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jeff
08-19-2002, 15:05
Does anyone know how L&G plans on converting Woodford Reserve from BF produced bourbon to L&G produced bourbon? Will they call this new bourbon "Woodford Reserve" or give it a different name? I would think that with the success of the current WR they would be a little concerned about the change. Will the new stuff be made from the same mash bill as the old? Also, last time I was at the L&G distillery the guide said that they are currently aging a 4 grain bourbon, but didn't go into detail. Does anyone know anything about this or when it will be released? Thanks for your expertise!

**DONOTDELETE**
08-19-2002, 15:18
Jeff according to information I recieved last year on the L&G tour they have no intention of changing Woodford Reserve at all from the way they are doing it now. It's selling and is well a respected small batch bourbon.The new pot-stilled bourbons will have new names. The new bourbon isn't quite ready yet and will have to age a bit longer, but it should be getting close.The four grain mashbill you spoke of is news to me, and quite exciting. We should be able to get the skinny on things very shortly when we have our special StraightBourbon.Com tasting event on Sept 19th.

bluesbassdad
08-20-2002, 12:56
Does "four-grain" mean both rye and wheat?

Is this unique in today's market? Has it been done in the past?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

jeff
08-20-2002, 14:49
Yes. Our tour guide said that it was a four grain bill including both rye and wheat. I have heard that this was done by some distilleries prior to prohibition, but not much since. Should be interesting. If anyone has any contacts at L&G it would be great to hear the whole story.

kitzg
08-20-2002, 15:01
From my keeping my ear to the ground, some in the industry have opened up to experimentation. Buffalo Trace is clearly one that is. With an expensive remodelled historic distillery Brown-Forman will want to build on their success of Woodford Reserve with somethinig great at Labrot & Graham. Experimentation is one way to do that. Of course copper pot stills themselves are one way.

Lincoln Henderson is a bright guy (and nice, too!) and we'll look for a lot from B-F

**DONOTDELETE**
08-20-2002, 15:17
HUZZAH! GREG! Lincoln Henderson is a font of wisdom. Our tasting event there will be supercalifragilisticexpealidosious! ( or something like that - you try to spell it damn it! And *NO* cheating!)

MurphyDawg
08-20-2002, 16:14
SUPERCALIFRAJILISTICEXPEALIDOCIOUS!!


at least thats how I would spell it. or you could jsut bave said:

"Our tasting event there will be BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!".


TomC

kitzg
08-21-2002, 09:59
Since this forum is about bourbon I normally don't mention other spirits. But one thing that Lincoln Henderson and I share is interest in tequila. Lincoln spent a lot of time developing a product for B-F. If you think most folks know little about bourbon (which is pretty true) you should see the lack of understanding of good tequila. It pains me to buy somebody a shot of excellent tequila and have them "shoot" it. Just as it pains me to see someone take a great bourbon and do the same. That's why my premium stuff never sits out where just anybody might throw it into Coke or Sprite (no offense to those of you who do, please use your own bottle.)

One of the most successful bar owners I know told a class of mine (a bit to my chagrin since it was a class) that drinking good spirits is like good sex.... it should be well appreciated and last a long time. Amen to that.

bourbonv
10-05-2003, 08:13
Jeff,
My conversations with Chris Morris and Lincoln Henderson tell me there are two camps in Brown-Forman when it comes to dealing with the new whiskey.

The First Camp believes that Woodford Reserve is a fantastic product selling well the way it is and they should not mess with it at all. The problem is Mr. Brown wants pot still whiskey in the product so they have started putting some in in small amounts. A new label and name would be needed for new products.

The other camp believes they should change the name of the distillery to Woodford Resrve Distillery, Labrot and Graham Proprietors. They would then name every product Woodford Reserve with a caviat such as "Woodford Reserve Wheated Bourbn" or "Woodford Reserve Four Grain Bourbon".

In Brown-Forman tradition, it will take a long time to decide what they want to do, but you can be sure they will consider every angle and make the choice best for their sales. You can not argue with their past successes.

Mike Veach

bobbyc
10-05-2003, 12:36
Woodford Resrve Distillery, Labrot and Graham Proprietors.


It would have been a good idea except it's been done.

"Lem Motlow"

That camp needs to camp, and think a little more

kitzg
10-06-2003, 06:31
Jeff,
The problem is Mr. Brown wants pot still whiskey in the product so they have started putting some in in small amounts.




Mike, just as you argue against accountants some of my biggest arguments have been with family of long-time family controlled firms. When I worked for Bill Stokely on Gatorade he insisted on a number of really stupid ideas. He also engineered the finances so that eventually Quaker bought the company basically for nothing by being able to get Gatorade and sell off all other assets for about what they had paid for the firm.

Anyway, while the pot stills are romantic the adage is "never mess with a successful product UNLESS you absolutely can improve it!"

Line extending - more products with the WR name -- is likely the best way to go in the long run. But wise-man Bobby is right, IMHO. No need to copy the Jack Daniels idea even if it is the same firm.

bourbonv
10-06-2003, 07:02
Greg,
The big problem that has so many in the company calling from the name change is the the name itself. When they hear people pronounce it "Lab rot" they cringe. The theory is by changing the name to "Woodford Reserve Distillery" with Labrot and Graham proprietors will minimize the damage.

It also may help to remember that the proper name for the bourbon now is something like "Woodford Reserve Master Distiller's Selection". This would dovetail nicely with the idea of naming all of the products Woodford Reserve with a descriptor added to it.
Mike Veach

bobbyc
10-06-2003, 08:49
It also may help to remember that the proper name for the bourbon now is something like "Woodford Reserve Master Distiller's Selection". This would dovetail nicely with the idea of naming all of the products Woodford Reserve with a descriptor added to it.



You would like to see it done this way? I didn't ask before, I think I can guess now, this is also what Chris and Lincoln would like as well.

They did a nice job restoring L&G. I suppose they have never stopped bringing those Old Forester barrels from Louisville. I am left to wonder what they have there. It's a distillery sure enough. It's too early to give a verdict either way, I did think we'd be able to proclaim success last September.

Bob
10-06-2003, 10:02
Bobby,

Without a doubt, the L & G Distillery looks beautiful. Now, they just need to get some of that pot-stilled bourbon out there for us. We have all been waiting a long time to know what they're going to do out there. I for one, find it hard to believe that they would go to all that expense of restoring the distillery, only to mix barrels of pot-stilled Bourbon with Old Forester. If they can produce a good quality pot-stilled Bourbon, doesn't it make sense that they would want to market at least some of it as the one and only currently distilled KY Pot-Stilled Bourbon? Seems to me that would be quite a distinction, but once again, they have to be making a good product to do that. I wonder if they've had some problems. Woodford Reserve has its following with their current product, I'd say leave that alone and give us the Pot-Stills (assuming its worth bottling on its own)! That's just my opinion of course... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif

Bob

bourbonv
10-06-2003, 11:11
Bobby,
I am not sure which way I would prefer it to be done. I see plus and minus points for both sides. I am just glad it is not my decision to make. I think from a marketing point of view Chris would prefer the Woodford Reserve name on all, but as a history buff he would like to see a chance to bring back some old brand names.

Mike Veach

ratcheer
10-06-2003, 16:02
Oh, no. There is another thread where people are saying that, recently, OF is not tasting as good as it used to.

Now, we have heard that the pot stilled L&G does not taste so good, itself.

And, here, the idea that they are adding the pot stilled L&G to OF! Could it be the reason OF is tasting worse, recently? (This is not confirmed by me, but others have said it).

I hope not! OF has been a quality product at a reasonable price for a long, long time. Please don't go screwing with it!

Tim

kitzg
10-06-2003, 16:37
If they can produce a good quality pot-stilled Bourbon, doesn't it make sense that they would want to market at least some of it as the one and only currently distilled KY Pot-Stilled Bourbon?
Bob



That's just the point. They can't get good bourbon out of the pot stills. If they could, they wouldn't mix a little in just so they can say they are.

They've got product -- but they bet you would not like it if you tasted it.

OneCubeOnly
10-06-2003, 16:52
They can't get good bourbon out of the pot stills.



Why do they even bother running the stills!? Is it solely to maintain the illusion that they're making Woodford Reserve? Or is there some hope that aging will make this stuff palatable!?

cowdery
10-06-2003, 18:18
I hope someone is devising a proper punishment for the people who advocate changing the name of the distillery. B-F went to the trouble and expense of acquiring and restoring an authentic historic distillery and they gave it one of its historic names (the only one they owned). "Woodford Reserve" has no history, except that the distillery is located in Woodford County. Sure, a lot of companies have zero respect for history, but B-F isn't one of them. Authenticity has value and the Labrot and Graham name is authentic.

That said, the distillery doesn't need to be named Woodford Reserve for them to treat Woodford Reserve as a brand capable of extensions.

MurphyDawg
10-06-2003, 22:07
Hmmm. . . I wonder if they just have to sit on the pot still stuff longer. All of the pot still stuff I have seen in my meager experience with scotch and bourbon had had to be at least 10 years old to be a worthwhile experience. I wonder if its not just a matter of whether its good or not (and last year when we tasted it, I did not htink it was very good), but that its just not quite ready yet. I know that we all want to see this stuff come to market 9and not just in a bottle of Woodford Reserve, which was just fine the way it was. But maybe a coupla more years of patience will be worth it in the end.


TomC

mickblueeyes
10-09-2003, 06:40
When I spoke with Lincoln Henderson a couple of months back, he basically reiterated what many have already said here. The potstill is ready, but no one expected that Woodford Reserve would be selling like it is today. His point was that if they were to release the potstill now, they would only have enough to service a couple of major shops in KY.

What he has mentioned doing is blending potstill with the Old Forester in increasing amounts, as more whiskey matures. Eventually, (say 5 years) the entire whiskey would be 100% potstill.

As far as the 4 grain mash goes, he only mentioned in the last issue of Malt Advocate that he has been experimenting with it. You must take into account, he was in a world-class BS session with every other KY distiller, so "experimenting" may just mean he though about it or made some sample mashes. Certainly a four-grain mash would be revolutionary in the world of whiskey, though, in all honesty, I don't see any benefit to it. The smokiness/spiciness of the rye would overpower the wheat to the point that it would become another filler grain like barley. I have yet to see any rye recipe Bourbon where the malted barley character is even evident and I don't see how wheat would be any different in a mashbill including rye.

jeff
10-09-2003, 06:55
I was told last time there that they were aging some 4-grain bourbon, but not how much or how old it was. I personally am quite interested to see how this will turn out. You're right that the rye would overpower the wheat, but maybe the wheat will mellow the rye? And of course it all depends on what ratio of wheat to rye is used in the mashbill.

mickblueeyes
10-09-2003, 07:04
It will be interesting to see! I think that the wheat would have to be in excess of the rye by a minimum (guesstimate) of 25% in order to feel any effect whatsoever. That then begs the question, is it worth it. If you have 70% corn, 10% barley, 13% wheat and 7% rye. So you have to lower the corn, which may affect the overall taste. In essence, I think you will end up with a rye or wheated recipe bourbon. We shall see! Lincoln is a good guy and a great distiller, if anyone can make it work, he can!

bourbonv
10-13-2003, 10:48
Just had lunch with Chris Morris. They have not released it to the press yet, but the distillery name has been changed to Woodford Reserve Distillery, Labrot and Graham Proprietors.

Mike Veach

Bob
10-13-2003, 11:44
Hi Mike,

Any new info from Chris regarding their plans for the distillery's pot-stilled Bourbon?

Bob

bourbonv
10-13-2003, 12:26
Sorry Bob,
We were talking about the Birthday Bourbon for the next couple of years and the distilling at Mt. Vernon next week, but not the pot still whiskey. I will ask him when I see him at Mt Vernon next week.
Mike Veach

MurphyDawg
10-13-2003, 13:03
Well thats unfortunate, but not as bad as it could be. I liked the name Labrot & Graham as the distillery name, and I think Chuck said it is one of the traditional names. I have found myself leaning old-school on a lot of these choices recently.


TomC

bourbonv
10-13-2003, 13:16
Tom,
I agree with you, but I understand why it was done. To have people walk in to a liquor store and mispronounce your name is not what a salesman wants hear. This does lead to the next question and that is how are they going to handle the different expression from the Woodford Reserve Distillery. It looks like to me that they will be all Woodford Reserve with a qualifier such as "Four Grain" or "Wheat Recipe".
Mike Veach

bluesbassdad
10-13-2003, 13:47
Tom,



Well thats unfortunate, but not as bad as it could be.



You got that right. I was steeling myself against the possibility of "Labrot & Graham Distillery, Lem Woodford, Proprietor". http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield