American Distilleries

American whiskey
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American whiskey is a distilled beverage produced in the United States from a fermented mash of cereal grain.

Types

The production line at the Maker's Mark distillery.

The most common types listed in the federal regulations are:
* Bourbon whiskey, made from mash that consists of at least 51% corn (maize).
* Rye whiskey, made from mash that consists of at least 51% rye.
* Corn whiskey, made from mash that consists of at least 80% corn (maize).
* Straight whiskey, (unspecific as to grain) is a whiskey aged in charred new oak containers for 2 years or more and distilled at not more than 80 percent alcohol by volume derived from less than 51% of any one grain.
* Tennessee whiskey, an American whiskey that undergoes a filtering stage called the Lincoln County Process, in which the whiskey is filtered through a thick layer of maple charcoal before it is put into casks for aging.

The "named types" of American whiskey must be distilled to not more than 80 percent alcohol by volume. All "named types" but corn whiskey must be aged in charred new oak containers: it does not have to be aged but, if so it must be in new or unused un-charred oak barrels and aged briefly, e.g. six months.

Whiskey aging in charred new oak barrels at the Jack Daniel's distillery.

If the aging for a "named type" reaches 2 years or beyond, the whiskey may be called "straight" e.g. "straight rye whiskey". "Straight whiskey", without naming a grain, is a whiskey aged in charred new oak containers for 2 years or more and distilled at not more than 80 percent alcohol by volume derived from less than 51% of any one grain.

American blended whiskeys may combine straight whiskey variously with un-aged whiskey, grain neutral spirits, flavorings and colorings.

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