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  1. #1
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    Products We Would Like To See

    Hello Folks,

    I think it is time to start a thread on wish lists: If you were emperor, what whiskies would you direct the industry to produce. What products are you just aching to see on store shelves? John and Chuck have already expressed some of their wishes in the "what is Bourbon" thread. To get the taste buds rolling, here is my short list:

    1. More barrel proof single barrel whiskies, for a reasonable price (Heaven Hill, are you listening?).

    2. An eight year old rye whiskey, I think the selections from Beam and HH are a good start at 4 years, but more time is needed. One wonders what the Turkey would be like with a little more age.

    3. White Dog from a bourbon mashbill. Still proof preferred. Just think of the packaging possibilities. Georgia Moon is from a straight corn whiskey mashbill, an a bit on the sweet side for my tastes.

    4. More old bourbons 15+ years aged in a very lightly charred barrel.



    Mark A. Mason, El Dorado, Arkansas

  2. #2
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    Re: Products We Would Like To See

    Mark:

    My wish list wouldn't be long, being as how I'm just a beginner at this wonderful whiskey hobby, and unfortunately some of it is pure fantasy:

    1. A range of pot-stilled ryes from the primal Monongahela region of PA - some old, some very old (I'm also curious about the effect of aging on rye, and I'm going to ask Mr. Russell about that at Whiskeyfest), and maybe even an all-malted rye.

    2. More barrel-proof single barrel whiskeys from each of the major mashbill types, so we could follow them as they age.

    3. A barrel-proof version of Knob Creek.

    Ralph Wilps


  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Products We Would Like To See

    Okay, I'll play.

    <UL><LI>Oat whiskey, either straight oat or oat as a flavor grain in a bourbon-like formula. Likewise other grains, singly and in combinations. If you like wheated bourbon, what about straight wheat?

    <LI>Sophisticated bourbon blends, i.e., blends of different bourbons (no GNS or unaged whiskey, no flavoring or color, just aged whiskey), made with the same care as cognac. This has long been a dream of mine.

    <LI>True double-casked bourbon which, to my mind, would be aged in a new, charred oak barrel for some period (e.g., 2 years), and then transferred to another new, charred oak barrel for additional aging.

    <LI>Whiskey distilled out at a lower proof than we are accustomed to, even lower than the approximately 110 proof of Wild Turkey, say 90 proof. This would, of course, produce a low proof (maybe 86 at best) final product, but it would be very flavorful.

    <LI>Unlike some others here, I like the idea of finishing bourbon in barrels previously used for something else, like cognac or sherry. I would like to think it could be done for less than $250 a bottle, though.

    <LI>As stated elsewhere, an American malt whiskey would be neat.[/list]
    Finally, I caution everyone against wishing for extremely old bourbons. Because of the new barrels used in bourbon production, bourbon can get too much wood. I tasted some 20+ year old Heaven Hill once and it triggered my gag reflex. I have tasted even 10 year old bourbons that had been left in the wood too long.

    While it is fun to speculate about radically different styles, bourbon is pretty good just the way it is and there is an endless amount of tinkering that can be done around the edges to produce subtle but interesting taste differences.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  4. #4
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    Re: Products We Would Like To See

    Chuck,
    One of the things I found at the Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro while I was archivist at U.D. was a box of mash bills. They included wheat, oat and traditional rye and bourbon mash bills. My opinion is that if they made good whiskey, then they would still be making them today but then who knows? Maybe someone will experiment with these types of whiskey but I suspect that it is expensive enough of a process (after all at least four years time will be needed for this investment) that only someone making a true "small batch" whiskey could afford to play around with this type of experimentation.But don't loose all hope, maybe L&G will do it or inspire someone else to do so.
    Mike Veach


  5. #5
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    Re: Products We Would Like To See

    Mark I only have three wishes:

    1. To be wealthy enough to buy my favorite bourbons by the barrel.

    2. To go to the Bourbon Festival every year.

    3. To have a really good time with Cindy Crawford.

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  6. #6
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    Re: Products We Would Like To See

    Chuck:

    > Oat whiskey, either straight oat or oat as a flavor grain in a bourbon-like
    > formula. Likewise other grains, singly and in combinations. If you like
    > wheated bourbon, what about straight wheat?

    I proposed the straight wheat whiskey in another forum myself. The use of alternate grains is probably the thing I'd like to see most, but wheat would be my first choice. Main reason for wheat, aside from my liking it, would be that tasting 100% rye (that is, Old Potrero), corn whiskeys and unpeated single malts has long been my way of getting new bourbon fans to learn how to pick out what these grains taste like, and the method works well. Wheat has always been the missing component, and it'd be fascinating to taste for both newcomers and old hands.

    > Sophisticated bourbon blends, i.e., blends of different bourbons (no GNS or
    > unaged whiskey, no flavoring or color, just aged whiskey), made with the same
    > care as cognac. This has long been a dream of mine.

    Isn't this already being done to some extent? If not with whiskeys from different distilleries, then at least with different recipes made within the same distillery or company (read: Beam)?

    > True double-casked bourbon which, to my mind, would be aged in a new, charred
    > oak barrel for some period (e.g., 2 years), and then transferred to another
    > new, charred oak barrel for additional aging.

    Interesting. Expensive as hell, but interesting.

    > Whiskey distilled out at a lower proof than we are accustomed to, even lower
    > than the approximately 110 proof of Wild Turkey, say 90 proof. This would, of
    > course, produce a low proof (maybe 86 at best) final product, but it would be
    > very flavorful.

    This is the other one that's at the top of my list. Seems it might draw people to bourbon who've previously avoided it for clear spirits in mixed drinks.

    > Unlike some others here, I like the idea of finishing bourbon in barrels
    > previously used for something else, like cognac or sherry. I would like to
    > think it could be done for less than $250 a bottle, though.

    Spirits would be OK, but I'm having a hard time imagining the tannins in wine meshing well with bourbon at all. They certainly don't work in the wine barrel-aged beers I've had. Is the Glenmorangie-aged Maker's Mark/Maker's Mark-aged Glenmorangie ever going to see the light of day?

    > As stated elsewhere, an American malt whiskey would be neat.

    Already several of those, though none I've tried have impressed me much. Too young.

    > Finally, I caution everyone against wishing for extremely old bourbons.

    Amen.

    > I have tasted even 10 year old bourbons that had been left in the wood too
    > long.

    Old Bardstown 10 YO, by any chance? What a horrible bourbon. For those who don't think bourbon can be bad, give OB 10 YO a chance.

    The other thing I'd like to see is some barrel experimentation by way of microwaving, as is being tried in Scotland. This could lead to very interesting longer aged whiskeys.

    Stotz



  7. #7
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    Re: Products We Would Like To See

    Ralph:

    > 1. A range of pot-stilled ryes from the primal Monongahela region of PA -
    > some old, some very old (I'm also curious about the effect of aging on rye,
    > and I'm going to ask Mr. Russell about that at Whiskeyfest), and maybe even
    > an all-malted rye.

    See Old Potrero. Don't necessarily drink it, but do see it sometime. I actually like it quite a bit, but my experiences generally don't seem in line with too many others. It wouldn't have quite the bad rap it does if it weren't so prohibitively expensive, I dare say.

    > 2. More barrel-proof single barrel whiskeys from each of the major mashbill
    > types, so we could follow them as they age.

    I think I'm the one of a very few who don't really care about single barrel or barrel proof whiskeys. I can think of only a couple exceptions to the rule that bourbons over 101 proof need water to be at their best. As for single barrel, it seems more a gimmick to me. I'd rather have the barrels vatted if the maker thinks it will make a better whiskey.

    > 3. A barrel-proof version of Knob Creek.

    Prime reason for my above thinking. KC, to me, is verging on the spirity even at its relatively low proof. A ~120 version would ruin its considerable charms.

    Stotz


  8. #8
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    Re: Products We Would Like To See

    Well, since Mark already mentioned us, I was only going to watch. But since you put out a list of everything *I've* always wanted I figure I'd better join in, too...

    * Oat whiskey, either straight oat or oat as a flavor grain in a bourbon-like formula. Likewise other grains, singly and in combinations. If you like wheated bourbon, what about straight wheat?

    I've been saying this ever since I discovered bourbon. Thank you for "legitimizing" my fantasy. By the way, I'm sure you're familiar with Gentleman Jack and how it has so much of a softer, richer "feel" than other JD products. And I suppose you also know that the folks at Lynchburg are uncharacteristically secretive about just how it's made, other than to state that it is not the same mash bill as all other Jack Daniel products. But did you also know that, unlike bourbon, with which it shares many similiarities,
    Tennessee whiskey must be made from 51% of some grain, but not necessarily corn. Could they already be making a whiskey that's predominantly wheat or oats? So far, they ain't a-sayin', but maybe you could find out.

    * Sophisticated bourbon blends, i.e., blends of different bourbons (no GNS or unaged whiskey, no flavoring or color, just aged whiskey)...

    I think that's already going on. Isn't that pretty much what's being done with old Willet stock, old Boone stock, old Glenmore stock? The people who are bottling these products couldn't possibly be using them just straight out of the barrel (some have been around for decades), and there isn't any new Willet or Glenmore or Boone whiskey, so they must be using a little Heaven Hill here, a little Ancient Age there... whatever it takes to make a fine-tasting product. That pretty much sounds like blending bourbon to me. But really that's just "bourbon"; "blended bourbon" is actually a legally defined type. It requires only 51% of the whiskey to be straight bourbon; the rest can be GNS. Since that's a long way from the 70%+ GNS usually found in blended whiskey it's an improvement, but not what you're looking for.

    * True double-casked bourbon which, to my mind, would be aged in a new, charred oak barrel for some period (e.g., 2 years), and then transferred to another new, charred oak barrel for additional aging.

    It's been done. And abandoned. It was the bourbon that got me started on this wonderful trip... Jacob's Well. It was made by selecting casks of aged bourbon, dumping them and marrying to create a product such as would normally have been bottled, and then putting it all back into (I believe) new charred barrels and aged some more. I've never understood why it was always the stepchild brand, left out of the small batch collection. Internal politics I suppose.

    * Whiskey distilled out at a lower proof than we are accustomed to, even lower than the approximately 110 proof of Wild Turkey, say 90 proof. This would, of course, produce a low proof (maybe 86 at best) final product, but it would be very flavorful.

    OOOooooooooo! That would be something to behold. Back in the days when about all you could tell about whiskey's proof was whether it struck a bead or not (or flashed the gunpowder), 100 proof was the "magic number". That's how it came off the still and that's what ya drank (or put into the barrel). I'd like to taste something like that. By the way, @110 is WT's barrel proof, but I think it gets reduced to that from something higher. I don't know what it comes off the still at.

    * Unlike some others here, (Now Chuck, where on earth did you ever get that idea?[grin]) I like the idea of finishing bourbon in barrels previously used for something else, like cognac or sherry.

    So do I, Chuck. Honest. I just think it's a mistake that a loophole in the law allows it to be called "straight bourbon". It fits in perfectly with these other fine suggestions, none of which should be called "straight bourbon". I don't mean to degrade a fine product; I only want to preserve the intent of the "straight bourbon" designation.

    * As stated elsewhere, an American malt whiskey would be neat.

    Someone, I think it was Ryan, said there already are some of these? Maybe he'll tell us what they are and where to get some? This would be American as opposed to Canadian I suppose?

    Other than the desire to see what barrels made of different woods might produce, which I mentioned in another thread, I really can't think of anything you haven't already mentioned. It's really neat reading the responses this topic is getting, though. Thanks, Mark!

    -John Lipman-
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  9. #9
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    Re: Products We Would Like To See

    John's comments caused me to go look at the regulations and what I found surprised me. What I described is perfectly acceptable under the definition of "bourbon," which is now defined rather simply as: "whisky produced at not exceeding 160 deg. proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn and stored at not more than 125 deg. proof in charred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type." The storage has to be for at least two years to add the word "straight."

    I was under the impression that there was a rule that the whisky had to be produced in the same distilling season by the same distiller at the same distillery, but that is just a requirement (one of them) for use of the term "bonded" or "bottled in bond." It is not a requirement for "straight bourbon."

    If different whiskies are used and an age statement is made, the age of the youngest whiskey in the mixture must be the age stated.

    There is a further designation for "a blend of straight bourbon whiskies," but the only difference between that and the definition of "straight bourbon" seems to be that "harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials as stated in 27 CFR 5.23(a)" can be added to the former but not the latter. Another designation exists for "blended bourbon," which John described in his post.

    Interestingly, the term "Tennessee Whiskey" appears nowhere in the regulations.

    On a completely different matter, Jacob's Well was not rebarreled into new cooperage. Essentially they were trying to make a benefit out of what was really just a way of saving warehouse space. Because of evaporation they could take aged whiskey and consolidate 10 barrels into maybe six, but they were six of the barrels they were already using, not new ones.


    --Chuck Cowdery

  10. #10
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    Re: Products We Would Like To See

    The 10-year-old I thought was too woody was 10-year-old Ten High.

    --Chuck Cowdery

 

 

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