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Thread: Is this true?

  1. #1
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    Is this true?

    Perhaps I should say first that I'm a 57 year old bourbon and whiskey novice. What I mean by that is for 35 years I masked my taste buds by smoking cigarettes. For decades I mixed Seagrams, Jack Daniel's, any and all bourbons and whiskies with either Coke or 7-Up and thought I had a good adult beverage. I couldn't drink spirits straight up, burned my mouth too much and thought a drink on the rocks was just something that was done in the movies. A few years ago I gave up tobacco and EUREKA, straight alcohol started tasting delicious. Now I know why there are alcoholics, the hard stuff tastes great without cutting it with anything except maybe a splash of water. I really like Crown Royal, George Dickel 8 and Jim Beam black label on the rocks. I tried Makers Mark on the rocks but decided it needed a splash of branch water for my taste. Any way, I said all that to say this, a friend recently visted the Beam distillery and brought back info that really surprises me. According to him, all dozen or so of Beam's bourbon comes from the same mash. What makes it different is the blending of different barrels from different levels in the aging barrel houses. That means Old Crow, which I haven't tasted since stealing a swig out of my dad's stock 40 years ago, and black Beam are the same? Hard for me to believe. Does that mean Dickel 8 and 12 are the same? Crown Royal and Seagrams 7? Blending determines quality and proof? Sorry, I know, that's a lot of questions, but I'm just learning.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is this true?

    Welcome aboard.

    What surprises you is correct, the details are a bit off. Beam uses 2 mashbills that I know of. One for most of its products, and a higher rye mashbill for its Basil Hayden and Old Granddad. Most of the distilleries have 4-6 (or more) different bourbons coming from the same mashbill. Other factors come from the barrel... not only how long it was in the barrel (Weller 12 tastes much different than Weller 7), but also how that barrel was stored. By mixing barrels, a wide range of tastes can be found.

    Good question.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  3. #3
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Re: Is this true?

    as mentioned, partially true. Lot's of things can determine final product with the mashbill just being one of them. Pour a sample of Jim Beam White and Jim Beam Black (cut with same amount of water if you need it) and try side by side. White is 4 years and Black is 7; most can tell just from the nose which is which. Knob Creek is Jim Beam at 9 years for a 3rd comparison.

  4. #4

    Re: Is this true?

    The canadian whiskeys are all blended, I would imagine that Crown Royal and Seagram's 7 are very different. I like crown royal, it's a summer afternoon drink for me. Mostly I drink Old Grand Dad 114, WT RR 101 (while I still have it), and Elijah Craig 12 & 18.

    Enjoy your new passion, just don't overdo it!

    Joel
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  5. #5
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    Re: Is this true?

    In answer to your last two questions. Yes, I believe Dickel 8 and 12 are the same mashbills at different ages.

    However, Crown Royal and Segram's 7 are different. Crown Royal is a blended Canadian whiskey while Seagram's 7 is a blended American whiskey which I believe has Bourbon components. You may be thinking of Seagram's VO, which is a Canadian whiskey, but I'm not sure what it has in common with Crown Royal.

    By the way, it's interesting how smoking affected your palate. I would have thought the opposite, that non-smokers would be more sensitive to straight whiskies than smokers, whose taste buds are dulled by all the smoke.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is this true?

    I still believe I read somewhere that another way they wary the out come for the final product is to vary the char of the barrels. One product say uses a number 3 char barrel and another uses a number 4 char barrel for example. Ben you we're going to check that out for me but you can't get an answer untill May right?
    Last edited by p_elliott; 04-14-2009 at 06:23.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  7. #7
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    Re: Is this true?

    Beam has two different distilleries producing their ryed distillate. Even if they tried to....they would have a hardtime producing the same tasting juice from both distilleries. It just isn't that easy to replicate distillate. There are too many factors that affect the final flavor. From what I have understood...most of the Beam named labels come from Beam. The other labels are made in Boston at the Booker Noe plant.

    All Canadian whisky is blended with a form of GNS and other colors and flavors. Their overall pallet is lacking a full roundness because of the neutrallity of the GNS. They really can't be compared to a Ky Straight Bourbon Whisky. Even if...they use KSBW in their blending(ie: Crown). American blended whisky also uses GNS, color and flavorings. I see no reason to pay the same price for these types of whisky as a real KSBW. Who's value is very high because of NO...color, flavor or GNS.

    Both the Dickels are four years of age. The difference is the proof and the extra flavor is carried by this proof.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Is this true?

    Quote Originally Posted by sku View Post
    By the way, it's interesting how smoking affected your palate. I would have thought the opposite, that non-smokers would be more sensitive to straight whiskies than smokers, whose taste buds are dulled by all the smoke.
    Perhaps having your tastebuds dulled by the smoke is precisely the problem. I'm not a smoker, but when I smoke a cigar, whiskey loses all of its flavor to me and just tastes thin and hot. I think it makes perfect sense that quitting smoking would unlock the flavors one was previously missing & allow one to taste the true flavor.
    "A person can work up a mean, mean thirst after a hard day of nothing much at all . . . "

    Andy

  9. #9
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    Re: Is this true?

    Andy, you're absolutely right. I couldn't believe how different whiskey tasted to me after I quit smoking, beer, too. When I smoked, I couldn't tell the difference between Daniel and Dickel or Crown and CC. Same between 80 and 86 proof Beam. Now, I can appreciate the subtle differences and smells. I refuse to mix a drink for any one. When I offer company a drink of my spirits they get it on the rocks, neat or have to fix it themselves. Oh, you want soda with that? Sorry, should of brought it with you. I guess I'm a bad host.

  10. #10
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    Re: Is this true?

    Jeff, how is proof determined?

 

 

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