Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«169 »
  • Post
  • Reply
zmcnulty
Jul 26, 2003



In Japan the current legal definition of whisky is as follows:
-must be distilled from a wash of only fermented malted grain and water
-distilled to less than 95% abv
-can contain added alcohol, spirits, spices, coloring, or water
-must contain at least 10% of the original distillate

And that's it! There are no specifics about geography or aging in there.
Several companies have taken advantage of that loose definition to market their products as "Japanese whisky" despite the fact that they don't distill their own liquid at all. They import bulk from Scotland or whatever, maybe age for a bit in Japan, then call it Japanese whisky (Kurayoshi and Togouchi come to mind). For what it's worth I've never really seen rice whisky actually marketed as whisky in Japan though. Even the cheapest crap whisky you can find is at least made from some maybe malt and at least a grain which isn't rice.

I guess it's worth discussing where the line should be drawn. Even real Japanese whisky uses imported malt and yeast.

zmcnulty fucked around with this message at Jan 16, 2018 around 14:44

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



Generally anything distilled from alcohol produced by fermenting grain is a whiskey, like anything distilled from fermented fruit is a brandy. So Corsair's Oatrage and Quinoa whiskeys are both whiskeys. Oddly, buckwheat is not technically a grain, so there's been some argument about whether or not spirits distilled from buckwheat is actually a whiskey.

Re: Rice whiskey, I came across Kikori when I was perusing bottles on Flaviar. It looked really interesting, also a barrel aged Japanese rice whiskey. Any experiences with it?

zmcnulty
Jul 26, 2003



GrAviTy84 posted:

Generally anything distilled from alcohol produced by fermenting grain is a whiskey, like anything distilled from fermented fruit is a brandy. So Corsair's Oatrage and Quinoa whiskeys are both whiskeys. Oddly, buckwheat is not technically a grain, so there's been some argument about whether or not spirits distilled from buckwheat is actually a whiskey.

Re: Rice whiskey, I came across Kikori when I was perusing bottles on Flaviar. It looked really interesting, also a barrel aged Japanese rice whiskey. Any experiences with it?

Never had the Ohishi, Fukano, or Kikori. None of these are sold in Japan afaik. I guess I could buy some rice shochu for $10, throw it in my 2L barrel, and I'd probably end up fairly close.

biglads
Feb 21, 2007

I could've gone to Blatherwycke



Grimey Drawer

zmcnulty posted:

In Japan the current legal definition of whisky is as follows:
-must be distilled from a wash of only fermented malted grain and water
-distilled to less than 95% abv
-can contain added alcohol, spirits, spices, coloring, or water
-must contain at least 10% of the original distillate

And that's it! There are no specifics about geography or aging in there.
Several companies have taken advantage of that loose definition to market their products as "Japanese whisky" despite the fact that they don't distill their own liquid at all. They import bulk from Scotland or whatever, maybe age for a bit in Japan, then call it Japanese whisky (Kurayoshi and Togouchi come to mind). For what it's worth I've never really seen rice whisky actually marketed as whisky in Japan though. Even the cheapest crap whisky you can find is at least made from some maybe malt and at least a grain which isn't rice.

I guess it's worth discussing where the line should be drawn. Even real Japanese whisky uses imported malt and yeast.

From memory Togouchi get Scottish malt whisky and Canadian grain whisky, stick them in a disused railway tunnel for a while and "hey presto" it's Japanese whisky!
The whole terroir stuff with whisky is a can of worms imo, as an example Caol Ila gets tankered off Islay once distilled and spends all it's time in barrels maturing in warehouses near the Central Belt. Does that make it less of an Islay whisky than something exclusively matured in Bowmore's No.1 warehouse?

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



GrAviTy84 posted:

Generally anything distilled from alcohol produced by fermenting grain is a whiskey, like anything distilled from fermented fruit is a brandy.

Anything that is distilled from fermented fruit is an eau-de-vie. It must be aged to be a brandy. Generally I would consider the same thing for whisky, but there are more and more "white whiskies", so who really knows?

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



PT6A posted:

Anything that is distilled from fermented fruit is an eau-de-vie. It must be aged to be a brandy. Generally I would consider the same thing for whisky, but there are more and more "white whiskies", so who really knows?

fair enough.

#MakeWhiskeyAgedAgain

Toast Museum
Dec 3, 2005

30% Iron Chef


PT6A posted:

Anything that is distilled from fermented fruit is an eau-de-vie. It must be aged to be a brandy.

What about pisco?

Mandalay
Mar 16, 2007

WoW Forums Refugee

I learned about the Fukano rice whisky here http://whiskyadvocate.com/top20/201...o-2017-edition/

And yes it does remind me of shochu a lot. I would be open to trying more rice based spirits if they taste like this, but I know next to nothing about them.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Toast Museum posted:

What about pisco?

Pisco is aged/rested, but not in wood.

EDIT: I'll totally admit that I forgot about pisco and then hurried around looking for a reason that I was technically correct

EDIT #2: Apparently the EU, the US, and Canada all have regulations that require some level of oak aging for a product to use the label "brandy." So I guess by that definition, pisco would not technically be a brandy.

PT6A fucked around with this message at Jan 16, 2018 around 21:38

Stultus Maximus
Dec 21, 2009

USPOL May

PT6A posted:

Anything that is distilled from fermented fruit is an eau-de-vie. It must be aged to be a brandy. Generally I would consider the same thing for whisky, but there are more and more "white whiskies", so who really knows?

So is grain vodka also white whiskey?

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006



Stultus Maximus posted:

So is grain vodka also white whiskey?

As far as I can tell, yes. I believe it's a marketing gimmick because people love the idea of moonshine for some reason.

EDIT: Looked it up, and apparently the legal distinction between white whiskey and vodka/NGS is that the former must be distilled to under 95% ABV, and the latter must be over it. Additionally, whiskey must be aged according to US law I'm told, but as there's no minimum aging period specified, it could be left to sit in a barrel for five minutes and would technically qualify, as far as I can tell.

EDIT 2: Upon further investigation, according to US law, corn whiskey needn't be aged, but other whiskeys must be. Apparently many people, including Jack Daniel's legal department, are confused by the layers of nonsense.

PT6A fucked around with this message at Jan 16, 2018 around 23:26

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



Kinda wanna experiment with micro barrels and grain vodka now.

gwrtheyrn
Oct 21, 2010


PT6A posted:

EDIT 2: Upon further investigation, according to US law, corn whiskey needn't be aged, but other whiskeys must be. Apparently many people, including Jack Daniel's legal department, are confused by the layers of nonsense.

Interestingly, if you age corn whiskey, you must do so in used or uncharred barrels. I mean I guess that makes sense since "corn whiskey" in new, charred barrels is technically a bourbon albeit with a much higher corn content than required.

Although that being said, tossing a bunch of stuff into a barrel for a couple minutes just so you can call it (not corn) whiskey seems wasteful since those barrels are now used but not in a good way

gwrtheyrn fucked around with this message at Jan 16, 2018 around 23:47

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



With the snobbery around the "single malt" part of scotch, I'm kinda surprised single grain whiskies arent more popular

gwrtheyrn
Oct 21, 2010


GrAviTy84 posted:

With the snobbery around the "single malt" part of scotch, I'm kinda surprised single grain whiskies arent more popular

In your mind what is a "single grain" whiskey though?

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



100% one grain. So, ryes have been catching on that. 100% Corn whiskies/moonshine, at least where I am, aren't popular. Or like bernheim wheat etc

gwrtheyrn
Oct 21, 2010


GrAviTy84 posted:

100% one grain. So, ryes have been catching on that. 100% Corn whiskies/moonshine, at least where I am, aren't popular. Or like bernheim wheat etc

Okay just was wondering because single in single malt had nothing to do with what grains are used

zmcnulty
Jul 26, 2003



So if I take the same grain and distill it at two different distilleries, combine the results, and call it single grain, can I make a whisky snob's head explode?

Here I always thought "single grain" meant each bottle contained a single grain of sand from the beaches of Islay, for added brininess

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


GrAviTy84 posted:

100% Corn whiskies/moonshine, at least where I am, aren't popular. Or like bernheim wheat etc

Having had 100% corn whiskey, probably because it's incredibly one-note. "White whiskey" (which as far as I can see is just a marketing term for moonshine-quality liquor) tastes like nothing but corn and alcohol and isn't even fun to sip. I also had Platte Valley, which is aged for 3 years in used barrels. It has a bit more whiskey-like flavor to it but still very generic, about as generic as whiskey can get. Inoffensive but boring.

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



gwrtheyrn posted:

Okay just was wondering because single in single malt had nothing to do with what grains are used

I thought it was 100 % malted barley from one growing season.

It's kind of apples and oranges, but the nerd in me that wants to dissect everything thinks it would be cool to isolate diff effects. Like scotch is mostly refill barrels, bourb is required to be new fill. Non Virgin oak means it needs a lot longer to age, that increased age might mean that terroir is more evident, etc.

GrAviTy84 fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2018 around 03:02

gwrtheyrn
Oct 21, 2010


GrAviTy84 posted:

I thought it was 100 % malted barley from one growing season.

It doesn't even mean that. Single just means completely produced with distillate from one distiller. Malt is the part that indicates all barley in scotch whiskey. Neither prevents blends between different seasons, but the age statement is the youngest in the blend

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


GrAviTy84 posted:

I thought it was 100 % malted barley from one growing season.

It's kind of apples and oranges, but the nerd in me that wants to dissect everything thinks it would be cool to isolate diff effects. Like scotch is mostly refill barrels, bourb is required to be new fill. Non Virgin oak means it needs a lot longer to age, that increased age might mean that terroir is more evident, etc.

I did the distillery tour in St. Augustine, which was the first distillery in Florida to begin producing what could legally be called straight bourbon. They encountered issues because the aging requirements strictly stated a 2-year aging period, but the weather in Florida (warm or hot all year except for short cold periods in the winter) caused the product to effectively age faster in the barrel, causing it to age the 2 years in half that time or less.

They solved the problem by transferring the spirit to different barrels, allowing aging to continue without such severe effects. 7% of the spirit is also finished in port barrels, which makes for a delicious ruby-colored drink.

Inspector 34
Mar 9, 2009


Not being a smart rear end here, but isn't faster aging a good thing? Why would you want your 2 year product to taste like 2 years when it could taste like 4? I mean a 2 year that tastes like a 4 just means you can put out a higher quality whiskey in half the time, that seems like a huge advantage.

I'm sure I'm missing something from your story. Was it loving with the flavor in a bad way instead of a delicious way?

zmcnulty
Jul 26, 2003



FWIW I put the same question to the Kavalan guys and per them the only downside is that their angel's share is significantly higher. On the other side of the coin, the guys from Box in Sweden were pretty convinced that the temperature difference between summer and winter was more important than years spent in a barrel.

That said I think chitoryu was more talking about the legal requirement rather than the flavor.

GrAviTy84
Nov 24, 2004



Inspector 34 posted:

Not being a smart rear end here, but isn't faster aging a good thing? Why would you want your 2 year product to taste like 2 years when it could taste like 4? I mean a 2 year that tastes like a 4 just means you can put out a higher quality whiskey in half the time, that seems like a huge advantage.

I'm sure I'm missing something from your story. Was it loving with the flavor in a bad way instead of a delicious way?

I think "good" is subjective. Obv the scotch folk dont think it's good because they dont generally like quarter casks or first fill casks (though that is changing). Could also be that they don't like more aggressive wood notes that first fill and smaller casks impart. The temp swings are important, too, based on what they say, though I'm not convinced it's because of the reasons they give. They say larger swings in temp cause the spirit to "penetrate the wood more", which is kind of silly considering it's in the barrel for years. Just a guess, but I would think it more has to do with the solubility rate of wood sugars, or maybe some other chemical process with the wood and alcohol (does wood degrade in the presence of alcohol?). Either way, many of them make a big deal about where in the warehouse the barrels are aged and the barrels that go to premium bourbons like pappy or that BTAC etc are generally in the center of the warehouse or the basement because of less temperature swing (so I hear).

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

We can't stop here! This is cat country!


Inspector 34 posted:

Not being a smart rear end here, but isn't faster aging a good thing? Why would you want your 2 year product to taste like 2 years when it could taste like 4? I mean a 2 year that tastes like a 4 just means you can put out a higher quality whiskey in half the time, that seems like a huge advantage.

I'm sure I'm missing something from your story. Was it loving with the flavor in a bad way instead of a delicious way?

According to their website, they were concerned about over-extraction. Probably something else to do with being aged in Florida's almost permanent heat and humidity; we get short periods of freezing cold, but otherwise it's hot and humid even into December. There's not really a consistent temperature gradient of warming to cooling like you'd see a few states north, just hot and humid weather forever and then suddenly plunging to 30 degrees for a week.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Vox Nihili
May 28, 2008



GrAviTy84 posted:

100% one grain. So, ryes have been catching on that. 100% Corn whiskies/moonshine, at least where I am, aren't popular. Or like bernheim wheat etc

Very few ryes are 100% rye. The vast majority contain a bit of barley and quite a bit of corn.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«169 »