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Gillman
12-11-2007, 16:03
Actually I have two questions:

i) what is the oldest bourbon ever bottled?

ii) what does it taste like?

I did a little searching on SB. I found so far a Heaven Hill 28 year old bourbon - yes 28 not 23 - bottled some 20 years ago for the Japan market.

I know too that Bettye Jo has a bottle of this.

Is this the oldest bourbon ever bottled?

Whether it is or not: what does a bourbon at least 28 years old taste like?

Gary

jburlowski
12-11-2007, 16:07
While I share your curiousity, this thread saddens me with the reminder that over the last few years, "older" has often become equated with "(necessarily) better".

Not saying that's what your implying... just my random thought.

Gillman
12-11-2007, 17:05
Oh that is not my intention at all: it is known in fact I generally prefer younger bourbons, with exceptions, oddly perhaps EC 18 - which has been bottled in fact at 20 years + - is a favorite.

Yet, simply as a matter of record, I think it would be interesting to know what bourbon is the oldest ever bottled, and what it tastes like.

Gary

barturtle
12-11-2007, 17:07
I know of no older bottling of American whiskey.

A simplistic thought process:

Imagine the difference between Pappy 20 and 23...now extrapolate that out two more times. I would say, not too bad based on that assumption..though I prefer my Pappy at 15yo.

MikeK
12-11-2007, 20:48
This was not bottled, but 2 years ago at the Sampler Drew brought a sample of a 35yo barrel of Yellowstone they had found in the warehouse. It was interesting to try. Definitely like sucking on lumber, but fun anyway.

cowdery
12-11-2007, 21:06
I've never heard of anything older than 28 years from any previous eras, so I would imagine that 28 would do it. If there is anything older, it would be something else recently or currently produced.

I haven't had the HH 28, but I have tasted many of the various bottlings out there of 20+ year old products. Few are drinkable, even fewer are actually enjoyable, and even fewer are great.

GreggB
12-22-2007, 15:03
This is an interesting question.

I don't think aging a low grade bourbon for a long time helps it any, just gives you woody low grade bourbon, so while I have not tasted it, I think the HH 28 would be not good at all.

I say this based on having tasted the older Black Maple Hills, which I understand are from HH, and they don't taste good to me.

Perhaps another way to come at this question is to ask: What is the best oldest bourbon? I guess you have to divide that up, something like what is the best bourbon in certain age ranges?

luv2hunt
12-29-2007, 14:35
I say this based on having tasted the older Black Maple Hills, which I understand are from HH, and they don't taste good to me.



Better re-check your source of information on that one. Are you talking "older" as in a long time ago....or "older" as in age statements as currently bottled? And are you sure it's HH?

Dawn

GreggB
12-29-2007, 21:41
Hey Dawn -- Sorry, sloppy writing on my part. I meant older in the sense of age statements on the label, so of course all Black Maple Hill bottlings are older bourbons.

I have been told that early releases of the Black Maple Hill contained bourbon obtained from Van Winkle stocks, and so of course would have been wonderful bourbons (but perhaps overpriced?). I have also been told that BMH no longer is supplied by Van Winkle, and that the bottlers now presumably drive across the road to fill their buckets with HH.

Have I got that right?

Rughi
12-29-2007, 21:57
Gregg,
I'll give this a shot off the top of my head.

Any BMH that states Lawrenceburg contains whiskey that was sourced by Julian Van Winkle from here and there (much of it SW, but also Boone and perhaps others) and bottled by him (perhaps literally) at the Hoffmann distillery that he owned for some time in the '80s and '90s (IIRC). This ended when he entered into his agreement with BT (I think I remember it as 2001, but someone else can pin this down).

Any BMH that states Bardstown was bottled after VW let the account go and it was taken up by Evan and Drew Kulsveen of Kentucky Bourbon Distillers at the Willett distillery. The Kulsveens source much of their whiskey from HH, but don't assume all the juice in any of their products is 100% from any one distillery. They have barrels of this and that from different distilleries, some of it quite old, that they blend with.

As far as "across the road" - Willett is indeed both across the road and across the creek (which I believe Rowan's Creek feeds into) from HH in Bardstown, but Lawrenceburg is some miles down the road.

Roger

GreggB
12-29-2007, 22:14
Thanks, Roger.

One point for clarification:

The two distilleries that are in Bardstown are (or were, in the case of HH) HH and Barton.

Is it correct that if a bottle says Bardstown on the label, it would have come from one of those distilleries?

If so, does that mean that if the Kuhlsveens are putting out BMH that says Bardstown on the label, it would have had to come from HH or Barton?

Someone did in fact tell me that a few years ago, and added that since Barton wasn't giving out any bourbon, they assumed that the Kulhsveens were going across the road to HH to obtain their bourbon.

In any event, I have tasted a variety of BMH, all with Bardstown on the label, and to me they all taste like wet cardboard, musty and thin and dull.

Rughi
12-29-2007, 22:24
For KBD the location statement signifies the bottling site. Similarly, all HH whiskey is now distilled in Louisville, but their rickhouses and Bettye Jo's bottling lines are in Bardstown, so they continue to state Bardstown (except for the wheaters, which state Louisville because their Bernheim plant was previously mostly a wheater distillery).

We know that Barton never talks about selling whiskey - but are you so sure they never do (with a no disclosure agreement)? One of Chuck Cowdery's favorite lines goes something like "no distillery sells their whiskey on the bulk market - except when they do."

I'd be curious, Greg, if you have the same experience with KBD's own Vintage Bourbon line and HH's Elijah Craig 18 as you have with the KBD's bottlings for BMH. It could be you just don't like older Heaven Hill juice.

Roger

PS this thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8367&highlight=barton) discusses a European independent bottling sourced from Barton.

cowdery
12-30-2007, 09:25
Is it correct that if a bottle says Bardstown on the label, it would have come from one of those distilleries?


Not necessarily. It usually means that is where the product was bottled but even that is not necessarily the case. The producer also has the option of identifying its principal place of business there, even if the whiskey in the bottle was produced somewhere else. That's why that city name on the label is of limited use.

GreggB
12-30-2007, 09:59
[QUOTE=Rughi;106831]

I'd be curious, Greg, if you have the same experience with KBD's own Vintage Bourbon line and HH's Elijah Craig 18 as you have with the KBD's bottlings for BMH. It could be you just don't like older Heaven Hill juice.

Roger

Hi Roger -- The short answer is yes. My brother-in-law, who lives in Kentucky, has a great collection of bourbons, the largest I have ever seen in person. He is also very generous in letting me taste whatever I want to, even opening bottles. He has several of the Black Maple Hill bottlings, and several of the Vintage Bourbon bottlings, and so I have had the opportunity to taste these. I simply do not care for any of them. They all taste thin and dull, with a wet cardboard mustiness. While I do not recall tasting an Elijah Craig 18, I'll bet he has a bottle.

Perhaps the problem is, when he and I sit down to taste bourbons from his collection, we almost always try a variety. Maybe the HH/KBD stuff pales in comparison to bourbon from Buffalo Trace, Van Winkle, etc.

However, I am willing to give the Elijah Craig 18 and the others a fresh try. Also, maybe you have some favorites from HH or KBD that you could point to. Any suggestions on an approach to getting these to open up? - a splash of water, for instance?

Regards --

Gregg

GreggB
12-30-2007, 10:03
Not necessarily. It usually means that is where the product was bottled but even that is not necessarily the case. The producer also has the option of identifying its principal place of business there, even if the whiskey in the bottle was produced somewhere else. That's why that city name on the label is of limited use.

So are there any regulations on what goes on the label with respect to distillery name or city name?

barturtle
12-30-2007, 11:55
So are there any regulations on what goes on the label with respect to distillery name or city name?

Yes. The regs are long and quite boring reading, even if you're into that sort of thing.

I believe, as far as non-bonded bottlings are concerned, any registered address belonging to the producer can be put on the label. Producer in this case meaning distiller, bottler or brand owner. I could look this up to be more accurate, but decided not to do that to myself.:grin:

GreggB
12-30-2007, 12:10
Yes. The regs are long and quite boring reading, even if you're into that sort of thing.

I believe, as far as non-bonded bottlings are concerned, any registered address belonging to the producer can be put on the label. Producer in this case meaning distiller, bottler or brand owner. I could look this up to be more accurate, but decided not to do that to myself.:grin:

Thank you. Where can I read more about the regulations?

barturtle
12-30-2007, 15:53
Thank you. Where can I read more about the regulations?

Here they are (http://www.straightbourbon.com/27cfr5.pdf)

cowdery
12-30-2007, 16:11
Look especially at Section 5.36 Name and Address.

GreggB
12-30-2007, 16:20
Thank you very much, Tim and Chuck.

Gregg