Distilled Spirits 101before you even drink it J

 

TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) is the federal agency that regulates alcohol in the United States.  It has strict definitions of what can be called Vodka, Whiskey, Rum, Gin, Tequila, etc

 

CONFUCIUS WISDOMTM Baijiu

It is the worlds oldest distilled spirits. The main ingredient is sorghum.  It is all natural and not flavored.  Aged in ceramic jars, it does not pick up any extra taste, aroma, or color.  Baijiu is a unique category.  However, TTB has not created a category for it since it hasnt been widely sold in the U.S.

 

Vodka

TTB defines Vodka as neutral spirits so distilled, or so treated after distillation with charcoal or other materials, as to be without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.   Neutral spirits or alcohol are distilled spirits produced from any material at or above 190 proof, and, if bottled, bottled at not less than 80 proof.

 

In plain English: Vodka is 95% pure alcohol plus water.  Regardless what ingredients are used, distilled to almost pure alcohol, there is hardly any difference among all Vodkas. As such, Vodka is often called a spirit without spirits.   Requiring no aging, Vodka is cheap and quick to produce.

 

Whisky

TTB defines Whisky as an alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash of grain produced at less than 190 proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to whisky, stored in oak containers (except that corn whisky need not be so stored), and bottled at not less than 80 proof,

 

In plain English: Whisky maintains the taste, aroma, and characteristics from its original ingredients.  It picks up the color and sweet, wood flavor of oak.  Requiring aging, it is more expensive to make.

 

Rum

TTB defines Rum as an alcoholic distillate from the fermented juice of sugar cane, or other sugar cane by-products, produced at less than 190 proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to rum, and bottled at not less than 80 proof

 

In plain English:   Rum is a spirit fermented and distilled from sugar cane or sugar cane molasses. 

 

Gin

TTB defines Gin as a product obtained by original distillation from mash, or by redistillation of distilled spirits, or by mixing neutral spirits, with or over juniper berries and other aromatics, or with or over extracts and includes mixtures of gin and neutral spirits.  It shall derive its main characteristic flavor from juniper berries and be bottled at not less than 80 proof.

 

In plain English:   Gin is a spirit with the flavor of juniper berries. 

 

Tequila

TTB defines Tequila as an alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash derived principally from the Agave... distilled in such a manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics

and bottled at not less than 80 proof  Tequila is a distinctive product of Mexico.

 

In plain English: Tequila is a spirit fermented and distilled from Agave and produced solely in Mexico.

 

Brandy

TTB defines Brandy as an alcoholic distillate from the fermented juice, mash, or wine of fruit, , produced at less than 190 proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to the product, and bottled at not less than 80 proof.

 

In plain English:   Brandy is a spirit fermented and distilled from fruit, commonly grapes.