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  1. #1
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    A Hypothetical Question

    My visit to Grand Traverse Distillery got me thinking. One way they have of making money while their whiskeys age is selling small barrels and unaged spirit to go in them. so I wondered...

    If I took a 10 ltr charred oak barrel and filled it with 7 liters of 100% corn spirit, 2 liters of 100% Rye spirit and 1 liter of 100% malted barley spirit, could I legally sell it as a bourbon?
    Last edited by Josh; 06-17-2010 at 08:24.
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  2. #2
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    Re: A Hypothetical Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    My visit to Grand Traverse Distillery got me thinking. One way they have of making money while their whiskeys age is selling small barrels and unaged spirit to go in them. so I wondered...

    If I took a 10 ltr charred oak barrel and filled it with 7 liters of 100% corn spirit, 2 liters of 100% Rye spirit and 1 liter of 100% malted barley spirit, could I legally sell it as a bourbon?
    No, sir, you would be arrested as a moonshiner by the ATF for failing to get proper licenses and pay all the appropriate taxes, tariffs, etc.

    However, I don't think that was really your question. If Jim Beam (or Heaven Hill or Four Roses...) aged such a mixture as you described in new charred oak barrels, I believe the answer is no. As I read the regulations, (and I am not a lawyer FWIW) what you (or they) have in the barrel is blended whiskey (whiskey, a blend) and if it stays in the barrel for 2 years it becomes blended straight whiskey. What you have is 70% bourbon whiskey, 20% rye whiskey, and 10% malt whiskey. The fact that they are blended before aging rather than after doesn't change that fact.

    If anyone disagrees, I'm now entertaining counter arguments.
    -Matt

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  3. #3
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    Re: A Hypothetical Question

    Hypothetical Answer

    What you would have would suck !!
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  4. #4
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    Re: A Hypothetical Question

    Actually, what Josh describes is indeed a typical mashbill for Bourbon. I would vote yes, you do indeed have Bourbon in the barrel. However, we really need Cowdery to chime in for an official answer.

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: A Hypothetical Question

    Quote Originally Posted by White Dog View Post
    Actually, what Josh describes is indeed a typical mashbill for Bourbon. I would vote yes, you do indeed have Bourbon in the barrel. However, we really need Cowdery to chime in for an official answer.
    Matt is correct.

  6. #6
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    Re: A Hypothetical Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    , could I legally sell it as a bourbon?
    [code][/COD

    I hope not and I see from Matt and Chuck's respose that I won't have to lose any sleep over it.
    ovh

  7. #7
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    Re: A Hypothetical Question

    Per the BAM:
    Whisky produced in the U.S. at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn and stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume (125 proof) in charred new oak containers
    Since two of the spirits entering the barrel are not from a mash of at least 51% corn, it shouldn't be a bourbon.

    Kevin

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: A Hypothetical Question

    I would agree with Kevin.

    What you would have would be at the very least "Whisky" and at the most "Blended Whisky"

    Whisky-Spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to whisky and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)

    Blended Whisky-Whisky produced by blending not less than 20% on a proof gallon basis (excluding alcohol derived from added harmless coloring, flavoring or blending materials*) straight whisky or a blend of straight whiskies and, separately or in combination, whisky of any type or neutral spirits.

    Just remember, just because what you have doesn't meet some sort of desired legal definition, doesn't mean you can't have something that tastes good.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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  9. #9
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    Re: A Hypothetical Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    If I took a 10 ltr charred oak barrel and filled it with 7 liters of 100% corn spirit, 2 liters of 100% Rye spirit and 1 liter of 100% malted barley spirit, could I legally sell it as a bourbon?
    Not bourbon, no, but what you're describing is sortakinda like what John Hall is doing at Forty Creek.

    Quote Originally Posted by p_elliott View Post
    What you would have would suck !!
    Not necessarily. I like Forty Creek.
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
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  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: A Hypothetical Question

    Matt and now Kevin are right.

    Bourbon is a type of whiskey. Because the regs say it must be made "from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn," you can't get there through the back door by mixing different whiskeys which, collectively, add up to more than 51 percent corn. It has to be one whiskey made from a mash of not less than 51 percent corn and "mixtures of such whiskies of the same type." Mixtures of whiskeys of different types are some kind of blend.

 

 

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