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Apparently chill filtering used to be a selling point.


VT Mike
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Are all bourbons chill filtered? If it takes away some of the flavor, what's the point?

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Are all bourbons chill filtered? If it takes away some of the flavor, what's the point?

No they are not, it prevents some bourbons from turning cloudy under certain conditions. Not a real technical answer but that's all I know.

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Does anyone have a list of non-chill filtered bourbons? Is there a way to tell?

The only non-chill filtered bourbon I know I have had is Belle Meade Bourbon. The only reason I know this is because I helped them bottle a couple batches. I got to see the entire process from dumping barrels, proofing and then a basic filter before going into the bottle. All done at room temperature. I specifically asked about the filtering process because I thought it was always done near freezing. I was told they did not want to take away any flavor and the filter they were using was just to remove floaters such as wood, char, dust, etc.

I find Belle Meade Bourbon to be very flavorful. It is different than most other bourbons I have tried and wonder if the non-chill filtering is the difference?

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Most barrel proofers are NCF. I don't know of a definitive list of NCF bourbons, though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Filtering (multiple times) is used as a major selling point for Beer and Vodka (makes them smooooooooooooth), no reason not to do the same for whiskey from a marketing perspective.

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Filtering (multiple times) is used as a major selling point for Beer and Vodka (makes them smooooooooooooth), no reason not to do the same for whiskey from a marketing perspective.

Welllll, maybe ONE reason: To leave in the full representation of barrel influences (flavor, mouthfeel, and aroma). But that's just my own slant. Those of us that like these kinds of things are likely not in the "target demographic" I imagine.

Oh, Well. We'll survive somehow, I guess. We'll just have to sort through those offerings that are less-chill-filtered, or better yet NCF!

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Are all bourbons chill filtered? If it takes away some of the flavor, what's the point?

The point is primarily cosmetic. Whisky bottled at less than 100 proof (most of them) can become cloudy when chilled and that meets with consumer resistance so makers seek to provide what the customers want. Filtered out are fatty acids, proteins, esters and some other naturally occurring trace material that can cause flocking or sedimentation in the finished product. Filtering can also remove unwanted bitterness which arguably improves the taste.

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The only non-chill filtered bourbon I know I have had is Belle Meade Bourbon. The only reason I know this is because I helped them bottle a couple batches. I got to see the entire process from dumping barrels, proofing and then a basic filter before going into the bottle.

Do you recall the head stamps on the barrels?

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All the barrels they have on display either have the Green Brier Distillery or Belle Meade Bourbon logo painted on. I didn't think about checking the barrels as they were being dumped.

They are up front about sourcing their whiskey from MGP in Lawrenceburg, IN.

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I'm sure glad they decided to abandon that step in the process. If only we could convince Scotch distillers to leave well enough alone.
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