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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Taste of Corn and Bourbon

    The thread on bourbon values under $20 got me thinking that what distinguished the picks was they don't have a strong corn flavour. They might have a dash of it, but are not dominated by a corny taste. In some cases age alone takes care of it, e.g., in BT; in others it's just the way the whiskey is matured, mingled and selected.

    In the 1800's, any bourbon 4-6 years old would have been regarded as fully aged, maybe even old. (VOB's name exists for a reason). At this age, you often get a little corn taste but sometimes almost none: Old Forester Signature is a good example of a fully matured bourbon yet which is not woody.

    As I get on with bourbon, I find more and more I like the mid-age space. Four to eight years of barrel age seems generally right but always with exceptions. Like most I like a well-aged bourbon once in a while.

    FC, an excellent value, leans a bit more to the corn than some others in those under $20 picks, or say EW Black or BIB, but I like a hint of corn in bourbon. If you take away all the corn and replace it with heavy sweet bourbon barrel flavors, I think something of the historical nature of the drink is taken away.

    The trick is to get a full-tasting, soft, balanced bourbon at that age range. Many of the picks provide that and each bottle tends to be a little different at least in texture and mouthfeel (but often more). I like to vat to increase complexity and I mentioned a bourbon recently comprised of 4 and 6 year old bourbons with only a dash of EC 12 that was outstanding IMO.

    Gary

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Taste of Corn and Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    ...If you take away all the corn and replace it with heavy sweet bourbon barrel flavors, I think something of the historical nature of the drink is taken away.

    The trick is to get a full-tasting, soft, balanced bourbon at that age range...I like to vat to increase complexity and I mentioned a bourbon recently comprised of 4 and 6 year old bourbons with only a dash of EC 12 that was outstanding IMO.
    I like the thoughtfulness of this post, and your 4-6-12 vatting reminds me of both Buffalo Trace and Rare Breed, which I seem to remember are both vattings of 6-8-12 year old barrels. I've always liked the youthful, bright notes of each of these, mixed with a present but not complexity-masking oak note.

    IIRC (and I often don't), the original BT was in small dumps of something like 5 barrels each of 6yo and 12yo, with 9 barrels of 8yo.

    Roger

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Taste of Corn and Bourbon

    Roger, thanks. Rare Breed is still my favorite WT product. I didn't recall that about BT but it makes a lot of sense and I really liked the initial bottlings.

    I look forward to trying the new WT 81 proof since it is older than the 80: the current 80 is very corny IMO and I can't drink it: I think they must have seen some change is needed.

    Gary

  4. #4
    Guru
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    Re: Taste of Corn and Bourbon

    Some people say they don't like Woodstone Creek straight bourbon (made by a micro-distillery in Cincinnati) because it doesn't have enough of that "bourbon taste". I suspect some of that reaction may come from the fact the Woodstone Creek uses only the minimum 51% corn in their mash.
    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."

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Taste of Corn and Bourbon

    That may well be. Also, the other flavors in there, barley and rye, may need more time in the barrel given the pot still process used.

    Gary

  6. #6
    Disciple
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    Re: Taste of Corn and Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    As I get on with bourbon, I find more and more I like the mid-age space. Four to eight years of barrel age seems generally right but always with exceptions. Like most I like a well-aged bourbon once in a while.
    Gary
    Gary, I think you've been drinking with my taste-buds . As always, great introspection on the drink that brings us all here. I also now have the desire to finally go buy a bottle of FC, especially since I am already out of HH BIB till KBF time. It is actually at the store nearest my house but I always ignored it.
    Thad

    BTOTY-2011

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Taste of Corn and Bourbon

    Thad, thanks, and do try it, it's very good today, and the taste - even at the bottling proof - belies the fiercesome name.

    Gary

 

 

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