Well, it’s finally reaching the end.  Thanks to all the writers, bloggers, podcasters, and enthusiasts who contributed to “If I Had a Benjamin.”  Also thanks to Gary (@GQuiz), for starting the conversation, and to all those who commented on various message boards, on the posts, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Judging from the number of page views, I’d say it has been a success.  If you haven’t been following along, you can access all the If I had a Benjamin posts here.

So with that, let’s look back at what we’ve learned from the whole exercise.

1. There is a very wide range of preferences and tastes amongst writers and drinkers.  The answers were really across the board on this one.  No single whiskey was listed on more than 4 lists.  That was a little surprising.

Here’s the complete run-down of all the whiskeys submitted by the Bourbon Brain Trust:

Whiskey Count
Elijah Craig 12 Year Small Batch 4
Old Grand-Dad 114 4
Old Weller Antique 4
Bulleit Rye 3
Four Roses Single Barrel 3
Old Forester Signature 3
Old Grand-Dad BiB 3
Rittenhouse Rye BiB 3
Heaven Hill 6 Year BiB 2
Knob Creek Single Barrel 2
W.L. Weller Special Reserve 2
1792 Ridgemont Reserve 1
A Straight Rye Whiskey 1
Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star 1
Benchmark 8 1
Bernheim Wheat Whiskey 1
Col. E.H. Taylor Small Batch 1
Evan Williams White Label BiB 1
Four Roses Barrel Select (OBSK or OESO) 1
Four Roses Barrel Select (OBSV) LUSH Private Selection 1
Four Roses Small Batch 1
George Dickel Barrel Select 1
Johnny Drum Private Stock 1
Kentucky Tavern 1
Knob Creek 1
Knob Creek (50ml) 1
Maker’s Mark 1
Old Fitzgerald BiB 1
Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Year Bourbon 1
Very Old Barton BiB 1
W.L. Weller 12 Year 1
Wild Turkey 101 1
Wild Turkey Rare Breed 1


As might be expected, the larger producers tended to appear on the lists more often as well, with Heaven Hill leading the way with 12 selections, followed by Jim Beam and Buffalo Trace with 11 and 10 respectively.  Not a lot of “Craft” distillers on the list.

Barton 1792 3
Brown-Forman 3
Buffalo Trace 10
Diageo 4
Four Roses 6
Heaven Hill 12
Jim Beam 11
Maker’s Mark 1
NA 1
Smooth Ambler 1
Wild Turkey 2


2. There was a lot of agreement on certain bourbons amongst writers and especially on social media.  In particular, Elijah Craig, Old Weller Antique, and Old Grand-Dad 114 got plenty of love on forums and elsewhere- in addition to being the three most popular selections from our panel.

3. Those who voted in our online poll thought that Clair submitted the best list.  So if there is a trophy floating around out there somewhere, someone please send it her way. This wasn’t without a bit of controversy, however, as a couple panel members questioned her pricing on the Four Roses Barrel Select.  I call sour grapes on that, though I’m pretty sure it was all done in good humour.  Cheers to Clair for her picks!

Thanks for voting!  You get a sticker!
Brian finished a close second, with me trailing a distant 3rd (and 4th, if you count my second list).  If you added both mine together, I still only tied for 2nd.  That hurts.

4. If we had to build a new list for “If I had a Benjamin” from the submissions of the panel, the top 4 selections that would price out at right around a Benjamin would be:

Elijah Craig Small Batch

Elijah Craig 12 year

Old Grand-Dad 114

Old Grand-Dad 114

Old Weller Antique

Old Weller Antique 4

Old Forester Signature

old forester signature

That’s all for now from the Bourbon Brain Trust.  Hopefully, we’ll have another effort from the group in the future.  Thanks for reading along!  Cheers!


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About Author

Bill is the Co-Founder, Editor-in Chief, and official Bourbon-o-Phile for ModernThirst.com, and the President and Chief Blending Officer for Four Gate Whiskey Company. He is a native of Louisville, KY in the heart of Bourbon Country. He attended the University of Kentucky in the mid to late 1990s. He has also been published on Liquor.com. He has conducted various bourbon and whiskey tastings in cities across the country, and consulted for multiple national labels. He is married with two daughters, and lives in east Louisville. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BillStraub and email him at Bill@ModernThirst.com.

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