Here’s the thing about whiskey and whisky and rye and scotch and bourbon: When they’re bad, they’re boring; when they’re good, they’re complicated. That’s the whole fun of buying good bottles. They make you think. Until you’ve had a few, then they make you not think. (A recipe for a successful product if ever there was one.)
The Uproxx crew likes thinking, not-thinking, and drinking (in any order), so we decided to get together and blindly taste eight bourbons, then compare notes. Actually, seven bourbons. Someone stuck a rye in there, which screwed us all up. Anyway, some members of the team were able to call which were which a few times (Zach Johnston, Mike Botticello, Vince Mancini), others just rambled while doing their best impressions of sophisticated drinkers (me, Allison Sanchez). By the time we finished, certain themes had surfaced — even with the neophyte and expert opinions mingled together.
Check our results below. One early spoiler: The only bourbon in a can waaaaay outperformed expectations.
-Steve Bramucci, Editorial Director of Uproxx Life
Vince: Heavy caramel flavor, dark color, lots of barley sugar. Would I get tired of drinking this in larger doses? Dunno. Good in this amount, though.
Zach: Malty with a nice bit of alcohol burn. Definitely whiskey. Nice overall taste. This must be the Four Roses.
Allison: This was smooth. Easy. Like Sunday Morning. And also me, because I’m smooth and chill. No worries in the world. Carefree Sanchez, they call me….um….Did that seem cool, like, reading that, do you think I sound cool? Cause if not, I’ll change it. Or I could not change it. But now, I think I should change it. Or just delete and start over. Well, of course I’m crying now. As you read it, I could feel through the screen that you didn’t think my opinion was good. God, why don’t you just stop reading what I wrote all together, huh? I DON’T NEED YOU AND IT’S CLEAR YOU NEVER LOVED ME.
Where was I? Oh… right… This is a chill bourbon, just like me.
Mike: A meeting of smoke and oak that immediately got my attention and had me ready to order another. I think this is the Stillhouse.
Steve: Alcohol-y? I think I’m just getting my bearings. I taste booze and oak and a little smoke. Not peat smoke but like, grandpa’s cigars. Not his old Cubans, but something a little sweeter. This is the Swisher Sweets of bourbons.