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View Full Version : Anyone else taste mint in Handy?



GreggB
12-22-2007, 16:32
I added a bit of water to the BT Antique Collection barrel proof Thomas H. Handy rye, and was amazed to get a huge minty element in the flavor.

Anyone else notice that?

Where would that come from?

Pharaoh
12-23-2007, 11:36
. . . Where would that come from?The rye...

GreggB
12-24-2007, 15:26
OK, thanks. I was just thinking it was much more of a mint element than I have tasted in any other rye, or bourbon or scotch, for that matter.

GreggB
12-24-2007, 16:52
I read in Chuck Cowdery's book "Bourbon, straight", on page 206, that a mint flavor can be detected in vintage bourbons aged in barrels made from trees much older than are used today.

I assume that the Handy was not aged in barrels that would impart any special degree of mint flavor.

So if what Pharaoh says is correct, then the mint comes from the rye.

So is the Handy mashbill unusually high in rye?

ACDetroit
12-24-2007, 17:29
Just a thought on my part. The Saz 18 has quite a bit of mint in it as well, so I'm sure it's in the mashbill. Now for the other rye's you compare to the Handy none are Barrel Proof so maybe some of the mint in other ryes has been muttled buy the bottle proofing process?
Don't know but it's very up front in both Saz bottles!

Tony

GreggB
12-24-2007, 20:42
Hi Tony --

Interesting insights.

I will have to experiment with the Sazerac 18.

Anyone else think the barrel proofs have this mint element?

DrinkyBanjo
12-25-2007, 06:24
I had my first sample of this years Handy last night. I found it to be a great pour. I do get the mint in the nose. I also get tea leaves, anyone else? I don't remember anyone raving about this yet but I think this years is excellent.

jbaker
06-05-2008, 16:57
I got a lot of Licorice root on the Fall 2007, which I guess I could stretch into a minty-like aroma.

GreggB
12-07-2008, 20:01
I have now had the opportunity to try the 2008 Handy, and again with a splash of water it packs quite a whallop of spearmint, actually more than ever, sort of like hitting your mint patch with the weedwhacker, and then falling face-down into the chopped mint stems.

Gillman
12-08-2008, 07:40
I agree with that and many have noted similar flavours in straight rye whiskey. I have a feeling that the mint julep, created around bourbon, was meant to restore some of the rye taste that got lost in the corn-heavy mashbill that became the main (not the only) vehicle to make straight whiskey in Kentucky.

Gary

GreggB
12-08-2008, 20:04
I agree with that and many have noted similar flavours in straight rye whiskey. I have a feeling that the mint julep, created around bourbon, was meant to restore some of the rye taste that got lost in the corn-heavy mashbill that became the main (not the only) vehicle to make straight whiskey in Kentucky.

Gary

Right on.

Do you muddle the mint when making a mint julep?

I had a great mint patch for making juleps, and made the BIG mistake of fertilizing it one time, killed it completely. Bought some spearmint to replace it, but thought that made a too-sweet drink. Ripped that out and tried some peppermint, but that made a too-spicy drink. In a specialty nursery found something called "Kentucky Colonel" mint, thought that must be the ticket, but still no good, too sweet. Finally one day some years ago, found something at a going-out-of-business sale at a nursery here in St. Louis simply labelled "mint", and it makes great mint juleps. I do not know what I have here, certainly different than sweet spearmint or spicy peppermint, and also not as sweet as the "Kentucky Colonel". Some hybrid, I would guess, but whatever it is, it is fantastic, and I will never make the mistake of fertilizing it!

Josh
12-09-2008, 07:39
Mint is extremely easy to grow, and can actually be quite agressive. You must have really over-fertilized it to actually kill it! Most garden plants don't need to be fertilized Herbs especially. Plus, overfertilizing can have bad enviromental consequences.

Anyway, I don't know what that "mint" is, but I've never heard of anyone else making a Julip out of anything but Spearmint (that KY Col. variety is a variety of Spearmint)! May I ask what the leaves look like and how they compare to the peppermint? There are a few other kinds of mint out there, pennyroyal might grow in your area and there is apple/pineapple mint, as well as a couple native species, but those are pretty rare in urban areas. What may have happened is the spearmint you bought was mislabeled or the soil conditions made it especially sweet that year. If anything, my spearmint is too dry sometimes.

Anyway, sorry, way off topic.

GreggB
12-09-2008, 08:04
Hey Josh --

What I did was sprinkle urea (nitrogen fertilizer) on the mint and killed it. Maybe it's a good way to control an aggressively spreading mint patch? I have learned to never fertilize herbs.

My "mint" patch is about 16 square feet, surrounded by rock drains and the driveway, so I am able to keep it contained pretty easily. It loves the heat off the rocks and the driveway.

The leaves look like spearmint. I am assuming this is some cultivar of spearmint that was being dumped by this going-out-of-businees nursery who could not be bothered with a detailed tag. Maybe that's part of the reason they went out of business ....

Anyway, compared to one other spearmint I tried, as well as a Ky. Col. spearmint I tried, I like the mint juleps made with this one the best. For mojitos, I like the Ky. Col. better, so I have a small patch of that one in another controlled location.

Thanks for your input.

Gregg