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Enoch
09-10-2010, 14:35
There is a flavor or taste I notice in young bourbons (Jim Beam White, Ancient Age, Old Crow) that I don't notice in older bourbons. Don't really care for it. Very hard to describe. Does anyone know what it is?

kickert
09-10-2010, 14:46
There is a flavor or taste I notice in young bourbons (Jim Beam White, Ancient Age, Old Crow) that I don't notice in older bourbons. Don't really care for it. Very hard to describe. Does anyone know what it is?

If I had to guess, it is probably grain notes from the mash that have not yet been masked by the barrel.

ethangsmith
09-12-2010, 15:14
Yep. I notice it in my Cabin Still, Heaven Hill white label, and my Old Crow Reserve. I don't dislike it. All it is, as said above, is just grain flavors that are still overpowering the weak barrel taste. Usually those whiskeys are not as refined either meaning they could contain a slightly higher percentage of tails than other "upper shelf" products. That could account for some strange flavors too.

Dr. François
09-12-2010, 16:02
Assuming we're talking about the same flavor, I compare it to sucking on uncooked spaghetti.

ethangsmith
09-12-2010, 17:19
Yep. That's what I figured the original poster was talking about too.

Gillman
09-14-2010, 03:29
It's likely co-products of fermentation which are modified or eliminated by years of barrel aging but still manifest in some bourbons at younger ages. Often the flavors are oily or chemical-like. These have a boiling point at or above that of alcohol, and in bourbon's process unless that of vodka, say, they are retained to form part of the character of the product. Indeed they are essential to it because even in the aged product, they play a role in the character of the whisky. Many people reserve the younger products for mixing or cocktails. An odd-seeming thing is that many mixed drinks taste better with younger whiskey than older. There is a synergy between the vigorous oily taste and the mix that you don't get with a more neutral-tasting older product. The older products taste best on their own.

Gary

Gillman
09-14-2010, 03:30
I believe it's co-products of fermentation which are modified or eliminated by years of barrel aging but which still manifest in some bourbons at younger ages. Often the flavors are oily or chemical-like. These have a boiling point at or above that of alcohol, and in bourbon's process unless that of vodka, say, they are retained to form part of the character of the product. Indeed they are essential to it because even in the aged product, they play a role in the character of the whisky. Many people reserve the younger products for mixing or cocktails. An odd-seeming thing is that many mixed drinks taste better with younger whiskey than older. There is a synergy between the vigorous oily taste and the mix that you don't get with a more neutral-tasting older product. The older products taste best on their own.

Gary

B.B. Babington
09-16-2010, 17:57
Congeners, poorer profile.

There is a difference in how a distiller handles a product for particular market. If it's for mass market, crank out mash/distillate fast, store barrels in poorer parts of the house, label and ship it.

And there's pick and choose. A single barrel isn't just a single barrel. Jim or Harlan or the other masters take the best and leave the rest.

edit to add: Often these products do seem more corn % (or more like typical canadian) and less interesting, but sometimes these budget offerings can be surprising and tasty