5 Types of People who Bunker Bourbon

We all have a friend (or twenty) with a closet full of bourbon, we’re here to have a little fun with the various Types of People who Bunker Bourbon – so here are the 5 Types of People who Bunker Bourbon.  

The Daily Drinker has 10 bottles of (Age Stated) Elijah Craig and Eagle Rare. He has 6 bottles of Blanton’s, two with the same dump date, the date his first son was born to be gifted on his 21st birthday and a back-up for that bottle “just in case.”  When the rumor started circulating that OGD 114 was going to be discontinued, shelves were cleared. If you end up at his house and he offers you Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, sip lightly, this is his favorite bottle. The Daily Drinker is a heck of a guy, he’ll strike up a conversation with anyone in the whiskey aisle and cares less about imparting wisdom and more about being your friend. He is on the list of those who Bunker Bourbon.

Mr. Private Barrel somehow knows everyone. Six degrees of separation, no, there is no separation for Mr. Private Barrel.  If you find out about a new private barrel and his name pops into your head and you think “I’m ahead of the curve for once, finally I’ve found one (Mr. Private Barrel) doesn’t know about, but hey, I’m a nice guy, let me tell him about it…”  His response? “Got 2, thx.”  You can buy every private barrel that you come across, but you will never have his collection, we’re all jealous. Lastly, there is a very real chance Mr. Private Barrel has a borderline unhealthy obsession with a particular brand.  You can sit back and think he’s silly, but maybe there’s a reason he has so many variations of a certain brand. One of the best things about Mr. Private Barrel, he has a story for every other bottle in his collection and he’s incredibly generous, so sip on and listen to those stories. This guy knows how to bunker bourbon. 

The Rare Bottle Collector has bottles that you didn’t know existed, in fact, most people didn’t know they existed.  The Rare Bottle Collector was a bourbon fanatic while you were in diapers, you never had a chance.  If you haven’t watched the documentary Sour Grapes, stop reading and go watch it. I warned you, now I don’t feel bad for spoiling it. If Sour Grapes were to occur in the bourbon realm, The Rare Bottle Collector would either be the villain passing off fake booze with his legendary reputation, or he would be the guy to sniff out the scumbag for trying to use an off-color tax strip or catch someone selling an export bottle that was never sold outside the U.S. He has bottles so expensive you often find yourself comparing them to your most valuable assets. He wrote the book on how to bunker bourbon. Update: That whole thing about catching the scumbag ended up happening almost exactly as we imagined, check that story out here

The Investor views every bottle with dollar signs attached, he rarely drinks at the bar because he can’t imagine “paying secondary” for a bottle. His bunker is stocked with just about everything that might be worth more in 6+ months. If people are looking for it and more importantly paying for it, so is he, and the bottles find their way to his closet for safekeeping.  His daily drinker changes, not due to his tastes, but because his daily drinker is now worth more and he can’t imagine paying that much to drink the stuff. For The Investor, it doesn’t matter how much a bottle costs, but how much the bottle is worth. The Investor will be on the front-end of many pricing spikes, with a respectable palate and a strong knowledge of the market there is no doubt you should be asking him what bottles bring the best value today, because they’ll likely be worth more tomorrow.

Mr Morally Opposed hated all of the above and probably didn’t even make it this far down to hear about himself, he was too frustrated with the heathens mentioned above. Mr Morally Opposed doesn’t believe in bunkering bourbon because bourbon was made for drinking and you shouldn’t clear the shelf to stock your closet.  He can be heard saying “you’re the problem” and “I’m switching to rum.” Mr. Morally Opposed lurks the interwebs and may even pay a little extra for his favorite bottle, but he doesn’t like the system and wouldn’t be caught dead selling a bottle more for than he paid. Mr Morally Opposed is willing to trade, but the stars generally have to align to get a bottle from him since he doesn’t keep them longer than a week without opening.  Mr Morally Opposed has great intentions but loses out on some great bottles because of his point of view.  He can be one of the more vocal and often frustrating people to deal with but in the end, he is a great asset to the bourbon world and keeps everyone grounded. It’s just bourbon.

Sip on, Bourbon Sippers!

15 Stars Platinum Fine Aged Bourbon Review: A Luxurious Blend of Tradition and Craftsmanship

15 Stars Platinum Fine Aged Bourbon Review: A Luxurious Blend of Tradition and Craftsmanship

In the ever-evolving world of premium spirits, 15 Stars Platinum Fine Aged Bourbon emerges as a notable entrant, commanding attention with its intriguing blend and luxurious profile. Released in July 2023, this straight bourbon harmoniously combines 10, 15, and 18-year-old bourbons sourced from the revered distilleries of Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. At 98 proof, it stands as a testament to expert craftsmanship and a deep understanding of bourbon blending.

Color and Presentation First impressions are set by its color – a deep, dark caramel that suggests the richness waiting within. Housed in an elegantly designed bottle, it justifies its price point of $280, not only with its contents but also with its shelf presence.

Nose Upon opening, 15 Stars Platinum Fine Aged Bourbon greets you with a bouquet of classic caramel and vanilla. These familiar scents are soon joined by the deeper, more complex aromas of oak, cherry, and leather, creating an olfactory tapestry that entices and intrigues.

Palate The palate is where this bourbon truly distinguishes itself. Its texture is remarkably rich and thick, carrying the promise made by its appearance and aroma. The flavors are a masterful blend: the sweetness of caramel and vanilla is perfectly balanced by the depth of oak, the fruitiness of cherry, and the earthiness of leather. This combination creates a harmonious and luxurious taste experience.

Source and Blend Speculation suggests that the bourbon components were meticulously chosen from prestigious sources: a 10-year-old from MGP, a 15-year-old from a renowned Kentucky distillery, and an 18-year-old from Dickel. This tri-state sourcing contributes to the bourbon’s unique profile.

Finish The finish is long and satisfying, leaving a lingering warmth and a reminder of the mature oak notes that are carefully woven throughout the sip. Unlike some of its contemporaries, 15 Stars Platinum Fine Aged Bourbon doesn’t overwhelm with the mature oak; instead, it’s skillfully balanced, ensuring a refined and enjoyable experience to the last drop.

Conclusion While 15 Stars Platinum Fine Aged Bourbon may not boast the broadest range of flavors in its category, it excels in delivering a highly satisfying sip with a well-developed oak profile. It might not be the most complex bourbon in its price range, but it offers a deeply gratifying experience, particularly for enthusiasts who appreciate a mature and thoughtfully crafted bourbon.

In conclusion, 15 Stars Platinum Fine Aged Bourbon stands as a remarkable blend, showcasing the art of bourbon blending at its finest. It’s a worthy addition to any collector’s cabinet and a delightful treat for those special occasions.


ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Exclusive Four Roses OBSF Bourbon Review

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, a family-owned business operating in Florida since 1936, has selected a special Four Roses Single Barrel OBSF Bourbon for their customers. This unique barrel strength expression is a result of meticulous selection from Four Roses’ ten distinct recipes, and this review will take you on a tasting journey of this intriguing bourbon.


  • Distillery: Four Roses Distillery
  • Selected by: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
  • Recipe: OBSF
  • Mashbill: 60% corn, 35% rye, 5% malted barley
  • Age: 8 years and 9 months
  • Bottled: October 12, 2018
  • ABV: 57.5%


Upon the first whiff, the nose is graced with fresh honey and toffee notes. The aromas are sweet and inviting, providing a delightful introduction to this bourbon. The rye component of the mashbill is subtle but adds a pleasant depth to the overall olfactory experience.


As the bourbon hits the palate, light brown sugar comes to the forefront, accompanied by a mild spice from the rye. The oak influence is apparent but not overpowering, harmoniously interlacing with the other flavors. The balance of sweetness and spice is expertly achieved, making it an enjoyable sip for bourbon enthusiasts of all levels.


The finish on this Four Roses OBSF is long and lingers with prominent notes of vanilla and leather. The leather adds an interesting, earthy complexity, while the vanilla provides a smooth, velvety end to the sip. The high ABV does not overwhelm the senses but instead offers a pleasant warmth that enhances the overall experience.


This ABC Fine Wine & Spirits exclusive Four Roses OBSF bourbon is a delightful find for those lucky enough to get their hands on a bottle. The balance of flavors and the intriguing combination of honey, toffee, brown sugar, and oak make this bourbon a standout choice. The addition of vanilla and leather in the finish rounds out the profile, creating a satisfying and memorable drinking experience. It’s a testament to the skillful blending and expertise of both Four Roses and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits in selecting such a remarkable bourbon.

– CB

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Head-to-Head Tennessee Titans: George Dickel Bottled in Bond vs. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7

George Dickel Bottled In Bond

Joe Cornwall, a guest contributor for the Slurred Speech blog shares a side-by-side review of George Dickel Bottled in Bond vs. Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7. Grab a glass and follow along!

In May of this year, I saw an announcement about the imminent release of a new whiskey.  It was a bottled-in-bond expression, and that always gets my attention. What really grabbed me was the age statement on this new release; 13-years with a suggested retail under $40! There was no way this wasn’t ending up in my liquor cabinet!

George Dickel Bottled In Bond
Photo by Joe Cornwall

Until I purchased this bottle, I don’t think I’d ever tasted any George Dickel Tennessee Whisky (Dickel stands by the traditional Scottish spelling).  To give this review some perspective I needed to compare the George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond to a reference whiskey. The reference brand couldn’t have been more obvious.

Almost every serious whiskey drinker has at least tried Jack Daniel’s.  When the words “Tennessee” and “whiskey” are in the same sentence it’s almost always a reference to the 4th bestselling spirit in the world.  While I’d never had any George Dickel before this bottle, I’ve had some Jack over the years. I enjoy Gentleman Jack on ice a few times a year, and a Jack & Coke is a safe bet on a flight.

Is Jack Daniel’s Bourbon?

Let’s get something out of the way right upfront.  Tennessee whiskey is bourbon.  It meets all the other requirements including a mash bill of a least 51% corn, aged in new, charred American oak barrels, distilled to no more than 160 proof, bottled at 80 proof or higher, etc.  Both expressions examined here are classified as Tennessee whiskey, hence they are also bourbons.

Although Jack Daniel’s meets the regulatory criteria for classification as a straight bourbon, the company disavows this classification and you won’t see “bourbon” written on the bottle.  Brown Forman sells Jack Daniel’s solely as a Tennessee whiskey. As defined in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Tennessee Whiskey is classified as a straight bourbon authorized to be produced in the state of Tennessee. Tennessee law (57-2-106) further requires most (there is at least one exception) producers of Tennessee whiskey filter the spirit through charcoal made from maple wood prior to aging.  This is called the “Lincoln County Process.”

The Lincoln County Process is an additional manufacturing step in which the whiskey goes through a charcoal filtration while it’s still White Dog, prior to barrel aging. For several days the distillate drips through sugar maple charcoal, removing impurities to ensure a “smooth” drinking experience.  The whiskey may be charcoal filtered again after aging and before bottling. This dual filtration is what sets Gentleman Jack apart from its more pedestrian sibling.

Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 has an interesting story behind its name.  According to legend, Jack was originally assigned a district tax assessment number of 7. But while consolidating districts within Tennessee, they arbitrarily gave him the number 16. So as to not lose his customers, nor bend to the law, Jack began labeling his bottles ‘Old No. 7’. Officially no one knows if this is the true story, including Jeff Arnett, the seventh master distiller of the brand. Today Old No 7, is the jewel in the crown of the Brown-Forman portfolio.

The History of George A. Dickel

George A. Dickel the man was a German immigrant who founded the George A. Dickel and Company wholesaling firm in the latter half of the 19th Century.  Victor Emmanuel Shwab, Dickel’s brother-in-law brought the company into distilling whiskey at the turn-of-the-century, only to see the business die with the onset of Prohibition.

The George Dickel we know today was established as a deliberate market competitor to Jack Daniel’s by the  Schenley Distilling Company. Its first mash was produced in 1959 and its first bottles filled in 1964. Dickel’s home is in Cascade Hollow at what is now called the Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. which is part of the Diageo group, the largest producer of spirits in the world.

Bottled-in-Bond means that this whiskey must be distilled by the same distillery, in the same distilling season, aged at least four years in a federally bonded warehouse, and bottled at 100 proof.  George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond, a 13-year old whisky, is the first product to originate from the creative mind and prodigious skills of master distiller Nicole Austin who came to Cascade Hollow Distilling from scotch whisky legend Tullamore D.E.W. in 2018

Onto The Notes

Now that we know a little of the fascinating backstory of these Tennessee titans, let’s explore what’s in the bottles.  I compared these whiskeys neat from a Glencairn glass after allowing them to sit for 10 minutes after the pour. Let’s start with the Old No. 7

Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 is bottled at 80 proof with no age statement.   The mash bill includes 80% corn, 12% barley and 8% rye.

Both liquids are similar, with Jack Daniel’s being just slightly lighter in color.  It is more gold than brass to its tone.

On the nose, I get a distinct acetone (nail polish remover) aroma over a banana-flavoring note.  It’s not offensive, but it smells artificial to me. I don’t find the nose complex or involving. In a world where highly processed fast foods are a core dietary complement, this fits right in.  Like the Big Mac of alcohol. Its weakness is evident upon comparison to a more mature, more complex liquid.  

Tasting Jack Daniels Old No. 7, I get elements of sweet cinnamon gum, circus peanuts candy, and a slight warmth at the back of the throat.  It has a short, weak finish with some vanilla and a little bite. Nothing about this is challenging. I might even call it boring.  

I scored one of the first bottles of the George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond to make it to the Tampa region.  It was released in select states in May and started showing up across the country by late June. Bonded Dickel comes from a mash bill of 84% corn, 8% rye and 8% malted barley. It is aged 13-years and bottled at the prerequisite 50% ABV.

Compared to Jack Daniel’s, the Dickel shows a slightly darker tone with a rich, rose-brass coloration.  

On the nose, I get caramelized sugar, oak, and barrel char.  It’s got some interesting things going on.

On the tongue, the increased proof of the Dickel is readily apparent.  There are a nice bite and an engaging strength. The mouthfeel is creamy, almost oily.  The oak barrel notes are forward without overpowering the flavor; no small thing for a whisky this old.  I find it to be beautifully balanced. The flavor palate includes cherry cola, bananas, dark rum, cinnamon, and white pepper. There are notable banana and rum notes, reminiscent of a Bananas Foster dessert. 

The finish is nicely tapered sweet, and warming. 

Perhaps it was unfair of me to compare George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond with Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7.  After all, Jack Black is almost exactly half the price. At 2/3 the price we have Gentleman Jack. I didn’t taste them side-by-side for this review, but I’ve found the Gentleman Jack tends to push the acetone notes aside and focusses more clearly on the underlying JD flavor profile. It’s sweeter, softer and less aggressive. 

An even more apt comparison would be Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond, but that’s only available at duty-free travel shops and its 35% more expensive.  Or at 25% more expensive we have Jack Daniel’s 100 proof Single Barrel. The closest current analog to Bonded Dickel is Jack Daniel’s Legacy at 43% ABV and $30.  I’ll be sure to give it a go and continue the research.  

There’s a reason Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 is the best-selling American whiskey in the world.  It’s approachable and easy to drink. It’s a whiskey for people who don’t really like whiskey (or at least don’t like a strong whiskey).  You know how it tastes, and if you don’t you can get a pour at nearly any stocked bar in the world.

George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond is a horse… er, whisky… of a different color.  It’s well-aged, full-flavored and legitimately complex. It is an excellent whisky, and it’s not a limited release.  That means it might even sell for MSRP, unlike some other well-aged bottled-in-bond expressions that owned the $35 space for decades only to end up on the ‘tater list at double the retail and then some.  

Make no doubt about it, I’m getting another bottle or two of this Dickel soon.  You know, just in case… – JC

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