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  1. #1
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    New vs Used barrels

    In 1938, about 70 years ago, a politician from Arkansas spearheaded a bill through Congress that required Bourbon to be aged exclusively in new charred oak barrels. He was protecting his constituents, the Ozark timber industry, but before that distillers were free to use refurbished oak barrels to age their product and still call it Straight Bourbon Whisky.

    I think we all can agree the best Bourbon is aged in new barrels but Worldwide some excellent stuff is crafted using our used barrels so from an historical perspective I wonder. What would a current bottle of Early Times taste like straight from its used barrel and at full strength, 125 or so proof.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  2. #2
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    Re: New vs Used barrels

    Can I assume they could age some in used barrels and call it something different and if so with the brand explosion I'm surprised some marketing guru hasn't pushed it through?

  3. #3
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    Re: New vs Used barrels

    Well that's exactly what Brown Forman does with its Early Times Whiskey brand, 80% used barrels and 20% new barrels. Unfortunately they release it at 3 years old and 80 proof so we can only guess at the potential of the used barrels.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  4. #4
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    Re: New vs Used barrels

    Actually ET is styled Old Style Kentucky Whiskey which is appropriate but as yet the other majors have not followed suit.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  5. #5
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    Re: New vs Used barrels

    Nothing wrong with used barrels. Ask me how I know

  6. #6
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    Re: New vs Used barrels

    Ok . . . how do you know?
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  7. #7
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    Re: New vs Used barrels

    Personally I would love to see more expressions give it a whirl. Think it has the potential for some really interesting products long term.

  8. #8
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    Re: New vs Used barrels

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOldKyDram View Post
    Personally I would love to see more expressions give it a whirl.
    Whisky producers the world over probably hope that never happens.

    If the American whiskey industry suddenly decided to re-use barrels, the economics of aging brown spirits would change significantly.

  9. #9
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    Re: New vs Used barrels

    Quote Originally Posted by MyOldKyDram View Post
    Personally I would love to see more expressions give it a whirl. Think it has the potential for some really interesting products long term.
    Me too. I guess you could say they are entering the field with the recent introductions of various "finished" whiskies/bourbons. Personally, I think the various wood finishing of bourbons and ryes is one of the most exciting things happening in our little hobby. More, please...
    JOE

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    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  10. #10
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    Re: New vs Used barrels

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    ...

    I think we all can agree the best Bourbon is aged in new barrels but Worldwide some excellent stuff is crafted using our used barrels so from an historical perspective I wonder. What would a current bottle of Early Times taste like straight from its used barrel and at full strength, 125 or so proof.
    Can you get Mello Corn in MS? It's 100 proof. I think it could give some idea. If I remember correctly, it's "corn whiskey" because they use used barrels.

 

 

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