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  #1  
Old 03-31-2008, 07:32 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Straight Dope on Bourbon & charcoal filtering

Federal law mandates several requirements for whiskey labled as Bourbon:

* Bourbon must be made in the United States.
* Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn.[1]
* Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof.
* Bourbon must be 100% natural (nothing other than water added to the mixture).
* Bourbon must be aged in new, American, charred oak barrels.[1]
* Bourbon which meets the above requirements and has been aged for a minimum of two years, may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon.[2]
* Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labelled with the duration of its aging.

#4 is what I'm interested in.

Can whiskey that has been charcoal filtered legally be labled as Bourbon?

I've always thought no, and about 2 weeks ago I saw a program about whiskey that also said no. I've always believed (and been told) this is why Jack Daniels is not Bourbon.

However, tonight at the liquor store I saw a bottle of Ezra Brooks (white lable) Bourbon that said on the side lable it was filtered through charcoal. And it did say Bourbon on the lable, not just whiskey.

So what's the Straight Dope on this?
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2008, 07:49 PM
NunOfTheAbove NunOfTheAbove is offline
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This might be of interest to you...

http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/...606.14514.html

This was over the label and wording used in advertising, including the "charcoal filtered" stuff. According to the court documents, "The fact that some of the statements made by Ezra Brooks concerning its product were false and untrue does not make out a case of unfair competition in favor of plaintiff..." Maybe Ezra Brooks lies about being Charcoal filtered to appear more like JD. I have no idea why anyone would want to be mistaken for JD, but it might be the case.
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2008, 10:16 AM
DesertDog DesertDog is online now
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I dunno about the charcoal filtering part, but even if it is not a factor in defining Bourbon, Jack Daniels would not be Bourbon as it is distilled in Tennessee, not Kentucky.
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2008, 10:45 AM
NunOfTheAbove NunOfTheAbove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog
I dunno about the charcoal filtering part, but even if it is not a factor in defining Bourbon, Jack Daniels would not be Bourbon as it is distilled in Tennessee, not Kentucky.
Not true. According to Federal law, it only has to be made in the US to be called Bourbon. To be called Kentucky Bourbon, it must be made in Kentucky. Bourbons have been produced in several states, including IL and KS. Technically, a Bourbon made in Alaska could be called Bourbon according to Federal law provided it follows all the other requirements. Here are some sources -

http://www.heavenhill.co.nz/prod01_copy(6)11.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourbon_whiskey (which shows other states can make Bourbon)
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