Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poll Results: Pappy vs. BTAC

It looks like the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection wins the poll that pitted it against the Van Winkle line.  The results weren't quite as one sided as our Irish vs. Canadian poll, but BTAC still won handily.  I received votes in the comments section, on Twitter and by email. 

Readers who picked BTAC mentioned both variety and price, and many thought it was an easy answer.  Commenter James opined, "You might as well ask people if they prefer receiving a million dollars (tax free) or a kick in the crotch."  As AaronWF said, "Honestly, I think I'd take the Van Winkle and just hoard all the old-stock [Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye] until it's gone."

But Van Winkle had its defenders, particularly those who thought it was worth getting Stitzel-Weller and the current Van Winkle rye even if those stocks will eventually run out.

It's interesting that BTAC won the day on this given Van Winkle's outsized reputation.  It's true that BTAC has variety on its side, you get a wheated bourbon, two rye recipe bourbons and two straight ryes.  With Van Winkle you get six wheated bourbons and one straight rye.  I was surprised that no one lamented the lack of cask strength Van Winkles in their response, which is another advantage of BTAC. 

Still, given that Stitzel-Weller is one of the most loved of all distilleries, I'm surprised Van Winkle didn't get more votes.

Thanks for playing.  If you have an idea for a future poll, let me know.


Ben said...

Cool poll Sku, unfortunately forever is a long time and BTAC has such amazing selections of different styles... Can't turn my back on WLW.

Anonymous said...

BTAC is one rye recipe bourbon and one straight rye, bottled at cask or 90 proof, from varying warehouse locations and # of barrels... or a stainless tank. And of course, the wheat grain bourbon.

JSJ said...

I'd love to see a follow-up poll with the same premise but greater restriction.

Which would you rather drink for the rest of your life: your favorite BTAC or your favorite Van Winkle?

To make it less hypothetical, let's assume each line will continue to vary year to year. That is to say, you're not comparing, for example, 2006 WLW to 2008 PVW 20, only WLW and PVW 20 as they will be released going forward.

sku said...

Anon, BTAC is two rye recipe bourbons (Stagg and Eagle Rare), two straight ryes (Handy and Saz 18) and one wheater (Weller).

Anonymous said...

Sku: http://sourmashmanifesto.com/2011/03/29/buffalo-trace-bourbon/

sku said...

Anon, it looks like you were talking about individual mashbills and I was talking about bottles. The BTAC includes five expressions but only three mashbills. Both Stagg and Eagle Rare are Rye Mash 1, Weller is the wheat mash and both Handy and Saz are the straight rye.

In total, BT now has access to two other mashbills, the Age International bourbon mash (Bourbon Mash 2) which is used for Elmer T. Lee, Ancient Age, Rockhill Farms and Blanton's, and now, the Barton mashbill, since they purchased that distillery.