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Tennessee Whiskey??

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Tennessee Whiskey??

Postby SarappyD » Sun Jan 18, 2004 10:25 pm

I've been told there are only 2 whiskeys that can be classified as Tennessee whiskeys, one of which is Jack Daniel's. Is this true? If this is true what is the other Tennessee whiskey?? Also, is a Tennessee whiskey still considered a Bourbon??

Any replies would be much appreciated,

D :o :o
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Postby SasquatchMan » Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:23 am

To be a "Bourbon" a whiskey must have 51% (if I remember correctly) corn in the mash, and be manufactured in the state of Kentucky. Thus, Jack Daniel's isn't a Bourbon for at least one reason (I don't know the mash % in JD. I assume it's a proprietary secret).

So, you could have two identical tasting whiskeys, one of which qualifies as a bourbon, one not.

There may well be other Tennessee whiskeys - I don't know of any off hand.
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Postby Leonidych » Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:50 am

Bourbon: (1) at least 51% of corn in the mash; (2) at least 2 years of maturation in the new kiln-dried oak casks.
Tennessee Whiskey: (1) a bourbon matured in the bourbon barrels, (2) filtered through 3-4 meter coal columns before bottling, (3) produced in the State of Tennessee. (AFAIK)
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Postby lexkraai » Mon Jan 19, 2004 8:55 am

Hi all

First of all, bourbon doesn't need to be made in Kentucky; there are bourbons on the market from Virginia and Indiana for instance. It DOES have to be made in the US though. Mash needs to have a corn content of between 51% and 80% (higher than 80% and it is a corn whiskey). Finally, it needs to mature in freshly-charred barrels. If it is matured in barrels which have already been used for bourbon maturation it's not a bourbon. For instance, 'Early Times' in some markets is a 'Kentucky Whiskey', not a bourbon.

The big thing that differentiates a Tennessee whiskey from a bourbon is the filtering through a thick layer of charcoal. On top of that, it also has to be made in Tennessee. Besides JD, the other Tennessee whiskey distillery operating at the moment is George Dickel.

Hope this answers your questions!
Lex
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Postby Shigga » Mon Jan 19, 2004 11:27 am

hm ok I always wondered why there isn't the word "Boubon" written on the JD Bottle... But what's the difference between a Bourbon an a "Kentucky Straight Bourbon"? Sry I'm kind of new to whisky :)
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Postby lexkraai » Mon Jan 19, 2004 12:08 pm

Hi Shigga

A bourbon can only be called 'Kentucky Bourbon' if it's made in Kentucky. Otherwise, it would be, for instance, a Virginia Bourbon (such as Virginia Gentleman). As to the 'Straight' it refers to the bourbon being not blended with neural spirit or something like that.

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Admiral » Mon Jan 19, 2004 1:06 pm

Calling it "straight" bourbon on the label is probably more a marketing buzz term than any accurate or specific description.

It's a bit like Glenfiddich calling their flagship malt "Special Old Reserve" when it was really only around 8 years old!
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Postby SasquatchMan » Mon Jan 19, 2004 4:46 pm

lex, do you know if the laws have changed as regards what can be called a bourbon? I have a number of books which suggest that bourbon can only be called bourbon if it's out of kentucky- yet as you mention, there are other whiskeys being called bourbons from other states. I wonder if there has been a change in legislation or if the books just didn't have it quite right.

It's reminiscient of the cabernet name - they've long been fighting over whether or not that name, like Champagne, is a regional varietal or merely a type of grape - can a Chilean wine be called cabernet sauvignon or merely a cabernet-style wine, or something totally different....
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Postby lexkraai » Mon Jan 19, 2004 4:55 pm

I've never seen any bit of legislation, recent or old, that states that bourbon has to be made in Kentucky. So as far as I'm aware there has been no recent change in legislation and my guess is that the books you mention got it a bit wrong. But if anyone else has better info, please barge in now!

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Admiral » Tue Jan 20, 2004 12:30 am

I confirm Lex's advice - bourbon is defined by the limitations on both the mash bill and the cask maturation. It is not limited or defined by which U.S. state it comes from.

Kentucky is a prolific bourbon producing state, but it doesn't have any ownership or right to the term.
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Postby Shigga » Tue Jan 20, 2004 12:41 am

That's very interesting to know- give me some more time and I'll give some friends of mine quite some nuts to crack in a whisky-trivia! :D Thank y'all!
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Postby SarappyD » Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:14 am

Thanks for all the replies! Lex, you confirmed my suspicion that George Dickel is the other "Tennessee Whiskey".

Also, according to the JD website the corn content of its mash is 80%.

D :o :o
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