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(Scientific American)   In the bourbon and whiskey business, the barrel is everything. That's why distillers are experimenting with new barrels and aging processes, including putting the barrels on a boat and letting them sail the seven seas for four years   (scientificamerican.com) divider line 15
    More: Cool, Makers, cellulose, low-pressures, straws, distillates, caramel  
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8057 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Mar 2013 at 3:31 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-19 03:45:43 AM
2 votes:
How cute, trying out one of the things that makes Norwegian akvavit so durn tasty.

http://www.norsk-akevitt.org/article.aspx?catID=1321&artID=3954
2013-03-19 03:39:53 AM
2 votes:
Where do I put in my resume to be "guy who drives a tugboat full of whiskey around the oceans". Because that sounds farking grand. I don't even drink, the booze would be safe with me!
2013-03-19 04:42:07 PM
1 votes:

meat0918: Jim_Callahan: TheWhoppah: Whisky and whiskey are fundamentally just "wood tea" made with vodak instead of water.

Grain mash.  Vodka would be potatoes.  Also they're distilled and often blended, which is kind of the opposite of how tea works (tea goes from a concentrate to a dilute through its processing, whiskey goes the other way).

Also, on a similar note to my previous post, Whisky and Whiskey are just different transliterations of an old British Isles word for "water".  They aren't separate things and you can just write one or the other, like Hercules and Herakles when you're talking about Greek mythology.

//Aware that z-C already made the second point in the form of a joke, but some people are genuinely confused on the point and I'm feeling educational.

You'd be surprised how many vodkas aren't made from potatoes.  Besides, it's just Russian for "Little Water"

I was shocked how many hard liquors are corn based, fermented up, then distilled (because ethanol is ethanol), then diluted back down  to the appropriate proof and flavors added.

This of course varies on what type of distillation method you're using.  I'm still researching things myself.

//Corn mash rules the liquor world apparently


Hell, you might be shocked even harder. A lot of "Boutique" distillers, and purvayers of rot gut may just be buying industrial NGS (Neutral Grain Spirit) by the 55 gallon drum and redistilling it to get it to potable ranges of purity.

Where does NGS come from? Many places, but one big one is brewery waste water. AB for example. Most of their brewery plants have a separate sewage system. For collecting all the spilt beer and rinse water from the operation. That waste water is distilled of its ethanol and that is sold off as NGS to third party distributors as an industrial product. The majority of it is used as ethanol gasoline additive, but some of it gets turned into vodka
2013-03-19 01:37:09 PM
1 votes:

misthop: This would be as good a place as any to ask a question I've had.

I have a 4 month old son. I think it would be cool to have a barrel of Whiskey, Bourbon or (gasp) Rye put down for him to be bottled when he becomes a certain age.  I've seen offers where you can pick a barrel and have it special bottled for you (Jack Daniel's, Four Roses) but they seem to be for after aging. I would like to have a barrel marked for him before it is put down to age.

Any ideas?


When you join the Maker's Mark Ambassador club your name goes on a barrel, about 8 years later you're invited to the distillery to dip a bottle containing the bourbon from your barrel.
2013-03-19 01:27:45 PM
1 votes:

misthop: This would be as good a place as any to ask a question I've had.

I have a 4 month old son. I think it would be cool to have a barrel of Whiskey, Bourbon or (gasp) Rye put down for him to be bottled when he becomes a certain age.  I've seen offers where you can pick a barrel and have it special bottled for you (Jack Daniel's, Four Roses) but they seem to be for after aging. I would like to have a barrel marked for him before it is put down to age.

Any ideas?


If you're looking to extend the aging of an existing whiskey, you can pick up used oak barrels from most homebrew supply shops or other online retailers.  If you're looking to create your own whiskey from a neutral spirit (vodka, everclear, white lightening*) then check these guys out for a virgin charred oak barrel.

*note: applicable laws may vary for your location.
2013-03-19 12:38:04 PM
1 votes:

meat0918: Bruxellensis: Polish Hussar: Also, one of the main ways the "moonshine" picks up its color and flavor from the wood is from being drawn in and out of the wood due to changes in temperature. That may not work as well with wood chips in a glass jarl as it does with a wooden barrel. Modern Marvels - "Distilleries" - Barrel Aging.

It works just fine with chips/cubes in a glass jar.  There's really no way to replace the real thing, but you can make a very good whiskey by using chips/cubes in a glass jar.  It'll get the right color, aroma, flavor and everything.

If I actually liked what oak does to alcohol, I'd try this at home.

Took me nearly 30 years and a chance visit to a hardwood mill that happened to be cutting red oak that day to figure out why I don't like Merlot or Whiskey.

Walked in and asked "Why does it smell like whiskey in here?"


Whiskey and wine barrels are typically made from whiteoak.

/Always thought red oak smelled sour and vinegary myself.
2013-03-19 12:37:17 PM
1 votes:

meat0918: Bruxellensis: Polish Hussar: Also, one of the main ways the "moonshine" picks up its color and flavor from the wood is from being drawn in and out of the wood due to changes in temperature. That may not work as well with wood chips in a glass jarl as it does with a wooden barrel. Modern Marvels - "Distilleries" - Barrel Aging.

It works just fine with chips/cubes in a glass jar.  There's really no way to replace the real thing, but you can make a very good whiskey by using chips/cubes in a glass jar.  It'll get the right color, aroma, flavor and everything.

If I actually liked what oak does to alcohol, I'd try this at home.

Took me nearly 30 years and a chance visit to a hardwood mill that happened to be cutting red oak that day to figure out why I don't like Merlot or Whiskey.

Walked in and asked "Why does it smell like whiskey in here?"


Careful.  You want white oak, not red oak.
2013-03-19 12:30:02 PM
1 votes:

Bruxellensis: Polish Hussar: Also, one of the main ways the "moonshine" picks up its color and flavor from the wood is from being drawn in and out of the wood due to changes in temperature. That may not work as well with wood chips in a glass jarl as it does with a wooden barrel. Modern Marvels - "Distilleries" - Barrel Aging.

It works just fine with chips/cubes in a glass jar.  There's really no way to replace the real thing, but you can make a very good whiskey by using chips/cubes in a glass jar.  It'll get the right color, aroma, flavor and everything.


If I actually liked what oak does to alcohol, I'd try this at home.

Took me nearly 30 years and a chance visit to a hardwood mill that happened to be cutting red oak that day to figure out why I don't like Merlot or Whiskey.

Walked in and asked "Why does it smell like whiskey in here?"
2013-03-19 12:17:41 PM
1 votes:

lack of warmth: Zeno-25: GBB: Tobin_Lam: I like my Jack Daniels wood chips. They give things a nice flavor and they smell good even before you burn them.

Wood chips.... That give me an idea.  If they are looking for more surface area, why don't they use charred wood chips in the barrel?  Or perhaps peices of the staves floating around in there?

I have a friend who tried just that, some unaged 'moonshine' from the store in some mason jars with charred bits of hardwood for six months to a year.

It was drinkable, but the only non-alcohol flavor was the vanilla flavors from the wood. He thinks he charred the wood chunks too much.

Maybe filter before drinking.  Or was he in too much of a hurry since he couldn't wait the seven years.  Did also take into account that the brew isn't suppose to be in the light during the seven years either.  They maybe traditions, but they are traditions built on experimentation.


Also, one of the main ways the "moonshine" picks up its color and flavor from the wood is from being drawn in and out of the wood due to changes in temperature.  That may not work as well with wood chips in a glass jarl as it does with a wooden barrel.  Modern Marvels - "Distilleries" - Barrel Aging.
2013-03-19 12:16:10 PM
1 votes:

mistersnark: Bruxellensis: Jim_Callahan: TheWhoppah: Whisky and whiskey are fundamentally just "wood tea" made with vodak instead of water.

Grain mash.  Vodka would be potatoes.  Also they're distilled and often blended, which is kind of the opposite of how tea works (tea goes from a concentrate to a dilute through its processing, whiskey goes the other way).

Vodka doesn't have to be made from a potato mash, and often isn't.

Also, I see what TheWhoppah is saying, which I think you missed.  The point is that the neutral spirit is absorbing its color and flavor from the charred wood - almost like a tea.

Vodak is flavorless off the still.  Whisk(e)y is not.  The difference comes in the grains used, yeast strains, and any peat aromas from the malting process.


Um no, not necessarily.  First, that will depend on the type of still used.  A reflux still will produce a pretty flavorless spirit, no matter what the sugar source was, or the yeast used.  Whiskey gets the bulk of its flavor from the barrels.  Islay Scotch whisky uses less reflux in their distillation to preserve some of the smoked flavor from the malt.  Some whisky producers use variations of the pot still for this reason.  The yeast doesn't matter as much, since hardly any of the esters from the yeast are carried into the final spirit.
2013-03-19 12:15:15 PM
1 votes:
They've had this down to religious ritual level of adherence and attention to detail (and have cultivated that image quite successfully even though it is largely an industrial process now) for how they make whiskey at many distillers.  Everything is controlled, and they've employed scientists and researchers for years.

For instance, doesn't the Jack Daniel's distillery have it's own saw mill to cut the wood for the charcoal used to char the barrels?

Even with all this, I'd wager one could trick whiskey taste testers the same as they do wine taste testers into picking cheap swill over the good stuff based on price alone.
2013-03-19 12:10:58 PM
1 votes:
Wife got me a bottle of this for Christmas. I'm in love with it . . . (and her)

www.whiskyadvocateblog.com
2013-03-19 11:36:26 AM
1 votes:
FTA:
The former fortified wine barrels had wine soaked into the wood and are larger than standard whiskey barrels, giving the Woodford Reserve a larger surface-to-whiskey ratio....

I read this and immediately thought "someone didn't pay enough attention during their HS math classes". I was happy to see that the first few comments at the bottom of the article pointed this out. With a barrel, the volume will increase faster than the surface area, thus producing an inverse relationship of what the article suggests.
2013-03-19 09:01:25 AM
1 votes:
I've had the ocean aged whiskey...

Look, I'm a bourbon fan, I have about 12 to choose from in my bar right now, I've done the Urban Bourbon Trail, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, I've been to tastings and done tours of distillers not on the "trail".


This stuff is foul, it's a blackish, cloudy color and the taste is the same.  Gimmicky bullshiat.

/I want some of the tornado-surviving stuff, I hear it is amazing.

http://whiskeyreviewer.com/2012/03/colonel-e-h-taylor-tornado-bourbo n- whiskey-review/
2013-03-19 04:17:33 AM
1 votes:

WegianWarrior: How cute, trying out one of the things that makes Norwegian akvavit so durn tasty.

http://www.norsk-akevitt.org/article.aspx?catID=1321&artID=3954


Yep. Linie Aquavit is named after the tradition of sending oak barrels of akvavit on ships from Norway to Australia and back again, thereby passing the equator (Linie) twice before being bottled. http://www.linie.com/
 
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