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  1. #1
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    TN whiskey vs. Bourbon

    There have been a number of posts over the last few months which have prompted my post here.

    When mentioning JD or Dickel, some members are corrected with the statement that TN whiskey is not a bourbon.

    I understand that alot of SB.com members are seriously committed to bourbon, and upholding it's merit. But I'd like to seriously ask the question: technically, isn't TN whiskey a bourbon?

    Of course, bourbon can be made in Tennessee, as in any other state. But the two TN whiskeys currently on the market have chosen to be labelled TN whiskey (due to their production style, state of manufacture, etc.).

    Doesn't the spirit in the bottle adhere to the true legal definition of bourbon?

    When I'm in a liquor store or bar, and ask for their bourbon selection, I too am somewhat put-0ff when offered a JD. But is that wrong?

    The attempts by TN distillers to make their product distinctive through this use of terminology seems to have worked with the JD brand, but I'm not convinced the marketplace chooses JD over any other because it IS or ISN'T a bourbon, (or a TN whiskey for that matter).

    Is it simply a case of jealosy on the part of bourbon lovers that JD (ie. the swill in the bottle) has done so well?

    Comments welcome.



  2. #2
    Administrator in exile
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    Re: TN whiskey vs. Bourbon

    Dave,

    TN Whiskies would be bourbons if not for the "Lincoln County Process" of filtering the whisky through large vats of sugar maple charcoal. This is a process which mellows the whisky and imparts flavors from the wood into it. Bourbon can have no additional flavor components. That is why it is not a bourbon. Dickle adds vitamins to theirs

  3. #3
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    Re: TN whiskey vs. Bourbon

    Jeff when you spell Dickel as Dickle, it makes me think of PICKLE juice.

  4. #4
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    Re: TN whiskey vs. Bourbon

    Jeff when you spell Dickel as Dickle, it makes me think of PICKLE juice.
    That would be an improvement

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: TN whiskey vs. Bourbon

    Actually a good case used to be made that it was, Lincoln County process notwithstanding. The real reason it is not Bourbon, is because the BATF says it isn't.

    <font color="blue"> Good God Give John Mayer Some </font>

  6. #6
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    Re: TN whiskey vs. Bourbon

    Hey Bobbby. I did some snooping on the BATF website and couldn't find anything against charcoal filtering. After all, most bourbon goes through some filtering (many use charcoal, irrespective of whether it is maple or not) but the TN process is pre-aging. I can't find anything here that disallows charcoal "mellowing".

  7. #7
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    Re: TN whiskey vs. Bourbon

    &gt;But I'd like to seriously ask the question: technically, isn't TN whiskey
    &gt;a bourbon?

    I'm going to disagree with everyone.

    I hereby declare that Jack Daniels could legally be sold as a bourbon.

    I challenge anyone to find regulations otherwise.
    Go to http://www.access.gpo.gov/ecfr/ and look at Title 27, Volume 1, Chapter 1, Part 5.

    Jack Daniels meets all the requirements for "bourbon whiskey", and I can
    find no reason to exclude it from this category.


    Tim Dellinger

  8. #8
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    Re: TN whiskey vs. Bourbon

    Here's the full regulations. So long as the Lincoln process doesn't remove the percentages described in 5.27 (c)

    (c) Any filtering or stabilizing process which results in a product which does not possess the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to that class or type of distilled spirits; and, in the case*of straight whisky, results in the removal of more than 15 percent of*
    the fixed acids, volatile acids, esters, soluble solids, or higher*alcohols, or more than 25 percent of the soluble color;

    ... then I would imagine that JD is a bourbon.

  9. #9
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    Re: TN whiskey vs. Bourbon

    &gt;So long as the Lincoln process doesn't remove the percentages
    &gt;described in 5.27 (c)
    &gt;...
    &gt;then I would imagine that JD is a bourbon.

    If you look close at the language, I think the percents only apply
    to "straight" whiskey.

    Thus the percents would determine whether JD is a "straight bourbon whiskey"
    or merely a "bourbon whiskey".



    Looking at the other regulations:

    I'm supposing that charcoal treatment isn't considered "treatment with wood",
    so 5.39(c) doesn't apply.

    I still haven't decided whether JD's charcoal could be considered a
    "flavoring" under 5.23. That's a judgement call, and would be the only
    reason I can think of to disqualify JD from being a bourbon. If the
    process gives the whiskey an "ashy" taste, then it might be adding
    flavor.


    Tim Dellinger

  10. #10
    Guru
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    Re: TN whiskey vs. Bourbon

    No, charcoal filtering does not add any flavoring. It removes impurities.

    Tim

 

 

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