There is a bourbon that has some very good qualities (rich barrel flavors, soft sweetness), but he lacks a creditable finish (in my humble estimation). There is another bourbon that has a very unique flavor profile with a metallic quality that cracks into its sweetness and seems to open the dryness bin a bit wide.
Methinks a metal twang trumps sweetness so I mix the whixkies in a ratio of 4 to 1 in favor of sweetness. Now, what do we have? A first rate vatting that allows these bourbons to complement each one another pretty well. We end up with a bourbon that is on the dry side in the finish, but on the deep sweet side until we get to the finish. I can't say a word agin this little brother...........but, the metallic qualities of the second bourbon give the dry finish a bit of a 'flashing' that adds a lot of hard interest to this old boy's palate ------- maybe too much??
Let's rachet down to a 5 to 1 ratio and see do we lose a mite of the metallic without giving up too much in the finish. Now, we are approaching most near a fine, fine whixkey, but we ain't yet there. That first bourbon is itself 17 YO and kicks in some extry dryness that spills over a wee much. Let's go to the mixing closet and choose something to tame the dryness while not messing with that interesting metallic twangy 'flash'.
Now, with this additional 'mixer' bourbon (also an incomplete bourbon in my estimation) in a concoction of 3 parts new mixer, 3 parts 17 YO, and 1 part bourbon with a hint of a metallic quality we are appoaching an even better bourbon, but have lost some of the 17 YO barrel richness........back to the mixing stand.
This time we are at 4 parts 17 YO bourbon, 2 parts mixer bourbon, and 1 part unique bourbon. My palate will not yet be still. It prompts me to go get the Baby Saz for a final 1/2 part for a bit more zip, and another 1/2 part of a rich Cask Strength bourbon for a touch more richness.
Boys and girls! We have lift off! We now have a superb whixkey that has deep sweetness, just the right amount of dryness, a twang from the metallic side, a zest from the Baby Saz, and a profound richness from the cask strength. Everything is now here! What is a bit surprising to me is just how much a touch of the metal 'flash' adds to the finish.........it leaves a tanginess that makes the finish glow. I even find that the 17 YO brings with it an added bit of subtlety and delicacy that is very welcome.
Barleycorn is on a 'dog's only cruise' so he won't offer his opinion this time, but i am certain it would get a 'rabbits up' from him too.
The final recipe:
4 parts (40 ml) Jefferson's Presidential Select 17 YO Wheat Whixkey - 94 proof (sweetness and barrel flavors)
2 parts (20 ml) Maker's Mark 'mixer' Wheat Whixkey - 90 proof (sweetness - cuts dryness)
1 part (10 ml)Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Four Grain Whixkey -92.4 proof (unique twangy metallic flavors and sweetness--------essential to the unique flavor of this vatting)
1/2 part (5 ml) Sazerac Rye Whixkey - 90 proof (fruits, spices, and zip)
1/2 part (5ml) Parker's HC Cask Strength Whixkey - 129.6 proof (rich, creamy barrel flavors)
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