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  1. #111
    Connoisseur
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    Mentor, Ohio, USA
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    Re: Re-Barreling - Talked to Bob

    Closer example, maybe: the original version of a Louisville Hot Brown did not (I recall reading) use brown gravy, but rather a white sauce called Mornay sauce (flour, butter, Parmesan, egg). More recent versions (some, at any rate) use a brown gravy, or a white sauce but advise to brown the dish under the broiler. The term "Brown" in the dish refers to the Brown Hotel of Louisville, KY where the dish was invented (at a society party) in 1923, to be exact. With time, some people forgot where the term Brown came from and decided the dish needed a brown gravy or a heavy browning to be authentic.
    Gary, you are an endless source of interesting trivia

    I was born in Kentucky (where my parents purchased me at the local Sears ). Mom always made hot Brown sandwichs. She made them in the oven with a white/cheese kind of sauce. I never knew anything about them other than I managed to eat a whole lot of them (usually 3-4) Thanks for the story.

    Ken

  2. #112
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Toronto, Canada
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    9,166

    Re: Re-Barreling - Talked to Bob

    That's not trivia, Ken, but rather important social data. Thanks for the information on your family's recipe, sounds like they made the dish in the authentic fashion.

    Gary

  3. #113
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    If it's the cycling (i.e. expansion and contraction, soaking into the wood
    and receding) that's so important, then why don't they build the warehouses
    to be as cold as possible, and cycle the heat on and off as much as possible?
    According to the cycling theory, that would result in the fastest maturation.
    Maturation would go faster in the winter than in the summer!

    They do. At least, some do. Woodford Reserve practices artificial cycling as a major part of their production methodology. Both Brown Forman (Shively) and Buffalo Trace are equipped to do it and have on occasion. The prerequisite is masonry warehouses, as it's not practical to heat steel ones.

    The other thing about artificial cycling, of course, is that the faster aging has to produce an economic benefit sufficient to justify the energy cost.

    Many people argue that in the Scottish winters, the whiskey is essentially dormant. Even in the much hotter Caribbean, the nights are cooler than the days. "Cycling" refers to those daily changes in temperature, more so than to seasonal changes.

    There are other variations. Seagrams, for example, decided that single story "flathouses" provide the most uniform aging.

    My point is that if your theory is that the best result can be achieved by heating a warehouse to, say, 85 degrees and holding it at that temperature, go ahead and try it, but that would be contrary to most of the received wisdom.

  4. #114
    Enthusiast
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
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    479

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    "Cycling" refers to those daily changes in temperature, more so than to seasonal changes.
    It's hard to imagine that there would be much daily variation in the temperature of a liquid in one of thousands of ~50+ gallon barrels in a warehouse. The thermal mass would be enormous. Even if the daily temperature variation is, say, 50 degrees F in a tropical country where rum is aged, I would think that the temperature in a barrel would hardly vary during a 24 hour cycle.

    Jeff

  5. #115
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    I think the reason people don't cycle too often, i.e., articifically, is the whiskey wouldn't taste right. You can only duplicate nature up to a point, in other words. My '2004 Birthday Bourbon makes a point in the leaflet about the artificial cycling used to age this product. Well, I am not sure the results justify the effort and energy expense, the product is just not good enough (in my opinion) to fetch the price it does. Maybe artificial cycling isn't the only reason 2004 was not a great year for BB, but I don't think it helped. True, Old Forester is (I assume) likewise a product of such cycling, but perhaps not to the same degree and in any case it receives the benefit of large batch production where the flavour is being matched to a long-tested standard. Birthday 2004 is a different kettle of fish..

    Gary

  6. #116
    Connoisseur
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    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern California
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    681

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    here is an interesting article I found about bourbon oak barrels. Well researched (which is lacking by most reporters these days). Long but very good read IMO.

    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/200...secret_is.html

  7. #117
    Advanced Taster
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    Feb 2005
    Location
    Malden, Massachusetts
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    109

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    Thanks for the link! Definitely a well researched article. Not that I'm an expert, but what little I do know didn't cross what was stated in the article.

    Thanks!

    -monte-

  8. #118
    Enthusiast
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    Mar 2000
    Location
    Midland, MI
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    455

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    > My point is that if your theory is that the best result can be achieved by
    > heating a warehouse to, say, 85 degrees and holding it at that temperature,
    > go ahead and try it, but that would be contrary to most of the received
    > wisdom.

    I never claimed that holding at 85 gives the best result! I claimed that
    4 years at 85 followed by four years at 45 is going to be approximately
    the same as cycling regularly (or irregularly!) between the two temperatures.

    I'm mostly aiming to refute your claim that holding the temperature steady
    at 85 degrees gives absolutely no aging whatsoever (none at all!) since
    there is no temperature cycling. This is absolutely untrue. If you hold
    a barrel at 85, you will get color development, tannin extraction, etc. etc.
    If you want, I can dig up studies showing the effect of different (constant)
    temperatures on whiskey aging.

    You might argue that there is an aesthetic that is satisfied by spending
    some time aging at higher temperatures and some time aging at lower
    temperatures, but that's a very different claim.


    Tim Dellinger

  9. #119
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,637

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    I only know what I hear. The received wisdom is that hot whiskey expands into the wood, then when it cools it contracts, coming back into the barrel with lots of wood goodies for all the little whiskeys that didn't get to go into the wood.

    Is what you're saying that the whiskey isn't going to get any further into the wood no matter how hot it gets and it isn't withdrawing from the wood no matter how cold it gets. The variables are time in wood and average temperature, as the solvents become more effective the hotter it gets. But the daily temperature range is irrelevant. As is the seasonal temperature change.

  10. #120
    Connoisseur
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    Jul 2005
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    Mentor, Ohio, USA
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    837

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    I only know what I hear. The received wisdom is that hot whiskey expands into the wood, then when it cools it contracts, coming back into the barrel with lots of wood goodies for all the little whiskeys that didn't get to go into the wood.

    Is what you're saying that the whiskey isn't going to get any further into the wood no matter how hot it gets and it isn't withdrawing from the wood no matter how cold it gets. The variables are time in wood and average temperature, as the solvents become more effective the hotter it gets. But the daily temperature range is irrelevant. As is the seasonal temperature change.
    Chuck, did you mean to put a "?" at the end of that???

 

 

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