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Feints

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Feints

Postby Scotchio » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:00 pm

Sometimes come across this in tasting notes, a fault in production. I sometimes find an off fruit top note eg in Sig Littlemill 90 which i put down to feints but realised that could be complete nonsense as I dont know what exactly feinty notes are supposed to be . So, my learned friends what are feints in whisky and how do they reveal themselves?
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Postby TheLaddie » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:32 pm

The spirit comes from the still in three phases.

1. Foreshots. This is usually about the first half an hour of the run. This is high in alcohol but contains some undesirable alcohols and esters and is pretty much poisonous.

2. Middle cut. This is the desirable part of the distillate containing the compounds that will partly shape the whisky's flavour in the future.

3. Feints. Towards the end of the run further compounds, long chain alcohols and fusel oils, creep into the distillate. In high concentration these have an unpleasant flavour.

One of the many skills of the stillman is to judge when these phases begin and end, essentially what goes into barrells, and what goes back into the still for the next run.

Typical feints flavours are plastic, cheesy, soapy, musty and sweaty which are unpleasant additions to a whisky's flavour. Other feint flavours can be pleasant in small concentrations though, tobacco, leather, tea.

The timing of the cut, and the amount of these flavours that make it into the spirit, are one of the many variables that make up the character of the finished whisky.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:21 am

TheLaddie wrote:One of the many skills of the stillman is to judge when these phases begin and end, essentially what goes into barrells, and what goes back into the still for the next run.


This is often said, but at every distillery I have visited, the timing of the cuts is pretty much set in concrete. Yes, someone had to figure this out once, and someone may choose to review it now and again, and I'm sure cross-checking is de rigueur, but in everyday distilling, it's cut (ouch!) and dried.
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Postby middlecut » Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:39 pm

The MiddleCut is the best bit..... :)
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Postby TheLaddie » Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:57 am

middlecut wrote:The MiddleCut is the best bit..... :)


That must be sealed in oak barrels for at least 3 years... :twisted:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:04 am

middlecut wrote:The MiddleCut is the best bit..... :)


But I have it on good authority that "The first cut is the deepest"
:lol:
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Postby TheLaddie » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:34 am

Malt-Teaser wrote:"The first cut is the deepest"


Baby I know...
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