March 2017 Monthly Tasting – Blanton’s and Bottling Proof Isolation

Blanton's

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Numerous factors affect a whiskey’s final characteristics.  Those in the know will tell you that the mash bill, the yeast, the fermentation method and environment, the still, distillation rates and proof, the type and char of barrel, the barrel entry proof, the aging environment, and the time in the barrel are all factors that contribute to each specific product.

But one more nuanced variable also shapes the way a product is perceived – the bottling proof.  This month’s Flight Club will focus on just that – the bottling proof – and that factor’s impact on nose, taste, and finish.  We will be sampling the entire international lineup of Blanton’s, which includes otherwise identical single barrel bourbons* bottled at 80 proof, 93 proof, 103 proof and barrel proof.

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January 2017: Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark, January 2017, by Chris Crow 

Maker's Mark

 

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Maker’s Mark is a staple in bars and liquor stores across the country. Its dripping red wax bottle neck is distinctively recognizable. Until recently, most consumers were only familiar with Maker’s Mark’s basic expression: 90-proof wheated bourbon that is sweet, well-balanced, and great for cocktails.

Maker’s Mark, like many other producers, now carries several different expressions. These various bottles feature a higher proof and unique aging techniques to enhance the flavors people regularly associate with traditional Maker’s Mark.

Our host this month, Chris Crow, enlightened us on the Maker’s Mark process by featuring a bottle from each of the distiller’s expressions. Not only that, but we started with the pre-barreled spirit and worked our way through five other expressions.

The tasting notes for the Maker’s Mark, Maker’s Cask Strength, and Maker’s 46 are provided from the Maker’s Mark Web site. The tasting notes for bottles 5 and 6, the private select barrel picks, vary from bottle to bottle. We will supplement with our own tasting notes for these bottles later.

Now, onto the cocktails and the tasting…

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November 2016: Japanese Blended Whisky

Japanese Blended Whisky, November 2016, by Philip Butler

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Japanese whisky is most often compared to Scotch whisky. They are unique because unlike Scotch whisky, Japanese whisky are not generally blended from whiskies outside of a single distiller. None of the whiskies listed below contain sourced whisky made outside their company.

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October 2016: Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky

Cambeltown Single Malt Whisky, October 2016, by Jay Cary

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Campbeltown was once one of the most prolific regions in Scotland. Sadly, U.S. Prohibition affected the area, and until recently there were only 2 distilleries producing whisky.

Campbeltown sits on the Mull of Kintyre, and the single malt whiskies from the region reflect this with a slight coastal character. They are known for their dryness and often for their pungency. There are also a few peated releases (Longrow, which is produced at the Springbank) with Glen Scotia and Glengyle completing the modern day complement of distilleries.

Cambeltown Single Malt Whisky

Cambeltown Single Malt Whisky

Campbeltown is a small town on the Kintyre Peninsula on the west coast of Scotland. It is affectionately known as the “Wee Toon”, and the Victorian Whisky Capital of the World. At its peak in the 1800s, there were 21 distilleries in this small town with approximately 170 distilleries operating at that time in the UK (129 of those in Scotland) Campbeltown still has 3 operating distilleries: Glen Scotia, Springbank, and Glengyle. These distilleries give a remarkable insight into the history of making whisky in this remote, once prolific, whisky making region of Scotland.

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