I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. Please consider it disclosed. I’d like to thank Verde Brand Communications for providing this sample to me with no strings attached.
Do two different types of whiskey represent the same kind of spirit? That is tonight's question. Is a bourbon whiskey and a rye whiskey the same kind of spirit? Or are they both just "whiskey?"
The reason I ask is that as we see new bonded products come onto the market, we need to take a look at what makes a product able to be labeled as Bottled in Bond. We all know the high points: 100 proof, at least four years old, the product of one distilling season. But I once made a poster out of the Bottled in Bond Act. And if that were all it was, I wouldn't have needed to make it two by three feet in size. It's a long act, and it goes into a lot of detail.
The part of the 1897 Act that peaked my interest was as follows:
"Provided, That for convenience in such process any number of packages of spirits of the same kind, differing only in proof, but produced at the same distillery by the same distiller, may be mingled together in a cistern provided for that purpose, but nothing herein shall authorize or permit any mingling of different products, or of the same products of different distilling seasons."
In today's regs, that boils down to the following from Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter I, Subchapter A, Part 5, Subpart D:
"§5.42 Prohibited practices.
(3) The words “bond”, “bonded”, “bottled in bond”, “aged in bond”, or phrases containing these or synonymous terms, shall not be used on any label or as part of the brand name of domestic distilled spirits unless the distilled spirits are:
(i) Composed of the same kind of spirits produced from the same class of materials;"
So I ask again. Would a mingling of a bourbon with a whiskey with a different majority grain qualify? Or is the interpretation of "spirit" more loosely applied so that the generic term "whiskey" is enough to be eligible? I'm not a lawyer, so I'm going to leave this up to you to decide. Please feel free to leave your opinion in the comments below. I really don't believe that there was any intent to deceive and I applaud people trying to get more bonded products out into the market. I'm just asking the question on whether the labeling was approved appropriately.
But enough about what's on the outside of the bottle, let's talk about what's on the inside. Outryder from Wyoming Whiskey is a blend of Straight whiskeys distilled in November of 2011. One whiskey is a bourbon with a mash bill of 68% corn, 20% winter rye, and 12% malted barley. The second has no majority grain and has a mash bill of 48% winter rye, 40% corn, and 12% malted barley. The suggested retail price is about $55.
Purchase info: This sample was provided to me for review purposes. Suggested retail price is $54.99.
Details: 50% ABV. A blend of two different mash bills. One Bourbon, one American Whiskey.
Nose: Reminds me of a Canadian Whiskey. Bubblegum, mint, butterscotch and sawdust.
Mouth: Follows the nose with bubblegum and mint. This is supported by eucalyptus, black pepper, baking spices and black tea.
Finish: Warm and of medium length. Lingering butterscotch, eucalyptus
Thoughts: This is pretty good and is worth taking a look at if you see it somewhere. I like it and if I found myself in Wyoming, I could certainly see it coming home with me as a souvenir.
I'm assuming you are done shopping for others at this point. But there is nothing to say that you shouldn't get yourself a little something now that you've spent the last month or more getting things from others. If you are in the market for handcrafted bourbon related items, stop by BourbonGuyGifts.com to see what I've been making lately.