Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 57
  1. #1
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    867

    The Lincoln county process

    I donīt know, this might very well rank amongst the most stupid questions ever asked on this forum but I have to ask anyway.

    What if someone in, say Oklahoma, decided to produce whiskey using the Lincoln county process. What would that whiskey be called? Surely not bourbon, since the LCP is used to distinguish Tennessee from bourbon. To call it Tenneesse whiskey (or even Oklahoma Tennessee whiskey) would seem absurd.

    Or is the Lincoln county process prohibited outside of Tennessee? That also sounds a bit far-fetched to me.

    Best wishes,

    H.B.

  2. #2

    Re: The Lincoln county process

    The Lincoln County Process is simply the name for the charcoal mellowing that Jack Daniel's and George Dickel use in their whisk(e)y. It is not patented -- both companies use it -- so I can think of no reason it cannot be used elsewhere. (Moore County, where JD is located, was a part of neighboring Lincoln County when the practice was originated.)
    However, Tennessee Whiskey is a designation ensconced in federal regulation/law, so IT cannot be produced outside Tennessee, at least under that name.
    Bourbon, however, doesn't have to be -- and hasn't always been -- solely made in Kentucky, and a debate has taken place, at times, even in these forums, whether the Lincoln County Process mellowing negates the designation of bourbon. Prior to its presentation to the charcoal, JD and Dickel are, in fact, consistent with bourbon.
    So, your hypothetical Oklahoma distiller might just try calling it bourbon, and see what results.

  3. #3
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,895

    Re: The Lincoln county process

    I'm not going to dredge it all up again, but I have cited Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskies that proclaim themselves to be "Charcoal Mellowed" or some such similar phrases. One example that immediately comes to mind is the very cheap and very much not recommended Virgin Bourbon. But, I believe there are others.

    This may or may not be identical to "the Lincoln County process", but I doubt there is enough difference to make a difference.

    Tim

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    virginia
    Posts
    441

    Re: The Lincoln county process

    I searched the site and turned up a couple of preceding exchanges on this subject. At the risk of flogging a dead horse, I am still left with the following questions:

    1) When a bourbon is described as "charcoal mellowed" or something similar, I just assumed that was a dubious marketing term to describe the almost universal filtering to remove chill haze. Not so?

    2) Is there a bourbon that is filtered with something other than activated charcoal, something more likely to impart a flavor?

    I had never heard of Virgin Bourbon before (great name), but I got the impression in searching that it is bottled by Heaven Hill. If so, maybe Bettye Jo could tell us what "Charcoal Mellowed" means for that brand.

    Once again, sorry if my search skills are lacking.

  5. #5
    Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    SI, NY
    Posts
    2,083

    Re: The Lincoln county process

    1) When a bourbon is described as "charcoal mellowed" or something similar, I just assumed that was a dubious marketing term to describe the almost universal filtering to remove chill haze. Not so?

    I thought they tried to sell off the process of "charcoal mellowing" as one that would remove impurities and make for a smoother more mellow flavored end product. I think it's just another gimmik that can be used to try and market ones product...

    2) Is there a bourbon that is filtered with something other than activated charcoal, something more likely to impart a flavor?
    I want to think that I remember seeing others, but I can't remember them now... The only one that did pop into my head right away is McKendricks 'Western Style' Whiskey. It says it is aged in new oak barrels and then mellowed in mesquite to add its unique taste and character. I've had it and let me tell you, the mesquite flavor stands out! I guess its a like it or hate it thing as I found it to be a bit too much for me.


    I had never heard of Virgin Bourbon before (great name), but I got the impression in searching that it is bottled by Heaven Hill. If so, maybe Bettye Jo could tell us what "Charcoal Mellowed" means for that brand.

    I've got the 21yo version of Virgin bourbon. There's a pic on my website and here it is:


    They make other aged Virgin products as well. I know a 15, and I think a 10 or 7, maybe both. All are charcoal mellowed. This product is for export... Also, another charcoal filtered bourbon is Jim Beam Beam's Choice in the green label. Another charcoal filtered bourbon (which appears to be made by HH as well) is Military Special. I'll attatch some photos of these as well.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    867

    Re: The Lincoln county process

    Thanks a lot for the info. I, too, assumed that "Charcoal mellowed" written on a bourbon label meant something that was done after the aging process - something like chill filtration.

    Another phenomenon that has racked my brain several times is the proper definition of "straight". While straight almost always is used in conjunction with bourbon or rye it is wholly absent from (the admittedly few) Tennessee bottles in my collection. Does this imply something?

    Another example is that odd Indiana bourbon which I eventually managed to lay my hands on earlier this year : Sam Cougar black. Again the word "straight" is absent - instead the label claims it somewhat confusingly to be "Authentic Kentucky style bourbon whiskey". What to make of this? Could it possibly be the low proof (74 %) that makes it non-straight?

    Best wishes,

    H.B.

  7. #7

    Re: The Lincoln county process

    Tennessee whiskey -- Jack Daniel's and George Dickel -- are, indeed, 'straight' whiskeys. Why they don't say so on the bottles is a mystery.
    Straight whiskey must be 1) distilled out at less than 80% (160 proof) abv; 2) aged a minimum of 2 years in new charred oak barrels, and carry an age statement if bottled at less than 4 years old; and 3) contain no added coloring or flavoring.
    There are straight bourbons, straight Tennessee whiskeys, and straight ryes.

    A note about the charcoal filtering noted on some bourbon brands: I believe, in the case of these bourbons -- and unlike Tennessee whiskey (except for Gentleman Jack, where it is a second filtration) -- the filtering is done after aging and before bottling. Conversely, all Tennessee whisk(e)y is (maple)-filtered before aging.

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    virginia
    Posts
    441

    Re: The Lincoln county process

    Thanks for posting the pix!

    Boy, the Miltary Special label certainly implies filtering before putting it in the barrel if you look at the sequence in the description.

    I had forgotten about McKendrick's. I wasn't too keen on it, but it was different all right. Then again, at least it is not labelled "bourbon," right?

  9. #9
    Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    SI, NY
    Posts
    2,083

    Re: The Lincoln county process

    No problem Dave. It must be a disease, but I like posting pics whenever possible to visually convey things as well as simple writing.

    I didn't even think about it like that; The way in which they list the sequence of events on the side of the bottle...

    Tonya and Ben said that they really like the McKendricks for cooking and bbq'ing if I recall. I haven't tried it in cooking yet, but after drinking a bit I can see how it would be great in aiding the marinading of steaks and such.

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,617

    Re: The Lincoln county process

    JD and GD can't call themselves "straights" because the "straight" designation is only available to the specified named types, e.g., bourbon, rye, wheat, corn, etc.

    "Tennessee Whiskey" is not defined in the Code of Federal Regulations. The only official recognition of the term is a letter solicited by then Jack Daniel's president Reagor Motlow from the Treasury Department, acknowledging that Tennessee Whiskey is distinct from bourbon.

    I don't know of any distillery in the U.S. except the two in Tennessee that has the facilities to perform the "Lincoln County Process." The charcoal filtering performed in Kentucky is the type intended to eliminate chill haze or perhaps something using a bit more charcoal, but well short of what JD and GD use.

    What is called the "Lincoln Country Process" is a common 19th century rectification technique, i.e., processing whiskey through large stands of charcoal to remove congeners prior to barreling. Bone dust was also used. The exclusive use of sugar maple wood appears to be the one unique feature of the Tennessee practice. I have often heard the term "leaching" used to distinguish this process from the filtering most producers do, but the people using that term have an axe to grind (i.e., they make bourbon).

    Could a whiskey that meets all of the requirements for bourbon be called bourbon if it also is subjected to a leaching step such as described above? There is an argument to be made that the answer would be no, but my reading of the regulations says the correct answer is yes.

    If you want to read the regs for yourself, follow the links to the ATF site from my links page.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Lincoln Henderson Retires
    By bobbyc in forum Industry News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-17-2004, 19:33
  2. An 1809 reference to a sour mash style process
    By tdelling in forum History
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-21-2004, 15:24
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-07-2003, 10:54

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top