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Thread: acetones

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001


    A while back we had a lot of fun ridiculing Jeff about how he could taste acetones in his bourbon, but here's the rest of the story. It took me a long time to get to the bottom of this because when someone tells me something, I don't let go until I get to the bottom of it. Jeff was exactly right. Acetones (fingernail polish remover) comes from the esters and the fusel oils. Too much fusel oils can become a banana like taste, among a host of others. If these are not balanced, and it doesn't take very much - minutes part per million-you get acetone (fingernail polish remover). This is a very small amount, but the human taste can definitely pick them up and this can happen in any bourbon. The way to get rid of it is to distill at a higher heat, but this becomes tricky also-too much heat and you lose all your flavor- too little heat and you get all those unwanted congeners, which can cause tremendous headaches. This is where the master distillers can identify this problem the very minute it starts, know where to look for it, and how to fix it. I could get into a lot more detail, but basically that's it. And to Jeff, congratulations - you were exactly right.


  2. #2
    Administrator in exile
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Re: acetones

    Thanks for the affirmation Marvin, I appreciate that
    Not that I have a clue as to the chemistry behind why I taste the things I do, I just know what it tastes like, and to this day I still get acetone in the Stagg '02.

    Now find me an explaination for wet, soddy vitamins!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    The Holy Land (of Kentucky)

    Re: acetones

    A sc*tch review in Malt Advocate lists notes of "band-aids, tar, rich toffee, seaweed, and brine" in Laphroaig.

    Malt Advocate Buyers Guide Volume 9

    I don't think I want to the source of these flavor sensations.


  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    Re: acetones

    My favorite BS phrase in a whiskey review is "emphatic mint toffee."

  5. #5

    Re: acetones

    Now find me an explaination for wet, soddy vitamins!
    That's easy, Jeff. Your Dickel's bad!



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