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Old 03-06-2018, 11:47 AM
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Booze aged in barrels.

There are booze commercials, I think from Jim Beam, bragging about how they have their booze aging in barrels, which I guess imparts flavor. Wouldn't they get the same effect with less hassle if they aged it in non-reactive vessels, and just shoveled in some wood chips, and filtered them out later?

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Old 03-06-2018, 11:48 AM
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No, but a lot of inferior and less complex whiskeys/whiskys use that technique.
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:54 AM
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:00 PM
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Relevant thread about an experiment I conducted regarding exactly this process: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...1#post19850451

Results in post #37.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
There are booze commercials, I think from Jim Beam, bragging about how they have their booze aging in barrels, which I guess imparts flavor. Wouldn't they get the same effect with less hassle if they aged it in non-reactive vessels, and just shoveled in some wood chips, and filtered them out later?
I'd assume that their point is that they do it old school ("better") instead of faking it with modern techniques. Especially with many distilleries just purchasing their alcohol elsewhere and dressing it up a little.

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Old 03-06-2018, 12:56 PM
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By law and trade agreements, if you want to call your product "Bourbon" it has to be "Aged in new, charred oak containers"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourbo...l_requirements
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
There are booze commercials, I think from Jim Beam, bragging about how they have their booze aging in barrels, which I guess imparts flavor. Wouldn't they get the same effect with less hassle if they aged it in non-reactive vessels, and just shoveled in some wood chips, and filtered them out later?
that's where whisky and bourbon get all of their flavor; they start out as basically little more than high-proof distilled clear spirits (e.g like vodka.) the alcohol extracts stuff from the charred wood barrels which gives the final booze its color and flavor.
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:26 PM
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You wouldn't get nearly the flavor using the oak chips. Part of the flavor extraction comes from the barrel contents expanding and contracting over the course of multiple years worth of climate. You wouldn't get that using chips.

As a side note, Makers Mark does add oak to their 46 offering in the form of oak staves inserted into the barrels during an additional aging period.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:01 PM
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There are basically three ways the flavor of a spirit changes while aging in oak barrels the one that makes the biggest impact in the short term and the one that is the most noticeable is the extraction of flavor from the oak mainly tannins and vanillians. This is the flavor that the oak chips focus on.

The other two elements are the oxygenation of the booze which allows some of the oils and acids to change into more complex and desirable flavors. This is probably the most studies by modern chemists trying to fake age booze. Lastly is the angle share or evaporation of the spirit this create a concentration of the less volitle flavor elements and removes the most volatile compounds. On charred barrels there is also an effect from the char absorbing done of the spirit.

The craft distillers are putting slot of effort into understanding the secrets that three big bouts have known forever to try and allow them to compete on equal footing. A very interesting experiment was presented at the American craft sorts association coherence a couple of weeks ago that took identical mash bills and fermentation and then distilled them differently to put slightly different components into the barrel over them next twelve years they will be tanking sales and presenting how the gas chromatograph of the savored changes. This is then paired with a tasting too correlate the gc data to the pallet of the distillers.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Oredigger77 View Post
There are basically three ways the flavor of a spirit changes while aging in oak barrels the one that makes the biggest impact in the short term and the one that is the most noticeable is the extraction of flavor from the oak mainly tannins and vanillians. This is the flavor that the oak chips focus on.

The other two elements are the oxygenation of the booze which allows some of the oils and acids to change into more complex and desirable flavors. This is probably the most studies by modern chemists trying to fake age booze. Lastly is the angle share or evaporation of the spirit this create a concentration of the less volitle flavor elements and removes the most volatile compounds. On charred barrels there is also an effect from the char absorbing done of the spirit.

The craft distillers are putting slot of effort into understanding the secrets that three big bouts have known forever to try and allow them to compete on equal footing. A very interesting experiment was presented at the American craft sorts association coherence a couple of weeks ago that took identical mash bills and fermentation and then distilled them differently to put slightly different components into the barrel over them next twelve years they will be tanking sales and presenting how the gas chromatograph of the savored changes. This is then paired with a tasting too correlate the gc data to the pallet of the distillers.
Was this post composed while under the influence of some of Kentucky's finest?

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Old 03-14-2018, 06:49 AM
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that's where whisky and bourbon get all of their flavor; they start out as basically little more than high-proof distilled clear spirits (e.g like vodka.) the alcohol extracts stuff from the charred wood barrels which gives the final booze its color and flavor.
I would have thought that, but I've had "white dog" (unaged whiskey) several times and by several makers, and there is a definite taste to the base alcohol. It's not quite "clean" like vodka, but more like a eau-de-vie (I remember thinking the first time I had it at the Makers Mark distillery that it reminded me a bit of corny slivovitz.) I would say that yes, the vast majority of the flavor is barrels, but there still is a reasonable component in the base distillate.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:58 PM
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That's because, by law, bourbon has to come off the still and into the barrels at a much lower proof, leaving a lot more of the grains' character in the liquid.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Was this post composed while under the influence of some of Kentucky's finest?

Unfortunately, not just crappy phone typing. I need to remember to hold off long posts until I can at least see more then three lines at a time.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:05 AM
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That's because, by law, bourbon has to come off the still and into the barrels at a much lower proof, leaving a lot more of the grains' character in the liquid.
It seems to me that unless you are explicitly doing your best to create a pure, clear, "flavorless" spirit, your distillate will have the flavor of whatever you're making it from. I mean, just see all the clear, unaged liquors out there. And many of the flavors associated with something like Scotch whiskey (peat, for example) has nothing to do with flavors gotten from the barrel. So saying whisky and bourbon get all their flavor from the barrel is really stretching it. Perhaps there are some whiskeys out there that basically start off as a clear flavorless grain spirit, but the ones that immediately come to mind have flavors that start before the barreling.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:22 AM
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Maybe, but barrels account for a HUGE portion of that mellow, vanillin flavor and aroma that bourbon lovers...well, love. Especially since it's aged in new, charred oak. New barrels impart way more influence on anything aged in them as opposed to neutral tanks made of steel or old and reused barrels.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:46 AM
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Maybe, but barrels account for a HUGE portion of that mellow, vanillin flavor and aroma that bourbon lovers...well, love. Especially since it's aged in new, charred oak. New barrels impart way more influence on anything aged in them as opposed to neutral tanks made of steel or old and reused barrels.
Well, yes, the vanilla notes are from the barrel. But it didn't seem to me that we were exclusively talking about that flavor. Especially since the general "whiskey" was thrown in the conversation.
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Old 03-15-2018, 01:59 PM
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Jack Daniels is filtered through sugar maple charcoal before it goes into barrels. It is technically bourbon but they prefer to call it Tennessee whiskey.
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Old 03-15-2018, 02:18 PM
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Well, yes, the vanilla notes are from the barrel. But it didn't seem to me that we were exclusively talking about that flavor. Especially since the general "whiskey" was thrown in the conversation.
Like, now that I think of it, for example, I tend to disfavor wheated bourbons for high rye bourbons. For me, that aspect of flavor stands out. Wheated bourbons are too “sweet” and gentle for my tastes; I prefer the dryness and maybe roughness of high rye bourbons. That’s an issue of grain vs barrel.
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:05 AM
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Like, now that I think of it, for example, I tend to disfavor wheated bourbons for high rye bourbons. For me, that aspect of flavor stands out. Wheated bourbons are too “sweet” and gentle for my tastes; I prefer the dryness and maybe roughness of high rye bourbons. That’s an issue of grain vs barrel.
Is the sweetness from the wheat or the corn?
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:39 AM
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Is the sweetness from the wheat or the corn?
The bourbon experts can chime in, but the wheated bourbons always taste sweeter to me. I don’t think it’s necessarily the wheat that makes it sweet, but it’s a gentler grain and allows the sweetness of the corn to come through, whereas a high rye bourbon has, well, a lot of spicy rye to balance or cut the sweetness of the corn. My understanding is that wheated bourbons generaly don’t have rye at all. Maker’s, for instance, is 70% corn, 16 wheat, 14 malted barley. So is it more corn and no rye to balance it out? I think so, but I’m not an expert.
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Old 03-18-2018, 12:31 PM
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That's pretty much it. Without the rye to temper it, the corn's natural sweetness comes through cleaner. I like Maker's as a sipper, but it makes a crappy Manhattan for that reason.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:10 PM
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That's pretty much it. Without the rye to temper it, the corn's natural sweetness comes through cleaner. I like Maker's as a sipper, but it makes a crappy Manhattan for that reason.
Sometimes though, I like a crappy Manhattan. If I want something spicy and rye led, then that's what I want, and I will sip it and savour it. But if want to swill down Jack stirred up with Martini Rosso, then nothing else will do!
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:54 PM
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Yes, but then what you have is a Queens, not a Manhattan.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:42 PM
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Yes, but then what you have is a Queens, not a Manhattan.
Or a Blokehattan, as it's known in our house...though I concede you need a feel for British slang for that to actually chime.
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