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  1. #101
    Enthusiast
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    May 2006
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    Nor Cal
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    438

    Re: The New Old Taylor, First Batch.

    That's quite interesting. Have you or anyone ever tasted the difference in, say, an '80s-era Old Crow vertical? When you say this man told you the change was a couple years before the buyout, I'm wondering when this juice was bottled--up to four years after 1987?
    "It hasn't cured my broken heart, but it sure helps a lot."
    -Ernest Tubb

  2. #102
    Disciple
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    May 2008
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    Chicagoland, Illinois
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    1,627

    Re: The New Old Taylor, First Batch.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmckenzie View Post
    #2 dent corn now, and #2 dent corn then are 2 different animals. I do not know when all of the hybrids started coming along, but it was probably after ww2, but this has had a serious impact on the flavor of corn. Now, corn is bred to have way more starch in it than it used to have. To have more starch, it has to have less germ, and that is where the flavor comes from. I had this very conversation with 2 corn genetic folks last week. 1 from cornell and the other from some school in missouri. I do know that we have had to try several different farmers corn around here until we found a corn that balanced flavor and alcohol yeild. There was one we tried that had a hell of a lot more corn flavor, but the yeild was half of what it is with the corn we use now. We have played around with open pollinated corn and use a small amount of it, just because the taste is so distinctive.
    I know that Steve Nally has had to do the same thing out where he is at.

    I wonder if the amount of backset used back when the nd plants were operating is one of the causes of the huge change. Maybe they used a lot more backset than beam does. More backset means lower ph and therfore makes a yeast act totally different and produces different flavors. We also had to experiment to find just the right amount.
    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    One of the most unusual things I was told when working on the documentary in 1991-92 was said by a man who identified himself as the last master distiller at Old Crow and who was by then a Beam employee working at the Forks of Elkorn (Old Grand-Dad) plant, which is where Beam stuck all of the National production people it retained.

    He told me that in the 1960s, National enlarged the Old Crow plant and accidentally altered the percentage of setback they were using. He said this completely screwed up the flavor and everyone, including he and the distillery tasting panel, told management it was screwed up, but at that point they were selling all they could make, so nothing was done to fix it. A few years later, when the bottom fell out, it was worse for Crow than just about any other major brand. He said they finally figured it out and fixed it a couple of years before Beam bought the place, so for the last few years of production from that plant the whiskey was good.

    I've never found another source that could either confirm or deny that story.
    These are the nuggets of information that come out of the dialog here that makes me damn proud to be a member of SB. Great stuff!
    Thad

    BTOTY-2011

  3. #103
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    927

    Re: The New Old Taylor, First Batch.

    If they screwed it up on account of say installing bigger fermenters, all they would have had to do was pump more backset in. From what I have been told, most distilleries did not even check the ph, they just knew how long to run the pump to put the backset in. And the screwup may not have shown up in the new make as much as it did in the barrel and it was not caught until it was time to bottle. They must have just decided to live with it. Looks like the yeild would have been off and they would have caught it that way though. If everything is working right, the mash will yeld a certain amount of whiskey, and if something like the amount of backset is wrong the yeild will be off.

  4. #104
    Guru
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    May 2006
    Location
    Napoleon, MI
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    7,449

    Re: The New Old Taylor, First Batch.

    With the upcoming release of the second edition of E H Taylor Jr I thought it'd be a good time to bump this thread.
    Anyone new to this thread check out the original post and see why.
    Also below are pics of the first release Sour Mash and the second Single Barrel.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    ovh

  5. #105
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    757

    Re: The New Old Taylor, First Batch.

    This is one very interesting thread! Thanks to all the contributors!
    "There's nothing better than a fine dinner, a good bottle of whiskey and a bad girl"

  6. #106
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Santa Cruz CA
    Posts
    30

    Re: The New Old Taylor, First Batch.

    I also enjoyed this thread and learned a lot. It made me wonder about this effort compared to the BTAC line. This one seems like it is more purist - trying to recreate, or at least follow, an original recipe. The BTAC appears to me, a newbie, as an homage. Is that an accurate assessment?

    Are there other "original recipe" offerings out there, or offerings that aim to copy pre-prohibition formulas? I realize with GMO a lot has changed, but still wonder if this is an isolated effort.
    Marna

  7. #107
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    223

    Re: The New Old Taylor, First Batch.

    I recently found a few bottles of the sour mash. Feel free to pm me if anyone is interested.

  8. #108
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Florida Panhandle
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    29

    Re: The New Old Taylor, First Batch.

    So I pick this as my first post. Go figure.

    As a long time all grain home brewer, it seems like yeast gets short shrift in the distilled spirit world. When brewing beer for style, grain is important, but yeast strain is key. If you use the wrong yeast, your end result will be way off the mark. Yeast brings so much flavor to the party. Another variable is fermentation temperature. It contributes to the quantity and type of fusil oils produced.

    How do bourbon distillers controll these variables?

    My real question is, does the type of corn affect flavor more than the yeast or fermentation temps? My gut tells me that corn is corn on the whole.

  9. #109
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
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    12,617

    Re: The New Old Taylor, First Batch.

    Yeast is important because, as distillers will tell you, all of the flavor is produced in the fermentation. The still just concentrates flavors, and discards some unpleasant ones, but it doesn't create any new ones. The major distillers know yeast is important.

    Brewers use different yeasts to create different styles whereas, generally, a distiller will use one yeast because they're really only making one style, which is bourbon. So when they've found a yeast they like, they don't have much reason to talk about yeast.

    An exception is Four Roses, which uses five different yeast strains and uses them for the flavor properties they produce. One is considered spicy, one is considered floral, etc.

    In the micro-distillery world there are some people who give fermentation short shrift because they have confused the roles of distiller and still operator. Bill Owens, president of the American Distilling Institute, recommends that micro-distillers contract out their fermentation to a micro-brewer and just concentrate on distilling, which I think is very bad advice.
    Last edited by cowdery; 12-18-2011 at 16:27.

  10. #110
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    Nov 2011
    Location
    Florida Panhandle
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    29

    Re: The New Old Taylor, First Batch.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post

    Bill Owens, president of the American Distilling Institute, recommends that micro-distillers contract out their fermentation to a micro-brewer and just concentrate on distilling, which I think is very bad advice.
    Agreed. My brewing experience would drive me to believe that distilling would concentrate the flavours generated by fermentation. For example the yeast from a Belgian beer would creat vasty different flavours from a czech pils. The temps required to use these yeasts are at the oposite ends of the spectrum.

    Slightly off topic. Are the yeasts used by bourbon distillers more ale like vice lager? I assume so, since lager takes too long to ferment for liquor.

 

 

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