View Full Version : Paging Dr. Gillman to the Vatting Lab

07-23-2008, 19:41
To Gillman or any other seasoned vatter:

I've got about half a handle of Rebel Yell (2005 bottling) which I don't mind as a mixer, but find to be dull.

Any ideas on what I might mix it with to give it some character?

As always, I like to stay on the middle shelf when possible- times are tough these days. I was thinking about ODGBIB, but I don't know how well it would mix with a wheater. Maybe I should track down Old Fitz BIB. I think I can find that somewhere in DFW.

Thanks in advanced for any hints or ideas!

07-23-2008, 19:50
I'm not a vatter (nor do I play one on TV) but I happen to be familiar with this bottle -- it's my brother-in-law's drink of choice. One night I had the same conclusion as you as to its, well, dullness, and rummaged in his cabinet until I found a nip of Rare Breed. The fruit and rye complemented the smooth corn of the Rebel Yell nicely. To keep it on the middle shelf, WT101 should suffice -- or maybe the Russell's Reserve?

(On the other hand, Gary just nailed the Virtual Blind Tasting on my admittedly piss-poor tasting notes, so if he has a better recommendation, I'd go for it!)

07-23-2008, 19:53
Mix some Weller 12 with it. I would think that Old Fitz BIB, aside from perhaps raising the proof somewhat, would be too close in age to the Rebel Yell to matter much!


07-23-2008, 19:53
I hadn't thought of WT101, but that is a favorite barroom pour for me. It would give me an excuse to buy a bottle for the house.

Any other suggestions?

07-23-2008, 20:10
I gotta agree with all the suggestions including your own, Jack, OGBIB would be perfect. I'd try 2:1 Rebel Yell to the OG. The anise punch in the OG will diffuse into and enrichen the RY; the RY conversely will soften down the OG ("display" in Scots blending terminology). I think you will come up with something quite different to either of 'em. However the other suggestions again are all very sound. Weller 12 would be great and here you would be sticking with the wheated approach. I'd go 50/50 there or maybe again 2:1 the Weller 12 to the Rebel Yell. The Rare Breed idea is very good too, maybe 2:1 Rare Breed to RY.

If you had any straight rye, even 3:1 RY to the rye would produce something very good.

(And Kevin your notes were excellent!).


07-23-2008, 20:12
I'm in the same boat. I have a little Rebel Yell left and was wondering what I could use to spice it up a little. I was thinking about using what I have left of a bottle of OGD 114. Any thoughts? Joe

07-23-2008, 20:16
But whatever you do, be sure to put the RY in the mixing vessel first and then add the other whiskey. That way you're making a poor spirit better and not making a good one worse. :lol:

(Yeah, I'm a hack and I steal lines.)

07-23-2008, 20:26
I would use Weller 12, but I like it so much straight that I'd hate to mess with the mojo. On the other hand, that, it should taste great.

But given availibility and price, I think Gary just gave me permission to trust my instincts with OGDBIB. I'm 90% sure I'll go that direction.

Once I make up my mind which way to go and get the mixing done, I'll report back with my findings.

07-24-2008, 06:54
how about some Tom Moore Bib. You can get a handle of it for about $20(the same price as a 750 of OGD). Should help give your Rebel some Yell.

07-24-2008, 07:10
Rebel Yell and OG 114 would be as good or maybe even better than RY and OGBIB since OG 114 is a full-bodied whiskey of high proof. I find all the OGs similar, it is only proof and perhaps a little more age than distinguishes the 114 IMO.


07-24-2008, 11:14

Do you know anyplace in DFW who stocks the Tom Moore BIB? I've never seen it before. (Then again, I never knew to look for it before either.)

I'm all for getting a quality vatting and trying a new bourbon all for $20 or less.

07-24-2008, 13:08
If you have in your bunker something very old and woody, like Elijah Craig 18 or Pure Kentucky XO, a little bit of that could make a big difference in your Rebel Yell.

07-24-2008, 15:31

I haven't been at this long enough (and I don't make enough money) to have a substantial bunker full of very old bourbons. I do have a few different 10-12 year old choices.

As my vatting vessel is a 375ml flask and as I have half a handle of RY, I will get to do this a couple of times.

07-24-2008, 20:42
What is (if any) the proper vatting vessel....a cocktail shaker? Or just pour them into the glass and gently swish the whiskeys to "marry them"? Stir them? Individually, I would think a higher proof bourbon has a lower specific gravity. Ethyl Alcohol has a s.g. of 785 (compared to water "1000") http://www.csgnetwork.com/specificgravliqtable.html

....but since alcohol is "miscible" with water ...Wiki:


"Miscibility is a term in chemistry that refers to the property of liquids to mix in all proportions, forming a homogeneous solution. In principle, the term applies also to other phases (solids and gases), but the main focus is on the solubility of one liquid in another. Water and ethanol, for example, are miscible since they mix in all proportions."

"...For example, among the alcohols, ethanol has two carbon atoms and is miscible with water, whereas octanol with a C8H17 substituent is not..."

I suppose anything goes....the two come together as a new solution.

P.S. I think a slightly unequal pour of 60% PA Rye and 40% Rebel Yell would create a new vatted bourbon called a "Gettysburg."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToeY7MkCm0c :)

07-24-2008, 21:18
I did like the Idol Vid, Thanks for that.

Vatted a Booker's to Weller Fall'06 BTAC 50/50 in a low ball glass over one very large cube.

That's a wheater and a rye at high proof. I figure I sipped it just south of 120 proof at the beginning. The Beam character dominated and that was real surprise to me.

07-25-2008, 04:07
I've always found that whiskeys mix well however it is done. I just swirl them in the glass. Commercial blended whiskies are sometimes subjected to a forced air process to assist marrying and blending. I can't say if this improves a mixture, but for practical, home purposes it doesn't matter I think.


07-25-2008, 15:44
I just pour into the flask, give a shake, and wait a day. I don't know that shaking and waiting helps, but it doesn't seem to hurt either.

07-28-2008, 17:40
Jack, I'm late replying, but nearly every GoodyGoody liquor in Dallas has Tom Moore BIB in 1.75L plastic bottles. If you ever have time to stop by my place for a drink, I can also pour you some stuff bottled 20-odd years ago that has a distinct butterscotch candy taste.


07-28-2008, 17:47

The butterscotch flavors sound good. I just may take you up on that. And thanks for the tip on the Tom Moore BIB.

For my first attempt at vatting the RY, I just mixed 3 parts RY to 1 part HMBIB. I'm letting the mixture sit for the night and I'll be tasting it tomorrow.

As my vatting flask is small, I will have Yell left for later experiments. So anyone with more suggestions, feel free to toss 'em out. I figure I can do two more vattings before all is said and done.

07-29-2008, 10:47
For my first attempt at vatting the RY, I just mixed 3 parts RY to 1 part HMBIB. I'm letting the mixture sit for the night and I'll be tasting it tomorrow.

Swing and a miss. This mixture just makes a muddled mess- not good. Any fellow bourbon alchemists out there be warned.

07-29-2008, 11:49
Here is an example of a successful vatting/mingling. 3:1 Woodford Reserve to Old Forester Signature. This is one of the best vats I ever did. Of course, OF has a close affinity to WR since it is added anyway to Versailles pot still whiskey by Chris Morris except aged at Versailles. It would work though with other bourbons too if they are similiar in palate to OF. The OF cuts the heavy mineral/congener-like taste some WR's have. Yet, you are left with the body and flavor that a pot still whiskey should contribute. It reminds me of earlier WRs when presumably they used more Louisville distillate (column still) and less Versailles from the triple pot still. It is elegant, rich, dry and sweet at the same time, just smoky enough but not "too", perfect. (Plus the final proof jumps to a nice 96 or so).


07-29-2008, 17:09
Sounds great, Gary. I actually bought WR some months ago for the purpose of vatting with OF and KC based on a vatting of yours I read about.

I vatted the following tonight:

1 part Handy Rye
1 part Charter 101
1 part ER 90

These are all, of course, from the same distillery and presumably use the same yeast (the Charter and ER share a mashbill, too, IIRC). However, the straight rye and high proof of Handy lift the other two out of simple sweetness and bring the profile more in line with a high-rye bourbon (in contrast to the very low rye content of most BT bourbon). I've tried to learn from your treatises on vatting, and am only now resuming some bourbon sampling after months without: I'll probably try some more adventurous vattings soon, but this is a good start.


07-29-2008, 17:18
Excellent essay there, Tim, thanks.


08-07-2008, 19:01
I think I found a real winner.

This bottle of Yell mixed equally with Old Fitz BIB creates something similar to MM and very drinkable.

If I have any left, I may give Tom Moore BIB a try, but at the moment, I am quite content.

08-08-2008, 07:36
Yell and Fitz are both wheaters, and the proof should round out to 90. So, assuming the Fitz is Bernheim production, you've basically got a Bernheim version of MM. It's a vatting that makes sense and Fitz has much more character than the Rebel Yell so it should make for a more interesting drink. Well done.


08-08-2008, 08:57
I fully agree. Sometimes a good result comes from the unity of the constituents. Sometimes it comes from their differences.