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View Full Version : Do you refrigerate your bourbon?



jsgorman
07-07-2006, 14:38
After the tour at Buffalo Trace, they bring you into the tasting room & gift shop for a quick taste. First the Rain vodka (ehh), next the BT. Interesting thing is that they kept the BT in the fridge and served it closer to 50 degrees than 70. Now, it was over 90 degrees outside and a cool drink was nice -- but I thought it a strange way to 'show off' their product.

I know from my travels, that folks in Hong Kong and Japan like their SMSW chilled -- and quite a few take their bourbon and SMSW on the rocks -- but I was surprised that a distillery would encourage this. Both tour guides said this is how they drink their whiskey -- even the GTS.

I for one, prefer my bourbon neat -- maybe with a splash of water to wake up the spirit. I prefer it at room temp and find myself warming it up in the winter in my hand. I've never been a rocks kind of guy -- I think it dumbs down the flavors and makes even the most complex whiskey into a generic pour.

What say you all?

ratcheer
07-07-2006, 15:07
Personally, I do not. But I read an interview with Jimmy Russell a few years ago and he kept his Rare Breed in the freezer.

I do tend to keep gin in the freezer, though. And vodka as well, if I ever have it. I remember a bottle of Stolichnaya pepper-flavored vodka that stayed in my freezer for a long time. What a treat it was!

Tim

CrispyCritter
07-07-2006, 18:41
If I'm drinking whiskey straight up, I never, ever refrigerate it. However, when I mix a Manhattan, Rob Roy, or Sazerac, the ice in the shaker (I stir, rather than shake) is a vital component of the mix, even though it gets strained out when I pour it into the glass.

Aside from chilling the drink, the dilution from the melting ice helps to marry the ingredients.

Sijan
07-07-2006, 21:28
No - tried it once with Old Forester and it wasn't nearly as good cold.

TimmyBoston
07-08-2006, 02:22
When most people are talking "refrigerated" or "cold" whiskey. Do they mean storing it in the fridge or the freezer, as you would say, vodka?

I'm also curious, and to those of you who have tried their whiskey chilled, how does it compare in flavor to that kept at room temperature?

Ambernecter
07-08-2006, 11:02
I would be the last guy to critisize a man of Mr. Russell's standing but cold Bourbon is not too pleasing to me. For some reason it seems to take away some of the flavour? I prefer it at room temperature and straight up.

That said I will try it in the freezer with my Bulleit 80 proof tonight just for the Hell of it - I mean it can hardly taste any worse can it?

gothbat
07-08-2006, 11:45
I once put an ice cube in a glass of WT101 and I didn't like it 1/2 as much cold like that. I wound up taking the cube out and letting it sit until it got back to room temperature while I drank something else.

elkdoggydog
07-08-2006, 17:21
I like an ice cube in some whiskeys, like Dickel 12 and EC12. Usually I drink whiskey neat, or with a little water, only using an ice cube if I'm in the mood for it. I do like it though. I've never put bourbon in the freezer, though I'm intrigued by the idea.
Funny that we can disagree with Jimmy on this, and then lament that RR90 is not what he had in mind for that product.

ratcheer
07-08-2006, 18:04
I don't disagree with him, I just never have tried it.

Tim

Ambernecter
07-09-2006, 06:22
Well I left the Bulleit in the freezer for a good 4 hrs and had a pre dinner slug with my sister. The cold whiskey was a big hit with her. She said that as she does not drink spirits that often, it made the drink alot more palatable and the temperature change really worked.

I drank and enjoyed (bearing in mind Bulleit is hardly a World beater) but I don't think it will become a regular habit.

boone
07-09-2006, 17:51
There is always a bottle or two in our fridge...has been for years :grin: :grin:

Sijan
07-09-2006, 18:11
I will put an ice cube in bourbon on occasion, but not when I'm seriously tasting, and not generally for most of my higher end bourbons. Still, I think there's a substantial difference between adding an ice cube and having pre-chilled bourbon.

jspero
07-10-2006, 11:33
I've never tried in the fridge or freezer (I will now just to try it), but in the summer I prefer bourbon with an ice cube, in the winter, I prefer it neat.

Jay

mythrenegade
07-12-2006, 20:06
I do not care for Woodford Reserve, as has been well documented in two other threads, but on a whim I threw it in the freezer. I like this bourbon a lot better cold but without ice (this crap is too weak to drink on the rocks).

I haven't yet tried a bourbon I like this way, but I think it's certainly another way to try bourbon for those of us who like it "on the rocks."

Joel

smokinjoe
07-13-2006, 07:59
I keep my vodka and tequila in the freezer, and they are better for it. I did put a bourbon in on a whim one time, and I noticed it clouded up. Didn't adversely alter the taste, but I thought I had screwed up a perfectly good bottle of Lot B. Maybe I'll try the fridge method, because I tend to use ice at times in the Summer. It's nice to hear that Jimmy Russell chills his, but when Bettye Jo does it, it must be good!!:)

JOE

hollywood
07-13-2006, 12:30
I have concluded that a few people prefer their bourbon "with a chill", but may not like their bourbon to become to watered down with ice...making it to weak...try "chilling" an old-fashioned glass (or whatever your preference). This can be done "similarly" to freezing a beer mug. I never chill my booze, however this slight chill works for me without diluting my favorite pours.

Virginia Gentleman
07-13-2006, 14:36
I think bourbon should be served at room temperature. Drinking it cold or adding ice numbs your tongue and your not getting all the flavors you should be.

CrispyCritter
07-13-2006, 21:42
I keep my vodka and tequila in the freezer, and they are better for it. I did put a bourbon in on a whim one time, and I noticed it clouded up. Didn't adversely alter the taste, but I thought I had screwed up a perfectly good bottle of Lot B.
That would give me the impression that Lot B is unchillfiltered - IMO, that's a very, very good thing! Of course, was it S-W or Bernheim? :70358-devil:

From what I've read, chillfiltering came about when a load of Scotch was left on the docks in cold weather during a longshoremens' strike, and ended up being sent back because it was thought that it had been ruined. What a shame, too, because unchillfiltered whisk{ie,ey}s tend to be more flavorful!

tmas
07-23-2006, 10:13
That said I will try it in the freezer with my Bulleit 80 proof tonight just for the Hell of it - I mean it can hardly taste any worse can it?[/QUOTE]

I definitely agree about Bulleit. It's about the most disappointing supposedly high end bourbon I can think of!
How amused was I then when I was paging through a May Issue of The Wine Spectator and came across a full page ad for Bulleit, the ad simply pictures an open bottle of Bulleit alongside a glass of the stuff and one sentence above it which solemnly (or riotously to those in the know) states "LAST OF THE GREAT BOURBONS". Can you believe that???? How can they actually make that statement with a straight face??? Tom V

ratcheer
07-23-2006, 13:52
How amused was I then when I was paging through a May Issue of The Wine Spectator and came across a full page ad for Bulleit, the ad simply pictures an open bottle of Bulleit alongside a glass of the stuff and one sentence above it which solemnly (or riotously to those in the know) states "LAST OF THE GREAT BOURBONS". Can you believe that???? How can they actually make that statement with a straight face??? Tom V

Its just advertising, Tom. You can hardly expect them to say, "Our bourbon sucks. Please buy it." :lol:

Tim

tmas
07-23-2006, 15:05
Its just advertising, Tom. You can hardly expect them to say, "Our bourbon sucks. Please buy it." :lol:

Tim

I understand that advertising is often over the top and subjective and all. I suppose that it is entirely possible, although not really likely, that the people who make Bulleit think it's the best bourbon in the world. Is it really possible, however, that they really believe it's "THE LAST OF THE GREAT BOURBONS"?
No, it's not.
It just seems that an ad campaign like that would be obviously destined to be regarded as ludicrous by both bourbon afficianados and others in the Bourbon Industry, and that doesn't seem all that beneficial. Maybe they've decided that their primary audience consists of those who wouldn't know that the statement is ridiculous!
Well, anyway, I found it worthy of note. Personally Tim, as far as Bulleit goes, I think your tag line of " Our bourbon sucks. Please buy it", while it probably wouldn't sell a lot of bottles, is closer to the mark! Tom V

jspero
07-24-2006, 10:41
I tried chilling a bottle of Weller 12yo this weekend. I can't say it made much of a difference to me. I like it neat or with a small ice cube, but I didn't think just chilling did much. Maybe I'll try it with another brand.

Jay

TnSquire
07-27-2006, 13:38
I keep some in the freezer. It is like chilling red wine. It knocks down alot of the wood flavor.