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Thread: Jack Daniels

  1. #21
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Jack Daniels

    Chuck: Did anyone mention when the Ardbeg Uigeadail would be available? I've been awaiting its arrival for some time.
    I thought it already was. They've been promoting it since the Spring. What does your local whiskey monger tell you?

  2. #22
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    Re: Jack Daniels

    SpeedyJohn: Ardbeg Uigeadail has been available at one store in my area (Western MA) since early April. Costs $66 per bottle. That store ran out about 2 months ago, but I have been assuming it would be restocked. I initially bought 3 bottles and was disappointed at first: too little peat, too much sherry. The Ardbeg TEN, in comparison, is just about perfect right out of the gate. Like Chuck said elsewhere, nice clean finish. But the Uigeadail is sneaky: it grows on you and I will probably lay in another bottle. First, though, the Hidden Malts (Caol Ila 12 and 18 and Clynelish 14) that I've been awaiting for years. And more Black maple Hill bourbons. And Stagg 2004 (I hope). And Laphroaig 10 cask strength (which is also great). Good luck getting the Uigeadail! Cheers, Ed V.

  3. #23
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    Re: Jack Daniels

    It's been listed as a stock code in the PLCB's product catalog for a few months, but no bottles have ever reached the stores.

    SpeedyJohn

  4. #24

    Jack Daniel\'s and the Aldehydes

    It's always a pleasure to spend a few minutes one-on-one with one of the master distillers, as I enjoyed during a Festival gazebo gathering with Bill Friel, emeritus of Barton. We were tasting a '30s Glenmore mini, and he took a single whiff/taste and exclaimed, "Aldehydes!". I was tempted to say, "God Bless You!" because of his force of expression and twitch of nose, but instead had the presence of mind instead to respond, "Aldehydes?" You see, that's how I learn stuff.
    Anyway, after that talk and some Googling, I had picked up some tidbits of info I figured were interesting, but generally inapplicable. Aldehydes can be formed by oxidizing a primary alcohol. Oxidating a secondary alcohol gives a ketone. (Nothing happens when we try to oxidize a tertiary alcohol, by the way.)
    OK -- I told you that story to tell you this one:
    I've been reading about Gary Gillman's experiments with Jack Daniel's bottlings, and realized I hadn't bought one in quite a while -- since before, in fact, the change two years ago now to 80 proof. So, I picked up a couple of 100ml bottles (great size!) to 'play' with. I just opened one: "Aldehydes!"
    Specifically, I think I'm identifying acetaldehyde, which imparts a pungent (think acetone/nail polish) nose of a somewhat nutty quality; and butyraldehyde, which puts off both an odor and taste of green bananas and green apples. (Yes, I looked up the names! )
    I've noticed the fruitiness in several young whiskeys before (that Glenmore was 23 months old), most prominently a very fine pear/apple quality to the original Michter's (Pennsylvania) Sour Mash Whiskey. As we repute here, Jack Daniel's is a youngish 4 years or so old.
    So, thanks to Bill for the knowledge, and Gary for the inspiration. I still don't know what I'm going to vat to this JD, but at least I have some idea what I'm working with.

  5. #25
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s and the Aldehydes

    When I nose or taste Jack Daniels, one thought has always come to my mind: paint thinner! Nail polish is close enough.

    Tim

  6. #26
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s and the Aldehydes

    Which is interesting since the whiskey is subjected to a double maturation: first, the famed sugar maple leaching process, second, 4-5 years old charred barrel aging. The only explanation I can think of is the JD fermentation process must result in a higher amount of congeners (fusel oils) than for most other whiskeys. In fact, I recall reading on this forum I believe that that is so, presumbaly because it is part of the character of the product. It would be interesting to sample Jack Daniels at 7-8 years old to see if further congener modification would occur, I believe this is likely.

    Congener modification is (as Tim reported in the other thread) an important part of aging any whisky. So is the entry particularly for bourbon and straight rye of wood sugars in the whisky. In fact, that sweetening effect in the U.S. probably was useful as a way to hasten aging, just as "dulcification" (adding sugar in some form artificially) did for many kinds of spirits in the 1800's. In other words it covered over congeners that were not yet modified by the relatively short 1-3 year (on average) aging periods of most of the 1800's.

    It would be interesting to age a bourbon mash in reused barrels and see how long it took to get a palatable beverage. Corn whiskey is an example but e.g. the Straight Mellow Corn of HH is probably not older than 2 or 3 years. It still has a feisty, oily character at that age. You'd need years more aging to get a modification of that taste. The American Whiskey of Michter's may be an example since I believe it is aged in reused wood. It is not a bad whiskey, but there seems no substitute for using the new barrel to get the typical bourbon palate.

    Putting it another way, bourbon's character post-white dog phase results from:

    1) modification of congeners into esters and other less harsh, more aromatic compounds and flavours; and

    2) entry into spirit of lignin sugars and others pleasing flavours from the charred wood and red layer just behind. In Scotland, where new charred barrels are not used, sherry from ex-sherry barrels (where used) is the analogue.

    Gary

  7. #27
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s and the Aldehydes

    The rest of my library is in KY and this book has been proven wrong before, but here goes:

    World Whiskey Guide, Jim Murray, 2000. p 302:

    "Maybe it's the fact that Jack Daniel is only single-distilled that makes it Tennessee...There is a doubler below the beer stills, but that only redisils the vapour from the beer heater, which makes it pretty well unique not just in the USA but the world."

    So, I'm not quite sure off the top of my head what a beer heater is (sounds like it might be a preheater), but if this single-distilled statement is correct then that'll account for a higher level of cogeners.

  8. #28
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s and the Aldehydes

    That's interesting and I know Ken Weber has stated here a couple of times his belief that Jack Daniel is single-distilled, this would seem to prove him right. I have read though in Malt Advocate that the beer is doubled and this was stated in an interview with (I believe) Lincoln Henderson. This article is available online and I have drawn attention to it before, anyone interested can do a basic search and find it. What is interesting in Murray's comments is the alleged nature of that doubling, it sounds like it may be a more limited process than most companies use, but I don't know. Certainly Murray's comments should be taken seriously. I find it interesting that B-F would go to the trouble of retaining the sugar maple leaching system yet use a limited doubling method, but again we are dealing in an area of tradition (Tennessee whiskey), and the norms of manufacturing may be age-old. It may well be JD was made this way in the 1800's and is made like that today because the owners don't want to change the process. Just because JD is owned by a large company outside the State (of Tennessee) doesn't mean it hasen't kept to the old ways, sometimes big companies can ensure maintenance of tradition better than small ones because they can afford the costs and take a longer view.

    Gary

  9. #29
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s and the Aldehydes

    Straight Mellow Corn of HH is probably not older than 2 or 3 years. It still has a feisty, oily character at that age.
    The half-full bottle of Mellow Corn that I have (and have had since a trip to KY in 1999 - it isn't exactly my "go to" whiskey) is Bottled in Bond, and I think it all is, so I think it must be four years old.

    I double checked the government regulations to make sure that corn whiskey is not exempt from the minimum age requirement for bonded whiskey, as it is for the requirement for new, charred oak. By my reading, it is not exempt.

    The regs also do not exempt straight corn whiskey from stating its age if it is less than four years old.

    Even at this apparent minimum age of four years, I agree that it is "feisty and oily." This is certainly an indication of the difference that new, charred oak can make. I don't think it is merely the covering up of its feinty character by barrel sugars. I suspect that the char plays an important part.

    While, as I say, it's not something I sample very often, I agree with Jim Murray in his Classic Bourbon, Tennessee and Rye Whiskey that "Every home should keep a bottle."

    At least every home of anyone who is interested in becoming familiar first hand with the variabilities that affect whiskey. And at times, I find a dram of it to be enjoyable. Sort of. Maybe on the rocks.

    Jeff
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  10. #30
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    Re: Jack Daniel\'s and the Aldehydes

    While, as I say, it's not something I sample very often, I agree with Jim Murray in his Classic Bourbon, Tennessee and Rye Whiskey that "Every home should keep a bottle."
    I'd say the same about Georgia Moon. Every time I begin to forget what good whiskey isn't supposed to taste like, I take a sip out of that mason jar and am suddenly reminded.

 

 

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