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Bourbon Barrel Porter

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Having made a lot of beer with bourbon in it, and not being a bourbon freak, all I can say is get a decent, but not expensive or over the top, bourbon.  You want the flavor to be integrated, out shout bourbon at you.  IMO, if you can tell what brand of bourbon you used, you used too much.

OTOH - its a pretty nice excuse to buy a decent bottle of bourbon to have around!

I don't think I'd ever use my real good stuff, but it shouldn't have solventy, rough, or plastic-like off-flavors. That will come through in the beer, just like using oxidized wine.

Used Knob Creek in my last batch of oak chips for a RIS. Its tasting AWESOME right now!

I agree with decent but not cheap bourbon.  Good bourbon is for sippin'.

I find plain ole Jim Beam works pretty good in the imperial porter.

Stay away from the cheap stuff, like Early Times.

Joe Sr.:
From the Straight Bourbon Forums, re: Early Times:

"Originally Posted by JeffRenner
Jim Murray gives it a decent review in his 2005 Whiskey Bible, and his description makes it sound appealing. Actually, I should say "them" rather than "it," as it appears there are two. He gives them scores of 80 and 83 out of 100.

Here are his reviews (with color and fonts painstakingly duplicated as in the book ), with n, t, f, and b being nose, taste, finish and balance.

Early Times (brown label) (80) n19 t21 f20 b20 A very light but well-made bourbon. clean, with hints of cinnamon and citrus. Quite refreshing. 40% (80 proof).

Early Times (yellow label) (83) n20 t21 f21 b21 A heavier, more vanilla-rich bourbon that offers a consistent, delicate, sweet theme throughout with butterscotch on the finish. 40% (80 proof).

Do you have the yellow or brown label?

Regan and Regan say that the two bourbons are 80 and 86 proof, the 86 proof being labeled "Premium." They don't mention label color. But that was in 1998. I don't know if Murray has it wrong or it it has changed. Perhaps the yellow label, even if the same proof, is aged longer than the brown.

Just to re-emphasize what others have written, Early Times as sold in the US is not a bourbon since 20% of the barrels are used, not new. The overseas product is a bourbon aged in 100% charred, new oak barrels. I think that both are made the same until they are barrelled, and suspect that the American product, labeled "Kentucky Whiskey" (not a legally defined term), is not aged as long as the bourbons.


NOTE: I am not recommending anyone drink Early Times.  But there appear to be some that enjoy it.  I also have no idea if this Jeff Renner is the same one as we might be familiar with.

I've found to be a nice resource for reviews, but everyone's tastes are different.  Definitely use a whiskey you like, but it shouldn't (or doesn't need to be) an expensive whiskey.  Ancient Age is dirt cheap, and I really enjoy the flavor.

Yep, that's the Jeff Renner we know and love.  I clicked your link and recognized his photo as his avatar.


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