A Smith Bowman

Share your bourbon related travel stories with us here.

Moderators: Brewer, brendaj

Unread postby bunghole » Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:57 pm

Thanks for the post & pix, Dave! :thumbright:

I shot up half a roll of film on the still alone and managed to get one good shot. I'd have to take the film in and get it digitized and put on a disk. If I had a scanner I'd do it that way, but I don't.

The coil on the top of the potstill is actually an expansion joint that adds a bit of reflux to the pot, and is one of the more interesting designs from Vendome Copper & Brass Works.

Joe Dangler is the best even if he is a native Marylander! :thumbup:

:arrow: ima :smilebox:
User avatar
bunghole
Registered User
 
Posts: 2158
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:42 am
Location: Stuart's Draft, Virginia

Unread postby angelshare » Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:40 pm

Chris wrote:It looks like they just have the barrels sitting on pallets stacked on top of each other, so instead of having to build racks for them to store them on their side they can just stack them that way? (i guess to stack them on their sides would require something more than just a pallet to keep them from rolling away??)


That's right. I guess unless there is some evidence that this negatively affects aging, it is brillantly simple. The VG 90 certainly seems to come out fine. I forgot to ask what the old aging facility was like at Reston.

Chris wrote: Do they 'rotate' their barrels? i guess that would be not too much work with forklifts if they wanted to...


The impression I got was that rotation was really considered superfluous since the storage facility is not that tall and Joe's fan system keeps the temperatures similar from top to bottom. Joe seems to feel that all the barrels age pretty much the same.
Dave & Tina
angelshare
Registered User
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:09 pm
Location: Luray, VA

Unread postby angelshare » Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:46 pm

gillmang wrote:Nice pictures. Interesting that they are using palletized storage for the barrels, they look quite close together but maybe that is just the picture angle.


Thanks, Gary!

Not an optical illusion - those barrels are tightly packed.
Dave & Tina
angelshare
Registered User
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:09 pm
Location: Luray, VA

Unread postby jbohan » Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:54 pm

A couple of pictures I took
Attachments
coil.JPG
coil.JPG (71.84 KiB) Viewed 1686 times
Bowman 9a.JPG
Picture taken without flash gives more accurate feel
Bowman 9a.JPG (201.96 KiB) Viewed 1708 times
To long ashes and long finishes
User avatar
jbohan
True Friend
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:29 pm
Location: Atlanta area

Unread postby angelshare » Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:47 pm

Sideways or not, that's a nifty shot of the coil!

You captured very well how they pack the barrels on those pallets.
Dave & Tina
angelshare
Registered User
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:09 pm
Location: Luray, VA

Unread postby cowdery » Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:46 pm

The banding is a good idea. The palletized warehouses at Beam did not do that, at least initially. Each pallet load weighs about 3,000 pounds. At Beam they were stacked six high.

Beam's new warehouses are conventional rackhouses. They had too much leakage trouble with the palletized. I don't know if they are continuing to use the palletized warehouses they already have, but they aren't building new ones. This isn't a problem if your warehouse doesn't get too hot, but during the hottest days of summer they got an unacceptable amount of leakage.

Forty Creek Canadian also is palletized. It makes no difference in terms of how the whiskey ages. The whiskey doesn't know which way the barrel is oriented. Their warehouse is climate controlled, and in Canada, so it doesn't get above 80 degrees.

What was the warehouse building itself like? It certainly gets as hot in Virginia in the summer as it does in Kentucky, doesn't it?
- Chuck Cowdery

Author of Bourbon, Straight
User avatar
cowdery
Registered User
 
Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:07 pm
Location: Chicago

Unread postby gillmang » Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:03 am

I wonder if the weight of the stacked pallets at Beam caused that leakage problem.

Somewhere I read, I believe in Harris and Waymack's book, that the late Booker Noe had stated that in Beam's palletized warehouse it takes longer for the whiskey to age, and (the quote went something like this), "we just wait another year or two until it is right". If that is so this might explain why Beam is going back to traditional storage for its new warehouses - and this might tie in to any developing issue of tight supply in the industry.

Personally, and this is just my opinion, I feel aging in the huge palletized warehouses can't be the same as in the way, say, Wild Turkey or Four Roses does it. With so many barrels in there (see the photo in Harris' and Waymack's book) it must indeed take longer than normal to age whiskey. I know that other factors (entry proof, distillation proof, etc.) weigh on such maters but I just have that feeling. I have tasted the older Virginia Gentleman and I must say it tasted fine (very fine!) so evidently the practice of palletized storage as used at Smith Bowman doesn't take away anything from the product there. Probably since relatively few barrels are stored in its warehouse it is neither here nor there whether the barrels are stacked upright or not. I guess every warehouse is different and particular factors (how the warehouse is heated and ventilated, how many barrels in a given space and how high they are stacked, their proximity one to the other, whether they are rotated, how the batches are made up not to mention how the mash is made and distilled) will impact on the final result.

Gary
Last edited by gillmang on Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
gillmang
Vatman
 
Posts: 2138
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:44 pm

Unread postby jbohan » Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:54 am

another picture of the coil
Attachments
Bowman 10a.JPG
Bowman 10a.JPG (59.18 KiB) Viewed 1621 times
To long ashes and long finishes
User avatar
jbohan
True Friend
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:29 pm
Location: Atlanta area

Unread postby angelshare » Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:37 am

cowdery wrote:Beam's new warehouses are conventional rackhouses. They had too much leakage trouble with the palletized. I don't know if they are continuing to use the palletized warehouses they already have, but they aren't building new ones. This isn't a problem if your warehouse doesn't get too hot, but during the hottest days of summer they got an unacceptable amount of leakage.


Mr. Dangler intimated that they have had some leakage problems in the past, and I noticed some evidence of what appeared to be minimal leakage on some of the barrels.

cowdery wrote:What was the warehouse building itself like? It certainly gets as hot in Virginia in the summer as it does in Kentucky, doesn't it?


As best as I can remember, the warehouse had brick/block walls and a concrete floor, probably about two stories high. I would say that the peak summer temperatures in the Fredericksburg area are typically in the nineties in July and August. Days over 100 are uncommon but not impossible. Similar in KY, right?
Dave & Tina
angelshare
Registered User
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:09 pm
Location: Luray, VA

Unread postby jbohan » Tue Mar 29, 2005 11:45 am

Remember that the Bowman distillery was originally built as a cellophane manufacturing plant at a time when air conditioning was not a standard feature in most factories. As a result, factories were designed to take advantage of light and circulation in a way that would not ctreate extreme discomfort for the workers. Not to say it wouldn't get hot during the summer, but back when everything wasn't airconditioned like it is now, people were more used to dealing with the heat.

Look at the roof line on the building and compare it to other factories built around the same time, you will see a definite similarity.
To long ashes and long finishes
User avatar
jbohan
True Friend
 
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:29 pm
Location: Atlanta area

Previous

Return to Bourbon Expeditions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest