Imbibe Hour


Monday, August 2, 2010

Revisiting the blueberry infusion

After making the blueberry infusion based on the instructions in the Kentucky Bourbon cocktail book, I took some time to revisit the concoction and compare it to the original.

I always wondered if there was a better bourbon to use for infusions. I am sure the best thing is to just taste several, and then determine one that you enjoy. I am sure there's lots of experimenting to be done, and things could be hit or miss.

So what exactly happened when using Jim Beam Black 8 year? Well... I decided to compare them. The most obvious duh difference is the color.

Jim Beam Black has a gold/bronze hue, while the blueberry infused counterpart has a deep cherry/red type color. But what about the important parts?

Well, this was what I discovered. The 8 year black label Beam has a pleasant nose not exactly perfectly pleasant, but not offensive or harsh. However, there aren't flavors to me that were easily detected, but there was a slight.. and I do say slight oak scent on the nose... but it's faint and subtle. In short to me, it's easily missed.

After quaffing the beverage, it's light body is quite pleasant on the palate, but still has a harsh burn to me, and there was no oak to be tasted, in contrast to what was detected on the nose. To me the oak is in the bouquet (although barely).

So in comparison what did blueberry infusion do? Well it did some obvious things and some surprises. The bouquet is obviously fruity, but to me it smells more of blueberry only a little bit, not exclusively, and even a bit of strawberry. However, the oak scent... is completely gone. In short I feel it killed it (as small as it was).

The same body is present in the mouth, even slightly jammy if I could say that even though it's light in body, and has a slight fruity taste and doesn't burn as much going down.

So the results were quite surprising. In short fruitiness added, oak taken away, and a better finish. However, the results weren't as dramatic as I expected. I would probably like to duplicate this again with a cheaper bourbon to see if the results are worth it, my gut feels that fusion will kill a bouquet that may contain aromas that are present, by overwhelming it that may be present in more expensive and longer aged bourbons?

We shall see... stay tuned. If you want to see how I made this watch the video below.


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