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tmckenzie

Has char levels in the barrels increased along with barrel proof?

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squire

Speaking strictly as a consumer Todd, I don't think so because the 'sooty' note in the finished whisky is not present in the white dog.

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Gillman

I think too it would depend on how carbonized that maple charcoal is.

Gary

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squire

I was thinking that as well Gary, the sooty notes we associate with Jack Daniels and George Dickel are not present in Clontarf Irish whisky which undergoes a similar charcoal vat filtration prior to being aged in barrels. I'm not qualified to say charcoal is charcoal is charcoal but the sugar in a sugar maple tree is in the sap, not the wood, and if new make George or Jack were run through a vat of white oak charcoal I question whether it would make much difference.

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Leopold
Speaking strictly as a consumer Todd, I don't think so because the 'sooty' note in the finished whisky is not present in the white dog.

Fascinating. Are you certain that the white dog ran through the char? Or was only a portion run through? Is the white dog at barrel entry strength?

In the end, I can only speak from experience. We charred our sugar maple on site, and then steeped the undiluted new make in the char for several weeks before "filtering" the spirit with a wool blanket. The phenol levels are quite elevated before barreling , and you can already perceive quite a bit of char/wood flavors before it goes into a barrel.

Obviously I can't tell you JD's specific MO when it comes to using the char.... e.g, how many Kg of char per liter of whiskey, etc.

Edited by Leopold

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squire

Couldn't say Todd, I'm not in the orbit of JD's inner circle. Is maple filtering a regular step for your Batch whisky? Have you experimented with the charcoal from other hardwoods?

Edited by squire

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Leopold

Heh. I'm not in orbit at all, apparently.

We started a bottled in bond program which we will accelerate at our new distillery here this year. One of the whiskies is a Tenn. Style whiskey, and that's the process I'm describing. We haven't released it as yet as it has a year or so to go. Sugar Maple is the only wood I've worked with in making our own char.

Mr. Bell and the boys at Corsair distillery are the people to talk to regarding various charred woods. They're doing all kinds of cool stuff out there.

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squire

Thanks for the tip Todd, they're actually within driving distance. Good luck with the project.

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tmckenzie
First of all this is a fascinating topic. Thanks everyone for enlightening me on something I never gave much thought to regarding the differences between individual barrels etc.

I wanted to chime in on the JD taste thing Gillman mentioned. I have a couple of bottles of JD white Dog, one before charcoal mellowing and one after. The after has just a hint of the charcoal but not very prevalent. I was always under the impression that the char taste was a result of the white dog being able to pick up more of the char flavoring from the barrel because of what was stripped out because of the charcoal. Of course I could be completely wrong.

I would be interested in a couple things, the bottles you have where distilled when? I am told there as ben a ton of changes in their process distillation wise. And where did you get them I want some too.

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VAGentleman

My bottles were distilled in 1990 I believe. They are 375ML. I have a friend whose Uncle was a distributor back in the day and JD gave them some pairs of these 1 Day old JD before and after charcoal mellowing to do tastings with customers with. He had an extra pair and gave them to me many years ago. Every now and then I break them out and have a shot of each. They are 86 proof.

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fishnbowljoe

Not sure, but I love the "chewy" last pour from a barrel proofer. :yum:

post-3455-14489818565881_thumb.jpg

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mosugoji64
Not sure, but I love the "chewy" last pour from a barrel proofer. :yum:

Mmmmmmm ... char

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tanstaafl2
Mmmmmmm ... char

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squire

Eric I understand Chinkapin is a member of the White Oak group though I don't know if the staves are interchangeable with White Oak proper for whisky barrel purposes.

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tmckenzie

they have been using it for probably as long as barrels have been being made. all of the cooperages I know of take it. only one, mcginnis, pulls them out when scaling. the reason they do is they make a chinkapin barrel. I have a couple dozen of them with rye, and some with wheated bourbon in them and have been very pleased with them so far. They seem to add more spice notes.

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squire

Tom, that is very interesting.

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sutton

Bump ... up thread there was discussion about adding older whisky to compensate for color loss when distilleries began barreling at a higher entry proof. If dusty whiskies were barreled closer to 100pf and seemed darker, is it due to the fact that some of the color compounds are more water soluble than ethanol soluble? Doesn't WT barrel at a lower barrel entry proof? That bourbon always seemed darker to me, although not sure what it's average age is ... I also thought I read on here that SW also barreled at a lower entry proof. Does the higher water content during aging have to do with more color and simultaneously less char taste in dusties?

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jmj_203

This is a great read, sorry for bumpage if its old. I was fascinated at how dark my bottles of WT101 are, and I knew they barreled at lower entry proof (Esp since my Rare Breed is barrel proof at 108.2), however I never would have thought a lower proof would extract MORE color from the barrel. Cool stuff guys.

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qman22

I can't believe I just stumbled upon this thread now. It was an excellent read! Barrel char changing is something that never really occurred to me. I can't remember the exact thread, but I remember reading that SW barreled at 105 proof.

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squire

That's true, SW used 103-105, depending how it came out of the stills. That could've been one of my posts as I've mentioned that often enough.

Interesting that the Van Winkle and Pappy brands we get today entered the barrel at 125.

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tmckenzie

Water is a better solvent than alcohol. So you get better extraction of color and I think lower proof extracts a different range of flavors than high proof. Lower proof in my experience, we barrel at 100, picks up more maple, butterscotch, coconut, flavors. Higher proof leads to more vanilla and char flavors. It certainly pulls more color in the first year of aging. Have you ever seen pictures or a bottle of lem motlow? I did recently. One year old JD. This bottle was late 70s. It was as dark, or darker than anything they have on the market today. Also, I have noticed there is a more red color to it than amber. With the barrel market as tight as it is, one might be tempted to raise entry proof. Not me.

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jonnyd

Do we think that lower entry proof is at least part of the reason for the difference in ND OGD and JB OGD?

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TheNovaMan

Chemically, that's entirely plausible. Water is a more polar solvent than ethanol, and because ethanol content only increases with age in most bourbon barrels, higher barrel entry proof will decrease the spirit's ability to extract the more polar compounds from the barrel.

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squire
Do we think that lower entry proof is at least part of the reason for the difference in ND OGD and JB OGD?

Yes, we do . . . . . . . . . . .

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jonnyd

That was my assumption just based on tasting the difference in ND OGD 86 vs JB OGD BIB with a splash of water to even it out. A whole lot more of the flavors that Tom was talking about with the lower entry proof.

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