Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 28 of 28
  1. #21
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,160

    Re: An Interesting Advertisment

    Thanks, Mike, for bringing this forward and your other comments.

    Regarding the references to steam and fire, they are saying, we don't use a column still (Coffey or patent still) to rectify. Such a still uses steam to separate alcohol from water. The steam pours in from the bottom through perforated plates and meets the falling wash, separating alcohol very efficiently from the water in the wash. Rather (they are saying) we use a copper still heated by a (real) fire burning underneath it. And we rectify, too, that way. In other words, they double distill in traditional pot stills (the way Scotland still does for malt whisky). This ad was an assurance to readers that the whiskey of this house would still taste like whiskey because some of the flavourous fusel oils and other congeners would have gone over with the water through the coils and condensed in to the final spirit. The efficient column still would leave all those behind in the spent wash.

    Double-distillation is still used for bourbon, but from the column still (which may contain some copper) to the thumper or other secondary distillation method. Columns can be operated today in a way to reduce their efficiency and thus act much as a first pot distillation would do.

    The term OFC (Old Fire Copper) can be seen on old bourbon and rye labels and was a sign of quality. To this day in Canada, Barton's makes in Quebec Schenley OFC. I once read OFC means in that regard, "Old Fine Canadian" but I think that may have been a later embellishment, and the name denoted originally the process proudly claimed in this 1858 advertisement.

    Gary

  2. #22
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    731

    Re: An Interesting Advertisment

    Gary,
    You are right on your points about fire copper and the use of steam. Just for the record when Schenley bought their Canadian distillery they took a couple of their brands - Gibson's rye and OFC - and turned them into Canadian whisky brands. This gave them some brand recognition with the products since they were very old and respected brands here in the U.S. and actually breathed new life into brands that were dying of neglect in their portfolio.

    The fact that the advertisement spends so much effort putting distance between their company and the rectifiers that drugged their products gives us a hint of what was being sold at the time.

    Mike Veach

  3. #23
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,160

    Re: An Interesting Advertisment

    Thanks for this additional information.

    Gibson's is still made (in two or three versions) and is quite good. Ditto for Schenley OFC.

    What I have done is add an ounce or so of a dry U.S. straight rye (e.g. Pikesville) to the Schenley whiskies. Doing this deepens the dry, cereal taste of such drinks and adds to their authenticity, in my view. It does not alter the taste, just makes it better, more what it "should" be.

    Schenley tends to make dry, grainy type whiskies, quite rye-oriented, that is, in terms of tradition. Seagram's Canadian whisky tends to have a bourbon-accent, in my view.

    Allied-Domecq's ryes tend to be crisp, dry and faintly fruity, as Michael Jackson noted with his usual perceptiveness in his 1988 World Guide To Whisky.

    So we have a palette of flavours here.

    Sometimes, though, they benefit from a little tweaking.

    Gary

  4. #24
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    731

    Re: An Interesting Advertisment

    I find the types of products listed here interesting - barley malt whiskey, pure rye malt whiskey and gin made as it is in Holland from malted wheat. Makes me wonder if pure wheat malt whiskey is so bland that it needs spices and juniper berries to give it flavor.

    I also wonder if these barley malt and rye malt whiskies are aged or not.

    Mike Veach

  5. #25
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,160

    Re: An Interesting Advertisment

    Mike, in the 1800's and no doubt earlier, geneva gin generally was made from the same recipe as rye whiskey: 80% unmalted rye, 20% malted barley. No doubt some geneva was made from malted wheat as this advertisement implies. Ultimately, most genever came to be made from molasses or sugar beet syrup distillate, so using wheat (as in the old white wheat whiskey) may have been a way station on the road to making all-continuous still, molasses-based spirit. By stating "Holland Gin", clearly as you say the implication was that juniper berry was used. It was used originally anyway, not to give flavour to pallid spirit, but for quite the opposite reason: to cover over the congeneric taste of new spirit. Possibly the medical reputation of juniper got embroidered and transposed onto this original rationale, but there can be little doubt that juniper usage was an early type of rectification. This gin was unaged, as it still is (saving one or two examples given a yellow tint by oak cask aging).

    Regarding pure barley whiskeys, they would have been Irish-type (unpeated and made mainly from unmalted barley as is still the case in the Republic of Ireland for the true pot still whiskey).

    Wheat whiskey was the white wheat whiskey sold in Canada too into the early 1900's.

    All these save the Bourbon would have been unaged for very long. Maybe a year or two at most, to give some tint from the cask and smooth out the taste a bit, but not more than that.

    All these liquors were true pot still distillations.

    Gary

  6. #26
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,160

    Re: An Interesting Advertisment

    Just on a further point, malt rye whiskey would have been whiskey made from malted rye. I know I said in my previous post that rye whiskey was made from unmalted rye, and it was - both methods were used. When I met Craig Beam in Bardstown he said all rye whiskey today is made from malted rye, with barley malt added still to assist the fermentation. Fritz Maytag opted to use malted rye in his revivalist rye whiskeys. Rather than go with unmalted rye, he went with charred, or not, barrels, to distinguish between older (historical) types of rye whiskey. Also, he used 100% malted rye. So, the malt rye whiskey of the old advertisement might have tasted like a younger, sharper (because maybe no corn) Pikesville Rye. A gap in the current rye line-up is, therefore, unmalted rye-based whiskey. What did it taste like? Probably very spicy/resinous and full-flavoured whereas malt rye whiskey would likely have been sweetish/fruity as are the current young examples (e.g. Rittenhouse). In Flanders today, geneva gins are still made from the old 80% raw rye grist/20% barley malt -I cite Houlle/Loos in the very north of France as a specific example. Some genevers have abandoned completely the juniper berry. Houlle/Loos have not although they use juniper in very small quantities. One that uses no juniper whatever is Filliers of Belgium. If anyone is travelling in Belgium and finds some Filliers (I would advise the 5 year old or any younger expression available), you will find what is essentially the unmalted rye whiskey of the mid-1800's - IMHO.

    Gary

  7. #27
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    731

    Re: An Interesting Advertisment

    Gary,
    Here at the Filson, we have several early 19th century recipes for alcohol products such as gin, cherry bounce and peach cordial. They are all based upon whiskey, applejack or other fruit brandy. Maybe I shall post some of these later.
    Mike Veach

  8. #28
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,160

    Re: An Interesting Advertisment

    That would be interesting and instructive. Whiskey and cherry bounces were a kind of punch, I believe. Punch expressed in French is "ponche". I think the word bounce is a corruption of the word punch. The humourous implications arising from the true English sense of the word bounce could not have been unintentional, of course.

    Gary

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Interesting artical
    By NeoTexan in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-03-2006, 07:13

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