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  1. #1
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    Shades of bourbon

    We were discussing the other night in chat how certain bottlings can be so dark while others at the same age are a couple shades lighter. I took some pictures to illustrate how different it really is...from left to right Pappy 15, OWA 03, OWA 99, WRMCSO which is some of the darkest stuff I've seen to date. It's amazing that the OWA 99 is pretty much the same color as the WRMCSO.
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    You can find me in chat most nights on days ending with the letter y!

  2. #2
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    Re: Shades of bourbon

    Is it not likely that the darker bottles contained older whiskey. The age statement is the yougest age of the bourbon in the batch. There could be considerably older barrels in the batch.

  3. #3
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    Re: Shades of bourbon

    Higher proof will make for darker bourbon as well.
    Mike Veach

  4. #4
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    Re: Shades of bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by bourbonv View Post
    Higher proof will make for darker bourbon as well.
    Mike Veach
    I agree Mike but Pappy 15 is 107, OWA 2003 is 107, and OWA 1999 is 107 proof so that thought really doesn't work in this instance. I guess I was more or less just try to show that different bottlings of the same age or older age bourbon can have a very different color to it. I'm really amazed at how dark the 99 OWA is...that's how this whole conversation got going.
    You can find me in chat most nights on days ending with the letter y!

  5. #5
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    Re: Shades of bourbon

    What do you believe causes color differences in bourbon with similar proof?

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Shades of bourbon

    Color is a function of absorption and absorption can vary with barrel location as well as with age. Also, although they try to make them as uniform as possible, barrels vary in terms of their content of the various soluble compounds, including the ones responsible for coloring whiskey. This plus, as Fricky said, an age statement doesn't really tell you know old the whiskey is, just how old the youngest whiskey in the blend is. Whiskeys are blended primarily for taste and aroma, not appearance. This is why, in Scotland, they permit the addition of spirit caramel, so you don't have variation within a line. Since American producers can't add coloring, you get variations in appearance.

  7. #7
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    Re: Shades of bourbon

    There are two factors in bourbons of similar proof. The first is the presence of different aged whiskey and the second is the amount of filtering done to the final product.
    Mike Veach

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Shades of bourbon

    Right, pre-bottling processing, including filtering, would be another factor, although that should be the same within a particular line.

  9. #9
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    Re: Shades of bourbon

    What about char level? Or entry proof?
    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."

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Shades of bourbon

    In the original post, all of the examples were Buffalo Trace wheated bourbon. Like filtering, char level and entry proof would be consistent across a line but, yes, both char level and entry proof would have an effect on color.

 

 

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