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BigBoldBully
06-12-2013, 11:21
I expect that someday, a producer will make great bourbon (and other) whiskeys that are: (1) made from the most interesting strains of organic grains that have been (2) fermented by the most intriguingly compatible yeasts before being (3) distilled by methods that preserve the richness and complexity of the beer and (4) fully aged in specially sourced barrels cut from exceptional, tight-grained wood (5) with masterful regard for each variable that impacts the aging process along with (6) copious sampling to identify the honey barrels and satisfying vattings, which are (7) bottled without filtration or other modification and (8) marketed with full disclosure of every relevant fact a whiskey nerd/geek/lover would want to know–including the characteristics of the water used, which I left out of the above description. It may happen in phases (and already is to some extent), but my hope is for a large leap forward at one time through a combination of all or nearly all of these key elements.
 
I also expect that not too long after these whiskeys are introduced, the interest in today’s most hyped bottles will plummet sharply, and other producers of "premium" whiskey will feel tremendous pressure to up the quality and transparency of every aspect of their game. In the meantime, people like John Hansell and his colleagues will feel obliged to become little more than apologists for the laggard whisk(e)y makers. We will understand, because they cannot very well limit their enthusiastic praise to the tiny subset that is setting the new standard without losing nearly all interest and ad revenue–but we will still condemn them with righteous zeal.
 
And all the talk of how the whiskey golden age is behind us will stop amongst people who know anything about what’s going on. (The equivalent will happen with whisky, but I think it will take longer as they are behind the curve with their E150, second-hand wood, etc. Although the efforts with bere barley are promising.)
 
That is my vision, at least. Naive? Misguided? Moronic? Feel free to tear it apart. Or tell me about your vision.

luther.r
06-12-2013, 11:38
I think this would be close to the definition of true "craft" distilling. Rather than just doing things on a smaller scale than the major producers, do each step with care and don't skimp on the age and proof. It would be analogous to what the craft beer movement has done with respect to the big beer producers. I think a couple of the craft distillers will get there, but most won't have the patience and/or capital to do it. And also, most of the buying pubic doesn't care about these things - yet.

MyOldKyDram
06-12-2013, 11:45
So BTs "Holy Grail" then, yeah?

Could eventually happen, but I'd wager the entire bottom falls out before anyone distillery truly achieved that goal, let alone all of them. Maybe one day, but most of us won't live to see it.

portwood
06-12-2013, 12:17
The vision of the OP can only happen IF every consumer attached the same value to all of the possible variables. If that were to happen then every distillery would be producing and selling virtually the same product. Good luck with that ... and welcome to socialism if it were to ever happen.

The reason we have so much variability is that each company has decided to sell products that focus on certain variables (proof, age, ingredients, yeasts, char levels, etc) based on estimated demand.

All the items - with the exception of filtration and full disclosure - are subjective all of the major distillers would argue they already do all of that in some combination in at least some of their (premium) products!

Ultimately, the perfect product is different for every person. It is impossible (or very cost prohibitive) for anyone to sell anything on that basis.

black mamba
06-12-2013, 13:02
Basically, when I read the OP I thought, "Really, how much better can bourbon get, and would anyone want to pay for it?" The point portwood makes about the different emphasis consumers place on different variables is totally valid. Most consumers, myself included, are gonna say, "Who cares, as long as it tastes great!"

When I can buy OGD114 for under $19, and several different 10+ yo 1Bs from HH for just 6-7 bucks more, would I really want to spend double or triple that, or more, for the "perfect" bourbon? I might buy one to try, but after that? No guarantee that "perfect" would mean "great taste."

Yeti
06-12-2013, 13:19
No guarantee that "perfect" would mean "great taste."

Maybe it would mean "less filling"?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nehhH9rfnaw

squire
06-12-2013, 13:23
Good point about taste. Even if all the criteria were met there's no guaranteeing the outcome.

BigBoldBully
06-12-2013, 13:27
"The vision of the OP can only happen IF every consumer attached the same value to all of the possible variables."
 
I respectfully disagree. Everyone need not care or agree for this come about. At most there would need to be an increase in how much some of these elements are valued--and I would contend both that there is a great deal of latent demand (think of all the "foodies" around these days, after all), as well as a great deal of potential demand that would be created by awareness of a supply of products that embody these qualities. If marketing that is essentially based on bullshit can create huge demand, why couldn’t marketing that is based on something far more substantive?
 
"If that were to happen then every distillery would be producing and selling virtually the same product. Good luck with that ... and welcome to socialism if it were to ever happen."
 
What I am advocating is actually an increase in variety. Right now, for instance, nearly every bourbon on the market uses #2 dent corn bought as a commodity. In my vision, the grain would be an integral focus and additional source of variety, and many types would be grown, bred, and experimented with, with many of the most interesting finding their way into the bourbon. (As I mentioned, I think the bere barley forays over in Scotland have been interesting. What Balcones is doing with blue corn is pretty cool as well. Finally, those producers who supposedly buy only non-GMO corn deserve some recognition as well. It’s a start. "Estate grown" grains may never be considered as economically viable as estate grown grapes or agaves, but then again why not?) In my vision, there would also be more experimentation with yeast, leading to more variety. And let’s not forget the wood. For a long time we have been losing the ability to taste whiskey aged in old growth barrels, and only recently have the detriments of kilning been realized. The trend is toward emphasis on wood quality as well as variety, and in my vision this would continue with even greater force.


"The reason we have so much variability is that each company has decided to sell products that focus on certain variables (proof, age, ingredients, yeasts, char levels, etc) based on estimated demand."

I think it is just as much, if not more, the other way around. Companies generally try to differentiate products in order to create demand for them and build the brands, not simply as a response to pre-existing demand for those precise characteristics. Some of these differences are real and are things bourbon enthusiasts actually care about, others are completely bogus, and many are something in between–like age statements and char level, which give us some information but not enough to know their full significance in the absence of other details. As many have observed, much of marketing has been about making a big deal out of small differences. If companies felt pressure to be more transparent about the key details at each step, they could not easily hide behind such claims. The end result: more, rather than less, variability.

"All the items - with the exception of filtration and full disclosure - are subjective all of the major distillers would argue they already do all of that in some combination in at least some of their (premium) products!"
If a major distiller were already using grain that is organic or meaningfully different in strain or quality, I think they would promote this fact. As for the wood, so far as I know pretty much all the barrels are coming from one of two sources, and unless you are Brown-Forman, from the same groups of trees and the same cooperage. The guy behind Forty Creek up in Canada did something interesting when he specially sourced 90 of his barrels from big, tight-ringed Canadian white oak, and it seems to show in the result. I would love to see bourbon producers do something similar. And more experiments like BF’s leaky maple barrels.


"Ultimately, the perfect product is different for every person. It is impossible (or very cost prohibitive) for anyone to sell anything on the basis of perfect"
Let me clarify, I am not arguing for "the" perfect product, but for a range of products based on increased accountability and attention at every step of the process. There will always be a subjective element, but I hope we can agree there is a lot of room for upping the quality, transparency, and variety.

BigBoldBully
06-12-2013, 13:45
I can identify with everyone who expresses the sentiment "who cares, when whiskey is already this good and affordable?" Indeed, Bourbon is one the few products capable of making me feel proud to be ‘merican. And if you saw how many bottles of OGD 114 and 1792 are currently seeking shelter in my cellar, you would believe me when I say I really like and respect what’s already/still being produced. Yet my overactive imagination cannot help but foresee a quantum leap, and cannot help but believe that greater things are around the bend (and not necessarily at an outrageous price).

black mamba
06-12-2013, 14:14
I believe that even if all the variables you cite would be addressed at the same time (almost completely unlikely) it would hardly achieve a quantum leap. Technology has put such ideas into our minds, but in the organic world things move forward in small steps, not leaps. Even if addressed at the same time, all 8 of the variables would be perfected at different rates over time through trial and error, if ever. Given enough time, enough interest and enough capital, the product could be improved, but very slowly.

Look at the wine world. New methods and "science" abound, but still the first growth Bordeaux wines command the most respect and the highest prices.

393foureyedfox
06-12-2013, 14:16
"perfect" is subjective....highly. look at what we like to eat, drink, drive, mate with, etc....


even if there were a universal "perfect" bourbon, can you imagine the price? I already balk at the $35-40 "good stuff", and wont pay more than that.

bllygthrd
06-12-2013, 14:48
"perfect" is subjective....highly. look at what we like to eat, drink, drive, mate with, etc....

15704

BigBoldBully
06-12-2013, 17:19
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErRHJlE4PGI or, we could be on the verge of living out this scene, with "bourbon" taking the place of "chicken" (and a few other minor substitutions).

mbroo5880i
06-12-2013, 17:27
The Golden Age of bourbon will occur when the market price bubble bursts and prices of good bourbons are restored to rational market prices. Meanwhile, new production capacity will be brought on line and irrational products will continue to be brought to market. Every market returns to efficiency. Bourbon is no different.

Bourbon Boiler
06-12-2013, 18:37
I think this would be close to the definition of true "craft" distilling. Rather than just doing things on a smaller scale than the major producers, do each step with care and don't skimp on the age and proof. It would be analogous to what the craft beer movement has done with respect to the big beer producers. I think a couple of the craft distillers will get there, but most won't have the patience and/or capital to do it. And also, most of the buying pubic doesn't care about these things - yet.

I think 60% of craft distillers want to get there, and maybe 30% actually will. However, if 30% of the craft distillers that were founded in the last 5 years or will be founded in the next five make a good and unique product, we will be in a golden age in 20 years.

brettckeen
06-12-2013, 18:41
Proper Warehousing and nature will decide how soon we get golden age bourbons.

p_elliott
06-13-2013, 09:08
I think 5 years you'll be lucky to see 10% of the current craft distilleries around. I think you'll see the Leopold Bros, McKenzie's, Balcones, Corsair's most of the others are going to fall by the wayside or they won't be in the whiskey business they will be making gins and vodkas. I think the big name guys are making some top grade stuff and I think that is only going to get better. I think the midshelf stuff will get down graded as it has been in the last couple of years. But the premium stuff will just keep getting better. MHO

Flyfish
06-13-2013, 09:24
Perhaps I missed something here but it seems to me the OP described not a hypothetical craft distiller but BT. Isn't the whole point of their extensive experimentation to create "the perfect bourbon?" I, for one, don't think that is possible because we simply can not agree on what "perfect" tastes like--even hypothetically. De gustibus non disputatum est.

Balcones Winston
06-13-2013, 10:14
I expect that someday, a producer will make great bourbon (and other) whiskeys that are: (1) made from the most interesting strains of organic grains that have been (2) fermented by the most intriguingly compatible yeasts before being (3) distilled by methods that preserve the richness and complexity of the beer and (4) fully aged in specially sourced barrels cut from exceptional, tight-grained wood (5) with masterful regard for each variable that impacts the aging process along with (6) copious sampling to identify the honey barrels and satisfying vattings, which are (7) bottled without filtration or other modification and (8) marketed with full disclosure of every relevant fact a whiskey nerd/geek/lover would want to know–including the characteristics of the water used, which I left out of the above description. It may happen in phases (and already is to some extent), but my hope is for a large leap forward at one time through a combination of all or nearly all of these key elements.

That is my vision, at least. Naive? Misguided? Moronic? Feel free to tear it apart. Or tell me about your vision.
Your vision is a reality. We call it Balcones :)

AGarrison
06-13-2013, 11:57
I also do believe the best days are ahead. I'm not one of those pining for the old, closed distilleries. They are making it faster than I can drink it. That's all i ask.

squire
06-13-2013, 14:58
I also do believe the best days are ahead. I'm not one of those pining for the old, closed distilleries. They are making it faster than I can drink it. That's all I ask.

Hear here, hear here.

PaulO
06-14-2013, 05:07
From my perspective, in the last year or so, things have been getting better and better. I have been able to find VOB BIB, and Mellow Corn more or less locally for the first time. Several stores have started to carry Weller 12. The last bottle of Fighting Cock tasted like it was better than I remembered (and cost $15!). My local grocery store has started to carry FR 1B, and KC SB. If I wanted to spend the big bucks, there seem to be plenty of different barrel strength FR in the better stores. With so much good stuff in the $15-$30 range, I don't usually spend more.

portwood
06-14-2013, 05:13
The OP will be glad to read this story:
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bella/2013/06/copper_city_bourbon_tempe_arizona_distlling.php
After seven years of training with pros across the country, carefully sourcing local grains and wading through legal mumbo-jumbo and outdated laws, Arizona Distilling Co. is finally pumping out a bourbon made right in downtown Tempe that's already creating a buzz (pun intended) with its smooth finish.
"Because we're micro Jason [Grossmiller] has the ability to do certain things that a giant producer can't do efficiently like we can do with the smaller batches to make it a little bit smoother," says partner Jon Eagan.

That smoothness is specifically attributed to the cold filtering which distillers Grossmiller and his partner Matt Cummins use to process the bourbon. It also helps the aesthetic of the bourbon by retaining its translucence even when iced.

:slappin:

Meruck
06-14-2013, 06:35
I don't know guys. Some here would say the "best" has already been made, some say its being made now and some say it is yet too come. As prEviously stated, it's all subjective. Many if not most here would agree the the SW of per 72 was and forever will be some of if not the best bourbon ever bottled.

If we ever hope to see that quality again, regardless of personal taste, cause everyone like something different (that's why God made red heads), the dollar needs to get out of the way.

not to sound ' "........at a loss if we must, but always fine bourbon."

Flyfish
06-14-2013, 07:00
The OP will be glad to read this story:
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bella/2013/06/copper_city_bourbon_tempe_arizona_distlling.php

"Because we're micro Jason [Grossmiller] has the ability to do certain things that a giant producer can't do efficiently like we can do with the smaller batches to make it a little bit smoother," says partner Jon Eagan.

That smoothness is specifically attributed to the cold filtering which distillers Grossmiller and his partner Matt Cummins use to process the bourbon. It also helps the aesthetic of the bourbon by retaining its translucence even when iced.

:slappin:


At last we have the answer to the question of what makes some bourbon hot and others not. It's a matter of scale. Micros also do things more efficiently and they chill filter. What a revelation!

Bourbon Boiler
06-14-2013, 07:08
At last we have the answer to the question of what makes some bourbon hot and others not. It's a matter of scale. Micros also do things more efficiently and they chill filter. What a revelation!

Small Barrels and Chill Filtering - The Golden Age starts today!!!!!!

mosugoji64
06-14-2013, 07:46
And why do they emphasize that their rye whiskey was made with durum wheat? And why did they have to go to Las Vegas to make it? Durum wheat rye made by an AZ distillery in NV. WTF?!?!

squire
06-14-2013, 08:07
I'm surprised they overlooked that other native grain corn, which I believe has been grown locally for quite a spell.

BigBoldBully
06-14-2013, 14:48
Thanks for the lead, Portwood. :skep: Isn't it funny how nowadays people are increasing using "local" as an indicator of quality (not just environmental friendliness), when they used to demand "imported" stuff and looked down on anything made too close to home? The swelling predominance of any proxy-based thinking will definitely interfere to some extent with the realization of my dream, but how much, I am not sure. Wish I could believe that crap doesn't stink so long as it's locally defecated!

Trey Manthey
06-14-2013, 15:02
Many if not most here would agree the the SW of per 72 was and forever will be some of if not the best bourbon ever bottled.

I'm curious what you're basing this statement on.

squire
06-14-2013, 15:06
I took it as a reference to when the Van Winkle family still owned and operated the Stitzel-Weller distillery.

WAINWRIGHT
06-15-2013, 05:35
I think that most consider the glut era products of the past to be some of the greatest whiskies ever created.I agree and disagree,though they are rather good in many ways,viscous,much older than the age statements they carried,great profiles,times have changed.I think that many of our often regarded dusties aren't necessarily so much better that their modern co-parts as different.I mean don't get me wrong I love dusty bourbon,but I see no issues on the horizon other than the retraction of a few age statements and certain shortages.I personally love the direction many distilleries are going with new innovative products and expansion of product lines today.I also think twenty or thirty years from now many will be having this very same discussion about our whiskies of today,because it will most certainly be different then as it is now.

squire
06-15-2013, 09:00
I should plan so far, think I'll just drink what I can find now.

BigBoldBully
06-15-2013, 22:24
Wainwright, you mention that much of the glut era whiskey was viscous. Although I have not had anything bottled in those days (that I remember anyway), I often wonder what accounted for this thickness, this richness that so many reference. Lower barrel entry proof? Something about the grain itself? Something that might return in the "new golden age" to come?

darylld911
06-16-2013, 04:37
I'm optimistic that there are better days ahead. While the shortages will drive up prices, the increase demand will drive more resources into making more products to get a piece of that growing marketshare. That might mean paying more in the future for the same products, but I think it will mean a greater variety of products to choose from. And a revolving door of products to some extent - new ones will come out, and if they don't pick up an audience, they'll go away and make room for something else.

I also think we're seeing more experimentation & science going into the production process. BT's end-goal may not be a bourbon that everyone likes, but if they can better understand what inputs generate which outputs - they'll be in a position to put out a variety of products that many people like. When I first sipped GTS, I couldn't imagine a bourbon I would enjoy more. Then I tried some PHC releases, ECBP, etc. I don't know that every year there will be something that I like better, but I'm optimistic that there will be more offerings that I'll like a helluva lot.

tmckenzie
06-19-2013, 03:17
Wainwright, you mention that much of the glut era whiskey was viscous. Although I have not had anything bottled in those days (that I remember anyway), I often wonder what accounted for this thickness, this richness that so many reference. Lower barrel entry proof? Something about the grain itself? Something that might return in the "new golden age" to come? Low still proof, I watch the thickness of it everyday coming off the still. The big boys I doubt ill ever make it like that again.

BigBoldBully
06-19-2013, 12:17
Low still proof, I watch the thickness of it everyday coming off the still. The big boys I doubt ill ever make it like that again. Thank you. Yes, still proof was actually what I was imagining when typing barrel entry like a doofus. Makes me think of some of those small-scale mescal and tequila operations distilling to 110 and ending up with a thick, pungent spirit. Apparently that works for grain too.

zillah
06-20-2013, 11:50
Mind if I step into the conversation?

Forget the controversial craft distillers for a second and look towards what is out right now.

There is one product out right now that comes to mind that fits most of your specifications. I think it has flew under the radar due to price, some bias against the distillery for its current product offerings and some terrible marketing. That, or maybe some don’t find its tastes align with theirs. But here are its stats:

· This bourbon is made from sourced non-GMO corn from what I assume, a limited collection of farmers. (Has to be sourced as it would need to be contracted. Non-GMO corn can’t be purchased on the open market I believe)
· This bourbon is considered to be picked by bourbon legends from some of the best barrels aged in the optimal range of 8 - 9 years old.
· This bourbon is a single barrel.
· This bourbon is un-chill filtered.
· This bourbon is bottled at barrel strength.

Unfortunately, this bourbon costs about $60, has a laughable name and, from what I have found, limited distribution.
Still don’t know the bourbon? It is called the Russell’s Reserve Small Batch Single Barrel. (oh god, why)

Is $60 a price that is too much to pay? Maybe. When I open my bottle, I’ll make sure to let you know. :cool:
There is only one other distillery that has some similar practices and products and that would be Four Roses.

The point is: the big players are noticing and they are bringing it. The perfect bourbon is already here!

squire
06-20-2013, 14:43
They didn't get big by playing catch up.

tmckenzie
06-20-2013, 18:08
Mind if I step into the conversation?

Forget the controversial craft distillers for a second and look towards what is out right now.

There is one product out right now that comes to mind that fits most of your specifications. I think it has flew under the radar due to price, some bias against the distillery for its current product offerings and some terrible marketing. That, or maybe some don’t find its tastes align with theirs. But here are its stats:

· This bourbon is made from sourced non-GMO corn from what I assume, a limited collection of farmers. (Has to be sourced as it would need to be contracted. Non-GMO corn can’t be purchased on the open market I believe)
· This bourbon is considered to be picked by bourbon legends from some of the best barrels aged in the optimal range of 8 - 9 years old.
· This bourbon is a single barrel.
· This bourbon is un-chill filtered.
· This bourbon is bottled at barrel strength.

Unfortunately, this bourbon costs about $60, has a laughable name and, from what I have found, limited distribution.
Still don’t know the bourbon? It is called the Russell’s Reserve Small Batch Single Barrel. (oh god, why)

Is $60 a price that is too much to pay? Maybe. When I open my bottle, I’ll make sure to let you know. :cool:
There is only one other distillery that has some similar practices and products and that would be Four Roses.

The point is: the big players are noticing and they are bringing it. The perfect bourbon is already here!

it is good stuff, but you had wild turkey before they upped the proof of everything?

zillah
06-21-2013, 12:25
Wild Turkey 101 is one of my daily drinker and all time favorite. Everything else...not so much. I did like Rare Breed, but for the price I would rather stick with the 101. Russel's Reserve was missing something, but I think its faults have been fixed with the new release. (at least on paper)

BigBoldBully
06-21-2013, 14:16
Interesting - I never knew Wild Turkey uses non GMO corn. I had read an article that said 4R and BT were the only two major distilleries to insist on non GMO, and now I am reading an article that says it's only 4R and WT.

squire
06-21-2013, 14:18
Would be rather difficult to prove.

Bmac
06-22-2013, 07:12
The distilleries aren't insisting on using non-GMO corn because of 'quality'. They are insisting on it so they can continue to export their bourbon to Europe and Japan. The day regular corn is no longer available (which is fast approaching) is the day they can no longer export and MIGHT have to shut down. I was very surprised to learn that 90% of 4R's profits come from export sales.

I think the Golden Age is now and will end when GMO finally has the monopoly.

BigBoldBully
06-22-2013, 11:41
When/if labeling becomes more informative, it may stop being primarily an export issue. But I sure hope you are wrong about non GMO corn soon being unavailable. Some things I've read seem to give reason for hope. Check out this article (though nearly two years old at this point): http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/july2011/organicreadycorntopreventGMOcontamination.php

sutton
06-22-2013, 15:40
The distilleries aren't insisting on using non-GMO corn because of 'quality'. They are insisting on it so they can continue to export their bourbon to Europe and Japan. The day regular corn is no longer available (which is fast approaching) is the day they can no longer export and MIGHT have to shut down. I was very surprised to learn that 90% of 4R's profits come from export sales.

I think the Golden Age is now and will end when GMO finally has the monopoly.


Does this mean WT8 and WT12 comes back home ?? :bigeyes:

squire
06-22-2013, 16:17
I believe the real issue with GMO corn is the lack of consumer acceptance.

Bmac
06-25-2013, 05:18
Does this mean WT8 and WT12 comes back home ?? :bigeyes:

Maybe. Who knows what will happen when the bottom drops out.

Bmac
06-25-2013, 05:22
When/if labeling becomes more informative, it may stop being primarily an export issue. But I sure hope you are wrong about non GMO corn soon being unavailable. Some things I've read seem to give reason for hope. Check out this article (though nearly two years old at this point): http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/july2011/organicreadycorntopreventGMOcontamination.php

Read up on interviews with Master Distiller Jim Rutledge. He talks about the shortage and how it will soon not be available. The long and short of it is that GMO corn will quickly cross pollinate with standard corn. When that happens Monsanto will suddenly charge you will having to pay royalties on the use of GMO corn. The GMO corn is engineered to die and become inert after the first season. So, in that manner, all regular corn is being 'killed off' so-to-speak and replaced with GMO. I figure in 5 years there may not be such a thing as non-GMO corn.

squire
06-25-2013, 06:42
Yes, Mr. Rutledge is also on record as saying there is no difference in the quality of the whisky produced by GMO or non-GMO corn varieties.

When it comes to Bourbon and GMO corn the issue for some in Europe and elsewhere is political and used to further their real agenda which is bashing America.

BigBoldBully
06-25-2013, 10:57
Man, that is seriously Monsanto'd up.

suntour
06-26-2013, 10:48
Yes, Mr. Rutledge is also on record as saying there is no difference in the quality of the whisky produced by GMO or non-GMO corn varieties.

When it comes to Bourbon and GMO corn the issue for some in Europe and elsewhere is political and used to further their real agenda which is bashing America.

Yes, but the whole point is we should be able to choose whether or not we consume GM foods, whether or not they've been shown to be good or bad. Labeling is the issue, not America bashing, or even paranoia (this has something to do with it clearly). I applaud WT and FR for their stances and support them...but agree keeping a non GMO product around in this time of corporate revolving-door politics will be extremely difficult.

squire
06-26-2013, 11:42
suntour my point is they complain about GMO corn in our Bourbon but not about GMO barley in Scotch.

sutton
06-26-2013, 16:52
suntour my point is they complain about GMO corn in our Bourbon but not about GMO barley in Scotch.

Can you even get non-GMO barley Scotch? Until you mentioned it, I haven't even thought about it.

suntour
06-26-2013, 17:16
I didn't necessarily want to go down the rabbit hole, but as far as I can tell GMO barley is not actively used for brewing or distillation. Pretty much the same goes for wheat. Corn and soy are the two things that are almost exclusively GMO in this country.

Malts for blends in Scotland are likely to contain GMOs, esp. in the form of GNS.

ChainWhip
06-26-2013, 18:32
Is barley modified by radiation considered GMO? I'm thinking specifically of the Gold Promise strain.

squire
06-26-2013, 19:22
Several things, but still on topic.

The famous barley variety Golden Promise (Macallan is very proud of their use of this strain) is a laboratory GMO created in part by bombarding the barley kernel with gamma rays to cause a mutation of the genes to bring out desirable traits such as disease resistance and increased yield. More than 90% of the crop in the 1970s - 80s, if you're drinking a 25-30 year old Scotch it's GMO whisky.

Maris Otter was the king of brewing barley in the UK and it too was developed in a lab. Both of these have been supplanted by newer GMO barley varieties.

US grown GMO corn is imported by the European Union and grown there as well.