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  1. #51
    Disciple
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    Re: Why is Bourbon getting worse?

    As to age...let's take the 1960's so we are pre glut...how many bourbons (or ryes) as a percentage were sold with more than 8 years of age? I'd think a very small figure compared to today. I mentioned an increase in the starch in corn and I see that for scotch, Oliver Klimek in his blog Dramming, argues the same with regards to more recent barley and the need for wood and longer ageing. More starch equal more alcohol but less proteins, minerals and fats that give flavor. The many factors that create the difference between old and new are of course many and discussed numerous times before. Chuck's write up in The Bourbon Country Reader on the Fairfax County dontated by smokinjoe, which was chemically analyzed is also recommended.
    Thad

    BTOTY-2011

  2. #52
    Moderator
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    Re: Why is Bourbon getting worse?

    In the 60's they didn't chill filter bourbon either leaving those fats in the bourbon unlike today.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  3. #53
    Enthusiast
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    Mar 2013
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    O'Fallon, MO
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    438

    Re: Why is Bourbon getting worse?

    Soil leaching could be another factor. All reports today are that our vegetables and grains have far less nutrient value than they did decades ago because of the intense farming practices used to keep up production.

    But I still think age in the barrel is the biggest difference, if there is much difference at all. Lots of great bourbons around today, in all price ranges.

  4. #54
    Enthusiast
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    Oct 2012
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    Houston, TX
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    280

    Re: Why is Bourbon getting worse?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackinbox View Post
    As a newbie, I notice a lot of posts that allude to the fact that many bourbon brands were better decades ago. Just a few examples that come to mind are:

    - OGD bottled by ND is better
    - Make sure you get the PVW with the SW juice
    - Jim Beam White Label was better in the 70s

    What's causing this? Are they changing the formulas? Aging less? Cutting corners in distillation?
    One perspective is that certain bourbons will decline in quality as they became more popular, but new quality bourbons will take their place. We have had plenty of time to identify the best bourbons bottled 10 or 20 years ago, but many of those have changed or are no longer available. Demand increases as more people discover it, but there is a finite supply because it has already stopped production. Even if bourbon quality steadily increases over the next 20 years, there will be a handful of bourbons that were widely available today, but will be considered highly desirable because that exact bourbon is no longer available.

    Bourbon is a long lead time product, and there are frequent changes in the ownership and operation of the distillers and bottlers. Overall quality may have gone down, but there is still plenty of high quality bourbon widely available. It just might not be the same quality bourbon from the same distillery sold under the same label from decade to decade. An old friend said he may have managed to stay satisfied with the same woman for 60 years, but he would be damned if he wasn't going to pick a new favorite whiskey for every one of those years.

  5. #55
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Chicago
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    12,564

    Re: Why is Bourbon getting worse?

    Quote Originally Posted by p_elliott View Post
    In the 60's they didn't chill filter bourbon either leaving those fats in the bourbon unlike today.
    Who told you that? It's not true. Chill filtering has been almost universally practiced since the repeal of Prohibition.

    Most of you aren't old enough to be so nostalgic about the good old days. The only real factual basis for this phenomenon is that many bourbon enthusiasts picked up the hobby during, and in part because of, the bourbon glut that made well-aged bourbon ridiculously affordable. That was a fluke of history and likely won't be repeated. Aside from that, bourbon has never been better than it is today.

    Okay, I've said it. You may now resume your ill-informed speculation and analysis.
    Last edited by cowdery; 05-22-2013 at 13:19.

  6. #56
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    Commonwealth of KY
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    Re: Why is Bourbon getting worse?

    Still tastes pretty damned good to me. But then again I don't have the basis for comparison that many of you do.

  7. #57
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    Sep 2004
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    Jackson, MS
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    11,771

    Re: Why is Bourbon getting worse?

    Good then, good now and it will still be good tomorrow.

  8. #58
    Connoisseur
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    Oct 2011
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    Piqua OH
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    824

    Re: Why is Bourbon getting worse?

    In the 3 yrs I've been drinking bourbon, I've had just a few opportunities to partake in dusties. A few were very good, but nothing that blew me away.

    In the last couple weeks, I've been drinking mega ml's of OWA SB and FRSB, both new releases. I can't fathom that I'll ever pour anything down my pie hole that would taste any better!!
    The liver is evil. It must be punished...

  9. #59
    Disciple
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    Dec 2007
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    DelMarVa
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    1,867

    Re: Why is Bourbon getting worse?

    Count me as a fan of current whiskey. Sure, there are some great dusty bourbons. But, the more dusties I try, the less I like them as a whole. Now, as then, there are gems in the bottom to mid shelves.

    However; I do think that premium bourbons of yore are more likely to impress than premium bourbons of today. If only because of the sheer amount of them available today.

  10. #60
    Guru
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    Oct 2011
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    Marietta, GA
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    2,284

    Re: Why is Bourbon getting worse?

    I'm more worried about the bourbon of the future. I believe that today's EC12 will taste different from EC12 a decade from now thanks to global warming (assuming nothing else changes, such as where they age the barrels, implementing temp control, etc). I was chatting with someone at Willett/KBD who said that they're seeing evaporation rates in the past few years higher than in years past. Although, this may have more of an impact on the value bourbons aged closer to the top of the rickhouses.
    Gary
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

 

 

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