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Thread: Rocket Science

  1. #1
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    Rocket Science

    What is a 'single batch' bourbon? Does it even exist? A while back someone posted a question about 'single batch bourbon'. Chuck Cowdery advised the poster to think of bourbons 'Bottled In Bond' as single batch bourbons, but is that really true?

    Pretty damn close is what I say. Single Barrels do make the grade as each barrel can only come from a single batch. Bonded bourbons need only come from a single season - either spring or fall. BIB's can spring forth from any number of batches.

    To me a 'single batch' bourbon must come from the same 'run' from a single fermenter. Which is to say that all of the whiskey that is distilled from that single fermenter is barreled and marked as such and aged together.

    Distillers know the best rackhouses and the best floors to age their whiskey until it becomes bourbon. Of that you can be sure. They may not tell us the exact truth about it, but rest assured thay do know what they are doing.

    I for one would love to see true 'single batch' bourbons become a reality. They could be better than single barrel bourbons in that they can have the charms of being married to one another, and their flavor profiles more easily replicated. Disappointing barrels would be culled and dumped into some other marriage.

    Another plus could be simple screening rather that true filtration. Bourbon is dumped out of the barrel through a very fine series of screens or sieves before any charcoal or chill filtration is undertaken.

    It would be very easy to ; dump, sieve, and marry the selected barrels of a single batch and bottle at barrel proof.

    No gags. No gimmicks. Pure bourbon in real time.

    I know a lot of bourbon industry folks read this forum everyday. This is what I would like to see happen.

    Big time winners like Knob Creek; Russell's Reserve and Woodford Reserve show the true potential of that general direction. That's a path distillers should explore more fully. I'd just like the distillers to go that 'extra mile'.

    Single batch bourbon. It ain't rocket science. It's Bourbo-science, and tastes much better!

    Pants Away!


    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  2. #2
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    Re: Rocket Science

    AMEN to that, Brother Linn!!



    Preach On MAN!!

    TomC


  3. #3
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    Re: Rocket Science

    I wish i could just get a bottle of the stuff that pours out of the barrel... put a funnel on the top of the bottle and drill the barrel open... I can 'screen' out stuff on my own, and it may even add 'character' or 'authenticity' to the brand... Along the same lines, i can add water if i like...

    I have also heard that one of the main reasons for chill filtering is to the bourbon looks more attractive when in a glass of ice... I can't imagine someone who is 'enlightened' enough to want barrel proof bourbon unfiltered is going to cry about cloudy looking bourbon... Or am i missing something?



  4. #4
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    Re: Rocket Science

    Great idea, Linn! It doesn't sound like it would demand complicated changes in dumping and bottling - some good batch information (a' la Blantons) would make our learning process much more fun. We'd be sophisticated and learned, and we'd sound like winies or s****hies in our erudite speculations. Well, maybe not...

    Ralph


  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: Rocket Science

    Wasn't Bill Samuels Jr supposed to be a rocket scientist?

    Bobby Cox

  6. #6
    **DONOTDELETE**
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    Re: Rocket Science

    Ralph what goes on at Buffalo Trace with Blanton's and Elmer T. Lee is very simular to what I am talking about. BT has the largest fermenters of any bourbon distillery. They're 92,000 gallons. BT runs two of these a day. As the high wines come off the final distillation they go into a stainless steel holding tank where the proof is adjusted down to 125 proof for barreling. The barrels that will become either Blanton's or Elmer T. Lee are simply taken from the filling station right to warehouse H for aging. They are not special barrels that have been identified as such from other 'houses and then moved to H.

    Anyway it would be very easy for a distillery to accomplish a single batch bourbon and it would make for great marketing strategy. I'd like a low barrel proof of 110 like Wild Turkey.

    Oh and Chris anything over 100 proof isn't going to cloud up on you so you won't be missing a thing.

    Bobby I'd heard that about Bill Samuels, but I don't know if it's true.

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  7. #7
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    Playing Devil\'s Advocate

    Linn Said = "Big time winners like Knob Creek; Russell's Reserve and Woodford Reserve show the true potential of that general direction. That's a path distillers should explore more fully. I'd just like the distillers to go that 'extra mile'."


    Playing Devil's Advocate for a second, why should they?? I mean they already have the "Big Time Winners" in the Small ("We will define it however we feel like at this moment") Batch category and they don't have to work at it nearly as hard because they have greater cross section of barrels to work with. They don't have to worry as much that way.

    Though I agree about the unfiltered, Barrel Proof versions and how they should be more prolific in number, just what would be the great point of having siingle batch bourbon, besides more marketing hype???


    Tom (the curious little. . . .) C



  8. #8
    **DONOTDELETE**
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    Re: Playing Devil\'s Advocate

    Tom asked "Why should they?" There would be a tremendous amount of honesty contained in such a bourbon. No blending just culling any disappointing barrels. People like us that already buy high end bourbons would just have to buy more. The potential for good profit margins is certainly there. The marketing 'one upmanship' of single batch being closer to a single barrel than so called 'small batch' bottlings. Jim Beam's fermenters are pretty damned big too. Somewhere around 45,000 gallons I believe, or about half a BT batch.

    The real reason that distillers should do this is because that is what I want to drink!

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  9. #9
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    Re: Playing Devil\'s Advocate

    Amen to that!

    thats what i wanted to hear, anything that would drive the distillers to make the product better cant be a bad thing!! I envision single batch bourbons being like what my naive soul thought the small batchers really were.


    TomC


  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Rocket Science

    "Single Batch" is a term I created as an alternative to "bottled in bond," which has such an archaic sound to it. The definition of "Single Batch," as I proposed it, is the same as "bottled in bond," that is, a whiskey that was made at one distillery, in one season, by one distiller. Those are what I call the "singularity" requirements. I like the other bonding requirements too -- minimum age of four years and minimum proof of 100 -- but those requirements don't make it "single."

    "Small Batch," as distinguished from "Single Batch," is a term coined by Jim Beam that doesn't really have a definition, except that the brands so called tend to be low volume. Other companies have also used the term to describe their ultra-premium, low volume offerings. To the best of my knowledge, no one has used the term "Single Batch."

    As for chill filtering, it is the wholesalers and retailers who demand it. If they let their store (or warehouse) get cold and the whiskey hazes up, they think there's something wrong with it and want their money back, as they are convinced that the consumer won't buy hazy whiskey. Although most consumers aren't consciously aware of it, it is no accident that all bottles used for straight whiskey are clear. In other words, haze wouldn't be an issue if the bottles were tended, as they are for brown vodka (i.e., Canadian Whisky).

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

 

 

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