Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Last Night's Tipple

Another pour of Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond last night, and it wasn't particularly enjoyable this time around. It seemed hot and rough, and the Wheat Thin graininess on the finish was annoying. I guess it goes to show that one's impressions of spirits can differ dramatically depending on when one drinks it.

A bit of trivia that I learned this week that may interest nobody other than me: as you may or may not know, all Bourbon currently produced is sour mash, meaning that some of the liquid remaining at the end of the distillation process (called backset) is added to new mash in the fermenters. The standard reasons given for doing this include the desire to ensure consistency and continuity between batches of distiller's beer and to prevent bacterial contamination of the new mash (since the backset is acidic and is consequently inhospitable to bacteria). Anyway, Maker's Mark, like every other Bourbon currently sold, is a sour mash whiskey. They periodically shut down the distillery for cleaning or other reasons, which presents a problem for the first batch of distiller's beer fermented after restarting the distillery after a shut down. Where do they get their backset for these first batches? Why, from Heaven Hill! Which means that your Maker's Mark may have just a little bit of Old Fitzgerald in it.

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