Posted on July 28, 2011 | By TheEnabler | 36 Comments
“Economical!” wafted from the back.
Since I have not yet won the lottery, and I do like to drink, and drink costs money and money equals time and at no time do I have enough money, ipso facto I therefore don’t have enough time. Is time the fourth dimension?
Okay, kind of got lost there. My point was that I try to look for cheap bourbon that is reasonably decent. I had been told that Ezra Brooks bourbon was a good, cheap bourbon, but unfortunately it was not available in my portion of California. However, we went to visit the father-in-law and he gave us a hundred bucks and said that we had to spend it on booze (thank you thank you thank you). Coming through a rural area of Nor-Cal, we came upon a liquor store, a very nice one, in the middle of no-where.
I went in while the Palate minded the kids and looked around. As I was heading toward the bourbon area an older man who worked there went to the back of the store and started doing stuff on the shelves. Continuing on, I spotted Ezra Brooks bourbon at $9.00 a bottle, and I grabbed one.
Walking up to the front counter I started talking to the young guy at the register. “I have heard that this is a great cheap bourbon, but I haven’t had it before.” I said. “I am always on the look-out for cheap bourbon.” “A couple of people told me this was one of the best cheap bourbons I will….” “ECONOMICAL!” came the cry from the back. Apparently I had touched a nerve with the owner in the back. Chatting a bit more, I again said something about “do you have any other good, cheap bourbons that you know of?” “Economical!” came the cry.
I paid my money and said thanks for the cheap bourbon and walked out the door to the expected “Economical!”
The review: This is the best cheap (economical) bourbon I think I have had. I was, and am, a big fan of Old Grandad. This is better. This is a cheap bourbon that you can drink neat with just a splash of water to open it up. Fine on the rocks and quite decent for any mixed drink that you might make with bourbon. I will not insult your intelligence. If someone offered me a choice of this or any Pappy Van Winkle, I would take the Pappy. If you want a reasonably priced, decent bourbon to keep around for day to day use, though, this is it.
It is a sour mash whiskey, bottled at 90 proof. Made by Heaven Hill for Luxco to distribute. The color is a deep amber. The finish is a bit short but fairly smooth (a little bite, but not a ton like bourbons bottled at cask strength). The nose has a bit of corn and vanilla. It is somewhat sweet, which I like. There is a bit of brown sugar or maple sugar to it. It is charcoal filtered, which helps smooth and mellow the flavor but there is still a bit of pepper. I generally prefer wheater bourbons, whereas this is a rye, but still very good. I do not get the tobacco hint that I like in bourbons, but that does not kill the deal on a bourbon at this price.
To summarize, if you have a limited booze-budget, and who does not in this day and age, you cannot go wrong with keeping Ezra around for regular use. Just remember that if you are going to have it neat, just a splash of water to open it up.