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  1. #21
    Enthusiast
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    May 2001
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    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
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    286

    Re: New Product

    I know that in Europe "proof" is a different abv than here in the states. I'm pretty sure I have seen 70 proof bottles that concerned me, but after reading the label they were 40%abv. (I'm not positive on the exact numbers).

  2. #22
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: New Product

    Under U.S. law, any straight spirit (whiskey, rum, gin, vodka, etc.) sold at less than 80 proof (40% abv) must be labeled as "diluted." There is no high end legal limit on bottling, but there is a practical limit based on the proof of barrel entry, which is limited by law. In other words, the whiskey has to go into the barrel at no more than 120 proof. (I think that's right. I'm sure someone will correct me if it's not.)

  3. #23
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: New Product

    You're close Chuck , It's 125 Proof Max allowed to be entered in the Barrel.

  4. #24
    Connoisseur
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    Feb 2000
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    Florida
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    516

    Re: New Product

    Hi Bobby & Chuck,

    Maybe the proof climbs past its 125 barrel entry max for a very simple reason: evaporation. The new uncut/unfiltered Stagg is 15 yrs in wood, plenty of time for the distillery angels to push the proof to 130 or beyond. I'm wondering if this is the highest proof bourbon ever bottled.

    As for the 37% ABV found in some Aussie offerings, it sure explains how the country got that 'Down Under' name, doesn't it?

    Omar

  5. #25
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: New Product

    Proof of entry is just that. It is expected that the proof will increase during aging. This presents an apparent paradox. To me it is both an apparent and actual paradox, because I don't have an explanation for it. Maybe someone else does.

    My rudimentary understanding of distillation starts with the principle that alcohol is more volatile than water. Therefore, alcohol can be liberated from water by heating a liquid to the point at which alcohol vaporizes but water does not, whereby the alcohol vapors rise and ... well, we all know the happy outcome.

    But in the barrel, water seems to evaporate more readily than alcohol, so the alcohol content of the liquid increases over time. Since alcohol is more volatile than water, shouldn't the alcohol evaporate more readily, causing the alcohol content to decrease over time?

  6. #26
    Guru
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    Sep 2001
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    Pelham, AL
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    3,893

    Re: New Product

    Chuck, I agree that it seems backwards. Also, the term "the angel's share" would seem to indicate that alcohol is being lost. Who would care about the water? Unless they are just referring to the fact that the total volume is decreased.

    Tim

  7. #27
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Florida
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    516

    Re: New Product

    Tim,

    I'd say the 'angels share' refers to the entire barrel contents. But Chuck raises a great question with regards to the evaporation rates of alcohol and water, maybe the master distillers can discuss it at the fest.

    Bettye Jo once posted a comment about the HH/Evan Williams 23y blue, how evaporation took a huge amount of whiskey out of those barrels. I can't imagine that whiskey's proof if they ever decide to barrel it at full strength.

    Ken Weber says the Stagg coming out next month isn't actually 130 proof...it's 141! 1-4-1...inhale those 3 digits too fast and you can pass out.

    Once, he says, they discovered a barrel tucked away at a weird angle in the warehouse...its contents had evaporated far more than others. It was an accident, they weren't trying to cook it. It poured out at an astonishing 161 proof!

    Cheers,
    Omar

 

 

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