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Vision
10-10-2004, 22:05
I was reading an article about gin tonight and they mentioned gin isn't aged, and didn't give an explaintion.

That seems strange? Does gin really come from the still ready to drink?

cowdery
10-10-2004, 23:37
I suppose "ready to drink" is subjective but, yes, gin is not aged, nor are other clear spirits such as vodka, white rum and white tequila. Gin is essentially flavored vodka, flavored with various herbs and spices--"botanicals" is the term they use--primarily essence of juniper berry. One popular brand, Seagram's Gin, is "aged" in used bourbon barrels for about 90 days, which gives it a tiny bit of color, barely perceptible. They are allowed to do it but they can't, by law, call it "aging" so they call it something else, "tempering" perhaps.

OneCubeOnly
10-11-2004, 03:34
Gin & vodka are distilled with the intent of removing most (if not all) flavor. Then for gin, the flavors are put back in. This is quite different from "whiskies", which are distilled inefficiently, leaving character from their grains of origin. Grain neutral spirits don't really have harsh edges to smooth via barrel aging.

tlsmothers
10-11-2004, 17:19
Anybody checked this Kensington Gin (http://www.kensingtongin.com/) out? Supposedly "aged" in Kentucky bourbon barrels?

cowdery
10-11-2004, 17:32
It looks like the same deal. "Cured" is the term they use instead of "aged." Worth a visit for the pompous opening animation.

Vision
10-11-2004, 19:14
Wow

So, the whole bit on M*A*S*H about their gin being an hour old, which caused it to be extremely harsh, is not reality?

I guess they should have focused the humor more on the rough gin coming from a homebrew still.

gr8erdane
10-12-2004, 01:09
They referred to it as gin I believe in reference to the "bathtub gin" that was so popular during prohibition (which during the Korean War was not so distant in the past).

Dave_in_Canada
10-12-2004, 08:53
Worth a visit for the pompous opening animation.



That opening animation exemplifies everything that is WRONG with the internet. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/hot.gif

clayton
10-12-2004, 12:03
That opening animation exemplifies everything that is WRONG with the internet


Welcome to computer animation, circa 1986.
Cue the Strauss!

dgonano
10-12-2004, 15:07
gin is not aged, nor are other clear spirits such as vodka, white rum and white tequila.



But many rums are aged, as are tequilas, cachacas. But I haven't seen any aged vodkas ( Basil Hayden excluded ).

Why can these be aged without losing their ability to be called rum, tequila, cachaca, etc. ?

wrbriggs
10-12-2004, 15:14
On a related note (and while trying to look up whether gin by definition is not aged), I came across this little gem (emphasis is mine):



gin

\Gin\, n. [Contr. from Geneva. See 2d Geneva.] A strong alcoholic liquor, distilled from rye and barley, and flavored with juniper berries; -- also called Hollands and Holland gin, because originally, and still very extensively, manufactured in Holland. Common gin is usually <font color="red">flavored with turpentine.</font>

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.



How can that be true? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

cowdery
10-12-2004, 15:39
It's just what the defintions of those beverages are. Vodka and gin, by definition, are not aged. Rum and tequila are sold both aged and unaged, presumably cachaca too, though I can't say I've ever had aged cachaca. Gin is really just a type of flavored vodka (flavored with juniper berry), as is akavit (flavored with carraway seeds).

The difference between the gin/vodka/akavit group and the rum/tequila group is proof of distillation. The gin/vodka/akavit group is based on a neutral spirit, distilled out at >190 proof, while tequila and rum, like brandy and whiskey, are distilled at 160 proof and lower.

This is not to say that nothing would happen if you put a neutral spirit into a barrel for some period of time, but it isn't done.

OneCubeOnly
10-12-2004, 15:49
This is not to say that nothing would happen if you put a neutral spirit into a barrel for some period of time, but it isn't done.



What about the neutral spirits that are used to make Scotch blends? They have to be aged to make the age statements accurate!? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Or did you just mean it's not done to be sold as a unique product???

dgonano
10-12-2004, 15:57
aged and unaged, presumably cachaca too, though I can't say I've ever had aged cachaca.



I have tried this Pira Pora (http://internetwines.com/rws26386.html)
and it is a sipper. Stay with the unaged for caipirinhas.

Gillman
10-12-2004, 17:51
I don't know but I've read this too. Imagine, new spirit is subjected to sophisticated treatments to remove all flavour compounds, some of which used to be (and may still) be sent to chemical plants to make turpentine and lacquer, and yet some of the latter apparently is added back in to the cleansed spirit! Go figure.

Gary

tdelling
10-12-2004, 18:07
> What about the neutral spirits that are used to make Scotch blends?

You must be thinking of what they call "grain whiskies"... not neutral
by any stretch of the imagination. They're made using column stills
(like bourbon is), and thus are lighter in character than pot stilled
whisky. But they definitely taste like whisky!

There are a (very) few "single grain whiskies" bottled, and there are
a few bottles out there of "mingled" grain whiskies, too.

Tim Dellinger

cowdery
10-12-2004, 18:32
When I was in Brazil, admittedly 20 years ago, I sought out the best and most expensive cachaca I could find to bring back with me. It was in a lovely stoneware bottle and cost all of $3.50. Of course, that's when inflation was so bad they were pricing the local currency by weight. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

cowdery
10-12-2004, 18:47
In this regard the Canadian and Scottish practices are similar and, in fact, while Scottish grain whiskies were traditionally made from unmalted barly they now are mostly made from wheat or corn (maize), just like in Canada. They are only 'neutral' in a relative sense, compared to the very flavorful malts or, in the case of Canada, the wheat and rye flavoring whiskies, but they are distilled at less than 190 proof and are barrel aged (in both places). I did a quick search and couldn't find an exact distillation proof for the typical Scottish grain whiskey. At least in the U.S., anything distilled at above 190 is "neutral spirit" (i.e., vodka) by definition, while anything (made from grain that is) distilled at less than 190 proof is whisk(e)y.

Edward_call_me_Ed
03-19-2005, 08:45
I have been wondering what kind of stills are used to distill bourbon. Column stills? Really? Are any bourbons distilled in the more traditional pot stills?
Ed