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Thread: Smoked whiskey

  1. #1
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    Smoked whiskey

    Our team has been experimenting with different smoked whiskeys for some time at our distillery, Corsair. We have focused on cherry, peat, beechwood, and oak smoked malts. I have always loved smokey Scotch and never understood why there were so few American smoked whiskeys. Below is a list of the wood types I have been experimenting with. This is really more for folks who love whiskey AND grilling/smoking. If anyone can think of other woods for smoking I have not thought of please tell me, thanks in advance. -- Darek

    alder
    almond
    apple
    apricot
    ash
    avacodo
    beechwood
    birch
    black walnut
    cabernet barrel wood
    crabapple
    cherry
    cedar
    grape
    Hawaiian Guava
    Hawaiian Kiawe
    Hawaiian Ohia
    hickory
    jamaican pimento wood
    lemon
    Lilac
    macadamia
    manzanita wood
    maplewood
    mesquite
    mulberry
    nectarine
    olivewood
    orange
    peach
    peat
    pear
    pecan
    persimmon
    plum
    red oak
    sassafras
    white oak

    Darek Bell
    Corsair Distillery,
    www.corsairartisan.com "Craft Distillery of the Year" - Whisky Magazine
    Author of Alt Whiskeys

  2. #2
    Novice
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Bellevue, Kentucky
    Posts
    4

    Re: Smoked whiskey

    Darek, what about Osage Orange? I know it burns hotter 'n hell—possibly with a resinous character? A note about cherry wood. At Tales of the Cocktail, I attended a liqueur making seminar including Luxardo, makers of the great Maraschino Liqueur. This is based on a distillate of fermented cherries, and of course the fruit, and particularly the pits, contribute a flavor. What I did not know is that part of the secret magic of his liqueur is the inclusion in the fermentation (and, possibly, the distillation) of some of the twigs, branches, leaves of the tree. They passed around samples of the leaves, etc. to smell. It was astonishing how much maraschino aroma the wood communicated. One might try generating smoke that includes more parts of the tree than merely chunks of heartwood.

  3. #3
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    Nashville, TN
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    Re: Smoked whiskey

    Jay, here in Tennessee we call that horse apple. It took me a second to realize what you meant. I have been meaning to get some of this wood. I do have access to many of these trees on a nearby farm, and simply have not followed up. So thanks for reminding me. I will let you know how it burns. Most of the fruit trees have a similar sweetness, yet can be quite resinous.

    As for the cherry wood, this is one of my favorite woods for smoking barley and whiskey making. The heartwood generates a LOT of character as is, so I can definitely see what other parts of the plant do. Of course there is a long history in malt making of burning things other than just wood. Corn cobbs and straw were both praised for the clean burn they generated. Walnut and peanut shells have also been praised for smoking. I will look into other parts of the cherry tree.

    Thanks!

    Darek

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Erisman View Post
    Darek, what about Osage Orange? I know it burns hotter 'n hell—possibly with a resinous character? A note about cherry wood. At Tales of the Cocktail, I attended a liqueur making seminar including Luxardo, makers of the great Maraschino Liqueur. This is based on a distillate of fermented cherries, and of course the fruit, and particularly the pits, contribute a flavor. What I did not know is that part of the secret magic of his liqueur is the inclusion in the fermentation (and, possibly, the distillation) of some of the twigs, branches, leaves of the tree. They passed around samples of the leaves, etc. to smell. It was astonishing how much maraschino aroma the wood communicated. One might try generating smoke that includes more parts of the tree than merely chunks of heartwood.

    Darek Bell
    Corsair Distillery,
    www.corsairartisan.com "Craft Distillery of the Year" - Whisky Magazine
    Author of Alt Whiskeys

  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
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    May 2010
    Location
    Leopold Bros. Distillery
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    109

    Re: Smoked whiskey

    Bravo, Darek. Great to see small distillers putting thought into their production methods. Love it.

  5. #5
    Virtuoso
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    Aug 2008
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    Tallahassee
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    Re: Smoked whiskey

    What are the woods used in Triple Smoke? It's my favorite of the micro smoked whiskies that I have tasted. I'll bet that juice would sing as a barrel strength offering.

    Seems a few of the micros are doing smoked whiskey but I would like to see the smoke be a part of the profile without dominating. Perhaps a more subtle compliment to the barrel flavors typically found in whiskey.
    Last edited by sailor22; 08-29-2012 at 13:04.

  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    176

    Re: Smoked whiskey

    You could smoke the whiskey with used whiskey barrels.

    *INCEPTION*

  7. #7
    Virtuoso
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    Sep 2010
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    Twin Cities, MN
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    1,317

    Re: Smoked whiskey

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyTaichou View Post
    Jay, here in Tennessee we call that horse apple.
    Interesting. I grew up in South Dakota, and there, horse apple refers to something else entirely!
    Life's too short, and there's too much good whiskey within reach.

  8. #8
    Novice
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    Jan 2012
    Location
    Danville, KY
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    18

    Re: Smoked whiskey

    Not trying to be silly, but you might want to try hemp (the legal kind). Might be a certain "niche" market for that.

  9. #9
    Apprentice
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    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    Re: Smoked whiskey

    We use cherry wood smoked malt, peat smoked malt, and beechwood smoked malt in our Triple Smoke. I was at the Bruichladdich distilling academy, trying a lot of great smokey Scotch. I decided when I got home I wanted to start experimenting with more of an American smoke character. Of the woods we looked into, the cherry was our favorite.

    We also have a cherry smoked bourbon and an oak smoked wheat whiskey we hope to launch next year.

    Best regards,

    Darek

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor22 View Post
    What are the woods used in Triple Smoke? It's my favorite of the micro smoked whiskies that I have tasted. I'll bet that juice would sing as a barrel strength offering.

    Seems a few of the micros are doing smoked whiskey but I would like to see the smoke be a part of the profile without dominating. Perhaps a more subtle compliment to the barrel flavors typically found in whiskey.

  10. #10
    Guru
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Commonwealth of KY
    Posts
    3,188

    Re: Smoked whiskey

    I've been meaning to try this. Passed on it on a couple of occasions, but will look to remedy that soon. Sounds pretty great.

 

 

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