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  1. #21
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    I'll join the chorus of Sotnsipper, Funknik and Illfarmboy. I love Dickel No. 12 for its more Bourbon like qualities (it also makes the best Manhattan around).

    I can't say I like any of the other Tennessees I've tried, which includes: JD 7, JDSB, Gentleman Jack and Dickel Barrel Select. All of them are too sweet for me. I've never tried Dickel No. 8 but would certainly like to if it ever comes back.

  2. #22
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    The differences between Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon Whiskey are similar to the differences between "whiskey" and "whisky," in that there is much less to it than most people think.

    People will sometimes get all high-and-mighty about how Jack Daniel's isn't a bourbon, and it isn't, but as a practical matter the difference is merely technical. For all intents and purposes, Jack Daniel's and George Dickel are bourbon in all but name. If they taste different, which was the original question, it is because each maker crafts a slightly different flavor. Those differences in flavor have nothing to do with them being different "types." The effect of the charcoal filtering process used in Tennessee is simply to jump-start the aging process. Many in bourbon country say it removes too much flavor, but that's inside baseball. It's fair to debate that point, but it's still a very small difference. Tennessee Whiskey is very much within the profile of Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

    The fact that both Jack and George have very little rye in their mash bills probably has more to do with their taste than the Lincoln County Process does.

    I used the comparison to "whiskey" versus "whisky" because it is one of those essentially trivial things that some people get their panties in a bunch about, and ignorant people pontificate about.

    As some people have mentioned, it is even conceivable that Jack and George could be labeled "straight bourbon" if they wanted to be. Again, reasonable people can disagree about this, but that is how I interpret the regulations.

    As you will note, "straight bourbon whiskey" has a lot of requirements under the law. "Tennessee whiskey" has none, except the very limited requirements to merely use the term "whiskey." So, in that sense, the regs are essentially irrelevant. A lot of people make assumptions about why Dickel and Daniel's aren't labeled as bourbon and all those assumptions are wrong. They aren't labeled as bourbon because they choose not to be.
    Last edited by cowdery; 02-21-2009 at 18:30.

  3. #23
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    The differences between Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon Whiskey are similar to the differences between "whiskey" and "whisky," in that there is much less to it than most people think.
    And Chuck has picked his hill to die on.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  4. #24
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Well stated Cowdery.

  5. #25
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post

    As you will note, "straight bourbon whiskey" has a lot of requirements under the law. "Tennessee whiskey" has none, except the very limited requirements to merely use the term "whiskey." So, in that sense, the regs are essentially irrelevant. A lot of people make assumptions about why Dickel and Daniel's aren't labeled as bourbon and all those assumptions are wrong. They aren't labeled as bourbon because they choose not to be.
    Chuck, I've often heard that JD got the DOT or some agency to issue a letter or opinion recognizing Tennessee Whiskey as a distinct classification, yet I've never seen the text of such a letter. Can you shed some light on this issue? Does such a letter exist and have you seen it? What is it's weight or authority?

  6. #26
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    See Bourbon, Straight, page 122.

    In 1941, Reagor Motlow solicited and received a letter from the Alcohol Tax Unit of the Treasury Department acknowledging that Tennessee whiskey is distinct from bourbon. Motlow's concern was that because his product met all the requirements for bourbon, it might be required to label itself as bourbon. He wanted, and got, a piece of paper from the government that said "Tennessee whiskey is not bourbon." That is, however, all it says. It gives no reasons. About all I can say about its weight and authority is that it has been sufficient for the purposes for which the company uses it.

  7. #27
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Many thanks for both the question and the informative replies. Whenever I come across a JD bottle on the shelves, I used to consider "....this is American whiskey too....but not a bourbon...should I go for a bourbon anyway?" After this thread, I will feel free.

  8. #28
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post

    The fact that both Jack and George have very little rye in their mash bills probably has more to do with their taste than the Lincoln County Process does.
    Quote Originally Posted by funknik View Post
    Both TN whiskies have a high corn mashbill with very little rye, so they are less balanced than many bourbons.

    Both JD and GD have less than 10% rye and barley on their mash bills making them very high in corn. If I remember correctly, JD is 6% rye and 8% barley and GD is 8% on both rye and barley. The rest is corn.
    Rye, The Spice Of Life.

  9. #29
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    I remember from the tour that JD is 80% corn. The other grains are divided 12% and 8%. I just don't remember which is which. I think the 12% was the malted barley, which leaves only 8% for the barley. Either way, there's not much in there besides corn.

  10. #30
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    Re: Tennessee vs. Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by craigthom View Post
    I remember from the tour that JD is 80% corn. The other grains are divided 12% and 8%. I just don't remember which is which.
    You are right, but it is 8 rye and 12 barley.
    Rye, The Spice Of Life.

 

 

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