2009 woodford Bourbon Academy

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2009 woodford Bourbon Academy

Unread postby bourbonv » Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:05 pm

Yesterday was the first of the three Bourbon Academies to be held at Woodford Reserve Distillery. It was a bit different than the past year's Academies. For one thin Chef David Larson has retired. The new Chef in residence is Chef Ouita Michels. She has a different style of cuisine thanChef Larson and instead of setting out a buffet style lunch, the meal was served at the tables. There was a bit more complicated menu with a shrimp fritter, salad and scallops for the main coarse with Bourbon chocolate cake for dessert. A very good meal, but I will admit, I will miss the Pork chops that Chef Larson made.

Chris also decided to do a demonstration of making a mash, allowing people to help add ingredients and stir the mash in a barrel. We attempted to char a barrel but the wind was too strong. All in all it was a good time and Chris always does a good job with an interesting talk.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Re: 2009 woodford Bourbon Academy

Unread postby bourbonv » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:24 pm

I just finished the second of the Bourbon Academys of this year. The fun and interesting thing about this Academy was that they are fermenting the first two batches of Woodford Reserve Rye whiskey. Chris stated that they will do two fermentors a week (they do a 7 day beer) for four weeks. The mash is an old mashbill and is 51%rye, 14% Barley Malt and 35% corn. It should be interesting. I will have to say this is one of the rare opportunities I have had to tast a rye mash in the fermentors. Quite interesting and quite different from a bourbon mash.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Re: 2009 woodford Bourbon Academy

Unread postby gillmang » Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:16 pm

Good news, Mike. That mashbill indeed is old, I have seen a recent reference in 1800's literature to it, but can't recall where just now. I find it interesting though that no one seems to want today to make the classic rye whiskey mashbill of 80% rye and the rest barley malt (or rye malt).

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Re: 2009 woodford Bourbon Academy

Unread postby bunghole » Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:42 pm

Well, just fluck me holsome!
"A Kind Word Never Broke A Tooth."
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Re: 2009 woodford Bourbon Academy

Unread postby cowdery » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:39 pm

gillmang wrote:Good news, Mike. That mashbill indeed is old, I have seen a recent reference in 1800's literature to it, but can't recall where just now. I find it interesting though that no one seems to want today to make the classic rye whiskey mashbill of 80% rye and the rest barley malt (or rye malt).

Gary


Why do you claim a "classic" rye mash bill is 80% rye? I know of no reason to believe that was ever the case. Even the mash bill they have worked out for Washington's distillery, which is based on records of the amount of each type of grain diverted to the distillery, has rye at about 60%.

The story of distillation in the New World is really the story of people learning how to distill corn effectively, because although corn can be problematic, due to the difficulty of fully liquefying the starches, its high yield makes it economically desirable. Rye was always used for its pleasing flavor, but the economics always would have pushed a New World distiller in the direction of using as much corn as possible. Ultimately, the flavor issue was solved by using a small amount of rye and getting a lot of flavor from the new, charred barrel.

Certainly there were times and places where rye was plentiful and corn relatively less so, when I'm sure whiskeys were made with a very high rye content, but those would have been anomalies.

Another aspect, as modern distillers will tell you, is that after a point more rye grain doesn't necessarily mean more rye flavor.
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Re: 2009 woodford Bourbon Academy

Unread postby gillmang » Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:04 pm

I base my claim on the idea of pure rye whiskey, not that all rye whiskey ever was that, to be sure. Both Byrn and e.g., the 1933 Fortune Magazine article on distilling give this rye mashbill. My point is, that if someone is seeking to recreate an authentic rye mashbill, a classic of the genre, this would be a good one to do.

Gary
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