The title of this post is Four Part Harmony, so in a nod to that initial proposal, I now extend the play. I have before me a whiskey made up of the following four whiskies. 1 part KCSB, 1 part St. George Single Malt Whiskey (86 Proof), 2 parts EWSB, and 3 parts '08 Birthday bourbon.
Now, to my palate, this is the best whiskey I have yet made in this group of trials. As it should be, the controlling element here is the '08 Birthday bourbon (which is, in my opinion, the best of the lot)...... without the BB the moderating dryness and twang, which, to my palate, is essential, would be absent.
I am quite fond of malt whiskies (Irish more than Scotch, but also some American malt whiskies) and am prepared to contend that the sweetness of the malt whiskies comes from the malt, almost exclusively, since they are almost always matured in used bourbon barrels...... although I understand that sometimes those barrels are recharred. I am also prepared to contend that malt sweetness is very different from corn sweetness and is, for lack of a better word, rounder, and a fuller sweetness than is that of corn. As far as I know, I have never seen Malt Dog on the market. You can get White Dog......... which is, I guess, like Corn Dog. I would love to try Malt Dog agin White (Corn) Dog.
Still, the point being, I think, from the better BE whiskey minds than mine, there was more malt in the old 'better' bourbons of yore than is now used........... the necessary enzyems for fermentation that came from malt in the past are now 'synthetic'. And, me own palate tells me that the addition of a 'useful' amount of malt (whether by actual grain content or by malt whiskey itself) 'rounds' the sweetness in a whiskey.
As to what I mean by 'roundness' in sweetness, I think it is a less direct sweetness, one that takes a moment to register on one's sweetness scale....... more like honey than like, say, cane sugar. This kind of sweetness (my opinion) carries further across the palate.
So, by me lights, this whiskey contains all the elements of a great whiskey, abundant barrel flavors, a certain delicacy and subtlety, a round sweetness, and the late offerings of the barrel.......... an oaky dryness and suitable tannins in the right proportions to tame the whole lot...... and give it a mysterious element from a long time in the barrel ('08 Birthday bourbon is 13 years old and anchors this bourbon).
This bourbon suits me to a 'T'.
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