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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Toledo, OH
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    834

    Heirloom bourbons

    This morning I baked a jam cake using my grandmother's recipe. Aunt Marylou, her sister, was a staunch Baptist but for Christmas she loaded her jam cake with so much bourbon it could hardly stand up. As I recall, Marylou's bourbon of choice was Old Crow. Thirty plus years ago, that was probably a reasonable choice. It got me to thinking about the old choices that just aren't there anymore even though their names may survive. What if Beam had an epiphany and decided there is a buck to be made from old premium bourbons that could be sold at a premium price. I know distilleries keep a library of reference bottles so they can match flavor profiles. How far back do those libraries go? When Beam bought the brand, did they also buy the library? SBers have probably cleared the shelves of just about all the 30 YO dusties of every brand. Heirloom vegetables can be resurrected from a few seeds that have been squirreled away. Are there any old bourbon "seeds" out there just waiting for the resurrection?
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

  2. #2
    Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Jackson, MS
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    Re: Heirloom bourbons

    The archives are there but the will to use them isn't. Duplicating Taylor is more than copying mash and yeast, the production techniques are important as well. To copy Yellowstone they would also have to duplicate the still.

    So long as modern producers bring it off the still at 160 proof and into the barrel at 125 they will never match the flavor profile of a Bourbon that came off the still at 103 and into the barrel at 105.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
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    Bourbon Desert of Nevada
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    Re: Heirloom bourbons

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    The archives are there but the will to use them isn't. Duplicating Taylor is more than copying mash and yeast, the production techniques are important as well. To copy Yellowstone they would also have to duplicate the still.

    So long as modern producers bring it off the still at 160 proof and into the barrel at 125 they will never match the flavor profile of a Bourbon that came off the still at 103 and into the barrel at 105.
    Last sentence here is golden.

    Even something as simple as yeast... Distillers used to prize the yeast used and guard it with their lives. Now much of it is a dry package 'distiller' yeast . Not saying it's worse- just different and the loss of another aspect of history
    Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most




  4. #4
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2011
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    Sutton, Massachusetts
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    Re: Heirloom bourbons

    Quote Originally Posted by RWBadley View Post
    Last sentence here is golden.

    Even something as simple as yeast... Distillers used to prize the yeast used and guard it with their lives. Now much of it is a dry package 'distiller' yeast . Not saying it's worse- just different and the loss of another aspect of history
    Perhaps the yeast influence isn't as great when coming off the still higher so it is no longer as influential a variable? Anyone know what Four Roses comes off the still at and goes into the barrel at?
    Mark

  5. #5
    Guru
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    Re: Heirloom bourbons

    And are the still/barrel proofs the same across the board.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  6. #6

    Re: Heirloom bourbons

    Tom from Finger Lakes Distilling is doing his best to recreate bourbons of yester year. He is distilling at really proofs and does not use a computer controlled column still and also does not use filters like all the other makers today.. This is one of his favorite subjects, hopefully he sees this post

  7. #7
    Guru
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    Re: Heirloom bourbons

    Yes, and I appreciate the fact he is using a column still to recreate these styles.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

 

 

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