Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: Mixing Bourbons

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    lounging in south central PA
    Posts
    76

    Mixing Bourbons

    I've noticed from several posters that there seems to be a small (but accepted) practice of mixing several different bourbons together. I believe the last one I read mixed wheated bourbons with ryes or maybe it was a Van Winkle. Regardless, this is not something I ever really considered. Of course I wouldn't put anyone down for their method of enjoying our favorite libation. I just wanted to see what others thought of this practice. Would it be something you would try, or are you adamantly against it, and why? Also from those who do, what some of the best/most interesting combinations you have come up with. Or even some of the worst to avoid.

  2. #2
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Burlington VT, USA
    Posts
    336

    Re: Mixing Bourbons

    I have no problems with doing this, but I haven't done it, and don't intend to in the foreseeable future. I'm new enough to bourbon that I'm still trying to experience the bourbon the way the master distiller or bottler intended it to taste. I would imagine that I might take to vatting after I have experienced most of the bourbons out there and am looking for something new.

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Seattle, USA
    Posts
    239

    Re: Mixing Bourbons

    I feel the same way as wrbriggs. I'm still learning the language of describing what I get out of any given bottle, let along the combined effects of multiple bottles intermingled. I'm not even sure what I'd be trying to do with such experimentation. Also, my wallet isn't really deep enough to sacrifice good bourbon in the name of science, even if that science might be ultimately worthwhile.

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,043

    Re: Mixing Bourbons

    Without any disrespect to recent devotees, one should only mingle with a good knowledge of the characters and constituents of the base whiskies. This is, after all, what the experts do. Elmer Lee does it (choosing whiskies of different ages and tastes), Jim Rutledge of Four Roses does it (choosing whiskies not just of different ages but made from different mashbills and yeasts), the Kulsveens and other merchants do it (possibly choosing whiskies of different origin), everyone in the business does it; and you can, too, but you don't have to, and I wouldn't advise it unless you are confident you understand the palette of whiskies available at present. In saying this, I am endeavoring to be honest and frank but in no way superior-sounding and I hope it doesn't come across that way.

    Gary

    N.B. You don't need many whiskies in your bar to do this, two or three will often suffice. And, if your experiment goes awry, it will make (I guarantee it ) a very good Manhattan Cocktail.

  5. #5
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Kansas City metro, US of A
    Posts
    430

    Re: Mixing Bourbons

    A few years ago I began vatting different bottles of bourbon in an effort to mix a 'thin' bottle I had on hand with a 'spicy' bourbon hoping get a sum that tasted greater than the parts. The two mixed together tasted pretty good but needed a bit more oomph. So I added with a bit of this, a shot of that (including some Old Overholt at Gary's suggestion) until the result suited me...then I wrote down the formula and mixed it in quantity. Rebottled it and gave bottles of it away at Christmas time. It's proven to be a BIG hit, and I still get requests every year for another bottle of 'my whiskey'. I think it's fun, and my friends and I appreciate the taste of the end result...I know what I like when it comes to bourbon, and the taste I get from this suits ME just fine for an 'everyday pour'. Pretty easy on the pocketbook, too, since I pick up the ingredients in 1.75L bottles on sale all year and store 'em til I mix up a batch. I think the last time I did the math I was paying ~ $8.50-$9 per 750ml by the time I'd mixed everything up. The basic formula is on here somewhere if you're interested. Hey, a guy could think of a worse hobby if he applied himself.

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,043

    Re: Mixing Bourbons

    Sounds like you got some good results.

    More and more I am doing such experiments. I find many whiskies too, "monochrome", even the best. I find a combination of three or four, even up to five, produces often a pleasing result because you can balance the tastes.

    I made a blend of straight whiskies recently which is just superb that I may bring to Sampler Gazebo, as follows:

    3 parts Bulleit
    3 parts Rebel Yell
    1 part ORVW 10 year old
    1 part Knob Creek
    dash Lot 40 (a well-flavored Canadian rye, if I had Overholt I'd have used that, or Beam or WT rye, I wanted a youngish rye).

    The result is soft yet rich, rounded, with a long aftertaste. Perfect for neat sipping, which is how I like it.

    This is the blending of straight whiskies (I consider Lot 40 a straight whiskey more or less). At one time this was an honourable way to sell straight whiskey. The category has died out from what I can see (although mingling at distilleries is the same kind of idea). But it can be done at home. I know we have talked before about the merits or demerits and don't want to go over old ground, but I thought some people would be interested to see how I'll put one together.

    Gary

  7. #7
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Posts
    292

    Re: Mixing Bourbons

    The only times I mix bourbons is when I have 2 or 3 bottles with not enough in either bottle for a full pour. Otherwise I want to taste each bourbon seperately.
    Fred

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    621

    Re: Mixing Bourbons

    I'm going to post a somewhat dissenting opinion (it doesn't look like anybody's done that yet!)

    I don't mix bourbons. It's not that I consider it sacrilegious or anything, I just don't feel the need or see the point. Put simply, I don't ever remember going to my bar with an 'itch' that a prefabricated bourbon couldn't 'scratch'.

    Sure, I'm sure you can have some pleasant surprises and "happy accidents" with such experimenting, but why bother?

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,043

    Re: Mixing Bourbons

    To expand the range of palates out there and - maybe - improve on them.

    (Another) Gary

  10. #10

    Re: Mixing Bourbons

    I'm of mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I just like to enjoy Elmer Lee, Jimmy Russell, Parker and Craig Beam and Gary Gayheart's (et al) handiwork -- I do not presume to have the faintest idea how they go about their business so wonderfully.
    On the other hand, after an interesting, informative and prodding discussion with Gary (Gillman) at the Festival, I was intrigued by the idea of vatting, and have tried it a couple of times in a limited way, with mixed success. I am especially intrigued by Gary's rationale for vatting a wheater with a rye bourbon (preview of Woodford Reserve's 4-grainer?).
    I'm not likely to try it with Stagg or Pappy or something already uniquely interesting. But, when I'm down to the dregs of VOB and Weller Special Reserve, for example, I'm likely to try it yet again.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. My first try mixing a Sazerac
    By CrispyCritter in forum American Rye Whiskey
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-12-2005, 17:49
  2. Best Mixing Bourbon
    By fogfrog in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 12-03-2005, 16:19
  3. 100% Corn Bourbon - Mixing Mash Bills?
    By Schock in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 11-23-2005, 13:01
  4. New Bourbons-which one will it be?
    By Marvin in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-12-2003, 09:09
  5. Straight up vs. Mixing
    By OneCubeOnly in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 06-12-2003, 14:32

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top