264 – Artfully Blending and Finishing with Nancy Fraley


July 30, 2020

Nancy Fraley is world-renowned for her expertise on blending… or is it mingling? In this podcast, we talk about the difference between blending and mingling, but also go into barrel sizes, terroir, and the art of barrel finishing. Spoiler alert, here’s another industry veteran who isn’t a fan of small barrels.

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Show Notes:

  • This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about hats.
  • Tell us about your background.
  • How did you get on the blending path?
  • What is a french style?
  • What are other styles of blending?
  • Let’s talk blending vs. mingling.
  • Talk about blending trends you are seeing internationally and in the US.
  • What is terroir?
  • What characteristics are you looking for when blending?
  • Tell us about the impact of barrel size and climate on the bourbon.
  • How do you decide what kind of cask you want to finish a bourbon in?
  • How do you test a finish?
  • What type of whiskey works better for finishing?
  • How often do you sample?
  • How do you figure out how long you finish a bourbon in a barrel?
  • Are there any tried and true casks?
  • Should the finishing barrel be empty?

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