To be clear, I am not saying that WTRB is cut with water, what I am saying is that it would be possible and legal for a distillery like WT to call something Barrel Proof, even if they were adding water.
Even if Jimmy is telling the truth, I think we all know that Distillery websites, backs of labels, and distillery spokespeople are not always the most reliable source of accurate information. Now... if you will pass me a glass of hand-made Indiana Whiskey carefully crafted in the basement of some warehouse using great uncle so-and-so secret recipe.
Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.
I'm still in shock on the "alleged" news regarding Santa.
Not to insinuate that Jimmy would be less than honest, I would think that it would be difficult to hit that target proof consistently AND have the same flavor profile (maybe they don't?) Is there any age statement on WTRB? He mentions that the proof goes up over time (which in other threads we've talked how that is true in the upper flows, but not necessarily on the lower floors), so if they're going in at 110, adding any barrels that are a couple ricks up or more makes it difficult unless you've got a lot at that lower level (or - unless you're cutting a bit). With 0.2 proof points of variance on either side (so a spread of 0.4), I think it certainly is possible - although if there is no legal requirement to go through that, I wouldn't be shocked to learn that they do their best, and a little water "accidentally" falls into the batch to bring it in that range.
Then again - at the end of the day, I enjoy it so whatever they're doing is fine by me
"Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
"Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins
It's also worth noting that Jimmy said (I've now viewed it) they have half a million barrels aging in inventory - that's a lot of barrels to choose from. Most too would not be honey barrels and a decent chunk of those would lose proof over time. They would know by location the approximate proof of the barrels before making their batches. Anyway we are agreed clearly RB is an excellent product, their best IMO, which is the important point.
I think it is this interview where he says something very funny, that when he started, quality control wasn't what it is today. At that time (early 50's), the QC was you'd go out to see if it was going to rain, stuff like that.
One other point of interest, aside the main discussion here, is where he refers to straightbourbon.com and indicates the main change from the early days is that production is not solely an in-house matter any more. There used to be a dividing line between, as he said, those "in production" and those who consumed. Now, the line is less distinct due to groups like SB which display considerable technical knowledge and interest in the topic. Jimmy Russell is obviously a bright guy with a total commitment to his art, and he gets it across with deep charm and a naturalness which clearly has assisted to keep his career going for so long.
If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.
Another possible explanation (although I'm sceptical), is that they "make" WTRB infrequently. Theoretically, you you could vat a big batch at, say 108.2 proof, and tank it for subsequent bottling and sale. Depending on the sales volume, you could then distribute a single batch over an extended period of time ---- possibly over years. (In the video Jimmy talks about "ournext batch" coming in at the higher proof.)
"Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."
Perhaps 108.2 is the lowest proof of some of the barrels in the mix.
We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.