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Thread: Cluny Scotch

  1. #21
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    Then too all that water whatever its source is distilled and I wonder how many minerals follow the steam into the condenser. Maybe their role is more when interracting at fermentation stage, i.e., to help produce specific congeners which are in fact volatile. Also, I referred not to Kentucky bourbon in my original comments, but American bourbon. Hirsch 16 is an American bourbon and it was made (and aged at least part of its life) in a climate, Pennsylvania's, not that different from southern Ontario's I think. I'd like to think you are right, Dane (and maybe you are!) but I just don't know.. Maybe one day we can all tour a Canadian distillery which may still make in-house a bourbon-type straight whisky and try it and decide for ourselves. I understand Seagram used to make such a product for in-house blending use only, but I am not sure if they do anymore, they may simply bring in real bourbon from Four Roses or some other source in the U.S. I just know from beer brewing that so many great beers can be made far from source. I have found this with porters and Russian stouts especially. Just the other day in Toronto I had a Helles Bock that I doubt could be improved in Bavaria. Anyway this question is mostly moot since apart from some beer specialties (and it's a different market from spirits) why would anyone want to make such an imitation? Better to make something unique.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 03-22-2006 at 06:58.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    In fact other Canadian distilleries used to make a bourbon-type whiskey to add to high proof whisky to flavour it. Some of those in-house flavouring whiskeys might taste like bourbon or straight rye.
    Gary
    I believe this is in fact what John Hall does. I think other distilleries also do this as well.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    But I view this as more theoretical than anything. I don't think we should try to make bourbon. We should continue to make blended whisky, the Canadian national specialty. But if someone wants to try, I think he could do it quite easily: it's a process.

    Gary
    In theory I agree! In practice, I have yet to find a Cdn whisky that makes me stand up and say WOW (like Bookers, Blanton's, Ardbeg or Middleton VR). I don't know what it is...Someone I know toured Alberta Distillers Distillery and tasted a flavouring whisky which impressed him to no end. He ended up posting that he wished that distillery would release that whisky on it's own! This from a malt lover!

    Chuck Cowdrey posted a lot on another thread about the make-up of blended whiskies - a core of flavour whiskies surrounded by cheaper ones or NGS in the US. Blended whisky doesn't have to be made like this. John Glaser argues that if you use quality ingrediants, there's no reason why you shouldn't a get good quality blend. His Asyla blend is 10yrs at minimum (he said) but is 60% malt, 40% grain.

    I'm not going to get into Middleton VR or Johnny Walker Blue - products made for a different market. I'm going to say that Cdn whisky makers could make interesting blends if they put their minds to it - no reason why not! Just don't get me started on the 9.09% non-whisky component that can get into the bottle here!

  4. #24
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    Well, regarding Alberta Distillers, there you go. That is an in-house produced (as far as we know) straight-type whisky, i.e., distilled at under 160 proof. I don't think John Hall makes that but I am not sure. I think what he does is distill a number of whiskies, each made from one cereal mash only (and maybe barley malt), e.g., one corn whisky, one malt whisky and one rye whisky, age them separately, and then blend them for sale, and that each is distilled at over 160. But you may be right that some of these are distilled under that, I wish I knew for sure.

    The reason Canadian whisky is not as distinctive as bourbon is most of it is high proof spirits.

    If, say, half was composed of bourbons and ryes, or more than half, and the other half, or less, of aged high proof, it would be much better. This is how I build my own blends. You can too, e.g. take any Canadian whisky, say CC, and add some Beam Black or any other bourbon to it. You have made an improved blend. As for flavourings, I think they have their place. There is nothing inherently wrong with them, but they need to be used with discretion. You mentioned liking Black Bush because more of the sherry taste gets in due to aging a high proportion of the malt component in sherry cask. I do not see the difference between aging whisky in that way and pouring a little sherry into a finished whisky, to me it is essentially the same thing.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 03-22-2006 at 10:04.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    The reason Canadian whisky is not as distinctive as bourbon is most of it is high proof spirits.

    Gary
    BINGO!!! Give the man a cigar!!!!

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    You mentioned liking Black Bush because more of the sherry taste gets in due to aging a high proportion of the malt component in sherry cask. I do not see the difference between aging whisky in that way and pouring a little sherry into a finished whisky, to me it is essentially the same thing.

    Gary
    I'm a little out of my league here Gary, but my instinct is not to agree. I wonder why. I think perhaps it's the romantic in me that wants the sherry casking to be unique and unable to be duplicated by other (cheaper) means.

    I will say that from experiance, sherry finishing and sherry casking have different effects on the flavour profile. I think perhaps the oak that comes from Spain has different effect on the flavours than just the sherry in the casks.

    I will say that John Hall makes his Barrell Select brand using (Canadian) sherry casks. If all he had to do was dump in some sherry during bottling to achieve the same effect, I think that would have been more cost effective.

    You raise a great point though. People have been wondering about the "finishing" craze in the malt world, and the idea of simply dumping flavourings into the barrell has been mentioned as similar.

  7. #27
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    Frodo: first, you are not out of your depth.

    Spanish wood interacts with sherry but recall it is used wood. At that point, even first refill, it is a well-used container that I don't think does that much -I believe it is the wine leaching into the whiskey that has the main effect on the whisky. Also, sherry poured from a bottle has Spanish oak in it, so that enters the whisky anyway. Maybe not for as long (in fact it won't be) but how material is that, I wonder? I have bought good Oloroso sherry and added it to a non-sherried whisky and it tastes a lot like one of the classic sherried whiskies. I am not advocating that people do this but I did it as an experiment. Sherry-finishing (whisky held in sherry casks for a short time before bottling) is the same idea, in fact that is where I got the idea from just to add a little sherry. Usually I add it to a blend I put together, as a blending or marrying agent. I think different practices are valid or potentially so - a lot depends on the quality of the sherry or other wine or flavouring addition used - but taste is all that matters in the end. I do like Forty Creek very much, the sherry taste (Canadian sherry by the way) in the 3 Grain (which seems to have disappeared from the shelves recently) is very prominent and it adds a lot to the whisky. But could Hall have achieved similar by simply adding some sherry to his blends? I believe he could have but I can't be sure. Certainly the product gains authenticity by being aged in sherry casks, no question.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 03-22-2006 at 19:47.

  8. #28
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    Asyla

    Quote Originally Posted by Frodo
    John Glaser argues that if you use quality ingrediants, there's no reason why you shouldn't a get good quality blend. His Asyla blend is 10yrs at minimum (he said) but is 60% malt, 40% grain.
    Yes indeed, Asyla is one of the better blends out there - it's the only one I've tried that even approaches Campbeltown Loch 25yo, IMO. I forget the exact percentage of malt in CL25, but I'm pretty sure it was in the 60-70% range - and the grain whiskies in the CL25 blend were very old (~40 years).

    Asyla is quite reasonably priced, and it has one huge advantage over CL25 - namely, availability. If you're lucky enough to find a CL25 on the shelf, grab it, because there's no more to be had.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  9. #29
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    So I take it no one but me has tried the Cluny Scotch?

  10. #30
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    Even my frugal son, a Dewar's drinker, says he's afraid to try a scotch that cheap. If I keep after him, I'll bet he caves in. I'll let you know what he says.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

 

 

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