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  1. #1
    Novice
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    truly a novice

    How is it that small batch bourbons have different characteristics than the larger produced batches. ie Jim Beam and Bookers (which I just recently tried). They are the same distiller aren't they? Wouldn't it seem that the would use the same process and mash? So much too learn so few years left Thanks for any help regarding this. May life always find your glass half full

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: truly a novice

    Well it's like running out steel to be used in buildings and a jeweler making a special piece for someone. Yes they use the same equipment and the mash would be brand specific. A small batch would make one think more care is used. That would be a fair assumption. I think it has wisely been pointed out that " Small Batch" is a marketing term and can be defined to mean whatever the company using it , deems. The romantic meaning of 'Small Batch " is about 20 barrels or less in a run. So it is entirely possible that when they are taking off a run of 800-1000 barrels, in the middle of the run 50-100 barrels could go in a different tank, and barreled for " Small Batch". I do know from conversations with the Beer Still operators that a lot of things are done differently as regard to different brands. For instance the proof of high wines vary considerably, depending on what the final brand that that run will become.
    I think I saw once that when Bookers is ready to be bottled that they put together about a hundred to a hundred and fifty barrels.

    On the other end, they are dumping 800 barrels to all be mingled for one product, there will be some exceptional barrels in the group that will average out the nondescript ones.

  3. #3

    Re: truly a novice

    And, as has been noted many times elsewhere on this forum, the master distillers are experienced and adept enough to know where to put and find those 'small batch' barrels in the warehouses. Different warehouse locations (valley vs. hilltop) and different areas within a given warehouse (top vs. bottom rick, inside vs. along outside wall) affect the aging process and thus the bourbon inside the barrels. Plus, different proof products will taste different, at least straight out of the bottle. With so many variables, it's really not that surprising that the same age and mashbill can provide at least several different taste profiles.

  4. #4
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    Re: truly a novice

    Thus the title truly a novice.......Jeez I thought ya just threw the stuff in a barrel and let it ferment Thanks for the answers. May the spirit of the hawk and wisdom of the bear be with you always ( sorry to many viewings of Jeremiah Johnson )

  5. #5
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    Re: truly a novice

    ya just threw the stuff in a barrel and let it ferment
    uh, I think that would be wine?!

    Small batch = Have you ever found a four leaf clover in a clover patch?

    Hey, I like Jeremiah Johnson. Or was that Robert Redford. One or the other, for sure.

 

 

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