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jinenjo
01-31-2007, 23:21
The following is a continuation from the General Bourbon Discussion page:

Doug, perhaps you can help me on this. For your scotch rebarreling you added a good amount of GNS before going into the barrel. Why didn't you do this to increase the entry proof of your Ancient Age experiment?

What I'm wondering for my rebarreling is if I should add some GNS. I'm hesitant. That's one reason why I've decided to throw in the OP. Not only is it a fine distillate, but it's pure rye. I want the rye whiskey effect as an end result.

This feels all a tad silly to be thinking so precisely. I don't know what'll come out the other end, using such a small barrel and all...

More to come on this, but not for a little while as I'm waiting for the sunlight to come through my window in the spring/summer (more silliness?).

Any comments are more than welcome!

-Lear

barturtle
02-01-2007, 00:06
I'm not sure of Doug's entire reasoning, but I do know that there is a bit of a problem obtaining 190 proof GNS in CA. I hand-delivered it to him since I was driving in...though it does seem to be available in Needles, CA., but they likely get it from a AZ distributor as 190 proof spirits are banned in CA.

The 190 allowed him to boost the proof without adding as much water as the 150ish proof stuff would, thereby maintaining the flavor profile as much as possible.

That's as much as I know, Doug will have to give any further info.

FlashPuppy
02-01-2007, 06:35
...as 190 proof spirits are banned in CA.


Actually, I believe that this is incorrect. Every BevMo I have been to stocks it. Aswell as several other stores I can think of locally, along with every military base.

Virus_Of_Life
02-01-2007, 11:12
Actually, I believe that this is incorrect. Every BevMo I have been to stocks it. Aswell as several other stores I can think of locally, along with every military base.

I believe the version sold here is a 150 proof not 190 version Jeremy...

dougdog
02-01-2007, 11:48
The following is a continuation from the General Bourbon Discussion page:

Doug, perhaps you can help me on this. For your scotch rebarreling you added a good amount of GNS before going into the barrel. Why didn't you do this to increase the entry proof of your Ancient Age experiment?

What I'm wondering for my rebarreling is if I should add some GNS. I'm hesitant. That's one reason why I've decided to throw in the OP. Not only is it a fine distillate, but it's pure rye. I want the rye whiskey effect as an end result.

This feels all a tad silly to be thinking so precisely. I don't know what'll come out the other end, using such a small barrel and all...

More to come on this, but not for a little while as I'm waiting for the sunlight to come through my window in the spring/summer (more silliness?).

Any comments are more than welcome!

-Lear

Lear,

IMHO, it is not silly to think so "precisely"...thinking is, what is the interesting part of these experiments is all about for me...is that too many is's...Anyway, couple that with the outcome of each project and I become a bit more familiar with how the wood works with whiskey. (I love to learn about whiskey, any part of it)

I have had lots of "help" with little bits of information from a lot of folks here on the forum to avoid mistakes in my projects...it is still left up to me to compile that information along with my own thought process prior to the actual rebarreling. That's the precise part or the thoughtful part...but, it has all been uncharted territory for me as I did not grow up with any exposure to alcohol or distilling. Hence, the intense interest for me.

As for the GNS part, well, there is a ton of thought behind that. In the AA project, (BTW, the AA did have GNS added to it!) it might be easy to loose taste if too much of anything was added to the mix, AA whiskey watered down to 80 proof is already quite dilute, so caution must be given when adding GNS. Getting into the preference to add 191 over the available 151 made more sense from a taste standpoint...ie, less water.

In the case of the Finlaggin, the Islay malts have a real tendency for lots of flavor compared to proof, even watered down to 40% Islay malts have very big flavor profiles. This, in my mind, was an area where I could raise proof and not need to worry about the flavor thinning out as I might in the AA barrel.

At the end of the experiment, I don't know what I'll have to drink, might not be any good at all, but what I will have is some more knowledge. (In the recent past Study Group, the Finlaggin did not show too well, but it was interesting, that said, time will be allowed to go to work here and work its magic in the wood and on the spirit)

For me, these experiments allow a tiny little look at what Master Distillers and the lab folks do to get good product on the shelf for us to drink. My respect for the "Craft" or "Art" of distilling grows higher with every experiment and bit of new knowledge gained along the way...

FlashPuppy
02-01-2007, 18:11
I believe the version sold here is a 150 proof not 190 version Jeremy...


I am quite sure that it is 190. I stopped on base to check our store and on base it is 195 (:bigeyes: :bigeyes: :bigeyes:). I am going to BevMo tonight for some wines, I will check.

jinenjo
02-01-2007, 18:42
Thanks for the insight into your thought process, Doug. I shall take everything into serious (not silly) consideratin before I begin.

After all, your rebarreling experiments were the inspiration for this endeavor of mine.
You shall be rewarded...

Keep the comments coming!

-Lear

jinenjo
03-28-2007, 00:21
Well I began the rebarrel project. And I think I made the mistake of adding the barrel proof Old Potrero. It seems my palette has grown quite accustomed to straight rye and the small amount I added of the OP (only 8-10 ounces) may have thrown off the whole thing.

I did do some sampling before I entered the vatting to be aged, but I guess I really wanted some extra proof in there because I still proceeded to add the above amount of the malted rye of OP.

Then in a frenzy to adjust back toward a more straight rye profile, I went and added nearly two full bottles of baby Saz to the 2L Beam Rye in the 3L barrel.

I just tasted it after a week and am not sure what to think. Part of me thought to add straight bourbon to give it some corn flavor to balance out the rye thing going on. At this point I'm gonna let it age for as long as I can and I'll just see what happens.

It's been a learning experience, and I'll just chalk it up to that. Looking back already I should've just used all Beam rye.

Oh well.:rolleyes:

-Lear

NorCalBoozer
03-29-2007, 11:01
There are going to be lots of changes happening over the next months. I would wait on making lots of tweaks up front.

I did a WT Rye rebarrel and it started off slow, then once i got some heat/cold cycles going things started happening. At one point I thought it was getting too much wood flavor....well I waited more weeks and it eventually passed and it became less woody and I started to get some really nice toasted notes.

jinenjo
03-29-2007, 23:27
Thanks for the encouragement. Because of the less fluctuations in temperature here in NorCal, I have on a few days induced somewhat artificial temperature fluctuations by putting the barrel in my car with direct sunlight where the car temp gets pretty hot, then at night I bring the barrel inside and put it by an open window to cool off.

Roger (Rughi) was telling me the small size of my barrel (3 liters) will rapidly advance the wood influence. However, I'd like to see if I can follow your experience and push through any stronger wood influence to see what might come afterward. It's all an experiment so why not push it to see what happens? Part of me would like to push it as far as I can.

I had this odd dream the other night or perhaps it was a fantasy--perhaps induced by some pours of Elijah Craig 18--as I was going to bed. I don't know. But what I was thinking was that the older versions of bourbon or rye were kept deeper in the warehouses, not exposed as much to the more extreme changing temperatures as say, younger bottles expressions placed toward the periphery.

Is this true? Should I just let the barrel sit by my window and be exposed to less temperature changes and just age for a long time?

Any thoughts are more than welcome.

Cheers,
Lear

NorCalBoozer
03-30-2007, 17:40
I am in norcal and had a similiar experience. When I started the temperature was not warm and not much happened over the first month except picking up some wood flavor.

Once i did get some sun/heat on it things started happening quickly. I think you need some good sun/heat cycles to really see how things are going to go.

What I did, was once the sun came out, I would move the barrel (5 gal) out on the lawn in the morning, then at night bring it inside. I could tell when I came home that the bourbon had started getting into the wood as the bunghole would have whiskey stains on it. Each day i would get those fresh whiskey stains.

I think you are fine right now, try to get it out in some sun/heat while the sun is out during the day. Norcal cools down very nicely at night to bring the whiskey back out.

jinenjo
03-30-2007, 23:15
Thanks for the affirmation. I'll continue to do my car heating technique. The stains did come out once I started this.

Any hints regarding the small size of the barrel as for how long it could age?

jinenjo
05-01-2007, 14:33
It's been in for 5 weeks now. I just did a tasting last night, side by side with the unaged vatting. The results are quite nice! Much more earthy notes (also possibly due to the addition of Saz Jr.). Still questioning my use of Beam rye, however the added effect is an improvement for sure.

Lately, I've stopped heating the barrel in my car. I was afraid of the spirit getting too rough. Figured the placement on my window shelf will make for a smoother aging process. It's been a fun experiment so far. I'm considering dumping it around the time of the next east bay study group, so I can bring it for everyone to try.

Gillman
05-01-2007, 14:46
In regard to the question of where the old barrels were placed, of course all would not have been deep in a warehouse. Some would have occupied peripheral locations yet the quality of the whiskey (much of it) in olden times suggests to me something else accounts for the high quality of many whiskey brands then. So much has been discussed here in this regard: jug vs. dried yeast (in some cases); lower entry and distilling out proofs; older wood used for barrels; possibly longer, and more oudoors, seasoning times; more use of cypress vats, etc. etc.

While it may be some or all of those things, I have been thinking lately that barrel rotation may have been more important than we may think. How often have we read that most distillers today will simply mingle whiskeys from different locations or warehouses to get a uniform character.

But think about it. How can the same quality be obtained as if every barrel was rotated? With full rotation you got an optimum result in each barrel. Whiskey was neither too woody nor too unmatured. Mingling those would have produced a product of the highest quality, as, say, the early 70's Beam black label was that Doug brought to the recent Gazebo.

If you mix in some rough whiskey and some over-woody whiskey with the fully matured, how can you get a mingling with the same elements as those old minglings? You can't. Some of that young whiskey is still in there, you can't change it completely.

I used to accept at face value that mingling stationary barrels can achieve the results of olden times.

I no longer believe that.

Gary

NorCalBoozer
05-01-2007, 17:27
Any idea what distiller(or product(s)) today would come closest to matching what was done decades ago in terms of using any of these major issues that you list and that most of use think led to better whiskey?

Who has the lowest entry proof? Wild Turkey?
Who has the lowest distilling proof?
Who uses the oldest wood?
who uses older warehouses and rotates?
etc
etc

Greg


So much has been discussed here in this regard: jug vs. dried yeast (in some cases); lower entry and distilling out proofs; older wood used for barrels; possibly longer, and more oudoors, seasoning times; more use of cypress vats, etc. etc.

While it may be some or all of those things, I have been thinking lately that barrel rotation may have been more important than we may think.
Gary

Gillman
05-01-2007, 18:22
Well, I can't give a detailed answer but I believe Wild Turkey hits many of those bases. And oddly perhaps, it is not my favourite distillery. I find its products have a fairly prominent woody note and a certain astringency (even at the luxury brand level). I like Rare Breed a lot because the mingling of different ages produces an interesting, complex character. This doesn't mean WT follows all the old practices, e.g., I believe it doesn't do rotation.

I have heard Maker's Mark does do rotation, yet its whiskey also is not my favourite.

Maybe no one distiller today combines all these practices in its shop.

Yet fine whiskey is still produced, I just had an amazing EC 12 that is garnet red (almost) and has a deep, concentrated flavor with a notable smooth body and mouthfeel. One of the best whiskeys out there today, yet they enter at a notably high proof.

As always, these things are not reducible to a single plan or formula..

Gary

jinenjo
05-01-2007, 22:37
Amazing food for thought, Gary.
It makes sense to me that mingling could never achieve the same effect as barrel rotation.

It all just goes to show the sheer complexity of whiskey making as an art.

As for my rebarreling, it's finger painting. But art nonetheless.

Gillman
05-02-2007, 04:35
Thanks, and to return to rebarreling, I think it is an interesting concept with potential. The commercial versions I have tried are very good (e.g., the one in the BT Experimental series of a couple of years ago). It should be an enhancer of flavor and quality if the barrel is good, there is some regular natural or other cycling and it is done for the right amount of time. It seems to make sense, too, to do it with a young whiskey and the Jim Beam rye seems a natural candidate.

Gary

jinenjo
07-24-2007, 23:58
Well, it's been dumped. Actually, I emptied my barrel over a month ago and haven't been quite available to post the results. After hanging with Roger, Neal, Ken, and Doug the other night (before the SB party) I offered them a taste to get their opinions. It was later in the evening after several tastings, but their initial impressions were favorable.

That said, my thoughts were positive as well. Quite woody, dry, and somewhat over aged I think, but given that the majority of the distillate was JB rye, the results were an improvement.

I was curious to check if the ABV changed but I did not have enough whiskey left to check with Roger's whiskey-o-meter (I forget what it's called at the moment).

It was great fun aging the whiskey and I suppose to make it more scientific I could have recorded the exact aging. Overall, it was in the barrel for 3 months exactly, from the spring equinox to the summer solstice. But the majority of the aging was in my car. And the number of days I placed the barrel in my auto warehouse is unknown. I'd say out of the 3 months, it spent a total of between 10-15 days in "outdoor" temperature exposures.

Below are pictures of the bottled results. The mini bottles show, on the left the Beam, Saz, Old Potrero vatting (approx. 66%, 24%, 10%, respectively) before rebarreling, the middle is the end result, and the last on the right is a Saz 18 for comparison. The other photos show an end comparison to an unopened bottle of Saz 18 (on the right) with the 3L barrel. The rebarrel seems slightly darker in certain lights.

Final thoughts have left me to think I might've done an exclusive JB rye rebarrel in order to gather a firm baseline and something to gauge the results by. Nonetheless, I'm very pleased with end spirit.

Wish I could've shared it with everyone! I gave most of it away and the 750ml I kept for myself was finished in one night for my girlfriend's birthday. Now all that's left is a 200ml. I may be inticed into a mini-for-mini trade...

Cheers!