PDA

View Full Version : Maker's Mark-eting



angelshare
10-29-2005, 15:52
I (Dave) recently viewed a dvd given to me by my dad, who belongs to the MM Ambassadors. In the presentation, a couple of things caught my interest:

1) MM claims to have stringent rules about their cooperage, specifically:

-the wood must season at least 9 months to reduce tannins and break down lignins (sp?) for increased vanilla flavoring;

-MM barrels have fewer staves than the average barrel.

2) After three years, upon approval by a tasting panel, barrels are rotated for further aging in a cooler area.

My question is whether these practices are unique to MM (as is implied in the video), or if other distillers essentially do the same thing. I know that rotation used to be more common, although I have no idea who still does it and how much. I had never heard the statements about cooperage selection before.

Gillman
10-29-2005, 16:38
Dave, my understanding is MM is one of the few if not the only distiller still to practise such rotation. In addition to the traditional-sounding techniques you described, apparently MM distills and enters at fairly low proofs, and uses a traditional type of mill for the grain.

So, why does it not taste like Old Fitzgerald and Old Weller in their prime, or even like many say MM tasted in the 70's and earlier?

This is something that puzzles me. Possibly it is being sold younger than in its salad days.

Gary

bobbyc
10-29-2005, 18:44
I had never heard the statements about cooperage selection before.




So then I was trying to find out a little more about This stuff (http://www.straightbourbon.comhttp://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/40659/an/page/page//vc/1). In talking to someone who works at Bluegrass Cooperage, owned by Brown-Forman,We were talking about one of the pieces that I have,and yet to photograph and include on the thread. It turns out to be a Double-End Power Windlass for Tight Barrels. The guy tells me about it's use and how the staves are steamed and drawn up with that machine, I made the offhand comment about the wood seasoning requirements made by Makers being a little silly at that point.Maker's as far as I know are the only ones to include this info and draw from it the inference of a superior product by the practice. My reasoning had to do with the length of time to air dry and season the wood, only to have the moisture reintroduced at the drawing up of the barrel. He went straight into that it may be seasoned so long to reduce those tannins and lignins.Also mentioned was the practice of leaving the wood "In the weather" to produce a leaching out effect.Unknown largely to us, it seems it is something the "Barrel Guys" deal with daily. Funny, the barrel notes are important and yet there are ways to tweak even that.

boone
10-29-2005, 21:53
That's true about the cooperage being cured...

I have talked to the owner's of one of the local barrel making companies. He confirmed the seasoned staves tale. I asked him who was the "pickiest"? He said, Jim Beam. He noted that they require each stave to be a specified width...or they just won't take the barrels.

I asked, about the barrel char...He just looked at me with the "deer with a light in their eyes" kinda glare http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif Couldn't cypher if I hit on a sour note or if he didn't want me to know.

He was "politely" upset with me. Ya see, I just walked thur his "entire plant" without as much as a "hey" what are you doing here, kinda response. Being female (at times) will let you do alot of stuff http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

He was not a "Happy Camper" but he sure was a "Gentleman Unhappy Camper" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Bettye Jo

barturtle
10-29-2005, 23:32
I can't imagine any other distiller rotating their barrels, the differences that occur would help to widen the flavor profile and provide for brand profiles.

On a side note: Buffalo Trace, on my last tour, claimed to be the only distillery that still sends out "leak chasers" to seal up leaky barrels...I'm so happy that they save my whiskey for me http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

As for it not tasting like Weller/Fitz, the barrels could be part of it, or that tiny little still(or stills, since there are now two), or the recipe(I have it at 70C/14W/16B, anybody know the Weller?), or the backset(about a third, the legal min. is 25%),water, youth, filtering (charcoal, before barreling), etc.

I'd like to try the Black Label, but they consider it to be too dear for the U.S.

TNbourbon
10-30-2005, 06:46
...or the backset(about a third, the legal min. is 25%)...



There's a legal minimum for backset? I don't find it in the federal regulations (the only reference to mash is minimum grain content for the various whiskeys), which imply by omission that an authentic 'sweet mash' would be legal, though not currently used by anyone.

barturtle
10-30-2005, 10:43
...or the backset(about a third, the legal min. is 25%)...








There's a legal minimum for backset? I don't find it in the federal regulations (the only reference to mash is minimum grain content for the various whiskeys), which imply by omission that an authentic 'sweet mash' would be legal, though not currently used by anyone.



Hmm, I can't find it either. I didn't double-check my source: The World Whiskey Guide, Jim Murray 2000 p.260. First published as "The Complete Guide to Whiskey" 1997

Anybody know for sure?

boone
10-30-2005, 14:23
Maker's uses HH backset, to start up. This has been their practice for years and years.

I've been told that the term "sour mash" is used because they use backset (worker's slang--->slop<----) spent mash from the previous batch...

I've always heard that whenever they don't use backset at start up...it's called "sweet mash".

Bettye Jo

ratcheer
10-30-2005, 17:33
That's precisely my understanding, too, Bettye Jo.

Tim

angelshare
10-30-2005, 17:56
That's true about the cooperage being cured...



Just to make sure we're on the same page with you, Betty Jo - it's true that MM is the only distillery that demands curing? Or do others demand it for different lengths of time than MM?



I asked him who was the "pickiest"? He said, Jim Beam. He noted that they require each stave to be a specified width...or they just won't take the barrels.



Interesting...even in the MM dvd, the impression I got was that stave width was more about potential leaking than about quality. Did he comment on whether JB had curing requirements, too?



He was "politely" upset with me. Ya see, I just walked thur his "entire plant" without as much as a "hey" what are you doing here, kinda response.



That's HILARIOUS! Kudos to you for going straight to the source to get your info! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

boone
10-30-2005, 19:03
Ok http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Gotcha http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Let me start from the start http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I went there (where they make the barrels) to take pictures http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif I went to the little building (on the side) where the office is located. No one was there. I walked over to the plant, I could see folks inside but it was so loud they could not hear me. Nor, could I catch their attention, waving my arms above my head. Shoot, I don't think it would have done any good...Nearly all were Mexican and spoke very little English.

I could see in the back, really big "log trucks"...For some reason, I thought that "planks" were shipped in and they made the staves from there. Nawwwwwwwwww...they bring "entire logs", with logging equipment to pick them up and put them on the conveyor to the saw mill...

Note....I had a camera in my hand and was so taken with all of it that I didn't take the first picture...I was like a kid in a "candy store" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif All that machinery, and watching how it worked. Well, it was just awsome...They do the entire process from cutting the trees to cooper putting them together...

I walked thru the entire process...saw mill (real thick air, and really loud) shaving, cutting, transfer from one conveyor to another...Men working very hard. It was a job that I would not do nor want any of my kin doin' http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Open flames, on a moving conveyor...a very, very, very long line of flames burning the inside of the barrels...Very hot, very, very smokey...I felt as if it were a dungeon. Every step, of the process took lots of man power. The machinery did alot of work but it took many hands to keep the flow going, from one end of the plant to another.

I looked at several guy's as I walked thru and asked for the manager. They gave me that look http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bigeyes.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/27.gif They didn't have a clue what I said...I ventured all the way thru and finally at the end, I meet the "cooper". He Spoke very good English. I asked him for the manager.

From out of nowhere...he appeared. He asked me who I was and what I wanted. He was not happy with me, at all. He told me so. He was not mean nor hateful. Just stating facts. I apologized and told him that I made every attempt to contact him...My first stop was at the main office...and then I kept venturing further and further.

He understood. It wasn't like I was spying for secrets or trying to do harm there. Just curious. I told him that I wanted to take pictures and post them on Straightbourbon.com. I told him my name and who my folks were etc...etc...He asked me did I take pictures while I was inside?

He did not want me inside. We walked outside right beside the main highway and we talked...I pressed him politely to let me go in and take pictures. He (very gentlemanly) said he would get back with me. I got nowhere and could have kicked myself for being so "awe-struck" with the process that I forgot my intentions http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bigeyes.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif to take pictures!

I started to ask him question about the barrels. He is the one who told me that Maker's staves have to be seasoned for nine months. I didn't ask if other's did that process. I assume, they don't or he would have said "Jim Beam and Maker's" season their staves for nine months...He told me that Jim Beam require each stave to be the widest width of all. If a stave is less than that width, they will reject that barrel.

I asked about char, and how long he has done this cooperage. Lots and lots of questions. He didn't know about Straightbourbon.com and told me that he really didn't want his place "put in the limelight" so to speak. I told him it was too late that I had already posted pictures of the outside quite awhile ago. He seemed surprised.

He kindly, shook my hand http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bis.gif and told me he would "call me" when he discussed this with his partner...Well, I ain't heard from him since...

Bettye Jo

cowdery
10-30-2005, 23:15
"Mark-eting" is the key here.

This is a type of parity claim. The classic parity claim is "nobody has more Chevys than we do." It sounds like they have the most Chevys when all they're saying is "We and the other guys who have just as many Chevys as we do have the most Chevys," a group which may include all, or most, of their competition. It claims parity in a way that sounds like superiority. What Maker's is doing is just a more sophisticated version of the same practice.

Every distiller has specifications for its barrels. Barrels are expensive, their performance is crucial, and since the distiller doesn't make them, the distiller has to monitor their production very carefully. All staves, for example, are either kiln dried or air dried. There are arguments for the superiority of each. So, all staves are dried, but how long and by what method varies precisely because there is no consensus about which formula is best. Each producer, obviously, thinks their formula is best.

The purpose of wider staves, theoretically, is that fewer stave-to-stave interfaces means fewer opportunities for leaks. Again, the "optimum" number is debatable and the benefit, fewer leaks, even if it does occur, is of no value to the consumer.

I could go chapter and verse, but you get the picture.

Bobby wrote:



Maker's as far as I know are the only ones to include this info and draw from it the inference of a superior product by the practice.



Because Brown-Forman owns Bluegrass Cooperage, you get a lot of this type of chatter from them too. They "believe" no one has more "unique" specifications for their barrels than they do. Again, one usually is too polite to say the obvious, which is "so what?" I have also heard a lot of barrel talk from folks at Buffalo Trace. In the industry worldwide, you hear talk about "wood management," which is a broader subject but does include barrel specifications.

Some whiskey drinkers go nuts for this stuff too, the technical details of production. I'm told this is especially true of Germans. Then they have long arguments about the relative merits of different practices, all of which are conjectural at best.

Finally, there is no "legal minimum" for backset since there is no requirement that distilleries use backset at all and, as Bettye Jo mentioned, they can and occasionally do use the sweet mash method, which (by definition) uses no backset. However, twenty-five percent is a good approximation of the normal practice.

barturtle
10-31-2005, 01:24
Thanks for the info.

I'm quite familar with the term "wood management", mostly with emphasis towards scotch barrels: first fill, second fill, sherry, port, etc. But, I had never heard of bourbon producers being picky about the number of staves, not that it doesn't make sense to be picky. that had just never occured to me. I had just thought that the cooperages made barrels out of the wood type specified by the buyer and charred to the requested level and off they go. Learn something new every day.



Some whiskey drinkers go nuts for this stuff too, the technical details of production



You can count me among the nuts http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

Ken Weber
10-31-2005, 09:25
Just as an FYI, Buffalo Trace has always specified air dried staves. Furthermore, we do not want the staves until they have dried for a minimum of 9 months, if not longer.

Also, MM rotates their barrels because they essentially have a singular product and need for every barrel to taste as consistent/similar as possible. I believe they tout MM as being made in small batches and therefore do not marry hundreds of barrels together. This places a premium on having consistency from barrel to barrel. Of course I am speaking for MM and do not have the whole story.

Aside from the logistics of moving hundreds of thousands of barrels, we choose not to rotate since we are looking for specific flavor profiles that only come from aging in specific warehouse locations.

Ken

Sweetmeats
10-31-2005, 10:56
I'm a Maker's Mark Ambassador. I prefer Weller 12 but I'm sucker for freebies. Anyway, I got the DVD and have an extra that I can send to anyone who is interested. Please PM me if anyone wants it and I will send it to the first person who PM's me. Thanks!

**It's now been spoken for. Sorry if anyone else wanted it**

boone
10-31-2005, 11:42
After reading your post, I drove out the road to look at the cooperage again. This cooperage is a young one, ZAK Limited. They are not the size of Bluegrass Cooperage nor Independent Stave Company.

I wanted to see what's outside seasoning. Sure nuff, I think everything gets seasoned. I don't know how long though. There's massive, neatly stacked. rows of staves...Some are new some are very weathered...They came straight from the mill to the stacking yard...There's a incredible amount outside.

Here's a picture that I took about ten minutes ago http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif You can see a "small portion" of their stock. I took the pictures from the road http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif...Didn't want to get into any trouble http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Bettye Jo

Sweetmeats
10-31-2005, 11:52
In the DVD, when they go to taste a sample they slam the bung into the barrel. Is this the way it is normally done? So each barrel may have a bung or two floating inside when it is emptied?

boone
10-31-2005, 11:55
A look at the cooper's, finishing up the barrels...(I am standing in the road)...


Alot of ya know this area...This cooperage is in the same building as the "Seagram's" Distillery (burned in the early 70's) located, in Athertonville, Ky....Tale has it that young Abe Lincoln walked to the distillery (Boone Brother's back then http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif) "quite often" to bring his father (who worked there) lunch...Young Abe worked there for a short while.

The Lincoln's Boyhood Home (now a State Park) is just a skip down the road from this cooperage http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Bettye Jo

barturtle
10-31-2005, 11:58
WOW! That must take some effort. I've seen the effort that it takes to pull one out-Beam has this big, cool power corkscrew thing. And the few times I've done barrel tastings they actually hit the barrel on both sides of the bung with a mallet until it finally pops out. I can't imagine the force it requires to push a tapered bung through the hole in the barrel.

Sweetmeats
10-31-2005, 12:03
Of course...it could be staged. Shock...horror! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Or maybe I'm confused on what a bung is. Little round hole with a stopper in it?

doubleblank
10-31-2005, 12:06
My guess is you need to look at the DVD very carefully. They are probably hitting the barrel very hard.....right next to the bung. This makes them pop out so a thief can be inserted into the hole.

Randy

cowdery
10-31-2005, 13:17
"Bung" is actually the term for the plug. "Bung hole" is the term for the hole in the barrel into which the bung is inserted.

I've never seen nor heard of popping a bung into a barrel, which would be a hard thing to do and not a particularly good thing to do. Hitting the barrel to pop the bung out is kind of a parlor trick. The normal way of removing one is by using a device similar to a cork screw.

cowdery
10-31-2005, 13:22
The subject of barrel rotation vis a vis Maker's Mark is an interesting one. Maker's has always said that it still rotates, while we have received "field reports" from employees there, saying they don't. I think the truth in somewhere in the middle. What Ken says is true, about why they need to rotate, and what Maker's says is true, which is that they don't rotate routinely and certainly don't move every barrel, but they rotate stock when necessary to achieve the consistency they strive for. Because of the trouble and expense, I'm sure they rotate reluctantly and infrequently, but they probably do rotate some stock from time to time.

Sweetmeats
10-31-2005, 13:23
Thanks guys. My wife was watching it with me and commented, "They just knock that thing in there?" So, maybe our eyes are mistaken but I'll check again later to be sure.

Gillman
10-31-2005, 13:50
By the way, I've never accepted the assertion that blending non-rotated barrels will equal the palate of barrels routinely rotated. You will get a unique and possibly very good palate from batching hundreds of "differentially" aged barrels. It can't be the same though as the combination of barrels consistently rotated. Since flavor of each of the latter will be more uniform than for the differential barrels, a more uniform-tasting palate will result, no "evening out" can achieve the same thing. The logic of not rotating is apparent if as Ken Weber said, one wants to sell different-tasting bourbons (many different brands, as Buffalo Trace does). But apart from that, I think the story about big differential batches achieving the same result as methodical rotation is another boosterism story, therefore to be taken with a grain of salt. I believe rotation was abandoned by most distilleries for the reason Ken said or in some cases just to save money. It does make sense though that a distillery which famously makes one product will want to be very careful with its palate and consistent rotation can only help that.

Gary

bobbyc
10-31-2005, 14:16
in some cases just to save money



Or in another case to make money. In order to rotate barrels some section of each rickhouse must be left empty. You could do an academic exercise whereby some barrels are removed to be bottled, some are rotated , then new barrels are brought in , but it doesn't work in a real world situation. If for instance the day you decide you need to drop a few hundred barrels to a lower floor, and nothing is ready to leave to be bottled, you are done right there. Beam and Makers are building houses and At Barton Ken told us they could use a few more there, I imagine everyone else is in the same boat.

I don't have a problem with the basic premise of an " Average Cross Section" of barrels mingled to acheive a profile, amd by the same token, if one wanted every barrel in the mix to be nearly the same then barrel rotation would be nessesary.

Sweetmeats
10-31-2005, 20:57
Okay. I watched that part again at least 10 times. He uses a mallet and hits the bung into the barrel. So, any thoughts?

cowdery
10-31-2005, 21:20
Bung abuse?

gr8erdane
10-31-2005, 21:58
And just be glad he's not your proctologist?

angelshare
11-01-2005, 04:59
Bobby, Bettye Jo, Chuck...heck, everybody, thanks for all the interesting insights. As usual, cool pix, Bettye Jo.




Bobby wrote:



Maker's as far as I know are the only ones to include this info and draw from it the inference of a superior product by the practice.



Because Brown-Forman owns Bluegrass Cooperage, you get a lot of this type of chatter from them too. They "believe" no one has more "unique" specifications for their barrels than they do. Again, one usually is too polite to say the obvious, which is "so what?" I have also heard a lot of barrel talk from folks at Buffalo Trace. In the industry worldwide, you hear talk about "wood management," which is a broader subject but does include barrel specifications.



If I'm reading Bobby correctly, I had the same reaction - I've never heard this as part of the marketing talk before. Although there are plenty of people here who have been around the bourbon block more times than us, I thought we had heard most of the "standard practice spun as special" claims before - fine grains, whispers of wheat, new charred oak barrels, aging, TN whiskey maple charcoal, etc. etc. etc. After 10+ years of being the targets of American whiskey marketing, this was new to us.

Therefore, Chuck's comments were quite interesting, too. In what forum does the cooperage chatter go on? Is it something that production people discuss with drinks writers and insiders, yet is largely ignored by the mass marketing folks? Or have we just missed this marketing up until now?




...there is no "legal minimum" for backset since there is no requirement that distilleries use backset at all and, as Bettye Jo mentioned, they can and occasionally do use the sweet mash method, which (by definition) uses no backset.



If your label says "sour mash," can you still use occasional sweet mash in production?

Finally, although I haven't watched it 10 times, my impression was the same - the guy just whacks the bung right into the barrel.

Once again, thanks for the perspectives on this.

cowdery
11-01-2005, 14:35
When someone performs the parlor trick of hitting the barrel in such a way that the bung pops out it can appear that the bung is going into the barrel because the bung simply disappears. It flies into the air so quickly you don't see it. I suspect that is what you are seeing, or not seeing. I say this because I have never seen nor heard of anyone forcing a bung into a barrel, which seems impossible and certainly pointless.

I would say that hearing a lot of talk about wood is fairly recent. The commitment of the distilleries to make more and more information available to consumers is an evolving one. I mentioned the Germans before because Europeans, and especially it seems the Germans, tend to be more interested in very esoteric technical information.

It's also a matter of individual personalities. Chris Morris gets into that sort of thing, so you hear a lot of it from Woodford Reserve. So does Dave Pickerell, hence you hear it from Maker's Mark. At Buffalo Trace, it's Mark Brown. Other places not so much because it's not the sort of thing that interests Jimmy Russell or Parker Beam, for example. But every distillery has rigorous specifications for its barrels. I can assure you of that.

bobbyc
11-01-2005, 16:41
I say this because I have never seen nor heard of anyone forcing a bung into a barrel



Actually my Grandfather and Carl Beam got into "Bung Knockers" after both of them had retired and would maybe seldom be around Barrels of Bourbon. Picture one of those iron digging tools that you pry rocks with, about 3-4 feet long and with a slightly mushroomed head, they do knock the bung into the barrel, but honestly I think it was for dumping and not to take a sample. I guess it was one of those things, they made them, and probably knew they'd never use them, just something to do.

Amoung some of the other " things" I accumulated over time is a forge and coal grate, and I do plan to do some blacksmithing between now and my exit from the world, it's not real high on the list at present. I only mention that because that is what was used, heat a iron shaft red hot and hammer it out.

TNbourbon
11-01-2005, 17:37
Okay. I watched that part again at least 10 times. He uses a mallet and hits the bung into the barrel. So, any thoughts?



Try listening instead -- a second or so after he hits the barrel you can hear the bung hitting the floor.
If you have the capacity to slow down the video and/or view it frame-by-frame, you can see (at time marker 5:08.375) the mallet hitting just to the right of the bung hole, and then hear the bung hitting the wooden warehouse floor. You do not see the bung fly, it happens so quickly.

Sweetmeats
11-01-2005, 19:47
If you have the capacity to slow down the video and/or view it frame-by-frame, you can see (at time marker 5:08.375)



I'll buy that. My DVD player cannot even get to that time marker. That's much too precise for my old machine. I did hear the sound you're referring to though. That bung moves at supersonic speed. Anyone ever been hurt by it flying out that fast?

cowdery
11-02-2005, 00:01
As I said before, parlor trick. Bungs are really removed by a kind of power corkscrew that essentially destroys the bung to remove it, but it does remove it. I'm not familiar with the "bung knockers" Bobby describes, but it's the same kind of idea, a way to make short work of the bung. Remember, they're dumping dozens of barrels at a time, one after another, and they move it along quickly.

But what about removing the bung to take a sample, then rebunging the barrel? Again, a parlor trick. The real way whiskey is extracted from barrels for testing is by drilling a hole in the head, whiskey shoots out, you fill a bottle (or whatever) then plug the hole with a wooden plug. A few taps with a mallet and the barrel is sealed. About the only thing fancy about it is that the cordless drill has to be one that doesn't produce sparks.

angelshare
11-02-2005, 05:05
I would say that hearing a lot of talk about wood is fairly recent. The commitment of the distilleries to make more and more information available to consumers is an evolving one. I mentioned the Germans before because Europeans, and especially it seems the Germans, tend to be more interested in very esoteric technical information.

It's also a matter of individual personalities. Chris Morris gets into that sort of thing, so you hear a lot of it from Woodford Reserve. So does Dave Pickerell, hence you hear it from Maker's Mark. At Buffalo Trace, it's Mark Brown. Other places not so much because it's not the sort of thing that interests Jimmy Russell or Parker Beam, for example.



The question that this begs (at least to me) is, in the grand scheme, how much difference this really makes in the end product? From Bettye Jo's pictures, it looks like all of the wood is seasoned to some extent. Intuitively, the varying charring would seem much more likely to make an appreciable difference in the end product than varying the seasoning by a few months. Also, intuitively, if Jimmy Russell or Parker Beam aren't interested, how important can minor variations really be?

Still, it's kind of cool to be hearing something different and about which it's worth learning a little more; it seems like a lot of the marketing stuff has just been recycling the same old themes over the last several years.

NeoTexan
11-02-2005, 12:24
Ok, to settle this for you guys, I just got off the phone with Kevin Smith (the mallet swinger). He told me he hit the stave and the bung flew. The bung never goes into the barrel. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clever.gif

Sweetmeats
11-02-2005, 12:58
Ok, to settle this for you guys, I just got off the phone with Kevin Smith (the mallet swinger). He told me he hit the stave and the bung flew. The bung never goes into the barrel. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clever.gif



D'OH! Thanks!

OneCubeOnly
11-04-2005, 05:39
I snapped lots of photos of this "parlor trick" when we were sampling barrels for the 2004 BT bottling. You smack the stave adjacent to the bung and it goes flying. I happened to catch one in midair:

angelshare
11-04-2005, 10:18
Ok, to settle this for you guys, I just got off the phone with Kevin Smith (the mallet swinger). He told me he hit the stave and the bung flew. The bung never goes into the barrel. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clever.gif



Should have known Dale would have the INSIDE inside MM scoop! Actually, I was looking for Dale in the video itself! Were you there, NeoTexan?

NeoTexan
11-04-2005, 14:00
Recovering from surgery http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smil41df29a15fb35.gif(nothing major, just enough to put me out of action). It also made me miss this years Bourbon Festival. The "Whiskey Chicks" did send me a care package though.

barturtle
12-13-2005, 23:29
It's funny I came home and was going through my mail and my uncle had sent me a copy of this DVD. First thing I thought was "I gotta see this bit with the bung" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

NeoTexan
12-14-2005, 04:29
If you catch the show GOOD EATS on Egg Nog (Dec 16th, 2005 - 7:00pm EST), Dave Pickeral demonstrates the bung removal for the audience.

Sweetmeats
12-14-2005, 09:44
If you catch the show GOOD EATS on Egg Nog (Dec 16th, 2005 - 7:00pm EST), Dave Pickeral demonstrates the bung removal for the audience.



Yeah. I saw that. That makes it very clear exactly what happens. I feel kinda foolish even questioning it in the first place but hey, that's how you learn.