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  1. #1
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    Whisky Bible and Wheated Bourbons

    I have a 2006 copy of Jim Murray's Whisky Bible in which he rates several wheated bourbons. On page 279 he refers to:

    --"Old Rip 12 Years Old" tasting of "lots of rye spice prickles about."

    --"Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Years Old" tasting of "wonderful rye and associated fruitiness."

    --"Old Rip Van Winkle 12 Years Old" tasting of "harder rye and soft corn" and finishing with "liquorish and some gritty rye."

    On page 280 he refers to:

    --"Pappy Van Winkle 23 Years Old" tasting of "forests of oak somehow tempered by the likes of green peppers and sprawling rye."

    So I am confused. I thought all the bourbons above had wheat instead of rye on the mash bill. Is it possible to taste rye where there is no rye? I wonder if later versions of the Whisky Bible have the same tasting notes for these bourbons?

    Cheers,
    Mark

  2. #2
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    Re: Whisky Bible and Wheated Bourbons

    As far as I know, all but the original Pappy 23 have been wheaters, barring Julians ryes of course. Most of it distilled at SW the rest at new Berheim or BT. I guess Jim made a little oops.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Whisky Bible and Wheated Bourbons

    I feel better knowing that the giants in the field occasional miss on their tasting notes. That makes me feel better about the clumsy, amateurish attempts at tasting notes I write.

    Of course, it also points to the greatly subjective nature of tasting whiskey.

    In my mind, it also raises some questions about the influence of expectations on the process. If someone didn't know they were sipping a wheater, I can see how they'd mistake any spicy note as being caused by the rye most of us typically expect in a bourbon.
    Last edited by OldJack; 06-19-2008 at 16:24.

  4. #4
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    Re: Whisky Bible and Wheated Bourbons

    In the books I have read through....there have been lots of errors.
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    Jeff Mo.

  5. #5
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    Re: Whisky Bible and Wheated Bourbons

    Great catch!

    Of course, he also tastes plums, treacle, etc and all kinds of other things that aren't present in the whiskies he reviews.

    Does VW have no rye at all or just a smaller portion than other Bourbons?

  6. #6

    Re: Whisky Bible and Wheated Bourbons

    It may not be an error. The first Pappy 23yo WAS a rye-recipe bourbon, not Stitzel-Weller. Murry generally doesn't take old tasting notes out of his book with each new issue, just adds more recent ones -- thus all the letter and number footnotes in the lengthier ones. Thus, it's possible the note you read was relative that first 1999 Pappy 23yo release, and would be entirely appropriate and accurate.
    That said, I'll repeat what I've posted here on several occasions: one of the pleasures of good S-W bourbon is that is has some notes most often associated with rye-recipe whiskey added to its 'wheat-ness', and thus I've referred to it more than once as "the rye of wheaters".
    Last edited by TNbourbon; 06-19-2008 at 18:00.
    Tim

  7. #7
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    Re: Whisky Bible and Wheated Bourbons

    Hi Guys,

    I believe that the first Pappy 20 was a ryed bourbon. The release after that was wheated. This was straight from the horse's mouth--Julian. I inquired because he told me the original one was a rye formula when he was bringing out the second edition.

  8. #8

    Re: Whisky Bible and Wheated Bourbons

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnHansell View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I believe that the first Pappy 20 was a ryed bourbon. The release after that was wheated. This was straight from the horse's mouth--Julian. I inquired because he told me the original one was a rye formula when he was bringing out the second edition.
    You're quite right, John. Julian has acknowledged that Boone Bros. Distillery was the source of that original ryed 20yo. For reasons known only to himself, he's been coy about the origin of the first 23yo, though he HAS said it, too, is rye-recipe.
    Tim

  9. #9
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    Re: Whisky Bible and Wheated Bourbons

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnHansell View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I believe that the first Pappy 20 was a ryed bourbon. The release after that was wheated. This was straight from the horse's mouth--Julian. I inquired because he told me the original one was a rye formula when he was bringing out the second edition.
    Yep. Mistakes are not only made by authors ....I stand corrected.
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    Jeff Mo.

  10. #10
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    Re: Whisky Bible and Wheated Bourbons

    Thanks, fellas, for the enlightenment.

    Good point, sku. If I can taste cherries in Fighting Cock, Murray ought to be able to taste rye wherever he pleases.

    Cheers,
    Mark

 

 

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