Author Topic: Brewing with Bourbons  (Read 3080 times)

Offline LouBru

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Brewing with Bourbons
« on: August 01, 2012, 02:57:13 PM »
Hey all,
 About to brew a bourbon porter. Was curious as to which Bourbons are better. Was actually thinking of using the new Redstag dark cherry Bourbon but wasnt sure if anyone had used this.  The hint of that black cherry might make for a great beer.

Any thoughts?
Thanks

Lou
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Offline nateo

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 03:00:33 PM »
I usually use something decent. Buffalo Trace is cheap here and pretty good. I prefer Woodford Reserve, but it's a lot more expensive in MO. Just don't use anything too cheap. I've used Evan Williams before and regretted it.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2012, 08:26:55 AM »
I used Wild Turkey in my last BVIP.  The flavored bourbon might work just fine though.  The key as far as I'm concerned is restrained use of the bourbon.

Red Stag is a Jim Beam product.  JB isn't a high dollar bourbon but its done the job for me on many occasions.  I've tasted Red Stag and its not my cup of tea.  Too much like cough syrup.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 10:56:53 AM by tomsawyer »
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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2012, 08:53:41 AM »
AFAIAC, as long as it isn't rotgut you can use any bourbon.   IMO, if you can tell what bourbon is in it you've used too much and should just be drinking the bourbon instead.  I like to go for an integrated taste, not something that shouts "BOURBON!" at me.
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Offline cfleisher

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2012, 12:17:18 PM »
Agreed on avoiding rotgut, and also on overusing. This is beer first, with bourbon in a supporting role.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2012, 02:09:24 PM »
I third this.  Too many times judging in homebrew competitions I feel that I've been given a boilermaker.
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Offline bluesman

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Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 06:09:55 PM »
Using bourbon in beer is a wonderful thing. I like a nice hint of bourbon in a stout or Porter.  Balancing the flavors is key. Using a quality bourbon is recommended, however it doesn't have to be top shelf as it is a complementary flavor which should be balanced. I would use Jim Beam or Buffalo Trace. I've also used Knob Creek and Elijah Craig which isn't really necessary but I usually have it on hand.
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Offline LouBru

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 07:56:01 PM »
Thank you all for the responses.  they are awesome and i am sensing a trend here.  Let the Beer come first and the bourbon sit in the back seat. Not ride shot gun.  I wanted to do the Red stag because of the hint of Black Cherry and thought that would be nice on a cold night.  However I agree that its just the hinto of the tastes, not the overpowering like a fruity beer. Im not going for that.  I want the Malt and grains to come pouring out on this one.

Thanks and keep the feedback coming in.

Lou
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Secondary- Drumpkin dark rum pumpkin ale.
Secondary- Brugse Tripel
Keg Holiday spiced Red
Bottle- Drumpkin / Dude RyePa / Oakwood bourbon porter/ Dark Cherry Van bourbon porter

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2012, 09:22:03 PM »
I think a hint of cherry would go really nicely but first I would make sure that I like the cherry flavor in bourbon itself.  I've used Four Roses Yellow Label and am really happy with the results. It's a very decent bottle for about $25 in Oregon.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2012, 09:51:17 AM »
There are cheap bourbons and there are inexpensive bourbons.  For something like this, I prefer to use something inexpensive that has flavors I like.  I have found that WL Weller is very good whiskey for the price, as is Very Old Barton (though this really needs a splash of water to soften it if you're drinking it straight).  Ancient Age, which is on the rot gut shelf, is very tasty stuff.  I would not hesitate to use any of these.

I agree to avoid Evan Williams.

Neither Buffalo Trace nor Elijah Craig are on my favorites list, though they are good whiskeys.  There are other whiskeys for that price I prefer (Wathen's or Elmer T. Lee) and at that price I'd rather drink it with a couple of cubes.
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Offline jimrod

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2012, 12:05:27 AM »
I've used Regular Jim Beam and it was fantastic. I like the sour mash not the Canadian. 

I've also used the Red Stag with much regret. That cherry flavor is much too strong and will never mellow out. If I were to use Red Stag again I would use no more than 4 oz per 10 gal. but you could add another 6 oz of the regular Jim Beam.

6 to 10oz total per 10 gal.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2012, 07:25:48 AM »
I like to go for an integrated taste, not something that shouts "BOURBON!" at me.

I really think this is the best advice. I had a bourbon porter at NHC this year that shouted "BOURBON!!!!!" at me from 4 feet away. Not a bad bourbon, but not a good bourbon porter. Balance is key.
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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2012, 07:33:50 AM »
I like to go for an integrated taste, not something that shouts "BOURBON!" at me.

I really think this is the best advice. I had a bourbon porter at NHC this year that shouted "BOURBON!!!!!" at me from 4 feet away. Not a bad bourbon, but not a good bourbon porter. Balance is key.
Ha! I wonder if it was mine? 
Bourbon!  :)
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2012, 08:12:22 AM »
I like to go for an integrated taste, not something that shouts "BOURBON!" at me.

I really think this is the best advice. I had a bourbon porter at NHC this year that shouted "BOURBON!!!!!" at me from 4 feet away. Not a bad bourbon, but not a good bourbon porter. Balance is key.
Ha! I wonder if it was mine? 
Bourbon!  :)

Could'a been! Like I said, actually quite a good drinking bourbon, but I never could find the porter.  ;D
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 11:11:18 AM by AmandaK »
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Brewing with Bourbons
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2012, 08:30:53 AM »
I think the cooking rule of "don't use it if you don't drink/like it" applies to any liquid addition to your brew.

Coffee, honey, wine, bourbon, liqueures, etc. etc. etc.
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