Experience-based Flavour Method By Home Distillers Club member “Zapper”
ONE OF the ongoing challenges home distillersface — whether traditional craftsmen or Neutral spirit and essence flavours experts — is to replicate a particular commercial brand taste.
In this case, Facebook Group Home DIstillers Club member “Zapper” has been experimenting to replicate the taste of the now discontinued Bookers Bourbon
Zapper has developed a multi-stepped method to achieve his goal.
He first starts off with 70% ABV clean rectified spirit.
“It will need to be put through a water-soaked filter about 6 times to clean it up at this % of alcohol.
“After filtering I put the spirit in a glass jug on new toasted french oak at half the recommended amount of wood,” he says.
Zapper also uses old used wood, as it doesn’t add to the flavor but he says it sucks the fusel oils out of the spirit.
“The reason we start with 70%ABV is to mimic the character of Bookers Bourbon.
“When we finish filtering and flavouring it ends up around the 63% – 65% ABV finished product.
“Because the spirit is wooded for 20 days it is very flavoured with a dry woody twang, so we don’t have to use as much flavour.
“At this stage I sample a small amount and sometimes add a little more clean spirit to dilute the woody taste.”
He then allows a good 2 to 3 weeks for the flavour to mature.
“The end result is far cleaner and more mellow bourbon than anything you will ever buy in a bottle shop,” Zapper says.