Everyone loves end of the year lists, so I bring you my 10 most viewed reviews of 2015. This list is compiled from a year of analytics based on your fellow whiskey lovers.
Lets just get right to it… But as first, as always, this is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, no wagering.
This might be the least known of Buffalo Trace’s single barrel Bourbons. It’s not really that widely available and no one seems to really talks about it. Not one of my favorites, but happy to offer some info.
The CEHT line from Buffalo Trace has been popular this year as it takes up three spots on this list. Some of that could be due to the unicorn 2015 Cured Oak release, I suppose, but it’s also a fine line of Bourbons. I like the Single Barrel expression, although I think it’s a bit pricy compared to the Small Batch further down the list.
Pappy mania shows no signs of subsiding, so it shouldn’t be surprising this little experiment was popular. Essentially blending two different WL Weller products should get you in the ballpark of an Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year, which for practical purposes is still a ‘Pappy. Forgetting that goal for a moment, blending Old Weller Antique and WL Weller 12 does make for a nice Bourbon.
Crown Royal is a big name in whiskey, so not really surprising this special single barrel program has gotten some attention. It’s a unique single barrel Canadian rye whiskey, which is typically blended. This release shows uniqueness of Crown Royal’s Coffey still, which typically creates the more robust components in Crown’s blends.
I’m a fan of Four Roses Small Batch for its price, complexity of four blended recipes and simply for being a great Bourbon. It’s mellowness makes it approachable plus nice berry fruits and floral goodness. It’s widely available and won’t break the bank, which is always a big plus.
I feel like Bowman Brothers Small Batch was a bit under the radar. This seems to be changing based on this year’s hits. To me, this one is a bit tamer version of some of Buffalo Trace’s stuff that might be harder to find, such as Elmer T Lee.
Did you know that Weller 12 is basically pappy??? If you haven’t heard that one, then you probably haven’t read a mainstream Pappy-Mania article in the past few years. Combine that bit of Bourbon lore with Buffalo Trace’s inventory issues and Weller 12 has been harder to find in recent years. I’m a fan though and it’s my favorite of the Weller line.
While I think the CEHT Single Barrel up above is better than the Small Batch, I don’t think it’s 50% better, which is price difference of these bottles. I like this Bourbon quite a bit, and along with good pricing and decent availability, this is the Buffalo Trace bottle I always keep on hand.
George T Stagg is the only bottle in the Antique Collection that I’m most interested in tracking down. It’s generally available enough for me to win in a bottle brawl and it’s the one I like best. I’ve got the 2015 version, but I feel silly reviewing these unicorns. By time I get to forming an opinion and putting it down in words, bottles are long gone. That is unless you’re willing to pay stupid money for a store trophy or from some weirdo on the Internet. I don’t recommend doing either. Best bet I think is to just indulge in a 1-oz pour at a Bourbon bar spend your time and money elsewhere.
This might be crazy to some, but I actually prefer the CEHT Barrel Proof over Stagg. I just prefer younger Bourbons in general, and these releases have been very solid to great. Plus it’s easier to find and generally cheaper at retail.
So there you have it. Hopefully you found this interesting, and here’s to a great 2016 of Bourbon.