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  1. #1
    Virtuoso
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    Course/Fine Grain BTEC

    I ran across a couple BTEC. the Fine grain/ course grain bottles. I was just wondering if anyone had picked these up and actually "tasted" them. I'm courious of your impressions.


    What say ye?????
    Cheers,

    Scott

    Reality is an illusion created by a lack of alcohol.

  2. #2
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    Re: Course/Fine Grain BTEC

    I haven't tasted them but I recall reading on Malt Advocate WDJK that the fine grain was pretty darn good. The coarse didnt rate as high.
    ~Robert BTOTY #2 2009

    GBS Member - 2011 Indoctrination

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Course/Fine Grain BTEC

    Although written from a wine perspective, this may help in understanding why one type of wood may give different qualities than another:

    http://www.winebusiness.com/wbm/?go=...e&dataId=66033

    At first I thought tight grain wood is simply older, but I don't think that is the case, it is more a question of the rate of growth.

    It would be interesting (I'll have to take a look) to consider John's taste notes in relation to what is said about the release of wood tannins and lactones from the different woods and the effects on the drink.

    (Robert, nice chatting with you recently at KBF).

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 09-22-2009 at 05:18.

  4. #4
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    Re: Course/Fine Grain BTEC

    Good to talk to you too Gary and thanks for the link.

    I'm only sad that I forgot to try your Rum blend. I told a friend about it and they were quite intrigued being avid Rum drinkers.
    ~Robert BTOTY #2 2009

    GBS Member - 2011 Indoctrination

  5. #5
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    Re: Course/Fine Grain BTEC

    I would generally agree with the article on wine barrels ... and would extend it into bourbon aging. There do appear to be two main issues surrounding grain tightness and bourbon aging: 1) The extraction of tannins and the woodier notes does appear to be slower the tighter the grain is. 2) The loss to the evaporation does appear to be less the tighter the grain is.

    Some bourbon guys care more about grain than others. I'm not aware of anyone barreling bourbon with extra fine grain ... most are coarse ... some are medium ... maybe even an occasional fine.

    That would go part of the way in explaining the relative low tanin level in Maker's Mark, and it's higher than average recovery rate (ratio of emptied whiskey/filled whiskey).
    Dave

    "Remember, the BEST bourbon is FREE bourbon ..."

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Course/Fine Grain BTEC

    Thanks for these notes which are most interesting.

    In your view, is grain size in any way related to age? Does an oak tree which is 30 years older than another one in the same harvesting area have a tighter (or looser) grain? Or is age completely irrelevant to this question?

    Is age relevant at all to bourbon quality? If you use wood from a tree which is 60 years older than from another tree also used to store bourbon, is there a difference in the qualities imparted to the products?

    Gary

  7. #7
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    Re: Course/Fine Grain BTEC

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    Thanks for these notes which are most interesting.

    In your view, is grain size in any way related to age? Does an oak tree which is 30 years older than another one in the same harvesting area have a tighter (or looser) grain? Or is age completely irrelevant to this question?

    Is age relevant at all to bourbon quality? If you use wood from a tree which is 60 years older than from another tree also used to store bourbon, is there a difference in the qualities imparted to the products?

    Gary
    The tightness of the grain is solely related to the rate of growth of the tree. The space between any two lines of grain is equal to the amount of growth in a specific year. Generally speaking, that means that trees growing on less fertile soil, or in an area with a shorter growing season, or where there is anually less rainfall will tend to have more fine grain. Conversely, trees growing where the soil is good, the rainfall is plentiful, and the growing season is long tend to have more coarse grain. So regionality of the tree harvest is important, but two different regions can have the same tightness of grain ...

    All of the foregoing relates specifically to comparing trees of generally the same age. However, when comparing trees of vastly different ages and girths (not common in the barrel making industry) ... there can be some variance ... especially if there has been a climactic change in the region for some reason ... I think it is possible that this might apply to trees harvested near the Smokey Mountains area ...If I remember correctly, it was almost completely logged out in the 20's and 30's ... the soils got poor, and there was less rainfall for a while thereafter ... meaning the trees produced after the big harvest would have had tighter growth rings. Now, the Smokey Mountains area is re-classified as a rainforest .. and the growth rings presently would be much more coarse.
    Dave

    "Remember, the BEST bourbon is FREE bourbon ..."

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Course/Fine Grain BTEC

    Thanks, Dave, most interesting.

    Gary

 

 

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