Blind Bottom Shelf Showdown

I was perusing the liquor store the other day for something to review, and decided I wanted to do a bottom shelf tasting.  Then, I figured it would be more fun to do a blind bottom shelf tasting. So, here we are! Come on down, the price is right!


Color: Yellow Gold.

Nose: Very light, woody, light vanilla, slight ethanol, grass.

Taste: Vanilla, sweetness, not very complex, but has a nice flavor overall.

Finish: Warmth on your throat, slightly hot on your tongue, lingers for just a bit.

Rating: 2.5/5


Color: Gold.

Nose: Malty, oat-y, no ethanol, corn.

Taste: Dry, slightly bitter but in a good way, little cherry and chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Finish: Quick, slightly hot on your tongue only, bitter finish.

Rating: 3/5


Color: Yellow Gold.

Nose: Straw, light corn, light oak, little vanilla.

Taste: Very corn-like flavor, very mild and even keel, cinnamon heat.

Finish: Slightly hot on your tongue, short hot goodbye, bitter.

Rating: 2/5


Color: Gold.

Nose: Caramel, honey, sugar, vanilla, corn, malt, best nose out of the lot, yum.

Taste: Loads of vanilla and caramel, little bit of dark chocolate, little cinnamon spice to balance all the sweet.

Finish: Warm on your tongue, doesn’t hang around to party.

Rating: 3/5


Color: Yellow Gold.

Nose: Light malt, bitter chocolate, grass/straw, ethanol.

Taste: Lots of vanilla, a good amount of cinnamon spice, a bit of heat, and dark chocolate.

Finish: This one is your hot tongue buddy that moves slowly to your throats and parties there also.

Rating: 2.5/5


My final ranking ended up being the following, from best to worst:

D, B, A, E, C

So now it’s time for the reveal. Here are the Bourbons!

A. Four Roses Yellow Label

B. Evan Williams

C. Jim Beam White Label

D. Benchmark

E.  Wild Turkey 101

My overall opinion is that there were two very clear winners with Benchmark being a little ahead of Evan Williams. More details you say? Well, here you go.

I preferred the nose of Benchmark and the overall flavor, I felt Evan Williams was slightly better balanced, but I’m a sucker for sweet Bourbons. So, for me, Benchmark wins. The next grouping/ranking was Yellow Label and Wild Turkey 101. 101 packs more of a punch with heat and alcohol, so I lean more towards Yellow Label. Side note: Kris’ favorite was 101, but he knew what he was tasting. ? They actually were pretty similar though, and both would be great in a cheap Manhattan. The biggest loser of the bunch was Jim Beam White Label. It’s just rough around the edges, very bitter and not greatly balanced, but it’s cheap, so there’s that, I guess. (Also, it’s readily available for super cheap mixed with Coke at the gay clubs! That’s my drink of choice when I’m out dancing. Well Bourbon and Coke? Don’t mind if I do!??)

All in all, save some money throwing your next Holiday party and buy some Benchmark or Evan Williams.

3 thoughts on “Blind Bottom Shelf Showdown

  1. I agree with the ranking. I recently had some Evan Williams because it was the only thing available and it is much better than I give it credit for. Though I think the only bottle of Evan Williams I’ll continue getting is their single barrel which is fantastic.

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