Brands of bourbon and rye content ?

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Shore
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Brands of bourbon and rye content ?

Postby Shore » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:34 pm

Hello,
I interested what bourbon are with low in rye, and which medium and high?
I do not understand why only a few brands tell content of rye, I do not like bourbon with lots of rye, but overall I like bourbon (with a little rye) but I do not know to which brands to prefer a purchase (except those who have purchase so far) ?

BSinTX
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Re: Brands of bourbon and rye content ?

Postby BSinTX » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:37 pm

Welcome to the forum. To be honest, you will get much more information if you go to a Bourbon specific site. What you are referring to is called the "Mash Bill" which designates the percentage of: corn, rye, and malted barley. There are a few Bourbons out there that use no rye at all; Weller's is the first one I can think of.

Four Roses Distillery uses two mash bills; one with low rye content and the other with a higher rye content. The nice part about this is that it is usually stated on the side of the bottle or at least it does when you get the single barrel varieties. They also use 4 types of yeast strains and will indicate this on the bottle as well. 8 recipes in all.

If you don't like high rye content, stay away from anything with Wild Turkey on the lablel; they don't call it "Kickin' Chicken" for nothing.

Shore
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Re: Brands of bourbon and rye content ?

Postby Shore » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:30 am

Thank you and thank you very much for the explanation.

In fact, after I drink Wild Turkey 101 I found that this brand is not for me.
In same time, I found one forum where there is written mash bill of some brand. and Wild Turkey was not of top end of high rye.
In another page (http://www.whiskeyprof.com/theres-only- ... ipes-yall/) Woodford Reserve (18% rye) and Wild Turkey are given as Traditional ? But Woodford Reserve is much better of Wild Turkey, I dont know.
So far I buy usually Makers Mark ( 0% rye) and Woodford Reserve (18% rye ?) ( and some time Tenesse wiskey ... 8% rye)
I want to explore more for Knob Creek and Elijah Craig, but Old Fitzgerald , Van Winkle, Rebel Yell maybe are better for my taste.

BSinTX
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Re: Brands of bourbon and rye content ?

Postby BSinTX » Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:19 pm

There is a lot of good information on that site. As stated, some distilleries are up front about their mash bill and others are very secretive. Because the law requires Bourbon to be at least 51% corn and a batch will require at least 10% malted barley (in order to create enough enzymes to convert the corn starch into fermentable sugars), this leaves not too much room as far as rye to corn content; 51% and 39% respectively. If a distillery goes to 70% corn, then they use 20% rye, 75% corn = 15% rye (always about 10% malted barley.)

One thing I have discovered from drinking bourbon is that yeast is a very important ingredient. Four Roses Distillery explains on the side of each bottle of Single Barrel what mash bill and yeast type. I was blown away at how the same mash bill with a different yeast could be light years apart in terms of flavor. In other words, don't get too caught up in the rye content. Bourbon distillers tend to use several types of char in their selection of oak barrels. They can order charring in 4 different stages from light to "alligator back". The more char, the bolder the vanilla and typically the more mellow the whiskey after longer periods of aging. In my opinion, this is why Woodford Reserve is so darned good. They use #4 charred barrels for their product and age it on average for nine years in steam powered rick houses (to speed up the aging during the cold Kentucky winters.)

Van Winkle is next to impossible to find...when it goes on sale once a year, there is typically a line several hundred people long by 4am if the store opens at 9am. Rebel Yell is nasty stuff....probably not too bad if you mix it with coke (the soda :D ). Most of the products listed on that page are made by the same distillery. What they do is they try to make excellent bourbon and end up having about 50% that just doesn't come out well. They can either sell it and allow some other company to age and bottle it (Noah's Mill and Rowan's Creek are good examples) or they can bottle it themselves under a different name and sell it for a low price. If you wanted to do so, you can buy several barrels of bourbon from any distillery and bottle it yourself with your own labels. Bourbon is no different than any other distilled product; to make a good whiskey, you must start out with making lots of lousy whiskey.

Shore
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Re: Brands of bourbon and rye content ?

Postby Shore » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:04 am

This is all very interesting, thank you again.
Just to add that Van Winkle bourbon now it became even more interesting. But in Europe can not or is difficult to find even on the internet store. They must have a pretty interesting business policy.

Pierre
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Re: Brands of bourbon and rye content ?

Postby Pierre » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:03 am

Maybe Elijah Craig or Blanton's are not indeed the best thing for you... Weller was not bad and more mellow, I'd recommend that.

BSinTX
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Re: Brands of bourbon and rye content ?

Postby BSinTX » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:57 pm

Shore wrote:This is all very interesting, thank you again.
Just to add that Van Winkle bourbon now it became even more interesting. But in Europe can not or is difficult to find even on the internet store. They must have a pretty interesting business policy.



Buffalo Trace, the distillery that makes Van Winkle, only puts it out once a year. Unlike Cognac, the casks (or barrels) of Bourbon are not topped up every year to replace evaporation. Because Van Winkle is about 20 years old, the distillery runs the risk of aging the whiskey until the barrel is empty. For this reason, 20 year old Bourbon is very difficult (and expensive) to produce and it yields small amounts. Five or six years ago, you could probably find it on the shelves of obscure liquor stores. Now that EVERYBODY who drinks Bourbon knows what it is, liquor store that receive it tend to stash it for their best customers. In Kentucky, it retails for about $180 a bottle and only gets more expensive the farther away it travels from the distillery. Because name recognition is so powerful, people who purchase a bottle are often offered double of what they paid for it.


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