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Whisky, Whiskey, Bourbon or that other stuff?

Discussion in 'Free Fire Zone' started by Biak, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    And It doesn't hurt that our Winters can start in October and last until May. Sometimes the End of May. Probably one of the reasons, while I don't partake a lot, I do need to keep a plentiful quantity on hand. What with this new coronavirus I sure don't want to take any chances.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    If you want a tasty moderately priced scotch Chivas Regal Extra is quite nice.
     
  3. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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  4. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Aye Aye Sir. Put it on the list.
     
  5. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Noticed no one has mentioned Johnny Walker..? No good?
     
  6. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Johnny Black is worth mixing with soda.....or using in a 'Rusty Nail'.

    I believe I've used Johnny Walker (I'm sure I've used Monkey Shoulder) to make an odd sounding, but quite delicious, cocktail called a "Blood and Sand". (Named after the 1941 movie starring Tyronne Power and Rita Hayworth.) In this cocktail, a blended Scotch is perfect, so use what you got. I know it looks odd, but it works!

    BLOOD and SAND:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I like Johnny Walker Black Label. Seems Smoother than Red to me. But again I'm still working my way through the multitudes of flavors and choices. Someone on here told me I should try the Black Label a couple years ago and truth be told there has always been a bottle in the "upstairs " cabinet ! :D
     
    CAC likes this.
  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Too much like work. If I have anything to drink, I just like to pour and slug. Thanks for the thought, Jack.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Monkey Shoulder is good. Johnnie Walker, never tried it. So many nice tipples out there to test. If I want an inexpensive bottle I buy Lismore. Very good for a <$25 brand.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  10. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Fusil oils are the chemicals that contribute most to hangovers (in addition to simple dehydration). When you see 'charcoal filtered' or 'triple filtered' on a bottle (usually vodka) that's why. It's to remove fusil oils.

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  11. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    A good top tier bourbon, with a fairly low price is Woodford Reserve. Don't add ice or water, just sip and note the progression of flavors until you hit the dry finish. Repeat.

    "Jack" is green whiskey, not technically bourbon since it is distilled in Tennessee, but... it's bourbon, heavy in corn to be sweet and best used in mixed drinks. I say 'green' because it's in wood for only four years, whereas good bourbon starts at about 8 years. Good bourbons are generally heavy in rye (40% or more) to balance the sweetness of corn.

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  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Don't care for rye.
     
  13. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    That's a controversial subject and possibly an 'old wives tale'. Some animal model studies suggest the opposite is the case, some human studies have found that vodka causes fewer hangovers than 'bourbon' or 'scotch'. The evidence is weak.

    Fusel oils are just one of a handful of various cogeners found in distilled beverages. Whisky has more cogeners than something like vodka, which has, as you point out, been filtered to hell and back. In so far as whisky is associated with more hangover symptoms there may be an association between cogeners, e.g. fusel oils, and hangover severity, but I think that it a minor player. More significant is the rate and quantity of alcohol consumed. As you point out, drinkers tend not to guzzle good bourbon. Who does shots of Pappy? Quality bourbon or Scotch is sipped. The slower rate of consumption makes all the difference.

    As ethanol (the alcohol in beer, wine, whisky) is metabolized it is converted to acetylaldehyde which is, in turn, converted to acetyl-CoA (which gets used as energy or stored as fat). The conversion of ethanol to acetylaldehyde is a fairly fast step, the conversion of acetylaldehyde to acetyl-CoA is a slower process. As a result, heavy and rapid alcohol ingestion leads to a build up of acetylaldehyde (same chemical family as formaldehyde).

    This is bad news because there are alternative metabolic pathways for acetylaldehyde, the byproducts of which are toxic and carcinogenic. This is part of the reason heavy alcohol use is associated with higher levels of cancer (direct exposure to ethanol can cause metaplastic cell changes, too). These alternative byproducts are thought to cause hangovers (in addition to dehydration and electrolyte disturbances). Just one more reason to use alcohol in moderation. Anyway, I think when it comes to hangovers, acetylaldehyde is the big culprit. Cogeners play a small role, if much at all.

    In re fusel oils specifically: the story I got, when visiting a distillery in Scotland, was that Americans liked to drink their whisky "on the rocks". When they committed the sin of dropping a few ice cubes in Scottish whisky, high in fusel oils, the drink would turn cloudy and opaque as the fusel oils condensed in the cold liquid. Apparently this didn't sit well with the lucrative American market, so distillers--against their better judgement--started chill filtering the whisky to get it to sell better overseas. They sold Americans a whisky that looked nice in a glass of ice, even if it wasn't as flavorful....and giggled all the way to the bank.

    Try a non-chill filtered whisky. It contains far more flavor and the flavor lingers in the mouth a long time. Obviously each whisky has it's own character, flavor, etc... But side by side, a non-chill filtered whisky, chock-full of fusel oils, will be dramatically more flavorful. I believe that some high-end American bourbons are now available in a higher proof, non-chill-filtered form. Maybe we're coming around?

    Sorry for the overly lengthy opinion-post, my bottom line: drink what you like, just not too much. ;)
     
  14. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Woodford Reserve is now also on the list. In all these years I can't think of a time where I've tried Bourbon. Which seems strange because it appears it is possibly 'smoother?' than a Rye whiskey? The one thing I have noticed is the higher quality of Scotch the less 'bite' there is. I've always preferred a Port over a Dry wine and in my younger days Southern Comfort was indulged in way more than necessary. Now adays can't stand the stuff unless it's mixed with Something!

    So far the list contains Makers Mark 46, Chivas Regal Extra and Woodford Reserve. Probably should stop there since together with what's on hand would bring the total to a couple gallons of sipping Whiskeys. Once that's depleted start this process again.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  15. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Charcoal filters out the fusil oils. The reason bourbon has a reputation for hangovers is because so much of bourbon is cheap crap that isn't in the charcoaled oak barrels long enough to filter it all out. The longer in charcoaled wood, the fewer fusil oils and the more woody flavors are picked up - true of scotch as well as bourbon. I agree though that good whiskey, whether bourbon, scotch or something else tends to be drunk slower because it tastes good; sipped, rather than mixed with something and gulped down quickly (and in larger amounts) and that too makes for a bad morning. Distillers discard the first alcohol coming out of the mash and only collect the alcohol when the temperature reaches a certain point. The fusil oils tend to evaporate at lower temps, though you still get *some* at higher temps.
    I suspect when you talk about fusil oils in scotch, you are talking about blended scotches rather than single malts. Blended scotch is just mixed with grain alcohol with few controls and filtering. And yeah, it probably has a much greater percentage of fusil oils than a carefully prepared single malt.
    One whiskey expert suggests that the headache associated with hangovers is due to fusil oils, while the "blahs" are simple dehydration which any alcohol, even beer, will create when you imbibe too much. So, his advice is not to again buy any liquor that gives you a headache.

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  16. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Speyside whiskies (Scotch) tend to be lighter, smoother, and less peaty. Many people find these to be pretty ideal. Macallan is sometimes called the 'grandaddy' of the Speysides. Highland whiskies tend to be more malty and sweet--Oban is a nice example. I'm a fan of Islay style whiskies which tend to be very peaty and complex, even 'salty'. My wife describes Ardbeg as 'something you'd use to strip the paint off a boat'. So, they aren't for everyone. There are some other regional variations and style, too.

    With a blended whisky like Chivas, the makers are selecting different whiskies from all over to create a specific (and consistent) flavor profile. The hands-down, absolute best blended whisky I ever tried was called 'Bailie Nicol Jarvie'. I don't think it is made any longer, but if you see a bottle (rare in the states) buy it!

    Unfortunately, you just have to experiment and see what you enjoy. ;)
     
  17. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Most American bourbons are chill-filtered to remove the fusel oils. Even after cask aging. I believe that some now don't chill filter--for better mouth feel, flavor, and 'soul'.

    I also think all the blended 'scotches' are chill filtered. I've only found high-fusel-oil whiskies as single malts, often aged 10-12 years.

    The 'heads' or early alcohol you refer to is methanol, a real toxin. It has a lower boiling point, so comes out of the still first. Often the problem with inexperienced moonshiners is that they misjudge the heads and end up with too much methanol in their 'shine'. Methanol cause blindness quickly.
     
  18. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    You got me poking around on the net now, KB....and may have sold me a bottle of Booker's:

    "Booker's is filtered for barrel debris (otherwise you'd see charcoal chunks at the bottom of the barrel), but it's otherwise untouched. Most whiskies sold today do go through various types of filtration, including chill filtration, which removes heavier molecules. Filtration has mixed results. Some believe it doesn't change the flavor of the whisky, others feel it removes some of the heavier molecules that do add flavor. Some distilleries chill-filter for a lighter whisky product. " -- Whisky.buzz​
     
  19. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Keep in mind, it's those cogeners that give liquors their flavor. Vodka, being relative pure, doesn't taste like much because there are so few cogeners in it. ....so why bother....?
     
  20. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

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    Apparently Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon is also non-chill filtered.

     

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