Skip to main content

@mneeley490 posted:

Interesting. Thoughts?

I’m an unabashed huge fan of dusties, especially from the “Glut Era” of bourbon. These showed great.  They were all consumed neat.  Zero need for any water or ice to open them up or tone down any harshness.  My friend I was hosting has a solid collection of various high-end brown liquors, and he absolutely loved these.

Sunny Brook had the famed butterscotch note that aficionados associate with brands owned at the time by National Distillers.  It was like a bourbon that had been finished for the last year in Armagnac barrels.  Old Forester was a tad oakier, but it had a bit of a sweet note similar to maraschino cherries finished in bourbon.  The Ten High was closer to the flavor profile of modern bourbon, but none of the harsher aspects you typically find with bottom shelf or low middle-tier bourbon.

Last edited by ProSys
@ProSys posted:

I’m an unabashed huge fan of dusties, especially from the “Glut Era” of bourbon. These showed great.  They were all consumed neat.  Zero need for any water or ice to open them up or tone down any harshness.  My friend I was hosting has a solid collection of various high-end brown liquors, and he absolutely loved these.

Sunny Brook had the famed butterscotch note that aficionados associate with brands owned at the time by National Distillers.  It was like a bourbon that had been finished for the last year in Armagnac barrels.  Old Forester was a tad oakier, but it had a bit of a sweet note similar to maraschino cherries finished in bourbon.  The Ten High was closer to the flavor profile of modern bourbon, but none of the harsher aspects you typically find with bottom shelf or low middle-tier bourbon.

Thanks, Prosys. I've read articles about "dusties", but have never come across one.

Have managed to open and taste some recent pick-ups with all showing well.

High West Double Rye Total Wine Barrel Pick Bourbon cask Finished 50.8%

Four Roses Small Batch Select 52.0%

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch A120 68.3%

Bulleit Blender's Select Batch 001 50.0% (from 3 recipes of Four Roses distillate)

Russell's Reserve Total Wine Barrel Pick 55%

Henry McKenna SB 50%

Old Forester 1920 57.5%

Lucked out on the 4 Roses SB Select as I got it for $33.50.  It was a misprice as later showed at $60.  Great deal at low 30's, not so much at 60.

Prosys, keep the dusties comin' as that is some cool stuff.

Last edited by vinole
@ProSys posted:

I’m an unabashed huge fan of dusties, especially from the “Glut Era” of bourbon. These showed great.  They were all consumed neat.  Zero need for any water or ice to open them up or tone down any harshness.  My friend I was hosting has a solid collection of various high-end brown liquors, and he absolutely loved these.

Sunny Brook had the famed butterscotch note that aficionados associate with brands owned at the time by National Distillers.  It was like a bourbon that had been finished for the last year in Armagnac barrels.  Old Forester was a tad oakier, but it had a bit of a sweet note similar to maraschino cherries finished in bourbon.  The Ten High was closer to the flavor profile of modern bourbon, but none of the harsher aspects you typically find with bottom shelf or low middle-tier bourbon.

Are most dusties low alcohol like those. You know I like the heat turned down and those look interesting 

@bomba503 posted:

Are most dusties low alcohol like those. You know I like the heat turned down and those look interesting 

Considering you had Weller 12 for the first time ever recently, and your dusty history and knowledge are also apparently a bit low, I’m gonna bust your chops for somehow feeling like you were in a place to lecture me about 1792 Full Proof and other, high proof bourbons.......  

OK, chop busting over.  Pull up a comfortable chair and a Glencairn, and prepare for some learnin’.

The availability of barrel proof bourbon to the general public is a fairly recent concept.  Booker’s is most often credited as being the first viable commercial release of barrel proof bourbon in bottle, and their first release was in 1988.  Up till then, the proof of commercially available bourbons typically did not exceed the Bottled in Bond 100 proof level.  You had a number of Stitzel-Weller bottlings coming in at 107 proof, Old Grand Dad 114 (proof) Lot 1 hit shelves in 1982, and not a whole ton else with higher than BIB proof levels regularly populating store shelves then.

In the 70s, the drinking public started shifting to adult beverage options that were lighter in color and/or alcohol (e.g. vodka, rum, wine and beer).  Bourbon distillers became stuck with increasing amounts of barrels that they weren’t able to put into bottle b/c of decreased commercial demand.  Thus, the Glut Era was born.  The result was that many of the bottles filled from the mid 70s to the 90s contained bourbon older than the actual age statement on the bottle, as distillers weren’t using up stock as quickly as they’d forecasted and put into barrels years prior.  

For example, the Sunny Brook that I had recently was a 1980 bottle date.  That date actually represents when the glass was manufactured, not necessarily when the bourbon went from barrel into bottle. Distillers weren’t ordering glass bottles to be manufactured, then storing the unfilled bottles for any period whatsoever.  So for that particular Sunny Brook juice I had, the latest it would have actually gone from barrel to bottle is 1981 (assuming the glass was manufactured and delivered late in 1980, and bottling then actually occurred in 1981).

Per the label on the Sunny Brook bottle, the bourbon inside the bottle had been aged for 4 years.  However, we know the Sunny Brook distillery ceased operations in 1975, thus zero new barrels were being distilled and stored thereafter.  At a minimum, the bourbon in that 1980 bottle would have been at least 5 years old, with a decent likelihood the juice could be even older based on the reduced demand for bourbon in general that started in the 70s.

Also to be considered is that there wasn’t a premium, limited edition, top shelf tier with bourbon back then.  Lots of barrels that would nowadays be chosen and set aside for development into an older, premium bottling were instead going into the primary, higher production bottlings (as that’s all that existed for a good number of distillers).  

When folks ask me what dusties are like compared to modern bottles, my universal response is that there was a “purity” to how bourbon used to be made.  Distillers were producing liquor in a more straightforward style, with smoothness more often the characteristic rather than “flavor bomb”. The sources of corn, wheat, rye, water and oak likely also factor into the differences in taste between bourbons then and now.  The mantra of “they don’t make them like they used to” fully applies to dusty versus modern bourbon comparisons.  

Last edited by ProSys

Awhile back I noticed that my bottles of Lagavulin 8 LE and Laphroaig 10 were hardly touched (and to a lesser degree Ardbeg 10).  I like Islay whiskies, but found that the ones that appeal to me have either age, like Lagavulin 16, or proof, like Laphroaig Cask Strength (OMG) or Ardbeg Uigeadail, that balance the peat and smoke nicely.  The young versions were just too OTT with that peat and smoke and also a bit aggressive and harsh.  So here comes the Tip of the Day -  If you find yourself avoiding these whiskies, pair them with a rack of ribs coated with sweet BBQ sauce.  They are a match made in heaven.  Have done this a number of times and the bottles are now almost gone.  Thank me later.

Last edited by vinole
@vinole posted:

Awhile back I noticed that my bottles of Lagavulin 8 LE and Laphroaig 10 were hardly touched (and to a lesser degree Ardbeg 10).  I like Islay whiskies, but found that the ones that appeal to me have either age, like Lagavulin 16, or proof, like Laphroaig Cask Strength (OMG) or Ardbeg Uigeadail, that balance the peat and smoke nicely.  The young versions were just too OTT with that peat and smoke and also a bit aggressive and harsh.  So here comes the Tip of the Day -  If you find yourself avoiding these whiskies, pair them with a rack of ribs coated with sweet BBQ sauce.  They are a match made in heaven.  Have done this a number of times and the bottles are now almost gone.  Thank me later.

That's an interesting idea. I mainly switched from Scotch to Bourbon a few years back, but I still have a few bottles collecting dust. Next time I break out the babybacks, I'll give that a try.

@vinole posted:

Awhile back I noticed that my bottles of Lagavulin 8 LE and Laphroaig 10 were hardly touched (and to a lesser degree Ardbeg 10).  I like Islay whiskies, but found that the ones that appeal to me have either age, like Lagavulin 16, or proof, like Laphroaig Cask Strength (OMG) or Ardbeg Uigeadail, that balance the peat and smoke nicely.  The young versions were just too OTT with that peat and smoke and also a bit aggressive and harsh.  So here comes the Tip of the Day -  If you find yourself avoiding these whiskies, pair them with a rack of ribs coated with sweet BBQ sauce.  They are a match made in heaven.  Have done this a number of times and the bottles are now almost gone.  Thank me later.

Makes a lot of sense actually

The drink that got me, and many others into scotch, was Chivas on the rocks. Now, of course, I too high and mighty to drink blended scotch. However I was eyeing the Royal Salute in the blue crock bottle of which my roommate got in 1982. I sure thought that was cool. Anyway it's $200 and I can't see getting it, but they did have Chivas Regal Extra for $50. Not bad, darker and richer.

For old times sake Dalwhinnie 15 year old. Really nice with a kick that comes up in the end.

And for stockpiling during the Apocalypse, from Costco, the Glenmorangie 10 year old in the 1.75L bottle. (Did you know, from the Math Forum, "Both the lower case letter 'l' and the upper case 'l' are accepted as symbols for the liter, but
the U.S. Department of Commerce specifies that 'L' be used, at least
by businesses, to avoid confusion with the numeral 1"?) Serviceable. 

@billhike posted:

Kirkland Anejo tequila. Big, healthy pour.

So tasty, and only $20 for a liter.  Great choice and always keep on hand.

For me tonight, I tried a Foursquare Zinfandel and Bourbon Cask Finished 11 year old Rum that I just picked up.  Considered by many to be the best Rum producer out there right now and this is from their Exceptional Cask Series.  I was a little hesitant to pull the trigger as I was not a fan of a Barrell Dovetail Bourbon I tasted recently that was finished with Dunn Cabernet casks (and have visited that winery and am a big fan!). The wine influence was too pronounced on that and not what I'm looking for in a bourbon.

However, this rum was exquisite with a much lighter wine influence, packed with flavor, but in a super balanced, round and creamy way.  Got it on sale for only $45, the price of Zacapa and Plantation XO that have been my go to rums. The difference is this has no sugar or other additives as found in those two as well as another favorite, El Dorado.  Turns out the only rum on my shelf with no added sugar was Santa Teresa from Venezuela, and I always appreciated its lack of overt sweetness.  I recently gave away a bottle of Diplomatico to my daughter's boyfriend as it was just too freakin sweet for me.  My point is those rums are still nice to drink, but this is more in my wheelhouse as it is drier, and may get me drinking more rum again.  Now have my sights on Foursquare's 2005 vintage that is 59% abv (this one was only 43%).  Should be good for summer.

Last edited by vinole
@vinole posted:

So tasty, and only $20 for a liter.  Great choice and always keep on hand.

For me tonight, I tried a Foursquare Zinfandel and Bourbon Cask Finished 11 year old Rum that I just picked up.  Considered by many to be the best Rum producer out there right now and this is from their Exceptional Cask Series.  I was a little hesitant to pull the trigger as I was not a fan of a Barrell Dovetail Bourbon I tasted recently that was finished with Dunn Cabernet casks (and have visited that winery and am a big fan!). The wine influence was too pronounced on that and not what I'm looking for in a bourbon.

However, this rum was exquisite with a much lighter wine influence, packed with flavor, but in a super balanced, round and creamy way.  Got it on sale for only $45, the price of Zacapa and Plantation XO that have been my go to rums. The difference is this has no sugar or other additives as found in those two as well as another favorite, El Dorado.  Turns out the only rum on my shelf with no added sugar was Santa Teresa from Venezuela, and I always appreciated its lack of overt sweetness.  I recently gave away a bottle of Diplomatico to my daughter's boyfriend as it was just too freakin sweet for me.  My point is those rums are still nice to drink, but this is more in my wheelhouse as it is drier, and may get me drinking more rum again.  Now have my sights on Foursquare's 2005 vintage that is 59% abv (this one was only 43%).  Should be good for summer.

My buddy and I visited St. Thomas, USVI, in 1986. I haven't been able to drink rum since. 

Last edited by mneeley490

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×