Last edited by p_elliott; 07-04-2012 at 11:02.
[Liberty Valance lays shot in the street]
(Dr) "Quick whiskey!"
[ Dr drinks from whiskey bottle, kicks over Liberty Valance]
(Dr) "He's Dead"
I believe the sour wood note in BT bourbon is directly related to the length of dry seasoning they're applying to barrels, which is on the short end of things (around 6 months AFAIK). Extended seasoning leeches out the green, sappy tannins from the wood and gives you quicker access to the positive tannins, sugars and flavor compounds of the wood. But well aged wood also costs significantly more.
I think it is reasonable to infer that as American whiskey grew in popularity, and BT gradually picked up more brands and found themselves with many more bottles to fill, the supply of well yard aged wood could not keep up with their demand for barrels. You could also deduce that the cost of well aged wood restricted their use of it to satisfy the demand of so many different brands.
Just last night I had a pour of ER101 that completely lacked the sour sap note I find in BT's products today. They definitely changed their wood somewhere along the way as far as I'm concerned.