View Full Version : Proof Equalization

02-01-2006, 14:20
Recently I picked up a set of graduated cylinders at a science gadget store. With these, I can now make effective use of the proof calculator in the FAQ to equalize with some precision the proofs of different whiskies. This will hopefully allow more fair comparisons of different whiskies.

As an initial foray, I compared Old Grand-Dad (the standard 86-proof version) with OGD 114, reduced to the same level. I had thought they would taste relatively similar, but even with the proof substantially reduced the OGD 114 still had a notably more assertive flavor than the OGD 86. I had read somewhere that a whiskey bottled at a higher proof and cut with some water when served will still have more flavor than whiskey bottled at the lower concentration from the beginning. It seemed a little counter-intuitive, but I have now experienced this first-hand.

I look forward to more similar comparisons, including OGD 86 and 114 vs. Basil Hayden's, WLW vs. Weller 12yo, and Old Overholt vs. just about every other rye (I think they're all bottled at higher proof, except maybe Beam).

02-01-2006, 14:46
Have fun and report back!
Even what you just wrote makes OGD 114 stand out as perhaps the best value on the market.

02-01-2006, 15:21
Chuck, if both bottles are from the same barrel and one is cut by the distillery and one is cut by you to the same proof using reasonably neutral water, they will taste the same. The reason the 114 tastes as it does is it is taken from one barrel or a small batch, the 86 comes from a much larger batch and is designed to meet a certain profile. IMHO.


02-01-2006, 15:55
I agree on the value of the 114, and I think I've seen some posts suggesting (speculating?) that there is older whisky in there than in the 86 or 100. But I think I would have agreed with your orignal expectation, Chuck; assuming that the water and the whisky were of equal quality (but higher proof on the whisky), I would still have expected the bottler's vatting to be, well "fuller" I guess, just on the time the spirit and water coexist.