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Madeira Wood Finish... Madeira?

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Madeira Wood Finish... Madeira?

Postby Zulumika » Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:27 pm

A few days ago, I tasted a Glenmorangie Madeira Wood Finish, 12 year old for the first time. The fruits and spices where quite pleasing but I hadn't the cloudiest idea of what was Madeira. So I went to the store and got myself a bottle of "Casa Dos Vinhos Madeira". As I opened it, I was expecting some kind of port or sherry ... or somewhat in between (if there's such a thing...). So I had some and after a few sips, it left me totaly clueless; I didn't like it, I didn't hate it. It didn't taste like port, but not like sherry eather ... confusion ...

As I triyed to figure out what I was drinking, it made me think. Would it be nice to compare 3 wood finishes (Port, Madeira and Sherry) and try to isolate the "wines" whithin the whisky.

Anyone ever tryied that?

Cheers.
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Postby jimidrammer » Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:22 pm

I've had the Glenmorangie Madeira Wood Finish and had a hard time pinning it down also. I haven't tried the other 2 yet, but am interested in this discussion as well.

My notes on that one:

Score79 Glenmorangie 12yo Madiera Wood Finish 43% abv Highlands Not my style, but opening up
Tasting notes:
Color: Honey wheat
Nose: Alcohol, navel orange
Palate: Oaky, pepper, spice, refreshing sweet note
Body: Light oil, thin
Finish: Short, bitter, dry
Quote: Just too plain for its own good. Nothing really grabs me even as an everyday dram. I’ll give a different expression a try someday, probably the Port wood, Sherry wood or the 15.
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Postby Frodo » Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:50 am

Don't forget that there are different styles of madeira just like there are different styles of sherry. Some madiera supposedly taste rather like Olorso...
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Postby Admiral » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:24 am

About two years ago, I sat down with the three wood finishes and did an A-B-C with them.

I concluded at the time that the Sherry Finish was the weakest of the three. The Madeira finish was somewhat similar, although it was much more assertive and developed in flavour. (It made the sherry finish seem a little thin).

The Port Finish seemed the richest and sweetest of the three, and the "wine" elements was much more obvious in both the nose and palate.

*********

However, it must be stated that the three wood finishes are very variable in their quality. Some years, they are brilliant whiskies, other years they seem to taste quite cheap and poorly made.

When they are in form, they are delicious whiskies and amongst my favourites. When they are in poor form, they are most forgettable.

It is this very inconsistency that has prevented me from buying replacement bottles in recent times.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Aug 17, 2005 12:46 pm

I have never understood why Glenmorangie even considered wine finishing their whisky. To my mind, the standard 'Orange 10yo is one of the most distinctive and sublime whiskies in Scotland.

To quote the Bard:

    "Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp,
    To guard a title that was rich before,
    To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
    To throw a perfume on the violet,
    To smooth the ice, or add another hue
    Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
    To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
    Is wasteful and ridiculous excess..."
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Postby bamber » Wed Aug 17, 2005 5:43 pm

Excellent post - can you imagine if we were moved to such prose by our partners lol.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:59 am

Nick Brown wrote:I have never understood why Glenmorangie even considered wine finishing their whisky. To my mind, the standard 'Orange 10yo is one of the most distinctive and sublime whiskies in Scotland.


The obvious (and not therefore necessarily correct) answer, Nick, is that the stuff that's getting finished isn't the distinctive and sublime stuff that goes into a bottle of 10. As long as you're not being shorted of the latter, you can well afford to ignore the former. (Oh yeah, the other answer: $! :mrgreen: )
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Postby Admiral » Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:47 am

Mr T's reply above is most probably 100% correct, but I think there's also an element of cunning marketing involved.

Afterall, the Wine Finishes came out at a time when single malts were emerging in great numbers, and consumers suddenly had quite a few to choose from. How could Glenmorangie make their product stand out from their competitors? Offering finishes suddenly put something on the market that wasn't available elsewhere.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:45 am

There is also the shelf-space phenomenon. We have a faux microbrewer in the US, Sam Adams, who have done a great job of filling up shelf space with a large variety of offerings. While I don't believe that Glenmorangie can squeeze out competitors on the shelf the way Sam Adams does, there is no doubt that a half dozen multi-colored tubes of the same brand side-by-side can effectively arrest the consumer's attention.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:55 am

I suspect the answer is a combination of use of inferior whisky coupled with novelty. The shelf space argument is interesting. Certainly in my local supermarket, about half the shelf space for malt whisky is taken by the various 'Oranges. However, I suspect this was not foreseen at the time. One might call it Serendipity.

One of my key beefs with the novelty whiskies is that they claim sales and attention that I just don't think are merited by what tend to be "flavourized" versions of substandard whiskies. One distillery in particular (you know which one I mean) seems to produce a never-ending stream of limited edition novelty whiskies with increasingly bizarre marketing which some consumers feel an almost religious obligation to buy - even though these bottlings often seem to be damned with faint praise or excused as ways to dispose of low quality whisky. I would prefer people to support the distilleries that produce good honest products, even if they don't have the greatest marketing teams in the world.
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Postby Admiral » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:21 pm

One distillery in particular (you know which one I mean)


Well.....I've narrowed it down to three, but you might have to give me a hint! :wink:
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:48 pm

Hi there,

I second the Admirals motion. Which one of the usual suspects do you mean exactly?

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby bamber » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:56 pm

Laddie would be my no 1 suspect - Flirtation indeed. Glenfiddich is also pretty guilty.
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Postby BruceCrichton » Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:04 pm

Nick Brown wrote:I have never understood why Glenmorangie even considered wine finishing their whisky. To my mind, the standard 'Orange 10yo is one of the most distinctive and sublime whiskies in Scotland.



Glenmorangie, in my view, doesn't change a lot with age. It's the wood that makes the difference. Try tasting something from first fill casks, like the old Millenium Malt and you will notice the difference from the 10 yr old which is 50% first fill and 50% second fill bourbon casks.

Some of their other finishes work like the Port Wood finish but the Burgundy wood tastes like dodgy wine spiked with vinegar.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:27 pm

Bamber guessed correctly. I really don't want to get boring with my carping at a single distillery, but I will let you judge them on their own words:

Bruichladdich 'Flirtation' 20 year old 70cl

    A risque development in the continuing adventures of the Laddie, the provocative second edition of Bruichladdich Twenty. Merely to imitate the award-winning First Edition was never an option. Instead, being the individualists that we are, we wanted a dram that was just a little different. Jim McEwan, Master Distiller, has therefore created an evocative cuvee that is an intrigue, a liaison dangereuse.

    After twenty years maturing in Boubon barrels, the Laddie was coyly introduced to spicy Mourvedre wine casks from Rivesaltes on France's Mediterranean coast. It was a flirtation, a holiday romance, that was almost over before it had began. The result of this dalliance is that the expected profound spirit shows the gentle nuances of alluring fruit flavours, with just a hint of subtle spice aromas adding to the overall multi-layered experience.

    A passion of this brief encounter was enough to bring a blush to the Laddies cheek...


When will this madness ever end? When will people dare to say: "the emperor has no clothes"?
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:50 pm

Hi there,

here is my prime suspect. I think that the below is pure marketing.

.
Arran First Ever Decanter OA 1
Arran Malt (alte Ausstattung) OA 43 2
Arran Malt (neue Ausstattung) OA ? ? 43 3
Arran Robert Burns in HoKi OA ? ? 40 4
Arran Robert Burns OA ? ? 40 5
Arran Painters Collection OA 1996 ? 40 6
Founders Reserve OA ? ? 43 7
Natural Strength Lochranza Blackadder 24.01.1996 August 2001 57,4 350 96/041 8
Arran Malt Unchillfiltered OA ? ? 46 9
Single Cask Malt OA 11.10.1995 11.04.2002 58,1 183 10
Single Cask malt OA 17.10.1995 12.04.2002 56,2 372 11
Lochranza Raw Cask Blackadder 24.01.1996 April 2002 56,8 12
Single Cask Malt OA 18.07.1997 14.10.2002 58,6 347 97/1097 13
Single Cask Malt OA 21.10.1995 07.11.2002 57,3 223 14
Single Cask Malt OA 02.09.1997 23.01.2003 58,2 357 15
Single Cask Malt OA 24.01.1997 21.01.2003 58,4 342 16
Cognac Cask Finish OA ? 16.10.2003 58,2 488 17
Cognac Cask Finish OA ? 16.10.2003 58,3 497 18
Cognac Cask Finish OA ? 20.10.2003 58,4 481 19
Calvados Cask Finish OA ? 21.10.2003 62,1 582 20
Calvados Cask Finish OA ? 28:10:2003 59,0 579 21
Provenance McGibbons Winter 1995 Winter 2003 46 1045 22
Single Cask Malt SMWS Nov.1995 Jan. 2004 58,5 23
Single Cask Malt OA 11.12.1996 09.01.2004 57,3 299 24
Single Cask Malt OA 11.12.1996 12.01.2004 58,8 299 25
Single Cask Malt OA 11.12.1996 12.01.2004 58,5 281 26
Single Cask Malt OA 11.12.1996 13.01.2004 57 281 27
Single Cask Malt OA 26.09.1997 13.01.2004 61,1 650 28
Single Cask Malt OA 07.02.1996 05.04.2004 55,9 225 29
Arran First OA 1995 2004 46 30
Single Cask Malt OA 21.08.1996 19.04.2004 57,5 213 31
Single Cask Malt OA 19.01.1998 20.04.2004 57,7 221 32
Single Cask Malt OA 30.09.1996 24.05.2004 58,1 645 33
Port Cask Finish OA ? 08.06.2004 57,5 864 34
Port Cask Finish OA ? 09.06.2004 57,4 825 35
Port Cask Finish OA ? 10.06.2004 57,5 865 36
Port Cask Finish OA ? 14.06.2004 57,5 713 37
Rum Cask Finish OA ? 22.09.2004 58,6 251 38
Rum Cask Finish OA ? 28.09.2004 58,5 469 39
Rum Cask Finish OA ? 23.09.2004 58,9 282 40
Marsala Cask Finish OA ? 22.10.2004 56,9 304 41
Marsala Cask Finish OA ? 26.10.2004 56,8 314 42
Marsala Cask Finish OA ? 27.10.2004 57 313 43
Provenance McGibbon Spring 1997 Autumn 2004 46 44
Vintage Collection OA 1996 2005 46 45
Whisky Festival Verviers 1996 2005 53,6 96/161 46
Calvados Cask Finish OA ? 02.02.2005 60,1 300 47
Calvados Cask Finish OA ? 03.02.2005 60,1 620 48
Calvados Cask Finis OA ? 07.02.2005 59,6 591 49
Calvados Cask Finish OA ? 08.02.2005 60,8 300 50
Sherry Cask Finish OA 15.12.1998 14.02.2005 59,1 298 1522 51
Sherry Cask Finish OA 15.12.1998 14.02.2005 59,3 332 1506 52
Cognac Cask Finish OA ? 07.04.2005 59,5 480 53

The table was in orderly rows but copying it removed the frames, sorry for that.

At a whisky fair in Berlin in the autumn there will be the first 10 year old bottling of Arran ever!

So who wins?

Greetings
kallaskander

PS I took the table from here. http://whisky.de/WhiskyForum/forums/28299/ShowPost.aspx

You can view the original there.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:16 pm

Well I guess that Arran in particular is a special case as it's a new distillery and they have to make the most out of what they have, or risk going bankrupt before they are able to sell their first 10yo.
So instead of saying"if you've got - it flaunt it" it should be "flaunt what you've got"..

Anyway, it doesn't bother me that much simply because whisky is something I enjoy and if I disagree with what they make then I simply won't buy it. It's not a religion or a sacred cause and the expressions that become popular won't threaten the "traditional" products in any way. It's also ok with me if a "finish" can help them sell otherwise inferior whisky. If they prove to be good or altered in a positive way and perfectly drinkable, then they can still be enjoyed without the customers and distilleries loosing integrity. So if you don't like the Flirtation, then don't buy it! But don't reject the 10yo or the seventeen on the basis that you don't like the Flirtation!

Edit: I'll moderate my statement and say that if I don't care that much for a certain product I simply won't care to buy it - nor will I be very annoyed if some of the distilleries do this or that as long as they keep the standard and traditional products untouched by silly inventions. But of course I have no reason to tell others to feel the same way!

Skål!
Christian
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:36 pm

Well, perhpas you could look at it from a slightly different angle, both Arran and the 'laddie essentially started out with good wishes and good intentions. Neither had reputations, Arran because it was a new distillery and the 'laddie because it had just re-opened.

They both had to do something to be noticed from the pack (both being small independant distilleries) and at the same time survive; they have both achieved this very well. In the total market place finished whiskies take up very little room but a lot of headlines but it's all a tempest in a tea pot, you can always buy a standard 10 of the 'laddie and ignore the hype.

But some of the marketing text has been a little cloying despite what's inside the bottle

And remember these finished whiskies have mostly been very limited runs, maybe a cask or two so at the end of the day it's a drop in the bucket. It must drive the collectors crazy trying to keep up.

I've tried a few 'finished' Arrans and they have been quite good and they promoted me to buy more. As to the 'laddie, we tried the Flirtation last month at the Club and we found that it was Ok but over priced, however it wasn't completely out of line with other 20 year olds in our market place.

Brace yourself, I recently heard about a new 'laddie that has a mere 5 day finishing and the malvoisie wine had a pronounced effect on the whisky.

But remember they wouldn't be following the finishing route if we were not buying them.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:48 pm

Lawrence, I think you hit the nail spot on. I guess it's just me trying to give the "finishing-distilleries" a second chance - like in "don't judge them too hard" or something like that. I've read several good reviews of wood-finished whiskies and I don't mind buying one - although I haven't done so yet. There are some available in the Norwegian market but not from Bruichladdich or Arran. Untill now I've always liked the Bruichladdichs I've tasted (10, 15, 17 and Infinity) and I'm planning to buy Auchentoshan 3wood and the Laphroaig QC next month.

And remember these finished whiskies have mostly been very limited runs, maybe a cask or two so at the end of the day it's a drop in the bucket. It must drive the collectors crazy trying to keep up.

:lol: Suits them as they usually drive the prices up anyway!

Skål!
Christian
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:36 pm

Nick, I knew right away who you meant--your all-time favorite distillery! In their defense, I'll say that although they've done a lot of limited releases, they haven't done a lot of finishes. I don't see any problem with them saying "Here are five (or twenty or fifty) barrels that would make an interesting bottling." At a time when we're all whining about inconsistency in Talisker 10 or Macallan 12, it seems perfectly refreshing for a distillery to admit to, and even make a virtue of, the fact that the product is not and cannot be the same all the time. Are they exploiting the market to sell more product? Sure. Utilizing your limited resources in a manner calculated to maximize your profits is just good business.

The proof, of course, is in the pudding, and we know well that you simply don't care for Bruichladdich's output. Fine, that's your opinion, and no one can say you're wrong. But many of us disagree. Some of those limited releases are among the best whiskies I've ever had; I'm thinking particularly of the Valinch I bought last year, and the Full Strength bottling. I really wish I had the opportunity to try more of what they offer. Considering what Bruichladdich was under the old management, and that the new management is dealing with essentially the same stocks, the transformation is astonishing. They are obviously doing a lot right.

Given that, I can forgive the occasional misstep, such as the rather embarrassing promotional blurbs that are occasionally issued. On their website, they make a point of taking pride in being a distillery run "by real people NOT anonymous corporate conglomerates". They do sometimes seem bent on proving that their professional backgrounds are not in marketing. If they rub some folks the wrong way now and then (or all the time, Nick!), that's better in my mind than a slick effort to appeal to all and offend no one.

I know there is some resentment in the industry of Bruichladdich's "Golden Boys" and the media attention they've received. I remember well the subtle digs aimed at them by another Islay distillery's manager during a tour I took (which were actually rather funny). Well, too bad. They've been smart, and they deserve their success, and I'll defend them every time, even if they do some weird wine finish once in a while, or strut around as if they'd invented the wheel. More distilleries should be as independent, and have half as much personality. And if some others refuse to learn anything from their success, merely out of resentment, then shame on them.
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Postby kallaskander » Sat Aug 20, 2005 7:50 am

Hi there,

hello Nick I would like to point out that there is something in the new Bruichladdich, in the new management itself and in their new management of the stock they have.
Not just to irk you I suggest you take a look at an unlikely place a place where you would most likely never care to look.

http://www.bruichladdich.com/

They must be doing something right, don´t you think?
I do not know what grudge you hold against Bruichladdich, except that in your post it shows to be a severe one. I do think that there are other names that do clever marketing to lure us - and successfully at that. I am with you inasmuch that I do not care for a distillery which has a marketing departement that is better than their stillman and their master blender.

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby Frodo » Sat Aug 20, 2005 10:36 am

Commenting on the products offered, it seems like the LCBO has overpriced the Bruichladdich whiskies. The 10yr goes for $70 here, and the equivilant of $50 in the Bruichladdich shop. The 15yr goes for $100 over here, and $70 in the 'laddich shop. If we had those prices over here, I would be more willing to give the dram an in-depth look. I'm not saying it's not a good pour. I'm saying "not at our prices".

As far as the other issues raised about "gimmicky releases", I don't see anything wrong with them per se. If someone wants to collect them at the prices charged by retailers then have at it say I. As far as using young whiskies in the 3-D release, the proof is in the pudding. If it's good, it's good, regardless of what age some of it's constituant whiskies are.

I like the idea of buying whisky (or any crafted product) from people who care about what they make. The fact that the whisky from Bruichladdich goes 100% into singles instead of blends is something I support. If the inferior whisky is finished (and through this made palatable), good for them. And the fact that they refuse to use coulering or chill-filtering looks good on them.

Frodo
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:59 pm

Going back to the generic issue rather than specific cases, I can't help feeling that these finishes are rather akin to adding flavouring - especially if finishes of only a few days can have a marked effect on flavour.

Wouldn't we get just a little concerned if distillers started adding vanilla essence to the whisky to soften the flavour, or rum essence to perk up a bland offering, or smoke flavouring to add a peatiness to an unsuccessful, unpeated whisky? Would we want to go down the Canadian route of allowing x% of a whisky to be something other than Canadian whisky - perhaps not even whisky at all?

Personally, if people want to buy the flavoured stuff and enjoy it, fair enough. But I do think it runs against the principles of true malt whisky and it does frustrate me to see the resultant offerings badged as single malt whisky and given serious discussion. I wonder whether we aren't moving beyond the realm of trying to rescue poor whisky by masking the flavour and into the land of feeling obliged to give a new whisky a "twist" just to stimulate enough interest in the product to sell it.

It was interesting at the whisky fringe at the weekend to see how many stands had decided to bring along a range of weird finishes - and even to offer special prominence to the weird finishes alongside the "poor cousin" bourbon or sherry offerings. More than one stand described their whiskies' flavours in terms solely of the wine or spirit from whose wood the whisky was drawn, without mentioning the malt itself!

For what it is worth, my faves at the Fringe that I wouldn't otherwise have tried were: Pulteney 21, Jura 16, Carsebridge, Mosstowie, Poit Dhubh 12 and Connemara 12. Disappointments were Ballindalloch 40 (too woody) and Auchentoshan 3 woods (which the man made me try before he would give me any Bowmore)
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Postby The Fachan » Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:07 pm

Frodo,

Don't believe that all Bruichladdich is kept for malts. The blend that comes to mind is Black Bottle 10yo where all the malt content is made upof the SEVEN Islay distilleries.
There are maybe more out there I don't know

Regards

Ian
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:34 pm

As we've been talking about Bruichladdich and their various whiskies I thought this might be of interest.

http://www.whiskyfun.com/
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Postby bamber » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:37 pm

I sympathise with Nick's point of view, with regards finishes being akin to additives. At the end of the day I suppose it does not really matter. I have been nursing a bottle of Bowmore Voyage for many months and I think it is a fantastic whisky. BUT I do think it does take some of the romance and even integrity out of Scotch.

Are these finishing casks charred before the spirit is introduced to them ? If not I would say that the rules are being broken and port or wine or whatever is being added to the whisky. Surely a few days is not enough time for the spirit to react with the wood and all that is happening is that it is being mixed with something else. It might taste great but is it really SMS ? I think we can be pretty sure that Flirtation gets it's colour from red grape skins. May as well add the colouring and save the baloney ?
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:50 pm

Ian said
Don't believe that all Bruichladdich is kept for malts. The blend that comes to mind is Black Bottle 10yo where all the malt content is made upof the SEVEN Islay distilleries.
There are maybe more out there I don't know


Ian, could it be possible that the seven distilleries refered to were Ardbeg, Bunnahabhain, Bowmore, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Laphroiag and Port Ellen?
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Postby kallaskander » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:12 pm

Hi there,

Nick I do share your scepticism about finishings. I was not far enough in my thinking to see a finishing as an additive until now. I agree with you that I would not like to see 9.09% of some flavouring added to my malt like they are allowed to do in Canada. You gave me something to think about. Thank you.
In another thread it was said that we customers will decide if the finishing mania goes on. The final proof will be when we all go to our liquor shop and do buy the first Herring Finish that will be offerd. Or we don´t. I understand your point better now.

Greetings
kallaskander
Last edited by kallaskander on Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:13 pm

Nick said
Would we want to go down the Canadian route of allowing x% of a whisky to be something other than Canadian whisky - perhaps not even whisky at all?


It's an interesting comment, the SWA recently went to the European Union and had Canadian whisky blocked from sale there because they said it was not whisky because of the 9.09% rule.

What utter arrogance from the SWA. After all these years of saying that only scotch can be called scotch and now they are trying to export their rules onto other countries.
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Postby Frodo » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:53 am

Hi Lawrence:

I do support this effort by the SWA although this is the first I've heard of it. This might (fingers crossed) at least cause some embarasment from the Cdn distillers who might have to say "100% whisky" on the labels of whisky that don't use the 9.09% additive rule. No other whisky-producing country allows their distillers to add non-whisky to their products. Interestingly, Tequila can be made using only 51% agave for export, the rest being sugar and molasses mixture. If it's 100% agave, it says so on the label. I think a nudge like this may result in better quality Cdn whisky. Alright [cheers in the background]!!!!

Frodo
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Postby Crispy Critter » Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:03 am

Nick Brown wrote:Going back to the generic issue rather than specific cases, I can't help feeling that these finishes are rather akin to adding flavouring - especially if finishes of only a few days can have a marked effect on flavour.

Wouldn't we get just a little concerned if distillers started adding vanilla essence to the whisky to soften the flavour, or rum essence to perk up a bland offering, or smoke flavouring to add a peatiness to an unsuccessful, unpeated whisky? Would we want to go down the Canadian route of allowing x% of a whisky to be something other than Canadian whisky - perhaps not even whisky at all?


There we have one of the fine points of bourbon - it can't be bourbon if there is any additive other than water, and it must be at least 40% ABV. There are additional rules regarding mash composition, distillation proof, and barrel entry proof, not to mention the new charred barrels. (edit) Oh, yeah, I forgot - no caramel color allowed, either!

Other US "straight" whiskies (e.g. straight rye) have similar rules as well.

The only "finished" whisky I've tried so far has been the Laphroaig Quarter Cask, and there, the finishing casks are more like age accelerators than flavor additives. IMHO, it's also superb.

Of course, lots of us, myself included, enjoy whiskies that have been matured in sherry casks - one could argue that the sherry remaining inside the wood is an additive, too... but that doesn't stop me from pouring a dram or two of A'Bunadh. :) Of course, that isn't really a "finish," unlike the Aberlour 15 that I haven't tried yet.
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:24 pm

Well, look at it from another angle, according to the Bavarian brewing law if beer has any botanicals added then it's not beer. So does that mean that the product from a number of Belgian breweries is not beer?

On the label of all Canadian Whisky is says that it's Canadian Whisky not scotch so they should butt out. How come they're not going after American whiskey???? Hmmm? It's not made the same way as scotch whisky.

Bah!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:52 pm

Lawrence - you have hit the nail on the head. A bottle of Canadian whisky says that it is Canadian whisky - so that's what we should expect. Not 91% Canadian whisky, 8% French Brandy and a dollop of maple syrup.

As for the beer with botanicals, I have often wondered myself whether beer with added fruit flavouring is really still beer. I think the answer is that in Bavaria, it wouldn't be because of their Rheinheitsgebot, but in Belgium or the UK it can be because we do not have a rigid definition of beer. We have also seen a recent increase in the range of novelty beers, flavoured with anything from toffee, chocolate, oysters, bog myrtle, fruit, herbs, honey - you get the idea. And beer labelling is so inexact, it is often impossible to spot the regular stuff from these offerings at the point of sale. Perhaps we would be better off with stricter rules so that we know what we are getting.
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Postby kallaskander » Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:21 pm

Hi there,

I´m not in favour of adding something to whisky which does not belong there. I do not like most of the finishings that are done. I can live with sherry and port but I don´t like the wine finishings at all.

As to the German Reinheitsgebot, it applies only to the making of the beer, not to mixing it with other fluids after it is brewed. I agree that the mix is no beer, but they do not even try to sell it as such. They sell it as a - mixer! With Coca Cola, with lemon with lime you name it, you can buy it here. Mixed beer does sell very well indeed here and it is an open secret that the mixers were created to attract younger people who are not yet of legal drinking age because the sale of real beer has been going downhill for years now. The law seems to be looking the other way.

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:13 pm

Sorry for going slightly off topic here kallaskander, but you mentioned that real beer is on a decline in Germany. If you mean real beer as in Heinecken and Carlsberg etc. then I cannot say I'm very sorry. But does that affect quality beer as well (ale/Weissbier/etc) ?
I would have thought it was getting increasingly popular as real ale and beer have in many parts of northern europe?

Anyway, I'd kill for an Erdinger Dunkel right now!

Skål!
Christian
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