Do remember that HH buys and sells tons of whisky. Also, after their fire in 1996 they purchased large volumes from just about anyone who offered it to them. So, in reality, who knows what is in some labels?
I, too, am interested in the mash bills of the bourbons I drink. Here's a list I've started. The info is culled from back issues of Chuck Cowdery's "Bourbon Country Reader". Some of it may be outdated or wrong; if so, that's my fault rather than Chuck's.
Whiskey/%Corn/ %Rye/ %Wheat /%Barley
I W Harper/ 86/ 4/ 0/ 10
George Dickel /84 /8 /0/ 8
Jack Daniel's/ 80/ 8/ 0 /12
Heaven Hill / 77/ 13 /0 /10
Jim Beam /76/ 13/ 0/ 11
Old Grand-Dad /63 /27 /0 /10
Old Forester/ 72/ 18/ 0 /10
Bulleit/ 60/ 30/ 0/ 10
Buffalo Trace #1--Light Rye
-George T Stagg
Buffalo Trace #2--Heavy Rye
-Rock Hill Farms
-Elmer T. Lee
-Hancock President's Reserve
Buffalo Trace Wheat
I'm really very interested in learning the BT percentages, although this interest should not be construed by anyone as a solicitation to industrial espionage! But if there's something in the public domain, and you'd like to add to or correct the above list, please let me hear from you.
So, would the following be a fair breakdown of mashbill catagories?
In cases where the actual rye percentage is know, what would be the threshold for 'Rye' vs 'high rye'?
- High Rye
I understand there are infinite variables, I think the purpose of this thread is just to provide a basic reference.
Who knows. In the case of the BT distillery, they have only two ryed bourbon mash bills, so it's easy to call one light or low, and the other high or heavy. And they have just one wheated mash bill.
Looking at my list it's easy to categorize Harper, Dickel, and JD as low in rye, and it's easy to discern that Old Grand-Dad and Bulleit are high in rye. But what about the HH and Beam products? Maybe they're "just right" as Goldilocks might say. I don't know what to call them, or that we have to worry about it. I will say that I like these middling rye bourbons better than the extremes and think that Knob Creek and Evan Williams SB are mighty good. And I've yet to meet a wheater I didn't like.
In my notes I call HH bourbons "Balanced"
As for high rye, low rye, if something is low rye, it has to be higher in something else. For BT it is corn, and for Beam IIRC it is barley.
Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.
I know y'all are concentrating on mashbills...but I don't believe that the mashbill is as important as maybe your mind is telling you. Mashbill is just one part of a large group of factors that make up the flavor of some whisky.
If two different distilleries used the same exact mashbill...their whisky still would not taste exactly the same.
I believe that you must factor in yeast, barrel/char/toast level, still type and makeup, water, proof off still, proof in barrel and many other factors before evaluating taste or flavor. Otherwise, too much influence will be attributed to the mashbill.
As shown by Dave Z, in his Publicker notes, the distillery used different grain ratios within a rough mashbill. So, they didn't really worry about being absolutely precise.
Last edited by mozilla; 01-20-2009 at 05:58.