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43487Re: cheap bourbon?

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  • Sherman
    Sep 10, 2008
      I'm not sure Elvis but I think Virgin Bourbon 101 is a Heaven Hill
      product. Most don't know it but Heaven Hill is The US largest producer
      of Bourbon. It Wholesales most of its production. Their economy brands
      are column still productions with standard barrels and result with the
      things you identified. They are just not distinctive enough to use for
      prime grade products. For every prime grade barrel they have to
      produce about 25 barrels. This leaves a lot to be "Disposed of" and
      sometime nearly at a loss. Better no gain that a loss on inventory
      taxes. They definitely benefit from the economy of scale. I think I
      heard that they are now running 50K gallon ferments which require lots
      of cooling.
      When you produce on such a large scale there are bound to be a few
      rough batches in the process. There could be issues as incomplete
      fermentation, lots of heads or tails. These are not the best barrels
      in the warehouse by an means, but it would be preferable to not have
      to throw anything away.
      I think they are filling a need by providing budget products that are
      still not undrinkable. A little Coke and ice and you have an average
      Bourbon and Coke at a price that the working man can afford. You never
      can tell it might have even been on of those working man's hangovers
      that caused a days production to be relegated to the bargain bin.

      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, mike karnowski <djpotpie@...> wrote:
      > >What makes the difference is both the quality of the brewing
      ingredients >as
      > >well as aging
      > well the aging is dictated by law, at least 3 years in NEW oak
      barrels. The example in front of me is Virgin Bourbon 101 proof aged 7
      years. I think it cost $8-9. Now legally they can't say 7 years old
      unless it is 100% 7 years old, so I don't think aging has much to do
      with it. As far as brewing ingredients that too is dictated by law
      unless they are using 2nd grade grits or something.
      > >Ageing in done in large wood kegs that are charred this is what
      over time
      > >gives aged liquor it color and that takes years in large kegs
      however >there
      > >are two ways to cheat the many years it requires in those large kegs
      > >The first is to increase the surface area which can be done to age in
      > >smaller kegs so the smaller the keg the less time is required so if
      you >age
      > >in one to 3L charged kegs
      > >You move ten year to two to three years and this is how artisans do it
      > >Note you can re-char the inside of a small keg with a propane torch
      > >you can only do this so many times before you char thru it so not the
      > >cheapest way
      > This is all illegal as far as bourbon distillers go, no re charring
      allowed. I'm not sure if they legally have to age in 50 gallon barrels
      but I've never seen any larger barrels used in a commercial situation.
      > >The other way is simply to add caramel to color which is cheep so
      this is
      > >how corporations do it
      > not any legal distilleries if that is what you mean by
      "corporations", it is illegal to add any colorings to bourbon.
      > p.s. for what it's worth the Virgin Bourbon isn't that bad...a
      little hot (well it is 101 proof...) and a little one dimensional...
      > ....so does it come down to continuous still vs. pot still as far
      as price goes along with extra heads and tails? cheers, -m
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