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tgriff
06-23-2006, 13:56
I was wondering about an easy way to find out what the mashbill would be for a given bourbon or other whiskey. I realize I could just post the question on this forum, but was wondering if there was a reliable source on the web or in print.

Websites for the distillers/bottlers don't seem to have that information readily available, but maybe I am not looking hard enough. I was recently looking at the Van Winkle website but could not find that kind of info.

hookfinger
06-23-2006, 14:15
Off the top of my head I would assume that is proprietary info. Like New Coke.

Ambernecter
06-23-2006, 14:37
I reckon exact mashbills are more closely guarded than Colonel Sanders' secret 11 herbs and spices recipe - and rightly so!

There are people on this forum "in the know" for sure but their lips will remain forever tightly sealed!

bobbyc
06-23-2006, 14:47
The mashbill comes up a lot in discussion. I am wondering now what you hope to find and how that is helpful to you. Above a certain threshold it doesn't seem to me to be of much help to know what it is. So to know wheat versus rye as a small grain is helpful to know. To know a lot of rye ( Old Granddad, Bulliet) versus not as much helps a bit as well. I've never heard anyone venture a guess on a percentage while tasting, or Say something like," Damn that's good if it only had another percentage point of rye or 2 it would be spectaculiar!"

I need to confer with our resident master blender Gary Gillman and see if we can't put together a couple blends that uses the same base bourbon and to up the rye in 5 percent increments and cover a 20 percent spectrum. Of course a 10 percent spectrum ( if we find a sweet spot in the above experiment) divided by 2 percent increments may serve a purpose as well.

tgriff
06-23-2006, 18:31
Yes, the mashbill does come up a bit in discussions in this forum and it has gotten me wondering about it. Plenty of folks mention wheat vs rye, so I have been wondering how do you know which if it is not stated on the bottle (e.g. WT Rye). I don't really care to know exact percentages, but some of the contrasts bobbyc noted in his post would be helpful. (a little wheat vs a lot)

In the end, I suppose it is just experience and discussing bourbon with knowledgable folks.

Gillman
06-23-2006, 18:40
Bobby this is vey doable. We'd need someone good at math and then by using ingredients such as high rye bourbons and wheated ones and straight ryes, whose mash bill proportions are known (and this is available from different sources), one could make a gradation of rye-intense flavors to hit the sweet spot. I've done this myself in an imprecise way, e.g., I'll start with 8 year old Old Charter and ramp up its rye element (at about the same age) until it is "right".

Gary

tgriff
06-23-2006, 18:53
Hey that does sound like an interesting experiment. I would definitely give that a try to expand my tastebud's experience.

I am also pretty good at dilutions, I trained as a pharmacist and frequently mix/dilute things in my current work as a research scientist. If the info is available, I'll see what I can do.

However, I can appreciate that distillers know a thing or two about mixing and may be much more qualified for such an important experiment!

bobbyc
06-23-2006, 19:37
This shows promise. I'm thinking a fairly non-assertive bourbon, like Ten-High or a good bottle of Woodford, we would need to not have the copper in the newer ones be an obsfucating element. Then work our way thru the dilutions so one can clearly see the rye influence as it increases. Heaven Hill has made it possible with the Bernhiem Wheat to do the same with a Makers, Weller or Van Winkle wheated bourbon. I'm primarily interested in the Rye influence personally, but we might as well do both. We can post the dilutions once we arrive at them, then anyone could replicate this anywhere in the world they may be provided they can lay in the Whiskies.

Sijan
06-24-2006, 02:11
I am definitely intrigued by this proposal as well. Curious to see how it turns out. Haven't done much mixing or vatting myself, but this sort of project sounds like a good way to dip my toes into it (not literally, of course!)

cowdery
06-24-2006, 15:08
Back to the original question, the best source for at least basic mashbills from the various distilleries is Gary Regan and Mardee Haidin Regan's The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys.

tgriff
06-25-2006, 07:26
Back to the original question, the best source for at least basic mashbills from the various distilleries is Gary Regan and Mardee Haidin Regan's The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys.


thank you, chuck, that was just the kind of source i was looking for. basic is exactly what i wanted -i will look into obtaining a copy of the book.

chasking
06-26-2006, 07:19
Jim Murray's book Classic Bourbon, Tennessee and Rye Whiskey (or something like that) also has basic mashbill information for a number of brands, although a few did keep the exact proportions a secret.

TimmyBoston
06-30-2006, 00:34
I personally can't wait for the results of this experiment. I think it's a brilliant idea and I'm green with envy over those with the skill to figure out the mashbills. I know I have a few bourbons in which I particularly notice the rye content: OGD 114, Hirsch 16 (though its complexity and smoothness provide it with balance) and EW 1783. I'd also like to know how much wheat the wheater's use in their recipes. Guys keep up the good work and let us know what you find out.