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29 Cards in this Set

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What is needed for whiskey to be a bourbon?
Whiskey must be made from mash bill of 51% corn to which is added a selection of small grains. Max 80% abv and aged at max 62.5% in new charred American oak barrels for 2 years and no color adjustment is allowed.
What characteristics does corn give?
Signature soft sweetness. The less corn - the fuller flavored the bourbon.
What characteristics does Rye give?
Bourbon's attack. Rye is aromatic, lemon accented an slightly dusty when young. In middle palate is intense, acidic, slightly oily quality begins to bite. Gives spicy lift to finish.
What characteristics does wheat give?
Gentle rounded quality and notes of honey.
Which bourbon uses the highest percentage of rye and malted barley
Wild Turkey
What bourbons use the highest percentage of wheat?
Maker's Mark, Van Winkle
What is different about Four Roses?
It uses two different mash bills for its one bourbon.
Discuss cooking corn.
Corn is ground into meal and cooked at high temps along with a little bit of malted barley which helps to liquefy the corn slurry. Corn mash has to cool before anything else is added.
During mashing, why does corn mash have to be cooled before adding anything else?
Too high a temperature and rye balls form and there is a greater risk of bacterial infection.
Add rye/wheat to corn mash and cook it. Then what?
Temperature is dropped once more and rest of the malted barley is added for its enzymes to convert starches to fermentable sugars.
What is backset?
The acidic liquid residue left at the bottom of the beer column from last run.
What is the purpose of backset?
The hard alkaline water is made more acidic by backset. This helps yeast grow, lowers risk of bacterial infection and evens out character of different batches.
What is sour mashing?
When backset is added to the cooker. Though only a few producers use this term on label all do the process.
What is the law about backset?
Backset must make up 25% of total mash (or more as distiller wants).
What happens if you add the wrong proportion of backset?
Too much and the mash will be very dilute and acidic and lose flavor. Add too little and you get thick mash which can stick to the plates during distillation.
Discuss fermentation.
Bright yellow mash ferments for 3 days on average. Each producer has his own cultivated yeast to produce desired profile.
What is the name of the column still for the first run?
Beer still. All bourbons and whiskies are distilled first in this, except Labrot&Graham. This is a copper or stainless still with copper packed around certain plates.
How does beer still work?
Mash is pumped in at top, zigzags down meeting live steam from bottom. Alcohol goes up to collection plate and then to worm condenser. The non alcoholic liquid residue at the bottom is the backset for the next ferment.
What comes out of the beer still?
Backset and low wines.
Where do low wines go then?
Into doubler to remove impurities and boost alcohol.
What is a thumper?
Device used in second distillation along with doubler.
How does a thumper work?
Vapor is fed through a basic hydroselection column with water retaining the heavier alcohols.
What is the new spirit called after its second distillation in the thumper/doubler?
New spirit = high wines = white dog
What is so different about Labrot & Graham?
Only one pot still distillery using a form of triple pot still distillation.
Why use American oak for aging?
High in color extractives, vanillin and lactones, give spirit its reddish hue and signature vanilla, coconut, pine (in time = sweet spices, chocolate, tobacco, cherry)
Why char the barrels for aging?
Removes any aggressive elements in new spirit.
What is a rackhouse?
7-9 story buildings whose temperatures can only be controlled by opening closing windows. Along with climate results in large temperature fluctuations
What other storage buildings are used for aging bourbon besides rackhouses?
Brick warehouses which may be heated in winter. Its effectiveness compared to rackhouses is a subject of debate.
How do producers work with the great temperature fluctuations in rack houses?
Either cross blend between floors, rotate barrel positioning, or use best as single barrel/premium bottlings.