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Whiskey, a 2 Year recap

So after around two years since my foray into the whiskey drinking experiment, I believe that I have a much better understanding of the magic elixir that is whiskey. My personal breakdown of approximately 32 bottles of various sizes over a period of 20 months. So rather than do a complete blow by blow analysis, I'll give some very basic specs and a grade ranging from D- to A++.


Edit: This blog has turned out to be my public active list of whiskeys for ongoing updates as well as a constantly updated 'On Riffster's Radar' for some booze that I'm keeping an eye out for. Ones that I've picked up are checked off and and have a rating. 


I would consider drinking anything at a C+ rating and buying anything again at a B or above grade. This list contains mostly bourbons but there are some ryes, a few scotches and some other whiskies. In general, my preference are rye and bourbon. The Macallen 12 kept my scotch interest alive, so I might wander down that expensive road eventually. A recent factoid that I thought was interesting was the designation and ratios of rye whiskey. Since I do favor ryes and rye forward bourbons, this little tidbit made some sense to me and tweaked my inner nerd. 

100% RYE






HIGH-RYE 20-35% Rye (bourbon)

Everyone has different tastes and what would be good for one, might not be for another. So you just take a chance and grab a bottle and hopefully you'll not be too disappointed in your 25-100 dollar purchase. I wish that more distillers would bottle in the smaller 375ml bottles as that way you're not stuck with too much if you don't like it. Of the many things that I've learned over the past 32 bottles and forgetful moments, it's that you can truly find a great bottle of bourbon or rye without spending a boatload and that a high sticker price does not necessarily equal a good taste. Snobbery belongs to the collector, not the drinker. Here's mud in your eye!


Rating System Legend

A++ The absolute best, probably doesn't exist
A+ Top class, a rarity
A All balls out awesomeness, buy it immediately if you can
A- Every time you see this, you buy it
C++ Right on the cusp of being solid but something is holding it back
C+ Average, drinkable. Would not buy again.
C Leaves no impression worth mentioning
C- If this is all you have, I might drink it but probably not
B++ Such a fine drink, just moments away from an A-
B+ If all the world had this only, life would be awesome
B Super solid booze that you would drink on a semi-regular basis
B- Very drinkable while being sorta uneventful, would buy again
D++ Something here is not at all working with my taste buds
D+ Just bad
D Large amount of something accidental has gone into the mash
D- Syrup of ipecac

Grade  A

  • New Riff Single Barrel Bourbon, 110pf, 50.00, A-
  • Pikesville Rye, 110pf, 50.00, A-
  • Lux Row 12 Year Double Barrel 1-14-08, 118.4pf, A+
  • High West Double Rye, 92pf, 40.00, A-
  • Bookers Bourbon 2-2020, 126pf, 85.00, A
  • Old Forester 1920 Bourbon, 115pf, 60.00, A-
  • Old Forester 1897, 100pf, 50.00 A-
  • Old Ezra 7 Year Barrel Strength, 117pf, 60.00 A-
  • WhistlePig 10 year Rye, 100pf, 90.00, A
  • Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye, 112pf, 60.00, A-
  • Elijah Craig Barrel Proof 12 Year C921, 120.2, 70.00, A+


Grade B

  • Jack Daniels Barrel Proof, 130pf, 66.00 B++
  • Legent Bourbon, 94pf, 35.00, B-
  • Minor Case Rye, 90pf, 40.00, B
  • Hotel Tango Rye, 100pf, 30.00 B
  • Ezra Brooks Distiller's Collection, 108pf, 35.00 B++
  • Ezra Brooks 99, 99pf, 21.00 B+
  • Old Forester Rye, 100pf, 21.00, B+
  • Old Overholt Rye Limited Edition, 114pf, 32.00 B+
  • EH Taylor Small Batch, 100pf, 38.00, B++
  • WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye, 96.6pf, 50.00 B++
  • Elijah Craig Bourbon, 94pf, 31.00, B+
  • Ezra Brooks Cask Strength, 120pf, 50.00, B++
  • Rittenhouse Rye 100pf, 26.00, B-
  • Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon, 116pf, 43.99, B+
  • Wild Turkey 101, 101pf, 22.00, B-
  • Daviess County Bourbon Cabernet Finish, 96pf, 45.00 B-
  • Weller Antique Bourbon, 107pf, 50.00, B
  • Chattanooga Whiskey Cask 111, 111pf, 44.99 B+
  • Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Rye, 104pf, 60.00, B-
  • Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon, 110pf, 55.00, B+
  • MacAllen 12 Scotch, 86pf, 80.00, B+
  • Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whiskey, 80pf, 231.00, B
  • Knob Creek Rye, 100pf, 35.00, B-
  • Rebel Distiller's Collection Cask Strength, 114pf, 40.00, B-
  • Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon, 100pf, 45.00, B+
  • Makers 46 Bourbon, 94pf, 35.00, B+
  • Fighting Cock, 103pf, 20.00, B-
  • Larceny Barrel Proof A122, 124.4pf, 60.00 B++


Grade C

  • Buffalo Trace Bourbon 90pf, 25.00 C++
  • Knob Creek Bourbon, 100pf, 35.00, C+
  • Coopers Craft Bourbon, 100pf, 30.00, C+
  • Old Forester Signature, 100pf, 21.00, C
  • Bulleit Frontier Bourbon, 90pf, 25.00, C+
  • Glenfidich 12 Scotch, 45.00, C
  • Bulleit Rye, 90pf, 25.00, C-
  • Bakers Bourbon Single Barrel. 107pf, 60.00 C++
  • Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, 80pf, 35.00, C-
  • Makers Mark Bourbon, 101pf, 39.00, C+
  • Balcones Texas Rye, 100pf, 40.00  C++
  • Woodford Reserve Bourbon, 90pf, 35.00, C+
  • New Riff Rye,100pf, 46.00 , C+
  • Larceny, 92pf, 28.00, C


Grade D

  • Tin Cup Whiskey, 84pf, 29.00, D++
  • Stranahans Whiskey, 94pf, 55.00, D++
  • 2Bar Spirits Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 100pf, 40.00 D


On Riffster's Radar

  • Joseph Magnus Bourbon, 100pf, 85.00
  • Highland Park Cask Strength, 126pf, 90.00
  • Knob Creek Rye Cask Strength 127pf, 70.00
  • George T Stagg, 138pf, 100.00
  • EH Taylor - anything other than small Batch (impossible to find)
  • Henry McKenna Single Barrel, 50.00
  • Elmer T. Lee , 90pf, 38.00
  • Weller 12, 90pf, 40.00
  • Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon, 90pf, 30.00
  • Balcones Texas Blue Corn Bourbon
  • Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey, 100pf, 55.00
  • Rabbit Hole Boxergrail Rye, 96pf, 50.00
  • High West Double Rye Barrel Select, 104pf 54.99
  • High West American Prairie Single Barrel 98pf, 50.00
  • High West Campfire Bourbon, 92pf, 69.00
  • New Riff Single Barrel Rye, 112pf, 56.00
  • Coppercraft Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskies, 100pf 39.00
  • Coppercraft Straight Rye, 90pf, 38.00
  • Eagle Rare 10 Year, 90pf, 30.00
  • Stagg Jr Barrel Proof Bourbon, 134pf, 47.00
  • Old Forester Single Barrel Rye, 124pf, 80.00
  • Blackened, 90pf, 50.00
  • Buzzard's Roost Barrel Strength Rye, 114pf, 61.65
  • Tom's Foolery Cask Strength Rye, 114pf, 49.99
  • High Bank Whiskey War Barrel Proof, 118pf, 49.99
  • David Nicholson Reserve, 100pf, 39.99
  • Sagamore Spirit Cask Strength Rye, 112.2pf, 54.99
  • Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye, 127pf, 69.00
  • Jack Daniel Barrel Strength Rye, 130pf, 66.00
  • Heaven's Door Double Barrel, 100pf, 55.00
  • Maker's 46 Cask Strength, 110pf, 60.00
  • Rossville Union Straight Rye Barrell Proof, 112.6pf, 60.00
  • Mellow Corn, 100pf, 20.00
  • Ardbeg Corryvreckan Cask Strength Scotch, 114pf, 85.00
  • Laphroaig 10 year old Cask Strength Scotch, 120pf, 55.00
  •   Blackened Rye the Lightning, 110pf, 70.00
  •   Alberta Premium Rye Cask Strength, 132pf, 75.00
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