Eau de Turpentine: Name that Whiskey

Talk about Tennessee, American and Rye Whiskey here.

Moderators: Brewer, brendaj

Eau de Turpentine: Name that Whiskey

Unread postby cowdery » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:10 am

At an event last night, we were tasting Gentleman Jack. All of the tasting samples, in wine glasses, had been poured before we arrived and topped with paper lids to concentrate the nose. When we "opened" the Gentleman Jack, Terry Sullivan--who was sitting next to me--and I looked at each other and grimaced. I've always described that first blast of Jack as solventy, like shellac. Terry said "turpentine," which I agree is closer to the mark.

As I thought about it later, I realized that I feel embarassed for Brown-Forman everytime they try to present Jack Daniel's as a fine spirit. I'm sorry, it just isn't.

The other products we sampled, on the other hand, surely were:

  • Appleton Estate Rum (One of the extra-aged expressions, I forget which). Very good; sweet, rich, with nice vanilla from the oak (refilled Jack Daniel's casks, by the way).
  • Woodford Reserve Distillers Select Bourbon.
  • Ardbeg Uigeadail Single Malt Scotch. Very smoky and flavorful, as unsubtle as a bourbon.
  • Amarula Cream Liqueur (from South Africa, made from the fruit of the Marula tree). Imagine Bailey's but instead of whiskey, something I can best describe as fig brandy for the underlying spirit.
- Chuck Cowdery

Author of Bourbon, Straight
User avatar
cowdery
Registered User
 
Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:07 pm
Location: Chicago

Unread postby tlsmothers » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:21 am

Jack often smells like bananas to me, but I've never got the shellac thing. I agree that it doesn't rate as a fine spirit. Like the single barrel version best of all.

Interesting little line up of tastings there. I sell the Amarula and enjoy it quite a bit. Keep some in the fridge for a little night cap every so often. Quite good with ice cream shakes.
"Drinking just to get drunk is like having sex just to get pregnant." --Robert Hess
User avatar
tlsmothers
Registered User
 
Posts: 353
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2004 2:31 pm
Location: New York City

Unread postby TNbourbon » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:41 am

Honestly, I can't keep my nose in a glass of any JD long enough to evaluate the aromas. Shellac, turpentine -- well, could well be. Simply put, I don't like it, nor the taste that much. I won't spit it out, but I won't put myself in position of having to decide very often.
Ironically, the GJ is the best of the lot, as far as I'm concerned, though that's not saying much.
If I have to drink Tennessee whiskey, give me Dickel #12.
TNbourbon
Registered User
 
Posts: 430
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:11 pm

Unread postby cowdery » Fri Nov 12, 2004 2:29 am

LeNell makes a good point about bananas, though I would say overripe bananas or artificial banana flavoring, like a bad banana-flavored candy.

The event was Brown-Forman's "Women of High Spirits," an interesting little road show they're doing featuring five women who are leaders on the production side of those five products. Only one is a distiller, however, Caroline Steger, PhD, who is Master Distiller at Amarula. Pretty good for age 29.
- Chuck Cowdery

Author of Bourbon, Straight
User avatar
cowdery
Registered User
 
Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:07 pm
Location: Chicago

Unread postby angelshare » Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:07 am

TNbourbon wrote:Honestly, I can't keep my nose in a glass of any JD long enough to evaluate the aromas. Shellac, turpentine -- well, could well be. Simply put, I don't like it, nor the taste that much. I won't spit it out, but I won't put myself in position of having to decide very often.
Ironically, the GJ is the best of the lot, as far as I'm concerned, though that's not saying much. If I have to drink Tennessee whiskey, give me Dickel #12.


I know some of you are familiar with my view on this, but I may as well expose my unsophisticated palate to all:

I like JD! I like the SB, I like GJ, I like plain ol' Jack Black; Jack Green was okay last I had it, but I'll admit that's been years.

My view is that TN whiskey is (despite the near identical production process) when it comes to palate, a completely different animal from bourbon. That charcoal does SOMETHING dramatic to the flavor that one either likes or one doesn't. Maybe it is functionally a short-cut for aging, but so be it.

I like GJ the best of all the TN whiskeys, and I think it's because that charcoal altered flavor is most prominent. The SB is a close second, but I think it's closeness is only because the proof is higher and the flavor a bit more concentrated. I bet at 94 proof, I would like GJ even better.

Dickel #12 is good, but the alteration less dramatic; therefore, I personally think that's why most who dislike the Lincoln County Process flavor will somewhat reluctantly designate Dickel 12 as "drinkable."

Discussions of marketing and proof lowering aside, I think JD makes a distinctive product line. There really is nothing else like it.

Dare I ask if anyone else here likes JD?
Dave & Tina
angelshare
Registered User
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:09 pm
Location: Luray, VA

Unread postby bunghole » Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:07 pm

Chuck you have my deepest sympathy. As near as I can tell Gentleman Jack is Polish Whiskey. I can't prove it, but it tastes bad enough to be true.

:arrow: ima :roll:
User avatar
bunghole
Registered User
 
Posts: 2158
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:42 am
Location: Stuart's Draft, Virginia

Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:11 pm

Linn,
To me Gentleman Jack is a classic brown vodka - very little flavor to talk about. The big difference between Jack and George is the yeast. Jack uses multiple yeast strains and goes for the high fusel oil content. George uses a single strain with a much lower fusel oil content. George also chills the whisky in the "mellowing vat" removing more fusel oil than Jack (unless it is a cold winter day and the heat is out). This makes for two very different products. I don't care as much for Jack as George, but I know people who love it. To each their own.
Mike Veach
User avatar
bourbonv
Registered User
 
Posts: 4070
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: Louisville, Ky.

Unread postby angelshare » Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:33 pm

angelshare wrote: Dare I ask if anyone here likes JD?


TNbourbon wrote: I can't keep my nose in a glass of any JD long enough to evaluate the aromas...Simply put, I don't like it, nor the taste that much


bunghole wrote:Chuck you have my deepest sympathy...it tastes bad...


cowdery wrote:...like a bad banana-flavored candy.


bourbonv wrote:Linn,
To me Gentleman Jack is a classic brown vodka - very little flavor to talk about.


Hmmm....although these comments were not directly addressed to me, I'm getting the impression that the answer to my question is NO! :lol:

The big difference between Jack and George is the yeast. Jack uses multiple yeast strains and goes for the high fusel oil content. George uses a single strain with a much lower fusel oil content. George also chills the whisky in the "mellowing vat" removing more fusel oil than Jack (unless it is a cold winter day and the heat is out). This makes for two very different products.


Thanks for the lesson, Mike! I always attributed the distinction between the two as having to do with the Lincoln County Process and how each distillery implemented it somehow. I'm not doubting your statement, but is there any significant difference in how each implements the LCP that would account for some flavor difference? Or do you think the LCP is just not that big a deal in terms of the flavor at all?

Can you elaborate more on how they "go for" a higher fusel oil content at JD? Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not sure I understand what part of distillation/filtering this may involve.

I don't care as much for Jack as George, but I know people who love it. To each their own.


Thanks for the "palatal relativity," too! :lol:
Dave & Tina
angelshare
Registered User
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:09 pm
Location: Luray, VA

Unread postby bunghole » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:24 pm

I was dumb enough to buy a bottle of Dickel #12 two years ago. It was DRAIN-O!

I bought my step son a bottle of Jack Single Barrel for Christmas and it did taste quite good. I enjoyed it after he opened it Christmas morning.

Dickel is way WAY overaged! It's no wonder they have touble selling it. Apparently Deiago is having some trouble selling the Dickel Distillery. No takers. At least not at the price they're asking. Whatever that amount may be. Pity.

:arrow: ima :pottytrain5:
User avatar
bunghole
Registered User
 
Posts: 2158
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:42 am
Location: Stuart's Draft, Virginia

Unread postby bourbonv » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:29 pm

When I was at United Distillers, our quality control person told me Jack Daniel's is higher on the fusel oil content than any other American Whiskey. Most bourbons run about 400-600 parts while Jack runs about 1,400. Fusel oils are the other alcohols and compounds created by the yeast that can add flavor in small amounts, but be deadly in large amounts. Jack wants alot of fusel oil for flavor and a tell-tale sign of this is the cleaning fluid or varnish smell Chuck was describing.

The Lincoln County Process is a very deep subject. Yes it does change the flavor of the product. I have seen studies done by Schenley when they researched the process for Dickel. There are many cubic feet of records dealing with the process. The thing that is most important as far as taste is that it changes the ph of the product making it less acidic and sweeter.

There is a difference in the process between Jack and George and that is the chilling of the process at Dickel. That does take more vegtable oils out of the process. Another difference that they would not talk about at the distilleries, but I am sure it does make a difference, is the volume produced. Jack is so much larger in volume produced that I am sure that is going to change the process (more changes of the charcoal, charcoal used longer, etc...).

Another thing to consider is the recipe. The different chemical composition because of the different yeast may react differently with the charcoal. The grain recipe may also make a difference. I am not sure a wheated bourbon would be improved at all by the Lincoln County Process.

I hope this answered some of your questions.

Mike Veach
User avatar
bourbonv
Registered User
 
Posts: 4070
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: Louisville, Ky.

Unread postby cowdery » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:31 pm

If, as often happens in bars, my only choices are Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's, I'll usually have Jim.

Or a Jameson's.

Or beer.

But if forced by circumstances to drink Jack I don't find it onerous. I just like a lot of things better.
- Chuck Cowdery

Author of Bourbon, Straight
User avatar
cowdery
Registered User
 
Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:07 pm
Location: Chicago

Unread postby bunghole » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:48 pm

Well drinking George Dickel these days is like being forced to have sex with Martha Stuart (at gun point) without Vasaline. It's just way WAY over-aged! And dry.

:arrow: ima :roll:
User avatar
bunghole
Registered User
 
Posts: 2158
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:42 am
Location: Stuart's Draft, Virginia

Unread postby Mark » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:50 pm

cowdery wrote:But if forced by circumstances to drink Jack I don't find it onerous. I just like a lot of things better.


I feel the exact same way Chuck. It's not vile or anything to me, just not something I would go out and buy a bottle of to drink at home. I can handle the single barrel best but even that, for the price, is not up to par with many many other pours at the same pricerange.

As for Dickel, I've only had their #12 once and I didn't find it to be exceptional in any way. Again, like Jack, not something I would go out and buy a bottle of unless it changes and I hear very good things about it from others.
-=_Mark_=-
User avatar
Mark
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
 
Posts: 2269
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: SI, NY

Unread postby bourbonv » Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:25 pm

I don't dislike Jack in the same way I dislike Elijah Craig - I will drink it in a pinch. Jack single barrel is my favorite.
Mike Veach
User avatar
bourbonv
Registered User
 
Posts: 4070
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: Louisville, Ky.

Unread postby Strayed » Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:23 am

Ima said...
Chuck you have my deepest sympathy. As near as I can tell Gentleman Jack is Polish Whiskey

Linn, did you mean "Polish" as in, "Citizen of Warsaw" or as in "Kiwi for Shoes"? I think the latter has some merit as far as JD is concerned. :laughing5:
=JOHN= (the "Jaye" part of "L & J dot com")
http://www.ellenjaye.com
User avatar
Strayed
Registered User
 
Posts: 303
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:58 am
Location: Ohio-occupied No. Kentucky (aka Cincinnati)

Next

Return to Non-Bourbon Whiskey

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests