On a mission

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On a mission

Unread postby Mike » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:04 pm

Visited several liquor stores in Savannah today, looking for a replacement for my EB 90 proof that I bought for 9.99 a few years back. I easily found it at $13.99. I will go back and get some one day soon. They had EW black (86 proof) at $14.99 and EW Green (80 proof) at $9.99. As far as I can recall I have never had the EW Green, so I was curious, and at $10 and 80 proof it might serve to provide the EW softness to something of high proof. A sip reveals that it is a drinkable whiskey with some nice rye bite. The finish is slightly rough though. Curiosity also prompted me to put in a few ml of Woodford Reserve Double Oak to round the edges in the finish of the Green. So now, as best I can estimate, I have a bourbon of about 84 proof which is quite good. The EW moderates the tannins of the WRDO, but, the WRDO preserves the subtlety of the wood.

I happened to run across a bottle of Maker's Mark Cask Strength, something I have only heard about but was curious enough to purchase for $59. It is 111.4 proof so I will sip it straight, at least to being with. I have never been a big fan of Maker's Mark, except the MM 46, which I do like although it does not usually take up space in my cabinet. The regular MM lacks, in my opinion, a decent finish and that finishs it for me. Still, I used it often to make use of its abilities to soften some high proof bourbons.

I find the MM Cask Strength to be a very good bourbon, but one which still fades in the throat..... not unusual for a wheat bourbon, especially one as young a Maker's Mark. which is reputed to be (4 years?). I maintain that wheat bourbons NEED more tannins, e.g. time in the barrel, to give them a bit more body and a decent finish...... that is why Van Winkle bourbons, which are made with a wheat recipe, are ultra-aged (I may be in a minority in this opinion).

So, me lads and lassies, in order to improve upon the weakness of Cask Strength Maker's Mark, and still keep the overall cost of this bourbon to well under $60, I am combining 25 ml of MMCS with 25 ml of Noah's Mill (I think this is a wheat bourbon, and it is 15 years old and has significant tannins). It is also 114.3 proof to go with the 111.4 proof of MMCS, so I add a mite of filtered water to bring the proof to an estimated 110. For my palate this is superb bourbon, only lacking, in my judgement, the barrel richness of the best of the Van Winkle 15 YO bourbons.

I know, I know, yet again with that Van Winkle song. But, as fortune would have it, I happen to have some 15 YO Pappy Van Winkle against which to compare this Maker's Mark Cask Strength/Noah's Mill vatting. The Pappy is the better bourbon, knowing, as I do, that I will never purchase another bottle of Van Winkle bourbon at its asking price, I hopefully come close with a combination of MMCS and NM bourbons in a vatting. I could add a mite of Stagg to pollute the wheat recipe, but add some barrel richness, and will now do so. I am using Stagg Jr at 128 proof to the MMCS/NM vatting at about 5%.

Now, the goal has been reached. I have a creamy rich bourbon (Stagg Jr Barrel proof), softened by high proof wheat recipe (Maker's Mark Cask Strength), with the extra tannins provided by an 'ultra aged' bourbon (Noah/s Mill 15 YO) and a double oaked bourbon(Woodford Reserve Double Oaked).

I arrogantly submit that I have constructed a Van Winkle 15 YO comparable bourbon for a bit near $60 a bottle. Now, friends and sceptics, is it worth it? Is this about $60 dollars a bottle and a bit of trouble, worth the pay off in taste?

Methinks that the answer can only lie in what it means (certainly within the context of what your budget will allow) to be a bourbon enthusiast, and, it goes almost without saying, what worth you are willing to assign to what MIKE says.......... he is no recognized authority
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: On a mission

Unread postby Squire » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:16 pm

Food for thought Mike, blending is certainly a way to achieve a goal and if you start with good stuff you can't go far wrong.
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Re: On a mission

Unread postby 393foureyedfox » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:08 pm

unless you're shopping a closed down or slow moving liquor store, the EB 90 is now 80 proof (though still called EB '90'), and the Noah's Mill is no longer stated at 15 years age.

Regardless, enjoy your experiments/creations!
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Re: On a mission

Unread postby onemangang » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:31 am

Brilliant!
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Re: On a mission

Unread postby Squire » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:11 am

I was under the impression Noah's Mill hasn't been age stated for some time now.
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Re: On a mission

Unread postby Mike » Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:42 am

Squire wrote:I was under the impression Noah's Mill hasn't been age stated for some time now.


That is true Squire, but I have had this bottle for a while, and you can run across the 15 YO from time to time.
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: On a mission

Unread postby RandyG » Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:32 am

Excellent post Mike. I have done a very similar vatting with the new Rare Breed (Noah's Mill & WR Double Oak). I too am always trying to put together a poor man's Pappy 15. Hell, I would be happy if I could figure out a mixture that would bring the new Rare Breed into the same realm as the old 108.

Cheers
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