Bird Dog Blended Whiskey
Candian Hunter Blended Canadian Whiskey
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut
Bird dog Kentucky blended whiskey. Bought it without thinking about what “blended whiskey” meant. Obviously it should mean a blend or 2 or more whiskeys – which is what that phrase means in all other nations – but due to the peculiarities of American liquor labeling laws, that’s not correct. American whiskey can be sold as a “blended whiskey” if it is as little as 20% whiskey – the rest can be neutral grain spirits (basically, junk drinkable ethanol) and flavorings. There are many different legal categories for American whiskies, and only some correspond to what we would call “real” whiskey. Anything labelled straight whiskey is real whiskey, while “blended whiskey” can be as little as 20%, plus filler. See this source for details TTB.gov Distilled Spirits homepage and TTB.Gov Distilled Spirits FAQs. T
o be clear, this is only true for American law: Other countries use the phrase “blended whiskey” is a more meaningful sense: In Ireland and Canada, blended whiskies are simply a blend of 2 or more real whiskies, without grain neutral spirit filler.
Back to the Bird dog Kentucky blended whiskey: 80 proof. Medium gold color, with a caramel nose. I’ve never detected such a strong scent of caramel from whiskey before, and I’m pretty sure that it is an added flavoring. Drinks easy, but has a dark flavor that I’ve never experienced on the palate before. A bit too strong. It’s not what I want in a whiskey. It’s more like a flavored liquor, but there’s nothing on the label that indicates flavoring has been added.
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. While making whiskey, a significant percentage is lost due to evaporation. This is known in the industry as the “angel’s share”; but some of the whiskey is also lost, as it is absorbed into the oak barrels themselves, Jim Beam playfully refers to this lost whiskey as “the devil’s cut.” Jim Beam developed a way to remove these dregs of whiskey from the barrel, and combine them with the rest of the whiskey, to improve their profits. While many drinkers would find this wood-soaked whiskey “dregs”, when a small amount is mixed with other whiskey, some might enjoy it. The Jim Beam website states:
“Through a unique, proprietary process, we extract this formerly lost liquid from deep inside the barrel wood and put it back into our special Bourbon. The resulting liquid is deep in color, aroma and character with robust notes of wood and vanilla.”
The result? As always, a matter of personal taste. Very light color, a decent nose, very affordable. I’m detecting some of the same citrus flavors I found when I tried basil Hayden’s, but Jim beam’s Devil’s cut isn’t up to that league. This is harsher, less smooth. And definitely very woody, read about the process by which Jim bean extract liquid from the wood in the barrels. Eventually it grew on me a bit, I’m appreciating the woody notes. Would be best paired with food, especially chocolate. See this review for more details. Jason Scotchreviews Blogspot.com Jim-beam-devils-cut-kentucky
Canadian Hunter Blended Canadian Whiskey
From Sazerac (US). Region of original distillery: Canada. Category: Canadian whiskey. No age statement, and I haven’t found a mash bill for this. 80 Proof. As for the nose: Not great, had a slight rubbing alcohol scent. Palate: It’s not harsh, was easy to drink, but there was no depth, no meaningful flavor. Had a thin feel to it, I don’t see this as something that I’ll be coming back to.
Commonly thought of as a bottom shelf offering, I thought that I would give this a try again. From the Walker distillery in Windsor, and part of the Beam Suntory company. Aged 6 years in new white oak barrels. Mash bill is rye, malted rye, barley and corn, aged in new white oak barrels. 80 Proof. Appearance: Deep gold color. Nose – perhaps a scent of barley? Not much else. Palate: Medium body, and perhaps I’m almost detecting a ginger ale-ish quality to it? It’s drinkable and good for a mixed. I’d put this in the same category as Crown Royal.
Got to love these vintage ads!