View Full Version : ...and suddenly there were Barrel Proofers

I was thinking about how little Barrel Proof American whiskey there was before Stagg (was there any in recent times?), and now it seems there are many. Here is a list I'm pulling off the top of my head that is a bit sketchy and maybe wrong (and no, they're not called out by their proper names):

Buffalo Trace:

Stagg

Handy

Larue

Four Roses:

Jim Rutledge Tribute

Heaven Hill:

Parker's Choice Bourbon

Parker's Choice Straight Wheat

Parker's Choice Corn Whiskey

Parker's Choice Straight Rye

Kentucky Bourbon Distillers:

Red Hook Rye 1 and 2, available at Lenell's in Brooklyn

Willett's Rye 1 and 2, available at Ledger's in Berkeley

Willett's Young Bourbon (4 year) in 2 expressions, one available at Toddy's in Bardstown, one at Ledger's

Old Potrero:

Straight Rye (or Straight Spirit, depending on age)

Others?

I'm not sure, but I believe they are all being released as unchill-filtered as well. It seems this is a good time for those who like pure barrel whiskey.

Roger

PS

I tried to think of Barrel Proof, or nearly Barrel Proof bottles of yore and came up with:

Grand Dad 114

Weller Antique 107

barturtle

09-10-2007, 20:32

I would guess that the only things close other than mentioned would be Booker's and Noah's Mill....with the latter being the closest to a Stagg forerunner, due to age... that may be it...

Of course you'd still be missing Blanton's Straight from the Barrel...and um...that may be it...

Doesn't Rare Breed have some kinda Barrel statement?...that may be it...

scratchline

09-10-2007, 20:44

There's this amazing specimen:

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7205&highlight=barrel+proof+weller

Doesn't Rare Breed have some kinda Barrel statement?...that may be it...

I was just thinking the same thing, I believe so.

I hope this trend continues, I prefer the barrel proof's because, at the very least, they seem like a better deal since they could easily be turned into something with a more common proof while at the same time leaving you with more to drink. Hopefully there will be more wheat recipe barrel proofs in the near future, WLW is the only one that I know of. Weller Antique is one of my favorites but I've always assumed it was not actually barrel proof because the label did not say so and I have not seen it categorized as such anywhere, if it isn't I assume a barrel proof version would be even better!

Weller Antique is one of my favorites but I've always assumed it was not actually barrel proof...

I think it _was_ a barrel proof when introduced in the '50s. The brand didn't change, the distillation did.

This thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7205&highlight=barrel+proof+weller), which Scratchline highlighted, discusses the origins of the 107 barrel proof - especially Mike Veach's post #5.

Grand Dad 114 also _was_ at or near barrel proof when introduced - the label used to say so. I think it also suffered from a raise in proof, only to be watered down later.

I also found posts 19 and 20 of this thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2013&highlight=barrel+proof) that speaks of still proof and barrel entry proofs quite interesting.

Roger

Don't forget AA 107 barrel proof. Hard to find, I know, but a variety none the less. I have only seen pictures of that one.

Don't forget AA 107 barrel proof. Hard to find, I know, but a variety none the less. I have only seen pictures of that one.

I know the AA Barrel 107 from the early '90s, but I don't recall it stating that it was barrel proof. You may be thinking of a different product. Here (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3660&highlight=barrel+107) is the one I can remember.

Roger

barturtle

09-11-2007, 08:26

Don't forget AA 107 barrel proof. Hard to find, I know, but a variety none the less. I have only seen pictures of that one.

I'm not really sure that Barrel 107 was considered barrel proof, it happened to be the same proof as the original ETL...

However, in the same vein, there is Original Barrel Brand 5yo 105proof

Whether the Weller, at 107, was ever actually barrel proof is uncertain, but it was marketed as "original barrel proof." This was in the 50s, maybe 60s. Likewise Grand-Dad 114. Booker's, introduced in the late 1980s, was the first barrel-proof bourbon of the modern era, touted using the term "barrel proof" and its bottling proof varied from batch to batch, as it naturally would. However, it is not a bandwagon upon which everyone immediately jumped. The upcoming Parker's Heritage Collection is Heaven Hill's first barrel-proof bourbon released in the USA.

But if you want to say who started it among the modern super-premium bourbons, it would be Booker's. It was unfiltered too, which Stagg also duplicated.

Don't forget AA 107 barrel proof. Hard to find, I know, but a variety none the less. I have only seen pictures of that one.

Well, maybe thats why I have not seen this one before.....It does not say proof, just barrel. My mistake.

doubleblank

09-11-2007, 09:25

I have the neck tags from some of those 1970's Weller Origninal Barrel Proof 107's. The tag explains that the original barrel entry proof was 107....but that the proof increases as the barrel ages. When the barrels are dumped, the proof is reduced down to the original entry proof.....just like the master distillers like it....or something like that.

Randy

ggilbertva

09-11-2007, 09:46

Blanton's also puts out a barrel proof version.....of course, export only.

mythrenegade

09-20-2007, 20:32

Rare Breed claims to be barrel proof.

I have a question: Bookers is barrel proof at 126 or so. Rare Breed claimed to be barrel proof at 107 or so. I was quite surprised by that. I was going to buy it anyway, but then I realized it's not single barrel. By that point I was simply annoyed and I put it back and picked up a bottle of Weller 107 which was also a multi-barrel 107 proof bourbon, but like $10 cheaper... Then I added a bottle of OGD 114 to the cart, which is also cheaper and very good.

How can OGD 114 not be barrel proof, and WTRB be 107 and barrel proof?

Joel

barturtle

09-20-2007, 20:44

Rare Breed claims to be barrel proof.

I have a question: Bookers is barrel proof at 126 or so. Rare Breed claimed to be barrel proof at 107 or so. I was quite surprised by that. I was going to buy it anyway, but then I realized it's not single barrel. By that point I was simply annoyed and I put it back and picked up a bottle of Weller 107 which was also a multi-barrel 107 proof bourbon, but like $10 cheaper... Then I added a bottle of OGD 114 to the cart, which is also cheaper and very good.

How can OGD 114 not be barrel proof, and WTRB be 107 and barrel proof?

Joel

Well...for starters they could be entered into the barrel at different proofs (there is no minimum and the max is 125).

WTRB changes (or used to--the current batch has been around forever) proof from batch to batch-OGD 114 doesn't...unless they keep adding barrels to a batch to maintain that proof that would be unlikely.

Also while probably 90% of barrels go up in proof...a few do go down(lots of factors can contribute to this...location of the barrel in the rackhouse, weather while aging, etc. possibly even the season it was dumped in) this could make WTRB lower in proof while OGD 114 is higher.

How could a Barrel proof be under 100 proof as at least one of the new FR40th is...same reasons...how can Stagg hit over 140..same reasons

Don't dismiss a bottling just due to proof...price I can understand, though, but I wouldn't consider Rare Breed excessive, though, depending on budget, it could be a special occasion bottle.

mythrenegade

09-21-2007, 08:50

If rare breed had been single barrel I would have bought it. That was the clinching factor, not simply the (relatively) low proof. I'm not a proof hound. My very favorite bourbon is EC18, which is most decidedly not a high proof product. I was just puzzled by the rare breed. Thanks for the info.

Joel

barturtle

09-21-2007, 08:53

While single barrels are nice there are some advantages to small batch or even regular bottlings. Main thing being they can use multiple barels to reach a consistent flavor profile, but also the multiple barrels can add layers of complexity that one barrel may not achieve.

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