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  1. #1
    Apprentice
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    Apr 2013
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    36

    What accounts for bourbons of same proof having such big differences in heat/burn?

    I had a 4R1B last night that was rich, spicy, sweet and smooth with minimal heat and burn at 50% abv. Tonight I am having an OFBB which has nice spice and richness but considerably more heat and burn than the 4R1B at 49% abv. I just assumed the alcohol content had the largest influence on the heat and burn. This tasting suggests I am mistaken and am curious what factors besides alcohol content contribute to the expression of heat and burn in bourbon?

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Feb 2012
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    Mesquite, TX
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    619

    Re: What accounts for bourbons of same proof having such big differences in heat/burn

    My understanding is that it starts with how good or bad the new make is. If it was poorly distilled it will have quite a bit of bite/burn. Also, age plays a role. The younger the whiskey the more bite as well. FR ages their SB at 9 years while OFBB is 4 years. Also, I have heard a few times that OFBB is quite harsh. I can't find it here in Texas, so I haven't been able to test that theory.
    |-o-| [-o-] |-o-| "I'm on the leader"

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
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    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ohio
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    190

    Re: What accounts for bourbons of same proof having such big differences in heat/burn

    Quote Originally Posted by Bmac View Post
    My understanding is that it starts with how good or bad the new make is. If it was poorly distilled it will have quite a bit of bite/burn. Also, age plays a role. The younger the whiskey the more bite as well. FR ages their SB at 9 years while OFBB is 4 years. Also, I have heard a few times that OFBB is quite harsh. I can't find it here in Texas, so I haven't been able to test that theory.
    OFBB is 4 years old? I don't have a bottle of the 2012 release, but my bottles of the 2010 and 2011 are both 12 years old.

  4. #4
    Guru
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    Dec 2012
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    Houston
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    Re: What accounts for bourbons of same proof having such big differences in heat/burn

    OFBB = Old Forester Birthday Bourbon ~96 proof about 10-13yr.
    OFBIB = Old Forester Bottled in Bond which is now Signature 100 proof or either Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 100 proof both are 4yr. if I'm not mistaken.
    Last edited by smknjoe; 06-03-2013 at 23:26.
    I've never tried GTS with any sort of soda. Maybe I'm missing out; but I'm OK with that.

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
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    Re: What accounts for bourbons of same proof having such big differences in heat/burn

    Quote Originally Posted by smknjoe View Post
    OFBB = Old Forester Birthday Bourbon ~96 proof about 10-13yr.
    OFBIB = Old Forester Bottled in Bond which is now Signature 100 proof or either Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 100 proof both are 4yr. if I'm not mistaken.
    Aw snap. I got confused between OFBB and OFBIB. So.....disregard my comparison.

    Therefore I will say if it still burns at that age (12 - 15) it's probably not quality distillation -__-
    |-o-| [-o-] |-o-| "I'm on the leader"

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Feb 2012
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    Re: What accounts for bourbons of same proof having such big differences in heat/burn

    Quote Originally Posted by Jwilly019 View Post
    OFBB is 4 years old? I don't have a bottle of the 2012 release, but my bottles of the 2010 and 2011 are both 12 years old.
    Yeah, looks like I goofed up with the acronyms.
    |-o-| [-o-] |-o-| "I'm on the leader"

  7. #7
    Guru
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    Oct 2011
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    Marietta, GA
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    Re: What accounts for bourbons of same proof having such big differences in heat/burn

    Just to hazard a guess (not sure if anyone has any ideas of how to test this theory amongst all of the other variables!), but would entry proof make a difference? I would think that something going in at 125 proof versus 110 proof would pick up "more" in the same period of time (although that may not have squat to do with burn). I've always had the same basic assumption. In fact, when blind tasting to guess what something is, I'll compare it to some BIB just to see how it feels in comparison.
    Gary
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

  8. #8
    Virtuoso
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    Sep 2010
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    Twin Cities, MN
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    1,317

    Re: What accounts for bourbons of same proof having such big differences in heat/burn

    There's a lot more to "burn" than alcohol. Wood tannins, for instance.
    Life's too short, and there's too much good whiskey within reach.

  9. #9
    Guru
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    Apr 2012
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    Atlanta, GA
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    2,576

    Re: What accounts for bourbons of same proof having such big differences in heat/burn

    Quote Originally Posted by Brisko View Post
    There's a lot more to "burn" than alcohol. Wood tannins, for instance.
    Not to mention your own palate from night to night and what else you may have consumed recently!
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  10. #10
    Virtuoso
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    Aug 2008
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    Tallahassee
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    Re: What accounts for bourbons of same proof having such big differences in heat/burn

    A lot of the sensation of "burn" comes from the amount of heads and tails present. Not sure that the alcohol itself has a lot of "burn" taste. I have tasted white dog fresh from the still that had no burn at all.

 

 

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