Monday, September 4, 2017

Is Jack Daniels a Bourbon?





YES



10 comments:

  1. Wow. Exactly what I was going to post. Most perfect article about JD ever. Follow-up: Is it a good bourbon? IMO, an equally short article, but a different, shorter word....

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  2. Well, actually it's not. Mash bill and production is according to bourbon rules, but post production is not.
    Bourbon rules doesn't allow for additional flavouring, and the charcoal mellowing procedure is recognised as just such. Just saying.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is. You are mistaken.

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    2. Here's where I got my information: http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2014/08/its-time-for-jim-beam-to-drop-number.html

      The article's good, but the real education is down in the Comments. Maybe the most succinct one by Mr. Cowdery is, "Filtering is a subtractive process, not additive, and not prohibited by the rules that define bourbon. Although the process isn't exactly the same, most bourbons are charcoal filtered too."

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    3. Anonymous: Thanks for your well documented comment.

      ZX: I personally agree with Chuck on this one, but both his and my views are personal opinions - not authoritative decisions. In my interview with director of distilling Jeff Arnett of JD about 10 days ago he stated that the charcoal mellowing process is considered as an additional organoleptic change to the whiskey (pre-maturation) and therefore as such defined as an addition of flavour. I did a remark concerning this to be due to removal of flavour and not an addition, but he replied that so was the ruling (and I understood it to be from some sort of authority). I am not in a position to question his word on this. But then of course - I am also not Anonymous...

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    4. I just looked up "organoleptic"

      Seems that Jeff Arnett just admitted himself that JD is a bourbon :-) as you have to consider a subtraction an addition not to. Distillery Managers talk bullshit as well

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    5. Carsten: Interesting points. I have no more facts to add. Regarding my personal experience of JD, my assumption nowadays is that their sin is indeed subtraction, not addition. I've gone through two bottles of their single barrel and one of the cask strength single barrel. While drinking, they appear to be fine TN whiskeys/"bourbons". What I've found each and every time, however, is that they're in some way... boring. That's not quite the right word, but despite the fact that they are tasty, I grow weary of drinking them. It's a phenomenon I can't say I've experienced before with whiskeys I like. My assumption/hypothesis is that whatever is being filtered out by the JD "Lincoln County Process" should be _left in_. OTOH, this doesn't account for George Dickel TN whiskey (though they do the LCP a little differently), for which I have a deep and abiding love....

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    6. Carsten: Evan Williams, the quintessential bourbon almost, is charcoal filtered...not in the same way but it is charcoal filtered.

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  3. Deffe: How so?

    BTW: Now we're getting philosophical! Exactly how would you decide if something has been added/subtracted without organoleptic use? :-P

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  4. Organoleptic change means a change in flavour/smell. If a process causes organoleptic change doesn't mean you added something. So an organoleptic change can't be considered as an addition and is a meaningless term in this discussion. Theoretically an addition that causes no organoleptic change would actually disqualify a bourbon to be a bourbon. Like e150. (Many would say that e150 does affect taste but thats another discussion)

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