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  1. #1
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    Charred vs Toasted

    We had a discussion on here the other night If a distiller put white dog in a toasted barrel and let it mature would it legally be bourbon? I said no because it's not charred the other person said I was splitting hairs and it would be bourbon. What do you think?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Charred vs Toasted

    I'm pretty sure it's not bourbon if they used a toasted barrel, the regs state that it must be aged in new, charred oak barrels as far as I can recall.

    edit: I think Old Potrero was not allowed to refer to their 18th century rye whiskey as straight rye because they used toasted barrels while they were allowed to refer to their 19th century rye whiskey as straight rye because they used charred barrels for that. I know it's rye but I think the same specific requirement applies to bourbon as well.
    Last edited by gothbat; 10-20-2009 at 08:50.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Charred vs Toasted

    The regs say "charred." Toasted is not charred. "Charred" means burned.

    Not charred, not bourbon, period.

  4. #4
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    Re: Charred vs Toasted

    What about toasted then charred? Seems like I read recently that that was the procedure at some of the distilleries use.

  5. #5
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    Re: Charred vs Toasted

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    The regs say "charred." Toasted is not charred. "Charred" means burned.

    Not charred, not bourbon, period.
    Yep. And in addition,

    Not charred, not bourbon taste.

    I've aged young brandy in small barrels; one time I filled a toasted and a charred with the same juice at the same time. After only a few weeks, the charred barrel tasting ,more and more of bourbon than brandy, while the toasted aged exactly as you'd expect of brandy.

    We talk incessantly about a few percentage points of mashbill here and there, but as to what contributes most to the essence of bourbony goodness - it's the virgin charred barrel!

    Roger

  6. #6
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    Re: Charred vs Toasted

    That would make sense. I'm going to quote Mr Cowdry;

    I believe it is Jim Rutledge, at Four Roses, who originally said that the flavor of bourbon is 25% from the grains, 25% from the yeast, and 50% from the barrel.

  7. #7
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    Re: Charred vs Toasted

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor22 View Post
    What about toasted then charred? Seems like I read recently that that was the procedure at some of the distilleries use.
    That's what Brown-Forman does.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Charred vs Toasted

    The rules say charred so the barrel has to be charred. The rules don't care what else you do it. You can soak it in elephant urine if you want to, but if it's new and charred you can use it to make bourbon.

  9. #9
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    Re: Charred vs Toasted

    Wouldn't the elephant urine (or anything else, for that matter) techically be adding something other than water to the spirit thus negating the bourboness by some sort of variation of the Lincoln County Process rule?
    Last edited by IronHead; 10-20-2009 at 16:58.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Charred vs Toasted

    Quote Originally Posted by IronHead View Post
    Wouldn't the elephant urine (or anything else, for that matter) techically be adding something other than water to the spirit thus negating the bourboness by some sort of variation of the Lincoln County Process rule?
    Except that the so-called "Lincoln County Process rule" is itself a myth. There is no such rule.

    I suspect pre-soaking the barrels in elephant urine would be disallowed for some reason, but you won't find the reason in the Standards of Identity. The rules say the barrels have to be oak, they have to be new and they have to be charred. That means only one thing: that the barrels have to be oak, new, and charred. Extrapolating some other requirement from those requirements will always lead to false conclusions.

 

 

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