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  1. #11
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    Re: 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.
    Regarding Beam's Choice - does Beam use a unique "mellowing" pocess for that brand, or is it all part of the marketing?

    As always, thanks for the wealth of info, Chuck. I can hardly wait for your book to take it's rightful place of prominence among our whiskey references. I wonder when that day will come....? (hint hint)


  2. #12
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    Re: The Lincoln county process

    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."

    Exactly what I thought! Although I havenīt (yet) visited J.D. or Dickel you get a feeling that it is a relatively spacey process. Surely, any visitor to a bourbon distillery would have noticed such an operation?

    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.

    Arenīt there, then, any obligations associated with the label "Tennesse whisk(e)y"? My very first thought was that "straight" was sort of in-built within the Tennessee definition - that is, a whiskey that didnīt live up to to the "straight" requirements couldnīt call itself Tennessee whiskey either.

    What contradicts this, though, is that semi-legendary whiskey "Lem Motlow". Now, I have never seen this (and probably never will) but from labels found on the Internet you can clearly see that the label reads "Tennessee sour mash whiskey". If I have the correct information this whiskey was not older than one year. So the question remains : how do I know if a Tennesse whiskey is the real thing?

    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #13
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    Re: The Lincoln county process

    I believe, but can't say for sure, that Beam realized there was charcoal in their processing and so they could truthfully say "charcoal mellowed" on their label, for whatever good it would do. They may actually perform a similar leaching process. I can't say for sure one way or the other, but if they do something similar to JD, I suspect it is on a smaller scale.

    Start saving your pennies, kiddies. You could have "the book" inside the month. I'm trying to get it finished rather than talking about it, but I'll start talking about it very soon.

  4. #14
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    Re: The Lincoln county process

    The word "whiskey" has a legal meaning, but it is not very restrictive. Use of "Tennessee" is controlled only in the sense that a false advertising claim could be made against someone who manufactures "Tennessee Whiskey" somewhere else, but it might be an interesting case as someone would have to explain "Kentucky Fried Chicken" to make it. The words "sour mash" do not appear in the CFR. In other words, the only word on the JD or GD label that is regulated by the feds is "whiskey" and that covers a multitude of sins (e.g., Seagrams Seven Crown).

  5. #15
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    Re: The Lincoln county process

    I have this document on my computer , but it is a file I can't attach. I have read all this about the Lincoln County Process etc. I didn't feel the need to add anything , one way or another. I decided to type this in, hope it helps.


    184 Jack Daniels Legacy

    Office of
    Commissioner of Internal Revenue

    Treasury Department
    Washington
    March 28,1941


    Jack Daniel Distillery,
    Lynchburg, Tennessee.
    Sirs:

    Reference is made to the Bureau ( Alcohol Tax Unit) letter of January 28, 1941,realtive to the labeling of your " Jack Daniels Old Time Distillery No.7 Brand"Whiskey and to the recent visit to the Bureau offices of your Mr.Reagor Motlow, at which time various samples of your products were submitted for analysis and an explanation of your distilling and leaching processes were presented.

    The Bureau Laboratory has analyzed the samples submitted and has given careful consideration to the description of your manufacturing process. In view of the nature of this process and of the results of the analyses, it has been concluded that the whiskey in question has niether the characteristics of bourbon or rye whiskey but rather a distinctive product which may be labeled whiskey. Accordingly, no objection will be interposed to the continued use of the brand label which was the subject of the Bureau's letter of January 28,1941.

    Respectfully,
    Stewart Berkshire
    Deputy Commissioner

    In 1941, after resumption of production and distribution of whiskey by the Jack Daniel Distillery at Lynchburg, Tenn., the Federal Alcohol Tax Unit questioned the right of the distillery to use the simple brand name " Whiskey" without defining it as a bourbon, which the Unit officals believed it to be.The Jack Daniel Distillery claimed its unusual processes, especially the leaching through pulverized sugar maple charcoal, made it a whiskey that is individual, and not bourbon. This letter shows how the matter was finalized--with the federal officals approving the Jack Daniels label.

    Read and enjoy , It's a page out of someones book,I don't have permission or the source. I'll delete this in a few days.

  6. #16
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: The Lincoln county process

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

    4 roses single barrel is filtered thru a series of round filter pads that look like compressed felt. Don't know what it does to the flavor but there is a tendency to " Strip" color from the bourbon. Occasionally they will get a barrel that is a bit lighter in color than the others and they can run it thru at the end of the filter pads life and not lose color and still accomplish what they are looking for. The pads have a short life, if I recall correctly 3 or 4 barrels.

  7. #17
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    Re: The Lincoln county process

    > Read and enjoy , It's a page out of someones book,I don't have permission
    > or the source. I'll delete this in a few days.

    I Am Not A Lawyer, but...

    I think you have the right to quote this letter and the commentary that
    follows under the legal principle of "fair use". You are allowed to
    re-print excerpts of copyrignted works, with absolutely no permission
    required, for the purpose of commentary, criticism, parody, etc.
    See, for instance,
    http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyrigh...er9/index.html


    Additionally, the letter itself was written as part of US Government
    business, and thus cannot be copyrighted.

    Tim Dellinger

  8. #18
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    Re: The Lincoln county process

    Alrrighty then, I'll leave it alone for now. Thanks!

  9. #19
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    Re: The Lincoln county process

    I am very very happy to have found this thread, and finally an answer of sorts to the question, "What (legally) is 'Tennessee Whiskey'?" I tried researching that question through standard legal resources and couldn't come up with anything. It is good to finally see the letter posted above, which explains the source of the designation.

    However, it raises at least one question, which is, was the regulatory framework regarding what was whiskey, and what was bourbon, back in 1941 the same as it is today? If not, the big question becomes, would the reasoning in that letter still apply today? While JD and GD are certainly distinctive, my personal feeling is that they still fall on a continuum with (acknowledged) bourbons. I note that in another thread here somewhere there is a quote from a modern draft trade treaty which defines Tennessee whiskey as bourbon produced in Tennessee.

    If no one knows about the history of the regulations off the top of his or her head, I will try to do some digging on it. I think it is an interesting question.

  10. #20
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    Re: The Lincoln county process

    was the regulatory framework regarding what was whiskey, and what was bourbon, back in 1941 the same as it is today?
    Yes. The identity standards have not changed significantly since they were first adopted after the repeal of Prohibition.

    The letter reproduced by Bobby was lobbied for by the Jack Daniel's company. The letter stands on its own. I can't vouch for the commentary that follows it, though it is pretty consistent with my understanding of the history. However, I find it hard to believe the Alcohol Tax Unit was trying to force Daniel's to use the term "bourbon" when they didn't want to. There is an identity standard for "whiskey" and it is pretty loose. The purpose of the standards is to prevent someone from using the word "bourbon" to describe a product that does not qualify for that designation. I would have to read the standards a little more closely to see if there is any basis in the regulations for requiring a bourbon to call itself bourbon. I don't think there is, but check it out for yourself. The cite is 27cfr5.21.

    What the Motlows wanted, and got, was some sort of official recognition of Tennessee Whiskey as a distinctive style. This allows Daniel's to say, as they do to this day, that Tennessee Whiskey is recognized by the federal government as a distinctive style of whiskey, different from bourbon, despite the fact that the words "Tennessee whiskey" do not appear in the federal regulations themselves.

    I don't know what draft treaty you are referring to, but the distinctive national products clauses in NAFTA and our agreement with the EU on the subject both identify "bourbon whiskey" and "Tennessee whiskey" and recognize both as distictive products of the USA.

    Many commentators have interpreted all this as the Lincoln Country Process disqualifying Tennessee Whiskey from the legal right to be called bourbon. I don't agree. Both Jack Daniel's and George Dickel meet all of the requirements for bourbon and I don't see any reason why the Lincoln County process would negate that. If for some strange and unlikely reason it became desirable for either brand to label itself as bourbon I believe they could.

    There is, by the way, a detailed article by Lew Bryson about the process itself in the current issue of Malt Advocate, but it doesn't discuss any of these legal questions.

 

 

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