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  1. #21
    Administrator in exile
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    Re: Regional Differences within Kentucky

    There is a definate difference in the overall weather patterns of Bardstown and Woodford county. You're probably right that it doesn't matter enough to make a noticable difference, but it has made for an interesting conversation here . Maybe a better study might be differences in aging based upon specific rickhouse location. For example, Heaven Hill's storage facilities out in a field with full sun versus Woodford Reserve's in a shaded valley down near a creek.

  2. #22
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Regional Differences within Kentucky

    Yes, sorry, that's a given. The others are the main additional factors or (as in the case of direct sunlight) factors that bear on the temperature factor.
    Okay...whew! Don't worry, I wasn't pressing you on the obvious! Actually, for a second there I started questioning myself thinking "gosh, have I been sold a bill of goods by the marketing departments?"

    I'm surprised they haven't tinkered with the idea of controlled climate during aging. Or have they!?

  3. #23
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    Re: Regional Differences within Kentucky

    I don't know if this will fit your definition of controlled Gary, but I know some warehouses do have hot water pipes going thru them for heating and such... I think Buffalo Trace may actually have been one of the first to do it(?)

  4. #24
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    Re: Regional Differences within Kentucky

    some warehouses do have hot water pipes going thru them for heating and such...
    Interesting! Now the question arises, would they use those to temper extreme conditions, or to enhance the temperature variation? Or is it just so the workers and tourists are comfortable?

  5. #25
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Nelson County, Kentucky
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    Re: Regional Differences within Kentucky

    About a month ago, we visited Lotus (Four Roses) Warehouses...We went inside to watch them load the barrels...I looked up...They had power...Lights...I said to her...WOW...you have electricity in here...I told her that the only electricity at ours was to the elevators...

    She told us that those warehouses (we call em flat houses) were built in the 60's...They had the forsight to install a water system to each one, in the event of a fire...

    The place sits on a couple hundred acres...Too much to keep mowed during the summer months...Cows are everwhere (to mow the grass)...Hmmmmmmmm...better watch where ya step ...

    Bettye Jo

  6. #26
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    Re: Regional Differences within Kentucky

    I think its to enhance the aging process. For example, in the winter, they can raise then lower then raise then lower the temperature thus creating more expansion/contraction to continually occur within the barrels.

  7. #27
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Regional Differences within Kentucky

    All of the distilleries that have heated masonry warehouses have experimented with forced cycling, although there doesn't seem to be any consensus about its efficacy. The theory is that below a certain temperature the whiskey is essentially dormant, so the winter months are wasted as no cycling occurs. ("Cycling" is the term for the expansion of warm whiskey into the wood of the barrel and the subsequent contraction out of the wood as it cools. In the warm months, such a cycle occurs daily with the whiskey reaching its maximum expansion in the heat of the day and its maximum contraction in the cool of the night.) In the winter, they will heat the warehouses up to some appropriate temperature (higher, I believe than the normal room temperature of 72 degrees), hold them at that temperature for some number of hours, then turn off the heat and let them reach the ambient temperature before repeating the cycle. Buffalo Trace has discussed this more than some of the other distillers, but I know Brown-Forman also has done it at the Early Times plant. Whether or not it really "works" is still a subject of some debate.

  8. #28
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: Regional Differences within Kentucky

    Brown-Forman also has done it at the Early Times plant.
    If memory serves me, I believe Chris Morris told us in 2002 that they heat cycle at Labrot& Graham.

 

 

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