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Thread: Baby Steps

  1. #1
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    Baby Steps

    This came up on another thread, the idea of step reduction, which I understand is diluting whisky from barrel strength to bottle proof by gradually adding water in steps. This is supposed to make the flavor better somehow, any ideas.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Baby Steps

    Hmmmmm, I had not heard of that procedure.
    I wonder if/why it would make a difference between the total immediate addition of whatever water is needed vs the 'step' procedure...?
    Personally, I can't see offhand why it would matter; but that doesn't mean I'm not missing some obvious reason......

  3. #3
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    Re: Baby Steps

    Unless it is being rebarreled and rested between reductions I can't see any reason for a difference in flavor.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Baby Steps

    It was a blogger post after a visit to Willett - apparently the idea being that if you slowly reduce to bottling proof from barrel proof in a number of steps, with days/weeks/months in between, you end up with a markedly better result. Apparently Willett will be experimenting with this procedure.

    I found it intriguing especially since I haven't seen anyone post about it or giving it a try at home. I can imagine it would be quite a trick to try to manage something like this on the scale of one of the major producers. Anyone come across this idea in any of the craft distillery tours you have been on?
    Mark

  5. #5
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    Re: Baby Steps

    The science part of my brain says, "unlikely but let's test it."
    The caveat emptor part of my brain says, "smells like pure marketing BS."
    And the drinking part of my brain says, "why dilute it at all?"

    /plus given the generally exuberant incoherence of that blog, I wouldn't be at all shocked if he got the facts almost completely wrong.
    Life's too short, and there's too much good whiskey within reach.

  6. #6
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    Re: Baby Steps

    That's what I'm wondering - no one here has ever mentioned it which is why I was so surprised. Maybe on one of the scotch forums? The reference to "Whiskey Vatters" experimenting with this is what stood out to me. How could an idea like this (if it was so pervasive/successful) not even get a mention on here?
    Mark

  7. #7
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    Re: Baby Steps

    given only the two inputs of barrel proof bourbon, and water, I dont see how the rate you mix it would change anything, unless you alsto throw some other step/input into the mix.

    I noticed years ago that if I am baking something and the recipe tells me to put things in at different steps and stages.........that if I just dumped it all in one big ass bowl and mixed the whole thing in one step, that I always ended up with the same tasting product. I assume the same would apply here, or even more so, as there are only two ingredients.

    you could vary it by changing the temp of the bourbon or the water, chill filtering or not, etc.......but I dont think it would matter.

    sounds like marketing trying to make themselves stand out in a saturated market

  8. #8
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    Re: Baby Steps

    Apparently their 110 barrel proof bottles started out a little higher.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Baby Steps

    Quote Originally Posted by sutton View Post
    It was a blogger post after a visit to Willett - apparently the idea being that if you slowly reduce to bottling proof from barrel proof in a number of steps, with days/weeks/months in between, you end up with a markedly better result. Apparently Willett will be experimenting with this procedure.

    I found it intriguing especially since I haven't seen anyone post about it or giving it a try at home. I can imagine it would be quite a trick to try to manage something like this on the scale of one of the major producers. Anyone come across this idea in any of the craft distillery tours you have been on?
    Resting the bourbon between steps seems like an ideal way to greatly increase production costs. None of the distillery tours I've been on ever took us to the "bedroom" where the baby bourbon took a nap. The juice goes from the barrel to big stainless steel vats for proof adjustment and then is pumped to the bottling room. The boys at BT would surely make a big deal about their "research" and all of them would brag about how much time--and how many times--their bourbon rested between steps.
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

  10. #10
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    Re: Baby Steps

    But Willett has discovered a way to improve whisky that everyone else was too blind to see which is another example of just how special their whisky truly is.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

 

 

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