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  1. #31
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    Re: "Bourbon" in used barrels

    Quote Originally Posted by JKLS View Post
    The Hirsch 20 mentioned above is exactly what you are looking for. Bourbon mash, used cooperage, 20 years old. Not crazy expensive and can be found since most bourbon diehards won't touch the stuff.

    http://caskers.com/product/hirsch-20/

    Sold out there but it is still on shelves around me.
    Yes, indeed! It was a Bourbon mashbill distilled at the old Hiram Walker plant in Peoria, thrown into used barrels, but was never intended to age that long. When I first tried it, I hated it, but it really started to grow on me. There's an odd sweetness up front that differs from Bourbon sweetness. If that sounds strange, I guess it is. The finish is very "resiny" in a nice way. It's such an oddball that I kinda cherish the last bottle I have, as you won't see this type of spirit again. (At least not anytime soon.) And I thought that $55 was not a crazy price for a 20yr whiskey.

  2. #32
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: "Bourbon" in used barrels

    Very much a piece of history too.

  3. #33

    Re: "Bourbon" in used barrels

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Aging in new barrels creates a different style of whiskey. It's not a matter of quality and it's not a short cut or accelerated aging. It's a different style of whiskey that emphasizes wood extractives. Whiskeys aged in used barrels aren't a little lower in extractives, they are a lot lower. You can't get a bourbon flavor profile from used cooperage, no matter how long you age it or what else you do. It won't taste like bourbon because most of the flavors we associate with bourbon come from that fresh, charred barrel. In a second use barrel they simply are not there.

    Mellow Corn and Early Times are two interesting examples. The distillate used for Mellow Corn would be considered bourbon if it was aged in new, charred barrels so comparing Mellow Corn BIB, which is aged four years in used barrels, to a young bourbon like Jim Beam will show you the difference. Beam has a little bit more rye but essentially the distillates are the same, the main difference is used v new barrels.

    Early Times is interesting because it has a bourbon profile even though 20 percent of the cooperage is used. At 20 percent, it doesn't change the taste very much. ET is also only 3 years old.

    This is why Diageo's disinformation campaign is so pernicious, it's planting ideas like that. It's also interesting how what Mike said was so broadly misconstrued. Many of us started getting into bourbon during the glut period, so we got a lot of old whiskey in NAS bottles where we didn't expect it. Lucky for us to have that experience, which you can still have by dusty hunting, but the heyday of that was a long time ago.
    Thanks for that thought out reply. I do understand it wont taste like bourbon and your explanation was a good one. I still think if I got my hands on one id like to give it a try, just for something different. Heck id even like to try a "Scotch" finished in new heavy charred barrels!

  4. #34
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: "Bourbon" in used barrels

    Glenrothes uses the most nearly new barrels in Scotland. They take new, charred American oak barrels, season them with sherry, then use them for their malt whiskey. They aren't technically new but about as close as you'll get.

  5. #35
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    Re: "Bourbon" in used barrels

    Saw the Hirsch 20 on the shelf. More than I wanted to pay but, unlike the JR Ewing bourbon, temptation got the best of me and I took a bottle home. This thread and the HW 21 rye was enough to convince me to take a chance.

    Hirsch 20 bourbon used oak.JPG

    Not sure when I will get to this "Illinois" whiskey but I am sure an opportunity will present itself!
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  6. #36
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    Re: "Bourbon" in used barrels

    I'll be curious to see what you think Bruce,but in my book it's a winner.
    "To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."
    Larry Wachowski

  7. #37
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    Re: "Bourbon" in used barrels

    Quote Originally Posted by WAINWRIGHT View Post
    I'll be curious to see what you think Bruce,but in my book it's a winner.
    I will definitely report. I confess it has me curious so I may try to check it out sooner rather than later..
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  8. #38
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    Re: "Bourbon" in used barrels

    Compass Box Hedonism is a blend of fairly old Scotch grain whiskeys (i.e. corn/wheat/etc. in addition to malted barley), but I don't know what the mashbills are, and I'm not sure whether they're aged in ex-bourbon or ex-sherry casks (or some combination). I can say it's definitely unlike any other Scotch I've had and worth trying if you haven't.

  9. #39
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    Re: "Bourbon" in used barrels

    Quote Originally Posted by amg View Post
    Compass Box Hedonism is a blend of fairly old Scotch grain whiskeys (i.e. corn/wheat/etc. in addition to malted barley), but I don't know what the mashbills are, and I'm not sure whether they're aged in ex-bourbon or ex-sherry casks (or some combination). I can say it's definitely unlike any other Scotch I've had and worth trying if you haven't.
    John Glaser said he likes to look for older grain whiskies that used a large proportion of corn. That said I am not sure even he always knows what the grain mashbill is for everything he uses. It is also worth noting the scotch is not as constrained when it comes to ABV off the still as they can go up to 94.8%! That would of course keep it from being a straight whisky by US standards.

    A lot of it seems to come from Cameron Bridge distillery which is the largest grain whisky producer in Scotland and part of the vast Diageo whisky empire.
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  10. #40
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    Re: "Bourbon" in used barrels

    I wouldn't be concerned much about the mashbill, it's grain distillate designed to produce the most alcohol as cheaply as practicable and the high proof off the still is as devoid of flavor as vodka.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

 

 

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