The Refuge Bourbon Society

Hey Guys and Gals,

At the request of my good buddy @OTPLefty, I’ve decided to shamelessly follow in @Hala-Mark-Rey 's footsteps and make a similar thread for those of us who partake in and enjoy the wonderful world of Bourbon Whiskey and its close cousin Rye Whiskey.

A little bit about myself:

I am no sommelier or any whiskey equivalent to deserve such a title. What I am is a 36 year old man who’s lived about half his life in Kentucky (currently in neighboring Southern Indiana), who has tasted more varietals of bourbon and rye than most. The first booze I ever drank was Jim Beam White Label at the crisp age of 15 (which I proceeded to get black out sick drunk from), and have gone on to try and enjoy hundreds of other labels in the 21 years since. I have a bottle collection I can’t count, love hunting for rare bottles, love trying and sharing with friends the great gems I find, and I love pointing out what’s overpriced snake oil to avoid. I also have several friends/acquaintances that work within and adjacent to the industry. I firmly believe there are likely many others on the Refuge who enjoy similar pursuits, perhaps with better palates and more knowledge than myself on the subject, but I’m happy to get the ball rolling.

I plan on posting occasional tasting note/reviews, and encourage others to do the same. Any and all Whiskey related discussion is welcome! I plan on posting my first tasting/review this evening. If there are any suggestions/requests please post, and If I have it in the collection I’ll start there, or try to find it in the future. And please, feel free to post your own!


Dear lord I’m going to learn a lot from this thread.





Right on @Heath_Hawkins ! I absolutely love Bourbon and whisk(e)y! Let me know if you need any help or guidance.


Is Blanton’s all it’s cracked up to be? Lots of hype around all of my friends, associates about it and it’s tough to find.


A little Bourbon primer:

Bourbon is a form of Whiskey.

Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from a fermented grain mash, then typically aged in wooden casks (or barrels).

To be Bourbon, that mash must be made up of at least 51% corn, then aged in a new charred oak barrel.


I have a garbage palate and I adore Blanton’s. I don’t know if that helps.

My go-to not special bourbon is Woodford. Neat, please.

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Short answer is yes. Blanton’s is undeniably very good bourbon. Price point is the issue. I’m seeing it go for upwards of $150 now. Just two years ago you could find it semi regularly for around $50-$60.


I agree, I have a bad palate and I enjoy it. I just wanted some outside opinion if it was as special as they all make it seem.

Which would explain why that was the first, and only, time I bought a bottle!

I’m into all brown liquors. Love bourbon, may actually love scotch more, like rye, and I’ve recently dipped my toe into the world of quality rum (shout out Four Square).

Worth checking out this thread: Scotch & Whisk(e)y favo(u)rites?


Blanton’s is also a single barrel variety, so there will be slight differences from one bottle to the next if they are from different barrel dumps. Usually not super noticeable since they all have the same recipe, but slight, due to environmental changes in the barrels. Sometimes you can find private store picks that are dramatically different (not always better) flavor profiles

Bourbon can only be called Bourbon if it’s in the United States.

Rye, Wheat or Corn makes up the remainder of the mash bill in Bourbon.

Whiskey in Tennessee that is at least 51% corn is technically a bourbon, but is actually a Tennessee Whiskey because of the Lincoln County Process


yep, also be aware that labeling can be very misleading. For example, there are countless brands that say kentucky bourbon that are actually distilled in other places (most in Indiana at a distillery called MGP). They take the barrels and age them in KY and call it KY bourbon. Its not a huge distinction, but just know theres a lot of labeling funny business out there.

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Love buffalo trace in general and thus blantons and blantons gold. Eagle Rare is excellent as well.
Recently tried Hudsons Baby Bourbon and enjoyed it as well.
Larceny is great tasting and easy to find.
Not an expert at all, just commenting on some of my favorites. Looking forward to hearing and learning more.


Lexington, KY checking in here. Hosting a golf weekend with some buddies this weekend. I will be having a blind tasting of the following: Blantons, EH Taylor, Elijah Craig 18 year, and Buffalo Trace. Trying to see if the 18 year age shines through when tasting blind.


Almost always true, but you forgot barley and, I don’t think the legal definition of bourbon limits the other grains. In theory, pretty sure one could use another grain such as oats.

it should definitely stand out among that crop

I agree. Considering adding in Henry McKenna 10 year as well. Only have so many glencarins.

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Bourbon, brownest of the brown liquors.