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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?
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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?

    Four Roses is exactly what I pointed to. I was told that they must be mashing at different temperatures for different yeasts and mashbills, making cuts at different points in the distillation(), or something else. Somebody even said that a guy at Diageo told him that yeast is all marketing, so he's inclined to believe that. I just wonder what makes the Scots so sure that it doesn't make a difference and that it couldn't possibly make a difference.
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  7. #7
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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.

  8. #8
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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

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  9. #9
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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.
    Good! A contrary opinion! I was hoping for that.


    I have had had the opportunity to taste all the different recipes in single barrel form.

    I have tasted multiple recipes side by side, including stuff from barrels with the same yeast strain but different mashbill. I detected a common thread between the two. It's easiest to see this in the F yeast, since it's so different from the others.

    Yes, they do vary in other ways.

    The problem with the argument that Four Roses' 10 recipes are a gimmick is that those 10 recipes come from when 4R was producing bourbons for blending. By the time Four Roses was selling bourbon in America again, the 10 recipes were already well established as a part of their MO. So it at least wasn't a gimmick to start with.
    Last edited by Josh; 03-14-2013 at 07:41.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    The master distillers will tell you it's 25% mash bill 25% yeast and 50% barrel. And yes Trey I have had FRSB where the only variable was yeast and it does make a difference. You can order/get these from TPS judge for yourself.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

 

 

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