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Thread: 80 PROOF...why?

  1. #11
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    Re: 80 PROOF...why?

    gary, that FRoses isn't the same as the infamous (discontinued?) blended? when you say in-house mingled, that, i think, confused me. i've never had any FR expression and haven't looked into them at all. yet. still...
    HUP!

  2. #12
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    Re: 80 PROOF...why?

    Oh no, for some years all Four Roses in the U.S. is all-bourbon, it used to be a blend but that was taken off the market some years ago when Four Roses was re-introduced in America as a bourbon.

    The company makes 10 bourbons in-house, it uses 5 mashbills and 2 yeasts, hence the 10. It mingles them to get the profile it wants for Four Roses 80 proof.

    The others are either single barrel (one whiskey), e.g., Four Roses Single Barrel and its various iterations (e.g., the Rutledge one), or varying combinations, e.g., Small Batch is 4 of them mingled.

    This is all-straight bourbon, no blending in the sense of that old Four Roses American Whiskey (which had only some bourbon in it and the rest green whiskey (bourbon mash whiskey unaged in new charred barrels)).

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 12-13-2008 at 13:26.

  3. #13
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    Re: 80 PROOF...why?

    I've always wondered why everyone settled on 80 proof as the target for most spirits. A little research (very little) yielded this explanation:

    "The classic Russian, Lithuanian and Polish vodka is 40% (80 proof). This can be attributed to the Russian standards for vodka production introduced in 1894 by Alexander III.[1] According to the Vodka Museum in Moscow, Dmitri Mendeleev, a Russian chemist, found the perfect percentage to be 38. However, since spirits in his time were taxed on their strength, the percentage was rounded up to 40 to simplify the tax computation." -Wikipedia

    I suppose it is possible that we're still feeling the effects of 125 year old Russian laws.

    I've also heard of 90 proof being "Kentucky Proof."

    I think there are some good 80 proofers.
    The Four Roses Yellow Label is very nice.
    WT80 ain't bad.
    Ten High is good Barton juice and fits the Barton profile, but I don't like it neat.
    Basil Hayden's is overpriced, but a nice 80-proofer for uncomplicated sipping.

    I'll still take any bourbon, even at 80 proof, over most other spirits for quality, flavor, craftsmanship, and value. When you buy 7 dollar vodka, you're buying corn ethanol delivered to a factory in a tanker truck; it is then diluted to the proper proof and bottled. The bottler has virtually no connection with the spirit.
    With 7 dollar bourbon, you're getting the distillate that wasn't 100% pure transcendental bliss, but was still made by nice people who cared about what they were making.

    I love bourbon!
    Jeremy
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    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”
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  4. #14
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    Re: 80 PROOF...why?

    i could probably google this, but i am wondering aloud if all irish or scotch whiskies are 80 proofers. i noticed all that were at my local store WERE.

    and yes, i TOO love the LOVE put into making bourbon...80 proof and UP UP UP!
    HUP!

  5. #15
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    Re: 80 PROOF...why?

    nope... there are plenty of "cask strength" scotches. http://www.dtcscotch.com/

    However, I have been told that in Kentucky evaporation usually leads to higher alcohol content while in Scotland it leads to lower alcohol content. This could explain the high number of 80 proof scotches.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  6. #16
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    Re: 80 PROOF...why?

    I don't think I've purchase a current 80p release on quite some time. The exception is dusty 80 proofers. There are some that are good. Old Crow, even at 80p has good flavor and is an easy drinker. Old Fitz Prime....not bad in a pinch and it's still SW juice.

    I was at my parents this evening and they offered me WT80. I passed it up and pulled out my Bernheim Old Fitz BIB. I tell my parents to stop buying WT80 and at least go for the 101...then cut it down if they want. My dad likes to pour the WT in egg nog. They come to my house and go gaga over my various selections and then go and buy WT80.....go figure.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
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  7. #17
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    Re: 80 PROOF...why?

    Quote Originally Posted by polyamnesia View Post
    i could probably google this, but i am wondering aloud if all irish or scotch whiskies are 80 proofers. i noticed all that were at my local store WERE.
    Scotch Whisky is generally sold at 80 or 86 proof in the USA, unless it's Cask Strength.

  8. #18
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    Re: 80 PROOF...why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. François View Post
    I've also heard of 90 proof being "Kentucky Proof."
    I believe there is a distiller who does (or did) use that term, but it was more or less an advertising / marketing term.

    After WW II most of the distillers did put out "second tier" whiskey that was 90 proof - some were straight whiskey, some were blends of straight whiskey - but their flagship brands were usually (but not always) 100 proof Bottled in Bond. By bottling at 90 proof out of bond, the distillers could still offer whiskey that had some flavor while being able to better manage their stocks.

    Glenmore was fairly honest about what was in some of these straight whiskey blends - their ads would mention that a given whiskey was, say, 5% 5 year old and 95% 18 month old. Other distillers were mum on the subject.

    86 and 80 proof bourbon started getting advertised in the 1950s, at a time when it seems every comestible in America, from food and drink to cigarettes and liquor, had to be lighter, milder, finer-tasting, and otherwise bland and characterless.

    I honestly do not know who was the first distiller to break out an 80/86 proof bottling of their normal Bottled in Bond brands, but I'm pretty sure it would have been one of the National Distillers labels. Most of the major brands wound up with lighter-proof expressions.

    Even Old Fitzgerald had to get into the act, despite Pappy's advertisements in which he disparaged lighter proof whiskey (singling out 90 proof for special attention) as not only being watered down but being a product whose flavor esters had been leached away by the extra water after bottling.

  9. #19
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    Post Re: 80 PROOF...why?

    Quote Originally Posted by shoshani View Post
    Scotch Whisky is generally sold at 80 or 86 proof in the USA, unless it's Cask Strength.
    And, historically, 86.8 proof was popular.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  10. #20
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    Re: 80 PROOF...why?

    The only 80 proof American whiskey I like is Dickel number 8.

    Leif
    Swedish lover of American whiskey

 

 

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