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Issue 40 - Teachinganolddistillerynewtricks

Whisky Magazine Issue 40
June 2004

 

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Teachinganolddistillerynewtricks

BuffaloTracetakesitsnamefromthegreatpioneeringdayswhenKentuckymarkedthenewfrontier.Today,it'sstillblazingatrailforwhiskey.CharlesK.Cowderyreports

Americanstraightwhiskeyisnowtakenseriouslythroughoutthedrinkingworld.Thisphenomenonisnolongernew.Maker'sMark,thefirstcraftbourbon,hasbeenonthemarketforcloseto45years.Blanton's,Booker'sandKnobCreekareclosinginon20.

Evenintheglaciallyslowworldofwhiskey,theseconnoisseurbourbonshavebecomeestablishedproducts.

NowvirtuallyeverymajordrinkscompanyhasatleastoneAmericanwhiskeyinitsportfoliothatismadeforthedrinkerwhowantstosavourthefullrangeofsensorypleasuresthatafinelycraftedspiritcanoffer.

ThisgrowingrangeofKentuckybourbons,Tennesseewhiskiesandstraightryesprovidesavarietyoftasteexperiences.

WhileitisnowbeyondargumentthattheAmericanwhiskeyindustryhasofferingsthataretrulyworthyofdiscriminatingpalates,therehaslongbeenacloudoverthishappyscene.Dependingonhowyoucountthem,allofthestraightwhiskeytheUnitedStatesproducescomesfromonlyaboutadozendistilleries.

Whenitispossibletotastetheoutputofeverywhiskeyproducerinoneortwosittings,howmuchlongtermattentioncantheindustryexpectfromadventurousaficionadoswhoarealwayslookingforsomethingnewtotry?

Notaproblem,saysMarkBrown,presidentandchiefexecutiveoftheBuffaloTraceDistillery.Heandhisteambelieveevenasingledistillerycanproduceanendlessdiversityofwhiskies.

“Ourgoalistoprovidedifferentexperiencesfortheconsumerthroughageandrecipe,”saysBrown.

Onerevelationastohowthiscouldbedoneoccurredwhenbarrelrotation,atraditionalpractice,wasabandonedduetoitshighcost.Rotationbeganbecausebarrelsofwhiskeystoredinlow,cool,airlesspartsofarackhouseagedifferentlythanb...

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