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  1. #1
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    How old are the oldest barrels at the major distilleries?

    Age statements disappearing and demand rising make me think theres not that much old whiskey gathering dust in rickhouses these days. I think often about things like the PHC golden anniversary bottle and that video clip where the heaven hill rep laughingly says that really old whiskey is basically just used as a coloring agent.

    Still, many of these distilleries are centuries old, theres got to be some waiting in the wings somewhere. It seems strange to imagine for instance BT aging barrels to 23 years without a few slipping through the van winkle quality control, but what would happen to them? Is the answer to this question "they get sold off to an NDP?"

    Sure seems like there wont be much juice to ever get that old these days, unless theres another bust. I bet if nothing else these over aged barrels get archived in some fashion, I know BT has a long-running library of old bottlings.

  2. #2
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    Re: How old are the oldest barrels at the major distilleries?

    In the past over aged barrels were blended away or sold to a rectifying plant who redistilled the contents into industrial alcohol.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  3. #3
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    Re: How old are the oldest barrels at the major distilleries?

    I might be completely off the mark here, but perhaps the availability of older juice might be part of whats driving the growth of NAS. Look at the SB weller blend and extrapolate, it doesn't take a lot of older stuff to add nice character and round out the edges of the younger/hotter stuff.

    I'd think the oldest, and probably well past their prime, barrels could be used the way canadians do "flavoring" whiskey. Toss some woody tired 23 into something a little over 4 years and it might not be good but it seems like it would make it "feel" a lot older with a pretty small ratio.

  4. #4
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    Re: How old are the oldest barrels at the major distilleries?

    An interesting question, for sure.

    I remember in an interview online Julian Van Winkle stated that he had had bourbon over 30 years old. He said that it "didn't make the journey very well." I wish I could find the video.

    EDIT: I found the video. At 55:00, "Now, as with any bourbon, it's going to hit a point where it starts--we call it--going over the hill, where it gets too woody, and that's why you don't really see too many bourbons over, uh, twenty-three/twenty-five/twenty-seven years old I think is oldest one out there now. I've tried a thirty- year-old before, and it's--I don't care who made it--it's not going to make it. It's not going to make the trip very, very gracefully."
    Last edited by Clavius; 09-11-2014 at 15:40.

  5. #5
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    Re: How old are the oldest barrels at the major distilleries?

    Diageo seems to have no shortage of it at Stitzel Weller

  6. #6
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    Re: How old are the oldest barrels at the major distilleries?

    Diageo has alot of everything and will figure out a way to sell it.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  7. #7
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    Re: How old are the oldest barrels at the major distilleries?

    I do not believe there is a lot of old whiskey out there. BT is putting 6 y/o juice in Weller Antique and everybody else is dropping age statements at a rapid rate. Oh, there might be 10 barrels here and there for special projects but old whiskey is, IMO, history. Drink it if you got it.
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

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  8. #8
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    Re: How old are the oldest barrels at the major distilleries?

    Quote Originally Posted by BourbonJoe View Post
    I do not believe there is a lot of old whiskey out there. BT is putting 6 y/o juice in Weller Antique and everybody else is dropping age statements at a rapid rate. Oh, there might be 10 barrels here and there for special projects but old whiskey is, IMO, history. Drink it if you got it.
    Joe
    I think Joe is right on the money in guessing it's about gone, especially the idea of suddenly finding enough older barrels to release a brand, that somehow nobody knew were hiding in that rickhouse....puhleeeeze. I really doubt that.
    Joe is also extremely correct in recommending that we drink drink 'em up! They aren't gonna get any better, right?

  9. #9
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    Re: How old are the oldest barrels at the major distilleries?

    They're not getting any better and we're not getting any younger, seize the day.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  10. #10
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    Re: How old are the oldest barrels at the major distilleries?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richnimrod View Post
    I think Joe is right on the money in guessing it's about gone, especially the idea of suddenly finding enough older barrels to release a brand, that somehow nobody knew were hiding in that rickhouse....puhleeeeze. I really doubt that.
    Joe is also extremely correct in recommending that we drink drink 'em up! They aren't gonna get any better, right?
    i really have difficulty believing that ANY distillery could "find" a lot of old whiskey that had been sitting around forgotten for 20 years. They surely have been paying taxes on them the whole time, and a sure way to get a guys attention is to get into his wallet
    Think about how stupid the average person is.....then realize that half of them are more stupid than that.

 

 

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