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  1. #11
    Connoisseur
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    New England
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    IMHO, some great points have been made, but to say that 'yeast is all marketing' is pretty biased and shows that Diageo doesn't want you thinking about the fact that they have eliminated many different strains of yeast in their moves toward a more corporate and profitable monoculture Scotch industry. Ask yourself why is some sourdough bread better than others? Why do the best bakeries keep their sourdough-starter kicking for decades? The secret is in the yeast. Granted distilling spirits is a different beast than baking, but I'm hard pressed to believe that all yeast is the same. I applaud diversity in the marketplace and in my choices, and in general. As for being able to detect a difference in how my whisk(e)y tastes because of yeast variations, I can't say I'm there yet, but it gives me something to strive for (or fool myself with, depending on your perspective).

  2. #12
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    Mar 2012
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    New Orleans, LA
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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.

  3. #13
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    Mar 2012
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by p_elliott View Post
    You can order/get these from TPS judge for yourself.
    Which recipes would you recommend I purchase to best highlight the differences between yeasts?

  4. #14
    Guru
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    Jun 2008
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    Metro Detroit
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    5,203

    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

  5. #15
    Enthusiast
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    Sep 2012
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    Markham, ONT
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    499

    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Most people would agree that the barrel itself has an impact on taste to the point that two barrels filled with the same spirit sitting side-by-side for the same amount of time can produce aged whisky that tastes different. Therefore, the impact of yeast should be tested on new make spirit with all other variables the same except for yeast.

  6. #16
    Guru
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    Jun 2012
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    Commonwealth of KY
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    3,188

    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

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

  7. #17
    Advanced Taster
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    Dec 2012
    Location
    Virginia
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    174

    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Ideally we would eliminate the whole debate about individual palates and taste tests between barrels. If the yeast really do matter, then the difference is in the chemicals they produce during fermentation that make it through the distillation process and into the final product. Certainly this is of interest to Four Roses, and something that they could test objectively at their labs. I'm assuming that they don't release that sort of proprietary information, though.

  8. #18
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2012
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    Atlanta, Georgia
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    519

    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    In the name of science, I am also happy to accept samples to determine the impact, if any, of the 4R yeast strains.

  9. #19
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    Mar 2012
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    New Orleans, LA
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Quote Originally Posted by portwood View Post
    Most people would agree that the barrel itself has an impact on taste to the point that two barrels filled with the same spirit sitting side-by-side for the same amount of time can produce aged whisky that tastes different. Therefore, the impact of yeast should be tested on new make spirit with all other variables the same except for yeast.
    Excellent suggestion. Let's petition Jim Rutledge to put together a new make sampler pack for the SB trainspotters! Gift shop only, of course.

    I certainly would welcome any visits from the bourbon sample fairy.

  10. #20
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Does yeast have an impact on flavor?

    Pretty sure Seagrams thought it made a difference, with their library of 300 yeasts...

    Here's a thought: we know that yeast-making, from capture to propagation, was a highly prized art among early American distillers. Perhaps the emphasis on yeast here has as much to do with tradition as it does effect.

    Another thought, is this yeast-making tradition more a central European thing? (The Beams were, I believe, German). Perhaps the ethnic heritage of the American distillers plays into this. I don't know enough about Scottish distilling to know whether they had such a tradition but it's clearly gone now, as they all buy bulk yeast.

    Tom McKenzie ought to weigh in on this.
    Life's too short, and there's too much good whiskey within reach.

 

 

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