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  1. #11
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    Re: Rebarreling Beam Rye-plus

    I am in norcal and had a similiar experience. When I started the temperature was not warm and not much happened over the first month except picking up some wood flavor.

    Once i did get some sun/heat on it things started happening quickly. I think you need some good sun/heat cycles to really see how things are going to go.

    What I did, was once the sun came out, I would move the barrel (5 gal) out on the lawn in the morning, then at night bring it inside. I could tell when I came home that the bourbon had started getting into the wood as the bunghole would have whiskey stains on it. Each day i would get those fresh whiskey stains.

    I think you are fine right now, try to get it out in some sun/heat while the sun is out during the day. Norcal cools down very nicely at night to bring the whiskey back out.
    "That rug really tied the room together" -- Jeffery Lebowski

  2. #12
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    Re: Rebarreling Beam Rye-plus

    Thanks for the affirmation. I'll continue to do my car heating technique. The stains did come out once I started this.

    Any hints regarding the small size of the barrel as for how long it could age?
    "It hasn't cured my broken heart, but it sure helps a lot."
    -Ernest Tubb

  3. #13
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    Re: Rebarreling Beam Rye-plus

    It's been in for 5 weeks now. I just did a tasting last night, side by side with the unaged vatting. The results are quite nice! Much more earthy notes (also possibly due to the addition of Saz Jr.). Still questioning my use of Beam rye, however the added effect is an improvement for sure.

    Lately, I've stopped heating the barrel in my car. I was afraid of the spirit getting too rough. Figured the placement on my window shelf will make for a smoother aging process. It's been a fun experiment so far. I'm considering dumping it around the time of the next east bay study group, so I can bring it for everyone to try.
    "It hasn't cured my broken heart, but it sure helps a lot."
    -Ernest Tubb

  4. #14
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Rebarreling Beam Rye-plus

    In regard to the question of where the old barrels were placed, of course all would not have been deep in a warehouse. Some would have occupied peripheral locations yet the quality of the whiskey (much of it) in olden times suggests to me something else accounts for the high quality of many whiskey brands then. So much has been discussed here in this regard: jug vs. dried yeast (in some cases); lower entry and distilling out proofs; older wood used for barrels; possibly longer, and more oudoors, seasoning times; more use of cypress vats, etc. etc.

    While it may be some or all of those things, I have been thinking lately that barrel rotation may have been more important than we may think. How often have we read that most distillers today will simply mingle whiskeys from different locations or warehouses to get a uniform character.

    But think about it. How can the same quality be obtained as if every barrel was rotated? With full rotation you got an optimum result in each barrel. Whiskey was neither too woody nor too unmatured. Mingling those would have produced a product of the highest quality, as, say, the early 70's Beam black label was that Doug brought to the recent Gazebo.

    If you mix in some rough whiskey and some over-woody whiskey with the fully matured, how can you get a mingling with the same elements as those old minglings? You can't. Some of that young whiskey is still in there, you can't change it completely.

    I used to accept at face value that mingling stationary barrels can achieve the results of olden times.

    I no longer believe that.

    Gary

  5. #15
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    Re: Rebarreling Beam Rye-plus

    Any idea what distiller(or product(s)) today would come closest to matching what was done decades ago in terms of using any of these major issues that you list and that most of use think led to better whiskey?

    Who has the lowest entry proof? Wild Turkey?
    Who has the lowest distilling proof?
    Who uses the oldest wood?
    who uses older warehouses and rotates?
    etc
    etc

    Greg

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    So much has been discussed here in this regard: jug vs. dried yeast (in some cases); lower entry and distilling out proofs; older wood used for barrels; possibly longer, and more oudoors, seasoning times; more use of cypress vats, etc. etc.

    While it may be some or all of those things, I have been thinking lately that barrel rotation may have been more important than we may think.
    Gary
    "That rug really tied the room together" -- Jeffery Lebowski

  6. #16
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Rebarreling Beam Rye-plus

    Well, I can't give a detailed answer but I believe Wild Turkey hits many of those bases. And oddly perhaps, it is not my favourite distillery. I find its products have a fairly prominent woody note and a certain astringency (even at the luxury brand level). I like Rare Breed a lot because the mingling of different ages produces an interesting, complex character. This doesn't mean WT follows all the old practices, e.g., I believe it doesn't do rotation.

    I have heard Maker's Mark does do rotation, yet its whiskey also is not my favourite.

    Maybe no one distiller today combines all these practices in its shop.

    Yet fine whiskey is still produced, I just had an amazing EC 12 that is garnet red (almost) and has a deep, concentrated flavor with a notable smooth body and mouthfeel. One of the best whiskeys out there today, yet they enter at a notably high proof.

    As always, these things are not reducible to a single plan or formula..

    Gary

  7. #17
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    Re: Rebarreling Beam Rye-plus

    Amazing food for thought, Gary.
    It makes sense to me that mingling could never achieve the same effect as barrel rotation.

    It all just goes to show the sheer complexity of whiskey making as an art.

    As for my rebarreling, it's finger painting. But art nonetheless.
    Last edited by jinenjo; 05-01-2007 at 21:43.
    "It hasn't cured my broken heart, but it sure helps a lot."
    -Ernest Tubb

  8. #18
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Rebarreling Beam Rye-plus

    Thanks, and to return to rebarreling, I think it is an interesting concept with potential. The commercial versions I have tried are very good (e.g., the one in the BT Experimental series of a couple of years ago). It should be an enhancer of flavor and quality if the barrel is good, there is some regular natural or other cycling and it is done for the right amount of time. It seems to make sense, too, to do it with a young whiskey and the Jim Beam rye seems a natural candidate.

    Gary

  9. #19
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    Re: Rebarreling Beam Rye-plus

    Well, it's been dumped. Actually, I emptied my barrel over a month ago and haven't been quite available to post the results. After hanging with Roger, Neal, Ken, and Doug the other night (before the SB party) I offered them a taste to get their opinions. It was later in the evening after several tastings, but their initial impressions were favorable.

    That said, my thoughts were positive as well. Quite woody, dry, and somewhat over aged I think, but given that the majority of the distillate was JB rye, the results were an improvement.

    I was curious to check if the ABV changed but I did not have enough whiskey left to check with Roger's whiskey-o-meter (I forget what it's called at the moment).

    It was great fun aging the whiskey and I suppose to make it more scientific I could have recorded the exact aging. Overall, it was in the barrel for 3 months exactly, from the spring equinox to the summer solstice. But the majority of the aging was in my car. And the number of days I placed the barrel in my auto warehouse is unknown. I'd say out of the 3 months, it spent a total of between 10-15 days in "outdoor" temperature exposures.

    Below are pictures of the bottled results. The mini bottles show, on the left the Beam, Saz, Old Potrero vatting (approx. 66%, 24%, 10%, respectively) before rebarreling, the middle is the end result, and the last on the right is a Saz 18 for comparison. The other photos show an end comparison to an unopened bottle of Saz 18 (on the right) with the 3L barrel. The rebarrel seems slightly darker in certain lights.

    Final thoughts have left me to think I might've done an exclusive JB rye rebarrel in order to gather a firm baseline and something to gauge the results by. Nonetheless, I'm very pleased with end spirit.

    Wish I could've shared it with everyone! I gave most of it away and the 750ml I kept for myself was finished in one night for my girlfriend's birthday. Now all that's left is a 200ml. I may be inticed into a mini-for-mini trade...

    Cheers!
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    "It hasn't cured my broken heart, but it sure helps a lot."
    -Ernest Tubb

 

 

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