Tailor made exceptional whiskey

Discuss any bourbon related topics here that do not belong in a forum below.

Moderators: Brewer, brendaj

Tailor made exceptional whiskey

Unread postby Mike » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:15 pm

For some time now, I have been drinking a vatting of Knob Creek Single Barrel (30%), Evan Williams Single Barrel (60%), and Wasmund's Single Malt Whiskey (10%). This makes for an excellent 92 proof whiskey and I keep it brewed up and ready as a daily pour. But t'other night I had a sip of something I have not tried in a while, Thomas Handy Barrel Proof Rye.

TH is, like KC SB, an exceptionally rich whiskey, with the rye spices and the oak making a very lively tune........ but at 129 proof is a bit much to take straight on. Because the Handy is so rich in full bodied spices, I thought it might just compliment my KC/EW/W vatting.

So I took 20 ml of KC, 10 ml of TH, 10 ml of W, and 50 ml of EW. WOW! Now this 98 proof whiskey is what I am talking about!! A bit deeper, spicier and even richer that the earlier vatting. Just the thing for the upcoming winter!
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
Mike
Registered User
 
Posts: 2106
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:36 pm
Location: Conyers, GA

Re: Tailor made exceptional whiskey

Unread postby alext » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:18 am

Hey Mike Im inspired by the thought of vatting some sort of Frankenstein like combo of whiskey, must be the science degree actually being useful for a change, now when you say vatting im imagining a mini ceramic/stainless jug or barrel?

Hows about I list a few whiskeys im prepared to experiment with and you provide with we a ratio of something that has worked for you in the past (if it applies) or something that would be interesting and Il post the results (for what their worth)

ok a few bottles that are starting to take up space vs how much is left in the bottle:

WT RYE 101
WT101
WT 12yr
OGD114
OGD
EC12
OWA
WL wellwer 12 yr
AAA 10 year
Willets single barrel
Woodfords reserve

if theres anything missing that you rekon would make a good brew let me know and il see whats kicking around the cabinet
cheers
alext
Registered User
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:47 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Tailor made exceptional whiskey

Unread postby Mike » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:25 pm

You have some nice bourbons there, alext. Of those, I have all but the WT 12 YO and the EC 12 (which I usually have around). DO NOT vat the WT 12 YO. In my opinion that is a superb bourbon that, for its type, cannot be improved upon!!!

Vatting (basically mixing whiskies in what ever container suits you), is about suiting your own palate. To do it well, you must know what flavor profiles suit your particular palate. In my case, I know I like rich barrel flavors, I know I also appreciate a softness in some whiskies......... but I like some spice too. And then, I like the rounder sweetness provided by a malt whiskey (not Scotch as a rule in a vatting). I just retasted the AAA 10 Y0 and the Willets for this post to refresh my memory. I like both, the AAA has an kind of dry organic cast that I have always found a bit unusual and to my liking. The Willets has a nice dose of barrel richness. If you use the OGD 114 (an excellent whiskey) you will need, in my opinion, something to soften it and cut the alcohol.

For starters, I would use the OGD 114 as the anchor, even at only 20%, then I would go with another 20% of the Willet, 10% of the AAA, another 10% of the EC 12, and the remaining 40% I would go with the Weller 12 YO. After vatting these and tasting the vatting, then taste a sip of each of the components and see if you think more of any one of them is needed to achieve what your palate likes best. If you want more spice then reach for the WT Rye. If you want a bit more dryness and that earthy taste add more AAA. If it seems too soft but otherwise OK, add a bit more EC 12. I would suggest that you get a 50 ml measuring cup for accuracy in the vatting and also in keeping the amount of whiskey down so that if you make something that you do not like, you will not have wasted very much.
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
Mike
Registered User
 
Posts: 2106
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:36 pm
Location: Conyers, GA

Re: Tailor made exceptional whiskey

Unread postby alext » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:35 am

Cheers mike! Great reply, I'm very thankful for the info.
I might exercise some self control and wait until the weekend before I start acting all mad scientist, but will surely post my findings, it's also Inspired me to finally use the hand made leather journal the missus bought me for my recipes and tasting notes, she will be pleased

Interesting about the WT12, a few years back in my early American whiskey days (reformed scotch drinker) I had a bottle and didn't really like it, it was too rich and too sweet at the time, then it dissapeard of the shelves, since then I believe my palette changed somewhat and i began to appreciate the older stuff, what was once overpowering became accesible through hardworking and persistence (read: drinking a load of booze) ive started seeking out the less punchy in your face rye flavors (wont ever knock back a Ritt 100 though, ever) and started seeking deeper,'richer Flavours, so, long story short, when i stumbled across a random bottle of WT12 a few weeks ago I snatched it, thinking, I love WT 101 And I love the old stuff, how could I loose?
Well sipping at a glass and typing this I can see why you hold it in such high regard, to me the nose is undoubtedly full of WT, but with a secondary layer of full on barrel richness, deeper the breath the better as the most pleasant notes come in right at the end, then taking a sip it's nothing like the 101, wood, wood and cloves, nice dry finish, some spice then a clean creamy light oak finish that hangs around for a good amount of time
Comparing it to the EC12 now, too be honest I like the EC lot more than I used to, but the finish still leaves something to be desired, slightly too astringent, i don't know,'I get the feeling that it doesnt use it's age to advantage, maybe slightly less aging would suit my pallete more?
alext
Registered User
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:47 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Tailor made exceptional whiskey

Unread postby gillmang » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:03 am

Just to add to Mike's excellent comments, finish is precisely one of the things vatting does so well. You can have good flavors but an incomplete, harsh or otherwise unsatisfactory finish, which is of particular moment to those who like to sip spirits neat.

For me there are three objects in vatting: a balance of flavors; a smooth and soft mouth feel (or one not spirity or astringent); and a flowing finish that is almost water-like. Sometimes a bourbon or rye will offer all this "in situ"- a recent Triple A was perfect for example - but more often I have to make it myself.

You can also do this from different expressions of the same manufacturer. I have a vatting, or mingling is probably the better term, of two Jack Daniel Single Barrels and two Jack Daniel Black Labels. When you taste critically after a time, you realize each bottle of anything is slightly, and sometimes not so slightly, different. Jack can have, in various or almost no amounts, an earthy fresh wood taste, medicinal notes, and cherry or other fruity notes. I balanced these four to get some of each of these flavors and it melded to a pleasing whole but also the mouth feel and finish are particularly good. If I added even a half-ounce more of any one of the four it would probably put it off. In my own case, I don't work too closely to preset formulas but there are different ways to do this. (I combine roughly in the proportions I think will work. Then, I add small amounts of some of the constituents to add, enhance or minimize a flavor, as Mike said he does; sometimes I get it right at the first go, which is easier when combining only two whiskeys).

Many commercial products are in fact combinations of different whiskeys or ages of the same whiskey, blends, but also some straights too. Wild Turkey Rare Breed is a mingling of three different ages and tastes, in effect, of WT. The current Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye is a vatting of two different ryes. A recent Heaven Hill limited edition combines two bourbon mash bills. A Western producer, Highwood, combines different rye whiskeys, or a rye and a bourbon; and so on. It is an age-old practice in the American whiskey business and is coming back after an interval of decline (although it never disappeared).

Everything is sort of a combination, in that even for a bourbon of one age and source, many barrels of different qualities will be combined unless it is a single barrel. But a bourbon mashbill is three grains anyway, so... it's all up to your palate, in other words, and there is nothing crazy or radical about the process.

Mike has done some excellent work in this area and that KC SB/EWBL/Wasmund combination sounds perfect.

Gary
User avatar
gillmang
Vatman
 
Posts: 2140
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:44 pm


Return to Bourbon, Straight

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests