October 29, 2012
So it has been four months since I promised you these results and I am just now getting them to you. So what, big wup, wanna fight about it?! Seriously though, I need to apologize for me taking FOREVER in getting you these results.
While on vacation with my family in Fripp Island, SC (amazing place if you can ever get there) in June, I decided to bring the following bourbons down for a BLIND taste test (in no order):
• Beam White Label
• Ancient Ancient Age (not Ancient Age)
• Knob Creek 9 year 120 proof
• WL Weller 12 year
• Old Grand Dad 114 proof
• Makers 46
• Eagle Rare 10 year
As you can tell, there was no rhyme or reason to my madness in what I chose for the taste test. I wanted to see if six casual bourbon drinkers could taste a difference between high and low proof bourbon. To put it simply, yes, they could. With the Knob Creek 120 proof, a “judge” stated that it tasted like jet fuel. Remember that the judges had no idea what they were tasting, the bourbons were designated by numbers in plastic shot glasses.
I had two grading criteria: 1) Nose, and 2) Taste. Some bourbons have a soft nose, but a lot of heat as they go down, so I wanted to see if there was any correlation between the two. To put it simply, I need to gather more data!
I asked the judges to rate the bourbons on a scale of 1-10 for both the nose and taste. The higher the score, the better the bourbon scored. I know you have been anxiously awaiting these scores, so as I take another sip of my trusty W.L. Weller and vanilla bean bourbon, here are the results:
Beam White Label 24 29
Ancient Ancient Age 44 52
Knob Creek 120 proof 43 21
WL Weller 12 year 43 44
Old Grand Dad 114 proof 33 29
Makers 46 33 34
Eagle Rare 10 year 47 42
So based solely on the aroma of the bourbon alone, Eagle Rare scored the highest with 47 out of 60 possible points. Based on taste, surprisingly, Ancient Ancient Age (or AAG as it is commonly known) blew the field out of the water! Considering that AAG is the second most affordable bourbon on the list, I think everyone was shocked by the outcome. AAG’s sales among the judges have skyrocketed. Buffalo Trace (who makes AAG), you can send me any fine bottle of bourbon to my home as a thank you.
An interesting observation is that Knob Creek scored well on the nose, but terrible on the taste. That is to be somewhat expected due to the 120 proof, but not THAT bad.
So there you have it! AAG is the winner! Thank me later when you head to your local liquor store and see the affordable price point. Enjoy!