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    Bourbon Derby

    The names and terms associated with various types of alcohol are concerned as much with legality and marketing as they are with the actual nature of the product, so I generally avoid being pedantic when someone misuses a term. However, when an article is posted where the stated intent is to provide such information and then gets it wrong, I think it's reasonable to point that out. In today's article "The Bourbon Derby: Best Bourbons under $40," the article points out that "By definition, bourbon whisky doesn’t need to be made in Kentucky, but it does have to contain a mash bill of a minimum 51% corn." It then goes on to recommend "The Rye Bourbon: Bulleit 95 Rye." Just as bourbon has to be at least 51% corn, whiskey sold as rye has to be 51% rye. There is no such thing as a "bourbon rye." Particularly, Bulleit 95 Rye is so named because it uses a mash that is 95% rye. It certainly does NOT meet the 51% corn criteria for bourbon. It's rye whiskey, period. There is such as thing as a high-rye bourbon, which means that a significant portion of the 49% of the mash that is not corn is instead rye. Bulleit Barrel Strength is a high-rye bourbon and the author of the article may have confused the two. Old Grand Dad Bonded and Jim Beam Signature Craft High Rye are other examples of high-rye bourbon.

    #2
    Originally posted by ddjones View Post
    The names and terms associated with various types of alcohol are concerned as much with legality and marketing as they are with the actual nature of the product, so I generally avoid being pedantic when someone misuses a term. However, when an article is posted where the stated intent is to provide such information and then gets it wrong, I think it's reasonable to point that out. In today's article "The Bourbon Derby: Best Bourbons under $40," the article points out that "By definition, bourbon whisky doesn’t need to be made in Kentucky, but it does have to contain a mash bill of a minimum 51% corn." It then goes on to recommend "The Rye Bourbon: Bulleit 95 Rye." Just as bourbon has to be at least 51% corn, whiskey sold as rye has to be 51% rye. There is no such thing as a "bourbon rye." Particularly, Bulleit 95 Rye is so named because it uses a mash that is 95% rye. It certainly does NOT meet the 51% corn criteria for bourbon. It's rye whiskey, period. There is such as thing as a high-rye bourbon, which means that a significant portion of the 49% of the mash that is not corn is instead rye. Bulleit Barrel Strength is a high-rye bourbon and the author of the article may have confused the two. Old Grand Dad Bonded and Jim Beam Signature Craft High Rye are other examples of high-rye bourbon.
    For what it's worth, there was a correction made to the post regarding the designation of Bulleit 95 Rye as bourbon.

    Overall, I found the article informative and a good introduction for those just starting out. It was a good call to recommend widely available bottles, though there are some excellent choices out there that are harder to find. Weller Antique 107 is my favorite. Willett Family Reserve 4 year Rye is another. These are definitely worth picking up if found. Pretty much anything from High West is good as well, though those bottles are in the next price bracket.

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      #3
      Excellent. I'm not sure when the correction was posted but I wasn't seeing it when I made my post here. As I hope was clear in my post, my intent wasn't to be an a-hole about a mistake, but merely to clarify to avoid reader confusion.

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