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cas
09-02-2005, 05:48
To legally be sold as bourbon does the original mashbill have to be at least 50% corn or just the final bottled product? In other words, could mashbills of 100% corn and 100% rye (as an example) be vatted, either before or after aging, to produce bourbon?

Craig

Joe_Blowe
09-02-2005, 09:48
From the StraightBourbon.com FAQ:

"There are strict laws governing just what a Bourbon must be to be labeled as such. For example, at least <u>51 percent</u> of the grain used in making the whiskey must be corn (most distillers use 65 to 75 percent corn). Bourbon must be aged for a minimum of two years in new, white oak barrels that have been charred. <u>Nothing can be added at bottling to enhance flavor, add sweetness or alter color</u>."

So as I understand it, "to be legally be sold as bourbon," or specifically Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (KSBW), you can not vat after the fact http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

dgonano
09-02-2005, 10:15
But you can vat two or more bourbons together. Once a bourbon ...always a bourbon. You can mix a wheater with a rye flavored bourbon and the result will a four grain bourbon.

The mixing of bourbon and rye whiskies, usually with gns, is blended whiskey.

chasking
09-02-2005, 11:08
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clever.gif The actual legal basis is found in the Code of Federal Regulations, title 27, section 5.22(b)(1)(i), which provides in relevant part,

"Bourbon whisky" . . . is whisky produced at not exceeding 160 proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn . . . and stored at not more than 125 proof in charred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type.

So, the consistency of the mash determines whether it is bourbon or not.

cas
09-02-2005, 12:16
If I'm interpreting correctly, then each of the constituent whiskies would have to have a mashbill of > 50% corn. If something else is added that does not have such a mashbill then the final product isn't a bourbon even if the overall corn proportion is > 50%.

I'm not sure that this has any practical importance, but sometimes during the second glass I start wondering about these things...

Craig

voigtman
09-02-2005, 14:21
If I'm interpreting correctly, then each of the constituent whiskies would have to have a mashbill of > 50% corn. If something else is added that does not have such a mashbill then the final product isn't a bourbon even if the overall corn proportion is > 50%.

I'm not sure that this has any practical importance, but sometimes during the second glass I start wondering about these things...

Craig



Two minor points:

1. It's not > 50%, it's 51% corn or greater, like it says. Mixing two or more straight bourbons gives a straight bourbon. Mixing straight bourbon and straight rye gives a mixture of whiskeys: it is neither straight bourbon nor straight rye, but might be fine drinking.

2. If straight bourbon is then subsequently matured in used cooperage, it looses its status as straight bourbon because of the used cooperage. The Distiller's Masterpiece whiskeys are not straight bourbons, but the one I tried (thanks, OneCubeOnly) was excellent. Cheers, Ed V.

cowdery
09-02-2005, 19:33
I'm sorry I didn't get here sooner. The answer is quite simple. For a combination of whiskeys to be called "straight bourbon," every individual whiskey in the vatting must be "straight bourbon." No, you cannot contrive a bourbon by mixing corn whiskey and rye whiskey so the ostensible percentage of corn is above 51 percent and call the result straight bourbon.