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View Full Version : Bourbon with a molasses/honey taste HELP!



roovelroe
09-19-2008, 06:06
I got a jar of "home made" bourbon from a friend who has a relative in Kentucky. Don't really know where it came from. It is WONDERFUL! Problem is I can't get any more. I have been looking for a bourbon with the same characteristics: strong honey/molasses taste and even a very slightly sweet taste...maybe even a bit of caramel? I asked at the local liquor store and was directed to 1792, Makers mark, and Knob creek. I really like the 1792, but it isn't close to the taste. The others have none of the above listed tastes.
Can anyone here offer some advice?

OscarV
09-19-2008, 12:19
Get some WLWeller Special Reserve.
That might be close.

jwrussell
09-19-2008, 12:23
Unfortunately descriptors can be so subjective. Based on your description I'm not surprised you were directed to the ones you mention.

Try Bakers.

bluesbassdad
09-19-2008, 18:17
I got a jar of "home made" bourbon from a friend who has a relative in Kentucky. Don't really know where it came from. It is WONDERFUL! Problem is I can't get any more. I have been looking for a bourbon with the same characteristics: strong honey/molasses taste and even a very slightly sweet taste...maybe even a bit of caramel? I asked at the local liquor store and was directed to 1792, Makers mark, and Knob creek. I really like the 1792, but it isn't close to the taste. The others have none of the above listed tastes.
Can anyone here offer some advice?

Welcome to the board. You may wish to introduce yourself in the Newcomer's section.

From your description I assume that the sample you have is actually home made only in the sense that your friend mixed two or more readily available bourbons. We have a few members who love to do that very thing. (Right, Gary? :grin: )

If I'm correct, then I predict you will never match the sample exactly. There are an infinte number of possible formulas. Besides, if you continue to drink bourbon regularly, your taste will change.

The only bourbon I can recall in which I have detected a honey flavor is Wild Turkey Rare Breed. However, it was combined with a floral note. Furthermore, different batches of Rare Breed taste slightly different to me.

As for the molasses I believe someone has already mentioned Baker's and Knob Creek, both of which have a trace of a burnt/sweet flavor that one might liken to molasses.

I wonder whether we can entice Gillman into trying to crack the formula. :grin: We'll probably have to wait until after the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, though.

BTW many bourbons have a hint of caramel as a natural consequence, so I'm told, of the partial carbonizing of sugars in the char of the white oak barrel. Old Fitzgerald BIB is one such bourbon that stands out in my memory.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Sijan
09-23-2008, 17:52
You should probably try Virginia Gentleman - the 90 proof aka "The Fox", not the cheapo 80 proof.

Gillman
09-23-2008, 18:30
Not sure what is meant by home-made, I assume it is a blend of bourbons and as Dave said, in practice this will be difficult to copy, even if you get the formula. You might try adding a dash of brown sugar or honey to a bourbon you like. Rock Hill Farms tends to be sweet and rich, or Elmer T. Lee. I'd start with one of those (or Jack Daniel Single Barrel).

Gary

cowdery
09-24-2008, 10:33
My suggestions would be W.L. Weller Special Reserve, or 12-year-old, or Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond.

I'm surprised Gary didn't mention that he and I were just discussing this very thing, a rum-like molasses taste in bourbon.

Gary also is assuming you tasted a home vatting, but if what you tasted was moonshine, the taste likely comes from the table sugar (not grain) base of most contemporary moonshine. If it was dark it probably wasn't aged but rather flavored and colored, and may, as suggested, contain actual molasses, sorghum syrup, or honey.

What some people call "home made" is not from a moonshine base but is simply vodka to which flavorings and colorings has been added. In most home brew stores you can buy bourbon "essence" which, when added to vodka, results in something vaguely similar to real bourbon.

Gillman
09-24-2008, 11:08
I agree with Chuck's bourbon suggestions. If what was tasted was not bourbon, I doubt many of us can help here... If it was based on moonshine and you get the formula, my advice is to buy some corn whiskey and use that as the base, or perhaps vodka (or a combination).

Chuck and I were just talking indeed about bourbons that seem to offer a chocolate/molasses and perhaps rum-like note.

I suspect these tastes are congeners produced by specific yeast types and perhaps are similar to some yeasts used to ferment washes to make dark rum. This bourbon type is not well-represented today in the market.

Gary

NeoTexan
09-24-2008, 12:18
And there is American Honey. (Perhaps too much honey taste?)

Gillman
09-24-2008, 12:22
Good suggestion, Dale. Maybe cut it 50/50 or to taste with Russell's Reserve or some other WT bourbon.

Gary

Gillman
09-24-2008, 12:24
By the way early versions of Elmer T. Lee seemed to me quite similar to the older form of bourbon that Chuck and I were talking about, as did stablemate Rock Hill Farms. They still have a profile I'd call sweetish, non-complex, which is why I suggested them earlier, but I have found recent bottlings not as good as what I remember.

Gary

NeoTexan
09-24-2008, 12:29
Good suggestion, Dale. Maybe cut it 50/50 or to taste with Russell's Reserve or some other WT bourbon.

Gary

Emily loves this stuff but it is even to much for my sweet tooth. Cutting it though sounds like something I would like to try. Perhaps even a 75/25 blend. I'll give it try tonight.

cowdery
09-24-2008, 15:02
Not to nit pick, but I would probably start with 80/20 or even less. A little of that stuff goes a long way. Use it as you would sweet vermouth in making a manhattan.

But I also like the idea and if I had a bottle of American Honey, I'd try it.

By the way, I always suspected that WT American Honey was made in Fort Smith, AR, where Pernod's Hiram Walker liqueurs are made, but it is made in Lawrenceburg and shipped in bulk to Fort Smith, which is where Wild Turkey is bottled.