Georgia Peach Flavored Whiskey

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Georgia Peach Flavored Whiskey

Unread postby Mike » Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:43 am

Being from Georgia, I do love peaches (although I have often found South Carolina peaches to be more better.........why, I don't know, unless Georgia sends the best of its crop out of state). And I also love whiskey. So, says I to my own self, 'why not try all both together', as I was looking a couple of weeks ago at a bottle of George Peach Flavored Whiskey on the shelf at 'my' liquor. Nikko saw the opportunity and sold me on trying it.

It is made by Leopold Bros out of Anne Arbor Michigan. It is quite heavy, thick, and strongly flavored. It is not peach flavored cheap whiskey. The peach flavors are concentrated, intense, peachy, and raisiny with a hint of vanilla and some dry tannins from the wood.

The whiskey holds back until mid palate and really only reveals itself at the back of the mouth where a hint of rye peaks out. The alcohol is mild, being only 60 proof.

An interesting combination of flavors that I enjoy very much. Maybe too sweet for some palates, but because the peach flavor is so intense, and the wood tannins jab at your mouth, the sweetness is contained.

The whiskey, with its mild rye bite, plays yang to the sweetness yin, making the whole experience worthwhile.

Todd Leopold, Master Distiller at Leopold Brothers, has put some skill and effort into making this stuff and also makes a number of other spirits and flavored whiskies as well.

Now, I'm gone put a dribble on Barleycorn's pork chop and see what he do say. He got a bit of a sweet tooth and his love of whiskey is legendary.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Unread postby gillmang » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:15 am

For more on this distiller, see http://www.leopoldbros.com

It is a pub-and-distillery in Ann Arbor, Michigan, good concept.

The description of the blackberry whiskey states that new-make whiskey is blended with the said fruit and aged in used charred barrels for up to a year.

The description of the peach whiskey is less precise, stating that peaches are added to a "refined" "American whiskey", also aged for a time in said reused barrels. So it isn't clear to me if the distillery is using its new-make whiskey for this compound too, or buys a ready-made whiskey (and if so, what kind exactly) off-site.

Whatever the story, the products sound interesting.

The mash bill for their vodka is given, but there is no indication of whether this is the same as for the new-make whiskey used for the blackberry whiskey. Since they use the term "new make whiskey", I would think they mean a cereal mash is used but meeting the whiskey criterion, i.e., the spirit is distilled under 190 proof.

That peach whiskey might make a good "Rusty Nail", i.e., married 50/50 with any good bourbon.

Gary
Last edited by gillmang on Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Mike » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:31 am

gillmang wrote:Whatever the story, the products sound interesting.

That peach whiskey might make a good "Rusty Nail", i.e., married 50/50 with any good bourbon.

Gary


It is a good product in my judgement, rich in flavors. I was thinking, in addition to just sipping, of using it on cake or ice cream, but will certainly give your idea a try, Gary.

I can see some good possibilities in cooking also. I like to do a pork loin roast with a few spices, cream, apples and Calvados. I have on occasion put in some raisins, but I bet a wee skosh of Peach Whiskey would work in place of the raisins. I could see it doing chicken a favor too. And, in a salad dressing.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Georgia Peach Flavored Whiskey

Unread postby EllenJ » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:30 pm

Mike wrote:Now, I'm gone put a dribble on Barleycorn's pork chop and see what he do say

WOOF!! Huh-ha Huh-ha Huh-ha!! (sp? oh, well Barleycorn won't read it anyway)
To which I say (in modern bi-linqual American) "Holy S###! Me too! Me too!/¡Mierda del Santas! ¡Yo también! ¡Yo también!"

By the way, what you've got there is the real deal (or pretty close) to what Southern Comfort was before it became a mild peach liqueuer. That's why so many people group it with the bourbon whiskeys, even though there's no bourbon (or even whiskey) in it.

I'm glad to see someone is making products like these, and thanks for the tasting notes!
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Unread postby EllenJ » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:36 pm

Now that I think of it, I KNOW Barleycorn will love it.
And it's BECAUSE he can't read. Or at least, not well...
He thinks the label says "Pooch Whiskey"

Dada DAH da-da dahhhh! TISHHH!
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Unread postby cowdery » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:48 pm

Actually, Southern Comfort does contain bourbon. It didn't at the time Brown-Forman bought the brand now almost 20 years ago, but at some point since then they reformulated it and it now contains something like 20% bourbon, Old Forester, I believe.
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Unread postby EllenJ » Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:45 pm

That's Southern Comfort Reserve.
The normal Southern Comfort remains neutral spirit based.

Both are very tasty, though.

I remember (vaguely) a certain Fourth of July that involved sitting for hours on my friend's lawn, sipping SC and waiting for darkness and the fireworks to begin.

Now, Southern Comfort has long held a reputation for affecting your legs before it affects your mind or your vision -- so you don't KNOW how much you're actually drinking.

We sat there all afternoon.

The fireworks started.
We all stood up.
The only thing I remember past that was being laid in my buddy's back seat and watching the pretty lights go by as they carted me home.

To its credit, I don't recall being sick or hungover the next morning. That probably wouldn't have been the case with something as flavorful (and as fusal) as what Mike was describing.

Still, aspirin's cheap, and it would have been worth it even so.
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Unread postby gillmang » Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:00 pm

John, that's a good story. :)

I'll let Chuck say more, but he has reported elsewhere that regular SC has for some years also contained a proportion of real bourbon.

SC used to be (for much of the 20th century anyway) all GNS-based but sometime in the last few years the formulation changed to include some bourbon.

Your experience must have pre-dated the change if you noticed no fusel taste.

I did a comparison test, with others, of current SC and one from over 10 years ago and it was clear from these that the switch did occur in that period sometime. Current SC is very flavourful with an undercurrent of bourbon flavor. Also, Chuck reported that real fruit extracts are now used, nothing artificial. That was another change in the formulation some years ago.

I sometimes take SC with a dash of further bourbon added.

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Unread postby cowdery » Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:19 pm

Nothing much to add to what Gary said except to reinforce that regular Southern Comfort, sold in the USA, does now contain about 20% bourbon. Chris Morris told me so and I stood there and watched them make it. I worked on the brand 20 years ago and don't know when they started to include bourbon in the recipe (Chris didn't know either), but it was since then, maybe ten years ago but that's just a guess. Southern Comfort Reserve, which I think is only in export, actually says so on the label, but all SC contains bourbon now.

I know this isn't what you meant, John, about legs, but Southern Comfort has been called the Old Leg Spreader.
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Re: Georgia Peach Flavored Whiskey

Unread postby Mike » Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:35 pm

EllenJ wrote: and thanks for the tasting notes!


I showed this to Barleycorn and he said, 'Must be a mistake'.

I say, 'Thanks, John!'
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Unread postby Mike » Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:47 pm

cowdery wrote:I know this isn't what you meant, John, about legs, but Southern Comfort has been called the Old Leg Spreader.


I haven't tried SC in many, many, years. My memory of it includes a devasting hangover and my attempt to spread legs resulted in a stinging face..........hard as I tried, I never was able to be 'cool'.........and still can't!!

Ah, well, I got a talking dog (or he has me)........there is some southern comfort in that.

I will see can I dig up a bottle of Southern Comfort and throw it agin my bottle of Georgia Peach Flavored Whiskey. Most likely I will report back.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:30 pm

c'mon Mike, Georgia Peach Whiskey made in Ann Arbor Michigan????
Give me a break.
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Unread postby Mike » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:35 pm

JoeBourbon wrote:c'mon Mike, Georgia Peach Whiskey made in Ann Arbor Michigan????
Give me a break.
Joe


These are creative folks, Joe! They are thinking about making some Pennsylvania scrapple whiskey.............now you wouldn't hold that agin them Michiganders would you?
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Unread postby EllenJ » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:05 pm

Mike wrote:... ...They are thinking about making some Pennsylvania scrapple whiskey...

What is this, Jones Soda?

Cowdery wrote:I know this isn't what you meant, John, about legs, but Southern Comfort has been called the Old Leg Spreader

EEeeeeoooooo! Who wants to spread old legs? Yuchhhh!

I'll have to make like Mike and try some of the 20% bourbon and natural flavorings SC. What I was talking about would've been about '74 or '75. Chuck, that was most likely a European page where I read that, since it mentioned Reserve and made that distinction. Frankly, though, I think I'd be much more interested in the original Peach Whiskey product.
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Unread postby Mike » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:46 am

I emailed Todd Leopold at Leopold Brothers distillery to let him know that we were discussing one of his products. He promptly replied with an informative email that he also allowed me to post here.

Sorry JoeBourbon, the PA scrapple whiskey is not in their plans..........I made that up..........and you knew that too, didn't you? Hope you ain't holding that agin me.

Here is the exchange with Todd.

From: "Mike Bowers" <mandpbowers>
> With your permission, I will post your reply on BourbonEnthusiast.
> There is a lot of information here that our members will find
> interesting. They will be keen to follow your progress toward making
> Straight Bourbon. There have been a number of threads on BE about
> craft distillers making bourbon and everyone is anxious for it to
> happen.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: leopoldbros@comcast.net [mailto:leopoldbros@comcast.net]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:13 PM
> To: Mike Bowers
> Subject: Re: Review of one of your products on a major bourbon web site
>
> Well, thank you so much for the critical input, Mike!
>
> To answer a few of the queries I read on the threads.....
>
> 1. This is indeed meant to be an updated version of Southern Comfort
> in the sense that I knew that SoCo was meant to be a
> peach-whiskey-liqueur in some combination of the three flavors. I
> thought that it'd be fun to make a craft distilled version of the
> spirit. I haven't the slightest idea how Southern Comfort is made, so
> I made it up as I went along.
>
> 2. I use new make whiskey for all of our flavored whiskeys. This is for a
> few reasons, most of them are obvious. I can make a marketable spirit
> quickly, the young flavors meld well with the fruits/berries, and it
> allows me to get to know my whiskey better in preparation for making
> true straight bourbon.
>
> For the peach whiskey in particular, I add a second step to the
> distilling process. I put whiskey back into the still with some of
> the peach stones, that were removed prior to juicing, for
> redistillation. This adds a soft bitter almond undertone that greatly
> adds to the peach flavors.
>
> I use a single reflux pot still for production. I distill small batches of
> wash until I can fill the still for a full spirits run. It is legally
> whiskey (one poster asked about that). There's a few other
> proprietary things that I do, but I won't get into that here.
>
> 3. Someone asked why we were a Michigan distillery making Georgia
> Peach Whiskey. Good question. Michigan has unusual laws governing
> distilleries. We have a 400 capacity bar that's the closest watering
> hole to the Big House. I am only allowed to sell what I produce, so
> in order to stock an entire cocktail-producing backbar, I had to
> produce 20 liqueurs out of nowhere. I had to find ingredients for
> these liqueurs as quickly as possible.
>
> The best place to go for fruit in this part of Michigan is the Eastern
> Market (in Detroit), where there are a couple of wholesalers who sell
> bulk fruit from all over the world. So I started purchasing my fruit
> there.......apples from Michigan and New York, Pears from California,
> Valencia Oranges from Florida, Peaches from.....well, you get the
> idea. Often they'd sell me fruit that was almost overripe at a steep
> discount because the fruit was of no use to them, but in a perfect
> state for my uses.
>
> That's why we started with both Georgia Whiskey and Liqueur. I mean,
> if you think peaches, you think Georgia (or at lease I do).
>
> In any event, we also produce New York Sour Apple Liqueur, New York
> Apple Whiskey (my personal favorite), Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur,
> Michigan Blueberry Liqueur, and quite a few more. The places that the fruit comes
> from, in my experience, makes a difference....much like grapes. So, long
> story short, that's why we use Georgia peaches.
>
> I've just started using peaches from the Rocky Mountains for both our
> liqueur and our whiskey (under a different label, obviously). I've
> found thus far that the varieties I've chosen lend a more tart finish
> to the spirit, allowing the whiskey flavor to come to the fore a bit
> more. I'm poking around for the same flavors in Georgia grown
> varieties.
>
> Each hand-numbered batch is actually a single barrel. I don't blend.
>
> One thing that I'm particularly happy with was my decision to aged the
> entire spirit in the barrel. In other words, I had to make a decision
> as to whether to simply age the whiskey, and then add the peach juice
> later; or, blend the peach juice with the whiskey and age exactly what
> will appear in the bottle. I chose the latter, even though I knew
> that the peaches would naturally oxidize and potentially produce some not-so-fine flavors.
>
> I was delighted to find that the mild oxidation yields even MORE
> positive flavors to the spirit (specifically, the raisiny flavors you
> picked out. That made my day to read that you tasted that, BTW). I
> put it in the cask at slightly above the bottle strength, and simply
> run it through a slight screen like filter before bottling.
>
> One last point, and I'll end this overly long email.
>
> A couple of posters mentioned cooking. I purposely strain the spirit,
> rather than chill filter it. This allows some of the peach fruit
> particles, and even tiny bits of barrel char, through to the final
> spirit. When cooked or reduced, these flavor laden particles make for
> a more tasty and flavorful glaze.
>
> One note of caution, if this isn't obvious: because I use real fruit,
> and because the corks are not perfectly air tight, the spirit will
> both evaporate and oxidize over time, so once it's opened, it's best
> to enjoy it quickly.
>
> Cheers, and thanks for giving us a try!
>
>
> P.S., Straight Bourbon will follow, if you are patient!
>
>
> Leopold Bros.
>
> Todd Leopold

P.S. A bit more info from Todd

As to the bourbon, we're making some changes to the plant here, and will be bringing in a second still hopefully by the end of the year. That's when we'll begin full-on bourbon production. Charred barrels. Four-grain. The whole nine yards. My diplomas are in brewing and malting science, so bourbon production is a bit more in my 'wheelhouse', so to speak, than the other spirits I produce. I'm excited to get it going.

Cheers, and thanks again for the interest. Without sounding like I'm blowing smoke up my skirt, it's people like you, who are willing to try something different, who are going to allow the craftdistillers to experiment and come up with interesting new spirits. Your support is critical.

Cheers,

Todd Leopold
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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