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Bourbon County Barleywine

Discussion in 'Beer Releases' started by xnicknj, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. RunningIPA

    RunningIPA Zealot (95) Illinois Dec 5, 2010

    youradhere likes this.
  2. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    Didn't Elijah Craig simply REPLACE the 18 year old with a 20 year old variation? Not discontinue it?
  3. ummm, this is BA not daytime PBS. . . X,Y,A,B? :rolleyes:

    #1. where did i intimate poor base beer will taste good if dumped in a premium barrel?? i did indicate a premium barrel usually has a track record that is good, and therefore probably is good for whatever else is later put in it, including ale. screw cows & dairy products. let's talk horses & riders. i'm saying put a good jockey (solid base ale) on a thoroughbred (good quality barrel), vs. put a good... or even mediocre jokey on a mule & sound foolish saying "it's irrelevant". please. home-brewed empirical proof?? what was the original source of your "Old Crow" barrel(s)?

    meantime, lemme' put this shit in braille for you. i did not say a premium spirit barrel automatically produces a good barrel aged ale. i implied there's reasons distillations evolve into premium spirits - one of them is EXCELLENT barrel integrity to begin with. also for the record, where the hell did you come up with premium barrels manifest premium flavor?? please define for us all scientifically (since that's the term demanded here) or otherwise exactly what "premium flavor" tastes like or consists of!

    for anybody actually interested in reality, distillers use specialized staff or some might say, trained 'professionals' to ascertain what barrels possess end result spirits that will be bottled for top, mid or lower shelf etc. it's pretty common that bottom shelf spirits tend to see less maturation than premium spirits. 1 reason to designate to younger, lower shelf tiers is higher yields & faster return on investment. another obvious reason is because the trained professionals have, in their professional opinion, ruled out long term viability.
  4. no. and Heaven Hill would like you to not notice it either.
    MarcatGSB likes this.
  5. youradhere

    youradhere Savant (460) Arkansas Feb 29, 2008

    Perhaps you should have been more clear so as to rule out confusion ;)

    Now we are getting to the real base of the quality issue- quality of the wood that makes up the barrels. Is GI using Hungarian, French, US, or small-batch oak. Which coopers are making said barrels, and to what depth is the char going into each stave?

    To answer one of your more tangential questions- there was no Old Crow barrel, just spirals soaked in them. But there again maybe this discussion has shed some light on the issue- for each experiment, I used the same variety of Hungarian oak spiral, so maybe indeed it is the varietal of oak used in the barrel that lends to distinguishing profiles? :D
    BearsBrotsBulls likes this.
  6. ok, originally i thought you were just fuggin' with or had a few. maybe everybody i interacted with misread my comments figuring i was shilling for premium brands?? sorry if i came off irritable above.

    your barrel experience is pretty much what i figured. i don't think much conclusive can be drawn on actual spent 53 gal. distiller barrel results by comparing to smaller sized barrels, and i definitely think you're miles off of getting a true representation of any sort of a real Old Crow barrel by pouring watered down, filtered, finished spirit over Hungarian oak. and i say that with absolutely no offense intended.

    for something closer to *scientific* on the subject check this out... again. or dig up Buffalo Trace's press release:

    http://www.whiskyadvocateblog.com/2012/08/24/small-barrels-vs-large-barrels-some-perspective/
    Levitation likes this.
  7. Goosey

    Goosey Aficionado (240) Missouri Jan 18, 2012

    I would love to try this side-by-side with Bolt Cutter and a Barrel Aged Big Foot, and see who wins between the big three. Are these guys the big three? I guess I would consider them to be the big three as far as good national distribution, and beers that everyody collectively cums over. I could see Bells in one of those spots though.
  8. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (455) New York Jun 7, 2005

    No. And for quite a few reasons:

    - No one has had this GI barleywine yet.
    - Bolt Cutter has been slammed more times than Ashley Blue.
    - The vote is still out on BA Bigfoot since its national presence still remains to be seen.

    None of these aren't even in the "big ten", nevermind the "big three"

    If anyone actually came from drinking Bolt Cutter then it wasn't because it was that good....it was likely because they were just that drunk.
    yojimbo1, JDizzle, POTABLE83 and 2 others like this.
  9. Goosey

    Goosey Aficionado (240) Missouri Jan 18, 2012

    I'm talking about breweries that are the big three not barleywines, which is why I mentioned national distribution as well as Bells. Also, I said BEERS that everyone collectively came over. AKA everyone cums over these three breweries special releases, and they have good national distribution giving them a contending spot for the big three craft breweries in North America. If you are going to try to slam my post, at least read it first.
    smutty33 likes this.
  10. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (455) New York Jun 7, 2005

    Your original post was lacking context, so don't act so surprised that someone misunderstood it. You listed three beers and then pondered who would win over "the big three". Do you see how someone would interpret your reference? I've never heard anyone even suggest that these particular breweries are part of some kind of national conference. I fail to see the relevance between any of them. The distinction needed to be made. Nowhere in your post did you use the word "brewery" nor did you even use the name of any brewery....with the exception of Bell's (which was a curveball in and of itself considering that the closest thing they produce to a barleywine is Third Coast).

    So basically, your post was not about barleywines at all, but rather the collective reaction that BA's have over 3 incredibly disparate breweries. Got it!
    Etan likes this.
  11. Goosey

    Goosey Aficionado (240) Missouri Jan 18, 2012

    Sorry that it was so confusing for you. Next time I will be real clear on my posts so that those who troll around looking for posts to shit on can pass me over next time. While I'm at it I'll mark my door with lamb's blood. Just to be clear that was a reference to the passover. Also, Third Coast is an Old Ale.
    lonewolfcry and smutty33 like this.
  12. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Savant (455) New York Jun 7, 2005

    So that's a little extreme.

    Hmm....I guess that's why I stated that Third Coast is the closest thing they produce to a barleywine.

    Thanks. This is my first day here.
    claspada, xnicknj, Gosox8787 and 3 others like this.
  13. all of those are coincidence, not just #5, but it's definitely food for thought. i completely agree that a 23-year-old barrel is going to show more structural integrity / better treatment of its spirit than the younger, harsher barrels. that being said, there's no a priori reason to assume that a younger barrel (e.g. elijah craig 12 year) wouldn't eventually have gone on to become something more premium (such as ec 20) if it hadn't been plucked early. so while age may be an assurance of barrel integrity, the converse is not true: youth does not assure lack of integrity.

    if the premium bourbon shortage hits, it doesn't mean that bourbon barrels will experience a shortage, or that barrel integrity / quality will drop. rather, you'll see the median age of bourbon drop for some time (distillers will start harvesting barrels at younger ages even if they can probably go for another 10), possibly coinciding with a vanishing of age statements. give it another 10 years or so and production will probably recover to catch up with increased demand. we'll see.

    as far as gi releasing less bcbs to california than intended, that could be from mischaracterization of demand than from underestimation of supply. not too damning yet.

    the last two 'batches' of ec 18 that i picked up had mash dates that were, strangely, 18 and then 20 years prior to bottling. they actually went to an older set of barrels for the last release of ec 18, suggesting to me that there was some wide-spread batch problem. then shortly after, they realized they could sell it as ec 20 with an even-more premium price, and *poof* ec 20 was released.

    interesting that goose island dumped a large batch of beer from rebel yell barrels.
    BdubleEdubleRUN likes this.
  14. excellent points!

    let's do this in reverse. you remember Heaven Hill had a huge fire 1996ish? while 1996+18 = 2014 you probably can guess where i'm headed. it relates back to that bottle image i shared consisting of product Heaven Hill bottles but through factual reference we can prove they did not distill. long story short, Heaven Hill was forced to buy whiskey from other distillers. if that doesn't make sense here's a scientific explanation as to why:

    [​IMG]


    i realize these guys want notarized statements & affidavits, lol, i'm going to guess your 20 year old Elijah Craig that was bottled & priced as normal 18 year old... was 1990 distillate (right?) if so, i believe the 1990 was skipped over & the 1992 distillate was bottled first at 18 years old... the obvious is the 1990 was skipped because well, only a Beaver is interested in that much f'n lumber by the glass.:p
  15. Releasing this beer seems to be causing a lot of arguments. I think that we should all boycott buying this beer in response. I won't buy it either, promise ;)
    siege06nd and Highbrow like this.
  16. A lot of distilleries buy whiskey from other distilleries here in KY...Pappy is the biggest one which is well known. Not that barrel warehouse on fire is just one of their many, many barrel warehouses also. They did in fact cut the EJ 18 (my favorite all time bourbon) to EJ 20 and jacked the price to like $120 or even $150 in some places.
  17. BeermaGeddon13

    BeermaGeddon13 Aspirant (30) Jan 24, 2013

    You haven't lived til you've taken a power drill and shotgunned a KH. God bless America.
    effyeaAB likes this.
  18. sorry i said in reverse. i completely missed this little sentence.

    Rebel Yell use to be S-W juice, in other words rejected Old Fitz, Van Winkle & Old Weller. it was good stuff mid shelf. and that speaks to my point. HH bought the label & it since went from a pretty solid poor man's Van Winkle to graffiti removal solvent. jmho.
    Levitation likes this.
  19. ding ding ding

    lol! ya, i found it incredibly tannic and astringent.
    BdubleEdubleRUN likes this.
  20. correct. but what you probably never really bothered to factor or at least ponder is the distilleries do this because they have tons of their own delicious juice sitting in their own warehouses - or they do it because they actually need supplements? which, unless they just like throwing their own money to their competitors, what does that tell you about their own supplies?
  21. right. we will see. the 1 thing i want to point out is your theory is dependent upon the current crews driving the car being capable of producing similar caliber whiskey as we've become use to. what we became use to was loaded with the extinct glut whiskey. since the glut was the result of false assumption on demand, there is a vacuum period where productions ceased. & swallowed up in that vacuum were a lot of the actual car drivers who made the stuff. gone with them are their techniques, their strands of yeast, their barrel houses etc. etc. etc.

    for example, Old Fitzgerald also use to be S-W juice just like the Rebel - except Old Fitz was the gold standard. now, i don't have a notarized confession on hand but just thinking about those two brands, one might come to the conclusion either the current label owner & distiller is hell bent on destroying former reputable brand names OR the distiller probably isn't producing high caliber whiskey by the cargo ship full. mean while they also drop a flagship, well aged premium iteration. if these things are any indication of what we should expect going forward, Stevie Wonder can see where the car is headed.
  22. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    I have a question, do you have any evidence at all of your conjecture that the quality of the barrel makes a noticeable difference in BA beers?
  23. Never had the chance to try KH so this news is very exciting to me. Hopefully if this is successful in keg only form it will move to bottles at some point. Four packs would be ideal. Two to drink fresh and two to age.
  24. JohnB87

    JohnB87 Savant (325) Michigan Mar 14, 2011

    This thread is boring as hell. Can we talk about GI Barleywine again?
    Rainblows, leftyhyzer, ckobes and 8 others like this.
  25. Monsone

    Monsone Savant (350) Illinois Jun 5, 2006

    1. Yes Goose uses Heaven Hill Barrels for BCS. But their supply has been maxing out
    2. This doesn't really apply since Goose specs out 10-13 year barrels for BCS. So a EC18 barrel wouldn't be purchased for use in aging BCS.
    4. The wheated whiskey BCS (Rebel Yell) came out too hot so it was blended into the 2012 BCS (3-4% IIRC)
    5. Laffler had said that the Pappy 23 barrels are ultra premium construction and wood. Although, they were 23 years old had were considerably more "aged" than others that come in.


    Bottom line. In the case of BCS the barrels do matter. But more so with the age of the whiskey than specific brands. But MORE important is the design of the base beer and process for the aging. MOST important is the skill of the man blending the batches so that the beer is released as intended.

    Since Goose release a shit ton more BCS than most barrel aged beers, they have the ability to blend things like low storage, high storage, different parts of the warehouse, etc to make the beer the best it can be. Most smaller brewers don't have that luxury or skill, whatever goes in the barrels gets dumped together and bottled.
  26. Monsone

    Monsone Savant (350) Illinois Jun 5, 2006

    Laffler admitted as much in FOBAB documentary video. He said roughly that he asked Siebel if they would do classes for barrel aging beers and they said no. His quote was roughly the only place to learn this stuff is to go intern for Jean Van Roy at Cantillon or Armand at Drie Fontainen.
  27. SHODriver

    SHODriver Savant (455) Louisiana Aug 13, 2010

    I respectfully disagree, Eclipse variants do not all taste the same or have the same characteristics to varying degrees. Old Fitz and Mellow Corn were a markedly different product.

    Did you use an actual used bourbon barrel or soaked oak chips/spirals?
  28. youradhere

    youradhere Savant (460) Arkansas Feb 29, 2008

    Soaked spirals, but that goes with the discussion- it is the wood of the barrels that gives the flavor, not necessarily the spirits themselves. Put Old Crow in a good barrel and you have a better product. Essentially people should be looking to the quality of the cooperage of barrels, not the name brand of the spirit that used it.
  29. zach60614

    zach60614 Savant (265) Illinois May 1, 2012

    What?
    No.
    I would say Old Crow is much more a result of only 3 years of aging. Leave it in the barrel for 18 years and you have a completely different brand. Age is more important than the unused barrel it is being placed in in the case of bourbon.
  30. youradhere

    youradhere Savant (460) Arkansas Feb 29, 2008

    I agree, and pretty much what I'm trying to say :)
  31. zach60614

    zach60614 Savant (265) Illinois May 1, 2012

    Your last post read to me more as it is the quality of the new oak barrel itself is the more important determinant of bourbon quality.
  32. against my better judgment i'm going to chime one last time.

    1. some intelligent people agreed that a long aged barrel typically indicates superior construction & performance.
    2. other intelligent people indicated the age a barrel survives to, appears to have an effect on barrel aged beer.
    3. most intelligent people indicated the brand is irrelevant.

    while i know most gents think otherwise, 1 & 2 only spotlight the fact that the brand is relevant. the reason being is simple - there's only 1 f'n bourbon brand that has a regularly scheduled 23 year old, it's the same lonely brand that has the only regularly scheduled 20 year old bourbon that comes to mind. with Elijah 18 off the map, it's possibly the only bourbon brand that has a regularly scheduled 15 year old. you can't get more brand specific or brand relevance than that.

    i waited & found it funny nobody asked the guy that paraphrased Laffler if he had any proof or pie charts & shit.
  33. zach60614

    zach60614 Savant (265) Illinois May 1, 2012

    George T Stagg is an annually released 15 year, would love to see some stout aged in those barrels.
  34. Kotie

    Kotie Disciple (70) Kentucky Feb 15, 2012

    It will be interesting to see what happens next year with PVW 20yr. The last fall release and upcoming spring release have been from 1991 Old Fitzgerald barrels. I think old fitz was sold to Heaven Hill in 1992. I'm not sure what barrels Buffalo Trace uses for PVW 15yr.
  35. jakeox

    jakeox Initiate (0) Illinois Dec 15, 2012

    Delicious ones.
  36. Lansman

    Lansman Savant (400) Illinois Mar 19, 2011

    dsal89 and Davihaw like this.
  37. marshmeli

    marshmeli Savant (425) New York Feb 14, 2012

    Hopefully the same regions that gets the other regional releases will also get this
    effyeaAB likes this.
  38. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    Yah I bet some podunk bar in the middle of BFE Upper Michigan will get a huge allocation :eek:
    JohnB87, woodchopper and adamdd like this.
  39. adamdd

    adamdd Savant (330) Michigan May 9, 2011

    Fixed that up a little for you.
  40. Philly82785

    Philly82785 Savant (265) Minnesota Dec 17, 2008

    It could be an excellent beer, I guess we'll have to wait and see. I liked the coffee, the vanilla, I wasn't a fan. I still need to crack my Bramble sometime in the near future.

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