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bourbonv
02-12-2004, 12:52
1 March 1938.

This date is important to the history of bourbon. Any guesses as to why it is important?

Mike Veach

OneCubeOnly
02-12-2004, 13:32
I'm not sure it's what you're going after, but does it have to do with this?

http://www.roizen.com/ron/dissch6.htm

bourbonv
02-17-2004, 06:29
Not even close. Any other guesses?

Mike Veach

pepcycle
02-17-2004, 07:26
Is it the day Carrie Nation found out she was being sent to Cuba in exchange for a box of cigars? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif

bluesbassdad
02-17-2004, 11:47
Mike,

Is it the birthday of someone whom we on StraightBourbon.com know, either personally or by reputation?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

bourbonv
02-17-2004, 12:14
Its not a Birthday.
Mike Veach

bourbonv
02-17-2004, 12:16
I like this answer but it is not right. My favorite quote about Carrie Nation is from Henry Watterson's editorial about her death when he said that it was only fitting that this daughter of Kentucky should die in dry, dry Kansas.

Mike Veach

Paradox
02-17-2004, 12:42
I have no idea but here's my guess (http://www.historylink.org/_output.CFM?file_ID=3722) since I found it on google. It happened that day and he did it, as he says, thanks to the pint of Kentucky bourbon he knocked back just before he reached Tahlequah at the end of his historic walk.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

bourbonv
02-17-2004, 12:45
Interesting, but 22 days too late.
Just a hint, Heaven Hill's bourbon brand manager was asking me about this date.
Mike Veach

bluesbassdad
02-17-2004, 12:51
Mike,

Was an innovation in the production, packaging, distribution or sale of bourbon introduced on that date?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

bourbonv
02-17-2004, 13:18
Dave,
You are on the right track, but innovation is not the right word.
Mike Veach

Gillman
02-17-2004, 13:26
Was alcohol permitted to be sold at retail in Bardstown and environs on the date in question under post-Prohibition local option laws?

Gary

bourbonv
02-17-2004, 13:28
Sorry Gary,
It is not a prohibition / sale of alcohol type date. Dave was closer.
Mike

brendaj
02-17-2004, 13:53
Mike,
OK, since a brand manager was doing the talking...
was it the first sale of a brand in small bottles , say Old Forrester?
Bj

TNbourbon
02-17-2004, 14:38
A shot in the dark here (but I'm put off by your non-Prohibition-related remark):
Is this the date of opening for the first BIB warehouses after Repeal, which was accomplished in Dec. 1933? Figuring a few months for regulatory and startup processing, post-Prohibition whiskey wouldn't have been produced until Spring 1934. That would make March 1938 the 4-year anniversary of its warehousing.

bourbonv
02-17-2004, 16:28
Good try, but no cigar! Prohibition ended in December 1933 so the first possible bonded whiskey would be December 1937. You are on the right track though.

Mike Veach

bourbonv
02-17-2004, 16:29
Sorry Brenda. Not even close.
Mike Veach

Gillman
02-17-2004, 17:19
Mike: introduction of tax-paid revenue stamps on bottles.

Also, in '38, a federal food and cosmetics law was passed. It prevented interstate commerce in adulterated products and regulated (prohibited) additives from being used in certain foods and drinks. Was that it, perhaps?

Gary

tommy
02-17-2004, 18:11
I've been reading up on Heaven Hill on its new website, and I saw that barrel #1 was filled in 1935. Was March 1, 1938 the date that whiskey was dumped or bottled or sold?

bourbonv
02-18-2004, 06:12
According to the regulations set up by the government after prohibition, All whiskey that wished to be designated "Straight Whiskey" other than corn whiskey, that was made on or after 1 March 1938 had to be aged in unused charred oak barrels. Early Times made 66 years ago on this day in February would have been defined as a "straight bourbon whiskey" but not after 1 March 1938.

Mike Veach

brendaj
02-18-2004, 07:27
Mike,
Thanks for answering early this morning. I found myself thinking about this last night as I was trying to go to sleep (Gawd, I need a life... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif).
Cool little tidbit,
Bj

cowdery
02-18-2004, 11:16
Interesting. I didn't know the rule was that recent. Do you know what led to its adoption?

bourbonv
02-18-2004, 11:25
Chuck,
The regulations were part of the government's regulations defining the industry after prohibition. This specific rule came about because of a strong lobby for the cooperage industry. Reusing barrels means less business for the cooperage companies and they were in the middle of a depression.

Mike Veach

dgonano
02-18-2004, 12:03
2 March 1938

This date is important as the first and last time
the unused barrels were filled and then flash-charred.
They're still cleaning up the mess!

Sorry for the humor.

bobbyc
02-18-2004, 12:09
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

Gillman
02-18-2004, 12:59
Yes, Mike, but surely the measure was also the adoption of a quality standard in that fine whiskey and new charred barrels had been associated from the beginning - not exclusively, but at the top end of the business. No?

Gary

bourbonv
02-18-2004, 13:18
Gary,
Even in the 1880's Atherton was telling Congress that Kentucky Whiskey, whiskey made for aging, was put into new charred oak barrels. It was not manditory, but that was how the best whiskey was made back then, at least publicly. Did they reuse barrels -yes. While at U D we tasted some prohibition era whiskey. Mike Wright, our Quality Control specialist was curious and ran some of the whiskey through some test and found that some of the qualities he analyzed were associated with the use of used cooperage. Some of that whiskey, in his professional opinion was aged in reused barrels. The product, Mammoth Cave Bourbon if I recall correctly was not bad tasting, in fact it was better than many other prohibition era products I have tried.

It does make we wonder though, what would the end product taste like if you took 10 barrels of Early Times, 7 new cooperage and 3 reused, and aged it for 10 or 12 years. I have some Early Times Bourbon from Japan and I rather like it. It is very superior, in my opinion, to the Early Times Kentucky Style Whiskey they sell here in the states. Would the use cooperage hurt the product? I don't know. I would like to find out.

The point is that if you drink a bourbon made before 1 March 1938 there could very well be some aged in used cooperage married in with the new cooperage product to create the whiskey in the bottle. Knowing that they had accountants back then as well as now, I suspect that a lot of the bourbon made before 1 March 1938 was made with used cooperage.

Mike Veach

Gillman
02-18-2004, 13:52
Thanks, Mike. At the very least, one could see that a combination of whiskey aged in reused charred barrels and whiskey aged in new charred barrels could be very good, especially if aged for 10-12 years as you were bruiting. The taste of whiskey aged only in reused charred barrels is familiar to me. Most Canadian whisky, or much of it, is aged in such cooperage. This lends it a distinctive taste. Not fresh oak; not new charred oak; but rather the former with a hint of the latter. A charcoal-tinged woodiness, one might say. This can be nice but no straight whisky is made in Canada (setting aside experiments such as Lot 40 and Forty Creek). Thus, it is hard to tell what that "signature" would be like as applied to whiskey otherwise straight and aged for a decent time. You cited Early Times whiskey as a potential candidate but one too young to appraise properly. I agree. If Early Times was aged for, say, 8-10 years it might taste like ... that Mammoth Cave you mentioned. Or maybe it wouldn't unless the cooperage matrix had included barrels that were new-charred when filled. It is hard to say.. But my point was, presumably in 1938 someone thought, all obeisance made to the lobbies (there are always lobbies!), that aging in all new-charred barrels makes the best straight whiskey.

Gary

TNbourbon
02-18-2004, 20:11
I wonder if the different char levels resulted from how quickly they could put those flash-charred barrels out! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/hot.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

bourbonv
02-19-2004, 06:12
Gary,
Early Times does use new charred barrels as well as reused barrels. I am not sure what the exact percentage is, but I do know that over 50% of Early Times is aged in the same manner as bourbon with new cooperage.
Mike Veach

cowdery
02-19-2004, 07:12
The Cooper and his Trade, by Kenneth Kilby, an English cooper, suggests that protection of cooperage jobs was the primary reason for the rule, although I disagree with that. The coopers would certainly be in favor of it, but it has a significant effect on the product too.

cowdery
02-19-2004, 07:37
I was just rereading the other day my notes from when we tasted that Mammoth Cave and the fact that some used cooperage may have been involved would explain why it was not overaged as you might expect an 18-year-old bourbon to be. A lot of the prohibition era stuff, aged that long, really isn't very good because it is too woody, but the Mammoth Cave was not.

I speculated once in The Reader about what style might emerge if you took a bourbon-formula whiskey and aged it like scotch, i.e., for 12+ years in used cooperage. It wouldn't be bourbon, both legally and in fact, but it might be interesting.

bourbonv
02-19-2004, 08:29
Chuck,
I agree with you here. New cooperage does make for a better bourbon, at least that is what Atherton implies in the 1880's before Congress, but would it really hurt to have some recycled cooperage as well? The Mammoth Cave is a case in point. I forgot that you were one of the people we let taste the Mammoth Cave. I seem to remember a strong minty flavor in the nose of the bourbon. That was one of the characteristics that made Mike Wright to do the analysis of Mammoth Cave. He said that indicated to him used cooperage and he wanted to see if there were other properties as well.

Mike Veach

bourbonv
02-19-2004, 08:35
Chuck,
When we looking at whisky for the U D "Rare Bourbon" collection we had looked at some corn whiskey, aged in used cooperage for 18 years and had a barrel proof of about 163. The mash bill was about the same as the Old Charter I W Harper mash bill of 85% corn, 9% rye and 6% malt. It was actually a very good product when cut with water to a managable proof. The used cooperage kept it from being too woody.
Mike Veach

pepcycle
02-19-2004, 08:53
If the char level and redline impact only a few millimeters of the wood, could barrels be re-charred, producing a new interface deeper in the wood?

bourbonv
02-19-2004, 09:06
I would guess, and if anyone has better information I would be pleased to hear it, that the answer is no. My reasoning for this is that they do re-char barrels before they use them for Scotch. I believe they also re-char the barrels before they reuse them for Early Times. I suspect the act of charring and creation of the original "red line" uses most of the sugars in the wood.

Mike Veach

Gillman
02-19-2004, 10:30
That new Michter's "unblended" whiskey might qualify if it was kept that long. Right now it is, I would think, 4-6 years old, but if Chatham Imports keeps the barrels that long this might show what a bourbon or rye formula aged that long would taste like. Chuck, I didn't follow the earlier part about certain cooperage practices in England. Surely they did not char casks in England? Or did they..? Or was the writer talking simply of using new casks that (presumably in England) were uncharred?

Gary

Gillman
02-19-2004, 10:34
I would have thought mint implied a high rye content. When I tasted blind Trace it struck me as spearmint-like and it has a high rye content and (of course) no aging in non-charred or reused charred barrels.

Gary

cowdery
02-19-2004, 11:24
The writer, an English cooper, was commenting on the American practice and, naturally, got it wrong in implying that the only reason Americans use barrels only once is to keep coopers employed.

One thing about barrel-making. As bulky as they are for their value, you have to make them close to the customers. Those jobs will never be sent to Mexico.

cowdery
02-19-2004, 11:29
As Mike indicates, dechar-rechar is a common practice in Scotland, so I'm not sure the answer is "no," otherwise why would they do it? Click here for a good Whisky Mag article on the subject. (http://www.whiskymag.com/magazine/issue34/whisky_production/lets_do_the_char_char.html)

Of course, a dechar-rechar still wouldn't be "new" and couldn't be used for bourbon, and undoubtedly would be diminished in its effect, which may have been Mike's point.