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View Full Version : Is Some Bulleit Bourbon Distilled in Indiana?



cowdery
03-09-2011, 19:13
Consider this.

Diageo confirms that its new Bulleit 95 Rye is LDI. The LDI high-rye bourbon mash bill is the same as the one Four Roses makes, which is no surprise since both plants used to be owned by Seagrams.

That bourbon recipe happens to be the Bulleit Bourbon recipe. Is Diageo taking spirit distilled in Indiana, aging it in Kentucky (at Stitzel-Weller), mixing it with the all-Kentucky bourbon from Four Roses, and calling the whole thing “Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey”?

Can they?

The rules say producers may not misrepresent where a product was manufactured, but they don’t define ‘manufactured.’ They do say that when distilled spirits are bottled by or for a rectifier, the phrase ‘manufactured by’ may be used in lieu of the phrase ‘bottled by.’

If mere bottling is considered ‘manufacturing’ then surely aging is too.

Beyond the TTB’s general misrepresentation rule above, no entity regulates the use of ‘Kentucky’ in the phrase ‘Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.’ Nowhere is it decreed that whiskeys using the phrase must be distilled and aged in Kentucky.

So I’m not saying Diageo has done anything wrong if they are doing this, but it sure would be interesting to know.

I've asked Diageo about this point blank. They have yet to reply.

barturtle
03-09-2011, 19:37
27cfr5.22 (b)(1)(iii)

..."Straight whisky" includes mixtures of straight whiskies of the same type produced in the same State.

27cfr5.22 (b)(5)(ii)

"A blend of straight whiskies" consisting entirely of one of the types of straight whisky shall include straight whisky of the same type which was produced in the same State or by the same proprietor within the same State,


I think the "same state" modifier in both of these would prevent something from LDI and FR being put in the same bottle being called straight in any way.

sku
03-09-2011, 19:39
I thought that if they are calling it straight, it can't be a blend from more than one state. If it is a blend of straights from more than one state, wouldn't it have to be "a blend of straight whiskeys"?

UPDATE: Sorry to repeat, posted this before I saw Barturtle's response.

MissinER101
03-10-2011, 01:24
I thought that if they are calling it straight, it can't be a blend from more than one state. If it is a blend of straights from more than one state, wouldn't it have to be "a blend of straight whiskeys"?

UPDATE: Sorry to repeat, posted this before I saw Barturtle's response.

I think that was the point "Crotchety" Cowdery was making, can aging in Kentucky be considered "manufactured" in Kentucky there by meeting the requirements. The laws do not say "distilled" and "manufactured" is not defined; I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "IS" is

callmeox
03-10-2011, 04:38
I think that was the point "Crotchety" Cowdery was making, can aging in Kentucky be considered "manufactured" in Kentucky there by meeting the requirements. The laws do not say "distilled" and "manufactured" is not defined; I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "IS" is

You are quickly becoming "that guy".

ShewDawg
03-10-2011, 04:57
Is this that much different than Va Gentlemen saying Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey (or the Bowman products for that matter) by A. Smith Bowman Distillery? It's made by Buffalo Trace in KY but aged in VA. It seems strikingly similar, but I guess it's not as offensive to some being VA straight bourbon as opposed to KY Straight Bourbon.

If they can stretch where it's manufactured, can they stretch how it's manufactured? Does the ambiguity stop at location? I certainly hope it does, maybe the regulators focus on the "how" and not the "where" to ensure quality.

tmckenzie
03-10-2011, 05:18
At least va gentleman is redistilled in Virginia.

Gillman
03-10-2011, 07:01
This reminds me of the discussion we had some time ago in respect to bonded bourbon. IIRC, the suggestion was made by some that a distillery to which new make was trucked and aged from another location could be mentioned on the label as the source distillery for the bond. It may be that kind of logic at work here if some Bulleit new make is made at LDI. Given that the character of bourbon derives - its essential character - from aging, if the aging all takes place in one State, it seems okay to me that it be indicated as the State of production. That's just a personal impression, I haven't looked to the standards but if that is what is happening I'd have no issue with it.

Gary

p_elliott
03-10-2011, 07:56
And you wonder why Diageo doesn't like talking to you Chuck. :slappin:

sku
03-10-2011, 09:53
I think that was the point "Crotchety" Cowdery was making, can aging in Kentucky be considered "manufactured" in Kentucky there by meeting the requirements. The laws do not say "distilled" and "manufactured" is not defined; I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "IS" is

I think "produced" is the operative term here, but that does note appear to be a defined term either, at least in that section of the regs, so it would be up to the TTB to determine what it means, but if produced simply means bottled, it would eviscerate the regs, as how do you bottle something in more than one state (maybe if you set up a plant at the four corners). However, I suppose, if it were used broadly, it could include ageing, diluting with water and any other activity that goes into making the final product.

barturtle
03-10-2011, 10:14
I think "produced" is the operative term here, but that does note appear to be a defined term either, at least in that section of the regs, so it would be up to the TTB to determine what it means, but if produced simply means bottled, it would eviscerate the regs, as how do you bottle something in more than one state (maybe if you set up a plant at the four corners). However, I suppose, if it were used broadly, it could include ageing, diluting with water and any other activity that goes into making the final product.

Interesting how you think.

There was a label application for Bulleit Bourbon that had a qualification:

EACH CONTAINER MUST BE CODED TO INDICATE ACTUAL PLACE OF BOTTLING.

They were apparently planning on bottling at four different plants (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicDisplaySearchBasic&ttbid=10244000000004)

cowdery
03-10-2011, 11:40
The only thing clear here is that it is unclear. The regs for BIB are explicit in requiring that the DSP where distilled be disclosed. Elsewhere the words used are "produced" and "manufactured," and while neither word is defined in the regs, allowing "manufactured by" to be substituted for "bottled by" certainly suggests that manufactuing can mean bottling and nothing more.

One argument one could make is that although 'produced' is not defined, where that term is used it is almost always in reference to distillation.

Some of you may recall we questioned this back in September with regard to Prichard's Tennessee Whiskey (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2010/09/what-is-tennessee-whiskey.html).

One could also make the argument that the state in which the aging spirit reaches two years in wood and thus becomes "straight" is the state where produced. If it became straight in Kentucky then it is Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.

Perhaps since Lawrenceburg is so close to the Indiana-Kentucky border, it's considered Kentucky when the wind is blowing that way.

Where's Wade? I thought he'd be all over this.

CorvallisCracker
03-10-2011, 12:42
Perhaps since Lawrenceburg is so close to the Indiana-Kentucky border, it's considered Kentucky when the wind is blowing that way.

Could it be that the TTB leans in the direction from whence the cash is blowing?

Gillman
03-10-2011, 14:55
The bonded regs don't refer to something distilled, other than to describe bonded spirits generally as "distilled spirits" (a generic term for any liquor product), but to the concepts of production and warehousing.

http://law.justia.com/cfr/title27/27-1.0.1.1.3.5.25.14.html

It seems to me, these can occur at different distilleries, indeed a warehouse may not have a functioning distillery, as e.g., Stitzel Weller.

Perhaps then, a bourbon made by one distiller at one plant in one season, trucked when in white dog form to another place, can bear only the number of the latter on the label since it met the requirements in both stages. Or perhaps both distilleries' numbers must be mentioned, in addition to that where the stuff was bottled, if different. Perhaps too these rules read differently 30-40 years ago when apparently new make could be brought to a place, aged throughout there and termed bonded in that place; that was the recollection I thought some had reported here with knowledge of industry practice at the time.

But even if the regs read the same, the concepts of production and warehousing, referred to in a way that suggests to me they needn't be at the same place, seems to give some wiggle room on the point.

Admittedly this is a side discussion from the main point being discussed.

Gary

cowdery
03-10-2011, 15:20
Thanks, Gary, for making me refer back to the reg instead of going by memory. It says, "the labels of bottled in bond spirits shall bear the real name of the distillery or the trade name under which the distillery produced and warehoused the spirits, the number of the plant in which produced and the number of the plant in which bottled." This would seem a pretty clear indication that the word "produced" is intended to mean distilling and the steps leading up to it. It says "produced and warehoused," not "produced or warehoused."

cowdery
03-10-2011, 15:27
This is what I mean when I say producers should talk to me.

Here's the official word from Diageo, "Bulleit Bourbon is made – 100% made – in Lawrenceburg Kentucky."

As I've previously reported, sources connected to Kirin have disagreed but now the deal is, they have to go public with their assertion to the contrary. Diageo has the high ground now.

Diageo also categorically denies that there is any LDI bourbon in Bulleit Bourbon.

Truly, I have no reason to doubt them, and this came from an official spokesperson who wouldn't say it without checking, so good for Diageo and thank you.

craigthom
03-10-2011, 17:43
This is what I mean when I say producers should talk to me.

Here's the official word from Diageo, "Bulleit Bourbon is made – 100% made – in Lawrenceburg Kentucky."



But it's not bourbon until it goes into the barrels, and only Wild Turkey barrels bourbon in Lawrenceburg.

I know what they meant. I'm just having fun.

camduncan
03-10-2011, 18:15
If I remember correctly, Indiana is the source of the Australian only Sam Cougar bourbon.

Gillman
03-10-2011, 19:35
Chuck, I understand what you're saying, but why couldn't the producing (distilling) and warehousing activities be in two places? "Distillery" is in the singular, but I think it could be read as referring to two where one distillery doesn't provide both functions. And the DSP number only has to relate to the "producing" distillery, which suggests a split off again potentially of the two functions.

Gary

craigthom
03-10-2011, 19:53
Chuck, the CMDK threads I found were closed, so I thought I'd ask here.

If LDI is for sale, as you wrote in your blog, what does that mean for the future of CMDK? Are they still working on it?

It doesn't make sense to me that Angostura would selling a functional and, one assumes, profitable distillery while continuing to rebuild one that won't have any product to sell for several years.

White Dog
03-10-2011, 23:08
This is what I mean when I say producers should talk to me.

Here's the official word from Diageo, "Bulleit Bourbon is made – 100% made – in Lawrenceburg Kentucky."

As I've previously reported, sources connected to Kirin have disagreed but now the deal is, they have to go public with their assertion to the contrary. Diageo has the high ground now.

Diageo also categorically denies that there is any LDI bourbon in Bulleit Bourbon.

Truly, I have no reason to doubt them, and this came from an official spokesperson who wouldn't say it without checking, so good for Diageo and thank you.

No reason to doubt Diageo??:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Ask the Diageo contact about the Bulleit Bourbon mashbill. At trade shows Diageo reps in Wisconsin have said that 4R makes a special recipe for Bulleit, rather than the FR standard high Rye recipe. Should we believe that??

Gillman
03-11-2011, 06:27
Well, I think that settles that (re what Chuck has said that Diageo told him), I don't see any reason to doubt it.

The question about bonded is just a theoretical one really, since so little bonded bourbon (so identified) is released, and what is surely is all distilled and aged in the same place.

In another time, maybe there was the interest and possibility to state a DSP for the production plant and another distillery name for the warehousing, but it's probably moot for today's market.

Gary

Gillman
03-11-2011, 06:30
Just a further thought, why shouldn't the next big thing in bourbon be bonded bourbon? The name is evocative, has history and status, the stuff would be just 4 years old, thus suitable for a market in which well-aged bourbon is at a premium. It seems a natural for line extensions or revivals of old brands.

Gary

cowdery
03-11-2011, 10:19
Chuck, the CMDK threads I found were closed, so I thought I'd ask here.

If LDI is for sale, as you wrote in your blog, what does that mean for the future of CMDK? Are they still working on it?

It doesn't make sense to me that Angostura would selling a functional and, one assumes, profitable distillery while continuing to rebuild one that won't have any product to sell for several years.

As I understand it, both are for sale. No doubt their Florida distillery is as well. I've asked Diageo if they are bidding but on that question they are not biting.

cowdery
03-11-2011, 10:23
No reason to doubt Diageo??:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Ask the Diageo contact about the Bulleit Bourbon mashbill. At trade shows Diageo reps in Wisconsin have said that 4R makes a special recipe for Bulleit, rather than the FR standard high Rye recipe. Should we believe that??

That's why I rely on the official PR office. Field sales reps don't know anything.

OscarV
03-11-2011, 13:52
This is what I mean when I say producers should talk to me.

Here's the official word from Diageo, "Bulleit Bourbon is made – 100% made – in Lawrenceburg Kentucky."

As I've previously reported, sources connected to Kirin have disagreed but now the deal is, they have to go public with their assertion to the contrary. Diageo has the high ground now.

Diageo also categorically denies that there is any LDI bourbon in Bulleit Bourbon.

Truly, I have no reason to doubt them, and this came from an official spokesperson who wouldn't say it without checking, so good for Diageo and thank you.

This is very interesting that Diageo has made a statement about this regardless of what's in Bulleit.
Because as 4R's Jim Rutledge has said,...

Quote

I often talk to people about Bulleit when I am asked, but by contractual agreement with Diageo none of us are allowed to say much. It’s not that any of us grouchy…we just can’t speak in detail about the contractual agreement;

Unquote

To me it sounds like Kirin wants no pub on this and Diageo would love everyone to know that Bulliet is 4R but costs less. (Single Barrel that is and that's the most known 4R label).

tmckenzie
03-17-2011, 18:37
Am I nuts, or could some of it be made at Dickel, minus the charcoal?

squire
03-17-2011, 18:47
It could I suppose but why bother.

cowdery
03-18-2011, 16:59
Dickel is the same deal as LDI. You can make bourbon there, you just can't call it Kentucky bourbon.

In the nature of the business, there is probably very little difference between what it costs Diageo to buy new make from Brown-Forman and what it would cost them to make it themselves at Dickel. Plus they may not have sufficient extra capacity at Dickel. Plus Diageo's maturation facility at Stitzel-Weller is a stones throw from Brown-Forman's distillery in Louisville, so very convenient. It's so close they could probably run a pipe between them.