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  1. #21
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    Re: is barrel-finished bourbon a mistake?

    Bmac there's no reason why a new make Bourbon style whisky couldn't be aged in the same type casks that Scotch producers use but, as Jim says, it couldn't by law be labeled Bourbon. Kentucky Whisky perhaps but not Bourbon. As to the shorter term used by the finishers, well, that's just the length of time they choose to use and it's entirely discretionary with the finisher.

    If the Bourbon is good in the first place it doesn't 'need' finishing but some producers do it and some customers like it and are willing to pay more for it, so, vive la difference.

  2. #22
    Virtuoso
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    Re: is barrel-finished bourbon a mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bmac View Post
    Here's a better question, why do "barrel finished" bourbons only age 6 - 8 months in the 'new barrel?' Is there a law against it aging longer? Scotch uses used barrels in general and lets them age 10 + years. I think bourbon would start to see more benefit from those finishing barrels if it spent more time in them. I like the 2011 PHC, but having tasted only 1 cognac (Hennessy Privilege) I can't taste the influence. Not sure I want to blow my bourbon budget on a bunch of cognac I might never drink.
    Even Scotches that are finished typically aren't finished for more than a year, though there are some exceptions. Keep in mind finishing is intended to impart flavor, not maturity, and is accomplished fairly quickly. The assumption of course is that the whiskey has already reached peak maturity in its original barrel. That's not to say that finishing is never used to cover up young or unbalanced whiskey, though.
    Life's too short, and there's too much good whiskey within reach.

  3. #23
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: is barrel-finished bourbon a mistake?

    I enjoy most of the barrel finished bourbons that I've had and feel that it simply adds something different to the marketplace. I won't say that barrel finished is better than a non finished bourbon by any means, just something different. To me, its no different than when I make a cocktail such as an old fashioned, maybe I'll muddle a cherry maybe I won't, I enjoy it both ways, just depends on my mood.

  4. #24
    Connoisseur
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    Re: is barrel-finished bourbon a mistake?

    I'm a purist. I only drink new make whiskey so I can taste the essence of the mashbill. Anything that has been aged in a barrel or cask is tainted by the wood.

  5. #25
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    Re: is barrel-finished bourbon a mistake?

    I am also a purist. I refuse to have a drink until I'm fully awake.

  6. #26
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: is barrel-finished bourbon a mistake?

    Whiskey is booming right now, but for most consumer products, whiskey included, new products are the straw that stirs the drink. Since developing new whiskey products from scratch takes years, get used to seeing a lot of flavors and finishes.

    Although some people use finishes to improve the product when the underlying spirit isn't great, they're usually a way to create a different and, ideally, tasty flavor. By definition, a finish doesn't take very long. How long depends on what the distiller is working with and hoping to achieve. It might take a few weeks, it might take a few months, but it's usually less than a year. More than that and it's not a finish, it's two-woods aging.

    In the U.S., finishes must be disclosed as part of the product classification, so it's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished In Port Wines Barrels (Angel's Envy).

    I'm still interested in the choice of the word "mistake." I'd be interested if the original poster or anyone else would care to make a case for finishes being a mistake. How so?
    Last edited by cowdery; 03-01-2013 at 12:14.

  7. #27
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    Re: is barrel-finished bourbon a mistake?

    I would imagine the OP meant that barrel-finishing may not be an auspicious direction for distillers to focus their attention. For instance, what if Maker's Mark chose to release a higher-aged (and/or higher-proofed) version, instead of the 'barrel-finished' product (46)? Would consumers have been better served? It's just a question of how we hope bourbon producers will evolve (and sustain) their product lines.

    Sure, one-off attempts at changing the basic process can be interesting and command some interest in the marketplace, but how much of that gimmickry can the market absorb (and at what cost to our familiar favorites)?
    Last edited by MauiSon; 03-01-2013 at 14:10.

  8. #28
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    Re: is barrel-finished bourbon a mistake?

    I think they have to try these types of new products to Chuck's point, as that is what creates buzz. I've only had a few tastes but personally just haven't thought the barrel-finishing added enough to separate me from more of my dough. I wasn't impressed with Maker's 46 and think I would have preferred what MauiSon pondered - maybe a higher aged or higher proofed version. But while I don't care for it - I wouldn't call it a mistake.
    Gary
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

  9. #29
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    Re: is barrel-finished bourbon a mistake?

    Last edited by LostBottle; 03-02-2013 at 15:08.

  10. #30
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    Re: is barrel-finished bourbon a mistake?

    That finish isn't a mistake, sounds great, but the pricing sure as hell is. Criminy.

 

 

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