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fishnbowljoe

Old Crow Distillery

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fishnbowljoe

Vosgar, Gavin0791 and I went on a three day, whirlwind trip to the motherland. This was to participate in a barrel pick at BT, along with giving my nephew Mike, aka Galvin0791 an introduction to the bourbon world. We had a great time. Along with seeing the "new" at BT, we got to experience some of the old too. We didn't get to see Castle & Key, but we did stop in at Glen's Creek just down the road. Interesting to say the least. :wacko: 

 

FWIW, Glen's Creek occupies a very small portion of the former Old Crow distillery site. Needless to say, we took advantage of things to check the Old Crow site out too. What can I say? I'm glad we did. I'm pretty sure that Gary and Mike agree. Below are a few pics. 

 

Biba! Joe

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lcpfratn

Thanks for sharing the pics Joe. That place is definitely in pretty rough shape. It certainly would be great if they can somehow save some of those building, especially the stone Old Crow distillery building. I'm still trying to decide whether I want to stop by there after I revisit C&K in a few weeks.


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Galvin0791

Yes, this was definitely one of the cooler stops we made. Both creepy and cool at the same time. I don't remember that guy's name, but his presentation WAS entertaining. I take my hat off to him, and wish him luck. IMG_20180406_165538_403.thumb.jpg.f430923b20c3093b408f06b37397e6e4.jpg

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Richnimrod

Nice pix guys!     Thanx for posting.

Parts of the place shown appear badly deteriorated; but some of it still loox salvageable, at least in the historic preservation meaning of that term.

It would be nice if there was a way to preserve what is there as a tourist destination.    Of course safety would be the first consideration, so maybe it never could happen.     A structural engineer would need to inspect and do extensive testing I'm sure, before a decision could be made to move forward.

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kcgumbohead
5 hours ago, Richnimrod said:

Nice pix guys!     Thanx for posting.

Parts of the place shown appear badly deteriorated; but some of it still loox salvageable, at least in the historic preservation meaning of that term.

It would be nice if there was a way to preserve what is there as a tourist destination.    Of course safety would be the first consideration, so maybe it never could happen.     A structural engineer would need to inspect and do extensive testing I'm sure, before a decision could be made to move forward.

Old Taylor was in comparable shape before C&K got hold of it and its taking years to restore that place, though I am beyond delighted that it is finally happening. I havn't been to the site since just before the C&K group took ownership and well before Glenns Creek started up. From the pics I have seen I am not convinced GC has the financial wherewithal to sustain let alone resurrect the facility, that may not even be in their plans. I would like to see one of the big companies that is circling the crafty pool looking for the next big acquisition take some resources and bring a historic distillery like this back to life. With the current boom and interest in Bourbon tourism this location could be a crown jewel, the history is SO interesting and cool. I wish GC well too, I may stop by there next year as I cant do a KY trip this year. I am intrigued by or maybe now more morbidly curious about the OC5 bourbon. None of you that have been have exactly been overflowing with positives so while its been high on my list of newbies to try, it may be falling back in favor of other options. Would still love to visit the site again so I will probably be there next April.

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fishnbowljoe
1 hour ago, lcpfratn said:

Here is a link to an interesting review including pics of the Glenn’s Creek Distillery that bourbon blogger BourbonGuy.com did in October 2016.

http://www.bourbonguy.com/blog/2016/10/6/a-visit-to-glenns-creek-distillery


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 This pretty much sums up Glenns Creek. David Meier was there when we visited the place. He's a little different, as are his products. I wish I could tell y'all more, but for some reason I just couldn't get a real read on this guy. Same with his products. They're interesting to say the least, but I'm not sure if in a good way or a bad way. :wacko: 

 

Biba! Joe

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Galvin0791

I'll add this (and bear in mind this is from a newb, so grab some salt)...

The first thing that caught my eye was the Stave and Barrel. A double oaked, barrel strength bourbon that was dark. Like...wicked, crazy dark. Intriguing. The sample I tried seemed to agree with me. I believe it's MGP sourced, so I grabbed a bottle. It just might scratch an itch of mine. Time will tell. When I get around to cracking it open, I'll do my best to post my thoughts on this. Til then, keeping my fingers crossed. 

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fishnbowljoe
1 hour ago, Galvin0791 said:

I'll add this (and bear in mind this is from a newb, so grab some salt)...

The first thing that caught my eye was the Stave and Barrel. A double oaked, barrel strength bourbon that was dark. Like...wicked, crazy dark. Intriguing. The sample I tried seemed to agree with me. I believe it's MGP sourced, so I grabbed a bottle. It just might scratch an itch of mine. Time will tell. When I get around to cracking it open, I'll do my best to post my thoughts on this. Til then, keeping my fingers crossed. 

 Atta' boy Mike! ;)

 

Uncle Doucé

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Vosgar
5 hours ago, fishnbowljoe said:

 This pretty much sums up Glenns Creek. David Meier was there when we visited the place. He's a little different, as are his products. I wish I could tell y'all more, but for some reason I just couldn't get a real read on this guy. 

I'm as far from being a master distiller as you can get, but one thing that made me wonder about him was when he talked about how they have distilled some Old Crow using the "original recipe". I asked about how/where he got the yeast. He made a point of telling us that it doesn't matter what or whose yeast is used, it'll all taste the same. Hmmmm..............

 

Am I that far off base?

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lcpfratn
I'm as far from being a master distiller as you can get, but one thing that made me wonder about him was when he talked about how they have distilled some Old Crow using the "original recipe". I asked about how/where he got the yeast. He made a point of telling us that it doesn't matter what or whose yeast is used, it'll all taste the same. Hmmmm..............
 
Am I that far off base?

Hmm...That's certainly different than the story on their website of how they supposedly developed the yeast for their OCD#5 Bourbon from wild yeast that was found in one of the original Old Crow fermentation vats. I can understand how his comment made you go hmmmmmm....


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Richnimrod
18 hours ago, Vosgar said:

I'm as far from being a master distiller as you can get, but one thing that made me wonder about him was when he talked about how they have distilled some Old Crow using the "original recipe". I asked about how/where he got the yeast. He made a point of telling us that it doesn't matter what or whose yeast is used, it'll all taste the same. Hmmmm..............

 

Am I that far off base?

Who was this character?    Yeast, IMO makes a good deal of difference to the profile of most any Bourbon.

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kcgumbohead
On 4/11/2018 at 5:24 PM, Richnimrod said:

Who was this character?    Yeast, IMO makes a good deal of difference to the profile of most any Bourbon.

Indeed and as I found the reclaimed yeast story interesting whether or not it is in fact an actual OC yeast or some wild variation that took up residence in fermenter #5. Crafty’s need a hook, someway to differentiate. IMO a legacy yeast IF it yielded a tasty distillate would be a great thing to hang your hat on, especially on the grounds of OC or the remains of it. Why wouldn’t you maximize that?? C&K is wringing evening they can out of Old Taylor and they look to be doing it well. Take a page from your neighbor and do it right.

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flahute
On 4/10/2018 at 7:48 PM, Vosgar said:

....... I asked about how/where he got the yeast. He made a point of telling us that it doesn't matter what or whose yeast is used, it'll all taste the same. Hmmmm..............

 

Am I that far off base?

Uhhhhhh, you are not off base at all! If that's what this guy really thinks then I don't trust a single other thing that he says.

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Harry in WashDC

A couple thoughts crossed my mind while I am watching Rockies in WashDC vs. Nats tonight (game is tied).  ONE - Anybody heard of the Four Roses recipes?  It sure seems to me that keeping the mash bill constant and changing the yeast makes a taste-able difference.  TWO - Anybody a beer drinker?  If so, you should look up the story about Jacob Christian Jacobsen and the FIRST isolated species of beer yeast (well, an employee, Emil Christian Hansen did it), and J.C. J. then GAVE the pure strain Saccharomyces carlsbergensis  to other brewers making a pale lager.  Industrial brewing was borne, and Carlsberg was the midwife.

 

In other words, what Steve said.  Gary (Vosgar) is asking a rhetorical question; he KNOWS better.

 

ASIDE - This JB Distiller's Cut does sneak up on one.  I wonder what yeast they use in IT?  As long as it doesn't taste like peanuts . . .

 

 

Edited by Harry in WashDC
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Lenient
On 4/9/2018 at 11:08 PM, Galvin0791 said:

Yes, this was definitely one of the cooler stops we made. Both creepy and cool at the same time. I don't remember that guy's name, but his presentation WAS entertaining. I take my hat off to him, and wish him luck. IMG_20180406_165538_403.thumb.jpg.f430923b20c3093b408f06b37397e6e4.jpg

The pics in the OP are cool but I definitely like this one. I might use it as a reference pic for a sketch sometime actually. It seems to fit one of my styles :) 

 

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OCD #5

The "guy", "character" etc. is me. David. I own Glenns Creek Distilling and the former Old Crow distillery. Myself and one of the guys caught "wild" yeast in one of the fermenters (#5). I would say that there is a lot about fermenting that I do not know. The book on yeast is a thick book. Here is the thing- the yeast used to ferment beer, wine or distilled spirits is named saccharomyces cerevisiae. (there are 100,000 or so identified species of SC on the planet. You telling me they are all that much different??) If you go to any of the bourbon distillers that is what is used. FR as mentioned has 5 different versions of yeast and 2 mash bills and then have 10 versions of bourbon. But the aging process will make barrels taste different even if the same distillate went in.

 

As to my statements and beliefs- I do not make any definitive statements unless I have my own evidence. I have personally tried at least 50 versions of saccharomyces cerevisiae including regular old baking yeast. They all work fine. We are not making beer or wine. In those situations the yeast makes a difference. There are three main things that matter with yeast. One- the ability to withstand the alcohol they produce (attenuation). If making wine then it might matter because "regular" yeast can handle up to about 12% ABV. Grain mash only yields about 8% or so. When we do rum we have to cut the molasses with a lot of water to get the potential alcohol to 10%.

 

The next condition is called flocculation. The tendency of yeast to clump together and settle out of the liquid after fermentation. For beer or wine that makes a big difference.  We are going to put it all in a still so it does not matter to us.

 

Then there is the condition most would argue- flavor profile (ester production). There are so many variables that affect the final flavor of an aged distillate that it would be very hard to isolate one thing- the yeast. What I said (or at least meant) is that no matter what yeast I used the FINAL flavor was FINE. The product coming off of the still may vary a little, but it is nearly impossible to differentiate. Maybe they vary a LITTLE. It is really hard to say because a pot still does not produce the same flavor during the run. When we first caught the yeast the flavor was quite different from other yeast I had used (it was the first time I noticed a big difference in flavor. BUT (and this is a big but) yeast mutates over time and also "adapts" to the food it is given. We do not buy yeast that is basically "cloned" in order to get the same DNA strain so it is likely our yeast has mutated over time. Also the flavor can be changed based on temperature during fermentation and other factors. Stressing the yeast gives different flavors. BUT with all the other variables (billions really) if you think you can isolate ONE thing and say that makes "all the difference" then you do not really understand the process.

 

Other factors might include "aggressiveness" of the yeast. How hard and fast it works. Some yeast have adapted abilities (or lost them) to ferment other sugars. There are hybridized "turbo" yeast and I am not talking about them. The "difference" yeast makes depends on many factors and what you are trying to do. We mainly use "wild" yeast because we like the idea of doing things the way people did BEFORE science. People have been fermenting since before written history and DID NOT KNOW what yeast was. The word yeast is from the Greek "zestos" which literally means "to boil." Humans had no idea that yeast even existed and yet they fermented.

 

I will admit that what we do with our yeast is not always "correct" according to modern science. We do not treat the yeast "properly" etc. But nature does what nature does and our final product is liked by many people so that is what matters. 

 

To those of you who think that any single variable is the secret to the final product  I invite you to come to the distillery and learn the FACTS! Much of what you have been told and heard is incorrect. I have tested and have evidence. I am happy to share that.

 

Edited by OCD #5

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Harry in WashDC
7 hours ago, OCD #5 said:

The "guy", "character" etc. is me. David. I own Glenns Creek Distilling and the former Old Crow distillery. Myself and one of the guys caught "wild" yeast in one of the fermenters (#5). I would say that there is a lot about fermenting that I do not know. The book on yeast is a thick book. Here is the thing- the yeast used to ferment beer, wine or distilled spirits is named saccharomyces cerevisiae. (there are 100,000 or so identified species of SC on the planet. You telling me they are all that much different??) If you go to any of the bourbon distillers that is what is used. FR as mentioned has 5 different versions of yeast and 2 mash bills and then have 10 versions of bourbon. But the aging process will make barrels taste different even if the same distillate went in.

     *     *     *     *     *

I will admit that what we do with our yeast is not always "correct" according to modern science. We do not treat the yeast "properly" etc. But nature does what nature does and our final product is liked by many people so that is what matters. 

 

To those of you who think that any single variable is the secret to the final product  I invite you to come to the distillery and learn the FACTS! Much of what you have been told and heard is incorrect. I have tested and have evidence. I am happy to share that.

 

[END OCD #5 quote.]  [START my reply.]

 

THANKS for responding at length.  As the human who mentioned the stuff about beer yeasts (which I've studied informally during my home brewing years) and 4R's recipes (which I love - some more than others) AND who has no connection with distilleries and breweries other than consuming more than my fair (HECK, even UNfair) shares of their products over the last 50+ years, I am glad you took the time.  I just reread the whole thread, and I, at least, am pretty sure we are ALL agreeing here.  We SBers, back in April 2018, had had several threads - lay person and professional person alike commenting - on the effect of wood, age, temp, barrel size, grain source (especially re: different rye strains), and even still design on the final product.  The initial posts here in this thread focused on "yeast" probably because your capture of yours also captured our imagination, thus allowing us to address yet another factor.  Hence, we overreacted and likely misunderstood (for sure in my case) a comment attributed to you early on that it doesn't matter whose yeast is used, it'll all taste the same.  THAT led me (and likely others here) to think you were saying that ONLY the OTHER factors (wood, age, etc.) affect the end product when most of us thought different yeast strains have at least SOME effect when combined with all the others variables.  Yeast is why some of us get "peanut" in younger Beam products, banana in lower proof Jack Daniels, and OGD 80 doesn't taste like other Beam products of similar age and proof.  And, of course, the skill of the master distiller in balancing all those variables cannot be ignored. 

 

The bottom line for me and I suppose for most of us here, like you, is: "How does it taste?"  So, WELCOME to SB.  I, for one, sure look forward to your sharing your thoughts AND YOUR PROGRESS on Old Crow.  That was my Dad's favorite, and daily bourbon for over 30 years.

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flahute
16 hours ago, OCD #5 said:

I invite you to come to the distillery and learn the FACTS! Much of what you have been told and heard is incorrect. I have tested and have evidence. I am happy to share that.

 

Why do you assume that most of us here have been told incorrect information and that we believe it?

There's an incredible amount of knowledge on this board. Knowledge obtained over long periods of time through conversations with the distillers.

Speaking for myself, I've spent a lot of time with Jim Rutledge, learning from him, asking questions. He freely shares his knowledge. 

We have Nancy Fraley here as a member sharing her knowledge. All steps in the process matter. Yeast matters. Temperature of fermentation matters. The still matters. It all matters.

Distilling good whiskey is hard. Really hard. It's why the majors are so good at it. They've been doing it for 50,60, 100 years. They've figured it out.

Most of the craft distillers don't know what they are doing. Given enough time, they might figure it out. But how much time do they have?

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The Black Tot

Back to the start of the thread's point, I'd love to see Old Crow get the Castle and Key treatment.

 

Kind of surprised it hasn't happened by now.

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Vosgar
3 hours ago, The Black Tot said:

Back to the start of the thread's point, I'd love to see Old Crow get the Castle and Key treatment.

 

I agree Paul, but it would take a whole lot more than a shitload of money to resurrect the place. At this point in time, I would guess it's too late to be economically feasible unless some investors think the boom is going to continue for a lot longer than I do. 

 

However, it was a lot of fun to check it out. Would be a great place to film a horror movie! :) 

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PowderKeg

IIRC, I read somewhere that OCD #5/ Glenn's Creek would like to resurrect the distillery proper someday, but wanting to and having the bankroll/backing to do so are distinctly different affairs....

 

Going by the multiple Restoration and later regular tours I've taken at C&K, they've spent FAAAAR more $$$ and time on resurrecting the property than they first planned - or ever imagined in their worst nightmares.  They have done an exceptional job, with more plans on the horizon.

 

Condition of the primary distillery building might be similar to what C&K faced with the castle (except for the big @as hole they pounded out to remove the still and/or boilers?), and the bottling line building GC occupies now one would assume is plenty serviceable.  But they appear to be rickhouse poor - the 2 small ones remaining look to be in gawdawful condition - at least C&K had 2 large ones to work with/re-rick (although the one took a crap-ton of additional work too).

 

One can continue to hope though...

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