The federal definition for rye whiskey, Bourbon whiskey and wheat is: Whiskey which has been distilled at not exceeding 160 proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent rye grain, corn grain, wheat grain, respectively, and stored in charred oak containers. If distilled at above 160 proof, the whiskey’s identification as rye, Bourbon or wheat would be lost, thus accounting for the 160 proof limitation . Missing from the definition is any time limit on the storage period.

The important factor that distinguishes one type of whiskey from another is the grain used. In the case of Bourbon, at least 51 percent of the grain used in distillation is corn. But there are other essentials of 160, and must aged in new charred white oak barrels for at last two years. Praticatically all Bourbon is aged four years or more. .

Bourbon is made in accordance with the steps outlined in section on whiskey. Thus bourbon is produced via the steps of mashing fermentation, distilling and aging. True bourbon is that whiskey made in the U.S. under federal laws. In 1964 a Congressional resolution recognized it as a distinctive product of the U.S.

Bourbon s character or taste will largely be determined by the grain proportion used in the formula; the mashing techniques; the fermentation environment; the strain of yeast that used; the type distillation equipment and the manner which it is operated; and finally, the maturation process which takes place in warehouse especially designed for the storage of whiskey.

Sour mash whiskey is made from a yeast mash soured with lactic culture for a minimum of six hours; the fermented mash must contain at least 25% of the screened residue from the base of the whiskey still and the fermenting time must be at least at 72 hours.

Both corn whiskey and Bourbon are based on the same grain-corn. But whereas Bourbon are based on the same grain- corn. But whereas Bourbon is made from a mash that is at least 51 percent, corn whiskey requires at least 80 percent corn before it can be so termed. Another important difference is that corn whiskey is aged in uncharred barrels or re-used charred barrels.

Bottle-in bond is not a separate type. Rather it is straight whiskey produced and bottle in accordance with the bottle-in bonding act; a federal law dating back to 1897. As a straight whiskey, under this law a bonded Bourbon must conform to all the requirements and standards applying to any straight whiskey. But, if the bottle-in bond designation is used, the product in the bottle has additional requirements to be entitled to this identification, the whiskey must be bottled at least four years old (most are older); it must be bottled at 100 proof and the whiskey in the bottle must be produce in a single distillery, by the same distiller, and be the product of single season and year.

Although the bottle-in-bond designation in itself is no guarantee of quality, most distillers select only the best whiskeys for this bottling.


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