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A discussion/ranking among barrel proof bourbons

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casualtorture started a discussion

Despite all of the craziness around BTAC and ECBP, we are blessed in the US to still have good, availible barrel proof whiskey. I'd like to share my thoughts/rankings on the current market along with price where I'm at. This is really me just blabbering after a couple glasses of Rare Breed and JD SBBP side by side (which sparked these thoughts), but I would love to hear other's thoughts/opinions on the current state of barrel proof Whiskey, with price in mind.

My Rankings of "availible" barrel proof whiskey:

  1. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof - $79-$109 depending on the store.

ECBP is consistently fantastic and tops my list of things you can walk in a store and buy off the shelf. Certain batches (C919) rival BTAC offerings. While pricier than others on this list, I can't think of anything you can buy off the shelf that is better.

  1. Knob Creek Single Barrel - Barrel Proof - $59.99

A good KCSB store pick is hard to beat. The nutty character of good Beam products is so savory and delicious and pretty much every store near me has store picks, some are even 14 and 15 years old!

  1. Jack Daniels Single Barrel Barrel Proof - $69.99

Honestly if this and the KCSB were the same price, the JD would get the nod in my opinion. This stuff is fiery banana bread with roasted pecan. I've almost finished my third bottle and will be replacing it promptly.

  1. TIE: Old Grandad 114 - $34.99

Talk about value. This stuff packs flavor and a punch. Maybe I just like that nutty Beam character, but this stuff is the best whiskey under $40 EASILY.

  1. TIE: Wild Turkey Rare Breed - $54.99

If I were wealthy, I'd probably buy more Rare Breed than OGD114. But OGD114 and WT RB on the shelf together side by side, OGD 114 is a better value in my opinion, even if the WT is a marginally better product, which is why I call this a tie. WT 101 at around $30 is also very good and the extra few bucks would give some people pause I think. Tough call here. Great whiskey but other options to consider.

  1. Makers Mark Cask Strength - $49.99

I actually don't like this. Odd, because I like regular Makers, but this stuff has a minty/coniferous tree sap thing going on that I don't like.

Stuff I haven't tried enough of to have an opinion on but is still availible:


Larceny BP

Ezra Brooks Old Ezra BP

Would LOVE to hear ya'lls thoughts on this! I debated myself in my head quite a lot thinking this over because these are the things I buy more often than relatively expensive bottles of Single Malt.

8 days ago

3 replies


^These numbers did not carry over when I posted but imagine 1-5 from top to bottom.

8 days ago 0

Victor replied

@casualtorture my preferences are very close to your own across the board with respect to the more available products.

I have NEVER much liked Maker's Mark CS either. I also have never had any very good experiences with Heaven Hill's Larceny, though I have only had the standard proof and not the BP/CS version. Heaven Hill is all over the place with batches and products. They have had some Parker's Heritage Collection 10 yo wheated bourbon to die for. And I really really like the old defunct Old Fitzgerald BIB. But I've never had a taste of Larceny which I liked.

Try more batches of Booker's. Booker's does vary quite a bit batch to batch, but most of them are quite striking-- kind of a mid-pitch electric current coming at you.

I surmise that you are accepting the 'near-barrel-strength' standard offerings of 120 proof Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve and Old Grand-Dad 114 proof as close enough to consider as Barrel Proof. They are close enough for me too. .

8 days ago 2Who liked this?

Nozinan replied

I’m sure I have not tasted enough CS American whisky to be an expert, but that never stopped me from having an opinion.

I would have to rank Booker’s (esp. 2015-01), Stagg Jr. and OGD 114 among my top three.

I actually prefer OGD114 to wild Turkey rare breed. To the point that I actually gave away my spare bottle of rare breed.

As for old Ezra 8YO CS, I did a blind tasting with @paddockjudge comparing it to OGD114 and it was practically indistinguishable. He was blinded, not me. I think I prefer the OGD 114 but I have a soft spot for that particular bourbon so I am likely biased.

Of course, my all time favourite bourbon is George T Stagg. But it simply is not available.

And an honourable mention to N7 3 and 4 grain. Single cask bourbons in everything but name, and delicious.

8 days ago 3Who liked this?

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