Old Samuel Bourbon
3.8
4 votes
Are you familiar with this?
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  • Heaven alone knows why, but that's your problem
  • Toffee may seems a strange association, just as glue has, yet those are the smells that come to mind when I think of bourbon
  • Third, it isn't so rich a taste that you regret adulterating it with a mixer, but fourth, it relishes the addition of a mixer like Coke or Pepsi
  • In the end, I must admit that the criterion that I judge a drink by is whether I enjoy the drink on its own (Old Samuel gets a thumbs-up there)

    • by Anglecynn
      TRUSTWORTHY

      all reviews
      What do you want from a drink? That is an alcoholic drink, of course. Let us assume that it has the punch you require. If it doesn’t, then there’s something wrong. After all, 40% proof must mean that it has a certain amount of oomph to lift you from the cares of this world. If it didn’t, then you might as well drink water, let’s be honest.

      Right, then. Once we have assumed that your poison is alcoholic and that it isn’t a long drink like beer, then you need to decide what you want from that drink. Should it be a good mixer, or just be a drink that you have on its own, like brandy? Of course, you may mix your brandy with other things. Heaven alone knows why, but that’s your problem.

      What I mean by these questions is to ask you what persuades you to opt


      for one drink over another. Do you want a drink that makes you happy? Maybe champagne is the thing for you, in that case. If you like a good mixer, then few things are as versatile as vodka. If you think about it, vodka needs something to go with it. It doesn’t have a huge amount of taste, unless it’s one of the leading Russian vodkas. Even then, it tends to need something to make your taste-buds dance, doesn’t it?

      How about this for an idea of a drink with flavour and the ability to mix to make it long? Old Samuel Bourbon. It says it’s made in Kentucky, which would seem about right, if it’s a bourbon. I admit that it’s not one of the better-known ones. It’s not ‘Wild Turkey’ or ‘Jack Daniels’, but it is bourbon and that’s a name with a bit of kudos. I

      approached it with a sense of anticipation, as a result. It has a definite smell of bourbon. It’s that sour mash sweetness that has an instant appeal. Toffee may seems a strange association, just as glue has, yet those are the smells that come to mind when I think of bourbon. It is a bit of magic in a world of otherwise fairly samey drinks. After all, the wine industry is becoming more and more standardized away from the great vintages. The world of beer is becoming more and more samey too. Most North American beers are pretty bland. If they are served at room temperature, they are often just disgusting!

      That is why Old Samuel has a decent appeal. First of all, it has the rich smell you expect from a bourbon. Second, it has a good, golden colour. This may be achieved by the judicious use ...


      • Old Samuel Bourbon
      of caramel. It is used in the colouring of many Scotch whiskies, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it were to be used in bourbon too. Third, it isn’t so rich a taste that you regret adulterating it with a mixer, but fourth, it relishes the addition of a mixer like Coke or Pepsi. Indeed, to my surprise, this bourbon is actually enhanced by the addition of cold cola and, of course, ice. If you want a long drink on a hot summer evening as you watch the sun go down, I’d contend that you want something with taste (length would be a term I’d add, because the taste lasts after you swallow and that’s important) which doesn’t just make you heady by being too strong. Old Samuel, with all due deference to Jack Daniels is not as strong in my book. It is a milder
      drink which means that I, for one, can drink a good two or three long glasses of it and feel that I’m still on my game and not getting glassy-eyed or obnoxious.

      In the end, I must admit that the criterion that I judge a drink by is whether I enjoy the drink on its own (Old Samuel gets a thumbs-up there); whether it is a good price (Old Samuel is a cheap drink when compared to the aristocrats of the bourbon family); whether it takes a mixer without losing its identity (I would argue that it holds its own there admirably) and whether I would regard it as a drink that I would happily offer a guest in my house. The answer to the last question is that I would. I would also like to add a beautiful, summer sunset as a backdrop, but I can’t always manage that!




0
Mark Friedman says :

Nice review of Old Samuels.

Have not seen or tasted Old Samuels here in the US, but I do know that caramel coloring is not allowed in Bourbon production. All the color would have to come from the charred oak barrels.

Cheers, Mark

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Anglecynn replies :

Hi Mark,

I must admit that I didn’t know that. It is used in Scotch whisky manufacturing, I understand. Ah, well. Live and learn

Anglecynn

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0
Thomas Scanlon says :

Hello. I just bought a bottle of this.

It is not good. It doesn’t taste anything like Bourbon, although I will say that it is very smooth. I think that it’s smoothness does a lot to compensate for the lack of taste and length which to be honest you pay for. That’s why Jack and Jim are expensive. There is nothing here for a Connoisseur of Bourbon. It does remind me inordinately of my own adventures in distilling. I did make some half decent stuff which tasted extremely similar. That’s why I’m wondering about the taste, I made mine from wheat and sugar, which was effectively a Vodka or Everclear. This tastes very similiar to mine before the Carbon filtration. From what I know, Bourbon is Sour Mash from Corn. Strange. Doesn’t really taste like a Whiskey either.

I got this in Tesco, and even though it was cheap, I’m slightly disappointed. I wonder how Lidl and Aldi stack up with their Bargain Brands.

Anyway, this stuff works, there is Alchohol in it. Being a dypsomaniac and sometime Alco, I’ll drink it anyway Salut et bonne sante.

Regards,
Tom.

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Andrew Gray says :

Cheers

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JB says :

I love old sam deluxe - and so did the International Wine Spirit Competition - IWSC - awarding a silver medal no less I think it is very close in sweetness and depth to Jim Beam. Never understood the popularity of JD, unlike any other bourbon the charcoal process takes out the corn sweetness most look for in the first place. Must just have a mighty marketing budget

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0
Gints says :

I agree with the cola bit as this is how I tried it the first time (Pepsi ice), but second time I bought it I smelled it and tasted it on it’s own and I wasn’t pleasantly surprised at all. I don’t know if this was a bad batch, but it smelled like cheap vodka with a feint smell of bourbon which makes me think that the alcohol is added at later point of production. The taste on it’s own is not bad and in a long-drink with Pepsi and ice it still tastes surprisingly good. So for the price you pay it isn’t a bad drink, but would I give it IWSC silver award which it got in 2011? It would have to be a year after WW3 then may be.

Cheers and enjoy if you are on the budget, but when better times are coming go for Jack.

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Anglecynn says :

I think, on balance, that it’s probably best drunk as a mixer for many people. Some drinks come into their own when they’re mixed. Think of cocktails, for instance.

For a decent bourbon, drunk straight, or with ice, I would tend to go for Ol’ Grandad (if that’s the way it’s spelled), or Jack Daniels. The latter, incidentally, is made from an old Welsh whisky recipe. The spelling has changed to the American spelling, of course, so, it’s now, “whiskey”.

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Andrew Gray replies :

Cheers

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0
Trom says :

We blind tasted this against Jack and Jim and Sainsburys blended and it won hands down.

It was only when it got up against the expensive stuff it seemed lacking. But at less than half the price of Woodford hey it’s no bad deal.

My personal favourite is Makers Mark but it’s stupidly expensive in this country compared to overseas.

Overall genuinely surprising how good it is - especially if you are using it in cocktails. If you are drinking neat then pay more than 13.50

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0
Matthew Martin says :

Bear in mind that Jack Daniel’s is not bourbon. Bourbon is made (almost exclusively) in Kentucky. Jack Daniel’s distillery is in Tennessee and is actually sour mash whiskey, the difference being that whiskey is filtered after the distilling process and bourbon. It is a little unfair to compare one to the other given the difference in production methods.

You could certainly have compared it to Jim Beam however, which really is Kentucky bourbon.

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JB says :

I have been confused for years by this but I think I have the definitive answer here:
JD meets the regulatory criteria for classification as a straight bourbon, BUT the company disavows this classification and markets it simply as Tennessee whiskey rather than as Tennessee bourbon. As defined in the North American Free Trade Agreement, Tennessee Whiskey is classified as a straight bourbon authorized to be produced in the state of Tennessee. Running it through charcoal to remove the sweetness doesn’t remove its classification as a bourbon just makes it distinctive (distinctively undrinkable in my opinion).

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0
William says :

In my opinion, Old Samuel is on a par with Jim Beam. Similar smell and taste but I can tell the difference.
As far as the thing about JD whiskey and bourbon, Kentucky is the ONLY U.S. State allowed by law, patent or otherwise, to put its’ name before bourbon and it must be made in Kentucky. Since the name comes from Bourbon, Kentucky. Where it was originally made and named.
JD is not and has never been classified as a bourbon.

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-1
Baggins says :

40% proof? Proof and ABV arn’t the same, it’s either one or the other.

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Anglecynn replies :

I will admit that I drink the stuff, but I would not claim to be an expert on the niceties of what the difference between proof and ABV is. I don’t even know if I have heard of ABV

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Baggins says :

ABV (alcohol by volume) is the standard measurement of alcohol in the UK. Proof is the standard measurement of alcohol in the USA. The equivalent measurement of ABV in proof is exactly double (40% ABV 80 proof).

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Anglecynn replies :

To be honest, I am unfamiliar with ABV. I only know proof.

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Piers says :

Historically, proof was defined as the ratio of alcohol to water in rum, such that when it was poured over gunpowder, the gunpowder could still be lit. This equated to 57.15% alcohol by volume (ABV). 57.15% is very close to 4/7, so this simpler ratio was commonly used. For those in the UK it’s easy to remember as standard bottles of spirits used to be labelled as 70 degrees proof, but now say 40% alcohol.

In the US, however, they simply defined Proof as 50% alcohol, so 100 proof no longer has the connection to blowing things up. As a result a bottle of 100 proof spirit in the US is actually weaker than one in the UK (and sometimes in Canada).

For the record, the term 100% proof is meaningless, the unit of proof is the degree.

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Anglecynn replies :

That’s really helpful information, Piers. Thank you. I have always been puzzled by the different terms used

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Reported prices :
18.12 GBPamazon.co.uk
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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in June, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 2724061156680730/k2311a0624/6.24.10
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