Eau de Turpentine: Name that Whiskey

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Unread postby angelshare » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:15 am

bourbonv wrote: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.

It sounds like the high fusel oil content is a critical and very intentional part of the production strategy of at JD. I can almost picture executives walking along on the JD tour, hearing the folksy, down-home explanation of TN whiskey making and, all along, winking at eachother as if to say "it's all in the fusel oils!"

It really sounds like either you like the flavor a lot of fusel oils imparts or you don't. It also sounds like in this group I am in a VERY small minority. Tina and I almost always have a bottle of GJ, JD, and JD SB open. It sounds like most folks here will drink it only if offered JD or...nothing.

Yet the JD marketshare is huge. Why is this? Is it ALL marketing? Hard to believe that's the entire explanation, although the marketing is dang good. Or is it that most JD is probably consumed "mixed," and therefore the high fusel oil content that most people here hate when consumed neat somehow turns into a palatal plus when mixed?

I always assumed I liked GJ because of the double LCP and something it does to the whiskey. Is there a difference in the fusel oil content between GJ and standard JD?

Also, I assume that the folks at JD would claim that the "honey barrels" of JD (did I just hear Chuck, Linn and John laughing at that idea?) go into JD SB. Has anybody ever done a private SB tasting at JD or known anybody who has purchased their own barrel? Have retailers like Binny's or Sam's ever chosen their own JD SB? The reason I ask is that, as much as I like JD, I have felt that the JD SB IS marketing - ie, a nice presentation of JD at a higher proof, with slightly less water and 100% markup. Don't get me wrong, I like the SB a lot because the flavor is more intense. But it sure isn't a "Kentucky Spirit" of TN whiskey.

I hope this answered some of your questions.

Mike Veach

As always, we appreciate your sharing your wealth of information!!! :cheers:
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Unread postby Strayed » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:52 am

At the risk of starting another round of "Well, I'm too sophisticated to be seen drinking that stuff" messages :roll: , it should be noted that many of the same people who drink JD also "prefer" Bud or Miller, or Bacardi'n'Coke, or (where I come from) "shottnabeer", meaning Windsor and Rolling Rock. They're not really ordering a drink at all; they're announcing that they're part of the current crowd and not a stranger. It's a uniform thing.
Even though National Prohibition was repealed over 70 years ago, the sentiments that brought it into being in the first place haven't really gone away, even if we don't debate them openly anymore. Socially, most Americans -- especially Americans who go to church and/or have employers -- feel a strong need to make clear that they're not very familiar with "evil" things, and carefully maintain an aura of innocence by going along with the crowd.

I imagine most of us, were we to find ourselves in a rough bar with scary-looking people we don't know, would simply ask (perhaps more loudly than we would at our familar tavern) for JD. And probably not Single Barrel, either. I think maybe a lot of people feel that way most of the time.

:cheers: :cheers:
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Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:27 am

Glad I could help.

I consider taste a very subjective thing and what I like or dislike does not make you wrong if you disagree with my opinions - as long as you respect my opinions as well. John and I have the same disagreement over what I call "musty" flavors in some of the older bottlings of Buffalo Trace - he loves it, I hate it. He likes Elijah Craig and I don't. That does not make either of us wrong in our personal taste, just different and that is what it is all about. If you really love Jack that is great and I hope you continue to do so.

With that said, I will agree with John and say that a lot of Jack Daniel's success is marketing more than taste. I think that is why most bar patrons tend to drink a Jack and Coke instead of Jack straight. I will say that if I drink whiskey and Coke I think Jack is probably the best because it does have a strong enough flavor to compete with the sweetness of the Coke.

While I was at U.D. Chris and I did a taste test of different products and Coke to see how they stood up. We did a vodka, scotch, rum, Jack and Rx bourbon. The interesting thing was every product except Jack and Rx took the fizz right out of the Coke as soon as they were mixed, making the drink very flat and boring (and peaty in the case of the scotch). Jack did have a stronger flavor than Rx.

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Unread postby dgonano » Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:14 am

"shottnabeer", meaning Windsor and Rolling Rock.

You mean a Guggenheimer and a Huedepohl?
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Unread postby cowdery » Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:04 am

Huedepohl aka "Hudy-Pop."
- Chuck Cowdery

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Unread postby sevenmag » Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:25 pm

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

At a Mardi Gras Ball this past Friday night (which is all open bar all night) my two choices were Old Forester and Jack Black. I chose the Forester until I found a room with Turkey 101. The bartenders in that room saw more of me than they should have. Or should I say, I saw more of them than I should have. :wink:

Unread postby mickblueeyes » Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:40 am

Chuck, if you got loads of vanilla from Appleton, it was probably the 21 year (blue and silver label) which is very good.

I am surprised that a lot of you guys don't like Dickel #12. For some reason, I actually enjoy it. (I am a Scotch drinker at heart) [asbestos suit on]

I find the fusel oils discussion very enlightening. I never would have thought any product made in the US would approach that level.
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:17 pm

mickblueeyes wrote:...I am surprised that a lot of you guys don't like Dickel #12...

Of the Tennessee whisk(e)y products, the white-label Dickel #12 is the best of the lot, I think. I can enjoy it. That said, I prefer almost any bourbon to it.
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Unread postby jbohan » Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:39 pm

I haven't found a bar yet where my only choices were JB and JD, most everybody has Maker's .
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