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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Made in Kentucky

    Okay, I've learned the truth about the definition of Bourbon (51% corn, new barrels, technically at least 2 yrs old, etc.) but is any bourbon currently NOT made in Kentucky? I was not sure, for example, if Seagrams was distilling a bourbon (Four Roses) in Lawrenceburg, IN.

    I ask because people will say to me, "I know a bourbon must come from Kentucky," and I say, no it must not...

    but I can't tell them if it ALL does.

    Oh, wise ones. Enlighten me. thanks,
    Greg


  2. #2
    Advanced Taster
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    Nov 1999
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    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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    Re: Made in Kentucky

    > Okay, I've learned the truth about the definition of Bourbon (51% corn, new
    > barrels, technically at least 2 yrs old, etc.) but is any bourbon currently
    > NOT made in Kentucky? I was not sure, for example, if Seagrams was distilling
    > a bourbon (Four Roses) in Lawrenceburg, IN.

    Seagram definitely does a rye, albeit not for release as straight rye (it goes into blends), in L-burg, but I don't think they do a straight bourbon - again, not for stand-alone release anyway. A. Smith Bowman in Virginia ages bourbon, but it's distilled elsewhere. Viking in Georgia I believe does a bourbon, but I assume it goes into blends as well. McCormick, out of St. Louis, occasionally does a bourbon, but their odd labeling practices won't identify which ones. Safest bets are probably their McCormick 5 YO and 6 YO (if you can find them), but no guarantees. The A.H. Hirsch bottlings were distilled and aged in Pennsylvania, but the distillery is no longer an ongoing concern, to put it mildly.

    > I ask because people will say to me, "I know a bourbon must come from
    > Kentucky," and I say, no it must not...
    > but I can't tell them if it ALL does.

    And now you can tell them it probably doesn't all come from Kentucky. Some help, huh?

    Stotz




  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Made in Kentucky

    To add a little bit to Ryan's answer, Seagrams creates some confusion due to the coincidence that it has two distilleries within about 100 miles of each other. One is in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, (near Cincinnnati) and the other is in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, near Frankfort. I believe all of their whiskey is made at the Kentucky plant, while Indiana makes grain neutral spirits and does all the blending and bottling. They may make some corn whiskey there, but probably not rye. Indiana is a large, modern distillery. Kentucky is much smaller and more traditional.

    In addition to A. Smith Bowman, which is best known for Virginia Gentleman, and McCormick, which is best known for its Elvis decanters, there are a few small California brandy distilleries that have made, or threatened to make, bourbon at one time or another. Regardless of whether or not any of these are making bourbon at the present moment, the fact remains that bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States. That is one reason why virtually all Kentucky bourbons are identified as such on the label. Bourbon must be made in Kentucky (including its aging) to be allowed to call itself Kentucky bourbon.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  4. #4
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Made in Kentucky

    Bourbon does not have to be made in Kentucky unless they want to call it "Kentucky Bourbon" then it has to be made and aged at least two years in Kentucky. In the 1960's when Kentucky's tax was higher than Indiana's tax distillers were making it and aging it two years in Kentucky and then shipping it across the river to finish aging.
    Mike Veach


  5. #5
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Made in Kentucky

    Bowman trucks in a low wine distilate which they then redistill in an intriguing copper pot still. This is what becomes the 90 proof Virginia Gentleman. A respectable bourbon. On the bottom shelf however is Bowman's Bourbon. What it is and where it came from may be a mystery best left unsolved.

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  6. #6
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Made in Kentucky

    That's exactly my experience as well. I think they may have started out at Heaven Hill as leftover Henry McKenna, another brand whose standard product lives at the bottom end of my list (whatever scale is being used) and whose premium bottling (single barrel in McKenna's case) is quite respectable.

    -John Lipman-
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  7. #7
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Made in Kentucky

    Chuck:

    > I believe all of their whiskey is made at the Kentucky plant, while Indiana
    > makes grain neutral spirits and does all the blending and bottling. They may
    > make some corn whiskey there, but probably not rye.

    That's what I assumed, too, but an acquaintance who has been to the Indiana plant and tried the mythical rye says that indeed the rye is made in Indiana. I was shocked.

    Stotz




  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Made in Kentucky

    It seems unlikely simply because a still that is suitable for making GNS isn't really suitable for making whiskey and vice versa. It would make more sense to distill the rye whiskey at Four Roses. It's possible (though unlikely) that Four Roses is operating at capacity so they're using the much larger distillery to make rye. More likely your friend saw them bottling the rye and assumed it was "made" there. Seagrams is unusual in that they distill at Lawrenceburg, KY, age at a site near Bardstown, and bottle at Lawrenceburg, IN.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  9. #9
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: Made in Kentucky

    Chuck,
    I am not 100% sure but I seem to remember someone (maybe Ed Foote) saying they made rye at Lawrenceburg Indiana for their blends. They have a huge distillery there and I suspect they have normal column stills as well as neutral spirits stills at they distillery.
    Mike Veach


  10. #10
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Made in Kentucky

    This was my thinking too, but you don't get to try the blend-only rye at the Indiana plant if you're just any old yahoo. My friend got his sample from a person high up enough to authorize it, and he stated it was distilled at the Indiana plant. Like I said, I was shocked. Didn't even know they had anything but spirit stills at the plant.

    Stotz


 

 

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