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Gillman
06-15-2011, 15:55
Over the years, I'd amassed 26 bottles of blending experiments. Some were all-bourbon and/or straight rye, but most were mixtures of bourbon or straight rye and Canadian whisky, in some cases, lightly flavoured with rock and rye or Southern Comfort. I remember one had an extract of prunes in it. These were inspired by Jos. Fleischman's 1880's blending manual to which I've referred before on the board.

Inevitably, I'd recombine some, or get tired of them, and some I didn't like, so I just set them aside. Three or four would throw a haze when you lifted the bottle. This was from fruit residues from the rock and rye or from deposits precipitated by the different whiskies mixed.

I decided, almost on a whim, to combine them in one grand blending.

A gent I know had a carboy large enough to hold the 26 bottles, and he had a filter, so the 26 bottles went into the carboy, sat for two days to marry, and the mixture was then filtered and bottled in clear wine bottles. I got 24 1/2 bottles from it, the part missing was a heavy wet sediment we couldn't use but I didn't want anyway, and one of the 26 bottles was only partially filled.

I'd estimate about half was bourbon or straight rye - when I say bourbon I include some JD - the rest mostly Canadian whisky but with some neutral spirits (vodka) in there as well because I know I used some to follow some of the Fleischman recipes. Maybe 50% rye/bourbon, 40% Canadian whisky, 10% vodka, and a little of the liqueurs mentioned. One of the all-straights combined two ryes over 20 years old and A.H. Hirsch 16 gold foil.

Result: excellent! It has a medium honey gold colour, a bit like Maker's Mark, say. It does not taste like bourbon or rye, but rather like a very good Canadian whisky with a touch of peachy sweetness. It's very rounded and integrated in taste despite probably there being a couple of hundred whiskies in it if you factor the components of the Canadian whiskies in there.

It's a one of a kind to be sure. I will work up some labels and bring some to Bardstown in the fall. I really like it, there are no off-flavours, some good notes of the straights in there but in overall a lighter blend interpretation of what North American whisky can be. Perfect for the season.

It's nice too to gaze at the two boxes filled with 12 bottles each of clear good-tasting whisky in a uniform format. Whereas before, I felt I could get no use out of the components.

Gary

BourbonKiller
06-15-2011, 16:29
Pretty funny that its good and you like it. The funny part being that when its gone its gone and you will be left with only the memories of how great it was.

Gillman
06-15-2011, 17:10
Well, it came out different than I thought, more blended whisky-like than straight bourbon or rye, but it truly is just fine. There was (I see now) more Canadian whisky in the bottles than I had thought. (Maybe that's why I set them aside :)).

Gary

Parkersback
06-15-2011, 17:18
Wonderful, Gary.

Do you have accurate knowledge of what was in every bottle?

Gillman
06-15-2011, 17:37
Not really (I should have taken notes) but I know generally what was in them. A wide range of bourbons such as we often discuss here (Woodford, VOB, Makers, EC 18 and 12, Jack in all bottlings, many Beams, etc etc. including numerous dusties especially ND OT), ditto of rye both younger and older, many Canadian whiskies including some from the 50's and 60's, e.g. Crown Royal in various iterations, Danfields of different ages, Century 21, Proof (a new craft-image whisky), Barrel Select, Royal Reserve, numerous CC's.

Even though the components are many, the building blocks really are few: straight whiskey of different ages, Canadian whisky ditto, a little peach flavour from the liqueurs, and a little GNS. If you made a blend from one of each of these in the proportions I mentioned, provided the whiskies were of medium age, it probably would taste close to mine.

Gary

Parkersback
06-15-2011, 18:04
...including numerous dusties especially ND OT

If ND OT was component of some note, it doesn't surprise me that the whole tasted closer to a Canadian than to a straight. In another thread I mentioned I finished a bottle of ND OT from the mid-70's last night, and it tasted like... I don't know, like a sweet, rich, mild brandy, maybe? Absolutely no burn: more like a musty, woody butterscotch. It's certainly not a stretch to say it tasted Canadian.

Gillman
06-15-2011, 18:35
Good points Tom, its mildness fit in well here. I used mainly 80 proof but some 86 as well. However, there were some pungent whiskies in there too, e.g., the 4 grain WR. It all sort of evened and rounded out; it is not bland by any means though.

I would say, taking as an average for the bourbon/rye, regular WR would stand in to choose one. Then, say, regular CR for the Canadian. Dash any vodka. Dash Leroux rock and rye or Southern Comfort. That would be similar to mine I think in the proportions I mentioned.

Gary

Bourbon Boiler
06-15-2011, 19:28
Interesting project. Hope you enjoy, and don't miss it when it's gone.

tip
06-15-2011, 20:14
Any idea about what proof you ended up with?

Sounds like something that would make an interesting Manhattan.

Gillman
06-16-2011, 01:34
I'd say about 90 proof judging by the taste and effect. It would go very well in any cocktail or mixed drink, for sure.

Gary

callmeox
06-16-2011, 05:00
I hope to try Gillman's Macro Blend this fall after enjoying a number of the micro blend components.