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View Full Version : Why is this Rock Hill Farms so good?



StraightNoChaser
02-27-2012, 17:10
I have some RHF that was bottled in 2001. While I haven't gone and compared it side by side with the bottle currently on the shelves, I have tried RHF previously and found it completely underwhelming, in the same way I feel about most of BT's bourbons. I tend to taste a sour, acidic note in just about everything else they make that isn't BTAC. It's a complete turnoff.

I drink bourbon more than I "taste" it so I'm not the type to take tasting notes and make obscure descriptions about what I'm drinking. I am more likely to simply observe the nose, flavor and finish and determine whether or not it is pleasurable. There are varying degrees of "goodness" to me as well, so I do have a way of distinguishing what I like more and less.

I find that this 01 bottle of RHF has a lot more goodness to it than more recent ones I've tried, by a long shot. The texture and spice level are right at my sweet spot. I couldn't say this compares at all to the RHF I've had before.

I'm susceptible to believe that this is old bottle effect. While I do like this now, I don't remember caring for it much when I opened it nearly 8-9 months ago. It didn't have the character BT sourness I am inclined to pick up but it wasn't for me. It certainly didn't hit my mouth with a luscious spicy texture like it does now.

I am also curious to know if there were any major equipment or production technique changes in the 90s that would have altered the character of the bourbon we see on the shelves today. I believe this RHF was distilled in winter of 93 so it would have been after that.

It will be interesting to hear opinions on this phenomenon. If the consensus leans towards OBE then I'll be somewhat tickled as I've never really been able to notice it before. If you guys emphasize production changes... I might have to seek out some more older BT distillates...

StraightNoChaser
02-27-2012, 18:15
My friends seem to agree this is an above average bottle too. A few of them tried it before (doubt they remember) and it wasn't great to them then...

Stormeh
02-27-2012, 18:53
Honestly, I enjoy the current versions of RHF. Never had an 01 but I'm sure production was different, at least to a minor extent then.

StraightNoChaser
02-27-2012, 22:06
I think I got my terminology mixed up in the original post. By OBE I really meant "breathing" i.e. the bottle oxidizing slowly after it's opened. I figured OBE could be an effect as well, but not much for a bottle only 11 years old

Young Blacksmith
02-28-2012, 06:56
I think air time, breathing, has a lot to do with how a bourbon tastes.

Open an EC-12 today, and come back to it 6 months from now. I find two different tastes. Fresh its more sweet and is phenomenal. 6 months later it tastes like a lower priced HH product, minty, a little harder to drink.

ratcheer
02-28-2012, 07:45
All RHF I have ever tried has been excellent. It is probably my No. 1 all-time favorite bourbon.

Tim

Gillman
02-28-2012, 08:30
I agree that time in the bottle, particularly when partly full, seems generally to improve bourbon and rye. I suppose the process starts from the day of barreling. Except, given the high proof and initial high levels of a barrel of whiskey, the softening probably proceeds at a slower rate, a lower lift vector you might say, than when the proof is reduced to bottling strength. In either case, what is happening I believe is ongoing vaporization of certain co-products of fermentation in the whiskey. One might wonder why such vaporization should make the whiskey better and not worse or unchanged. In some cases, indeed there seems little change or what there is is for the worse. However, the complex chemistry involved probably tends towards improvement in palate, all things being equal.

Once the bottle level goes below a certain point the lift vector slows again and ultimately you get a dirty metallic-like taste and the whiskey is off. Usually whiskey is not kept long enough in bottle for this to happen and anyway as Chuck Cowdery says, whiskey don't keep.

Gary

Steve99
02-28-2012, 09:28
I am a big fan of Rock Hill as well. It can be pretty hard to find around these parts. I do have a hard time in a blind taste telling the difference from Blanton's though.

Steve

ratcheer
02-28-2012, 13:41
I am a big fan of Rock Hill as well. It can be pretty hard to find around these parts. I do have a hard time in a blind taste telling the difference from Blanton's though.

Steve

For good reason. Except for proof and barrel selection, they are the same whiskey.

Tim

StraightNoChaser
02-28-2012, 18:51
All RHF I have ever tried has been excellent. It is probably my No. 1 all-time favorite bourbon.

Tim
I have definitely heard a lot of praise for it, just never personally hit my spot like it does now