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Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach
January 5, 2016 at 10:05 pm
Hi Mike! LOVE YOUR PAGE
January 10, 2016 at 10:03 pm
I’m a bit of a laggard as I only just discovered you are posting blogs this week. I pleased to see you are bringing your bourbon knowledge to a public forum to be shared.
You make a good point about the lower proof back in the 19th century having an effect on flavor extraction. More highly fractional spirit distillation did not appear in the US whiskey industry until after the Civil War with the installation of column or beer stills. Rectifying columns or chambered stills were another matter. Crow’s pot still would have been at a lower range compared with today’s barrel entry proofs (55 – 62.5% ABV)
Interestingly, I have come across Caribbean rum imported to New England in the 19th century being diluted to 45% ABV/90P for maturation. Jamaican rum was distilled at 61 – 65% ABV (highest, using pot stills) while Barbados rum was lower proof (not as ‘fiery, more mellow and palatable; probably 52 – 55%). Distillers and agents seem to have been quite aware of the accelerated flavor impact of maturing spirit at lower proofs by the early 19th century.
Another factor impacting on flavor development was cask size. It was not until during the Second World War the US Government created the ASB 53 gallons/200 litres so requisitioning was to a standardized size (storage, strength & handling). After Prohibition it appears the 48 gallons was the most popular capacity, Certainly, not the standard. Before Prohibition it was quite varied. At Crow’s time is was probably 40 or 42 gallons. Virginia, February 23rd 1631, set a barrel at 42 gallons (one sixth of a tun). They seem to have set a default standard for American coppers. The reason the petroleum industry in Pennsylvania back in the mid-1860s, standardizing their barrel at 42 gallons as the bulk of the supply was coming from coopers making casks for the whiskey industry.possibly even buying used barrels for their oil needs.
The +20% difference in barrel capacity (42 versus 53 gallons) would have also contributed to increasing to the intensity of the whiskey’s flavor.
Kind regards Chris
January 16, 2016 at 5:46 pm
How can I have you over in our hotel to talk about bourbon with our team? We would love to host you! We are in the process of rolling out an extensive bourbon program in all our bars and would love your expertise.
March 14, 2016 at 3:55 pm
I would like to get an idea of the value and information on a bottle of heavin hill 5th that my Father bought in 1964 for Nevada centennial. Never never been opened.
April 27, 2017 at 6:08 am
Have you all tried Virgil Kaine? It’s out of Charleston, SC. Inexpensive, comparable to Bulleit, but with a bit more astringency. Love, love, love Virgil Kaine. (Their rye is my favorite- I skip the flavored stuff they have)
April 29, 2017 at 4:28 pm
Probably off-topic on the “Comments” page, but this reply is to Gordo. Before everyone jumps down your throat for even mentioning a TerrePURE-treated product, y’all should read Fred Minnick’s article from two years ago about changes that are coming to American whiskey, whether we like it or not.
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