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Gillman
11-20-2007, 07:52
I thought a separate thread is in order. This is a subject we have discussed many times, yet I am not sure I understand all the nuances.

E.g., I have not (I think) seen the written rules or laws that establish what we know are still the criteria for bonded whiskey, i.e., that it is must be at least 4 years old, 100 proof, made in one distilling season, by one distiller, etc.

Where is all this written down?

Second, based on some of the recent discussions about bonded whiskeys that refer on their labels to distilleries that one would think might not have distilled these products (due to the apparent age of the whiskeys in relation to when the distillery last operated), I am now wondering if the explanation lies in the fact that a bonded whiskey can be distilled elsewhere than the production (not bottling) distillery stated on the label.

For example, a recent bottle of Heaven Hill bonded bourbon states that it is "distilled in Kentucky, bottled by Heaven Hill Distilleries [Ltd. or Inc. is stated too, I don't have the bottle before me] at D.S.P. 31.". Can this mean that the whiskey was distilled elsewhere than at D.S.P 31 but tanked there and entered in barrels and aged all its life and (in this case also) bottled at D.S.P 31? Or does it have to mean the whiskey was literally distilled at DSP 31?

Take another example: say bourbon is tanked to D.S.P 16 (the former Stitzel-Weller distillery) and entered in barrels and aged there 4 years minimum and bottled at 100 proof. Bourbon is still being aged there I understand, presumably the owner (Diageo) is leasing part of the premises for this purpose. Can the label of such whiskey state it is produced or even distilled there (and whether bottled there or elsewhere - I understand that if bottled elsewhere than where distilled/produced the label has to state that)?

Gary

barturtle
11-20-2007, 08:19
27cfr5.42b3 (http://www.straightbourbon.com/27cfr5.pdf)

scroll down about 2/3 of the way to find subpart 5.42b3

(3) The words "bond", "bonded", "bottled in bond", "aged in bond", or phrases
containing these or synonymous terms, shall not be used on any label or as part
of the brand name of domestic distilled spirits unless the distilled spirits are:
(i) Composed of the same kind of spirits produced from the same class of
materials;
(ii) Produced in the same distilling season by the same distiller at the same
distillery;
(iii) Stored for at least four years in wooden containers wherein the spirits
have been in contact with the wood surface except for gin and vodka which
must be stored for at least four years in wooden containers coated or lined
with paraffin or other substance which will preclude contact of the spirits with
the wood surface;
(iv) Unaltered from their original condition or character by the addition or
subtraction of any substance other than by filtration, chill proofing, or other
physical treatments (which do not involve the addition of any substance which
will remain incorporated in the finished product or result in a change in class
or type);
(v) Reduced in proof by the addition of pure water only to 100 degrees of
proof; and
(vi) Bottles at 100 degrees of proof.
In addition to the requirements of 5.36(a) (1) or (2), the label shall bear the real name of
the distillery or the trade name under which the distillery produced and warehoused the
spirits, and the plant (or registered distillery) number in which produced; and the plant
number in which bottled. The label may also bear the name or trade name of the bottler.

I believe the important line is in the last section. "The label shall bear the real name of the distillery OR THE TRADE NAME under which the distillery produced and warehoused the spirits"

I must say that according to the strict interpretation of the law, my Ritt BIB is improperly labeled, as it doesn't have a DSP for the bottler, only a trade name of Continental Distilling, and there is no Real or Trade name for the distiller only a DSP.

Gillman
11-20-2007, 08:29
Thanks Timothy. I will review these provisions when I have time and offer any further thoughts.

My interest is to understand the rules and not whether any particular bottling complies or not but as I said earlier too, I doubt any of the labels discussed recently are not in compliance. This is a complex area and I would think everything out there is in full compliance or has received an administrative permission or clearance which amounts to the same thing.

Gary

barturtle
11-20-2007, 08:47
Taking your DSP-16 example. Lets say the owner of the S-W name had some bourbon distilled at another distillery. It would seem they could use the Trade Name of Stitzel-Weller as the distiller and as the bottler, but should still be limited to using the DSP number of the actual plant, unless there is some way to take the DSP with you from distillery to distillery.

Gillman
11-20-2007, 11:13
Well, I've read the sections posted, the "and" "and" formulation is interesting, but I would think at a minimum the registered distillery or plant number (can these differ by the way?) where the whiskey was "produced" has to be shown on the label. And produced as used here seems to mean distilled, this seems clear from the part which refers to spirits produced in one distilling season by one distiller. I would think too where the bottling plant is different that should be stated. And finally, the name or trade name of the distillery which produced (distilled) and warehoused the whiskey should be stated, which seems to suggest that two names should be shown where producer and warehouser are different entities. But I haven't read the standards as a whole and (of course) am not a U.S. lawyer and also I don't know what interpretations of these provisions may have been given by the authorities concerned with them, or whether it is possible to obtain dispense for various reasons from these rules. This is all I can conclude for now.

Gary

bourbonv
11-21-2007, 07:57
Timothy,
The DSP number could travel with the distillery move unless the old distillery was sold to another distiller. For example DSP 17 was the number for the A Ph Stitzel distillery on Story Avenue in Louisville. When they built Stitzel-Weller they could not take the DSP number with them because they sold the distillery site to Frankfort Distillers Company, so they picked the closest number available, DSP 16 for the new distillery.

After prohibition, many distilleries paid to get a new number assigned to the distillery because many of the smaller numbers were available again. That is how Belmont and Astor (Bernheim now) became DSP 1 and DSP 2. Much more impresive numbers than the Two-hundred something number they had before prohibition.

The DSP number is actually for the warehousing facilities more than the distillery. Bonded warehouses are the reason for registering the operation with the government. That is why if a distiller purchases distillate in bulk and has it shipped in a tanker to the distillery, that whiskey is given the DSP number for the receiving distillery because that is where it went into the barrel and began the government paperwork trail. United Distillers did this with many barrels of I W Harper made for them at Brown-Forman when Bernheim was shut down for re-construction. This actually makes a lot of sense from a paperwork viewpoint. It also makes sense from a taste viewpoint. Fermentation and distillation takes about a week, whereas aging takes many years - aged whiskey is mostly made in the warehouse as far as production time is concerned.

Mike Veach

Gillman
11-21-2007, 08:56
The part of the bonding rule that reads "and the plant (or registered distillery number) in which produced" would mean, according to what Mike is saying, that it is the number of the entering and aging plant that is the key for this purpose. This may explain why some bonded bottles bear the name of a DSP at which the whiskey was apparently not distilled but where no doubt it was aged all its life. Yet, other distilleries have put a DSP of a distillery where the product actually was distilled although aged elsewhere. It may be that different parts of the industry interpret the rules differently or perhaps there is evolving one uniform interpretation, maybe under the influence of the regulator, I just don't know. Also, unless all the facts are known and an "insiders" knowledge (such as the industry has including the legal side) is available, I feel it is difficult to know with certainty what the position is in some cases...

Gary

bourbonv
11-21-2007, 09:12
Gary,
I always thought that the real reason Wild Turkey is 101 proof instead of bonded was because Austin-Nichols did not own a distillery or warehouse facility so they did not want to tell where the whiskey came from because it could vary from year to year. If the whiskey is in the barrel and someone else purchases the barrel and bottles it as bonded, the original DSP number is used as well as the DSP number of the Bottling distillery. You see this a lot on prohibition era whiskey. Many brands were kept alive because they purchased whiskey for other distilleries after there own whiskey ran out.

Mike Veach

barturtle
11-21-2007, 09:20
Timothy,
The DSP number could travel with the distillery move unless the old distillery was sold to another distiller. For example DSP 17 was the number for the A Ph Stitzel distillery on Story Avenue in Louisville. When they built Stitzel-Weller they could not take the DSP number with them because they sold the distillery site to Frankfort Distillers Company, so they picked the closest number available, DSP 16 for the new distillery.

Mike Veach

My question is: If someone owns a distillery, say DSP 16, but is not distilling there, can they take their DSP number and use it at another distillery, say DSP 1. If Bernhiem can be both DSP 1 and DSP 2, could it also be DSP 16?

bourbonv
11-21-2007, 10:01
Timothy,
The quick answer is no. The longer answer with the reason is that Bernheim is DSP 1 and DSP 2 because there were two seperate operations there at one time even though they were owned by the same company. Now, if Stitzel-Weller ceased to exist and was torn down, it would be possible for a seperate company formed using one of the warehouses at Bernheim, to add DSP 16 to the site. The DSP number "16" would then be available for use and Heaven Hill would have to claim the number before someone else did so. I would think that if DSP 16 became available, Buffalo Trace and Julian would jump all over it for their use.

Mike Veach

cowdery
11-21-2007, 16:09
The theory about Wild Turkey is sound up to a point. The Wild Turkey brand is a post-repeal creation, born at a time when bottled-in-bond whiskey was widely considered "the good stuff." This was because after the long drought, followed by the disruption of whiskey-making caused by WWII, fully-aged whiskey was in short supply until the 1950s. It makes sense that Austin Nichols, which didn't own a distillery and acquired whiskey from several different distilleries, would want to avoid both the labeling and singularity requirements of bottled-in-bond while still being perceived as a top quality product, hence an 8-year-old age statement and proof above 100.

However, nothing in the law would have prevented them from issuing a non-bonded bourbon at 100 proof. Being 100 proof doesn't somehow trigger the other BIB requirements. I think the 101 proof, like many of today's oddball proofs, was just a way to be a little different and, in a small sense, better. It's the Spinal Tap Principle, "This one goes to 11."

There was a cigarette once upon a time that was marketed as being "a silly millimeter longer," because it was 101 millimeters long, rather than the standard 100 millimeters of its competitors. They conceded the point that the difference was so small as to be "silly," but they still promoted it as a point of difference.

Today, very few people look for or understand the words "bonded" or "bottled-in-bond." In that period, people may not have understood it, but they looked for it and considered it a marker for authenticity (which it was) and quality (which it wasn't). Austin Nichols attempted to counteract that with an age statement and an even higher proof, even if the difference was negligible.

As for the labeling requirements for bonds, I contend that "produced" has long been interpreted as synonymous with "distilled," hence most labels of bonds say "distilled," and distilled means just that, it doesn't mean where entered.

I contend that the best explanation for what appear to be non-complying labels is that the labels, in fact, don't comply, most likely because old label stock is being used.

Heaven Hill has demonstrated its intention to comply by labeling both Rittenhouse BIB and Old Fitzgerald BIB accurately. I have a couple bottles of JTS Brown BIB that appear not to comply, because they say "distilled and bottled...(at) DSP KY 31," whereas the bottles appear to be of very recent vintage. JTS Brown is a very small brand and I suspect the use of old labels is the culprit here.

I also have a bottle of Old Bourbon Hollow that appears not to comply, as it fails to provide any DSP number for where distilled. It says "Distilled and Bottled by Clermont Springs Distilling Co. Clermont, KY. Bottled at DSP KY 230." Clermont is the Beam Distillery, whereas 230 is the Frankfort bottling site (formerly Old Grand-Dad).

FYI, under National, Frankfort was DSP KY 14, which is what old bottles of OGD BIB say.

TBoner
11-22-2007, 19:48
Just to take this thread in a different direction, it occurred to me in reading the "New Rye Whiskeys" thread that while there are, as Chuck pointed out there, few BIB whiskeys on the market, the ones that do exist are mostly made by HH. You could argue that several of their BIB brands are really the same whiskey with different labels (not sure how true this is, given that I've only tasted a few of them, but you'd still have to acknowledge:

Rittenhouse BIB
McKenna BIB
VROHH BIB
and HH/EW/DD/etc. BIB

as four distinct bonded products.

JB has two; Barton two; WT none (unless American Spirit bears a bonded designation that I've never seen); B-F none; Four Roses none (at least for the American market); BT none (unless OC 7yo BIB is still in some markets). I may be unaware of some regionally available bottlings, but so far as I can tell, that means HH equals the output of all other distilleries in terms of variety of bonded products (and, again, that's assuming say, Dowling's Deluxe and HH and JTS Brown BIB are all the same profile).

Granted, all of these distilleries have small-batch, single-barrel, and other premium products that may in various ways supersede the bonded designation, but I still look for BIB frequently, and while in KY one might find several options at any given store, elsewhere the options are more limited . And more often than not, what I see bearing the BIB label is HH product.

TNbourbon
11-22-2007, 20:05
...WT none (unless American Spirit bears a bonded designation that I've never seen);..

WT American Spirit DOES state "Bottled In Bond" on the front of the bottle and inside the box cover. Four Roses Single Barrel COULD be designated BIB if Four Roses chose to, since it meets all the criteria, including being bottled at 100 proof. As a single-barrel, of course, each bottle/barrel is from a single distilling season and the same distillery.

cowdery
11-22-2007, 20:17
Beam has at least three -- OGD, Knob and Old Bourbon Hollow -- and maybe some more cats and dogs. McKenna is only unique in being 10-years-old. Otherwise it's the standard HH rye recipe bourbon.

Barton probably has more than two since they're very much like Heaven Hill, in having a host of minor, regional brands. On the same basis, I suspect BT has a few too.

As for separate taste profiles, HH has so many cats-and-dogs brands like JTS Brown that it seems unlikely that they're going through an elaborate process to match a flavor profile for each. I'm not sure how they do that. They may gang some of those brands and bottle them all at the same time, so it is effectively the exact same whiskey in each bottle.

barturtle
11-22-2007, 20:32
Chuck, I wasn't aware of KC being a bond.

Other bonds on the market,

Kentucky Tavern(Barton)
Old Fitz (HH)
Rock Hill Farms(BT), I believe used to carry that descriptor, does it still?

cowdery
11-22-2007, 21:44
I should qualify, KC is 100 proof and Fred Noe told me it qualifies as a bond, but they don't use the term. So I probably shouldn't count it.

Yes, I think Rock Hill is a bond.

Gillman
11-23-2007, 05:34
A variation is non-bonds which indicate the distillery. I have a Weller 107 recently acquired which indicates DSP-KY-1, this was put on a special gold sticker on the front indicating it is single barrel. Had it been bottled at 100 proof it would have qualified I think for bonded status. Also, this whiskey was 9 years old when bottled, barreled 7/21/98, bottled 9/21/07.

Gary

barturtle
11-23-2007, 08:09
I should qualify, KC is 100 proof and Fred Noe told me it qualifies as a bond, but they don't use the term. So I probably shouldn't count it.

Yes, I think Rock Hill is a bond.

I wonder, since Beam operates two distilleries(I'll leave Makers out of this), if they keep everything separated in the warehouses, or put production in separate warehouses. Do the Small Batch come from one distillery specifically?

craigthom
11-23-2007, 09:03
I've been told that they don't, but who knows? Since they use the same DSP number for both distilleries (which I still don't understand), then there's no way for us to know for sure.

Hedmans Brorsa
11-23-2007, 10:17
Rock Hill Farms(BT), I believe used to carry that descriptor, does it still?

My first two bottles of RHF had "Bottled in bond" written on the neck label. My most recent one has not.

barturtle
11-23-2007, 10:21
My first two bottles of RHF had "Bottled in bond" written on the neck label. My most recent one has not.

I was afraid of that, not having a current bottle down here to look at, I couldn't scan the whole label to be sure.

TBoner
11-23-2007, 18:08
Thanks for the heads-up on the Turkey, Tim. The only bottle I've had a pour from was someone else's, and I haven't bought any.

Fair points on Four Roses and RHF. I left them out when I was putting together my list since their is no effort to label them as bonds, though they are by nature bonded. I do question whether anyone but HH and maybe Barton would bother with regional BIBs, given that most people don't look for BIB like they used to. Beam wouldn't because they're too big (and if KC is a bond, they ought to label it as such. I like it, but I'd be more likely to buy more of it as a bond); B-F wouldn't because they've really only got one bourbon; and BT doesn't seem to have wide enough distribution or consistent enough stocks to keep all of their non-bond regional brands stocked, let alone bonded stuff.

And I'd say being 10 years old (as opposed to 4-5) qualifies as a distinction. And I appreciate that they've gone out of their way to continue labeling it as bonded.

ThomasH
11-24-2007, 08:57
Buffalo Trace does have a BIB brand. This past April, I picked up a bottle of Ancient Age 100 that was BIB. I always look for BIb bottle in any store I go into. Even if they aren't top shrlf brands, I still enjoy comparing them!

Thomas

TBoner
11-24-2007, 09:16
Is that AA BIB current?

cowdery
11-24-2007, 12:08
Generally, Beam doesn't haul whiskey or barrels around any more than it has to, so if something is distilled at Clermont it goes into the warehouses there and if it's distilled at Booker Noe, then it's aged there. They also have some warehouses at other locations. The barrels clearly indicate where distilled so it wouldn't be hard to keep them straight to do a bond. Also, I have been told that all of the "good stuff" is made at Clermont, but I think that may have been simple partisanship, as it was one of the managers at Clermont who told me that.

Old Lamplighter
11-24-2007, 20:45
Saw a couple of Old Charter 7yo BIB the other day. I am sure this one is no longer made since it has been a while since seeing it on a shelf anywhere. Does BIB have to be a certain minimum age, or, under a certain maximum age? Most I have seen have been 4-6 years old.

barturtle
11-24-2007, 21:00
Saw a couple of Old Charter 7yo BIB the other day. I am sure this one is no longer made since it has been a while since seeing it on a shelf anywhere. Does BIB have to be a certain minimum age, or, under a certain maximum age? Most I have seen have been 4-6 years old.

Minimum of 4yo...maximum is another issue, last I read you could only go 20 years in a bonded warehouse until you had to pay the taxes (BIB is all about not paying taxes on product you can't sell yet because it is too young-you pay when it is ready to sell). This may have changed and there may be no maximum age now. IIRC the regs for this are in with the tax law, which I am not quite familiar with.

craigthom
11-24-2007, 21:40
Generally, Beam doesn't haul whiskey or barrels around any more than it has to, so if something is distilled at Clermont it goes into the warehouses there and if it's distilled at Booker Noe, then it's aged there. They also have some warehouses at other locations. The barrels clearly indicate where distilled so it wouldn't be hard to keep them straight to do a bond. Also, I have been told that all of the "good stuff" is made at Clermont, but I think that may have been simple partisanship, as it was one of the managers at Clermont who told me that.

Since Clermont and Boston both use DSP-KY 230, does it matter?

barturtle
11-24-2007, 21:58
Since Clermont and Boston both use DSP-KY 230, does it matter?

But should they?

27CFR 1:
19.132 Continuity of premises.
The continuity of the distilled spirits
plant shall be unbroken except for separations
by public waterways, thoroughfares,
or carrier rights-of-way.
However, where there are other separations
of the plant premises and all
parts of the plant premises are in the
same general location, the Director
may approve the registration of the
distilled spirits plant if he finds no
jeopardy to the revenue.


Boston to Clermont is 13.5 miles...not exactly the same general location.

craigthom
11-24-2007, 22:04
And yet there on the signs for both plants is "DSP-KY 230". It makes no sense to me, either.

TNbourbon
11-24-2007, 23:18
But should they?...'However, where there are other separations
of the plant premises and all
parts of the plant premises are in the
same general location, the Director
may approve the registration of the
distilled spirits plant if he finds no
jeopardy to the revenue.'


Boston to Clermont is 13.5 miles...not exactly the same general location.

In other words, bonding is about the tax revenue. Since there no longer is a government agent with keys to the warehouse on-site at each distillery/warehouse, they seem to be saying that the locations are the same because it doesn't affect how the taxes are collected.

cowdery
11-26-2007, 22:01
I think Tim hit it on the nose.

However, I wouldn't be sure that "by the same distiller at the same
distillery" for BIB labeling purposes would be linked to this provision for registration purposes, although it might very well be. What I'm saying is does "same distillery" necessarily mean the facility covered by a given DSP number?

It may very well, but I'm not sure it does.

Another wrinkle we haven't considered is that several of the distilleries in question have multiple stills. If we care about which location distilled something, shouldn't we care just as much which stills they used?

TnSquire
11-27-2007, 15:59
We might but I doubt seriously if the tax man does.