2022 ACSA Summary

Wood. Tooth pic chewing, popsicle stick munching wood.
Is what seems to be the path to medal success evidently?

Mind you, I am an amateur bourbon whiskey enthusiast compared to so many others.
But it seems I'll be looking forward to the pendulum swinging back towards a bit more of a balanced approach toward oaking.

I personally had a very hard time identifying any of the other layers of flavor that I personally prefer. In my mind, you have to make more than one thing reveal itself. A beginning, middle and end with all toothpick is not my idea of well crafted whiskey.

I'm confused after that outcome of medal winners in the bourbon category.

StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

Comments

  • I think it's partially due to a limited number of judges. We do ACSA to get feedback but it's always 2 judges "WOW AWESOME" and one judge "TOTAL CRAP".

    Pgh did represent this year though - We (city distilleries, not us specifically) won 3 of the Best in Class awards.

    For the toothpick comment - it's American whiskey in new oak. It's kinda the style. Not my thing, that's why I like Scotch and single malts. I like to taste the distillate, not the barrel.

  • The wood seemed pretty excessive even for bourbon.

    Had a rye that was a bit better.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • One reason I have never given up a bottle of one of my creations... correction... paid $500 for the privilege of giving one of my creations to a group of judges for a medal.... not a single one... I am a BJCP beer judge and a beer Cicerone and know what happens at competitions regarding overloading judges and their senses...

  • edited July 29

    The sample tables were pretty barren this show too.

    Convension fatigue or folks just too busy to attend?

    The next ACSA is in 8 months and we were just there in December. Evidently this next show puts them back on schedule. As an aside, I couldn't help feeling like the venders get a bit of "second class citizen" treatment while we are simultaneously encouraged to keep the money flowing into the organization,,,is how it feels.

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • edited July 28

    I think a lot of the heavy wood is driven by the use of 25/30g barrel sizes going towards the 4 year mark.

    In our own barrel stock, there is a notable difference between our 30 and 53g, even in batches where the fills were from the same distillation batches.

    I'm going to wager a bet that there would be a good market for bourbons aged in even larger cask sizes (euro 63g+ sizes for example), especially if the end result is bottled at higher proofs (which is the general trend these days).

    If I was going to make a big bet on laying down bourbon intended to be aged for 20+ years, I'd see if one of the cooperages could make me hogsheads or cognac puncheons in new char oak. Store these in conditioned temp spaces, fund my retirement.

  • agreed, I have to strip a lot of flavor out of whiskey going into small barrels to get the bad flavors out that won't go away in the first 12-36 months...

  • edited July 28

    I hear you. Its just that operators like Rogue have a deep enough war chest to pull from 53s. The Rogue was definitely woody.

    I otherwise have always enjoyed Jake's Dead Guy Whiskey. Though I believe that is just a barely grain bill that may be put down for a second rest in a once used barrel? Can't remember exactly?

    StillDragon North America - Your StillDragon® Distributor for North America

  • Wonder what their entry proofs were as well. High entry proofs are absolutely woodier - and greener - compared to lower entry proofs - given the same barrel and time period.

  • @grim said: If I was going to make a big bet on laying down bourbon intended to be aged for 20+ years, I'd see if one of the cooperages could make me hogsheads or cognac puncheons in new char oak. Store these in conditioned temp spaces, fund my retirement.

    I want to have a dunnage house with nothing but puncheons filled with single malt. Given that my biggest still is currently 200l that might take me a while...

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