I'll take the word of the Masters.
I'll take the word of the Masters.
Thanks! I have placed an order with Party Source for OBSF, OBSQ, and OBSV.
Looking forward to your impressions.
Yes, yeast matters. here is a kicker though. It has been my experience that not so much on rye mashbills that have no corn in them, and malt mashes. It makes the biggest difference in corn based whiskies. And the same yeast will give 2 different flavor profiles I have found, based on what type of yeast mash it is grown in. Sweet or soured yeast mashes. Sour yeast mashes, soured by lacto produce fruit profiles, when the same yeast grown sweet, may not be fruity Amazing how yeast react to different environments. They have to adapt and when they do, they make different flavors.
Good point about yeast adaption Tom. I remember the story of when Seagrams owned the LDI plant they tried to reproduce on of their more popular whiskys in a Canadian plant and discovered the specific yeast for that recipe wouldn't adapt to the colder climate there.
For those who would like some sort of scientific explanation look to Rarnold's post (very well put)...or you can read a brief summary of the chemistry here. Basically different yeasts produce different congeners which in turn produce different flavors when aged.
I find it interesting that the topic of Weller/Pappy/Maker's/Bernheim hasn't come up...but that may be too complicated to digest. I don't know for sure the lineage of the different producer's yeasts.
As far as four roses goes, yes there is a difference between the 10 recipe's. I would like to think I can blind taste the difference, but I have run across barrels that have surprised me both in barrel tastings at 4R and in bottles I have picked up at various retailers. I doubt that yeast is the only variable in distillation. If memory serves me correct the practice originated in having 5 separate distilleries and a central warehouse.
As a retailer we are starting on a series, where instead of picking our favorite blindly from all the recipes we are asking for 6-8 samples of just one recipe. Picking our favorite one, and having it bottled. Sort of our way of not being biased towards a particular recipe. I've noticed a lot of people picking F yeast lately, and I feel it's mainly because it stands out as so different from what has been available in the past. I have nothing against F, but I think it's important to focus on all the recipe's not just one. We have started with OBSO and OESO, when those have mostly sold we will go on to OBSK and OESK, etc. At the end we will most likely have held back some bottles from each to taste at a special event.
If yeast isn't important, than why do distilleries have yeast banks and yeast labs? Why do they cultivate yeast and create lactic sours? If the yeast doesn't have a flavoring role in the final product, it shouldn't matter....
FWIW- Dick Stoll told me that Michter's went from Beam yeast after Everett Beam left to a pre-packaged yeast. He said since they were all so familiar with the process, the change in yeast didn't affect the flavor all that much. They also took the pre-packed stuff and continued to cultivate their own lactic sour off of it as needed for consistency. This leads me again to believe that yeast does at least factor into flavor at least a little bit. I don't think it has a big impact, but in my opinion this is where some of the subtle flavors come from (Nuttiness, citrus, leather, brashness versus mellowness, etc.).