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DP Rye Dog bottled and available

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more experienced folks here at the forum have always explained that absinthe is generally more expensive than other liquors because of the herb bill.


I used to think that too. Making whiskey on an industrial scale in a large column still can get good results as many will attest from the many fine offerings from the KY distilleries. There are some good values out there in bourbon.


Making whiskey in a small pot still takes a lot of work and ingredients. A lot of what I do is similar to whiskey production methods going back to 1820, maybe earlier. Of course, I don't attempt actual historical recreations, but some of the basic principles remained unchanged until Prohibition even though pot still whiskey production wasn't done so much after the introduction of the column still in the 1870's.


I can't fault the retailer, and I have no control over their price. I can only set the wholesale price in NY. The Catskill Cellars price seems comparable to the other retailers, actually a little cheaper. Compared to other NY craft whiskies available, the price for Delaware Phoenix is a bit less. Not like KY bourbon, and it can't be done to the scale at which I work.


Currently I mash by hand using a mash rake. Six individual ferments to the spirit run.


Brian, you don't have to age my Rye Dog in a barrel as I already am saving you the trouble and doing that for you. ;)


Yes, Bill, you got that right. Wolfie is in a better place now. But Sappho is still around (though she's 13 now).


Yes bksmithey, I grind the grain on a stone burr mill (motorized), I do all the mashing myself, in 30 gallon batches. Each one is fermented separately, distilled individually to get enough for the spirit run. That's the fun day. The rye is organic, but the rye malt isn't (doesn't seem to be commercially available).


As far as pricing of absinthe vs other spirits, some of that has to do with herbs but also since it's often sold near distillation proof. So no chance to add a bunch of water to double the result. Vodka and gin are 60% water. So when you distill to 95%, you can see how much more product you get by just adding water. With absinthe the customer gets to add the water.


As far as oxidation goes, I know some people like John Hansell (Malt Adovcate) say to drink up quick once a bottle gets 1/4 full. But that's with aged whiskey where all the oxidation products have already happened. I think new make whiskey does change with time, but I don't think it's so bad. So far that's not my experience. There are changes but nothing that makes the drink worse.


I personally don't favor oak chips as I think it adds too many tannins and it doesn't really replicate the natural whiskey breathing that happens when whiskey is in a barrel in a condition of temperature fluctuations. But that's me.


Thanks to everyone for their support, and here's to coming spring!

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Thanks for taking the time to post some information directly, Cheryl! I hope to see the day when the taste for products like yours enables distillers to produce liquors in larger batches so as to make them more affordable to those of us who are more humbly employed. In the meantime, I've got to pick and choose my higher-end purchases, but so far that's always involved at least 2 bottles each of WW and MoL every year. I don't see a break in that trend anytime soon! :cheers:


Oh, and I second the fine and friendly service of Catskill Cellars. Julie has always gone out of her way to be communicative with me, and they clearly have great taste in liquors.

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Brian, you don't have to age my Rye Dog in a barrel as I already am saving you the trouble and doing that for you.

I have no doubt. :). The barrel aging has more to do with how the entire cocktail melds and evolves as it ages, than how the whiskey would age on it's own. Vermouth and such goes through some amazing changes when aged with other spirits and bitters.

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While we're waiting for Brian to finish barrel aging his Rye Dog cocktail, here's another one. This is a variation on the Waldorf cocktail, traditionally made with equal parts bourbon (or rye), sweet vermouth, and absinthe (or pastis). An interesting concept, but I always felt that it was too strong to really enjoy without changing the ratios up. By subbing in a blanche absinthe, you can bring the potency down to manageable levels without altering the original recipe. Quite tasty--maybe my favorite so far!




3/4 oz. Rye Dog (or other unaged corn or rye whiskey)

3/4 oz. Dolin blanc vermouth

3/4 oz. blanche absinthe

3 dashes of Angostura orange bitters


Shake hard with ice (stirring will make it cloudy anyway, and the extra dilution and chill from the hard shake benefits the drink) and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Float a small edible flower (or flower petal) on the surface of the drink (something striking like a red Nasturtium would work well).

Edited by AiO

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