View Full Version : Vatting once again
Sometimes you have (or I do) the perfect bourbon or straight rye in the bar.
Examples of perfect bourbons and ryes of recent purchase: Old Weller 107 proof; Old Forester 100 proof; Elijah Craig 12 years old (maple creamy and soft); and Wild Turkey rye.
When these are gone, or just for a change, I like to make my own "perfect" whiskey. I do this by blending.
Tonight I made a blend of 50% Crown Royal, 25% Pikesville rye; 25% mixed Beam Black/Michter's Bourbon/Virginia Gentleman.
Result: a soft rich drink of whiskey mostly rye-accented but with some bourbon smoke and goodness down there. And also ... shucks, it's gone, I'll have to make another.
Sounds good Gary.
I have to try more vatting experiments. Most of the time when I mix different whiskeys together some bitters and vermouth find their way into the mix, I am, of course, speaking of Manhattans.
Last night I mixed a fine one.
I started by dripping orange bitters into the glass. I think I used three drops then I nosed the glass, not enough, so I added one or two drops more. Then one drop of aromatic bitters, nose, just right. Then one part Evan Williams 12 year old and one part Elmer T Lee. Then a little less than 0.5 parts Noilly Pratt Sweet Vermouth. Nose and taste. Too much vermouth. So I added about 0.5 parts Van Winkle Old Time Rye or was it Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye? Nose, taste, and I was instantly transported to heaven.
That sounds really good, Ed.
I think with a little experience you can intuit what will work out. In the one I did, it was basically a rye whiskey (the CR 2:1 to the Pikesville) to which a "seasoning" of bourbons was added. In this case it drank neat very well, but it would have made a fine cocktail.
For the cocktail I did have, a set-up to a nice steak dinner, the big full taste of the Bonded Beam seemed ideal, just on its own that is.
I need to get some orange bitters but until I can find that here, I end up with something similar through the combination of regular bitters (Angostura or Peychaud's) and an orange element of some kind, say a bit of orange vodka, the Grand Marnier I mentioned, or even an orange slice.
I may get some Curacao for this purpose. Pama is another must-buy on my list.
By the way I share your view of the earthiness of Blanton straight from the barrel. Blanton is one bourbon I've never warmed to and least of all the barrel strength one. It reminds me in a way of certain beers that are very dry, almost like the lambic beers, in its sandy, austere style. Maybe Islay whisky is a better analogy.
I do recall some very good Blanton and I think it was the Gold, it seems to have the richest profile (of the Blanton's I've tried, which is all except the Silver).
Here is another recent one: W.L. Weller Centennial 10 years old, Rittenhouse straight rye Bottled in Bond and Alberta Premium Canadian rye whisky, 2:1:1 with a dash of water to blend them. Wowee.
I am going to be doing a vatting today or tomorrow. I need to clean up my room so anything that is low in the bottle and mid shelf or lower will go into the mix. I may add top shelf whiskey too, but only to adjust the flavor, not to empty the bottle.
I will keep track of what goes in in what amount. That way I will get more out of the experiment.
Wish me luck!
Ron, one of our tasting buddies and inventor of the famous "Ron's 4 Grain", came in with a vatting which we call "Ron's Hodge Podge". Actually, I liked it better than his 4 Grain. I think he's losing it, but here's the recipe:
1 part Bakers
1 part Eagle Rare 10 y/o 90
1 part Lot B
1 part Bookers
1 part Makers Mark
2 parts Stagg 141.6
2 parts Weller Antique 107, 7
3 parts 1783
For those of you that have the goodies to make this, try it. It's very good.
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