February 18, 2009

Economical Bourbon Reviews, Part I: Ancient Age

Everyone knows that times are tough and that those of us who still have jobs should consider themselves lucky. The economy being what it is, and disposable income being cut, I thought I would review some economical bourbons.

I chose seven bourbons, and made my choices by price alone (and I suppose availability in Southern California as well) - no 750 ml bottle was more expensive than $12.99. Today, I will start with Ancient Age, for no other reason than it being first alphabetically. I'll review the bourbons neat as well as mixed in a whiskey sour seeing as the ingredients for whiskey sours are very cheap: lemons and sugar. So, here goes.

Ancient Age is a Buffalo Trace Distillery product, and thus hails from Frankfort, KY. It is bottled at 80 proof and is a straight bourbon aged for 3 years.

Neat: The nose presents a lot of corn and sweetness. Some butterscotch in there, too. Mouthfeel is clean, not viscous. No initial burn either. Ancient Age tastes young, very slight spiciness and substantial sweetness with not much complexity at all. Finish is dry, woody, and pretty short with a faint, pleasant burn. Overall, nothing outstanding but nothing to pour down the drain either. It is what it is and is far from disappointing.

Whiskey Sour: When mixed into a sour, Ancient Age presented well. It blended nicely with the acid of the lemon and was complemented by the sugar. It makes a simple, refreshing drink and since there is not much complexity to it, no subleties are overpowered by the sour and sugar in any significant way. A great choice for a cheap cocktail at home (or at the office?)

Ancient Age does not disappoint. I would rather mix it with some sour mix or even with some cola, and save the more expensive bottles for sipping. For bourbon on the cheap, you get what you pay for, and then some, with this one.

8 comments:

  1. Cool series, I appreciate it. Thanks!

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  2. How is a three year bourbon like Ancient Age so darned mellow?!

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  3. Ahem, not to complain about otherwise excellent and accurate blog, but you spelled "Frankfurt" wrong. That is in Germany. Frankfort is the capital city of Kentucky. The name was originally Frank's Ford, a crossing at a riffle in the Kentucky river.

    Cheers, John

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  4. Absolutely correct, sir. Thanks for the correction.

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  5. Thanks Josh. I recently branched out from being 'strictly Scotch' to whiskeys. I was gifted a bottle of Ancient Age by a thoughtful friend and tasted it for the first time yesterday. Very pleasing and yes, very economical. It might become a favorite 'every day' bourbon

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  6. I have been drinking Bourbon exclusively for 10 + years... This is my go to every day bourbon. However I prefer the 90 proof as opposed to the 80. It mixes well with just about anything and you cant beat it for the price. If im at a bar, i drink Makers, If im at home, I drink AA 90.

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  7. Ancient Ancient Age is my "every day" bourbon. 90 proof and more flavorful than the standard Ancient Age and only $12.50 for 1 Liter here in Virginia. Old Crow and Benchmark are two other bourbons that I think have a high price to value ratio.

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  8. I agree completely on the Benchmark...I drink it daily. I am having my first AA 80 right now with some apple juice and it is good quality for low price straight bourbon. My first gulp out of the bottle I did the swish and gargle, it was smooth, must be the rye?

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