Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
I agree with Thad, I think what you are tasting is what some here also recognize as the "vitamins" taste, meaning a distinctive taste and smell akin to that of the crunchy skin of a vitamin. IIRC, the term was first used here by Jeff Yeast, an early BOTY and former prolific contributor. I feel it is a house flavor of George Dickel, probably resulting from the fermentation of the beer and carried into the new distillate after stilling. It is not my favourite taste in bourbon-style whiskey, but I enjoy it once in a while. I once bought off the retail shelf in San Francisco some Dickel (black label) distilled in the 70's and you could taste it in that too although more subdued than in current bottlings, which may mean the stocks were more aged then, or maybe there is another explanation.

I think most Dickel is consumed with cola and it works very well in that combination.

American straight whiskey often exhibits very distinctive flavors because of the secondary (non-ethanol) constituents generated by the yeast, and the type of yeast is important too. In Beam you get (to me) a characteristic funky/earthy note; most iterations of Four Roses are flowery/spicy; Woodford Reserve, which is all-pot-stilled, has a characteristic oily note, almost like some Irish single pot still or pot still rum, and so forth. Heaven Hill's are more neutral (to me again) and "clean" and is WR's stablemate, Old Fitzgerald 100 proof. Jack Daniels seems very estery with yellow fruit and mango notes. These are specific house characteristics and are to be prized as giving identity to each product and as always taste will differ - personal taste - as to their merits. It is also true that some people do not detect the flavors I've mentioned and fair enough, there is no fully agreed taxonomy of tastes although I do find often that there is agreement amongst regular tasters as to what they find.

Thanks Gary. "Vitamins" would not have been a terrible word to use, had I thought of it. In retrospect, it would be pretty accurate.

And your general descriptions of house traits will help me. I agree with you, for instance on the 4R products - I tried the SmB before the YL and actually didn't care for it, it was too floral. (That Q yeast must be something). I'm now reluctant to try their Single Barrel for that reason, though the YL is very, very drinkable. Would like to try their SBLe, but can't find it anywhere. (Also cant find any Old Fitzgerald of any kind anywhere).

I've seen the word "oily" applied here on the forum several times, and it intrigues me, as mouthfeel is an important part of my experience when tasting.