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  1. #1
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    Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    I am currently in a discussion with some Scotch drinkers (not that I don't drink Scotch myself) regarding the impact of yeast on the flavor of whiskey. They are convinced that it has none and that all the talk American distillers do about yeast is nothing more than marketing. You can all probably guess my opinion on the matter, but what say you? Does yeast have some impact, a great impact or none? Is it possible that yeast has an impact on American whiskeys but not Scotch ones?
    bibamus, moriendum est
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  2. #2
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Yeast has an impact on flavor. With Bourbon it's easy to see because you can buy Four Roses SB offerings in 5 yeast strains and the difference is obvious. My local microwbrewery put a a series of beers that were variations on their standard recipes, changing only the yeast; again very obvious difference. I see no reason why it would be any different with any distilled spirit.

  3. #3
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    Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by wadewood View Post
    Yeast has an impact on flavor. With Bourbon it's easy to see because you can buy Four Roses SB offerings in 5 yeast strains and the difference is obvious. My local microwbrewery put a a series of beers that were variations on their standard recipes, changing only the yeast; again very obvious difference. I see no reason why it would be any different with any distilled spirit.
    This was going to be my answer too. Feed the Scotch drinkers some Four Roses, then they will have to change their tune, right?
    Jim

  4. #4
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Yup. Need look no further than Four Roses. Well if you wanna look will further on the negative side maybe Jim Beam.

  5. #5
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Everyone is saying, "Just look at Four Roses. They FIVE different yeasts!" Sounds cool, and goes with the "wholesome whiskey artisans" image they have cultivated. However...

    How many of us have had an opportunity to taste more than the standard OBSV single barrel?

    How many of us have tasted more than the standard single barrel side by side with another single barrel recipe?

    Did those single barrels vary in any other way? Age? Mashbill? Proof?

    Most of us will recognize that there can be significant variances in single barrels that have ALL of the same variables in place (yeast, mashbill, age, proof) except different physical barrels. So while I will accept that there is a possibility that yeast would create a significant difference in taste, I haven't tasted it personally. Furthermore, with all the other variables mentioned I'm even not sure I could taste a difference.

    So, I'm with the Scotch guys. I think Four Roses just has a marketing gimmick in play. It distinguishes them in the marketplace. Well done.

  6. #6
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Then they are marketing and barrel picking geniuses because there are indeed major differences flavor wise in all the yeasts. Maybe it's other factors in play, but I doubt it. Don't know what to tell ya.

  7. #7
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Manthey View Post
    Everyone is saying, "Just look at Four Roses. They FIVE different yeasts!" Sounds cool, and goes with the "wholesome whiskey artisans" image they have cultivated. However...

    How many of us have had an opportunity to taste more than the standard OBSV single barrel?

    How many of us have tasted more than the standard single barrel side by side with another single barrel recipe?

    Did those single barrels vary in any other way? Age? Mashbill? Proof?

    Most of us will recognize that there can be significant variances in single barrels that have ALL of the same variables in place (yeast, mashbill, age, proof) except different physical barrels. So while I will accept that there is a possibility that yeast would create a significant difference in taste, I haven't tasted it personally. Furthermore, with all the other variables mentioned I'm even not sure I could taste a difference.

    So, I'm with the Scotch guys. I think Four Roses just has a marketing gimmick in play. It distinguishes them in the marketplace. Well done.
    A few of us here have picked barrels at the distillery and not me but others have succesfully identified blind the yeast types. Did you ever have an F yeast? You'd know it's no gimmick.
    Thad

    BTOTY-2011

  8. #8
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Sounds like the whole "do cables make a difference?" argument that goes back and forth on my audiophile forums. Those with the "golden palate" claim that the difference is night and day. As a skeptic, I am unwilling to accept this as a truth until I prove it for myself. So unless someone can offer me irrefutable scientific evidence, I would be unsatisfied until I can take part in a double blind test with two single barrel whiskeys that have the same age, mashbill, and proof.

    At least with this argument, the worst that can happen is you have a few extra bottles of FR whiskey laying around.

  9. #9
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Manthey View Post
    Sounds like the whole "do cables make a difference?" argument that goes back and forth on my audiophile forums. Those with the "golden palate" claim that the difference is night and day. As a skeptic, I am unwilling to accept this as a truth until I prove it for myself. So unless someone can offer me irrefutable scientific evidence, I would be unsatisfied until I can take part in a double blind test with two single barrel whiskeys that have the same age, mashbill, and proof.

    At least with this argument, the worst that can happen is you have a few extra bottles of FR whiskey laying around.
    Well, you never know what the bourbon sample fairy may send your way.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  10. #10
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    This is all a very clever way for Trey to score some free booze.

 

 

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