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good sipping whiskey?

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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby brothers » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:10 am

We recently spent some time in two of my favorite states - Kentucky and Tennessee - had a great time and met some nice folks while visiting local distilleries. Our first time.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby pausted » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:02 pm

Gary, l want to do the Kentucky Bourbon Trail one of these days. Bourbon is my drink of choice. Any suggestions about "not to miss" places?
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Sam » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:46 am

I am just now seeing this thread and thought I would add my two cents to it. Back in August I had the opportunity to take a tour at the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg Tennessee. As part of the tour we got like a quarter ounce samples of five or six different Bourbons to sip and taste. During the tour we were told that whiskey is a bourbon at its core. A bourbon, by law as I was told, must include at least 50% corn and must be aged in Oak barrels. So Jack Daniels starts out as a bourbon. The second that it is filtered through the charcoal it no longer becomes a bourbon by law and then becomes a whiskey. They gave us samples of the Jack Daniels green label, the Jack Daniel's Black Labe, Gentleman Jack, Tennessee fire, and Tennessee Honey. The Tennessee Fire tastes like Fireball if you've ever had that, a real heavy dose of cinnamon. The Tennessee Honey is a little bit too sweet for my taste but it would be great if you were to serve it after dinner with a dessert or if you were going to make it into some sort of cocktail where you would have the honey taste predominate. The best sipping one was the Tennessee Gentleman Jack. On the tour they told us to stick our tongue and sswish the samples across the front of our tongue. That was the part that would pick up things such as sweetness or pepper. Frank Sinatra had his own bourbon made and it was a very expensive bottle, I think a fifth of Frank Sinatra label was $150. You can also buy your own single oak barrel and that runs about $6,000 plus taxes and shipping. There were a lot of businesses that would do it because they would get a lower price buy Volume for the Jack Daniels, but there were people such as Kevin Spacey and others that would buy it to celebrate birthdays
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby brothers » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:03 am

Sam, we opted for the Jack Daniel's "Angels' Share" tour a few days ago, when we were in Lynchburg. (We also toured George Dickels' distillery - highly recommend this one too.) The samples we were given at JD's were different: Sinatra Select, Single Barrel Proof, Jack Daniels Rye, and Single Barrel Select. Turned out to be a good choice, as we've already been fans of JD for a long time, including Gentleman Jack, and samples would have been unnecessary. Honestly, if I had to make a choice among all of these products, I'd stick with the Original black label and Gentleman Jack specifically. I was surprised that they are currently making a Rye Whiskey, which I did not care for. Thanks to the sample, that's one I won't be buying.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby brothers » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:12 am

pausted wrote:Gary, l want to do the Kentucky Bourbon Trail one of these days. Bourbon is my drink of choice. Any suggestions about "not to miss" places?


Basil, they're all very interesting. If you have time, I'd experience all of them. When we went to Woodford, we looked around, but the next tour was going to be an hour and a half delay, and we regretably decided to pass on the tour.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby pausted » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:21 pm

Thanks, Gary.

Our daughter just accepted a transfer to the Atlanta area so we will be visiting frequently. It will give me the chance to spend some time in KY and TN when we are over in that part of the US.
Best regards,

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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Rufus » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:20 pm

I'm very partial to a dram or two of Blackbush Irish whiskey and 40 Creek Canadian whisky.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Ouchmychin » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:18 am

If I recall the term "Straight Bourbon Whiskey" is regulated by the Federal Government to mean only whiskey from Kentucky that has a certain percent (50?) corn and is never blended. The most expensive and best I have tried was Blantons. Set me back $95 for a 5th. Beautiful decanter bottle with a race horse and rider on the top. It was the highest rated bourbon I have found one the web and I had to try it once. Gave most of it to my daughter and her husband. I am having kidney problems and am off all alcohol (including about 8 cases of good wines).
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Kyle76 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:49 pm

Blanton's has become hard to get around here. I tried to find a bottle to give my son-law to celebrate my grandson's birth a few weeks ago. The store said they have a hard time getting it, and when they do, it sells out quickly. I ended up buying Angel's Envy, which was highly recommended by the manager.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Squire » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:51 pm

Ouchmychin wrote:If I recall the term "Straight Bourbon Whiskey" is regulated by the Federal Government to mean only whiskey from Kentucky that has a certain percent (50?) corn and is never blended.


That's close Pete but the definition is a bit broader. The law regulates production means for Bourbon but it can be legally made anywhere in the United States. The specific formula is a grain recipe of at least 51% corn with the rest being other grains, usually rye and malted barley, though some producers substitute wheat for the rye. Other small grains can be used (oats, spelt, millet) but usually aren't. Bourbon also must be distilled at no more than 160 proof and barreled for aging at 125 proof. Aging container must be a new charred oak barrel for a minimum of 2 years to be designated as a Straight Bourbon. You're correct in saying it is not blended except with other Straight Bourbons.

All Bourbon undergoes a degree of filtration and Jack Daniels is a Bourbon by law (grain recipe, proof and aging standards) but back in the 1940s the guys in Tennessee figured out they could charge more by claiming it isn't.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby brothers » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:39 pm

Squire wrote:
Ouchmychin wrote:If I recall the term "Straight Bourbon Whiskey" is regulated by the Federal Government to mean only whiskey from Kentucky that has a certain percent (50?) corn and is never blended.


That's close Pete but the definition is a bit broader. The law regulates production means for Bourbon but it can be legally made anywhere in the United States. The specific formula is a grain recipe of at least 51% corn with the rest being other grains, usually rye and malted barley, though some producers substitute wheat for the rye. Other small grains can be used (oats, spelt, millet) but usually aren't. Bourbon also must be distilled at no more than 160 proof and barreled for aging at 125 proof. Aging container must be a new charred oak barrel for a minimum of 2 years to be designated as a Straight Bourbon. You're correct in saying it is not blended except with other Straight Bourbons.

All Bourbon undergoes a degree of filtration and Jack Daniels is a Bourbon by law (grain recipe, proof and aging standards) but back in the 1940s the guys in Tennessee figured out they could charge more by claiming it isn't.


That's helpful information. That last part has been the source of confusion for me, and now I know the truth. Thanks.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Ouchmychin » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:23 pm

Somewhere I read that bourbon can be made anywhere but Straight Bourbon Whiskey on the label means it must be from Kentucky. That's why Jack Danials can not say it on the label. It say's sour mash whiskey. No! I got it wrong. I just looked it up. Straight Bourbon Whiskey is the most restrictive and means bourbon whiskey that has been aged for at least 2 years in wood. Only SBW from Kentucky can say Kentucky SBW
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby brothers » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:45 pm

Four Roses Single Barrel, from Kentucky.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Squire » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:14 am

That's correct Pete, Straight Bourbon labels can also include the State where it's made but usually don't because Kentucky has claimed that title for so long. Actually one of the largest makers of Straight Bourbon in the Country, and the largest maker of Straight Rye, is MGP Industries in Lawerenceburg, Indiana. You don't see their name on the label though because their business model is selling their finished product to other companies who bottle and sell MGP product under their brands names. Of the major producers only Jim Beam, Wild Turkey and Heaven Hill (Evan Williams) make their own Rye whisky, everyone else who sells a Rye brand nationally sources from MGP and no matter how fancy the bottle or how high the price it's all standard MGP stuff. Good stuff, but the same nonetheless. There are some minor exceptions to that sweeping comment but MGP production is so massive it's actually cheaper for most companies to buy it from MGP than make it themselves. Virtually all the cheap vodka in the Country (even from major brands) is also made by MGP because their economy of scale allows them to sell it cheaper than others can make it. The last figures I saw MGP mashes about 40,000 bushels of corn a month.

It's true that Jack Daniels cannot put the word Kentucky on their label but they can certainly use the words "Straight Bourbon", also, all Bourbon and Rye whiskys are made by the sour mash process which was developed by Dr. James Crow back in the 1830s.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Ouchmychin » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:34 pm

Thanks Squire. One of my favorite bourbons and their rye is Bullette (sp?). I am pretty sure it say made in Lawrenceburg. I like the touch of rye in their bourbon. If I recall, Makers Mark smoothed their bourbon by eliminating rye and substituting wheat. Never cared for it but have a friend who does. Oh, and I checked their site and no Jack Daniels whisky is bourbon. It is all called Tennesse Whiskey. I suspect the corn content is less than 51%.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Squire » Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:44 pm

Pete the mash bill for all JD products is 80% corn, 8% malted barley and 12% rye. Some time ago I had a candid conversation with the Master Distiller in charge of production at JD where he freely admitted JD was certainly a Bourbon though he would never say that on the record because it conflicts with the carefully constructed public image the parent company Brown-Forman has maintained for JD over the years.

The other major Tennessee distiller, George Dickel, uses a similar mash bill of 80% corn, 12% barley, 8% rye and also feature the words Tennessee and Sour Mash on their label. It also qualifies as a Bourbon but it really doesn't matter to me how either of these brands choose to describe themselves.

Makers Mark is the best known of the wheat recipe Bourbons though they didn't develop the recipe. MM's mash bill of 70% corn, 20% wheat and 10% malted barley is the exact recipe given to Bill Samuels Sr by Pappy Van Winkle when Samuels Sr. started his distillery in the early 1950s. Pappy also gave them some grain and the unique Stitzel-Weller yeast strain to help them get started. Pappy also sent his Master Distiller down to Loretto to teach the Makers Mark people how to distill a wheat recipe Bourbon. All that information is well documented from first person accounts and it is no exaggeration to say Makers Mark is a clone of the famous Pappy Van Winkle brand.

Bulleit Bourbon is the brain child of Louisville attorney Tom Bulleit and though it was originally promoted as an old Bulleit family recipe from the beginning it was made under contract by Four Roses using their mash bill "B" which is 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley. Very few Bourbons have that high a rye content (Old Grand Dad is close at 30%) and it does give the Bourbon a distinctive flavor. That contract has expired and now Bulleit is contract distilled by other major producers (primarily Beam) while the new Bulleit distillery is under construction.

It beats me why distillers have made up such tall tales about the origin of their brands (secret family recipes and all that) when the true history is often more interesting.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Ouchmychin » Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:52 pm

I applaud your first hand knowledge Squire. Mine is just from my online zeal. When I got interested in why I liked certain bourbons and not others I started surfing. My step son and my son-in-law both brought me bottles labeled as bourbon that contained what seemed to be something other. One was even cherry flavored (Cherry Herring?). Now that I can't have any I am limited to just study.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby sgtrecon212 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:32 pm

Woodford Reserve is pretty good stuff.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby brothers » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:33 am

Kyle76 wrote:Blanton's has become hard to get around here. I tried to find a bottle to give my son-law to celebrate my grandson's birth a few weeks ago. The store said they have a hard time getting it, and when they do, it sells out quickly. I ended up buying Angel's Envy, which was highly recommended by the manager.


I found 2 bottles of Blanton's recently. I was told that the shipments are few and far between, and the merchants never know exactly when or how much they will get from Buffalo Trace. Usually one or two cases which would be maybe 24 bottles or so, and it disappears quickly. There was one bottle on the shelf and unknown to the clerk, It turned out there was another one hidden away under the front counter. No doubt it's unusually expensive, and I jokingly told the clerk I probably should have bought both. I haven't tasted it yet, but am eager to find out what all the excitement is about.
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Re: good sipping whiskey?

Postby Kyle76 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:25 am

What was the price, Gary? I saw some online at $99, but I think that was higher than the last store price I saw.
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