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American Whisky and Bourbons (Non-KY)

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    American Whisky and Bourbons (Non-KY)

    I thought I'd expand my taste buds today so I picked up some different choices.



    Usually, I drink wheated bourbon (Maker's Mark or Bulleit), several varieties of Ardbeg (Wee Beastie is great), or other islay single malts. Recently bought the double-oaked Woodford Reserve on Huskee 's recommendation, which was great. I don't like rye, and usually want something with a heavy flavor versus smooth (Irish whisky is usually too bland though I remember my Pogue's bottle fondly https://thepoguesirishwhiskey.com/). Everything I've read about Japanese whisky suggests it is very overpriced and overvalued. I've found the ideal price point for my taste buds is $30-$50, as anything below usually tastes too heavily of alcohol and tastes cheap, while anything above doesn't seem to offer enough amazing flavor for the usually huge premium.

    So, I thought I'd try some different types of American whisky and bourbon. I thought Texas would be a good place to start as bold flavor is a trademark, but I noticed Binny's had pours from NY, TN, WI, AL and maybe a few others.

    So, my question is: What kind of non-KY whiskys and bourbons would y'all recommend?

    I will post comments on the two new bottles soon!

    Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; August 21, 2021, 10:38 AM.

    Woodinville whiskey out of Washington makes a really good bourbon.


    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment
      That is not right. Just not right. Bourbon should only come from Bourbon County Kentucky.

    Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey may come in a touch over that ideal price range depending where you buy, but it's great stuff.


      Breckenridge Bourbon is mighty fine, IMO. Made in you guessed it, Breckenridge, CO.


      • Thunder77
        Thunder77 commented
        Editing a comment
        +1 on the Breckinridge Bourbon!

      • Joey877
        Joey877 commented
        Editing a comment

      So, two things. First, a rec - High West does a lot of interesting stuff and while some costs more, much if it is in your range. https://www.highwest.com

      Second, a LOT (like 60%) of whiskey in the US is distilled in Kentucky or Indiana and sold to other places. Many of the small distilleries use this stuff to kickstart their offerings as it's obviously not possible to sell an 8 year old Bourbon if you just started. My point is that just because a place is located elsewhere doesn't mean they make and age their own stuff. Look for places that tell you how they get their whiskey (like the Wisconsin place below that proudly talks about it)

      High West actually does something I really like - they break down the mash bills and tell you where things are from. For example, this is their Campfire mash bill:

      "A blend of bourbon, rye, and peated Scotch whisky, ranging in age from 4-8 years old.

      Straight Rye Whiskeys: 95% rye, 5% barley malt from MGP and 80% Rye, 20% malted rye from High West Distillery
      Straight Bourbon Whiskey: 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt from MGP
      Blended Malt Scotch Whisky: Undisclosed Source (due to contractual reasons)"


      They're very upfront that the made the rye, but the bourbon is from MGP https://www.mgpingredients.com/distilled-spirits
      Last edited by rickgregory; August 22, 2021, 10:57 AM.


      Since you mentioned Texas, TX blended whiskey is my favorite sippin' whiskey around the $30 range. Woodford Double Oaked is my favorite in the next price tier up.


        J Henry Bourbon from Wisconsin is a New favorite. Only sold in Wisconsin and States close by so you might find it IFindZeroBadCooks . A favorite Whiskey (although a Rye) is Templeton from Iowa.


        • Skip
          Skip commented
          Editing a comment
          RustyHaines it looks like the Patton Road Reserve is next to impossible to get thru their mail order site??

        • willxfmr
          willxfmr commented
          Editing a comment
          Richard Chrz
          According to the J Henry website, it is for sale at Eddie's Liquor in Sparta

        • RustyHaines
          RustyHaines commented
          Editing a comment
          Skip I buy it at their tasting room/retail shop. $75.00 a bottle. Perhaps I could pick one up and send it to you? If so, message me and we can work out the details.

        Check out Garrison Brothers for Texas bourbon. I managed to snag a bottle of Cowboy Bourbon a year or so ago and have been milking it (it is expensive and hard to find) but their other issues (like the small batch) are awesome too.

        And I second rickgregory who mentioned High West - they do really interesting things, especially Campfire if you like Ardbeg - it is nowhere near as peaty, but there's some in there (it is a blend of bourbon/rye/scotch).

        I also liked King County (straight bourbon) out of Brooklyn of all places.


          Belle Meade is an excellent Tennessee made bourbon. Rare as an honest politician but I have found a store an hour away that has it on occasion. Discovered this in a bar in Frankfort, KY, on the suggestion of the bartender.
          Last edited by Bkhuna; August 23, 2021, 10:51 AM.


            James Crow developed the sour mash whisky. Therefore if you want real sour mash whisky buy Old Crow.


              I second the vote for Breckenridge, very enjoyable!


                Here's an interesting fact, Canadian law stipulates Canadian distillers can not distill Bourbon or any liquor that says Bourbon on the label, it has to be produced in the US.
                If I read it right they can produce a facsmile not using corn but it must be used for blended ryes and whiskeys.
                What happened to NFTA....


                • smokin fool
                  smokin fool commented
                  Editing a comment
                  @ Bkhuna I did some more reading, in 1964 US Congress made Bourbon "a product unique to the US".
                  The way I understand the article is apparently it is not a law but a - concurrent resolution.
                  I'm guessing Canada and Mexico, who both were distilling Bourbons decided the juice wasn't worth the squeeze and decided not to fight but to respect the resolution.
                  Not a big deal at the end of the day we have enough Rye distillers up here anyway but interesting to me.

                • Bkhuna
                  Bkhuna commented
                  Editing a comment
                  smokin fool - The CFR are Federal rules and policies. They aren't laws per se. I never imagined that Mexico made Bourbon?

                  As a side note, Yesterday I was looking at some microfiche of my hometown newspaper from 50 years ago and I saw an ad from an liquor store that had IW Harper bourbon on sale for $4.97 a fifth.

                • smokin fool
                  smokin fool commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Bkhuna Wikipedia is great, I had always thought Schenley was a CDN owned distiller,
                  not so fast, US owned HQed in NYC. The Bourbon I thought was CDN called Schenley Ancient Age was actually distilled and bottled in Indiana then imported up here back in the 40's.
                  This is great reading, again very interesting to me.

                Thanks for all of the great recommendations. Looks like lots of new flavor profiles to try. I will see what my local has in stock.


                  Look up MB Roland from TN. Also, Smuggler's Notch from VA. Great stuff there and you can get a discount on some if it.

                  Side note- I find Japanese to be basically Scotch, and I rather enjoy it. Hibiki and Suntory Toki are great IMO, with the latter being rather affordable. But again it's more Scotch than bourbon.


                    Bowman Brothers from Virginia. Unbelievably smooth (some say to a fault) and rare as hens teeth in the upper Midwest. But I received notice my local Total Wines is due to get some in October. Fingers crossed.



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