In the past, I've poked fun at some of the questionable claims on whiskey labels, but occasionally, I see a real one that out does my parodies. A case in point is the newly registered label for Zachory Boone Bourbon. This label comes to us from Levecke Corporation a distributor/rectifier (i.e., not a distiller) in Mira Loma, California.
Here is the excellent label description for this Kentucky Straight Bourbon:
From legend long ago...At the age of 21 years, Zachory T. Boone cooked up his first batch of bourbon whiskey using the same distilling techniques used by his great grandfather. At the heart of the recipe was a wonderful blend of premium American grains and pure Kentucky mountain water used to create the perfect sour mash for fermentation. The sour mash was distilled in a multi-column still and the patiently laid to rest for over 3 years in charred oak barrels.
Today our modern distillery still uses Zachory Boone's same quality ingredients, same Kentucky mountain water and the same care in aging the whiskey to achieve the full bourbon character that makes Zachory Boone one of Kentucky's finest bourbon whiskeys.If there were an award for whiskey label bullshit, this would clearly get it. It does a great job of saying a lot without telling us anything. Zachory Boone was such an innovator that he used "American grains" and "Kentucky mountain water" to make his bourbon. He then distilled it in a "multi-column still" and "patiently" laid it to rest in charred oak barrels (well, not that patiently given that it's only three years old). So based on this detailed description, we now know that this is a bourbon that was made like pretty much every other bourbon in the world. Wow, that's helpful.
In the second paragraph we learn that "our modern distillery" (I'm sorry, whose modern distillery? I'm not aware that Levecke Corporation has a distillery) uses the same quality ingredients. Imagine that, just like old Zachory used grain and water, so does the distillery that makes it now. It's like a bourbon time machine to bring you back to a time when bourbon was made with grain and water (which of course, have always been the ingredients). Speaking of which, the label never mentions when the alleged Zachory Boone allegedly made his first bourbon. Was it in 1875? 1908? 1972? Last week?
But it gets stranger. The bottom line on the label says "Distilled from barley and malt mash." Er, what? A "whiskey distilled from malt mash" is defined as distilled from not less than 51% barley and aged in used barrels whereas bourbon is composed of at least 51% corn and aged in new barrels. I guess old Zachory really was an innovator; he made a Kentucky bourbon that isn't even a bourbon. (Oh, and note to the TTB who are supposed to be making sure that labels comply with their classifications before approving them: Wake the fuck up!)
But hey, the proof is in how it tastes, and this guy liked it (Seriously, watch the whole video. It's almost as funny as the label).