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  1. #1
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    Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Greetings from Maryland. I'm new here and gathering good info and after beering it through college and law school I am exploring the world of bourbon. While I know the basic difference between Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon, I can't yet tell a significant difference. My boss swears by GD 12. Is my pallet not yet developed or are they that close. Also, any advice on good ones to try. Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    To be a bourbon, a whiskey must:
    • be made of a grain mixture containing only corn, rye, wheat or barley and must be at least 51% corn
    • be distilled to no more than 160 proof
    • contain no additives other than water
    • be aged in new, charred oak barrels
    • not be introduced to the barrel at higher than 125 proof
    • be aged for a minimum of two years
    Tennessee Whiskies break rule number 2 because they are run through charcoal prior to barreling. This is considered an additive.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  3. #3
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Yes, that's what they claim. I don't think there's ever been a definitive statement by the government, but we'll never known until somebody puts "Bourbon" on a bottle of Tennessee Whiskey, and that's not going to happen.

    Dickel No. 12 is good stuff.

  4. #4
    Trippah and Admin
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Many bourbons are filtered through activated charcoal, but this takes place after aging and prior to barreling.

    Tennessee whiskeys undergo filtering via the Lincoln County Process. It is a significant variance from bourbon as it uses charcoal made from sugar maple and not the inert activated charcoal.
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
    I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Legal requirements

    On 4 May 1964, the U.S. Congress recognized Bourbon Whiskey as a “distinctive product of the United States," creating the Federal Standards of Identity for Bourbon. Federal regulations now stipulate that Bourbon must meet these requirements:
    • Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn.[1]
    • Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume).
    • Bourbon must be 100% natural (nothing other than water added to the mixture).
    • Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels.[1]
    • Bourbon may not be introduced to the barrel at higher than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume).
    • Bourbon which meets the above requirements and has been aged for a minimum of two years, may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon.[2]
    • Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.
    In practice, almost all bourbons marketed today are made from more than two-thirds corn, have been aged at least four years, and do qualify as "straight bourbon"—with or without the "straight bourbon" label. The exceptions are inexpensive commodity brands of bourbon aged only three years and pre-mixed cocktails made with straight bourbon aged the minimum two years.


    I think even this entry from Wikipedia is missing a requirement. It must be made in the U.S. to be called bourbon.

  6. #6
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Thanks, but I guess my main question is how those differences relate to taste. It may be just something I have to explore myself (which is a good thing) but it seems that the Tennessee whiskeys are sweeter?

  7. #7
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Personally I find TN Whiskey has more of a "chemical sweetness" especially the JD bottles.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
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    Arkansas
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    In my opinion GD tastes like a good bourbon. Whereas JD has paint thinner on the nose and a chemical aftertaste. I know a lot of folks who are more knowledgeable than me disagree, but that's the beauty of this forum - diverse opinions.

  9. #9
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    I've had all the variations of JD. The Silver select is the only one that doesn't have that odd flavor or chemical sweetness that Kickert alluded to. Some have called it a hint of banana. I have yet to have the pleasure of a taste of Dickel. I just think that the charcoal filtering either adds to, or takes away something from the whiskey that affects it during the aging process. I have a couple of good buddies that swear by JD. They have tried many of my bourbons, and don't care much for most of them. For some strange reason they seem to like Rebel Yell though. They also get pissed at me when I give them a hard time and tell them that bourbon is like JD with flavor. Anyway, to each their own. To quote somebody,"It's all good!". Joe
    " I never met a Weller I didn't like"

  10. #10
    Advanced Taster
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    Murfreesboro, TN
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by tr1strev View Post
    While I know the basic difference between Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon, I can't yet tell a significant difference. My boss swears by GD 12. Is my pallet not yet developed or are they that close.
    There is not a "Significant" difference between the two. The only difference is, like others have stated, the maple charcoal filtering. As far as everything else (a specific mash bill, barreling, aging) TN Whiskey is just like Bourbon. I would not say that your pallet is not yet developed. I would say that if you compare two bourbons head to head, you are going to find different taste profiles for each. If you compared JD to GD, you are going to get the same results. And of course if you did TN against bourbon, it will be different. There is not one specific taste profile (that I have found as of yet) that says "This is a TN whiskey". I would suggest that you do a taste comparison of your favorite bourbon with your favorite TN whiskey to see if you can come to a conclusion on a significant difference, if there is one to be found.

    Quote Originally Posted by tr1strev View Post
    Also, any advice on good ones to try. Thanks for any help.
    As far as TN whiskeys go, take the bosses recommendation and go with the GD 12. The 8 and the Cascade Hollow are ok, but I prefer the higher proof and overall taste of the 12. I tend to steer away from JD altogether. In my opinion, it is overpriced and under proofed. For the bourbon side, it comes down to what you like in a bourbon. If you are going for a higher wheat bourbon, I suggest (highly) Old Weller Antique 107, or any other Weller for that matter. For a higher rye bourbon, I would suggest Old Forrester Signature, Wild Turkey 101, Fighting Cock, or Old Grand Dad 114. If price is a factor, I would suggest Evan Williams Black or BIB. EW is a great bourbon for the price. I hope this helps you out!!

    P.S. Welcome to the Board!!
    Rye, The Spice Of Life.

 

 

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