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  1. #1
    Apprentice
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    SB Blend Question?

    New guy question for you, I keep reading about the "SB blend" of OWA and WL 12 and wondered why / how it works? Meaning, why is the sum better than the parts? I've only ever had OWA as WL 12 seems hard to find around here, so I haven't tried the SB blend, but hopefully will soon. If the WL 12 is the "better" bourbon, compared to the OWA, why mix them at a 1 to 1 ratio? Not doubting the results, just curious how / why it works and what you like about it. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Enthusiast
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    Re: SB Blend Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeaninSD View Post
    New guy question for you, I keep reading about the "SB blend" of OWA and WL 12 and wondered why / how it works? Meaning, why is the sum better than the parts? I've only ever had OWA as WL 12 seems hard to find around here, so I haven't tried the SB blend, but hopefully will soon. If the WL 12 is the "better" bourbon, compared to the OWA, why mix them at a 1 to 1 ratio? Not doubting the results, just curious how / why it works and what you like about it. Thanks!
    Because the OWA is higher proof, which many of us prefer. If they offered a 107 proof 12-year I think most people would like it best of the current Wellers. By mixing the 90 proof 12-year and the 107 proof ~7 year, you get something that's a little more aged than the OWA and a little higher proof than the 12.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: SB Blend Question?

    Each, being the same bourbon but at different levels of aging and proof, will have an intentionally different palate, a "profile". I'd argue that Weller 12 is not better, but different.

    Blending the two, or what is technically "mingling" (both are bourbons from the same house and no neutral spirits or other things are added), will produce a third palate that pleases many. Also, the proof will alter to that of the average of the two, upwards of 100 proof. Some people like a bourbon stronger than 90 but less strong than 107.

    Distilleries blend (mingle) bourbons all the time, i.e., mix bourbons of different ages to get a profile deemed suitable for the public taste. We can do it too, it's not an arcane science but more the idea to balance characteristics or arrange them in a certain way to get a result that is liked. While 1:1 seems popular, indeed to the point of being dubbed the "SB" approach for this mingling, many other options are available. You can mix them in different proportions, introduce 90 proof W.L. Weller Special Reserve in the picture and/or the BTAC William Larue Weller, or indeed rye-recipe bourbons from Buffalo Trace or even other distilleries.

    It's good to start, for those inclined, in a simple way and then develop it from there.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 01-16-2012 at 13:15.

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: SB Blend Question?

    Another good mingling of the two would be to add just enough Weller 12 to OWA to bring the latter's proof to 100, a nice round number, but also, you are "seasoning" the younger bourbon with some older. The younger element dominates but is leavened by the gravitas of age. A May-to-December marriage.

    Gary

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: SB Blend Question?

    For the sake of the newbie, I should mention that Mr. Gillman is our leading authority on such matters, to the point where a subtle blend of two or more bourbons is known as "a gillman," and the process of making them is, of course, "gillmanizing."

  6. #6
    Disciple
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    Re: SB Blend Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    For the sake of the newbie, I should mention that Mr. Gillman is our leading authority on such matters, to the point where a subtle blend of two or more bourbons is known as "a gillman," and the process of making them is, of course, "gillmanizing."
    Mr. Gillman served a gillman after showing the art of gillmanizing.
    Jack
    GBS Member #3 (Sorry Dawn!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pieface
    I think i'm god but I'll get a confirmation and go from there

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: SB Blend Question?

    Thanks gents, and of course the question was perfectly legitimate and indeed understandable. Mixing the hard liquors in your bar, outside the cocktails context, is not something encountered every day.

    I did try to give a short explanation though of why I think it's justified to do this. (That said, I know many bourbon veterans who shy away from it, and that's fine of course).

    I've always felt, honestly without false modesty although I appreciate the nod, that no name, my own or any other, should be attached to the practice. It's so intuitive and logical that nothing of the sort is warranted.

    Gary

    P.S. I'm mixing threads this time (sorry), but can't help but note that that was a great line you got off about bitters when they taste bad, Chuck: one of your best.
    Last edited by Gillman; 01-16-2012 at 16:42.

  8. #8
    Apprentice
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    Jan 2012
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    San Diego, CA
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    44

    Re: SB Blend Question?

    Thanks for all the replies and the information. I do understand the reason for the blend / mingle now. And with my day off today, I was able to find some WL 12 so I'll be trying the SB blend soon.

  9. #9
    Virtuoso
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    Oct 2006
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    Re: SB Blend Question?

    If you get a chance or if Weller 12 is hard to find in the future, give a WSR & OWA mingling a try as well. I tried it prior to 12 & OWA. Not quite the depth but every bit as good.

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Chicago
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    Re: SB Blend Question?

    The idea to combine W12 and OWA is brilliant and actually very much like what the distilleries do.

 

 

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