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Thread: Jefferson's Rye

  1. #1
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    Jefferson's Rye

    John Hansell's latest WDJK? post mentions a new competitor for WhistlePig in the tiny "10 year-old, 100% rye" category: Jefferson's Straight Rye Whiskey.

    The folks behind the Jefferson’s line of bourbons, including the outstanding Jefferson’s Presidential Select releases, told me they will be releasing a 10 year old 100% rye whiskey later this year at 94 proof. I tasted a pre-release. It reminded me of WhistlePig. I mean, it really reminded me of WhistlePig (hint!), but at a slightly lower proof (and what will be offered at the significantly lower price of about $35).
    So the Jefferson's is slightly lower in proof, quite a bit lower in price, and will be released in "batches" (see attached labels). These differences aside, two nearly identical (on paper, at least) Alberta Premium whiskies, sold by American bottlers, and competing in the same niche market... Am I the only one who thinks this is strange? Has WhistlePig found a different source for their next release?
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    "Good" may be subjective, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.

  2. #2
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    Re: Jefferson's Rye

    Do we have some reason to believe either this or WhistlePig is definitely Alberta? If we're basing that on the fact that it's 100 percent rye, that's not dispositive. Just about all you can say for sure is that it's not from Walkerville, as they blend pre-barrel. Every other Canadian producer probably makes a 100 percent rye flavoring whiskey.

    The 10-year age is the interesting coincidence that suggests the same producer as WhistlePig.

    This may be the Jefferson's that my sources tell me was recently bottled at LDI.

  3. #3
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    Re: Jefferson's Rye

    I thought I read somewhere (maybe Davin's site) that Alberta Springs was the only Canadian distillery that made a 100% rye whiskey from unmalted rye, which is why it was speculated that WhistlePig was from Alberta.

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    Re: Jefferson's Rye

    It's hard to imagine it's anything but Alberta Distillers (Alberta Springs is a brand of AD's) because, as sku points out, the only 100% unmalted rye mash bill we know of is AD's. From Davin's site:

    In Canada, however, there are two distillers who have found a way to overcome the problems of sticky rye mashes and gummed-up equipment. Hiram Walker distillery in Windsor, Ontario, has solved the problem by using malted rye. The perfect rye-converting enzymes, of course, are made by the rye grain itself as it starts to germinate. The other, Alberta Distillers, which uses 100% unmalted rye, has developed its own proprietary strain of Aspergillus fungus that specifically converts rye starches into sugars.
    I'm not saying it's impossible that WhistlePig and Jefferson's come from different sources, but I think it's unlikely.
    "Good" may be subjective, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.

  5. #5
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    Re: Jefferson's Rye

    Alberta is unique because it is the only Canadian whiskey distillery that uses rye to make its base whiskey. Everyone else uses corn. But no one publishes the recipes for their flavoring whiskeys and it is very likely that someone other than Alberta makes a 100% rye flavoring whiskey. It can't be CC because they don't age their whiskeys separately, but it could be anyone else.

    Just because Alberta is the only distillery that uses 100% unmalted rye for everything, that doesn't mean another distillery doesn't use 100% unmalted rye for something.

    Although the category 'rye malt whiskey' exists, it only has to be classified as such if more than 51% malted rye. "100% rye" is not a regulated term and therefore could describe a mash of malted and unmalted rye.

  6. #6

    Re: Jefferson's Rye

    I had not heard of Jefferson's Canadian rye. It pays to follow these boards.

    Chuck is correct. Only two Canadian distilleries have really perfected the rye mashing process to the point that high-rye whisky is a mainstream product. However, at least seven make whisky with a very high rye content - far more than 51%. Exact mash bills, of course, are generally proprietary so we can't say they are not 100% rye.

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    Re: Jefferson's Rye

    Thanks for the clarification, Davin and Chuck. I'll try to resist the urge to claim (with complete certainty) that any aged, 100% Canadian rye whisky must originate from Alberta Distillers from now on.
    "Good" may be subjective, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.

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    Re: Jefferson's Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by dbk View Post
    Thanks for the clarification, Davin and Chuck. I'll try to resist the urge to claim (with complete certainty) that any aged, 100% Canadian rye whisky must originate from Alberta Distillers from now on.
    Your bar bet revenue stream just flew right out the window.
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    Re: Jefferson's Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by callmeox View Post
    Your bar bet revenue stream just flew right out the window.
    Hey, if we Canadians can't place bets on the source of Canadian whisky sold in the US market, what else can we do when the NHL playoffs are over?
    "Good" may be subjective, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.

  10. #10
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    Re: Jefferson's Rye

    Who's the other one, Davin?

    I assume that Seagram's made at least a 95% rye flavoring whiskey, since their former Lawrenceburg, Indiana, plant has long made one, so Gimli probably still makes one too.

    Jumping to the conclusion that this Jefferson's and the WhistlePig are from the same distillery is probably fair, and it might be Alberta, but it's wrong to assume it must be Alberta just because we know they make a 100% rye mash.

    But beyond making sure the speculation is consistent with known facts, I don't care very much about the guessing game. I prefer to just take off points for non-disclosure.

 

 

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