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Whiskey distilled from a Rye Mash


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I'm getting closer to finishing the work on my distillery renovations and hope to receive my DSP in January or February of 2016. I'm finalizing the products I'm planning on making and working on labels to submit to COLA once our DSP is granted. I'd like to make an unaged/white Rye but I'd also like to label it as a Whiskey. Given that the two designations (Unaged/white and Whiskey) are mutually exclusive unless we're talking about Corn Whiskey, I thought that I would rest the spirits in a new toasted barrel for a few days to satisfy the oak requirement before bottling it as a "Whiskey distilled from a Rye mash".

I would like to use the toasted barrels I have received since I was going to use them to age the Corn Whiskey I also plan on producing. I figured that a couple days holding a Rye Mash wouldn't affect them too much for aging Corn Whiskey. I also have new charred barrels on hand but if I use them here, I can't use them to age any sort of classic aged Rye or Bourbon whiskey. This seems like a much better use of barrel resources except for this statement from the BAM Class and Type definition for Whiskey distilled from a Rye Mash: Whisky produced in the U.S. at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent rye and stored in used oak containers.

Do I need to find some used barrels to satisfy this requirement or can I use new, toasted barrels and still call the resulting product Whiskey distilled from a Rye Mash?

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I don't think that "white" and "whisk(e)y" are mutually exclusive. The word "white" does not appear anywhere in § 5.22 or § 5.23 and appears only in the context of "White Russian" in BAM ch 4. Furthermore, none of these documents set a minimum time in contact with the oak unless using the "straight" designation. Thus, if your whisky is aged in manner that does not impart significant color, I see no reason why you could not call it a "white whisky."

As for the new/used cask question, that is a very interesting point. What might work with your set up would be to take the spirit that you intend to age in the new charred casks and use it to briefly christen the new toasted casks, rendering them used. Then, transfer that spirit into the new charred casks for actually maturation. The standards do NOT state that bourbon or rye whiskey must be aged EXCLUSIVELY in new charred casks. Alternatively, you could do this: line up all your toasted casks. Take 200L (assuming you're using ASBs) and fill the first cask. Then, disgorge that spirit into the next cask, and so on down the line. You can then bottle that spirit as a special batch ("Ode to § 5.22") or continue to age it. As they were all used to age a beverage, they are all used casks. Do some more research on your end though, as I am a distiller, not an attorney.

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