View Full Version : Distilleries to be featured on the History Channel...
This article was published in The Kentucky Standard (Bardstown, Ky.), Sunday August 1, 2004...
I have been looking forward to this for awhile. The History Channel is always excellent. If you watch this program with any kind of regularity...Watch for another show that runs kinda regular, Rumrunners Moonshiner's and Bootleggers...My Mom and Aunt Jo are featured in this documentary http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Good program .... lots of good info about all kinds of adult beverages.
Perhaps the headline should have read .... "Local distiliries ...." http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Last night, I'm having dinner on one of those rare occasions I get out of the shop, and my phone rings. Friend from TN leaves me a message just to tell me about the show. Maybe I can still catch it somehow.
So who saw the show and what did you think of it? I thought it was good for what it was. A few mistakes (e.g., they referred to new made whiskey as "neutral spirit"), but overall well done and enjoyable. I spotted a few old friends, both human and spiritous.
I did catch the show and thought it was very interesting.
They didn't spend much time on any segment but surprisingly explained and summarized the various distilling processes in an uncomplicated manner.
I believe the narrator did say that ALL spirits
are distilled to 190 proof.
they referred to new made whiskey as "neutral spirit"
As well as saying that it was colorless and odorless.
Good use of CGI for illustrative purposes.
They had footage from San Francisco, Kentucky, Virginia, Scotland, and some other places. I wonder how much a documentary like that costs to produce?
We enjoyed learning the elementary stuff about other spirits - tequila, gin, rum, vodka, scotch - as we were frankly quite ignorant regarding their manufacture. Each has it's own artistry, even if we don't necessarily care for the finished product in all cases. To tie into Marvin's thread about promoting bourbon, it's helpful to be able to compare and contrast the different spirits in a more educated manner. We also enjoyed the historical overviews, brief though they had to be.
We did have a few criticisms, and one of the most significant ones was that the viewer was given the impression that American whiskey (excepting rye) is Jim Beam, Maker's Mark and Jack Daniel. I know we have a bias, and, obviously, each profiled spirit only had ten or fifteen minutes of attention. Still, it would have been nice to acknowledge the existence of some lesser known products. Earlier in the show, the rye example was Old Potrero, which was presented in the context of a "movement" toward smaller scale unique American whiskey production. Unfortunately, the other American whiskies featured were the ones with which most people have some familiarity.
Other very minor stuff: it was implied that only scotch gives up an angel's share; one could infer that bourbon is still made in Bourbon county (I was almost sure I saw MM buildings as the narrator was talking about Bourbon county); the "segueway" bartender presented scotch as best enjoyed neat or with water but bourbon was presented in a Manhattan, implying in my opinion that it is a "mixing" beverage; MM was featured as THE wheated bourbon; etc.
And, finally, WHERE WAS CHUCK? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Overall, two thumbs up, a very nice documentary.
I watched it last night on Tivo. Overall I think it was a nice primer to distilled spirits. I'll admit I had no idea how many flavoring ingredients go into making gin. I thought it was just the juniper berries.
I have a question though. During the section on making vodka, I got the impression that they used a colum still in the opposite direction as that of a bourbon still. I mean, whereas bourbon mash is introduced to the still from near the top and allowed to fall down over the plates, it appeared as if they vaporized the vodka at the bottom and the plates were used to remove the cogeners. Maybe that was just on the 2nd or later distillations though.
Jeff, I didn't see the show, but what you said about a second or third distillation makes sense to me. Vodka production, also Canadian whisky, relies often on a stage known as extractive distillation. This is where the low wines are mixed with water and the abv drops to about 20%. This wash is entered in the extractive column from the lower third thereof. The steam used still comes in from the bottom. As you said, congener content is analysed on various plates and components can be extracted. This does not occur in bourbon production, nothing is taken out of the spirit as it moves through the column and second distillation stages.
There is, still, for the fan of traditional whiskey production, the further detail that bourbon, albeit distilled to not more than 160 proof and in practice lower than that, is not produced in one or successive pot distillations as, say, G. Washington's whiskey would have been (that was single distillation, I believe). The closest we have to that is the pot still component of Woodford Reserve. The current batches have a fine fruity nose and taste, one I believe that derives from authentic pot still production (think of the esters in fine malt whiskey and cognac, there is an analogy there).
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