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  1. #11
    **DONOTDELETE**
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    Re: Another myth of Bourbon History

    Yes John, but didn't Elijah Greg invent the charred cardboard box?

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  2. #12
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Another myth of Bourbon History

    You're absolutely right, Linn. And, like Louie Wheeler, Elijah Greg was an entirely mythical figure.

    Which brings us right back to the topic of the thread...

    There's a great article in the current Malt Advocate that concerns just when bourbon and rye whiskey started being red. The article tends toward the idea that the original rye whiskey, as well as bourbon before the War Between the States, was much more like rye-based German schnapps than like it is today. Just what IS schnapps? I mean, I've drunk it, but I'm not certain what it is. I suppose that's what the German distillers were trying to make in Kentucky using corn and rye grains.

    =John=
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,604

    Re: Another myth of Bourbon History

    The distilling tradition of northern Europe, which includes gin, akvavit, schnapps and vodka, goes toward a neutral spirit that is then flavored in some way, with seeds, berries, herbs, etc. The base of the spirit is grain, traditionally rye.

    The challenge all distillers have faced throughout time is how to make their products palatable. The whiskey- and brandy-making cultures have done it with aging. Others have done it with flavoring.

    The schnapps sold in the US today are a bit of a corruption, because they are sickeningly sweet liqueurs. Traditional schnapps are more like akvavit or Dutch gin.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  4. #14
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Another myth of Bourbon History

    So Chuck, if I wanted to have a bottle or two of authentic German (or Dutch) schnapps or akavit in our collection (we have some good examples of Scotch, Irish, Canadian, and American Blends for comparison) what would be your recommendation? Consider that I'm not looking for the best schnapps, just the best examples of how that liquor relates to American whiskey (probably rye).

    =John=
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  5. #15
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Another myth of Bourbon History

    John,
    Daniel Weller is W.L. Weller's grandfather. It is his father, Johannas Weller who was born in Germany in 1716 and came to America and settled in Fredrick County, Maryland in 1730 who was the match maker. It was the death of Johannas that caused the family to move west coming to Kentucky where Daniel's brother became a famous gunsmith (Weller Rifles) while others moved to Ohio and became involved in the glass industry there.
    Mike Veach


  6. #16
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Another myth of Bourbon History

    Chuck,
    In the Beale-Booth Family papers in the Filson Club there is an undated but probably early 1820's manuscript that is a page of recipes. This page is interesting on many levels. At the top of the page is a drawing and a description for making a charcoal leeching vat (about 10 earlier than the so called "Lincoln County Process" in Tennessee is said to be invented) and other ways to make whiskey more fit to drink. These recipes include making homemade gin and cherry bounce. Cherry bounce is made by leeching the liquor through wild cherry roots to give it more flavor. If Linn is interested in the recipe, I can make a copy and send it to him. He can make some and bring it to the next bourbon festival.

    Another collection has an 1820's letter from a grocer in Lexington to the Corliss distillery in Bourbon County saying that the whiskey that they make is very good and he would like more but it ends with him telling the distiller that he has heard that if the distiller will "burn or char the insides of the barrels that it will greatly improve the flavor" but he will leave it up to the distiller. This shows that the product was an unaged product or at least the aging was done in uncharred barrels at that time but charring was being experimented with at that time.

    Mike Veach


  7. #17
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    654

    Re: Another myth of Bourbon History

    Hey Chuck,
    Been away from the keyboard for several days. I'm trying to catch up and feel my heritage allows me to chime in here. My Granny was a Burke...the folks from Scotland that settled Burke Springs (where they make Maker's Mark today). I am decended from a long line of Bourbon drinkers.
    This is on a lighter note. The discussion was about flavoring versus process. I absolutely love whole hog barbecue and someone that knows me sent this today. Thought I would forward it here and ya'll would get a yuk. (This link won't be live very long...just for ya'll.....)
    http://mail.centralky.com/~brendaj/spamshiners.html
    Hope all had a good holiday (I love holidays best once they're over).
    Bj



    Blowin' smoke in Bardstown

  8. #18
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Another myth of Bourbon History

    Brenda,

    You ought to put that one in the recipe topic. That sure is the most unusual way of making barbeque I've ever seen! I guess when the "white hog" comes off the still you just double it over cut-up barrel staves?

    That was funny, even if the cartoonist doesn't know a whole lot about how stills work :-))

    =John=
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  9. #19
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,604

    Re: Another myth of Bourbon History

    I don't know if you can buy any authentic schnapps or Dutch gin in the US. I do know you can get akvavit, though I can't recall the brand name. It is imported by Jim Beam.

    --Chuck Cowdery

 

 

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