Whiskey Water?

There are companies that now market special limestone water for mixing with your bourbon.  They claim it’s the same water Kentucky distillers us to make bourbon.  This might be true, but they omit the most important detail.

KY distillers use this limestone water only in the cooking of the mash and fermentation, never in the bottling.   Limestone water is naturally low and iron and sulfur, both of those you don’t want in distillation.   Limestone water also has magnesium and calcium which can act as nutrients for yeast during the fermentation process.

Limestone water is hardly unique to KY.  Large limestone aquifers exist throughout the Southwest into Minnesota and Iowa and down to Florida.

Post distillation, all water used in the bourbon making process by any of the major producers is a pure as possible.  The water is treated by reverse osmosis and deionization or other similar process to be as neutral as possible.  No distillery would even consider using limestone water post distillation.  No limestone water is used to cut white dog to barrel entry proof nor is it used to cut to bottle proof.  Yet, companies want to sell you this special water for you to add to your bourbon.

The only reason you would buy this water is if you are tater.  Specifically, tater reason #

33. Buy specialty ‘whiskey water’ to add to your whiskey vs tap or routinely available bottled water.

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Kentucky Bound

I’m leaving first thing in morning for a KY trip.  I made my first trip there in 2003 or maybe 2004; can’t recall exactly.  And since then most years I’ve been once or twice a year.  This trip I’m going as representative from local Houston Bourbon group and helping select a couple of barrels for the group to enjoy.  Our first stop will be at Four Roses.  I’m lucky enough to have done this more than once.  It’s a fantastic experience.  Last time I was there picking a barrel, one of the best in the industry, Jim Rutledge, was there.  Jim would walk you through the process, hand pulling samples from the barrels.

We will also be making trip over to MB Roland.  I visited them once before about 4 years ago when they were just getting going.  They were doing some stuff I thought was fascinating; distilling to only 100 proof and placing that straight into barrel.  Nobody has done that in 50 years.   I have not tried any of their whiskey since that visit, so looking forward to seeing how that turned out.

Even more important for me is who I will be making trip with.  Along are a couple of longtime whiskey friends and a couple of newer ones.  Really looking forward to just hanging out with these guys for a few days.  Also, will get a chance to see a couple of good friends that live in KY.   It’s going to be freezing, but so worth it.

Welcome to Tater-Talk

This is my blog to discuss all kinds of whiskey tater behavior.  I’m a long-time whiskey geek, certified specialist of spirits, whiskey consumer advocate and even sometimes a tater.  I have been a seminar speaker at Tales of the Cocktail with Fred Minnick as well as lead a vintage whiskey tasting event at the annual Houston Whiskey Social. At least one company with improperly labeled whiskey proclaimed me public enemy #1 and banned me from their facility.  I have been on forefront of a grass roots effort to educate all on the US federal labeling laws regarding spirits.

This blog will cover topics ranging from: blind tasting reviews, spirit experiments/projects, spirit labeling issues, cigars, food/cooking or just about anything else I feel like discussing.  It will avoid all politics and religions.

If I post any type of spirit review, it will be from a product bought in normal retail channel.  I will not review any samples provided for free from the producers or the media companies.  I will not be riding the free sample whiskey blogger circuit. Therefore, I will be free to give independent reviews without worrying reviewing a honey sample or being cut off for negative reviews.

What exactly is a whiskey tater? It just a term to describe some of the funny and weird things folks do when they become spirit collectors.  The term’s origins have been lost but rumor is a secret Facebook whiskey group was involved.  The list has evolved over time with much input from the whiskey community.  And it’s a long list which will be discussed in future posts.  Update – some whose opinions I don’t entirely distrust pointed out that the original person that coined the term Potato, later shortened to tater, was Patrick Luebbers.

I’m terrible at grammar and spelling.  Expect errors and if noticed and politely pointed out will be much appreciated.

If you want to spend 15 minutes watching me speak at Tales, the presentation was videoed and available here; I start at about the 17 minute mark – Tales – The Audacity of Sourced Whiskey

If you stumbled upon this site looking for some awesome potato recipes, here you go:  Best Roasted Taters Recipe