Klondike wrote:In short; I stand corrected. The distinction is precisely in the fact that the straight whisky has to be aged in 100% new, charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years and this does not apply to "simple" Bourbon, Corn or Rye... Sorry for my ignorance!
That's right. There is actually no required aging for Bourbon and rye. The only requirement is that it must spend some time in new charred oak. That could theoretically 30 seconds. Corn whiskey is an exception in that it does not have to be stored in oak at all.
In fact, though, the vast majority of Bourbons and ryes on the market are "straights." It's really only some of the craft distillers that are doing Bourbon and rye at less than two years old.
Regarding the age of bourbon, here is an excerpt from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourbon_whiskey
On May 4, 1964, the United States Congress recognized Bourbon Whiskey as a "distinctive product of the United States." The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (27 C.F.R. 5.22) state that bourbon must meet these requirements:
- Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn (maize).
- Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume).
- Neither coloring nor flavoring may be added.
- Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels.
- Bourbon must be entered into the barrel at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume).
- Bourbon, like other whiskeys, may be bottled at not less than 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume.)
- Bourbon that meets the above requirements and has been aged for a minimum of two years may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon.
- Straight Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.
- If an age is stated on the label, it must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.
- Only whiskey produced in the United States can be called bourbon.
In practice, almost all bourbons marketed today are made from more than two-thirds corn, have been aged at least four years, and do qualify as "straight bourbon"-with or without the "straight bourbon" label. The exceptions are inexpensive commodity brands of bourbon aged only three years and pre-mixed cocktails made with straight bourbon aged the minimum two years. However, a few small distilleries market bourbons aged for as little as three months.