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Jono
04-20-2008, 20:57
The other night I pulled out the Stagg bottle and considered carefully how much dilution would be required to truly appreciate this bourbon. I have tasted Stagg neat many times...but for me..due to its higher proof...with the inevitable numb lips, tongue etc...the higher proof reduces the tasting experience. As I titrate by adding water or ice...the bourbon starts to come out. Let me ask a silly Q.

Q: What is the purpose of a high proof (cask strength) bottling? If you add water, you are effectively reducing the proof. Why not just bottle at <100 proof? Most tasting notes for higher proof bourbons say "cut with water."
I suppose some prefer to actually sip such high proof bourbons neat...but I am not sure how it is accomplished without a numbing experience and loss of flavor profile.

Per Wiki: Cask Strength

"This strong whisky is not the whisky that is usually bottled, as at cask strength the whisky isn't as drinkable. Most bottled whisky is normally diluted with spring water to bring its strength (ABV) down to a level that makes it more palatable, usually about 40% ABV. This dilution is said to bring out the various flavours of the whisky; this is why distillers may dilute different whiskies to different concentrations."

I imagine one reason is that you do get more bang for the buck. If you only need to pour 1/2 - 3/4 of a normal 90 proof bourbon...then add some water...I suppose you are stretching the bottle ....like a detergent concentrate.

ILLfarmboy
04-20-2008, 21:23
I'm a neat sipper. I almost always drink everything neat. Exceptions to this have been limited to '05 WLW, which benefited from a little water, and my limited experience with cask strength scotches. Over-proof scotches, in my experience, are more difficult to enjoy neat. The burn overtakes the flavor at a lower proof than bourbons and ryes. I've yet to try '07 Stagg (144+) I may have to add water to that one, though.

I suppose the biggest benefit to barrel proof offerings is the fact you are getting more whiskey and less "added" water. You can drink them at any proof you desire. It doesn't hurt that they are usually minimally filtered and receive no chill-filtering making for a more concentrated taste experience.

squire
04-21-2008, 21:16
The purpose of high proof whiskey is the producers can sell it for more money.

spun_cookie
04-21-2008, 21:26
The purpose of high proof whiskey is the producers can sell it for more money.

Not completly sure about that.... Take Stagg. 144.8 Proof for $48. That really equals an 80 proof bottle for about $30. Though I do not expect Stagg to stay so cheap for long...

squire
04-21-2008, 21:36
Of course it's so they can sell it for a larger profit, a lesson learned from the Scottish distillers, making money is their sole focus and that's as it should be. They're good at what they do but they're business men first. The same whiskey at 80 proof would not be special and would have to sell for less than $30 in order to compete with other brands.

spun_cookie
04-21-2008, 21:51
Of course it's so they can sell it for a larger profit, a lesson learned from the Scottish distillers, making money is their sole focus and that's as it should be. They're good at what they do but they're business men first. The same whiskey at 80 proof would not be special and would have to sell for less than $30 in order to compete with other brands.

I will agree with that... the only job of the CEO is to increase share holder value...

Expect to see change in the top seat in many distillerty over the next 10 yrs and profits are maximized, but what I was refering to is the bourbon industry could make more money than they due now.

Stagg could go for $100 a bottle... and it does

squire
04-21-2008, 21:54
I'm confident it will be sold for as much as the market will bear.

spun_cookie
04-21-2008, 21:58
How philosophical of you... are you into yoga :grin: