Discussions on whiskey production science.

Read more about the article The Tao of Baudoinia
The striking gabled warehouses at Deatsville, Kentucky provide a perfect environment for the fungus Baudoinia...up to a point.

The Tao of Baudoinia

The black fungus Baudoinia is a common sight on the outsides of whiskey warehouses in Kentucky. Turns out the way the fungus grows also has an interesting connection with another well known phenomenon, Angel's Share.

Read more about the article The Day Entry Proof Changed
In 2007 Buffalo Trace released this version of George. T. Stagg at an astonishing proof of 144.8. Changes to entry proof back in 1962 are what made the infamous 'Hazmat' release possible.

The Day Entry Proof Changed

An innocuous looking document sent out by the TTB on the 27th of April 1962 would change the way American whiskey had been barreled since before Prohibition. Was the science it was based on any good or was the outcome predetermined?

Molecular structure of β-Sitosterol
This is the molecular structure of β-Sitosterol. Is this the culprit of chill haze in your whiskey?

Getting Clear(er) on Chill Haze

There are two common schools of belief (or perhaps ‘churches’ is a better term) on chill filtering. One school declares that chill filtering is a harmless process and that what’s removed has no impact on flavor, only color and possibly the texture (mouthfeel) of the whiskey is affected. The other school strongly believes that chill filtering is destructive and results in an unavoidable attenuation of aroma and flavor in the whiskey. It seemed unlikely that both of these assertions could be true so I decided to look further into the matter.

19th century Mash Tubs
Small mash tubs as used in the 19th century to make 'old-fashioned sour mash' without the use of added yeast. (This place probably looks cleaner and nicer to work in than it really was!)

On the Evolution of Souring

The federal government has never defined a standard for what sour or sweet mashing means when it appears on a whiskey bottle label. But it has had a number of things to say about these techniques in publications intended for IRS employees. These may provide some insight into how these techniques evolved over time.