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View Full Version : Age statement; what constitutes a "year"?



bourbon-n00b
04-06-2011, 14:26
A little offshoot from this thread:

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15681

Distilled November 6, 2001. Bottled early (March/April?) 2011 with a 10 year age statement, when it's actually 9.x years old. I'm guessing "years" are calculated the same way rental car companies calculate days; any part of a calendar day would count as a full day, so on 01/01/2011 would be old enough for this to be considered a 10 year?

Not a huge issue either way, just more of curiosity on the requirements for age-stating.

OscarV
04-06-2011, 14:28
I think when it is not an exact, for example 10 year old, they mean 10 summers in the wood.

bourbon-n00b
04-06-2011, 14:33
I think when it is not an exact, for example 10 year old, they mean 10 summers in the wood.

Could be, at least in some cases but this one would have summer 2002 thru summer 2010. Even younger if you figure it this way.

callmeox
04-06-2011, 14:42
That ETL is 9 year old bourbon, all fuzzy math aside. It will be interesting if SV is putting a 10 year age sticker on the bottle and if so, shame on them.

Going by the oft repeated "...if it is 4 year old bourbon, then it is 4 years and a day...", they couldn't sell that whiskey in a bottling with an official age statement on the label.

"10 Decembers in wood" doesn't quite have the same marketing pizzazz, does it? :cool:

sku
04-06-2011, 14:45
Is there a real bottle you are referring to or are you just making up the example?

Computation of years is not something specifically covered in the regs, but I would be surprised if the TTB allowed the dates you are describing to come under a 10 year age statement and that would be misleading to the consumer. I would assume ten years means ten years, to the date, and the oldest the whiskey you are describing could labeled as would be 9 years old.

Keep in mind that the age statement refers to the youngest whiskey in the bottle and that age statements can be understated but may not be overstated.

callmeox
04-06-2011, 14:47
The example is taken from the Shoppers Vineyard ETL in the linked thread.

sku
04-06-2011, 14:54
The example is taken from the Shoppers Vineyard ETL in the linked thread.

Got it thanks. Looking at the SV website, it doesn't appear that the actual bottles have an age statement.

bourbon-n00b
04-06-2011, 15:37
Got it thanks. Looking at the SV website, it doesn't appear that the actual bottles have an age statement.

Yep. I neglected to take a look at the zoomed pic and just went by the Shoppers Vineyard page. So, I guess the age statement is a SV addition, which is not too cool but whatever. Good to know that a bourbon year is a true year and not just some part of one.

Thanks fellas!

cowdery
04-06-2011, 15:41
A year is a year, common meaning, and a barrel of whiskey's birthday is exactly the same as a human's. I know of several instances when a company was just waiting until a batch's birthday to dump it, just to be right with the label age statement.

Stitzel-Weller, when the Van Winkle family owned it, always had a policy of only counting summers and would put that on the label, e.g., "7 Summers Old" rather than "7 Years Old." That was their policy and I don't think anyone else ever applied it.

jburlowski
04-06-2011, 17:29
At my age, a lot less than you might think...

chefnash51
04-07-2011, 13:45
The 15 yr old ETL from SV had a sticker on it stating 15 years. From the pics online for the 10 yr.. stickers look the same

bourbon-n00b
04-07-2011, 13:53
The 15 yr old ETL from SV had a sticker on it stating 15 years. From the pics online for the 10 yr.. stickers look the same

Looks to me like they say "Single Barrel Select, Limited Edition, (State Fair Whiskey, Cotton Candy) or (Taoism, Sweet & Spicy)" and something under that, which I can't make out. Doesn't look like a 10-year age statement, from what I can tell.

I guess we will know for sure when the shipments arrive.