Messing and mixing - mixing and messing

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Messing and mixing - mixing and messing

Unread postby Mike » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:00 pm

I have been messing about with Evan Williams Single Barrel and Knob Creek Single Barrel bourbons, as I noted earlier in another post. I concocted a vatting of 65% EWSB (for its softness and delicate sweetness) and 35% KCSB (for its rich and thick barrel flavors). That vatting of two excellent bourbons made for an excellent new bourbon....... but I thought it needed the 'rounded' sweetness that comes from a malt whiskey.

At first I dropped the 35% KCSB to 30% and added 5% excellent Irish Whiskey from the Irishman brand. The Irish malt whiskey performed well, but then I thought I might try a more robust malt...... one from America.

So I next tried some of Wasmund's malt whiskey which has the added feature of using fruit wood chips in the aging process.......... this was a step in the right direction and something I liked better than the whiskey vatted with Irish Whiskey. But, there are some sweet wood overtones with Wasmund's which although quite interesting on their own, seemed to slightly miss the mark at which I was aiming.

Not totally satisfied (but highly pleased with the Wasmund's mixture) I next tried (at John Lipman's suggestion, I believe) some St. George's Single Malt Whiskey. I find this whiskey to be a mite more 'robust' than Irish Whiskey and not quite as woody/fruity sweet as the Wasmund's. Was this the mixture/vatting I was looking for? Well, almost.........

But methinks, I have the softness and delicacy of the EWSB, the creamy richness of the barrel from the KCSB, the rounder and fuller sweetness of the St. Georges' malt........... but where is that lengthening tannic/metallic depth that, in my opinion, can come from either many years in the barrel, and/or copper pot distilling. This commodity of depth and added complexity that I am searching for is difficult to come by in the best proportions for my palate....... but I know I certainly like it.

So, I take 45 ml of my 60% EWSB, 30% KCSB, and 10% St. George's malt mixture, and I add 5ml (11% by volume) of Woodford Reserve Master Distiller's Four Grain Whiskey for that extra pot still acrid/slightly bitter/dryness that (in my opinion) holds all the delicate sweetness, rich barrel creaminess, and rounded and fuller malt sweetness across a more complex, balanced, and longer finish.

You, with your own idiosyncratic palate, may or may not like this whiskey, but for me, it is superb!! One can easily be seduced by any of the elements of which I speak - the delicate sweetness of the EWSB, the rich creamy barrel flavors of the KCSB, the more rounded and less delicate sweetness of the malt whiskey, or even, for a few of us, the correctly allocated subtlety of the pot still or of extended time in the barrel. And there are American whiskies which aim at each of those characteristics. But bringing them together for a great whiskey is a rarity (again, in my opinion).

All the things I expect of a great American Whiskey are here!! Being the wonderful guy that I am, I can suggest to you a bourbon that meets these same expectations. If you can find it, the 2008 Old Forster Birthday Bourbon, which is still available near me, is a bourbon of the type I extole....... with those same qualities as this one I made......... with slightly less sweetness.
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Re: Messing and mixing - mixing and messing

Unread postby EllenJ » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:21 pm

Why MIKE! You dirty, rotten RECTIFIER, you!!

Okay, so rectification by any reasonable definition would require re-distilling your mixture, but the law (Department of the Treasury
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms industry circular Number: 73-12 Date: June 22, 1973) makes it clear that blends of existing aged straight whiskies are, indeed, rectified products. Here is the appropriate part of Section 3 of that document:

Sec. 3. CATEGORIES OF RECTIFIED WHISKY.
The revised Forms 2637 and 2733 will provide entries for reporting four categories of blended whiskies. These are named and explained in detail below.

.01 Blends of straight whisky four years old or older.
These are blends consisting solely of straight whiskies all of which are at least four years old, containing no neutral spirits. This also includes blends rectified but exempt from tax under 26 CFR 201.444. The corresponding F.A.A. Act standard is found at 27 CFR 5.22(b)(5)


So much for the foolishly and uninformed negative view that newbie bourbon enthusiasts have to endure when learning what's what from representatives of (or published apologizers for) the existing distilleries. Distilleries who enjoy pretending that they are not doing exactly the same thing, using barrels of whiskey that are all "their own", whether they distilled them or purchased them from other distillers. This is the way fine bourbon (and rye, and rum, and tequila, and so forth) has always been created and bottled for the end user (that's us, folks). The only difference being that SOME intelligent folks understand that the juice in a bottle of their favorite whiskey might not have all come from the same distiller. Van Winkle knows that. Kulsveen knows that. Certainly Seagrams' Bronfman, Schlenley's Rosenstiel, Johnnie Walker, Richard Paterson, and many, many others know that. Why Americans so want to believe that the guy who runs the still is somehow expert in selecting what aged barrels of whiskey will make the best final product is totally beyond me.

Yes, there are some. Elmer Lee comes to mind, but often he was choosing barrels of whiskey that Gary Gayheart actually distilled and barreled. Jim Rutledge, Booker Noe, Even Kulsveen, Jerry Dalton, Parker & Craig Beam, certainly Julian Van Winkle, all created (and continue to create) fabulous bourbon beverages by combining barrels of whiskey with very different characteristics in order to produce a variety of quite different but consistantly distinctive products. Most of that whiskey was actually distilled and originally barreled by others. It isn't the juice that goes into the barrel that counts (provided that it's made properly, of course) so much as which barrels of matured whiskey are chosen. The marketers like to lead us to believe it is the DISTILLER who makes that decision, and the distilleries comply by calling their public relations contact "master distiller", instead of using that term for the plant manager -- who is often the same person, but not always. But the REAL hat that the person who decides what whiskies will make up the stuff in that bottle they want $70.00 for is that of RECTIFIER.

And you, sir, fit the hat.
So do I.

So do lots of folks who didn't think they were even doing something they ought to talk about, but who have been mixing different whiskies for years.
Thank you for pushing this idea (I've seen your posts in several threads, and I know you're trying to get the newbies to accept the idea; most of us old farts probably won't, y'know, but that's all right.)

For those of us who have access to the Watercooler forum, this is exactly what we should be examining when we get together this summer. Let's everyone bring something we've put together as our own "really nifty pour". And for those who aren't quite as obsessed... uh, I mean interested... what a great idea Mike has brought up for a bourbon party. Why not invite several folks over, each with a bottle of her/his own favorite bourbon (or rye, or -- OMG! rum, or malt, or gin or something) and make up your own American spirit?
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Re: Messing and mixing - mixing and messing

Unread postby Mike » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:05 pm

Ah, John, me friend, 'tis naught but meself that I was sure needed rectification, and ever so slowly I was about that business. Now, me learns 'tis whiskey to which me feeble skills at rectification are aimed........ so be it, lad, so be it. Rectification of meself has proved hopeless anyway, me wife will be the prosecution's first witness, and, alas, she will not be the last.
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: Messing and mixing - mixing and messing

Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:26 pm

Well y'all said to bring a vatting along to Bardstown. When the guys were here the other day to drink bourbon, I had a bunch of open bottles with little in them......so I dumped them all together. Three years of Stagg , one William Larue Weller, some Weller Antique and last, but not least, some Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. I don't know if it'll be any good but we'll find out in Bardstown.
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Re: Messing and mixing - mixing and messing

Unread postby EllenJ » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:05 pm

Here's what I'm bringing.
Gary had a preview of this in Maysville earlier.
I didn't have the label then; the fellow illustrated is George Remus.
That seemed an appropriate image for (what I hope you'll think is) an excellent vatted (i.e., rectified) spirit.
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Re: Messing and mixing - mixing and messing

Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:38 pm

Who the hell is George Remus?
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Re: Messing and mixing - mixing and messing

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:26 pm

George Remus - the King of the Bootleggers.
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Re: Messing and mixing - mixing and messing

Unread postby EllenJ » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:56 pm

=JOHN=
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http://www.ellenjaye.com
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Re: Messing and mixing - mixing and messing

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:16 pm

Mike Veach
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