View Full Version : VOB Lineup?
I know this has been brought up before, but I still haven't read a definitive answer to the following question: Are the different proof-bottlings of VOB 6yo the same whiskey? Or rather, is there any difference in taste profile (beyond the proof difference)?
Wouldn't you know it--at the recommendation of our wise fellow Bourbonian Chuck Cowdery, I brought home a bottle of VOB BIB, and have since developed quite a fondness for it. The 86 proof version is available in D.C. So, should I make the drive or hold out for another Kentucky trip?
Like you, I've noted this before -- but, to date, I still have never seen (at least in TN) an 86-proof VOB 6yo or any other age. All the VOB around here is 80 or 90 proof. So, in addition to the answer to your question, I'd also be interested in any insight about why Barton issues so many bottlings the same age bunched around the same proof. The same brand at 80 and 86 seems pretty common; 80 and 90 seems reasonable; but 80, 86 AND 90 seems like overkill.
I think I may have mentioned this before, but I have purchased the BIB in Gatlinburg. Given how large TN is, though, I guess that could be worse than out of state for you!
Right now, I'm pursuing the case purchase thing with VA ABC regarding VOB BIB. I have been quoted a price of $134.40 for 12 bottles. With VA ABC, my attitude is usually "believe it when you're drinking it." If this works out, I'll let you know. Who knows? Maybe some of us Virginians can get together and purchase a case of something more exotic.
And I still don't know exactly how all the bottlings differ besides proof.
The odd thing is not the fact that Barton makes VOB in a range of proofs, it is that stores such as Liquor Barn choose to carry the entire range. My guess is that they do it because they always have and all four proofs sell. VOB is the #1 bourbon in Kentucky.
but 80, 86 AND 90 seems like overkill.
Until the last few years, the 90 proof was a Tennessee only bottling.I remember a liquor store owner telling me some fellow came in and wanted some VOB 90 and he said he'd never heard of it, so the guy brings a bottle in, so it did exist at the time. Probably people asking for it spread it's distribution to Kentucky.The only places I see the whole lineup is at Liquor Barn and other large stores.
proof aside is it all the same stuff. If we took a shot of each and reduced them all to 80 proof would they be identical?
> If we took a shot of each and reduced them all to 80 proof would they be identical?
This is a bit of a subtle question due to the effect of proof on chill
filtering. Say you take one barrel of bourbon and pour half the contents
into one container and half in another container. You now add a different
amount of water to the two conatiners, and then chill filter them
separately and bottle 'em. The portion chill filtered at lower proof would
have more material filtered out of it, thus would be ever so slightly
If you now pour shots from these two bottlings and add water to make
the proofs equal, the two shots whould not be identical (even though
they came from the same exact barrel), due to the chill filtering.
The effect is somewhat subtle. I personally don't think I could
tell which was which. It has been noted before that higher proof
bottlings tend to "taste better", but maybe that's just because
tastier stuff is bottled at higher proof.
Even if the different proofs are bottled from different vattings,
they probably try to match the flavor profiles for brand consistancy.
(That's my feeling about what they probably do. I don't have any
Like Tim, I can only speculate but knowing the production practices of the industry, my assumption is that VOB is VOB and the only difference is the amount of dilution. The exception to this might be the bottled-in-bond, which must by law be entirely the product of a single distillation season, whereas with the others they can mix some older and younger whiskies, so long as none is younger than the six years old stated on the label.
The exception to this might be the bottled-in-bond, which must by law be entirely the product of a single distillation season, whereas with the others they can mix some older and younger whiskies, so long as none is younger than the six years old stated on the label.
This would be a logical explanation for why so many of you folks out there single out the BIB as the best (or at least clearly unique) in the bunch. Do you think this is it?
I can't really say because when I have VOB, 9 times out of 10 it's the BIB.
Seems I've been guilty of some "forest-for-the-trees"-type blindness -- I've discovered that a liquor store I frequent less than a mile from home has all four (80-, 86-, 90-, 100-proof) VOBs. I'd previously reported never having seen the 86 in TN before, and the BIB only occasionally. Well, no excuse now -- I have a liter of the BIB open on my shelf (at a 10% discount!). I promise, the 86 is not common around here -- I've looked after seeing others' references -- but I now know where to find it. (I usually buy the top-shelf stuff in this store; guess it pays to lower my sights once in a while.)
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