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bjbronwyn
06-02-2012, 18:13
Ive heard that Jack Daniels is going to be bottling a straight rye whiskey in the near future. This, (please correct me if im wrong) will be the first rye filtered using the lincoln county process or charcoal mellowing process, making it a truely unique whiskey!
If anyone has any additional info like a release date, please post here.

Im looking forward to try this!

Josh
06-02-2012, 18:15
Ive heard that Jack Daniels is going to be bottling a straight rye whiskey in the near future. This, (please correct me if im wrong) will be the first rye filtered using the lincoln county process or charcoal mellowing process, making it a truely unique whiskey!
If anyone has any additional info like a release date, please post here.

Im looking forward to try this!

I will correct you. I believe the Breakout Rye is made by Dickel and also given the Lincoln Co. treatment. I'm sure someone will correct ME if I'm wrong!:grin:

cowdery
06-02-2012, 22:01
I don't know anything, but I doubt either distillery is making or has made a rye.

PaulO
06-03-2012, 08:09
This is pure conjecture on my part. If B-F is going to stop supplying Rittenhouse for HH, maybe they could keep making something similar. Since they can't call it Rittenhouse, they'd have to call it something.

Gillman
06-03-2012, 09:40
Or B-F could put out its own rye.

I think a Tennessee rye is a great idea, the effect of the charcoal mellowing might work even better than on the low-rye bourbon mash of JD or GD.

Gary

yountvillewjs
06-03-2012, 09:58
For some reason I don't hold out a lot of hope that a JD Rye would be very good -- but I'd love to see them take the efforts out of Jack Honey and try. I'd buy one -- and since Jack was probably a top-5 expenditure in my 20's behind food, gas and rent, he will always have a sweet spot with me.

cowdery
06-04-2012, 14:04
This is pure conjecture on my part. If B-F is going to stop supplying Rittenhouse for HH, maybe they could keep making something similar. Since they can't call it Rittenhouse, they'd have to call it something.

I've thought the same thing. BF is not quick to launch new brands, although they could follow Knob Creek's lead and bring it out under the Old Forester brand. They might resist that because OF has so much heritage and never has been anything but a bourbon.

It has been almost four years since BF stopped making Rittenhouse for HH, so if they kept making the product with an idea to bringing out their own, we should hear about it soon. Rye is so hot right now, and in such short supply, that I don't think a new rye from such as esteemed producer would be a hard sell, even if it's a new and unfamiliar brand name.

If nothing else, I have to believe they've thought about it. It's also possible that their contract with HH prohibits or restricts it.

White Dog
06-04-2012, 15:25
B-F would have been wise to continue distilling and aging rye for their own purposes. It could be used to resurrect the OF label(since while it may have heritage, most people haven't a clue), or they could simply use the JD brand, which would make more sense to me.

Do most drinkers of Jack even think about it being from Tenn.? They could simply take DSP-354 Rye, put it under the JD label and call it "Jack Daniels Original Sour Mash Straight Rye." If the words "made in Kentucky" appear on the back label in small print, who would care, as it would sell like hot cakes.

Lazer
06-04-2012, 20:22
They should call it, Old No. 6 :lol:

bjbronwyn
06-05-2012, 01:37
Im sure this will be under the JD brand, and for it to be labeled made and bottled in Lynchburg Tenn, they must have had this in the pipeline for a number of years. Or do you guys think they might buy the Rye whiskey from another distillery, and label it their own?

Gillman
06-05-2012, 04:32
Well, initially I thought B-F might use its own rye (made in KY) and apply the Lincoln County Process in Tennessee to lend a distinctive TN note. This is why in my earlier post I said, "or B-F might put out its own rye", i.e., do an all-Kentucky rye as an alternative to any such use of rye at Lynchburg although I suppose it could be both (but not as likely IMO).

Giving it further thought, I think if JD or GD ever did a rye of their own they would probably make it from scratch themselves, 100% in TN. Being long-established and with the Tennessee origins long a point for distinction for them, it is probably unlikely they would bring in rye for this purpose although as a niche product, who knows..?

Either way I'd like to them do this and B-F too to put out its own (non-JD named) all-Kentucky rye, the more the better.

Gary

White Dog
06-05-2012, 10:08
"The more the better" indeed! The number of Rye expressions from the majors is woefully small. Given Rye's growth, I would expect to see at least double the labels we have now within the next 5 years.

Kalessin
06-05-2012, 11:06
Do most drinkers of Jack even think about it being from Tenn.?

Have you ever taken a look into the cult of Jack Daniel's? :)

When I was in high school and college, friends who were into the stuff would quote the "Jack Daniels Old Time Old #7 Quality Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey" as a mark of how well they knew the brand.

cowdery
06-06-2012, 11:19
A lot of conjecture and speculation, and anything is possible, but I don't see it. There is enough confusion about what "Jack Daniels Old Time Old #7 Quality Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey" is, and adding a rye to the mix wouldn't help. I also can't see them selling a rye made somewhere other than Lynchburg. Again, that's tinkering with the brand image more than I think they would do.

When they put the name on a BBQ sauce or something, that doesn't confuse things, but Jack Daniel's, the whiskey, is Jack Daniel's -- a whiskey, but also a brand -- more than it is a particular type of whiskey, and Jack Daniel's that isn't Jack Daniel's doesn't fit. Then again, I don't see how Porsche can put its name on an SUV, so what do I know?

They've already tinkered with a Woodford Rye, and could do the same thing they do with the bourbon, mixing some rye made at Woodford with some made at BF, to create a line extension.

Or they could resurrect some historic brand, as I know they've had ryes in their portfolio before. Or create something new.

I got a box from Brown-Forman yesterday that I haven't opened yet. Maybe it's the new rye?

Lazer
06-06-2012, 12:16
I got a box from Brown-Forman yesterday that I haven't opened yet. Maybe it's the new rye?

I guess mine got lost in the mail.:rolleyes:

White Dog
06-07-2012, 11:28
Chuck's right, in that the smartest thing for them to do would be a Woodford Rye. It wouldn't mess with the Jack brand, and they'd make a lot more margin than an Early Times Rye.

Woodford 90proof NAS Rye for $30?? Better buy up all the RittBIB DSP-354 that I can get my hands on!:lol:

cowdery
06-07-2012, 13:45
Chuck's right, in that the smartest thing for them to do would be a Woodford Rye. It wouldn't mess with the Jack brand, and they'd make a lot more margin than an Early Times Rye.

Woodford 90proof NAS Rye for $30?? Better buy up all the RittBIB DSP-354 that I can get my hands on!:lol:

Although an Early Times Rye (I hadn't thought of that) might be good if they want to bring it out at a popular price, perhaps between Beam/Overholt and Rittenhouse/Sazerac, rather than going against Knob Rye with a Woodford. The current interest in rye might allow them to use an Early Times Rye to draw attention to ET Bourbon as well as ET KY whiskey, thus helping the whole brand.

I tend to forget about ET, even when thinking specifically about Brown-Forman whiskeys.

Gillman
06-07-2012, 14:03
But putting it out under the JD imprint would give it the distinctive pre-barreling, maple charcoal filtering treatment. Given how energetic rye whiskey can be at 4 years old, the said treatment may work a significant improvement. Used with a rye-light, bourbon-type mash, arguably it takes too much out of the new spirit (not for its fans of course but some bourbon fans feel that way I know); this would not be an issue for rye which by definition is a heavy and feisty whiskey. It's win-win from what I can see, and also, given that we have Gentleman Jack now, SB and other iterations not to mention a honey liqueur, I can't see that extending the line in this way would hurt Old No. 7 at all.

Gary

T Comp
06-07-2012, 22:19
And Shanken had the news release yesterday that BF sales were up 6% for the fiscal year and attributed to a strong performance by JD and "particularly its Tennessee Honey offshoot". Oh yeah, price hikes are coming too.

cowdery
06-08-2012, 09:57
If BF really thinks charcoal filtering is what a young rye needs, they can charcoal filter regardless of the brand they choose to use. They don't have to call it JD just because charcoal filtering is used.

Gillman
06-08-2012, 11:19
That's true but the added value of the historic Jack Daniels name would trump any other use IMO.

Gary

cowdery
06-10-2012, 12:58
You could be right, but they'd have to make it there.

Ryes may be becoming like SUVs. Every brand needs one, even if (like Porsche) it's out of character.

Since the KBF won't allow rye to be poured, and since a couple of today's popular straight ryes are made in Canada, maybe we need to organize an International Rye Whiskey Festival.

But where to hold it? Why, Rye, New York, of course.

Gillman
06-10-2012, 14:00
Very good suggestion Chuck.

Gary

Kalessin
06-11-2012, 10:04
I know some staff at the Hilton in Rye, they're happy to hold conventions there... :D

Lazer
06-11-2012, 19:56
I know some staff at the Hilton in Rye, they're happy to hold conventions there... :D

I've been there. Its a nice place. I didn't see any whiskey.

Kalessin
06-11-2012, 22:23
I've been there. Its a nice place. I didn't see any whiskey.

When I was last there in mid-March, they were totally remodeling the lobby and bar area.

I ordered a Manhattan at the bar. I tried for rye, and they had none, but they had Booker's for a call bourbon, and the very nice bartender poured me a BOMB... the large martini glass was full to the brim.

I had just driven down from MA, and some friends took me out to the Coach Diner in Port Chester (it's one of my favorite diners ever!)... I was, to put it gently, wasted drunk all the way through dinner.

DrinkSpirits
10-05-2012, 11:39
It has been officially announced and Drink Spirits has a review: http://www.drinkspirits.com/whiskey/jack-daniels-unaged-rye-whiskey-review/

HighInTheMtns
10-05-2012, 11:46
$50 for an unaged rye? This makes microdistiller pricing look fantastic (for example, compare to HW OMG rye, on both proof and price.) Pass.

smokinjoe
10-05-2012, 11:52
I need another unaged spirit like I need a hole in my head...

Josh
10-05-2012, 12:08
I need another unaged spirit like I need a hole in my head...

Go easy on them. I'm sure they'll start releasing some really nice stuff once they have been in business for a little longer,

HighInTheMtns
10-05-2012, 12:14
Go easy on them. I'm sure they'll start releasing some really nice stuff once they have been in business for a little longer,
Right, they're just selling this unaged distillate to fund their startup costs.

Gillman
10-05-2012, 12:15
Well that's interesting.

Three observations: i) I don't get the pricing either. ii) There is no mention I can see of the maple charcoal filtering. Was the rye mash whiskey subjected to that? iii) Why is the class of spirits called neutral spirits on the label? Is it distilled out over 190? If so, I don't see really what rye mash, also stated on the bottle, designates.

Gary

HighInTheMtns
10-05-2012, 14:10
Interesting observation, Gary. I believe that neutral spirits is a legally defined term meaning that it was distilled to over 190 proof (correct me if I am wrong about that.) I've seen various vodkas whose labels identify the grain/fruit from which they originated; is this nothing more than $50 Jack Daniel's vodka?

T Comp
10-05-2012, 14:55
So the two bigest brand names in straight whiskey, with all their R & D and marketing skills, have thrown down the gautlet with their own versions of a clear whiskey, but both with their own twist. Chuck had an advance bottle he shared at KBF weekend, of the soon to be released Beam version, Jacob's Ghost, which is aged for 1 year and then filtered back clear http://www.trademarkia.com/clear-distilled--clear-filtered-jim-beam-b-jacobs-ghost-white-whiskey-jacob-beam-85682775.html

MyOldKyDram
10-05-2012, 14:57
Why?

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Gillman
10-05-2012, 15:26
Well, they would get the aging effect of one year, but then to get it white, filter out all the color. It's a technique used in the rum industry a lot, and for the Canadian White Owl whisky brand.

Neutral spirit (turning now to the Jack Daniels Tennessee rye label, at least as depicted in that image) does designate, as far as I know, spirit distilled out at 190 proof or higher. It doesn't matter what grains are used. Whiskey from a rye mash normally means whiskey made from a mash of which 51% or more of the grains are rye, and distilled at up to 160 proof, but not aged in new charred barrels or perhaps, aged in such barrels but entered at >125 proof.

Could this be a mixture of neutral spirits and rye mash whiskey? It is called "rye" though, which I would have thought excludes the idea of containing neutral spirits. Yet, it is called rye, not rye whiskey as such, on the label. So perhaps it is a mix. By the way, the label says only a small amount was bottled white and most was laid down for barrel aging.

Gary

MGillespie
10-05-2012, 15:40
Just received a sample of it via the Whiskey Fairy. According to the release that came with it, they distilled and put up 800+ barrels of rye spirit at the end of last year to see how they would mature...and then their in-house tasters started raving about it. They've decided to release a limited amount as noted in previous posts.

Gillman
10-05-2012, 15:51
Can you give some taste notes? Does it taste like part of it is neutral spirits? I would think you might know by the crisp, peppery finish vodka has, say.

Gary

cowdery
10-05-2012, 16:12
The Whiskey Fairy visited me as well.

The press release says, "while many rye products only contain the required 51 percent rye in their grain bill, Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye consists of a grain combination of 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn and 12 percent malted barley."

I'm surprised they don't mention charcoal filtering. I'm tasting it right now, and it clearly has been filtered, perhaps more than once, because while it has some of the aroma and flavor of white dog, it's very much toned down, very much like the Beam Jacob's Ghost product, which I recently learned is a definite go and will start to appear in stores in January.

Master Distiller Jeff Arnett, in his tasting notes, describes it as more fruity than spicy, and he's right about that. I suspect rye's characteristic spice notes were a casualty of the heavy filtering.

They're saying it's 'unaged,' but it has to have at least touched wood or they couldn't call it whiskey. They as much as say that it was already in the barrels when they decided to start selling it white. That sounds like a fairy tale (courtesy of the Whiskey Fairy) anyway.

It's 40% ABV.

Like Jacob's Ghost, it is less flavorable but much more drinkable than a typical micro-producer 'white whiskey.' It's spicier and drier than the Beam product. Still, you have to have some affection for white dog to drink it, because that's still what it is.

I can hear the talk now about "Jack Daniel's moonshine."

Clearly, though, there must be some high level market research that says white whiskey has legs.

It looks like a small release that will sell primarily in Tennessee, including at the distillery. Of course, they may just be saying that so places start to demand it.

Gillman
10-05-2012, 16:22
Chuck, it doesn't state whiskey anywhere on the image, that I can see. Here is further script from the bottle:

http://lh5.ggpht.com/-ssPI2fFUQJ8/UFHnlbWa4uI/AAAAAAAAArM/NPKqdMUF4A0/s1600-h/image%25255B5%25255D.png

Still no talk of whiskey as such.

My guess, or inference, is this is neutral spirit with a majority of the grains from rye. It might retain a lot of flavor if distilled at 190 as opposed to 194-196. I've tasted "rye vodka" distilled at that level (190) that has a lot of flavour, and perhaps maple charcoal filtering adding something. The difference between the terms "class" and "type" may be important, too.

Gary

MGillespie
10-05-2012, 16:50
Negative...just got off the phone with Jeff Arnett doing an interview that will be in this weekend's WhiskyCast. The mashbill is 70% rye, 18% corn, and 12% malted barley. Chuck, you're right...they did run it through the charcoal after distillation and before bottling. He says they didn't call it whiskey because it hadn't spent any time in the barrel, which is why they're calling it "Unaged Rye". IMHO, the charcoal really adds something to this one...it knocks off the rough edges that we see in most unaged ryes, while bringing out some great fruity notes on the taste and more sweetness than you'd normally expect from an unaged rye. They have 800+ barrels that were laid down late last year, and those will be the foundation for an aged version that we'll see in a few years.

Gillman
10-05-2012, 16:53
But what proof was it distilled at? Why is there a reference to its class being neutral spirit?

Gary

HighInTheMtns
10-05-2012, 16:55
But what proof was it distilled at?
This is the biggest question I have too. I'd have to say that it seems strange that they would lay down barrels of neutral spirits for aging, but why in the world would they label this bottle as neutral spirits if that's not what it is?

MGillespie
10-05-2012, 17:01
This is the biggest question I have too. I'd have to say that it seems strange that they would lay down barrels of neutral spirits for aging, but why in the world would they label this bottle as neutral spirits if that's not what it is?

It's not neutral spirits, gang. Just confirmed the following with Jeff Arnett: 1: Rye-based mashbill (see my post above) distilled at 140 proof (70% abv). The spirit that's being laid down in casks is at traditional barrel strength 62.5% abv (125 proof), and both aged and unaged versions will be bottled at 40% abv (80 proof). As for not using the "whiskey" labeling, Jeff advises that they have TTB approval to call the unaged spirit "Tennessee Rye", but since they're not even putting into casks for a few minutes, they cannot use "whiskey" on the label. In Jeff's words, they're following the traditional Jack Daniel's whiskey-making process right up to the point where it goes into the barrel...and bottle it instead.

I really should hang out here more often...

Gillman
10-05-2012, 17:02
Thanks for that clarification, but I still don't understand the reference on the label to neutral spirit being the "class" of this beverage.

Gary

portwood
10-05-2012, 17:11
In Jeff's words, they're following the traditional Jack Daniel's whiskey-making process right up to the point where it goes into the barrel...and bottle it instead.


Wow, I didn't know that it costs less to age spirit in a barrel before bottling than to bottle it straight out of the filtering vats.:slappin:

FIFTY bucks for new-make, 20 bucks after aging.:bigeyes:

MyOldKyDram
10-05-2012, 17:14
Yeah. Screw that noise. Ridiculous.

HighInTheMtns
10-05-2012, 17:17
Can't understand that pricing at all. This costs more than JDSB, for an 80 proofer... truly one of the most ridiculous price points I've seen on anything. Did Jeff mention anything about the price in your interview, Mark? Maybe this is just while it's a gift shop item?

MGillespie
10-05-2012, 17:28
It's like any other gift shop or limited-release product, and I fully expect there will be Jack collectors that just have to have a bottle. I wouldn't have priced it that high, but then, I'm not a marketing guy.

MyOldKyDram
10-05-2012, 17:35
Four Rose's 17 yo gift shop bottling is $57.Just sayin'.

callmeox
10-05-2012, 17:50
Four Rose's 17 yo gift shop bottling is $57.Just sayin'.

17 year old uncut bourbon for not much more than an unaged gimmick?

I don't see Jack drinkers as big cocktail types which is where the white whiskey market is.

Josh
10-05-2012, 17:51
It's not neutral spirits, gang. Just confirmed the following with Jeff Arnett: 1: Rye-based mashbill (see my post above) distilled at 140 proof (70% abv). The spirit that's being laid down in casks is at traditional barrel strength 62.5% abv (125 proof), and both aged and unaged versions will be bottled at 40% abv (80 proof). As for not using the "whiskey" labeling, Jeff advises that they have TTB approval to call the unaged spirit "Tennessee Rye", but since they're not even putting into casks for a few minutes, they cannot use "whiskey" on the label. In Jeff's words, they're following the traditional Jack Daniel's whiskey-making process right up to the point where it goes into the barrel...and bottle it instead.

I really should hang out here more often...

It says neutral spirit on the label.

Josh
10-05-2012, 18:42
Also, in my experience, young ryes are usually more fruity than spicy, charcoal filtered or not. Ole George Rye from Grand Traverse, Koval's unaged rye and Pikesville exhibit those tropical fruit notes.

cowdery
10-05-2012, 19:01
I wrote the post over here first, then decided to turn it into a blog post (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2012/10/jack-daniels-and-jim-beam-pile-onto.html). It was then that I noticed the word 'whiskey' appeared nowhere in the press materials nor on the label, and the class on the label is neutral spirit. Well, I don't know what Jeff is smoking, but 'neutral spirit' is not distilled at 85% ABV, not unless it's subsequently re-distilled to north of 95% ABV, because that's the definition of 'neutral spirit.'

According to the label, it's Jack Daniel's Tennessee Vodka.

The terms 'neutral spirit' and 'whiskey' are mutually exclusive. It can't be both. I shall not speculate further, but something is seriously hinky here.

callmeox
10-05-2012, 19:18
The COLA also shows a type of Neutral Spirits, so either the TTB has gone further off the rails or the fibbing is strong on this product from BF.

Also in the TTB registry for JD are label approvals for whiskey products called Before and After in 375ML sizes. Keep an eye out for a white whiskey/aged whiskey twin pack from the house of Daniel's.

HighInTheMtns
10-05-2012, 19:24
Calling a neutral spirit product "Tennessee Rye," if that's what's going on, is an example of exactly what the TTB should not allow. In the context of distilled spirits, "Rye" is a type of whiskey. This is analogous to making vodka from a bourbon mash, calling it "Kentucky Bourbon," and just omitting the word whiskey.

But why would JD be aging vodka in barrels? Like Chuck said in his blog post, aging vodka doesn't get you whiskey. Does the "After" label say neutral spirits? Does the "Before?" Could it be that they produced a neutral spirit to bottle as a white whiskey poseur in order to have a more drinkable product and that the stocks they're laying up are distilled to less than 160 proof?

cowdery
10-05-2012, 19:25
I don't want to speculate further but the only way everybody is telling the truth is if they made a rye whiskey distillate, put some of it into barrels, then subsequently redistilled some of it to above 95% ABV to qualify it as neutral.

The regs could not be more clear on what 'neutral' means.

The fact that the words 'rye mash' are there is significant, since the label for a neutral spirit has to disclose the material from which it distilled, at least by type (grain, fruit, cane, etc.).

But the bottom line is, it's not whiskey. A mod should probably move the thread. :)

callmeox
10-05-2012, 19:30
As indicated above, Before and After are whiskey products.

callmeox
10-05-2012, 19:31
But the bottom line is, it's not whiskey. A mod should probably move the thread. :)

I was waiting on some other confirmation before relegating it to another forum.

HighInTheMtns
10-05-2012, 19:33
(At least) one further observation from me: seems a little silly, considering the price point, the lack of requirement that it's a new barrel, and the fact that BF owns a cooperage, that JD wouldn't go through with the 5 minutes in a barrel in order to gain the value of the word "whiskey" on the bottle, if there weren't another disqualifying factor.

Gillman
10-05-2012, 19:33
Why can't it be simply a rye-based cereal mash distilled to 190 proof? It's rye mash, but not whiskey from rye mash because i) never put in wood, ii) 190 proof or over as opposed to under 160 (would go the argument). What I'm wondering is if the stuff being aged in new charred oak is typical rye white dog but they chose to distill some of the same stuff higher for this limited release.

Or, maybe it is a mix of some rye-based GNS and some rye white dog.

190 proof spirit can be pretty impactful, it only acquires truly neutral character as vodka and that requires more than maple charcoal leaching.

Gary

HighInTheMtns
10-05-2012, 19:35
As indicated above, Before and After are whiskey products.
Sorry, should have gotten that from your first post, particularly considering the first part of it. Thanks for clearing it up for me. :drinking:

callmeox
10-05-2012, 19:39
Sorry, should have gotten that from your first post, particularly considering the first part of it. Thanks for clearing it up for me. :drinking:

It's all good.



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callmeox
10-05-2012, 19:43
It has been officially announced and Drink Spirits has a review: http://www.drinkspirits.com/whiskey/jack-daniels-unaged-rye-whiskey-review/

After skimming your review I need to ask a question. How exactly is this an exciting product?

MyOldKyDram
10-05-2012, 19:53
I for one hope and pray it tanks.

Gillman
10-06-2012, 06:43
Thinking further on this, and glancing also at Chuck's blog of last night on it, I think now, unless more info comes out, Chuck is probably right when he said above that it is likely a re-distillation of rye mash whiskey that was in wood for a time. That is not inconsistent with neutral spirit because if you take the spirit to 190, it loses the whiskey designation ("whiskey" has to be under 190 proof). That way too, you would get a little maturation from the time in wood, even if it was a few days. Any brown color could be eliminated by special filtering (like we talking about earlier viz. the new Beam white whiskey).

Viewed that way, it is rye mash neutral spirit, which is what the label says. Also, this would mean and I understood Mr. Arnett to say, that the rye mash went through the maple charcoal stack just like the regular Jack Daniel's mash does.

That is probably the answer. I still think it is possible they did two runs and the new Rye never saw the inside of a barrel, or that the spirit is a mix of rye mash white dog and GNS, but these seem less likely to me now.

Assuming, though, that what is in the bottle is a true rye white dog, the designation as neutral spirit seems clearly inapt, or IMO anyway.

Gary

ebo
10-06-2012, 13:33
At $50.00 a bottle, I'll just skip it.

cowdery
10-06-2012, 16:29
It can't be a mixture of anything and neutral spirit and still be called neutral spirit. Neutral spirit is neutral spirit. There is zero ambiguity in the definition. Neutral spirit is any distillate distilled above 95% ABV. That's what neutral spirit is and neutral spirit can't be anything else. No exceptions. No wiggle room. If it was distilled at 85% it's not neutral spirit and mislabeled, which is unlikely. Although we know of producers who have gotten inaccurate labels approved, Brown-Forman wouldn't submit an inaccurate label. They'd never get away with it, with the scrutiny Jack Daniel's gets.

So if it's not mislabeled then it has to be neutral spirit, but it sure doesn't taste like neutral spirit.

I've been thinking about it and there really isn't a legal name for whiskey white dog if it truly has no contact with wood, but if you do a touch-and-go with a used barrel, you can call it whiskey, which is what I assume BT did with its bottled white dog. It's inconceivable to me that Daniel's wouldn't call it whiskey if they could call it whiskey except for one thing. They couldn't call it rye whiskey. That's the gag here. "Rye" is a more important word than "whiskey." They're banking on the fact that most people will see "Jack Daniel's Rye" and think they're seeing "Jack Daniel's Rye Whiskey."

And if they truly distilled it to 85% ABV, then even after it's aged they won't be able to call it "rye whiskey" because rye whiskey has to be distilled below 80% ABV. But it won't matter, because the same logic will hold. That's the power of the Jack Daniel's brand. Jack Daniel's doesn't have to be bourbon, it doesn't even have to be whiskey.

None of which changes the fact that neutral spirit is any distillate distilled above 95% ABV.

cowdery
10-06-2012, 16:38
The price is interesting and shows again what shrewd marketers the Brown-Forman folks are. The micro-producers have established $50 as a reasonable price point for white whiskey. If people will pay it for High West, why not for Jack Daniel's?

callmeox
10-06-2012, 16:52
Next question: Where is DSP-TN 1 located? The COLA lists DSP-TN 4 as the source, but the photo shows TN 1 on the bottle neck.

darylld911
10-06-2012, 17:11
Considering the proof and price point, I think I know all I need to know about this one :lol: PASS!

Gillman
10-06-2012, 17:24
I wouldn't prejudge the question viz. mixture of rye white dog and neutral spirit, if it states both rye mash and neutral spirit, why assume it is only the latter? It doesn't say 100% neutral spirit. It does say class, yes, and the rye mash part is under "type", but those aren't really defined terms anywhere I believe. Is a mixture of such elements required to be stated on the label as percentages? I don't think so but didn't look at the regs with that in mind to be sure.

In fact, since white dog is an acquired taste for many, it would make sense to cut it so to speak with GNS. Sort of like spirit whiskey under the regs, except there is no whiskey here.

However, I incline towards all-neutral spirit in this case.

I'm pretty sure I've seen "rye vodka" in the market, so this could be sort of like that, except "rye neutral spirit". Clearly it isn't flavorless, so it presumably was distilled in a way to skip some of the final rectification steps that make vodka, e.g. extractive distillation. It may be what is called in the vodka trade an "intermediate" product meaning it has noticeable odor and flavor. Maybe too they didn't do the "draws" vodka and some grain whisky undergoes, to remove e.g. certain fusels off the trays.

Anyway, given that this product would potentially interest the knowledgeable part of the bourbon and rye-buying public, I hope the company will explain in detail what the bottle contains and what it was trying to achieve. It is in its interest to do so, IMO. Today "people want to know", and I'd buy it (despite the price) if I understood fully what it is and what flavor profile they were going after.

Gary

cowdery
10-07-2012, 19:43
I was going to say, "not to belabor the point," but fuck it, I'm belaboring the point. Please consider the follow before spinning any silly theories about how a 70% ABV distillate can be labeled 'neutral spirit6'. While I suppose it's true that 'class' and 'type' are not explicitly defined, the intent of their use is pretty clear in context, and what do you know. "Class 1" is neutral spirits, aka alcohol.

Sec. 5.22 The standards of identity.
Standards of identity for the several classes and types of distilled spirits set forth in this section shall be as follows (see also Sec. 5.35, class and type):

(a) Class 1; neutral spirits or alcohol.
"Neutral spirits'' or "alcohol'' are distilled spirits produced from any material at or above 190[deg] proof, and, if bottled, bottled at not less than 80[deg] proof.
(1) "Vodka'' is neutral spirits so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.
(2) "Grain spirits'' are neutral spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain and stored in oak containers.

(b) Class 2; whisky.
"Whisky'' is an alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash of grain produced at less than 190[deg] proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to whisky, stored in oak containers (except that corn whisky need not be so stored), and bottled at not less than 80[deg] proof, and also includes mixtures of such distillates for which no specific standards of identity are prescribed.
(1)(i) "Bourbon whisky'', "rye whisky'', "wheat whisky'', "malt whisky'', or "rye malt whisky'' is whisky produced at not exceeding 160[deg] proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively, and stored at not more than 125[deg] proof in charred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type.
(ii) "Corn whisky'' is whisky produced at not exceeding 160[deg] proof from a fermented mash of not less than 80 percent corn grain, and if stored in oak containers stored at not more than 125[deg] proof in used or uncharred new oak containers and not subjected in any manner to treatment with charred wood; and also includes mixtures of such whisky.

An interesting fact that was pointed out to me via email: after Daniel's resumed distilling in 1938, they made and sold corn whiskey. However, since the Jack Daniel's mash bill is 80 percent corn, it must have been the same mashbill, based on Jeff Arnett's claim that JD Rye is the first new grain recipe since Prohibition. They also made fruit spirits in those days, but Arnett was careful to say grain.

So everything they're saying is consistent. What's inconsistent is what the label says. I defy anyone to find any ambiguity in the regulation for "Class: Neutral Spirit," which is how the product is labeled.

cowdery
10-07-2012, 20:53
And the words "rye mash" are on the label because Section 532 says that when a product contains neutral spirits, the "name of commodity from which distilled" must be disclosed on the label. The reg gives the examples of "grain," "cane," and "fruit," but since rye is a grain, there was probabably no objection to that being used as the commodity disclosure. That, of course, raises another question, since it wasn't 100% rye, although it was 100% grain.

cowdery
10-08-2012, 00:07
"Probabably" is a way to indicate high probability. Or is that high probabability?

Gillman
10-08-2012, 04:57
If you are talking about me, none of my theories are "silly". They are attempts to parse a label in the context of statements I heard in an interview with Jeff Arnett, Mark's last statements in the thread, and also taste reports which seem to veer away from a typical neutral spirits palate. Rye is not the only "grain" in rye mash, so that doesn't necessarily satisfy a statement of grain type as you've pointed out yourself.

I noticed right away the reference to neutral spirit on the label and have been trying to figure out ever since what it means.

On the other hand, it may be and I have said I incline currently to thinking, it is 100% neutral spirit.

But until there is final clarification, other possibilities still exist. Amongst these, the most plausible is that it is new make rye mash spirit. I can't explain why the term neutral spirit is on the label if this is the case, maybe it is an "error", or the government allowed it for some specific reason. I don't know.

One of the whiskey writers will nail it down soon and tell us, I'm sure.

Gary

wadewood
10-08-2012, 07:00
The approved TTB label says neutral spirit aka Jack Daniel's Vodka. Despite any comment Jeff Arnett made to the contrary, the regs are well stated - this product is vodka.

Gary -Canada does have different regs than the US, so perhaps Jeff could make his statements addressing Canada or some other market, but in the US it simple can't be spun any other way.

oknazevad
10-08-2012, 08:57
The COLA also shows a type of Neutral Spirits, so either the TTB has gone further off the rails or the fibbing is strong on this product from BF.

Also in the TTB registry for JD are label approvals for whiskey products called Before and After in 375ML sizes. Keep an eye out for a white whiskey/aged whiskey twin pack from the house of Daniel's.

Looking at those "Before" and "After" labels on the COLA, they prominently say "not for sale" and the side text speaks of tasting glasses. Seems that these are samples of the Jack white dog before and after the charcoal for use as part of the distillery tour. Surprised they'd have to get COLAs for them, but that seems to be what they are. So I wouldn't expect a twin pack in the near future.

Addendum: Just realized, if Arnett's comments are accurate, then the "after" is the corn equivalent of the new Jack Rye. Which only makes the "neutral spirit" label even more questionable.

wadewood
10-08-2012, 11:35
I've been posting on Whiskycast facebook site, I think this is the direct link - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151056494822116&set=a.124106887115.115731.46314247115&type=1&theater

Mark's says Jack received TTB approval to call this spirit distilled to 140 proof a neutral spirit. There is no TTB class/type setup for an unaged Rye Whiskey.

I say that the TTB screwed up (and not for the 1st time). The regs clearly state neutral spirits are to be distilled over 190 proof. They should not have given Jack Daniels an exception for this. Not that it will do much good, but I will file a complaint on their web based application system. Instead of giving an exception to the "class", the TTB should have given an exception to the "type" I would suggest allowing the type to be "Unaged Rye Whiskey", which makes way more sense than calling this a neutral spirit.

cowdery
10-08-2012, 11:37
My guess with the before and after products is that they want to make them available to ambassadors who will do tastings around the country. As I mentioned previously, they've been doing that particular tasting at the distillery, for press and industry guests, for years. They probably need to formalize the packaging for that kind of distribution. I've noticed some changes in the way they label tasting samples sent to people like me.

I don't want to single out any individuals, but as Wade points out, the range of possibilities regarding the labeling issue is quite narrow, therefore any theory outside that range is, at best, 'silly' or, if you prefer, 'fanciful.'

cowdery
10-08-2012, 11:39
I've been posting on Whiskycast facebook site, I think this is the direct link - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151056494822116&set=a.124106887115.115731.46314247115&type=1&theater

Mark's says Jack received TTB approval to call this spirit distilled to 140 proof a neutral spirit. There is no TTB class/type setup for an unaged Rye Whiskey.

I say that the TTB screwed up (and not for the 1st time). The regs clearly state neutral spirits are to be distilled over 190 proof. They should not have given Jack Daniels an exception for this. Not that it will do much good, but I will file a complaint on their web based application system. Instead of giving an exception to the "class", the TTB should have given an exception to the "type" I would suggest allowing the type to be "Unaged Rye Whiskey", which makes way more sense than calling this a neutral spirit.

Mark's just speculating too and so, for that matter, is Arnett. He's a distiller, after all, not a compliance officer.

I'm trying to get an answer but the Columbus Day holiday may be working against me.

Josh
10-08-2012, 14:15
Mark's just speculating too and so, for that matter, is Arnett. He's a distiller, after all, not a compliance officer.

I'm trying to get an answer but the Columbus Day holiday may be working against me.

You and the Indians both.

cowdery
10-08-2012, 15:58
Here's the reply from Jack Daniel's PR agency. I'm flabbergasted, but there it is. As I replied to him, the definition of ‘neutral spirits,’ as a class designation, is distinguishable from the definition of vodka, which appears below it as a type designation within the class of neutral spirits, much as ‘rye whiskey’ appears as a type designation within the class of whiskey. The definition of ‘neutral spirits’ as a class, while it does not include the "without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color" requirement for vodka, does clearly state that the spirit must be distilled above 190° of proof. The ruling, as you describe it, would seem to undermine the definition of neutral spirits for more purposes than just the labeling of this one Jack Daniel’s product.

I have made inquiries to TTB.

Here's his response:


Mr. Cowdery,

Good afternoon. Thank you for your inquiry. Per the portion of the Code of Federal Regulations describing neutral spirits (vodka) and whiskey copied and provided below, vodka has to be distilled at or above 190 proof and “without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color. Whiskeys must be distilled at less than 190 proof and “possess the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to whisky, stored in oak containers (except that corn whisky need not be stored), and bottled at not less than 80 proof.”

The net of this is that our unaged rye did not satisfy the “Class 2; Whiskey” requirement of being stored in an oak container, therefore the TTB ruled that it should be labeled as a “neutral spirit” even though it was distilled at 140 proof and obviously violates the stated vodka requirement of being “without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.” By this ruling, it is assumed that the TTB considers all whiskies (except corn whisky) to be neutral spirits until they enter the barrel for maturation. Jack Daniel’s packaging and legal departments argued that the Tennessee Unaged Rye should be labeled as an “unaged whiskey” which we felt more accurately described the nature of the product to the consumer, but the TTB ruled against this proposal and would only approve the label under the category “neutral spirit”.

Jack Daniel’s understands this category classification can certainly be a point of confusion. The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Unaged Rye is a fermented mash of 70 percent rye, 18 percent corn, and 12 percent malted barley that was distilled at 140 proof and charcoal mellowed, but it was never entered into an oak barrel.

Again, thank you for your inquiry. Please let me know if you have more concerns or questions.

Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
PART 5—LABELING AND ADVERTISING OF DISTILLED SPIRITS
Subpart C—Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits

§ 5.22 The standards of identity.

Standards of identity for the several classes and types of distilled spirits set forth in this section shall be as follows (see also §5.35, class and type):

(a) Class 1; neutral spirits or alcohol. “Neutral spirits” or “alcohol” are distilled spirits produced from any material at or above 190° proof, and, if bottled, bottled at not less than 80° proof.

(1) “Vodka” is neutral spirits so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.

(2) “Grain spirits” are neutral spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain and stored in oak containers.

(b) Class 2; whisky. “Whisky” is an alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash of grain produced at less than 190° proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to whisky, stored in oak containers (except that corn whisky need not be so stored), and bottled at not less than 80° proof, and also includes mixtures of such distillates for which no specific standards of identity are prescribed.

Thanks,

Rob Hoskins
Jack Daniel’s Media Relations

mark fleetwood
10-08-2012, 19:06
Just sitting here waiting for a ski app to load (and becoming increasingly certain that the snow will melt in April before it does) it's frustrating to see the industry trot out these suspect (at best) line extensions that seek to capitalize on big brand names and an increasing demand in whiskey. Quick, stock up on Heaven Hill BIB, VOB100 and WSR while you can. It won't be long before Echo Spring 105% Near-Grain Thrice Distilled Normandy Hooch or Beam Family 1798 Original CornRye White Mule Spirit Whiskee debut on shelves for $79! Larcey's one great thing; but these "specialties" are distracting, and at prices that are insulting.

wadewood
10-08-2012, 19:34
The net of this is that our unaged rye did not satisfy the “Class 2; Whiskey” requirement of being stored in an oak container, therefore the TTB ruled that it should be labeled as a “neutral spirit” even though it was distilled at 140 proof and obviously violates the stated vodka requirement of being “without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.” By this ruling, it is assumed that the TTB considers all whiskies (except corn whisky) to be neutral spirits until they enter the barrel for maturation. Jack Daniel’s packaging and legal departments argued that the Tennessee Unaged Rye should be labeled as an “unaged whiskey” which we felt more accurately described the nature of the product to the consumer, but the TTB ruled against this proposal and would only approve the label under the category “neutral spirit”.



Heaven Hill's Trybox Rye Whiskey is labeled Rye Whiskey - Straight from the Still. It's unaged Rye Whiskey and appropriately labeled. Why would TTB approve this from Heaven Hill and not Brown Forman???

Josh
10-08-2012, 20:15
Dumbfounded. Who the hell is running the TTB? And what are they drinking?

cowdery
10-08-2012, 20:44
Heaven Hill's Trybox Rye Whiskey is labeled Rye Whiskey - Straight from the Still. It's unaged Rye Whiskey and appropriately labeled. Why would TTB approve this from Heaven Hill and not Brown Forman???

Heaven Hill did a touch-and-go with barrels, new charred barrels at that. That's what everyone has done until now. There's been a tacit understanding that brief wood contact isn't aging in any meaningful sense, pluse TTB doesn't care about pharases such as 'straight from the still.'

cowdery
10-08-2012, 20:45
Dumbfounded. Who the hell is running the TTB? And what are they drinking?

I hope TTB will tell us its side, because JD's story is just a little too self-serving.

Gillman
10-09-2012, 04:33
The outcome strikes me as no less odd than it does others, but it is something I felt was plausible, based on the taste reports and what Mark had reported. I took some ribbing, but I was right in the end, and as no one else has said so, I will.

Gary

T Comp
10-09-2012, 06:47
It's one of the better threads on the board in recent times. 99.999% of the people could care less but some of us do.

Josh
10-09-2012, 06:59
It's one of the better threads on the board in recent times. 99.999% of the people could care less but some of us do.

We are the .001%!

Gillman
10-09-2012, 08:20
Josh, Thad, I can just see the t-shirt. :)

Gary

P.S. Some irony in the number for admirers of spirituous beverages, but never mind.

mrviognier
10-13-2012, 20:13
We were so busy at the recent SFO WhiskeyFest that I didn't get a chance to get from behind our table all night. Saw that Jack Daniels was pouring a unaged Rye. Anyone had a chance to try it yet?

HighInTheMtns
10-13-2012, 20:37
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?17931-Jack-Rye

You missed all the fun, Mat!

cowdery
10-24-2012, 14:12
The TTB says it agrees with me, (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2012/10/ttb-says-jack-daniels-unaged-rye-isnt.html) but bureau policy prevents them from telling me what they are going to do about it. I have asked Jack Daniel's for comment. Still waiting to hear back.