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Dolph Lundgren
05-07-2013, 06:19
I'm not a fan of "craft" whiskey. Its too woody and young; there is something statutory about it all. But I had a chance to taste Journeyman Distillery's Kissing Cousins at WhiskeyFest this year, and I was impressed. It wasn't liquid gold - but it was good..more than just palatable, which I think goes a long way. Kissing Cousins is only a year old and finished in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel. The wine influence is strong and flavor profile is not typical - but its good, so who cares. If I run across a bottle, I'll buy one.


We crap on a lot of "craft" whiskey here on SB, and most of it is merited (check out the most recent "Cleveland Bourbon Whiskey" thread). But there might be some decent micros lurking out there. Are there any that you are willing to plug on SB? If so, what bottles are worth our time and money?

omgmarclol
05-07-2013, 08:57
i'm digging koval's lines. i'm really crushing on dark oat with this warmer weather.

squire
05-07-2013, 09:31
I an in favor of craft whiskys and wish success to all who make their own stock. I doubt I'll be a customer though because I view whisky as a daily commodity and since there is an abundance of first rate four year old stuff available at rock bottom prices I won't be paying a premium for craft products. Twenty years ago perhaps but not now, wish them well though.

VAGentleman
05-07-2013, 09:37
I've tried a bunch of craft bourbons and have yet to try one that tasted good to my palette. Hopefully some of the micro's will go to bigger barrels and let them age more. That being said a few of the non bourbon whiskies are interesting and have a decent taste such as Balcones Brimstone and MB Roland Black Dog.

callmeox
05-07-2013, 11:11
Tom's Foolery doesn't have any whiskey in release yet, but what I've tasted from their aging stock makes me very hopeful that I will find a micro that I can drink. :D

luther.r
05-07-2013, 11:50
The only micro I've been impressed with is the Leopold Bros. American Small Batch Whiskey. It doesn't try to be a highly-aged product, but it's great for what it is. I'd like to try the McKenzie Rye, as well as other things Tom makes when they get older.

MyOldKyDram
05-07-2013, 13:39
I really like some of the things that Corsair is doing. Balcones, too.

ramblinman
05-07-2013, 14:14
I've only had Balcones True Blue, but I thought it was a very tasty high proof corn whiskey.If I see any of their other offerings at a bar I wouldn't hesitate to try it.

DBM
05-07-2013, 15:15
I think the majority opinion is that craft distillers can't compete with the establishment for traditional whisky, and especially bourbon. This often results in a business model that requires a brand to make a name for themselves with a product that is unique, that doesn't directly compete with Beam, HH, BT, etc. The result is whisky with flavor profiles that can be polarizing to consumers, or that requires gimmicky marketing to make it on retail shelves.

I personally like Woodinville Whiskey Rye, but for its $50 asking price (after 55% Washington State taxes) I would pick up a bottle of Rittenhouse BIB or Bulleit Rye at nearly half the price for a better bottle. The craft distillers need to make a product that has no alternative (and optionally with a plan to offer a good 4 to 6 year old product in quantity). Balcones and Corsair are two that come to mind that are doing this successfully. I would be surprised if any craft distillers are making "traditional" whisky that is both 1) equally as good as an established product and 2) competitively priced with an established product.

Alden
05-07-2013, 16:14
We have one here, Winter Park Distilling Company. I tried their "Bear Gully Corn" and it just tasted like vodka to me.

http://www.wpdistilling.com/

This is more interesting to me. When I was a kid my dad would take me on drives to Winter Park's Genius Drive, where there were flocks of wild peacocks. It's a back road in WP where some one long ago started raising the birds and they just flourished for many years.

http://www.wpdistilling.com/page8.html

HighInTheMtns
05-07-2013, 16:36
We have one here, Winter Park Distilling Company. I tried their "Bear Gully Corn" and it just tasted like vodka to me.

http://www.wpdistilling.com/

This is more interesting to me. When I was a kid my dad would take me on drives to Winter Park's Genius Drive, where there were flocks of wild peacocks. It's a back road in WP where some one long ago started raising the birds and they just flourished for many years.

http://www.wpdistilling.com/page8.html
How about that single barrel that has some age on it? Have you tried that? Nicely proofed... They say it's a traditional charred oak barrel, wonder if their traditions extend to full size barrels?

Alden
05-07-2013, 16:47
How about that single barrel that has some age on it? Have you tried that? Nicely proofed... They say it's a traditional charred oak barrel, wonder if their traditions extend to full size barrels?

Not yet. It's kind of expensive.

Danger
05-08-2013, 09:39
Nothing starts as a massive mainstream institution.

Richnimrod
05-08-2013, 14:15
I an in favor of craft whiskys and wish success to all who make their own stock. I doubt I'll be a customer though because I view whisky as a daily commodity and since there is an abundance of first rate four year old stuff available at rock bottom prices I won't be paying a premium for craft products. Twenty years ago perhaps but not now, wish them well though.
:rolleyes: I'm with ya' squire. I truly hope that at least a few of the crafters do well and succeed in bringing to market some interesting, and even innovative juice. I'm no fan of 'flavored' stuff, but I'm hopeful that there are other things (Balcones has a few, and to a more-flavored extent so does Corsair) they can/will do to make a marketable product at a profit. However, I'm also with ya' on the price comparisons to juice that's almost always much better/cheaper from the big boys. A conundrum, I know. I hope they succeed; just not on my dime, at least not 'til they bring prices way down....:rolleyes:

darylld911
05-08-2013, 15:04
One of the most interesting whiskies I've tasted in a long time was Corsair's Old Punk (think bourbon meets pumpkin spice latte). I'm also typically not a big fan of flavored whiskey, but as I sipped that Old Punk I could envision sitting out back in the fall watching the leaves fall. When I asked where I could buy it, they shattered the dreamscape I had painted by telling me it wasn't in production, and not sure if it would make it to retail (one of their "experimental" items they brought to the tasting). Some of the other stuff from them I've tried has been interesting as well. Unfortunately it is all understandably more expensive, as they have to recoup the fixed costs the larger distilleries have already covered. But something really unique (like that Old Punk) would get a place in my cabinet if it wasn't outrageous (ie - somewhere under $50).

brettckeen
05-08-2013, 15:18
Kissing Cousins? Too close in name to my special blend Cousin Touchers... oh well, I didn't try it. I do like Koval's Bourbon it's unique. But too pricey for me to be a customer.

omgmarclol
05-08-2013, 18:00
up until a couple months ago, old punk was in many of the local shops here in chicago. i think they're still at a couple of my locals. what i'm looking forward to being released is grainiac though.


One of the most interesting whiskies I've tasted in a long time was Corsair's Old Punk (think bourbon meets pumpkin spice latte). I'm also typically not a big fan of flavored whiskey, but as I sipped that Old Punk I could envision sitting out back in the fall watching the leaves fall. When I asked where I could buy it, they shattered the dreamscape I had painted by telling me it wasn't in production, and not sure if it would make it to retail (one of their "experimental" items they brought to the tasting). Some of the other stuff from them I've tried has been interesting as well. Unfortunately it is all understandably more expensive, as they have to recoup the fixed costs the larger distilleries have already covered. But something really unique (like that Old Punk) would get a place in my cabinet if it wasn't outrageous (ie - somewhere under $50).

Dolph Lundgren
05-09-2013, 05:22
One of the most interesting whiskies I've tasted in a long time was Corsair's Old Punk (think bourbon meets pumpkin spice latte). I'm also typically not a big fan of flavored whiskey, but as I sipped that Old Punk I could envision sitting out back in the fall watching the leaves fall. When I asked where I could buy it, they shattered the dreamscape I had painted by telling me it wasn't in production, and not sure if it would make it to retail (one of their "experimental" items they brought to the tasting). Some of the other stuff from them I've tried has been interesting as well. Unfortunately it is all understandably more expensive, as they have to recoup the fixed costs the larger distilleries have already covered. But something really unique (like that Old Punk) would get a place in my cabinet if it wasn't outrageous (ie - somewhere under $50).


Thanks, Gary. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Another craft that I thought was interesting was the Balcones Brimstone - the Octomore of American whiskey. That scrub smoke was powerful! Not an everyday (or everyweek) pour, but worthy of consideration if you're feeling adventurous.

This is a bit of a deviation from bourboun, but the blogging-heads keep fawning over the Balcones single malt. Got any of that at Ds, Brett?

omgmarclol
05-09-2013, 07:37
justin,

i have a bottle so you can try some tomorrow. it's good. pear and brown sugar and juicy malt. it's good, not trying to be scotch.


Thanks, Gary. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Another craft that I thought was interesting was the Balcones Brimstone - the Octomore of American whiskey. That scrub smoke was powerful! Not an everyday (or everyweek) pour, but worthy of consideration if you're feeling adventurous.

This is a bit of a deviation from bourboun, but the blogging-heads keep fawning over the Balcones single malt. Got any of that at Ds, Brett?

SmoothAmbler
05-09-2013, 09:34
The Balcones Single Malt is damn fine whiskey...from a big or small distillery...it's good.

SqueakScolari
10-07-2013, 15:57
The only micro I've been impressed with is the Leopold Bros. American Small Batch Whiskey. It doesn't try to be a highly-aged product, but it's great for what it is. I'd like to try the McKenzie Rye, as well as other things Tom makes when they get older.
I bought some of the McKenzie Rye today. I really like it. It's only aged a year, but they use smaller casks and then finish it in sherry casks. It doesn't taste young at all. It reminds me of Scotch.

ethangsmith
10-07-2013, 17:30
I'm going to put in some votes for:
Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye
McKenzie whiskies
Tom's Foolery Distillery
Delaware Phoenix Distillery

ChainWhip
10-07-2013, 17:35
I'm going to put in some votes for:
Dad's Hat Pennsylvania Rye
McKenzie whiskies
Tom's Foolery Distillery
Delaware Phoenix Distillery

How is the Dad's Hat in comparison to the Old Overholts or old 70's/80's ryes from PA?

WhiskyRI
10-07-2013, 18:25
I think Dad's Hat is a very tasty young rye. I personally prefer it to Old Overholt. And if you get a chance check out their Vermouth Aged Rye. Really interesting.

ChainWhip
10-07-2013, 18:42
I have a 200ml bottle of '77 Old Overholt so I'm curious if the Dad's Hat is in that tradition of Pennsylvania rye - if you think it's better, I may need to start bunkering up on the Dad's Hat.

zillah
10-07-2013, 19:00
I think Dad's Hat is a very tasty young rye. I personally prefer it to Old Overholt. And if you get a chance check out their Vermouth Aged Rye. Really interesting.

The vermouth aged rye is great. Taste just like a Manhatan!

mhatzung
10-08-2013, 08:43
[QUOTE=Dolph Lundgren;340759]I'm not a fan of "craft" whiskey. Its too woody and young; there is something statutory about it all. But I had a chance to taste Journeyman Distillery's Kissing Cousins at WhiskeyFest this year, and I was impressed. It wasn't liquid gold - but it was good..more than just palatable, which I think goes a long way. Kissing Cousins is only a year old and finished in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel. The wine influence is strong and flavor profile is not typical - but its good, so who cares. If I run across a bottle, I'll buy one.

My wife set up a tour this last weekend for us for our anniversary (yes, she's the best) at Journeyman here in Michigan. They didn't have Kissing Cousins but of the 5 whiskey's I did taste, I liked them all - some more than others obviously. The bourbon I thought was very tasty. I was apprehensive because of all the negatives of small barrels, but I enjoyed them.

Dolph, the distillery is just around the lake from you. It would make a nice day trip.

Dolph Lundgren
10-09-2013, 06:20
[QUOTE=Dolph Lundgren;340759]I'm not a fan of "craft" whiskey. Its too woody and young; there is something statutory about it all. But I had a chance to taste Journeyman Distillery's Kissing Cousins at WhiskeyFest this year, and I was impressed. It wasn't liquid gold - but it was good..more than just palatable, which I think goes a long way. Kissing Cousins is only a year old and finished in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel. The wine influence is strong and flavor profile is not typical - but its good, so who cares. If I run across a bottle, I'll buy one.

My wife set up a tour this last weekend for us for our anniversary (yes, she's the best) at Journeyman here in Michigan. They didn't have Kissing Cousins but of the 5 whiskey's I did taste, I liked them all - some more than others obviously. The bourbon I thought was very tasty. I was apprehensive because of all the negatives of small barrels, but I enjoyed them.

Dolph, the distillery is just around the lake from you. It would make a nice day trip.
Oh, I've been. What a great space in a cool little artsy town. I totally dig it. When I was there I enjoyed the Ravenswood Rye and the Silver Cross, but I really didn't care for the Featherbone Bourbon. The strong wood influence of small barrels was less on the rye. I saw a few larger 53 gallon barrels in their storage room, so maybe they're transitioning. I think, given the quality of the their distillate, their whiskey aged 5 to 8 years in a regular sized barrel would be great (especially at cask strength).

Dolph Lundgren
10-09-2013, 06:23
The vermouth aged rye is great. Taste just like a Manhatan!

That sounds awesome! I imagine the Vermouth influence would work wonders. Dave over at High West released a Double Rye aged 6 months in a reused Manhattan-aged cocktail barrel and it was fantastic - a 90 proof Manhattan. All it needed was a cherry and you were good to go.

tmckenzie
10-11-2013, 04:06
I bought some of the McKenzie Rye today. I really like it. It's only aged a year, but they use smaller casks and then finish it in sherry casks. It doesn't taste young at all. It reminds me of Scotch. let me add to this, the rye you get from us today is 3 year old rye aged in standard 53 gallon barrels. Still finished in sherry barrels. When first released it was aged a year in small barrels. But the whole time, we were stacking it away in 53s as well.

MyOldKyDram
10-11-2013, 04:43
Thanks for the info. Sounds interesting and would love to try it one if these days.

squire
10-11-2013, 06:41
Tom is your total rye production Sherry finished?

SqueakScolari
10-14-2013, 19:38
let me add to this, the rye you get from us today is 3 year old rye aged in standard 53 gallon barrels. Still finished in sherry barrels. When first released it was aged a year in small barrels. But the whole time, we were stacking it away in 53s as well.

Thanks for the update, Tom.

BAO
10-16-2013, 14:52
let me add to this, the rye you get from us today is 3 year old rye aged in standard 53 gallon barrels. Still finished in sherry barrels. When first released it was aged a year in small barrels. But the whole time, we were stacking it away in 53s as well.

Is there a way to tell which bottles are 1yr v 3yr?

JKLS
10-16-2013, 23:33
I enjoy trying and supporting the micros. But, like others have said, they often don't match up to the tried and true distillers out there, especially at the prices the micros have to charge to sustain and grow their businesses. And then there is the other issue of NDPs posing as micros and whatnot.

I have Balcones True Blue Cask Strength and have had their Brimstone. I have tasted McKenzie Bourbon & Rye at my restaurant where we carry both. I have a bottle of Dad's Hat vermouth finished rye, Ransom Spirits WhipperSnapper, Black Dirt bourbon and a King's County bourbon. We carry a few others at work (Berkshire, can't recall the others, we are a local/farm to table restaurant and like to carry regionally produced spirits) that I haven't tasted but not enough or recently enough to comment on them. I have tried Koval, Old Potrero and some other micros when traveling, but again, not enough to really make an assessment.

I really enjoy the Balcones products, the WhipperSnapper and the Black Dirt. The Dad's Hat is pretty good but I haven't grown to love it, maybe I will. It is a fairly new addition to my bar.

What I have noticed and what I was actually planning on asking this forum is a common thread between pretty much all of the micros I have tried. They all seem to have a sweet malt & cereal grain nose and flavor to them. Not sure if that is exactly what I would use to describe it...but it is as close as I can at the moment. Some of them have very very little of it (Balcones, WhipperSnapper), others have it by the boat load (McKenzie). Either way, I get this nose and flavor in all of these micros in ways I have never experienced in larger producers whiskey. It is not always bad, but sometimes I am not in the mood for it and it does not agree with me. Other times, I enjoy it quite a bit. Does anyone else know what I am referring to and would someone be able to tell me why the micros in particular are likely to have this nose/flavor?

tmckenzie
10-20-2013, 04:49
None of our stuff sets on store shelves long. I would venture to say anything on the shelf now is 3. We switched a while back. Really good rye. In standard barrels I prefer to drink it at 18 months. It ages faster as do all ryes, but since we barrel at 100 proof, it ones around fast. I was tasting through the first rye off the new continuous still the other day. Stuff from may really has spice coming through, with a heavier body to it. Should age very nicely.

SqueakScolari
10-20-2013, 07:30
None of our stuff sets on store shelves long. I would venture to say anything on the shelf now is 3. We switched a while back. Really good rye. In standard barrels I prefer to drink it at 18 months. It ages faster as do all ryes, but since we barrel at 100 proof, it ones around fast. I was tasting through the first rye off the new continuous still the other day. Stuff from may really has spice coming through, with a heavier body to it. Should age very nicely.

Mine was batch #12/2013

Leopold
10-20-2013, 09:25
What I have noticed and what I was actually planning on asking this forum is a common thread between pretty much all of the micros I have tried. They all seem to have a sweet malt & cereal grain nose and flavor to them. Not sure if that is exactly what I would use to describe it...but it is as close as I can at the moment. Some of them have very very little of it (Balcones, WhipperSnapper), others have it by the boat load (McKenzie). Either way, I get this nose and flavor in all of these micros in ways I have never experienced in larger producers whiskey. It is not always bad, but sometimes I am not in the mood for it and it does not agree with me. Other times, I enjoy it quite a bit. Does anyone else know what I am referring to and would someone be able to tell me why the micros in particular are likely to have this nose/flavor?

Two things. One, the larger distillers generally age their spirits longer. As you said, sometimes you are not in the mood for that, and sometimes you are. I'm the exact same way, and that's why we have two whiskies that are younger----because I like to taste the work I did in the mash tuns and the fermenters. Sometimes I want heavier oak influence, and that's why we're putting away BIB expressions that will be 4-15 years old when bottled.

And secondly, recall that we use pot stills while the majors use continuous stills. So for our shop, we're putting all the solids from the fermenters into the pot, where it sits on a hot copper surface for several hours. The continuous stills are operated with live steam, and any contact with hot surfaces are only for a matter of seconds. Pot stills tend to give a more grainy and oily whiskey. I'm speaking in generalities, of course.

You should have fun comparing tmckenzie's whiskey over the next few years. He's switched from pot stills to continuous. You will be able to see the difference in the finished whiskey for yourself. I'm sure he can speak to the change better than I.

tmckenzie
10-21-2013, 04:34
Mine was batch #12/2013. Yep, you got the older stuff for sure. In fact that batch won best ny state spirit this year.

tmckenzie
10-21-2013, 04:40
Two things. One, the larger distillers generally age their spirits longer. As you said, sometimes you are not in the mood for that, and sometimes you are. I'm the exact same way, and that's why we have two whiskies that are younger----because I like to taste the work I did in the mash tuns and the fermenters. Sometimes I want heavier oak influence, and that's why we're putting away BIB expressions that will be 4-15 years old when bottled.

And secondly, recall that we use pot stills while the majors use continuous stills. So for our shop, we're putting all the solids from the fermenters into the pot, where it sits on a hot copper surface for several hours. The continuous stills are operated with live steam, and any contact with hot surfaces are only for a matter of seconds. Pot stills tend to give a more grainy and oily whiskey. I'm speaking in generalities, of course.

You should have fun comparing tmckenzie's whiskey over the next few years. He's switched from pot stills to continuous. You will be able to see the difference in the finished whiskey for yourself. I'm sure he can speak to the change better than I.. Yes Todd, you hit it on the head. In a pot, the mash boiling for hours degrades a bit releasing flavors that do not come from a continuous. I find the new stuff we are running to be fresher, it is more oily though in a good way, you get basically what smells and tastes like a concentrated fermenter. In our beer still, the temp in the middle of the column is about 200 degrees so really you are not boiling the mash, just vaporizing the flavor and alcohol components, unlike a pot still. I am extremely pleased with what we are making.

Dolph Lundgren
10-21-2013, 05:57
Leopold and Tom - where do you guys purchase your barrels from (independent stave)? Are you still maturing in barrels less than 53 gallons?

I've never had a problem with the distillate a lot of micros put out. In fact, I think some semi-micros put out the best distillate on the market right now. The pot still distillate I've had from Willett, High West and Journeyman (Michigan) was phenomenal (High West's stuff had this great buttery popcorn taste), and I enjoyed FEW and Quincy Street's distillate, too. But when I say phenomenal, I really mean potential, because I never feel an urge to go to the store and purchase a bottle of distillate to sip on, and pretty much all of my bourbon friends share that feeling.

I know this has been addressed ad nauseam on the board, but I feel the disconnect is with the smaller barrels. IMO, the wood influence is too strong and most of the micro bottles I've had had a strong cedar(y) characteristic (taste kind of like a toothpick); the great vanilla and caramel flavors of bourbon are minimal or missing all together. Journeyman's Ravenswood Rye had less of the cedar characteristic and was pleasant, but it was still lingering in the background.

There is a huge emphasis on aging these days, but I don't think ultra aging is necessary. There are great Willet Family Estate releases that are 5 to 8 years old (8 years is supposed to be the honey spot). I understand that for a smaller producer 5 years is a long time - but I'm excited for the micros to get to the point where they are releasing bourbons > 5 years aged in traditional casks. It could turn the market on it's head.

These are just my thoughts as a consumer.

Leopold
10-21-2013, 09:55
We don't use small barrels. We use 53's, and always have. And yes, Independent Stave. #3's.

Dolph Lundgren
10-21-2013, 10:12
We don't use small barrels. We use 53's, and always have. And yes, Independent Stave. #3's.

Thanks for the info, Leopold. My wife really enjoyed the New York Apple Whiskey (great fall drink and awesome with Cider) and my friend said he really enjoyed the American Whiskey. Looking forward to trying it in the future.

My buddy also said really good things about McKenzie's rye - another one on the pickup list.

JKLS
10-21-2013, 10:45
Two things. One, the larger distillers generally age their spirits longer. As you said, sometimes you are not in the mood for that, and sometimes you are. I'm the exact same way, and that's why we have two whiskies that are younger----because I like to taste the work I did in the mash tuns and the fermenters. Sometimes I want heavier oak influence, and that's why we're putting away BIB expressions that will be 4-15 years old when bottled.

And secondly, recall that we use pot stills while the majors use continuous stills. So for our shop, we're putting all the solids from the fermenters into the pot, where it sits on a hot copper surface for several hours. The continuous stills are operated with live steam, and any contact with hot surfaces are only for a matter of seconds. Pot stills tend to give a more grainy and oily whiskey. I'm speaking in generalities, of course.

You should have fun comparing tmckenzie's whiskey over the next few years. He's switched from pot stills to continuous. You will be able to see the difference in the finished whiskey for yourself. I'm sure he can speak to the change better than I.


Thanks. I figured stills would be a factor.

tmckenzie
10-23-2013, 04:50
Impersonally do not like independent stave barrels. We use McGinnis. Nothing but 53 gallon number 4 char, and here is the big deal, all of the wood is seasoned 36 months.

TunnelTiger
10-23-2013, 08:25
let me add to this, the rye you get from us today is 3 year old rye aged in standard 53 gallon barrels. Still finished in sherry barrels. When first released it was aged a year in small barrels. But the whole time, we were stacking it away in 53s as well.


Ok you've done it now. I've got to find a bottle and try this.
:cool:

Dolph Lundgren
10-23-2013, 10:54
Impersonally do not like independent stave barrels. We use McGinnis. Nothing but 53 gallon number 4 char, and here is the big deal, all of the wood is seasoned 36 months.

That sounds awesome! Independent Stave's top of the line barrels, "the Cooper's Reserve," only receives 24 months of seasoning.

This probably merits a new thread, but have you found that the more seasoned wood dramatically impacts the flavor of the whiskey? Pure speculation on my half here, but I have always thought that dusty whiskey had a better and thicker mouthfeel than today's whiskey because older, seasoned wood was used in the aging process.

tmckenzie
10-24-2013, 03:17
That sounds awesome! Independent Stave's top of the line barrels, "the Cooper's Reserve," only receives 24 months of seasoning.

This probably merits a new thread, but have you found that the more seasoned wood dramatically impacts the flavor of the whiskey? Pure speculation on my half here, but I have always thought that dusty whiskey had a better and thicker mouthfeel than today's whiskey because older, seasoned wood was used in the aging process. yea, and IS charges one hell of a premium for it. Yes I find it makes way better whiskey. It seems to come around quicker and has more of the maple and butterscotch I am looking for.

squire
10-24-2013, 15:27
Tom and Todd, I meant to post the other day when this thread got started, just wanted to say I appreciate both you fellas taking the time to post here and provide us with first hand information.

smokinjoe
10-24-2013, 16:59
Impersonally do not like independent stave barrels. We use McGinnis. Nothing but 53 gallon number 4 char, and here is the big deal, all of the wood is seasoned 36 months.

Tom, I was watching an interview of Leroy McGinnis on their website, where he points out that the staves for wine barrels are aged 36 months, and staves for whiskey/bourbon barrels are kiln dried for something like 60 days. Do you just order the wine barrels? Or, are the barrels you buy a "special order" kind of thing?

I think that he mentioned that the wood was somehow segregated/classified into which type of barrel it was going in to, as well. Is there a fundamental difference in why the two types are produced differently.

Really pissed at myself for not doing the IS tour last month at KBF.

tmckenzie
10-25-2013, 02:48
I have bourbon barrels made from wood set aside for wine barrels. They charge a small premium fo this, one which is well worth it.

squire
10-25-2013, 10:34
And I appreciate you going to the extra effort and expense.

Leopold
10-26-2013, 09:18
Tom and Todd, I meant to post the other day when this thread got started, just wanted to say I appreciate both you fellas taking the time to post here and provide us with first hand information.

I appreciate that you welcome our presence here. It's fun to talk shop on our off hours, which are often in short supply.

smokinjoe
10-26-2013, 18:54
Indeed, your willingness to discuss whiskey making on this forum is over the top great. Thank you!

Y'alls cooperage ideas are very dissimilar, it seems. Can you discuss more? Tmckenzie states how the 3yr yard aged barrels (from McGinnis) make a big difference. Leopold states they use standard (assuming here) #4 char IS barrels. Whiskey geeks like me, would love to hear further discussion on your reasoning, pro v. con, ideas, and general thoughts on your preferences on this subject.

tmckenzie
10-28-2013, 04:05
Every distiller has his own way of doing things. Not saying Todd's way is better or worse than the way we age. The reason I prefer the 36 month stuff is it works best with our bourbon and rye. The bourbon is high rye and the rye is 80 percent rye, it seems to enhance the spice notes of the rye. We switched to the 36 month stuff about a year into production and the difference is indeed remarkable. The better whiskey is in the aged wood. A side note, I age some stuffing chinkapin or pin oak barrels. It is a white oak, but McGinnis is the only one that when they scale the logs, pulls them out. Those are nice barrels. Makes a spicy and fruity note at the same time.

squire
10-28-2013, 13:10
That's interesting Tom, what gave you the idea?

tmckenzie
10-29-2013, 03:04
For the 36 month or the pin oak?

squire
10-29-2013, 21:47
The Pin Oak . . . . . . . .

tmckenzie
10-30-2013, 04:01
The Pin Oak . . . . . . . .
They offered it and I gave it a whirl basically. Then found them to be very good.

squire
10-30-2013, 12:01
Will you be offering Pin Oak aged whisky as a seperate brand?

Balcones Winston
10-30-2013, 12:59
Impersonally do not like independent stave barrels. We use McGinnis. Nothing but 53 gallon number 4 char, and here is the big deal, all of the wood is seasoned 36 months.
Same here on the seasoning. It makes a huge difference.

tmckenzie
10-31-2013, 04:29
Same here on the seasoning. It makes a huge difference. you all actually by wine barrels though right? But charred.

smokinjoe
11-07-2013, 14:33
you all actually by wine barrels though right? But charred.

Tom, is there a difference between the construction of a wine barrel, and the construction of a whiskey barrel? In the McGinnis video I watched, they were segregating the freshly cut staves into piles for each type. I inferred, maybe incorrectly, that the wood selected for wine barrels was superior in some way? Are there characteristics of each that are better for one, or the other?

tmckenzie
11-08-2013, 03:14
Wood for wine barrels are usually 36 month air died. But wine barrels are normally 63 gallons. They sand them up nice and charge at last i checked, about 900 bucks a piece. Where a nice bourbon barrel of the same wood, charred, 135.

squire
11-08-2013, 06:32
Of course a wine barrel will be reused vintage after vintage and with proper maintenance can last 50 years or more.

BAO
03-12-2014, 13:51
Drinking a McKenzie Rye 5/2011. I'll be searching for a bottle at retail. Great stuff.

ramblinman
03-12-2014, 14:28
Of course a wine barrel will be reused vintage after vintage and with proper maintenance can last 50 years or more.

Interesting. I did a little winery touring in Napa last week (business trip, rough life, let me tell you) and one of the winerys bragged that they only used their barrels once. Of course this was also one of the snootier ones who wanted to put a lien on your house for a glass.

squire
03-14-2014, 13:57
Yes, and those who've been in business for many years will brag about how good the old barrels work, just depends to some extent on what you're selling I suppose.

TheOakMonster
03-14-2014, 19:44
In regards to wine, a winery typically has a barrel program and, depending on what profile the winemaker is aiming for, will use a combination of new and used barrels of varying ages. Using all new wine barrels for a particular wine would be unusual and the oakiness would tend to overpower the juice. After about about 5-6 years re-use, a wine barrel doesn't have much more flavor to impart and is considered neutral.