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  1. #11
    Enthusiast
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    Nov 2000
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    Frankfort, KY
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    499
    At the Buffalo Trace Distillery, we filtered our bourbon through activated charcoal for several decades. We now chill filter our bourbons (that excludes those that are uncut/unfiltered). We found that charcoal strips both color and flavor from the whiskey. Our quantitative tests showed that chill filtered bourbon was 17% darker than the charcoal filtered product. A blind taste test revealed that the chill filtered bourbon possessed a greater intensity of flavor.

    An interesting aside on the Lincoln County Process; when Gentleman Jack is doubled mellowed (?), it is run through maple charcoal again after it has aged. Rather than allow it to drip through 10 feet of charcoal, it goes through about a foot of it. If it ran through 10 feet it would be nearly as clear as when it was distilled! I assume the flavor would wash out as well.

    Ken

  2. #12
    Enthusiast
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    Feb 2003
    Location
    England
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    300
    That is a great tale Dave. The breakfast sounds worth the trip alone!

    There surely is a difference between GJ and regular JD. Neither are great but GJ is a much smoother, less harsh drink - one of the few that works for me at a low proof.

    Very interesting to hear that GJ's trip through the charcoal is much shorter 2nd time around... I really would love to taste JD straight from the barrel, just to see how it is.

    Also thanks for the BT take on the whole filtering process Ken - it really is nice to know exactly what methods/changes my fave distillery use in making their whiskey.

  3. #13
    Disciple
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
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    1,886
    So now that chill filtering is a common industry practice, how common is charcoal filtering of bourbons these days? Is there a good counter-point to BT's position that chill filtering leaves more flavor in the bourbon than charcoal filtering?
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  4. #14
    Taster
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    Jan 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Virginia
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    50
    A good description of the chill filtering process :

    http://www.thewhiskyguide.com/Articl...filtering.html

  5. #15
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2005
    Location
    Chicago SW 'burbs
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    1,178
    Quote Originally Posted by bluesbassdad
    At GD they bought the charcoal from some other company.
    That doesn't agree with what the Dickel website says. They say they make their own charcoal, and their discription of GD's charcoal mellowing process sounds like a cross between the Lincoln County process and chill-filtering...
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  6. #16
    Enthusiast
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    Jan 2006
    Location
    Turkey
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    262
    I like JD, and it's the only whiskey I drank that's charcoal filtered. To me, charcoal filtering seems to have mellowed the whiskey very good, helping me enjoy the taste of the spirit clearly. I feel it takes out unwanted chemicals, leaving us the core-whiskey. I may change my mind as I continue trying different whiskeys and so develop my palate, though...

  7. #17
    Apprentice
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    Mar 2006
    Location
    Oxford, U.K.
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    39
    I was lucky enough to try Jack Daniels white dog at a tasting last year and while it doesn't compare to the hearts of some other spirits i've tried, like vodka and gin, it was certainly more flavoursome and characterful than J.D. regular. It would be nice to see J.D. produce a bourbon again and have all their hard work at maintaining standards in their whisk(e)y be rewarded by having that extra amount of flavour, do you reckon they'd accept a petition? .

    While I think about it, i recieved a case of J.D. about 4 yrs ago that was almost black in colour in 3 of the 6 bottles. Any ideas how this came about? It tasted the same as the others...

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulbrad25
    ...It would be nice to see J.D. produce a bourbon again...
    Again?
    Tim

  9. #19
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chicago
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    295

    Legal mumbo-jumbo



    It's an open question whether the Lincoln County process makes JD or GD "not bourbon". JD and GD are made from bourbon mashbills under conditions that would otherwise qualify them as bourbons; the only way that the Lincoln County process would disqualify them from being bourbons is if it counts as adding artificial flavor. Since most whiskey is filtered in one way or another, it is far from clear that running it through a stack of charred wood should count as adding artificial flavor. It changes the flavor, true, but so (according to Ken's post above) does the more traditional charcoal filtering.

    My personal theory is that JD and GD use the distinction mainly for marketing purposes, to set them apart from the crowd. The more interesting question I think is whether they should be REQUIRED to label their products as bourbon. "Tennessee whiskey" is not in fact a legal designation. There are a couple old threads that go into the Lincoln County process and its legal implications in great detail.

  10. #20
    Acknowledged and agreed, Chuck. There's a whole thread here somewhere on the very point. My skepticism voiced by "Again?" is that, to my knowledge, no to-date Jack Daniel's bottling has ever professed to BE bourbon, however much it may or may not be entitled to be.
    Tim

 

 

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