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  1. #1
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA.
    Posts
    34

    I've Been Under A Misconception...

    ...for a long, long time.

    I had thought that for a spirit to be called 'bourbon', it has to be aged at least two years under all of the stipulations that we all know...

    BUT, under the actual law - it need not be aged at all. So - in effect - White Dog that follows all of the rules is bourbon...

    BUT, part of the rule states, "Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. [1]", yet...it need not be aged at all. Is that not odd?

    Here's the actual law.

    So, it says that bourbon must be aged, but then there's no age statement...so...if it must be aged, for how long? One hour?

    Hmm.

  2. #2
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NE OH
    Posts
    1,784

    Re: I've Been Under A Misconception...

    That looks like the Laverne L.
    ~Robert BTOTY #2 2009

    GBS Member - 2011 Indoctrination

  3. #3
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    1,179

    Re: I've Been Under A Misconception...

    Pursuant to the regs, Bourbon must be "stored" in charred, new oak containers. There is no specific length of time set out for the storage. Thus, technically, if you dump it into a cask and then dump it out, its Bourbon (assuming it meets all of the other requirements).

    Straight Bourbon must be aged for two years.

  4. #4
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Sweden
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    1,722

    Re: I've Been Under A Misconception...

    How about the place of the pre aging production. Dave Pickerel did bottle a 10 years rye distilled in Canada (or at least I think it was) recently and labelled it as a straight rye. Isnít it supposed to bee made in USA? Or was that one sold as a Canadian straight rye?

    Leif
    Swedish lover of American whiskey

  5. #5
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    1,179

    Re: I've Been Under A Misconception...

    Quote Originally Posted by nor02lei View Post
    How about the place of the pre aging production. Dave Pickerel did bottle a 10 years rye distilled in Canada (or at least I think it was) recently and labelled it as a straight rye. Isnít it supposed to bee made in USA? Or was that one sold as a Canadian straight rye?

    Leif

    According to the regs, Rye Whiskey can be produced in another country as long as the label lists where it was produced (and WhistlePig does say on the label that it was made in Canada). Bourbon, however, may only be produced in the US.

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Baldwin, Maryland
    Posts
    635

    Re: I've Been Under A Misconception...

    If you read the law correctly you should notice that "bourbon" is a "whiskey". To be called "whiskey" the distillate must be stored in oak containers. Thus "white dog" is not bourbon until barrel entry.
    Dave G.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,186

    Re: I've Been Under A Misconception...

    The key concept here is bourbon if aged less than 2 years, must still be stored in new charred barrels, but no time is specified. The idea I think is, it should be long enough to confer some character on it from the storage. Even a few months aging will do this, as we see from Tuthilltown's bourbons. Whether pouring into and out of a charred cask is long enough is something I am not sure of. I think we see in this rule (or lack of a fully defined one) the roots of bourbon's development. In the mid-1800's, whiskey aged a year or 18 months was an aged product, it was bourbon. So the law still recognizes this, but to earn the straight adjective, bourbon must be aged at least two years - that must have been viewed as the cut-off for a fully matured product (although today we would not generally think of it in these terms). But it may well be you can pour in and out, there may be an argument there or one recognized by the people who approve these things.

    Gary

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    735

    Re: I've Been Under A Misconception...

    The spirit has to enter the barrel to call it bourbon. It also has to be a brand new, charred barrel, so if you dumped the bourbon after a few minutes, you could call it bourbon, but you just wasted a new barrel because I doubt that any Scotch or Canadian distiller would be interested in a barrel that was not new and yet had no advantages of having aged some bourbon in it.

    Two years was considered mature bourbon in the 19th century when barrel proof was 100 proof and the barrel characteristics were imparted on the bourbon at a faster rate. It is also important to remember that the barrel was the main package for the sale of bourbon in the 19th century so even if you purchased a barrel of 2yo for you bar, it would continue to age in your possession.

    Mike Veach

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006
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    Dec 2001
    Location
    Rockland County, NY
    Posts
    1,937

    Re: I've Been Under A Misconception...

    So, How do we plug that hole?
    Do we need to?

    I hate to stifle the creative spirit of distillers but don't want White Dog being called Bourbon.

    Do we need to request that less than 2yrs have age statement?

    Do we need a minimum color or congener content?
    Colonel Ed
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006

    Comissioned by Paul Patton, 1999

    "It ain't the booze that brings me in here, it's the solace it distills"

  10. #10
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    1,179

    Re: I've Been Under A Misconception...

    Quote Originally Posted by pepcycle View Post
    So, How do we plug that hole?
    Do we need to?

    I hate to stifle the creative spirit of distillers but don't want White Dog being called Bourbon.

    Do we need to request that less than 2yrs have age statement?
    Age statements are already mandatory on whiskeys less than four years old.

 

 

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