One of the recent developments that has come about due to the growth of the craft distilling industry in the States is the increased availability, and popularity, of white, unaged whiskeys.
Under US law, whiskey is spirit which has spent time ‘stored in oak barrels’ but there is no minimum length of time stipulated, as there is in the EU. Therefore ‘white dog’, as it is commonly known, is sold in an attempt to generate cashflow for distilleries while the rest of their spirit ages in cask until it is more like whisky we all know and love it.
Thing is, it has also proved popular with cocktail barmen in the USA who use white whiskey in a number of cocktails – both traditional and contemporary – so now the big names in US whiskey are entering the market.
Over on his blog, US whiskey writer Chuck Cowdrey reports that Jim Beam have lined up a white rye whiskey called Jacob’s Ghost. This has in fact been matured for a year in cask, but then filtered to remove any colouring which may have developed.
Jack Daniel’s take on it is their new Jack Daniel’s Unaged Tennessee Rye, made up from a mash of 70% rye, 18% corn and 12% malted barley. It has not spent any time at all in cask, so therefore the makers cannot even use the term whiskey on the label.
Both new products are bottled at 40% and will be available in the USA, with no plans to release them in any other markets as yet.