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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    E. H. Taylor, who built those beautiful limestone buildings at Woodford in 1890, so this is actually pretty authentic, old time stuff.
    Hey Chuck,

    I got your DVD "Made And Bottled In Kentucky", and in it you have some great shots of the E.H.Taylor buildings in ruins, I watched it a couple of times before we went to Kentucky on our little Bourbon adventure.
    I am still learning the history, but I did not know,(at that time), that WR bought and restored the place, so when we got there it looked familiar and I realised what was done, and I got a little head rush, like stepping back into time.
    The grain grinding wheel used as an ornamentle peice atop one of the doors finally gave it away to me, I think you zeroed in on that in the DVD.
    It was cool,

    Oscar
    Last edited by jeff; 07-06-2006 at 12:58.

  2. #22
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    What of the old barrels

    When we toured the distillery there were lots of barrels in storage from before the Brown-Forman purchase and the folks there were (a) apprehensive of the coming changes and, (b) proud of the L&G product.

    There were pot stills in operation at the time (1997, I think). If that's when they began using pot stills, where did that building full of barrels come from? And were they kidding us about the pride in their long, long history of bourbon production? I'm sure no expert, but I (and my taste-sensitive wife) were led to believe that their product was entirely local prior to that time.

    Sadly, the very thing those people seemed to fear has come to pass. Their name and reputation were used to label an inferior (tastes vary, I realize) product.

    It'd be nice to hear from one of those employees from the early 1990s....

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by MarcV
    ...There were pot stills in operation at the time (1997, I think). If that's when they began using pot stills, where did that building full of barrels come from?...
    See here for a brief history of the brand (but not the distillery, which dates back to the mid-1800s).
    http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...0&postcount=17
    Tim

  4. #24
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcV
    When we toured the distillery there were lots of barrels in storage from before the Brown-Forman purchase and the folks there were (a) apprehensive of the coming changes and, (b) proud of the L&G product.
    No there weren't. You must have misunderstood something. Brown-Forman closed Labrot and Graham (i.e., Woodford Reserve) in 1964 and sold it. They had owned and operated it for about 20 years at that point, and it was a column still operation.

    After 1964, the place was never used again by any of its subsequent owners and fell into ruin. I visited there several times in 1991 and 1992. There was nothing there and the whole place was falling down. There definitely were no barrels of aging whiskey there. You can see plenty of video of what it looked like then in "Made and Bottled in Kentucky."

    The official story is that Brown-Forman repurchased the site in 1993 and began its restoration. They installed the pot stills and began production in 1994 and launched Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select (WRDS) in 1996. I remember it a little differently, that they didn't buy it until 1995 and started producing in 1996. I also didn't think they launched Woodford until 1999.

    Their timeline probably is right, since they have the records, but I'm repeating what I remember because I am perverse that way, and to show that we all can mis-remember things. The point is, there were no "barrels in storage from before the Brown-Forman purchase," because there was no owner other than Brown-Forman that made any whiskey there.

    Anyway, the initial production of WRDS was entirely whiskey from the company's Jefferson County distillery, although the whiskey was partially aged at Woodford. This is still done. In other words, barrels selected for Woodford are moved to the Woodford plant to finish aging there.

    The first batch to contain whiskey from both plants was bottled in May of 2003 and bore batch number 90. Every batch since has had at least some whiskey from both plants in it.

    As for copper, all bourbon makers seek to put their whiskey into contact with copper. In particular, they want the vapor at the top of the column still to pass over and through as much copper as possible, but both the column still and the doubler are entirely copper on the inside. There is a lot of copper in all bourbon stills.

    The difference with the first still at Woodford is that the mash, which is a slurry containing grain solids, is forced against the sides of the still in a way that, I believe, abrades it and introduces copper in a somewhat different way than what happens when it's just vapor interacting chemically with copper surfaces. This is a physical, as opposed to chemical, process.
    Last edited by cowdery; 07-06-2006 at 14:39.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    Anyone with a bottle of WR that isn't to their taste might consider mixing it 50/50 with Old Forester (any proof but 100 won't hurt) or better yet, Birthday Bourbon.
    Great suggestion, Gary. I just amended a pour of WR #152 (gift from brother-in-law that I've managed to kill 80% of in six months)) with about 1/3 OF BiB and it is a definite improvement. Better than either, I might add.

    Thanks for the tip, which is no less than I have come to expect from the blending guru of the north.

    Jeff
    "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    No there weren't. You must have misunderstood something. Brown-Forman closed Labrot and Graham (i.e., Woodford Reserve) in 1964 and sold it. They had owned and operated it for about 20 years at that point, and it was a column still operation.
    Thanks for correcting me. There were definitely many, many barrels of aging product in the warehouse when we were there. If they had been shipped in from other distilleries, I wouldn't have known without being told.

    What do you suppose we were tasting, and purchasing, in their store? (Aside from the fresh stuff which was going into barrels the day we were there, that is.)

    If you are right, Chuck, we were badly misled on the tour (which was free back then) and even the bottles with their Labrot & Graham labels were misleading.

    Incidentally, they explained that heat was only added in the coldest winter nights and that proper aging required temperature changes, not constant temperature. Now, with what's been presented here about heating and cooling, I'm beginning to wonder if anything they said could be believed.

    Good thing the tour was free; from what I'm learning here, I'd demand a refund!

  7. #27
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    As far as I can read, there has rarely been this type of discussion concerning BOTM's. Sooner or later we will run out of pours that are readily available to most. I learn something each and every time these discussions occur. There are currently 2 different threads on the board chewing up WR. For a bourbon that so far most do not count among their fav's, it sure did inspire some very informative and passionate points. That is why I enjoy SB.com.

    That and the Chuck Norris jokes.
    Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.

    Bob Marley.

  8. #28
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    I would propose that ultimately BOTM be extended to American (blended) whiskey, Canadian whisky, vodka and yet more.

    Gary

  9. #29
    Administrator in exile
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    Vodka? Gary, have you been drinking?
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  10. #30
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff
    Vodka? Gary, have you been drinking?
    From what I can tell, the answer is "everything that isn't nailed down."

 

 

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