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Thread: Why Kentucky?

  1. #11
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    Re: Why Kentucky?

    Mike, if the difference in contact area would really be sufficient to affect the final flavor profile, what about another factor that seems to have changed over the years, at least at some distilleries. I'm talking about the practice of rotating the barrels. Of course, moving from one part of the warehouse to another makes a difference; everyone knows that. But the very act of taking the barrels off the rick and rolling them to another location sloshes the whiskey around inside, ensuring that MUCH larger areas of contact are made. It also keeps the staves drying out at the same rate. The more often that happens, the more exposure all the bourbon in the barrel gets. By comparison, barrels that are left alone for years have essentially the same few surface inches in contact with the wood the whole time; the extracted flavorings reach the rest of the whiskey only by osmosis, and the charcoal filtration doesn't affect most of the whiskey at all.

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

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Why Kentucky?

    For what it's worth, remember that the barrel was not only an aging container but also a shipping container. Most whiskey was sold in barrels until around the turn of the century.

    Its suitability as a shipping container was also a consideration in its design.

    This raises another question. Does anyone know if those barrels were simply pulled from the warehouse and shipped as is (in other words, single barrel whiskey) or were they "topped off."

    --Chuck Cowdery

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Why Kentucky?

    Rotation is certainly a factor of which all the distilleries are aware. Regardless of the extent to which they practice it, rotation is an element in their considerations. The prevailing belief is that rotation is too expensive and a large distillery can achieve the same effect by mixing barrels from different warehouse locations.

    Rotation was certainly more important a century ago when whiskey was sold by the barrel, so you wanted each individual barrel to be as good as possible.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  4. #14
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    Re: Why Kentucky?

    Hey now y'all I still want every barrel to be as good as possible!

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  5. #15
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    Re: Why Kentucky?

    John,
    I would love to get together with you and Linda on Wednesday. I get off work at 5:00 or I even have a couple of hours of comp time I could use to get off as early as 2:00. Lets get together for dinner and a trip to D. Maries. If you opt for the earlier time I could give you that distillery tour of downtown Louisville I promised the last time you were here. Let me know what you want to do.
    Mike Veach


  6. #16
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    Re: Why Kentucky?

    John,
    I am sure that you are right. This causes me to recall the Old Mr. Boston "Rocking Chair" whiskey that played ipon the fact that sea captains would buy a small keg of whiskey and place it on the rockers of their rocking chair so that while they sat and rocked, it would mimic the movement of a ship and improve the whiskey. I know, this is a clever marketing gimmic, but sometimes there is truth behind the gimmic.
    Mike Veach


  7. #17
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    Re: Why Kentucky?

    You tell them, Linn!!!!
    Mike Veach


  8. #18
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    Re: Why Kentucky?

    Jim,
    There are other things to consider such as the fact that warehouse ricks were designed for these 43 gallon barrels so that limits the one deminsion so that the barrels can fit the ricks. The barrels were made with a little more bulge in the middle and maybe, but I am not sure, a slightly larger head in order to hold more liquid. Old barrels also had 7 hoops instead of 5 and a deeper lip around the head.
    Mike Veach


  9. #19
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    Re: Why Kentucky?

    Chuck,
    I have seen pre-prohibition shipping invoices for whiskey barrels with similar but different gallons content, so I would assume the barrel was not "topped off before shipping.
    Mike Veach


  10. #20
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Re: Why Kentucky?

    Heaven Hill barrels have 6 hoops. I know for sure because when I designed their "Barrel Logo" I didn't know how many hoops there were so I went back to the dump room and checked.

    boone


 

 

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