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We have a beer thread, and a quick search didn't come up with an equivalent for liquor, so I figured I'd get one rolling. If there's already a thread related to this... well I've been drinking Whiskey, give me a break. Anyways, let's get started. I've been getting into Whiskey the past year or so. Went to a Whiskey tasting at some point last year and found that I'm rather fond of the single-malt Scotches, but they're a bit rich for me at this point in my career. I wish I'd had a more refined palette while I was still in Texas, as I'd tried some of the locals in Rebecca Creek, Swift, and Ranger Creek (the last one being directly at their distiller/brewery in San Antonio; only had a couple samples of a few of their whiskeys; most of their offerings were in beer form, which was very good--I was a big fan of la Bestia), but I can't give great reviews on them as I was still in the beginnings of my journey into Whiskey at the time. Now I have a bit more of a feel for what I like. Personally, I'm a fan of Ezra Brooks as far as bargain-basement whiskey goes. $13 for a 750ml bottle and it's right up there with Jack Daniels and the like. I've also found it to be great in Kentucky Screwdrivers as the orange juice manages to mask its bite and really draws out the smokiness hiding within leaving you with pretty much a smokey orange juice. I just picked up a bottle of Monkey Shoulder and I've been impressed with what it has to offer as a blended Scotch at a reasonable price. Unlike many blended whiskeys, it doesn't use any Grain Neutral Spirits to cut it, but rather is purely a blend of three Speyside Scotches; off the top of my head I only recall Glenfidditch being among the blend. For $30, it's definitely worth a try, I think, if you like Scotch. I had a couple glasses of Breckenridge a few weeks ago, and it really impressed me. It was up against Blanton's, which I was also sampling at the time. While Blanton's was the bigger name and the more expensive Bourbon, Breckenridge was the one that came out on top. It just had a bit more flavor going for it. As for what helped spur the creation of this thread (beyond the Monkey Shoulder and Ezra I've been sipping tonight), I've recently come into possession (a gift from my brother) of a Golden Oak Barrel, which is a hand-coopered miniature oak barrel for ageing liquor yourself. I decided to give it a try starting with the cheap stuff: Ezra Brooks. I left half a bottle in there for two weeks, while the other half remained in the bottle. After the two weeks, I administered a blind taste test between the barrel aged bourbon and what remained in the bottle. The results were pretty impressive. The bourbon aged in that little oak barrel was infused with notes of vanilla, and the harsh bite of cheap liquor has been mellowed away. I've seen some recipes from Golden Oaks that involves mixing a few liquors in the barrel along with vanilla beans and cinnamon that I might have to start trying out.