Husker » Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:36 am

Bob E wrote:I used to think that Budweiser was as good as beer got until I started to brew my own.
So, can anybody recommend a good example of the different kinds of whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, brandy, or any others I could pick up?
what exactly do you mean by "pick up"? Do you mean store purchase, or a recipe to be able to make your own?

If recipes, I would recommend:

UJSM (uncle Jesse's Sour Mash method). It is a corn flavored sugar wash, but it makes a fine whiskey like moonshine, which can (pretty easily in my opinion), make a product that is MUCH better than Jack, Turkey, Beam, CC or about any other product you can buy.

GGGR (great great granddads' rum). This is a recipe for some fine rum.

For Vodka, you can use UJSM (it strips down to a neutral just fine), or use any "simple" sugar recipe. A good simple sugar recipe is Birdwatchers.

NOTE these recipes (and others) are in the "tried and true recipes" forum.

H.

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Post by wineo » Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:54 am

Although I dont buy any whiskey anymore,heres some good ones to compare.Woodford reserve,Buffalo trace,Evan williams single barrel,Old rip van winkle.Theres lots more of them out there,and there not cheap,but all good.If you get good at this art,you can do as good or better with a lot of practice.A good oaked UJSM with good cuts and some age is as good as the ones I listed.You can move up from there!

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store bought

Post by Uncle Jesse » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:01 am

For shelf spirits I like Evan Williams and George Dickel. Reasonably priced and I never got that headache I get after one shot of Jack Daniels.

Woodford Reserve is excellent as well if you want to spend more.

As for scotch, if you like the peat then Bowmore or Laphroaig are probably the most reasonably priced. If you like the sweeter or lighter ones, check out Ardmore which is pretty inexpensive usually. Glenfarclas, and Springbank are also nice but more pricey here in the States.
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Post by wineo » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:08 pm

I have a bottle of Mcclellands single malt islay,but dont care for it.
I like the lowland stuff myself,but havent tried that many.I like the 12year old glenlivit more than glenfiddish but wouldnt turn down either one.
The Evan Williams single barrel is really good for the money.They made better cuts and its not blended.I dont think alot of them make any cuts at all.At least it taste like they dont.You know when you see all that charcoal on those JD adds,its got to be really bad to need it.

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Post by Bohunk » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:34 pm

Got a bottle of Elijah Craig 18 year old single barrle bourbon here, been sippin on it for a while, like a good woman, I hate to see it go. I wish I could make some thing this good, but I'm too old to live that long.

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Post by HookLine » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:11 pm

Only really go for vodka myself. Finlandia is pretty clean, without being too expensive.
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Post by wineo » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:40 pm

I also always liked vodka.Ive been making some potstilled sugarwash thats much better than any vodka ive drank.I dont mix it.I drink it neat.

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Post by As-Ol-Joe » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:41 pm

I like Old Charter 12 year old, if you can find it, there seems to be a shortage this year. And Evan Williams.
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Post by pintoshine » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:14 pm

If you are just wanting to learn about the equivalent to Budweiser in the bourbon whiskey world, it would have to be Very Old Barton. The 80 proof could be used as a "Standard". It is budget whisky with a big name taste. I have sampled nearly every bourbon, and still attend tastings and dinners. I am a regular at the Bardstown Bourbon Festival and have been to the distillers dinner more than once. VOB is a good representative of the standard corn, rye, malt grain bill. It is well aged and has a medium sweetness. They use Cargil 6 row pale malt and Cargil rye. I am not advertising for anyone just my opinion. VOB is the Bud of bourbon.

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Post by Usge » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:30 pm

Bourbons
bookers bourbon
buffalo trace/eagle rare ( and their George T. Stagg -winter reserve release only- about 140proof)
Blantons single barrel

Peaty/Smokey Scotch
Laphroaig 10
Ardbeg 10
Bowmore (I like the 17- it's peaty but more sweet)
Lagavulin 16 (can be expensive depending)

Less Peat/Sweeter Scotch
Orkney-Scapa ( I think it's a 14) No peat. Like honey
Abelour A'bundah (same school as Macallan, sherry casked, but better done)
Springbank (any)
Glenfarclas (can be inconsistent)
Macallan (like sweet syrup) No peat, but very strong flavor and intensely sweet.

There have been others listed here (like Brunnabain). There are also exceptions to any rule..such as Bruichladdich which is from Islay but uses little to no peat, is more of a grassy kind of sweet...as opposed to floral.

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Post by pintoshine » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:51 pm

No one is talking about vodkas are they wineo? I use Skyy Vodka as my standard. I haven't hit it yet. This stuff is about as clean as it gets and has a moderate smoothness. I tried some ultra pure lab grade alcohol and water once. This stuff was reagent grade and it was smooth. It was ETOH and deionized H2O mixed and man was it the smoothest vodka I ever had, but it was absolutely flavorless. Skyy is s bit less smooth and a bit more flavorful.
This would be my pick for The Budweiser of vodkas.

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Post by wineo » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:23 pm

I think your right about skyy being the standard for taste.I used to drink alot of stoli more than any but I prefer a potstilled sugarwash for vodka now.It has less flavor at the start,and most of the flavors are close to the end.Smoother than the storebought.Im saving it up for a 2nd pot run.I may use backset in the final run to put some flavor back.

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Post by Bob E » Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:00 pm

Yeah, I ment to purchase, but I'll be keeping those recipies in mind.
There's enough here to keep my wallet empty for a while :lol:
How 'bout rum?
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Post by HookLine » Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:42 am

Back in my first career I had access to lab grade ethanol. We used it to make fruit punch for parties and always had one bowl (new garbage bin actually) with ethanol, and one without, and you couldn't tell which was which by taste. We had to label them.
Be safe.
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Post by rumbaba » Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:56 am

HookLine wrote:Back in my first career I had access to lab grade ethanol. We used it to make fruit punch for parties and always had one bowl (new garbage bin actually) with ethanol, and one without, and you couldn't tell which was which by taste. We had to label them.
That must have made for some wicked staff parties :wink: Dohh I forgot which was which :D :D :D

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Post by Cruiser » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:23 pm

Rums

Since starting this hobby I've bought a number of better quality rums to use a bench-marks and to see what style I liked best. Most people in Australia reckon Bundaberg Rum is the only one but I think it's crap (although the Distiller's No 3 ain't bad). I'm gradually educating them to what rum should really taste like and it doesn't take long to convince them.

My recommendations would be:

Ron Matusalem Classico (Dominican Republic), AU$50, the Gran Reserva is good too but expensive at $65.
Mount Gay Extra Old (Barbados), $45 - this is what I model my rum on :D
Any of the Appleton Estate (Jamaica) rums but the VX is cheapest and very nice for $35
Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos (Cuba), can't remember the price

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Post by Butch50 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:08 pm

Glenmorangie in the Port was the best scotch I ever tasted.

As for whisky I prefer Evan Williams.

For gin I like Tanqueray.

Beer would be Guiness.

For vodka, I like Seagrams. I know it isn't the usual choice, but to me it is a very good vodka.

I don't drink much else.
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Post by riff42 » Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:43 am

HookLine wrote:Back in my first career I had access to lab grade ethanol. We used it to make fruit punch for parties and always had one bowl (new garbage bin actually) with ethanol, and one without, and you couldn't tell which was which by taste. We had to label them.
Funny you should mention that.
Is that stuff actually drinkable?! Ours is from Fischer.
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Post by HookLine » Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:47 am

Well, the stuff we were getting was made on site, and was extremely clean. Lab grade ethanol is usually very clean because they can't afford to have any contaminants.

Can't vouch for Fischer's stuff.
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Post by defcon4 » Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:40 pm

As far as whiskey goes, I love the rich caramel oak flavor of Evan Williams

Vodka: Grey Goo$e

Beer: Only my homebrew (all grain)

Rum: not a big fan

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Post by Skymeat » Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:48 pm

Beefeater, or Cascade Gin
Three Olive, or Mazama (peppered) Vodka
And the hoppiest IPA's I can get.
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Post by rumbaba » Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:44 am

Cruiser wrote:Rums

Since starting this hobby I've bought a number of better quality rums to use a bench-marks and to see what style I liked best. Most people in Australia reckon Bundaberg Rum is the only one but I think it's crap (although the Distiller's No 3 ain't bad). I'm gradually educating them to what rum should really taste like and it doesn't take long to convince them.

My recommendations would be:

Ron Matusalem Classico (Dominican Republic), AU$50, the Gran Reserva is good too but expensive at $65.
Mount Gay Extra Old (Barbados), $45 - this is what I model my rum on :D
Any of the Appleton Estate (Jamaica) rums but the VX is cheapest and very nice for $35
Havana Club Anejo 7 Anos (Cuba), can't remember the price

Cruiser.
Love the Mount Gay, Cruiser. I have tried, and I think am succeeding, in getting close to their flavor but better. I agree, Bundy is NOT good. If you have to settle for a store bought Aussie rum, go for the Beenliegh.
I have just realised I am now in the class of "rumrunner"! Woohoo! But why is Hookline still an "apprentice" with 543 posts?

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Post by HookLine » Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:32 am

rumbaba wrote:I have just realised I am now in the class of "rumrunner"! Woohoo! But why is Hookline still an "apprentice" with 543 posts?
Must be a slow learner. :lol:

Also just noticed that you said 543 posts, but now it says 527 on my profile info. Wonder if there is something playing up in the profiles?
Be safe.
Be discreet.
And have fun.

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Post by belialNZ » Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:12 pm

Still Spirits Apricot Brandy is VERY popular at my house. Cherry brandy just tasted sweet, but the apricot one actually has a nice apricot taste.

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Post by bronzdragon » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:21 pm

I like George Dickel whiskey. I used to drink JD, but a friend of mine turned me on to Dickel and I like it better then JD black label and it's several dollars cheaper per bottle.

Of course now for some reason they've stopped selling it in my region.

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Post by junkyard dawg » Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:36 am

Evan williams is good and cheap...

woodford is really good, Basil hayden, bookers. I like bulliet, as much for the bottle anymore. corner creek...theres a bunch of good whiskey out here. :D :D :D

I think its apples and oranges to compare homemade to commercial. like comparing homegrown tomatos to storebought. sometimes its better, sometimes its fulla worms...

almost always fun tho...

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Post by Bsnapshot » Fri Nov 30, 2007 5:53 am

Rums - Appleton Reserve
Spiced rum - Sailor Jerry
Whiskey - Makers Mark or Knob Creek
Vodka - Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Vodka
Gin - Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Gin
Beer My own home made or Sprecher or Lake Front

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