43487Re: cheap bourbon?
- Sep 10, 2008I'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
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
> >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
> >gives aged liquor it color and that takes years in large kegs
> >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
> >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
> >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
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>