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  1. #1
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    How would you characterize wood influence in aging?

    I don't know if this deserves a new thread. If it doesn't, mods please move this or delete this thread

    After reading some of the recent postings regarding certain individuals not liking a certain older bourbons and some others mentioning their sweet spots were the younger stuff or middle aged stuff. I have been thinking about how I would myself characterize wood influence relative to age of said bourbon and how it translates to my enjoyment of said bourbon (or any whisk(e)y for that matter).

    I personally would characterize the younger stuff to have a more piney, sharp, a little more bitter note that builds up over volume of consumption. The older stuff I find more notes of mustiness, earthiness, rounder, richer, and sweetness from the wood.

    Anyway, thought I would ask how you guys find it since it's on my mind. I'm of course not trying to get into a thread of comparing one being better than the other because everyones' tastes and preferences are different. I just would like to hear it described. I'm here to learn

    Thanks,

    edit: One additional thought. I have found myself gravitating to bourbons (or other drinks in general) that are a bit more wood influenced with a bit of age. I can't figure out why other than guessing that it could be from my wine drinking experiences getting more of an acquired taste and enjoyment from that aspect.
    Last edited by hn4bourbon; 09-18-2013 at 14:15.
    - H

  2. #2
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    Re: How would you characterize wood influence in aging?

    YMMV depending on the bourbon. Warehouse location, mashbill, etc... will have an impact. However, from my experience:

    0 - 4 years: slightly sweet, hot, medicinal, very present grain character

    5 - 7 years: very sweet, less hot, fruitiness, much more rounded grain character

    8 - 10 years: the sweetest, the smoothest, creaminess, less of a grain character

    11 - 15 years: very sweet, more barrel tannin, earthy and bitter, even less of a grain character

    16+: slightly sweet, most tannin, richly bitter, very woody, virtually no grain character

    Maybe someone can correct me if I am off base here.

  3. #3
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    Re: How would you characterize wood influence in aging?

    Quote Originally Posted by hn4bourbon View Post
    I don't know if this deserves a new thread. If it doesn't, mods please move this or delete this thread

    After reading some of the recent postings regarding certain individuals not liking a certain older bourbons and some others mentioning their sweet spots were the younger stuff or middle aged stuff. I have been thinking about how I would myself characterize wood influence relative to age of said bourbon and how it translates to my enjoyment of said bourbon (or any whisk(e)y for that matter).

    I personally would characterize the younger stuff to have a more piney, sharp, a little more bitter note that builds up over volume of consumption. The older stuff I find more notes of mustiness, earthiness, rounder, richer, and sweetness from the wood.

    Anyway, thought I would ask how you guys find it since it's on my mind. I'm of course not trying to get into a thread of comparing one being better than the other because everyones' tastes and preferences are different. I just would like to hear it described. I'm here to learn

    Thanks,

    i cant figure out who youre talking about....



    i might describe, say, the HH BIBs i like as piney or bitter, at times. I dont necessarily think it is a negative, though I did early in my bourbon experimenting.

    musty/earthy is something i believe, and may well be wrong, comes from the distilling and/or storage of the barrels.

    i think the rich and sweet tastes seem to come on after 6-9 years. i love the warm, thick, cinnamony, spicy goodness of my KC120.

    but, what the hell do i know?

  4. #4
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    Re: How would you characterize wood influence in aging?

    Quote Originally Posted by 393foureyedfox View Post
    i cant figure out who youre talking about....



    i might describe, say, the HH BIBs i like as piney or bitter, at times. I dont necessarily think it is a negative, though I did early in my bourbon experimenting.

    musty/earthy is something i believe, and may well be wrong, comes from the distilling and/or storage of the barrels.

    i think the rich and sweet tastes seem to come on after 6-9 years. i love the warm, thick, cinnamony, spicy goodness of my KC120.

    but, what the hell do i know?
    You're definitely one of the recent posters that got me thinking about this. There are others' posts as well that I have read that contribute to what's on my mind
    - H

  5. #5

    Re: How would you characterize wood influence in aging?

    On some older bourbons (such as a recent Willett 21 year I had ) I get a distinct pickle juice flavor. Not sure if this is from being over oaked or not?

  6. #6
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    Re: How would you characterize wood influence in aging?

    In addition to the spice/vanilla/caramel/toast notes the barrel will add to the flavor over time, a barrel will also micro-oxygenate the contents. So even a neutral barrel will change the contents over time - so you are getting barrel notes but also chemical changes as a result of this oxygenation and time. A pickle juice note can occur in some wines aged in American Oak, so it doesn't surprise me that it can also be found in a whiskey aged the same way.
    Mark

  7. #7
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    Re: How would you characterize wood influence in aging?

    pickle juice?!

    never picked up on that in anything yet....

  8. #8
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    Re: How would you characterize wood influence in aging?

    Quote Originally Posted by 393foureyedfox View Post
    pickle juice?!

    never picked up on that in anything yet....
    Another recommendation: get some LDI rye. Willett for high proof; Bulleit or Dickel are other options. Spicy pickle juice.
    Jim

  9. #9
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    Re: How would you characterize wood influence in aging?

    Quote Originally Posted by HighInTheMtns View Post
    Another recommendation: get some LDI rye. Willett for high proof; Bulleit or Dickel are other options. Spicy pickle juice.
    i was indifferent on Bulleit, but havent had the 10 year. even had the bulleit rye, indifferent.

    never had anything from dickel.

    we are taking a Willet tour on saturday morning. my friend, who is going with us, has a bottle of some kind of WFE that his wife got him, its 130 something proof, and its too 'hot' for him. i keep meaning to get over there and try some....


    come to think of it, doesnt 4R make Bulleit? that may explain my indifference if so

  10. #10
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    Re: How would you characterize wood influence in aging?

    Yes, it's a Four Roses product, at least for the present.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

 

 

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