GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Treatment and handling of your distillate.

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Jimbo
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GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by Jimbo » Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:59 am

Here's an interesting experiment I started in December. We've all heard of the few unscrupulous start up pinheads buying GNS (grain neutral spirits) from the big conglomerates (like MGP in Indiana) and aging it in barrels to pass off as their own craft spirit. Well I did a little experiment which I encourage you all to try, as a way to help develop our whiskey palate.

I bought a bottle of Sams club 6x distilled vodka and put it on the same oak I typically age my whiskeys on. Today, 6 months later, I poured a glass side by side with my bourbon. First off, the color is weird, its more brown than amber, you can see the difference in the pic. Why I have no idea, maybe due to 80proof aging?

Flavor wise, well, Ive heard said the barrel accounts for 80% of the flavor. I now call bullshit on that claim. I started with the vodka. Taking several sips over time, trying to forget that its vodka. By itself, without a comparison, its not terrible, caramelly, vanilla, smooth. Ok, but thin. Then I sipped my bourbon and a smile came on my face. Wow. All the hard work is definitely worth it folks. Rich, deep, layered, complex. Back to the vodka,....simple, light. Would be good for a Jack and Coke type drink, no comparison to a true AG carefully done.

And there you have it.

Cheers,

Jimbo
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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by still_stirrin » Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:28 pm

Way to go Jimbo. Thanks for the enlightnment.

It proves that quality is more than a label..its actually in the product. Some inexperienced novice(s) here may try to convert a cheap vodka into a "passable" whiskey, but the experienced pallette discerns the quality (or lack of it) enough to avoid disception.

Your experiment exonerates the enlightened.
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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by bitter » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:47 am

Very interesting. Thanks for this Jimbo.

I think this could be interesting. Canadian Whiskey is mostly aged/oak'd neutral mixed with Pure whiskey's, might help me get to making a clone faster.

Be some interesting to compare all gains individually like this all at the same barrel strength you normally use for aging:
Take 100% Rye Whiskey and oak (6 Months, then 1 year)
Take 100% Oat Whiskey and oak (6 Months, then 1 year)
Take 100% Corn Whiskey and oak (6 Months, then 1 year)
Take 100% Barley Whiskey and oak (6 Months, then 1 year)
Take neutral/Vodka and oak (6 Months, then 1 year)

First taste all as is... then Mix then to provide the ideal whiskey mix?

It would be interesting to have 5g of each on hand ;) Man ooo man that would take a lot of wash and time stilling.

B

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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by Jimbo » Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:36 am

Yes, have done all those. Vodka was the last. There's lots of write ups on here on grain flavors from me and others. And yes Im a big fan of blending to hit a flavor profile youre after. My 5 Grain and Batch 303 are blends.
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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by skow69 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:21 am

Nice writeup, man. Thanks for blowing that 80% wood myth. That always rubbed me wrong.
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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by Halfbaked » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:20 am

Good test and good write up Jimbo.. When I was reading it I was thinking you were gonna say it taste like Jack.

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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by Jimbo » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:37 am

Its not unlike Jack actually. Jack is better tho, even with all the charcoal filtering. Or maybe Im biased having drank many gallons of Jack over the years.
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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by Bushman » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:41 am

Interesting, we have a distillery in Washington State that buys their neutrals then makes gin buy rerunning it through a vapor basket to get the gin flavor they want. I am guessing that the results would be the same if trying to infuse flavor through a thumper with the results you attained.

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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by rager » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:08 am

how much oak do you have in that jug?

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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by Jimbo » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:11 am

LOL, I was waiting for someone to ask me that. Initially I had the usual amount, 1 fresh charred stick per quart. Last month it wasnt oaky enough, and I just pulled a bunch of stuff off oak so I rinsed the used sticks and stuffed em in there. They were pretty spent by this point, dont think they contributed much in a month.
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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by rager » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:20 am

ha ok,

I was going to say :shock:

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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by bearriver » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:25 am

Nice writeup. :thumbup: That %80 thing bugged the heck out of me as well.

I'm going to go knock up a bottle of %65 abv vodka on oak the T-pee way right now for giggles. It's not store bought but should be goodernuuf. I could always toss in a few tablespoons of heads to make it seem more like Smirnoff if needed.

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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by Bohunk » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:47 am

Jimbo, your my hero, I read about all your posts, but... The GNS from MGP was distilled at 190 proof, so it's got no backbone. They also sell whiskey, that by law has to be distilled at LESS than 160 proof, so it might have a little more flavor than the GNS. When I had my distillery I toured though that place, and they make dozens of different products, not sure any of them are any good, but it would be interesting to get some of their whiskey and then age it on sticks. I believe you'd have better luck.

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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by kiwi Bruce » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:25 pm

Jimbo, a question, would the glycerin in the vodka inhibit or change the outcome you got, I mean instead of using grain neutral spirits? I've cut down "Everclear" to cask strength with a quarter bourbon stave and had surprisingly good results,it took a year and it was by accident, but none the less surprising. Kiwi Bruce
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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by aceswired » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:26 pm

This seems like apples to oranges if your control was oaked at 120 -130 proof and the vodka at 80.

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Re: GNS/Vodka on Oak Experiment

Post by bitter » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:20 am

Jimbo wrote:Yes, have done all those. Vodka was the last. There's lots of write ups on here on grain flavors from me and others. And yes Im a big fan of blending to hit a flavor profile youre after. My 5 Grain and Batch 303 are blends.
Thanks! I was readings some you posts I think after the UJSSM /w rye and corn and my Gin are done might do a 100% rye, then wheat ..... and go down the row. I really like rye but I feel at 100% it needs more aging.

Be interesting to see a side by side of the Vodka at same proof as you bourbon. Or Another experiment.

Vodka @ 40 50 60 and 70%
Burbon @ 40 50 60 and 70%

Age all samples on oak using same method and time. Compare the samples at 6 months and 1 year.

Be interesting to see what color differences and flavor differences you get. Will take me a long time to get enough product to do this test... but its on my Todo list as I want a canadian whiskey clone and I think ages/oaked neutral combined with different amounts of corn, rye, barely should get me close. Doing tried and true first getting my feet wet in the hobby.

B

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