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Back in the day, I used to see Maker's 46 advertised without the "Kentucky Straight Bourbon" label. Instead, it was just called "Kentucky Bourbon Whisky" as in this picture:

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However, they are now bottling it with the "Straight" label, as seen here: enter image description here

It was my understanding that in order to be a "straight" bourbon whisky, you need to be matured in 100% American oak, period. But Maker's 46 is finished with French oak staves, so how are they able to circumvent this categorization law?

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Actually, the label doesn't say it's Straight Bourbon Whisky. It says it's Straight Bourbon Whisky finished with french oak. So, it was Straight Bourbon before it was finished.

Jim Beam probably didn't use Straight Bourbon in earlier releases, or made sure they can legally put "Straight" on the label in the meantime.

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