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Thread: Bulleit...Rye?

  1. #21
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Bulleit...Rye?

    I have heard from people inside the industry who are scratching their heads about this too. They also suspect used barrels were involved.

    On the one hand, the rules seem unambiguous. "Straight" precludes used cooperage (except for corn whiskey). However, there is ample evidence about that the TTB is having trouble interpreting its own rules.

  2. #22
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    Re: Bulleit...Rye?

    [quote=cowdery;234324]What's curious about the COLA is that while it says "rye whiskey" the label says "straight 95% rye mash whiskey," which could mean used cooperage if "rye mash whiskey" is deemed to mean the same thing as "Whisky distilled from rye mash."

    This^^^^
    There has been an influx (or an onslaught) of new label applications, it looks like there may indeed be some confusion as to what the US regs stipulate. I read this label as Mr. Cowdery, this does not appear to be a straight whiskey. It also looks like the words were carefully chosen to skate the edge, which is disappointing.

  3. #23
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    Re: Bulleit...Rye?

    I think you all are making a mountain out of a mole hill. I see no reason to believe this is not a straight rye whiskey.

    The TTB has been lax on its standards, but in general, they have erred towards the side of truth in advertising. In other words, as long as you are being honest in describing what's in the bottle, they are letting some specific classification regulations slide. All the expressions we get bent out of shape on (i.e. Red Stagg) may not fall within the official regs, but what is written on the bottle accurately describes it. I have yet to see an example where a product outside the official regs is approved but deceptive about its production/ingredients/etc.

    Just my thoughts... they are worth what you paid for them.
    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: Bulleit...Rye?

    You're giving TTB a little too much credit. I'm not talking about tough calls, I'm talking about mistakes. I can name several but I won't because, ultimately, these determinations are TTB's job, not mine, but I know of several labels that I'm pretty sure are wrong, not because the producers played fast and loose and tried to slip something past, but because TTB just plain got it wrong. In this case, if there is any used cooperage involved the word "straight" should not be there, but based on things I've seen I'm not willing to take that as proof that there is no used cooperage involved. This is very different from Red Stag, where everything in fact complied with the law, just not with what some people think the law should be.

  5. #25
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    Re: Bulleit...Rye?

    On the sample bottle shown though, it reads "rye whiskey", not rye mash whiskey or whiskey from rye mash. This normally means whiskey aged in new charred barrels. Taken with the word straight, and unless an out and out error has been made somewhere, I can't see how this product can't likely be LDI straight rye at least 4 years old.

    I think the word mash is being used for its marketing effect, not in any technical sense. It's like mash in "sour mash", a term used, often loosely, by many consumers. This term has or is perceived (I think again) to have marketing resonance.

    I think the producer must be looking for an innovative way to describe the product, to give it some additional marketing appeal.

    Gary

  6. #26
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    Re: Bulleit...Rye?

    I am not talking about "tough calls" either. I am talking about cases (and I know of several) where the TTB allowed a product to be categorized a certain way full well knowing it was outside the specs for that category. BUT... in all the cases I know of, whatever it was that would have disqualified it from that category has been clearly marked on the bottle. There may be cases out there where a product is outside the technical specs and does not disclose those things on the bottle, but I don't know of any

    In general, it seems the TTB is allowing divergence from the technical specs in favor of a "truth in advertising" approach. Let me be clear, I am not saying this is right or wrong, I am just commenting on a trend I am seeing. As a producer, I appreciate a bit more flexibility (and accountability to keep us all honest), as a consumer I prefer strict adherence to the regs.

    To keep us on topic, with what I am seeing here from Bulleit, if this indeed did use used cooperage, it would represent a new low for the TTB. It wouldn't surprise me if the TTB allowed Bulleit to call a product a "straight rye whiskey aged in mixed of new and used barrels" (which we all know can't technically exist), but allowing that deviation and not being clear about it seems beyond them... but again, there is a good chance I am giving the TTB too much credit.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  7. #27
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    Re: Bulleit...Rye?

    Gary and Ben, you are both most likely right, I've just become even more skeptical than usual because of some things I've seen TTB do.

  8. #28
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    Re: Bulleit...Rye?

    I picked up a bottle of this today. It is, indeed, very youthful and grassy.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  9. #29

    Re: Bulleit...Rye?

    I spoke with Tom Bulleit this morning and learned more info on what is also being called by some "Bulleit 95 Rye " It will hit the shelves nationally on March 1, 2011 for approximately $27.99 750 ml bottle. It is "aged and matured between 4 and 7 years."

    Full story on this link - New Bulleit Rye, including a photo and a "Bulleit Perfect Manhattan"..I think I'll make one now...Cheers!

  10. #30
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    Re: Bulleit...Rye?

    Quote Originally Posted by TomFischer View Post
    I spoke with Tom Bulleit this morning and learned more info on what is also being called by some "Bulleit 95 Rye" ... It is "aged and matured between 4 and 7 years."
    Wow... thanks for the innovative insights... how would we have ever figured this out if you hadn't posted a link to your blog?

    Quote Originally Posted by libertybar View Post
    This is a 95% rye mashbill (so I'm told) and is at 90proof.
    Quote Originally Posted by kickert View Post
    The 95 comes from the fact that it is 95% rye.
    Quote Originally Posted by birdman1099 View Post
    another 95% rye whiskey at 4 yrs old.....
    More information on Tom Fischer and his bourbon blog can be found here.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

 

 

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