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  1. #1
    Guru
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    The future of American Whiskey is...

    Malt Whiskey?

    That's according to ADI (not to be confused with LDI) founder Bill Owens in his interview with Lew Bryson in the latest issue of Malt Advocate.

    A lot of work is being done to identify ways of accelerating the aging process, including the use of small barrels. Our problem with this part of the industry is that all the aging research has been done on corn whiskey. Wait till the new generation of aged malt whiskies hits the marketplace. My opinion is that aged barley whiskey wins every time, i.e. single malt Scotches (p39).
    Having never had an American malt that I though was worth the money or was better than a quality mid-shelf bourbon or rye, I snickered a little when I read that statement. Any thoughts?

    Chuck also has a fine article on American Malt and the challenges it faces in that same issue.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,605

    Re: The future of American Whiskey is...

    I love Bill. He is one of the most impressive people I know. All the more the shame that, with whiskey, he mostly has no idea what he is talking about and is a terrible spokesperson for the micro-distillery movement.

    I've often said that use of the word "smooth" is an easy tip-off that the person using it knows zero about whiskey appreciation. Similarly, anyone who starts talking about how "a lot of work is being done to identify ways of accelerating the aging process" knows nothing about whiskey maturation.

    The next issue of Malt Advocate will contain several articles about aging, including one by me, that I predict will be eye-openers for a lot of people.

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2010
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    927

    Re: The future of American Whiskey is...

    I agree with Chuck. I think the future will be the big distilleries continuing to make good whiskey as they have been doing. And the small distilleries who strive to make as good a whiskey has the big distilleries do. There is nothing wrong with the way the big boys do it. The only way a micro can improve on that is being able to use lower barrels proofs, finishes etc. That is not to say malt has no place in the future. But it is not THE future. What Bill thinks is progressive is actually shortcuts.

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
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    Aug 2008
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    Homestead, Florida USA
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    Re: The future of American Whiskey is...

    Personally, I'd love to see an American version of Scotch. I think we can make it as well as they can and perhaps could put a few twists on the finished product like the use of new-never-filled oak barrels. That said I hope the Scotch companies in Scotland continue to produce what they produce and the Bourbon companies in Kentucky continue to produce what they produce. The simple truth is that there are some truly remarkable products coming out of the American spirits industry these days. I think there is a happy synthesis of increased consumer knowledge and taste combined with increasingly complex product being issued by producers of Bourbon. Economic depressions aside I would love to see this synthesis continue long into the future. If that means we start producing a thousand different variations upon the theme than so be it. The market place is large enough for many more quality producers of whiskey-like spirits as long as, and this point cannot be understated, the product is quality. Shit will always be shit and repackaged shit will still be just repackaged shit. Good quality spirits, be they Gin, Vodka, Scotch, or Bourbon will attract their own market share.

  5. #5
    Enthusiast
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    Re: The future of American Whiskey is...

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    I love Bill. He is one of the most impressive people I know. All the more the shame that, with whiskey, he mostly has no idea what he is talking about and is a terrible spokesperson for the micro-distillery movement.

    I've often said that use of the word "smooth" is an easy tip-off that the person using it knows zero about whiskey appreciation. Similarly, anyone who starts talking about how "a lot of work is being done to identify ways of accelerating the aging process" knows nothing about whiskey maturation.

    The next issue of Malt Advocate will contain several articles about aging, including one by me, that I predict will be eye-openers for a lot of people.

    Chuck,
    I forgot to mention I have been enjoying your articles in Malt Advocate and look forward to the next issue.

  6. #6
    Guru
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    Dec 2004
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    Re: The future of American Whiskey is...

    I understand the physics of a small barrel and surface contact, etc. But to me, every "rapid-aged" small barrel whiskey I've tries tastes like faux-aged whiskey. Not necessarily bad, for what its is, but not the real thing.

    There's more to maturing whiskey than surface area / wood contact ... there's time. Time in the wood can't be beat (at least not so far) for complexity and fullness of flavor.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

 

 

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