Comments on bourbonv's review of Four Roses Barrel Strength

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Comments on bourbonv's review of Four Roses Barrel Strength

Unread postby forumadmin » Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:40 pm

This is an automatically created topic for discussion about bourbonv's review of Four Roses Barrel Strength;.
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Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:40 pm

I have the same bottling Mike and I agree with your assessment of this fine bourbon. I also agree that going into the barrel at a lower proof makes a whole lot of difference.
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Unread postby EllenJ » Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:09 am

A long, long time ago Dr. Veach impressed upon me the importance of low-proof distillation and low-proof barrelling. We've had many an interesting discussion since then, and I've become Mike's strongest advocate of that concept... which is normally rejected without hesitation by every modern distiller.

Except for two, and even one of those is changing.

The honorable Jimmy Russell has managed to hold the Pernod/Ricard accountants at bay for many years, holding the line at low distillation and low barrelling. But in the past year or so they seem to have prevailed. The net result, for those of us who really love Wild Turkey, is that we'd better buy up as much as we can before the product Jimmy took pride in ceases to be found on our liquor store shelves.

The other, and it looks as though it's only just BEGINNING to happen, is Four Roses. After suffering under Seagrams' restrictions for so many years, Jim Rutledge has apparently been given the go-ahead from current owner Kirin to (1) put quality Four Roses bourbon into the hands of Americans, and (2) to target bourbon afficianados with limited bottlings that show just what that distillery is capable of doing. Jim's response has been to put out some really awesome examples of what his Lawrenceburg, KY distillery not only CAN do, but HAS been doing for decades, albeit for use as flavoring for blended whiskey and for straight bourbon sold only overseas.

And what does modern bourbon whiskey distilled and barrelled at around 100 proof (as opposed to the normal 140/125) end up tasting like? Well...

(1) Mike Veach: as I suspected, but now know for sure, you are 100% correct!
(2) We, along with Mike and many others, have been asking distillers for years if they'd produce a limited edition of their bourbon distilled at ~100 proof, not diluted before barreling, and bottled at the same ~106 proof that it's dumped at, i.e. not diluted, and without chill-filtering, either. Guess what... that's just what Jim Rutledge did for the bottling selected for his 40th anniversary with the company, and the result is totally awesome. The Goddess & I have had the privelege of tasting some other versions of FRSB and we anticipate this new, Kirin-supported (thanks, Yumiko!) Four Roses will soon be recognized as one of the most innovative distilleries in the bourbon world.
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Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:23 pm

John,
Four Roses goes into the barrel at 120 proof. They also have designed their warehouses as if they were all lower levels in multi-storied warehouse, and that causes the barrel proof to decrease with time instead of increase. In any case, I am much more impressed with the lower barrel proof flavor of Four Roses than the high high octane of something like Booker's or Stagg. I am still waiting for a barrel proof product that went into the barrel at 100 and came out at about the same strength or a few proof higher such as 103 or 105 proof. That would be a bourbon worth the big bucks the distillers would have to ask for.

Wild Turkey may have to raise its barrel proof, but I don't see it going to the legal maximum of 125. That would destroy the brand with a serious shift in taste profile. I do suspect that there will be a creeping effect as the accountant will say raise it 1 % see if there is a difference in the taste profile of the white dog. It will be very hard to tell the difference so they will make the change and then do the same thing again until someone calls for a halt by stating it has gotten too far from the original profile. That is how it was done at Old Fitzgerald. Not enough people could tell the difference between 107 and 109 barrel proof and the change was made. Again it was made from 109 to 111 and 111 to 113 before Ed Foote said now look at the 113 and the 107 and their is a difference and not for the better. The accountants were not happy.
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Unread postby EllenJ » Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:09 pm

So what you're saying, Mike, is that bourbon whiskey doesn't ALWAYS increase during maturaton, and can even DECREASE given the conditions found at the Cox Creek warehouses? And that the decrease from 120 proof turns out to be same 106-108 that steel warehouse bourbon barrelled at 100 proof rises to? Okay. I know that coincidences happen. I don't want to be like the conspiracy idiots who believe an odd arrangement of rocks "proves" that Elvis was on Mars. It is disappointing, however, to accept that we STILL don't have a modern example of bourbon distilled at ~100 proof and barrelled that way. Oh well...
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Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:07 pm

Actually John,
If you put whiskey in the barrel at 100 proof and stored them in the Four Roses warehouses, it would probably come out in the 90 proof range, give or take some proof points. That would actually be some very tastey bourbon and even if it came out at 80 proof, that would be some 80 proof bourbon loaded with flavor. Bottle it unfiltered and it would change many people's concept of low proof bourbon.
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Unread postby EllenJ » Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:20 pm

Yup-pers!!
IF...
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Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:30 am

John,
As you so eloquently put it, that is a big "if". Still, one can have their dreams. Maybe when KBD gets running I will get a chance to try something like that. all I need to do is come up with the money to make about 17 - 20 barrels of bourbon, maybe more since I want an entry proof of 100.
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Unread postby MikeK » Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:37 pm

Actually, you just have to wait until next year when BT gets their micro still and custom distillation program running. I am hoping to be one of their first customers, and gee, what do you know, the distillation and barrel entry proofs will be roughly 100 proof.

Now another question I wanted to talk to Mike about, and ultimately Ed Foote, is can their micro still make a good wheater...
Mike
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Unread postby Kendall » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:44 pm

Hello. Can someone tell me how to get associated with investing in a "micro" bourbon.
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