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smokinjoe

Thoughts on "Finished" Bourbons?

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smokinjoe
8 hours ago, CB. said:

I didn't mind the belle mead cognac deal, but man do I despise port finish. Angels Envy has an almost cult following. I think its horrendous. 1792 is tolerable, but its like I'm drink bourbon out of an unwashed wine glass

 

To each their own

Indeed, on all of our individuality.  Port finishes are my favorite.  For me, sherry finished bourbons  don’t work as well as port finishes.  Same  for scotch, where I prefer port.  Cognacs are nice, as has been mentioned above with the SB.Com HHSS.  They need some time, though.  I preferred HHSS-2 over -1 because of the extra time in cognac.  

 

Generally speaking, It’s still early on the learning curve in finishing with most producers who are venturing there, and many are done without a targeted taste profile in mind.  I’m hoping that if they stay with it, and get more data on taste results under their belts, they’ll begin to finish as a means to a desired end, rather than unpredictable result.  

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lcpfratn
I would expect to be in the minority on this one. Fermented grapes don't sit well with me. I don't/can't drink any wine, brandy, cognac, sherry, or champagne. Since most of the "finishes" are done in a previously used fermented grape barrel I don't care for the taste at all. If the pour only has the slighted hint of grape I might be able to tolerate it, but I just usually stay safe and say NO. The glaring exception to this would be Macallam or a couple of other Scotch's where the peat covers the grape well.
 

You certainly didn't care for the BH Dark Rye that I let you try, that's for sure...sorry I put you through that, but I kinda like it.


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Charlutz
6 hours ago, Hop said:

I've bought and tried It took me a several hundred $ lessons to learn this but I've now learned it and pass on all finished bourbons.  In fact I passed on HWMWND at retail this week.

Yup. It cost me some cash to gain the knowledge, but I’ve passed on HWMWND the last two years at retail because of my other experiences with finished whiskey. I had some regrets since it was priced right and a bit scarce, especially given all the love it gets here, but ultimately I have to trust my palate. 

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EarthQuake

I think HWMWND is really good, in general I would say ryes hold up better to secondary finishing than bourbon, rye usually has spice and intensity that helps to balance the secondary flavors. HW is doing a lot of interesting single barrel store pick secondary finished bottles these days which by all accounts are quite nice, though I haven't had a chance to try any of them yet.

 

I haven't tried a lot of secondary finished bourbons, but I've attempted to make my own with small oak barrels, and most of those attempts have failed spectacularly. I've had some success with rye finished in port and Madeira soaked mini barrels though. Finished bourbons that I have liked were Blood Oath #2, but the secondary finish on that was very subtle, and Belle Meade sherry. I've also had the Angel's Envy Rye rum finish which was polarizing, sometimes I loved it, sometimes I hated it, I think I would have preferred less time in the rum barrel.

 

I tend to really like secondary finishes on Scotch and Japanese too. Aberlour A'bunadh, Hibiki 12, Kavalan (especially the cask strength Solist bottles) are all exceptional to my palate. Glenlivit 15 finished in French oak was pretty good too, but not particularly exciting.

 

I have a bottle of the Alberta Rye Dark Batch monstrosity, a blend of bad Canadian rye, beam bourbon, and bad port, which tastes exactly as I've described it: bad. That's not a secondary finish so much as a bottled cocktail though.

 

 

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flahute
6 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

Generally speaking, It’s still early on the learning curve in finishing with most producers who are venturing there, and many are done without a targeted taste profile in mind.  I’m hoping that if they stay with it, and get more data on taste results under their belts, they’ll begin to finish as a means to a desired end, rather than unpredictable result.  

I think you nailed it. As mentioned above, I've been talking to Nancy about this in some detail and am only now appreciating the science behind it and thoughtfulness required to do it properly and get it right. It's not easy and is not a given that it will work.

Some producers get lucky. Other obviously don't.

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coleary0801

Has anybody ever attempted a tequila barrel finished whiskey? I'm not suggesting it would be good, but with all the experimenting going around I'm kind of surprised I've never seen or even heard of something like that. 

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musekatcher
3 hours ago, coleary0801 said:

Has anybody ever attempted a tequila barrel finished whiskey? I'm not suggesting it would be good, but with all the experimenting going around I'm kind of surprised I've never seen or even heard of something like that. 

Which prompts me to ask, and I'm sure its been asked many times, but isn't Scotch a finished product?  Its aged in used Bourbon barrels, correct?  Or is finishing not a subset of aging?  Does finishing have to be a second barrelling?

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dcbt
4 hours ago, musekatcher said:

Which prompts me to ask, and I'm sure its been asked many times, but isn't Scotch a finished product?  Its aged in used Bourbon barrels, correct?  Or is finishing not a subset of aging?  Does finishing have to be a second barrelling?

It wouldn't just be scotch.  Rum, tequila, Irish, lots of wines, pretty much most alcohol that ages uses old bourbon barrels...

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Whiskeythink.com
9 hours ago, coleary0801 said:

Has anybody ever attempted a tequila barrel finished whiskey? I'm not suggesting it would be good, but with all the experimenting going around I'm kind of surprised I've never seen or even heard of something like that. 

This year's Four Kings whiskey, a collaboration of 4 distilleries for chicago's whiskeyfest, will be a bourbon finished in tequilla barrels.

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kevinbrink
6 hours ago, musekatcher said:

Which prompts me to ask, and I'm sure its been asked many times, but isn't Scotch a finished product?  Its aged in used Bourbon barrels, correct?  Or is finishing not a subset of aging?  Does finishing have to be a second barrelling?

Finishing means starts in one barrel ends in the "finishing" barrel, otherwise it would typically say matured in the cask type, that is at least what is typical I'm not sure if there are rules that govern those terms though. 

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kevinbrink
11 hours ago, coleary0801 said:

Has anybody ever attempted a tequila barrel finished whiskey? I'm not suggesting it would be good, but with all the experimenting going around I'm kind of surprised I've never seen or even heard of something like that. 

In Scotch world there was a hubub this week about Diageo trying to age scotch in Don Julio Tequila barrels (a brand they own), the SWA who essentially govern the rules for the Category rejected the request. There seems to be debate as to if it was because Tequila aging would effect the spirit to the point it would not be recognizable as Scotch or if it was because they don't allow the names of brands other than the Scotch brand to be listed on labeling, IE: Talisker Single Malt Scotch finished in Don Julio Tequila Barrels would be bad but Talisker Single Malt Scotch aged in Tequila Barrels would be OK. The only non Tequila products I've had which were aged in Tequila barrels were Copper and Kings 3 Marlenas Apple Brandy and Lost Abbey Agave Maria Barrel aged Strong Ale, I enjoyed both.

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