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Vintage?

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Vintage?

Postby Mak » Tue Mar 25, 2003 5:45 pm

Vintage?
What I mean, is that product couldn´t be a "coupage" like all the single malts?
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Postby lexkraai » Wed Mar 26, 2003 8:51 am

Mak, what exactly do you mean with 'coupage'?

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Gate » Wed Mar 26, 2003 3:09 pm

A coupage is in wine terms a blending, I think. But wine terms don't really work for the production of whisky anyway, IMO. For wine, "vintage 2002" is easy enough - wine made from the 2002 harvest of grapes. For whisky, though, it can't be at all uncommon for the spirit to be made in one year from grain grown the previous year. I suppose the ultimate "single" might be "single run single cask" - whisky which is from one pot-still's worth which is put directly into barrel and not mixed with any previous or subsequent run. Does anyone sell such a thing (whether they identify it as such or not)? Or does everyone sell it (i.e. is that actually what most single-cask bottlings are)?
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Postby Mak » Wed Mar 26, 2003 6:56 pm

What I mean, is a Single Malt is made by the blending of the same product,(made in the same Pot Still) but with different ages,the most young must be the age you put in the label¡¡?
Then "vintage" should be something, to be better explained, if they still call it Single Malt.
You don´t think so?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Mar 26, 2003 9:29 pm

Hi Mak,

Like Lex said earlyer to you, and so will I say it to you too, that a "vintage" on a bottle of single malt whisky, means that it contains only distillates from a specific year, and could be bottled at various ages, that depends on the distillery or producing company.

An example for instance, take the Port Ellen 1979, and bottled at 22Y of age by Signatory. Anoter example The Macallan 1976, bottled at the age of 18Y old by The Macallan Distillery. So there you have it plain and simple, and it's still a single malt, because it comes from one distillery.

And if you read The Whisky Magazine, I believ that there's a Whisky ABC, written by Lex, wich also explains the word vintage.
Well I hope this clears anything up for you...

Slainte,

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Postby Mak » Fri Mar 28, 2003 5:59 pm

Thanks Erik, now it´s clear.
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Postby scotspain » Fri Mar 28, 2003 10:08 pm

Hi all,

I can understand Mak's confusion. Compared to wines where the harvest year is of great importance a vintage whisky is from the year of distillation.
But but but.... have any of you though about that there might be great differences in the distillates from the different seasons, winter, spring, summer and autumn?

Stig
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Mar 29, 2003 11:23 am

Yep Stig, I have consider it, and it will vary from season to season. But to compare them is very dificult, because not only the season can vary, but also the casks are never the same. I think you should asses them, when they are new made, perhaps then you'll discover the differences between the distillates and the seasons they are distilled in....

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Postby hpulley » Sat Mar 29, 2003 1:18 pm

Another factor is the malted barley that gets used. Only a few distilleries make their own these days and of those that make their own, only a few just use their own and don't use supplies from large malting houses as well. So not only is the year of harvest unknown but unlike wine you don't know much about what kind of barley was used, where it was from, how it was prepared, etc. Here in Ontario, wine not marked with VQA has a lot of Chilean base products in it and I'm sure this happens all over the world so consolodated suppliers are not unique to whisky but it is the rule with whisky rather than the exception (VQA means, among other things, that only Ontario grapes were used).

As we know well, how the barley is prepared makes a HUGE impact on the whisky. Lots of distilleries are doing peated runs now, including the new lowland Bladnoch distillery. Doing a special peated run used to mean they made a special batch of malted barley, using burning peat to dry it and stop the germination process instead of using other drying (heating) methods, but now it just means ordering a different type from the malting house. Distilleries claim that they have it made to their specifications but I find it to be a bit sad that most distilleries have stopped using their own floor maltings.

Canada's only single malt whisky uses imported malted barley from Scotland which makes me wonder why they bothered... Canada grows barley and it is used in other Canadian whiskies so I'm disappointed with the imported content of Glen Breton Rare (not knowing this before I tasted it I wasn't impressed with the final product either). I hope their product improves but what I'd really love to see is a Canadian Single Malt made with Canadian barley and perhaps a run dried with Canadian peat (we have some of that too).

Getting back to the original topic: unlike wine, knowing the year of distillation doesn't tell you much about the constituents of a whisky. It is impossible to tell if the barley was 'good' that year, if there is such a thing as good and bad barley like there are good and bad grapes. Does it matter? I don't think it matters much for whisky. For wine I think it matters more as there is no distillation so the constituents have more effect on the final product but with whisky the preparation of the barley, the distillation and the cask aging have much more of an effect. Wine is aged in the bottle more than the cask and burnt oak barreled wines are considered novelties in the world of grape fermentation while they are the usual way of doing things for whisky makers.

Harry

[This message has been edited by hpulley (edited 29 March 2003).]
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Postby Iain » Sat Mar 29, 2003 10:00 pm

Erik, please can you explain - why will whisky vary, from season to season?
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:14 am

During one tour I got explained that distillery (forgot which distillery this was, sorry) also bought in Malt that was produced from partly German Barley too.
The guide explained how Barley was bought in from Europe, and also Scottish Barley was exported out to the same countries, and vice versa again.

Economics, its something I will personally never understand Image
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Postby Gate » Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:45 am

I suppose whisky might taste different according the season it was distilled in because the barley is different - different strain for growing to harvets in difrerent seasons, etc.? I have a (as yet unsampled) "Provenance" bottling of Port Ellen which states on the label that it is a spring distillation, so maybe it does make a difference if your palate is sensitive enough. Or maybe it's a gimmick. Trouble is, I don't have a winter, summer or autumn Port Ellen to compare it to (sob).
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 31, 2003 2:14 pm

Iain,

It can vary from season to season, because you have different enviromental changes, and that might/or can have some effect to it. I believe that a temperature has some effect on your mash, and fermentation of the washbacks, some distilleries usees switcher blades, and some don't, so the distilleries without has to controle the temperature during fermenting, and that has some effect too. In short terms Iain, lots and lots of factors are involved of the differences of whisky during the seasons....

Erik
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Postby hpulley » Mon Mar 31, 2003 3:33 pm

I asked someone at Glenora, makers of Glen Breton Canadian Single Malt and they said they've tried some Canadian barley in runs but it didn't work too well so I guess they are using imports for a good reason. This also indicates that the barley has more influence than I might have thought. Canada's weather is quite different from most of the UK and europe and it obviously has quite an effect on the crops.

Harry
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Postby Iain » Mon Mar 31, 2003 5:33 pm

Thanks Erik. I'm worried to hear that seasonal changes in the environmental temperature affects the mash and fermentation. Why can't distillers maintain an optimum temperature at each stage of the process, no matter the state of the weather outside?

What distilleries are these, that have been left exposed to the vagaries of the Scottish weather Image
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 31, 2003 9:17 pm

Hi Iain,

There's nothing wrong with a good typical Scottish weather Image. And thata gives it, its charme to the whole process of making whisky.....

Amen,

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Postby Iain » Tue Apr 01, 2003 8:18 am

Yes, amen, and indeed halleluiah.

But do you know the answer to the question?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Apr 02, 2003 2:56 pm

Hi Iain,

A good example I suppose, is the Bowmore Distillery, next to the shore line and including their vaults, so there you have it the sea can be mild, but also be very rough, and influence is usually combined with the weather in Scotland.

Or another example is The Glenturret Distillery, where they don't have any switcher blades, so they have to controle the temperature to prevent that the froth will come out of the washback, and especially during the summertime you have to controle the temperature...

But we should actually answer Mak's question Iain, and I believe we did(didn't we all here answer it?). Because one will always led to another, and people think what are they talking about Image....

Just close this topic, and well Iain why dont you start another one, because some how if you start one, it will always have a lot of replies :lol: ....

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Postby Iain » Wed Apr 02, 2003 3:14 pm

But if they control the temperature, in what way does the weather have an effect? That's a way of *preventing* the effects of environmental changes, surely?

Can you give an example of how the different seasons affect the character of the whisky made at these different times? I'm not sure about that Bowmore example - the seas there can be wild, or indeed calm, no matter the time of year!

I'm only asking because I would like to know the answer to this interesting question. Anyone? Image
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Postby adogranonthepitch » Sat Apr 05, 2003 5:15 pm

Dont Provenance do a collection from differing distilleries. You can buy a Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter edition for various distilleries. I haven't purchased any, but my supplier, www.weedram.co.uk (Adrian and Alison Murray) knows all about them.


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Iain:
<B>But if they control the temperature, in what way does the weather have an effect? That's a way of *preventing* the effects of environmental changes, surely?

Can you give an example of how the different seasons affect the character of the whisky made at these different times? I'm not sure about that Bowmore example - the seas there can be wild, or indeed calm, no matter the time of year!

I'm only asking because I would like to know the answer to this interesting question. Anyone? Image</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby Iain » Wed Apr 09, 2003 11:10 am

So how would Winter, say, differ in taste or character from Spring? Does the bottler say?
I had been under the impression that the only seasons that mattered in the "whisky calander" are the distilling season and the silent season!
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