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cowdery
02-26-2009, 16:27
This is either brilliant or insane, I can’t decide which.

Jim Beam has a new product called “Red Stag by Jim Beam.” The label says it is “Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey infused with natural flavors.” The flavor in this case is black cherry.

The potentially insane part is not the product itself. It is their use of the Jim Beam name. The Jim Beam logo appears prominently on the capsule and in the background on the face label. The product uses the standard, square Jim Beam bottle. The side label says, “Made with Jim Beam Bourbon.”

It is 80° proof (40% alc./vol.), like white label Jim Beam.

The letter from Beam Global’s Chief Marketing Officer, Rory Finlay, says it is “something new, something different, and our first innovation in over a decade.”

I suspect he is referring to Jacob’s Well, a bourbon Beam introduced about 10 years ago, touted as “the first micro-distilled bourbon.” The idea was to capitalize on the micro-brewery craze. There was only one problem. “Micro-distilled” wasn’t just marketing fluff, it was a flat-out lie.

Beam had finessed “Small Batch” by honestly explaining that it referred to selection and bottling, not distillation. “Micro-distilled” was just a howler, no way around it. The product quickly failed and I think Beam learned from that experience. Jacob’s Well aside, Beam doesn’t make many mistakes, so although my first reaction to Red Stag was negative, I resolved to keep an open mind.

Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have said, about a book, “if you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you will like.” There is some of that here. If you strictly drink whiskey straight, don’t even think about trying Red Stag. If, however, you like whiskey cocktails, or whiskey-based liqueurs, you might go for this. The black cherry flavor is very good, very rich, much better tasting than the Philips Union cherry-flavored whiskey that came out a few years ago.

Black cherry is my favorite Life Saver flavor, so I like Red Stag. Although not classed as a liqueur, it put me in mind of Wild Turkey’s American Honey. It is not a similar flavor, but the same kind of beast, and probably something you would drink on the same kind of occasion.

Finlay’s letter also says, “Red Stag is created though a unique, artisanal, natural infusion process where black cherry flavors are slowly and carefully infused into our fine, four year old bourbon.”

As a whiskey drinker, I probably would dial back the black cherry a little bit to let more of the whiskey taste come through, but I suspect the target audience will be glad it tastes the way it does. It is not as cloyingly sweet as most liqueurs.

Right now, I’m enjoying Red Stag on-the-rocks with a little Stirrings orange bitters. Manhattan-ish, it is a drink I will have again.

The risk is that Red Stag may confuse further a consumer who is already uncertain about what different kinds of spirits really are, but I like it when producers take risks. Therefore, if you like this sort of thing, give Red Stag a try.

Squash
02-26-2009, 18:48
Based on your post, if I see it, I'll probably try it.

How new is it? When should I expect to see it in Northern Indiana?

marco246
02-26-2009, 20:34
Hmmmm. Not sure I'd want to spring for a 750. Maybe if a smaller bottle comes along.

When I first saw the title of your post, I thought perhaps Red Stag represented Beam's move up-market to challenge the really expensive niche whiskeys such as PVW or Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection. In my view, their premium brands don't do that. Maybe it's meant to compete against some of the experimentals BT is making.

cowdery
02-26-2009, 21:05
It's brand new, but it should be at retail very soon if it isn't already.

I don't know a retail price, but I expect it will be more than JB white but less than black. If that's not where it is, or the same as one of them, they're making a mistake. It's Jim Beam white plus flavoring, so that's where it should be.

As for who it's positioned against, I would say they're going after the drinker of flavored vodka, but they're really on new ground here. It may also play in the same space as Wild Turkey American Honey, although it's not a liqueur.

A lot of people here won't like this. I'm not a big cocktails guy, but I like them well enough to like this. Ditto with liqueurs, although I don't drink straight liqueurs very often and even this is close to being too sweet.

sku
02-26-2009, 22:08
I suppose it was inevitable. Like Absolut and Bacardi, I'm sure we'll be seeing all manner of flavored Bourbons soon, from coconut to peach to chocolate. Hey, if someone wants to drink it, fine by me; it just isn't my thing.

bourbonguyjapan
02-27-2009, 02:44
I'm sure it will be over here with a different name in a year or two.
The right proof too!
Beam won't be mentioned though.

StraightBoston
02-27-2009, 04:12
I suppose it was inevitable. Like Absolut and Bacardi, I'm sure we'll be seeing all manner of flavored Bourbons soon, from coconut to peach to chocolate. Hey, if someone wants to drink it, fine by me; it just isn't my thing.

Isn't there Philips Union out your way? (And for that matter Southern Comfort!)

However, having tasted Sweet Lucy, I have to agree with your last sentence!

Dr. François
02-27-2009, 05:28
Any predictions on the filing date of a trade-dress complaint by Buffalo Trace/Sazerac over the use of antlers and "Stag"?

Any of our attorneys care to weigh in?

Likelihood of confusion?

Secondary meaning?

Similarity of market or distribution channels?

kickert
02-27-2009, 05:41
Any predictions on the filing date of a trade-dress complaint by Buffalo Trace/Sazerac over the use of antlers and "Stag"?

Any of our attorneys care to weigh in?

Likelihood of confusion?

Secondary meaning?

Similarity of market or distribution channels?

I had only read the post title and not even seen the bottle before I was thinking this.

The Boozer
02-27-2009, 09:14
Any predictions on the filing date of a trade-dress complaint by Buffalo Trace/Sazerac over the use of antlers and "Stag"?

Any of our attorneys care to weigh in?

Likelihood of confusion?

Secondary meaning?

Similarity of market or distribution channels?

BT will wait until it gets marketed wide enough and Beam has spent some cash getting the name out to the general public before filing the trade-name infringment lawsuit. Sure the lawyers at Beam are prepared for this. Usually have to run this through legal before porceeding (marketing & selling). But who knows - lawyers aren't always the brightest (sorry Doc, know to many lawyers who think too highly of themselves and make major mistakes)
TJ

sku
02-27-2009, 11:41
Any predictions on the filing date of a trade-dress complaint by Buffalo Trace/Sazerac over the use of antlers and "Stag"?

Any of our attorneys care to weigh in?

Likelihood of confusion?

Secondary meaning?

Similarity of market or distribution channels?

I'm not a copyright/trademark lawyer, but it seems like Beam would have a defense here: Red Stag, a flavored Bourbon, vs. George T. Stagg, a high-proof sipping Bourbon. The Beam label looks nothing like the GTS bottle and prominently states it is a Jim Beam product. Is there really likely to be much confusion?

There's also Stag's Leap wine and there are prominent antlers (much closer to the GTS label) on The Dalmore. I believe there is also a blended Scotch known as Highland Stag, though I'm not sure if it's available in the US.

OscarV
02-27-2009, 12:09
Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have said, about a book, “if you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you will like.” .

I absolutely love that quote!!!
Lincoln would have been a success in our new millenium of Democrats-Republicans-Media bullsh*t talking points policy making schemes.

TomFischer
02-27-2009, 13:30
To answer your question, Jim Beam tells BourbonBlog.com that Red Stag will be on the shelves for sale this June. Tom

smokinjoe
02-27-2009, 14:12
To answer your question, Jim Beam tells BourbonBlog.com that Red Stag will be on the shelves for sale this June. Tom

:lol: Nice plug, Tom! :lol:

ILLfarmboy
02-27-2009, 15:47
Were it Beam Black with flavoring I'd be more likely to buy a bottle. As things stand, reading through this thread leaves me wondering if anyone makes black cherry bitters. I'm thinking along the lines of an Old Fashioned made with Weller Antique and black cherry bitters. That sounds a lot better. But who knows, I just may buy a bottle of Red Stag.

sku
02-27-2009, 15:56
As things stand, reading through this thread leaves me wondering if anyone makes black cherry bitters.

Fee Brothers makes a cherry bitters, but I've never tried it. I'm not aware of a black cherry.

craigthom
02-27-2009, 17:42
I'm not surprised they use the Jim Beam name. It's the world's best-selling bourbon, right? It's available in every bar.

They used the name on the Beam & Cola back in the '80s, so it's not as if they haven't used the name before when targeting people that aren't straight bourbon drinkers.

Dr. François
03-01-2009, 18:08
lawyers aren't always the brightest (sorry Doc, know to many lawyers who think too highly of themselves and make major mistakes)
TJ

No offense. I'm not a lawyer. :grin:



There's also Stag's Leap wine and there are prominent antlers (much closer to the GTS label) on The Dalmore. I believe there is also a blended Scotch known as Highland Stag, though I'm not sure if it's available in the US.

Stag's Leap is a geographical region in Napa Valley, and geographical locations are fairly open domain.
I think the overlap would be this: Both bourbons, both use antlers, both use a variation of the same word: /s/t/a/g/

BT might not win, but it certainly will challenge.


As for the Red Stag itself, I'm not interested in the product. I might try it in a 50ml bottle.

funknik
03-02-2009, 10:23
Stag's Leap is a geographical region in Napa Valley, and geographical locations are fairly open domain.
I think the overlap would be this: Both bourbons, both use antlers, both use a variation of the same word: /s/t/a/g/.
Going by your first statement about geographic regions...by the same token, George T. Stagg is the name of a person and a stag is a deer, so they don't really imply the same thing. The antlers are similar, but I don't really think BT would have a legitimate complaint here.

As for the product, it sounds nasty...thanks Chuck for the heads-up, I will be sure to avoid it unless I can get a 50ml.

pepcycle
03-02-2009, 13:23
Barton never got as much free advertising as when it got sued by BF.

What better way to get free publicity than for the 800lb gorilla in the room to throw its weight around a little.

I bet they settle for less than the cost of real advertising.

Enough philosophizing about law, something I disrespect often and know very little about.

I am a fan of infused whiskey. I have done both natural and artificially flavored cherry infusions. Some with and some without sugar added.

Unsweetened Black Cherries make a great infusion.

Just like I might buy premade Julep every so often (not very often), I'd give this a go.

How convenient. I've made my infusions with a variety of Shelve Height Bourbons and find that using premiums is often of little influence and possibly an injustice.
I've made great bourbons into mediocre infusions, a true achievement in alchemy.

(This from the man who crossed a flounder with a jellyfish in an attempt to get filet of flounder. A bony jellyfish was pretty useless)

cowdery
03-02-2009, 18:14
I can confirm what Tom said. June 1 is the official release date.

On the rocks with a healthy splash of Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters, it's a tasty drink.

This is aimed at the flavored vodka crowd, the "I'll try anything" crowd, and the "cocktail creation is my life" crowd. It is not intended for most of the people here.

cowdery
03-03-2009, 11:46
For your continued edifcation, the Red Stag side label.

cowdery
03-09-2009, 07:55
Something that occurred to me. The ultimate infusion is barrel aging itself.

Hondo
04-26-2009, 04:25
I'm interested in trying this so I have been keeping an eye out for it. I know it has a June release date but I thought maybe a little of it might be released early. Most of the retailers I have asked don't seem to have a clue about it.

Has anyone seen Red Stag on the shelf yet?

funknik
04-26-2009, 04:28
Has anyone seen Red Stag on the shelf yet?
I saw Red Stag on the shelf yesterday -- my local grocery store got ri(1), Beam Rye & Red Stag for the first time this week.

JMac72
04-26-2009, 09:36
"Black cherry is my favorite Life Saver flavor, so I like Red Stag. Although not classed as a liqueur, it put me in mind of Wild Turkey’s American Honey. It is not a similar flavor, but the same kind of beast, and probably something you would drink on the same kind of occasion.

Finlay’s letter also says, “Red Stag is created though a unique, artisanal, natural infusion process where black cherry flavors are slowly and carefully infused into our fine, four year old bourbon.”

Considering the strict standards governing what constitutes bourbon and its ingredients; won't Beam have to change their label to classify it as a liqueur?

kickert
04-26-2009, 09:40
Finlay’s letter also says, “Red Stag is created though a unique, artisanal, natural infusion process where black cherry flavors are slowly and carefully infused into our fine, four year old bourbon.”

Considering the strict standards governing what constitutes bourbon and its ingredients; won't Beam have to change their label to classify it as a liqueur?

They are not calling it a bourbon, they are saying they have infused flavor into their bourbon.... thus creating a new product.

Eggman
04-26-2009, 20:17
Howdy,

How about making Red Stag a BOM this year?

Eggman

Hondo
05-25-2009, 16:24
I noticed Red Stag in my local liquor store on Friday and I wanted to give a go, however I didn’t want to buy 750 ml's because I really didn’t think I would care much for it. So I they had some mini's so I grabbed two on the way out the door.

I was out for the weekend of camping with family and friends none of which really care too much for bourbon. Yea, I don't understand it either. :lol: So I drank the first mini neat and liked it. Then I mixed the other with some diet coke and it made a nice drink as well. A couple of people that were close to me got a whiff of it and asked me about it.

The next day I stopped by a liquor store and get a 750 ml bottle to take back to camp. It was a hit with the whole gang, and several people then were willing to try some of my other bourbon's that I had on hand. I had a WLWSR and VOB Bonded as well as a Buffalo Trace and some of them liked these too but had never really tasted bourbon.

Beam may actually be on to something here that interested people in bourbon that are not normally attracted to it.

For me personally, I'll keep some on hand. It won't replace any of my favorites but it was nice for a change and it was pleasant in diet coke if I want to mix something.

Good job JB!

thatred1
05-28-2009, 18:24
Surprise, surprise, it's available here in Ohio, now. My husband saw it in several of his accounts (he's a beer & wine rep) and wondered what the story was. I knew I'd find it here! Thanks, Chuck, for the always very considered opinion. I haven't tried it yet, but might it make a good Manhattan?

ThomasH
05-28-2009, 18:35
I bought a bottle of it a week or so ago. Not bad in a mixed drink but have heard it compared to cough syrup when consumed straight!

Thomas

gr8erdane
06-04-2009, 00:20
I picked up a bottle last week and don't find it objectionable at all. It is what it is. When is the Yellow Monkey by Beam coming out? I love bananas...

kickert
06-16-2009, 06:22
I tried a 50ml of this last night. Because of the the semi-favorable reviews you all were giving it (and since I take a guilty pleasure in WT American Honey), I thought I would give it a try.

Oh goodness is this stuff sweet. Like syrup sweet but without the viscosity. I could not have told you this was 80 proof, nor could I have told you it was an infused bourbon. The cherry flavor is pronounced and I could see this being good mixed in a coke, but there is no real bourbon flavor to it.

I would not buy a bottle, but I would take a glass of mixed drink made with this.

AVB
06-16-2009, 07:39
My emails with Beam on this:

State: PA
Email: the_avb@yahoo.com

Site: Red Stag

Type of Inquiry: Product Information
Inquiry: Suggestions/Comments

Message: Bourbon, by law cannot be artificially flavored. It is terrible
that you would consider calling this bourbon (which it isn't) and putting
the fine name of Jim Beam on it. Call it "Cherry flavored American Whiskey"
but not bourbon.

Reply:

Thanks for your inquiry about Jim Beam’s newest product Red Stag! We always make sure our Brotherhood of Bourbon members are the first to know about what’s new at Jim Beam. At Jim Beam, we value the spirit of bourbon and we have since 1795.

Great question - You are correct that bourbon has to follow certain defined guidelines in order to qualify as “bourbon”. We classify Red Stag as Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey that has been INFUSED With Natural Flavors.

The process of infusing natural flavors into the bourbon and its corresponding verbiage is in compliance with all regulations. As you know, we would never treat fine bourbon with anything but respect. Just as we take the craft of making our whiskey seriously, so have we taken the charge of creating a unique, artisanal and flavorful product that our ancestors would be proud of. Once you taste Red Stag, we hope you will feel the same way.

Please let us know if you have other questions. Be sure to check out www.theRedStag.com for more information and for upcoming news about Red Stag.

In case you haven’t heard the news, Jim Beam® has introduced A Different Breed of Bourbon, Red Stag by Jim Beam™. Learn more about our unique, cherry-infused bourbon at TheRedStag.com. You'll find recipes and tasting notes, and you can Join The Herd to stay informed about promotions and cool events in your neck of the woods! Remember, you must be 21 or older to visit. And don’t forget, you can also gather at the Red Stag watering hole and connect with other Red Stag fans by becoming a friend of Red Stag by Jim Beam on Facebook.

We like hearing from our consumers, so thanks again for contacting us. Have a great day.

Eric
Jim Beam® Customer Care Representative

Reply

Dear Eric,

My whole point is right in the reply you sent.
"In case you haven’t heard the news, Jim Beam® has introduced A Different Breed of Bourbon, Red Stag by Jim Beam™."

It isn't bourbon, different breed or otherwise and you should stop calling it that. I've reviewed over 180 whiskies and I know what bourbon is and as soon as you "infuse" add flavor or otherwise change it from the way it came out of the barrel it isn't bourbon. The same way that the Distiller's Masterpiece, both the Port and Cognac finish, were not considered bourbon. I expect better from Jim Beam unless Fortune Brands is driving the advertising train and then I wouldn't put it past them calling it ambrosia to sell a product.

Regards,

XXXXXXX


No reply to this so far in over a week.

ILLfarmboy
06-16-2009, 07:41
I tried a 50ml of this last night....

The first time I saw this in my area was a 50ml atached to he neck of fifths of Beam White. Then, Red Stag showd up in 750's. At about 17 dollars I passed it up. If the cherry flavor is that pronounced, I'm glad I did. I may look for 50ml's not sold with Beam White. But I have a feeling I will be disapointed.

Still, the idea of a black cherry infusion used for an old fashioned is intriguing. But if the cherry flavor overpowers the bourbon, I just may try to flavor some Weller Antique for such an experiment.

Josh
06-16-2009, 11:09
If only the reviews of the bacon-infused Old Fitz I brought to the Sampler were as good as these!

gr8erdane
06-16-2009, 11:57
Good enough Brad but think of it this way: why use up good Weller Antique for infusion experiments when Beam has already used product you or I probably wouldn't otherwise purchase to get the same results? If black cherry is the taste you're looking for it's got that. And you've still got Weller in the bottle for enjoyment.

ILLfarmboy
06-16-2009, 12:19
Good enough Brad but think of it this way: why use up good Weller Antique for infusion experiments when Beam has already used product you or I probably wouldn't otherwise purchase to get the same results? If black cherry is the taste you're looking for it's got that. And you've still got Weller in the bottle for enjoyment.


I suppose I could always add some Red Stag to some straight bourbon, say, beam black, just to keep everything in the same distillery character, and use that, perhaps one to three, Red Stag to Beam Black. I think I would eliminate the orange slice. Too different from black cherry. I would need to get some cherry bitters. I think someone has mentioned cherry bitters before, not black cherry but cherry. I'm not sure Fee Brothers Old fashioned bitters, which is my favorite, and has a pronounced Christmas spice character, would work well in such a drink.

Jono
06-16-2009, 12:21
Does it share any flavor similarity with cherry cough syrup? Cherry Nyquil?
Or less harsh and mostly sweet?

gothbat
06-16-2009, 13:16
This stuff is definitely too sweet for me, I had some this weekend and I could not taste any whiskey at all! Glad I tried this at a bar and didn't actually buy a bottle because I really didn't like it, not that I was planning on doing so... I pretty much knew what I was getting in to but still had to try it anyway.

gr8erdane
06-16-2009, 13:49
I think that some here have missed the point. Many have said they don't taste the whiskey. I don't think you're supposed to. That's why they add the flavor. This is probably aimed toward the cocktail drinker who doesn't want to taste the overwhelming alcohol in say an infused vodka. Bourbon doesn't give me that alcohol taste so is a good medium to add flavor to for cocktails. And though I'm not the chemist I imagine the aftereffects of one too many might not be as painful the day after.

fishnbowljoe
06-16-2009, 16:11
Does it share any flavor similarity with cherry cough syrup? Cherry Nyquil?
Or less harsh and mostly sweet?

Less harsh and mostly sweet. A manager of a local grocery store liquor department gave me a 50 mil bottle so I could try it. It's very sweet. I use my empty 50 mil bottles to send samples in. I soaked, washed and rinsed this 50 mil bottle. I'm afraid to send a sample in it because there is still a heavy cherry smell with this bottle. Joe

kickert
06-16-2009, 20:01
Less harsh and mostly sweet. A manager of a local grocery store liquor department gave me a 50 mil bottle so I could try it. It's very sweet. I use my empty 50 mil bottles to send samples in. I soaked, washed and rinsed this 50 mil bottle. I'm afraid to send a sample in it because there is still a heavy cherry smell with this bottle. Joe

I had the mini sitting next to a 50ml of American Honey (which is my go to sampling bottle b/c I can get them for $0.50 a piece) and I too was thinking just how nice they would be to send samples. Plastic bottle with a very sturdy cap. I would be interested in buying some of these empty bottles.

gothbat
06-17-2009, 04:55
I think that some here have missed the point. Many have said they don't taste the whiskey. I don't think you're supposed to. That's why they add the flavor. This is probably aimed toward the cocktail drinker who doesn't want to taste the overwhelming alcohol in say an infused vodka. Bourbon doesn't give me that alcohol taste so is a good medium to add flavor to for cocktails. ...

I don't know, maybe, but then I don't see why they'd bother mentioning that it was infused bourbon instead of simply saying black cherry liqueur or something. My assumption is that by telling us that it's implied that they intended for it to have a bourbon taste, if only a slight one. I mean when I have a cocktail with bourbon in it I can taste the bourbon just sometimes more than others. I do have to admit I haven't tried a lot of cocktails with bourbon in them though. You'd think that at the very least the power of suggestion would make you think you sort of taste it but I don't even get that.

cowdery
06-17-2009, 10:14
What people sometimes misunderstand about the regs is that you can't flavor a spirit and call it bourbon, i.e., not disclose the flavoring and the true provenance of the underlying spirit. That's what the regs were designed to prevent, the sale of compound whiskey as straight bourbon.

Once a spirit has become Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey you can't debourbonize it. If you add cherry essence to it, it is then classified as bourbon with cherry essence added to it, but the bourbon is still bourbon. The regs are about truth in labeling and the Red Stag label is truthful. The product is Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey with X, with the X in this case being black cherry and other natural flavors.

Should it be labeled a liqueur?

Liqueur is defined as follows in the Federal regs:

(h) Class 8; cordials and liqueurs. Cordials and liqueurs are products obtained by mixing or redistilling distilled spirits with or over fruits, flowers, plants, or pure juices therefrom, or other natural flavoring materials, or with extracts derived from infusions, percolation, or maceration of such materials, and containing sugar, dextrose, or levulose, or a combination thereof, in an amount not less than 2 1/2 percent by weight of the finished product.

The classification system allows a certain amount of producer choice, in that a product may use any term for which it qualifies. As I read the reg above, the sugar requirement is in addition to the natural sugars in the fruit or juice ingredients and, in fact, fructose isn't mentioned, so I suspect Red Stag does not even qualify to be a liqueur. Even though it tastes very sweet, the sweetness is coming from the bourbon itself and the fruit essences, not from added sugar.

As I've said before, probably already a couple of times in this thread, if you don't generally drink cocktails and don't generally like anything sweeter than straight bourbon itself, then you won't like this stuff. And, in fact, you'll probably think it tastes like cough syrup. Personally, I think they dodged the cough syrup bullet, but it's a close call and your mileage may differ.

gothbat
06-17-2009, 13:20
Well, I guess that's why they call it what they call it, I still think they should have made it taste a little like bourbon though, cherry flavored bourbon sounded good! :]

pepcycle
06-17-2009, 14:37
If I were Beam, I'd be thinking like this.

1. Bourbon has a mystique
2. Bourbon doesn't have a taste that appeals to everyone
3. How can we make this more palatable

Add Flavor!!! that everyone likes.

Voile.

The newest version of LPR.

AVB
06-17-2009, 15:20
Chuck,

While they may be adhering to the letter of the law they are sure not adhering to the spirit (pun intended), The advertising is: "A Different Breed of Bourbon, Red Stag by Jim Beam" It isn't a different breed of bourbon since it isn't bourbon. I for one, hope it fails miserably.



[QUOTE=cowdery;172480]What people sometimes misunderstand about the regs is that you can't flavor a spirit and call it bourbon, i.e., not disclose the flavoring and the true provenance of the underlying spirit. That's what the regs were designed to prevent, the sale of compound whiskey as straight bourbon.

Once a spirit has become Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey you can't debourbonize it. If you add cherry essence to it, it is then classified as bourbon with cherry essence added to it, but the bourbon is still bourbon. The regs are about truth in labeling and the Red Stag label is truthful. The product is Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey with X, with the X in this case being black cherry and other natural flavors.

cowdery
06-17-2009, 17:11
The fact that it is bourbon and does not mean it's not bourbon. The bourbon is still bourbon. You may feel that's not what the regs mean, or that's not what they mean to you, but that's how the TTB is interpreting them these days and that's all that matters. (Another example of Obama ruining America, no doubt.)

booniesville
06-17-2009, 17:31
It's too hot out side to drink this stuff anyway but I imagine I'll have a different opinion when the temp drops and I reach for something to warm me up. The flavor is not bad but a little to heavy for this time of year.

ILLfarmboy
06-17-2009, 17:40
The fact that it is bourbon and does not mean it's not bourbon. The bourbon is still bourbon. You may feel that's not what the regs mean, or that's not what they mean to you, but that's how the TTB is interpreting them these days and that's all that matters. (Another example of Obama ruining America, no doubt.)

Gee, where did that come from?

I understand where everyone is coming from. If Beam is saying it is a different breed of bourbon, beam is saying it is bourbon but yet how can that be since bourbon cannot have any flavor modification. Is the TTB allowing the phrase "new breed" to provide an out or a loophole? Grammatically does it?

Maybe we need someone who cares about original intent interpreting the regs.

Or, perhaps a Whiskey Czar who is a de facto cabinet member but sidesteps that whole very unesessary Constitution/ confirmation thing.

callmeox
06-17-2009, 17:46
As sweet and syrupy as it is, I can't believe that the only additive is black cherry "essence". There's no straight bourbon that I've ever seen with that much actual (and not perceived) viscosity so I am skeptical that the sweetness isn't due to some sort of sugar. When I dumped it into the sink, it looked like I was rinsing down thin pancake syrup.

My guess is that they added sugar or some other sweetener just below the 2.5% by weight level that would make it a liqueur.

Also, I think that you can debourbonize bourbon my mixing it with a sufficient volume of GNS.

booniesville
06-17-2009, 17:53
As a drinker, I would not consider Red Stag a bourbon but I imagine other companies are watching this debate closely. I don't want to see another flavor war like vodka and rum.

AVB
06-17-2009, 17:54
I'd have to agree, it is far to sweet to be just due to the whiskey and cherry. I find it hard to believe that only 2.5% by weight of sugar of some type would make it this sweet. Remember that "natural flavor" could be shit. That's natural too.

cowdery
06-17-2009, 18:06
Agencies interpret rules. Somebody has to. Lately (and I mean during the previous administration too) the TTB has shown a willingness to accept legal descriptions such as this, e.g., "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Chardonnay casks" (Woodford Sonoma-Cutrer) and "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Cognac Casks" (Jim Beam Distiller's Masterpiece).

If you look at the mandatory statement on a pre-mixed cocktail, it doesn't just say "pre-mixed cocktail." Pre-mixed cocktail is not a category. It lists the categorized spirit and other ingredients.

A couple of people have speculated that it could or should be categorized as a liqueur. I believe it more likely could be called a flavored whiskey. Flavored whiskey is a category. That's a choice. Beam chose to use this definition and the TTB said okay. I don't think the TTB was wrong.

Here's why.

The object of the regulations is truth in labeling and here truth in labeling has been served. I repeat, the fact that there is something else in the bottle with the bourbon does not make the bourbon no longer bourbon. The rule has never meant that. The rule means that you can not use flavorings and colorings to make something that is not bourbon resemble bourbon. Some of you are trying to make the rule apply the opposite way. to prevent something that is bourbon from being flavored in a way that no one would ever mistake for bourbon. That has never been the rule's meaning.

The product contains bourbon. It is, in fact, mostly bourbon. The label says that in a way that hurts no one.

Bourbon and GNS is different, because that is itself a category called blended whiskey. But, in fact, for a product to be called 'blended whiskey' it must contain what? It must be at least 20 percent 100 proof straight whiskey.

booniesville
06-17-2009, 18:10
I just tried a little from a mini I picked up a while ago. Wow. I forgot how syrupy sweet it is. Even more so then the WT American Honey which is labeled a liqueur.

cowdery
06-17-2009, 18:31
I'd have to agree, it is far to sweet to be just due to the whiskey and cherry. I find it hard to believe that only 2.5% by weight of sugar of some type would make it this sweet. Remember that "natural flavor" could be shit. That's natural too.

They are using a natural cherry essence, which is another way of saying a concentrate, which concentrates the natural sugars in the fruit. They may also have added some sugar but as I read the regs, if the added sugar is less than 2.5% of the total by weight, it's not a liqueur.

I've talked to the Beam R&D people about how they do it. They won't give me an exact recipe but did say the essence is "mostly cherry." By inference, they told me that the liquid volume of the essence is the equivalent of the water needed to reduce an 82 proof bourbon to 80 proof, because that's essentially how they do it. Actually, they blend the essence with some regular 80 proof white label to get the blend stable, then they mix that with 82 proof white label, which results in 80 proof Red Stag.

The target is males, 22-34. Apparently, young adults were already drinking Jim Beam and Cherry Coke.

BourbonJoe
06-18-2009, 05:41
Thank God I'm beyond their target age range. Sounds like crap to me. Beam White is bad enough and now this. :hot:
Joe :usflag:

OscarV
06-18-2009, 12:08
Beam White is bad enough and now this. :hot:
Joe :usflag:



Actually the black cherry kills that funky yeast taste of the Beam White, it is an improvement.

AVB
06-18-2009, 15:26
I disagree on a number of points. First, The Distiller's Masterpiece was never advertised as "A new Bourbon" or "A different Breed of Bourbon" I can't recall it even being called bourbon then or now. Second, Title 27, Part 5, subpart ca3 says:

"(3) “Harmless coloring, flavoring, and blending materials” shall not include (i) any material which would render the product to which it is added an imitation, or (ii) any material, other than caramel, infusion of oak chips, and sugar, in the case of Cognac brandy; or (iii) any material whatsoever in the case of neutral spirits or straight whiskey, except that vodka may be treated with sugar in an amount not to exceed 2 grams per liter and a trace amount of citric acid." The bolding is mine.

To me this means you can't put cherry crap in it and call it straight bourbon, new breed or otherwise. How do you read it?





Agencies interpret rules. Somebody has to. Lately (and I mean during the previous administration too) the TTB has shown a willingness to accept legal descriptions such as this, e.g., "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Chardonnay casks" (Woodford Sonoma-Cutrer) and "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Cognac Casks" (Jim Beam Distiller's Masterpiece).

If you look at the mandatory statement on a pre-mixed cocktail, it doesn't just say "pre-mixed cocktail." Pre-mixed cocktail is not a category. It lists the categorized spirit and other ingredients.

A couple of people have speculated that it could or should be categorized as a liqueur. I believe it more likely could be called a flavored whiskey. Flavored whiskey is a category. That's a choice. Beam chose to use this definition and the TTB said okay. I don't think the TTB was wrong.

Here's why.

The object of the regulations is truth in labeling and here truth in labeling has been served. I repeat, the fact that there is something else in the bottle with the bourbon does not make the bourbon no longer bourbon. The rule has never meant that. The rule means that you can not use flavorings and colorings to make something that is not bourbon resemble bourbon. Some of you are trying to make the rule apply the opposite way. to prevent something that is bourbon from being flavored in a way that no one would ever mistake for bourbon. That has never been the rule's meaning.

The product contains bourbon. It is, in fact, mostly bourbon. The label says that in a way that hurts no one.

Bourbon and GNS is different, because that is itself a category called blended whiskey. But, in fact, for a product to be called 'blended whiskey' it must contain what? It must be at least 20 percent 100 proof straight whiskey.

cowdery
06-18-2009, 15:40
Easy. If the TTB says it is legal and within the rules, then it is legal and within the rules. End of discussion.

Maybe you should appeal to the newly-formed Congressional Bourbon Caucus (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2009/06/congressional-bourbon-caucus-formed.html).

AVB
06-18-2009, 15:47
I did ask how YOU read it, not the interpretation of the TTB.


Easy. If the TTB says it is legal and within the rules, then it is legal and within the rules. End of discussion.

ThomasH
06-18-2009, 15:59
We were drinking mixed drinks made with Red Stag last weekend. We used a variety of mixers including Diet Pepsi and Sprite Zero. I have to say that the Red Stag/Sprite Zero mixture was quite tasty. It was not too sweet like regular Sprite would tend to make it. My brother in law liked the Diet pepsi version. We also tried soe with Diet Pepsi vanilla and wasn't all that bad either!

Thomas

kickert
06-18-2009, 17:21
It is obviously MADE with bourbon and I can even go it IS bourbon INFUSED with something. But it is not BOURBON as presented.

Josh
06-18-2009, 17:25
My question is, if it's legally bourbon, then why was the thread posted in the non-whiskey alcohol section of the forum?

pepcycle
06-18-2009, 18:16
I just bought a lobster at Shop-Rite in North Vale NJ. They have a liquor store attached.

Jim Beam Red Stag on the bottom shelf with a handwritten shelf tag.

NEW!!!
Blackberry Bourbon

Just Arrived

callmeox
06-18-2009, 18:43
I thought you were going to say that they had 50ml bottles of Red Gag attached to the lobsters. :skep:

cowdery
06-18-2009, 19:04
I agree with TTB. I don't have a problem with the way Red Stag is being presented.

callmeox
06-18-2009, 19:07
I agree as well...it's a tweener. It has to fit into a category and apparently there's not enough sweetener to be considered a liqueur, so it's a bourbon with "essence".

Doesn't mean that I can't have fun with the name.

cowdery
06-19-2009, 08:31
Here's the story they're selling about the name. Win Wilkins was a long-time R&D guy at Beam in Kentucky and a deer hunter. He used to make up a drink of Jim Beam infused with black cherry to put in his flask when he went deer hunting and he called it Red Stag. He retired about 2 1/2 years ago, but the idea was on the shelf in R&D and last fall somebody picked it up, scaled it up, and Red Stag was born as a product.

Bow hunting for deer is big in Kentucky and there's a brief bow-hunting season right before regular deer hunting season. Apparently Win was both a bow and gun hunter, so he went through a lot of his Beam and cherry concoction.

kickert
06-20-2009, 16:43
So this all seems to revolve around TTB regs. So here is my question, how in the world is this not considered a FLAVORED WHISKY. It seems this category was designed for a product like Red Stag. Here are the regs for flavored whisky:


Whisky flavored with natural flavoring materials, with or without the addition of sugar, bottled at not less than 30% alcohol by volume (60 proof)
The name of the predominant flavor shall appear as part of the class and type designation, e.g., “Cherry Flavored Whisky”
Wine may be added but if the addition exceeds 21⁄2% by volume of the finished product, the classes and/or types and percentages (by volume) of wine must be stated as part of the class and type designationAs opposed to bourbon which is:
Whisky* produced in the U.S. at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn and stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume (125 proof) in charred new oak containers

*Whisky being: Spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to whisky and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)

ILLfarmboy
06-20-2009, 16:58
So this all seems to revolve around TTB regs. So here is my question, how in the world is this not considered a FLAVORED WHISKY. It seems this category was designed for a product like Red Stag. Here are the regs for flavored whisky:

Whisky flavored with natural flavoring materials, with or without the addition of sugar, bottled at not less than 30% alcohol by volume (60 proof)
The name of the predominant flavor shall appear as part of the class and type designation, e.g., “Cherry Flavored Whisky”
Wine may be added but if the addition exceeds 21⁄2% by volume of the finished product, the classes and/or types and percentages (by volume) of wine must be stated as part of the class and type designationAs opposed to bourbon which is:
Whisky* produced in the U.S. at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn and stored at not more than 62.5% alcohol by volume (125 proof) in charred new oak containers

*Whisky being: Spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to whisky and bottled at not less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof)


keeping your question in mind, and setting aside the issue of bottling proof, could Phillips Union call their infusions, "Bourbon". Could it be that Beam has more pull than Phillips Union? Could we, under the current interpretation of the regs, see bourbon with undisclosed additives?
I fear this fast and loose "interpretation" is a slippery slope.

AVB
06-20-2009, 20:31
I can't even agree that it is an interpretation of the regs. They seem to have flat out ignored them.

smokinjoe
06-22-2009, 15:24
Yeah, I dumped $18 on a gamble. Didn't pay off. If you're thinking (like I was), "Yeah, I like bourbon. And, I like cherry. A little cherry in my bourbon might be something I'd like...." Well, you'll be disappointed. I was. Way too sweet. Way too much like cough syrup. Way overdone. I hear Kid Rock is promoting this for Beam? Well, if that's the case then I think less of him now, than I already did. And, that's despite the fact that I'm diggin' on that take-off on the Lynyrd Skynyrd song he does, and that any man who can go a round or two with Pamela Anderson, has to have something going for him. I think a better choice for Beam would have been Randy Watson, from the group "Sexual Chocolate", in the movie "Coming to America". This stuff smells, like I would expect that guy to smell. But, like Chuck said very early on, this stuff ain't for everybody. The best I could do with it, was to pour a fair amount of San Pellegrino sodey water in with it. And, fill the rest up with ice.

BourbonJoe
06-22-2009, 18:07
Thanks Joe. You saved me some money.
Joe :usflag:

AVB
06-22-2009, 20:00
I tried it with a 3:1 cut of regular bourbon over ice to Red Gag and it had an after-taste that would not go away. I then tried that same ratio for a Manhattan and while it was an improvement it isn't something I would want to try again.

p_elliott
06-23-2009, 07:04
Just sounds nasty to me but to be fair so do these little bottles of WT Honey that came with my WT 101 that are in my cabinet that will probably go in the trash. Or at best get poured out so I can save the little bottles.

cowdery
06-23-2009, 09:51
They could have called it flavored whiskey. They didn't want to. Nor are they calling it bourbon (why is that so hard to understand?). They're calling it "bourbon with ..."

kickert
06-23-2009, 11:17
They could have called it flavored whiskey. They didn't want to. Nor are they calling it bourbon (why is that so hard to understand?). They're calling it "bourbon with ..."

So which TTB class is this falling into?

AVB
06-23-2009, 18:28
Chuck, you are only looking at the label and it is true that they only call it "bourbon infused..." there. However, look at the advertising, the shelf talkers and the website (www.theredstag.com) and you will see they ARE calling it. "A Different Breed of BOURBON" That is my major complaint. They are calling it bourbon and that is plainly not true.


They could have called it flavored whiskey. They didn't want to. Nor are they calling it bourbon (why is that so hard to understand?). They're calling it "bourbon with ..."

kickert
06-23-2009, 18:40
Chuck, you are only looking at the label and it is true that they only call it "bourbon infused..." there. However, look at the advertising, the shelf talkers and the website (www.theredstag.com (http://www.theredstag.com)) and you will see they ARE calling it. "A Different Breed of BOURBON" That is my major complaint. They are calling it bourbon and that is plainly not true.

My thoughts exactly. I understand how they are presenting it, and I have no problem with Beam marketing Red Stag as "bourbon infused with..." BUT I do have a problem with marketing Red Stag as BOURBON without the qualifier.

cowdery
06-23-2009, 20:45
Where I think many are misunderstanding the regs is that, for the most part, the regs just say "if you want to call your product X you have to do this." However, you are free to call your product something about which the regs are silent and the regs don't care. There is no obligation to pigeonhole every product into an existing classification.

In Australia and other places, Jim Beam sells a product called "Jim Beam and Cola." Its ingredients are "Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and cola." Anything wrong with that?

As for how they're marketing it, I won't defend that. I've said from the beginning that the downside risk of this is confusing consumers about a category (bourbon) about which they are already confused.

AVB
06-24-2009, 20:11
Is that your interpretation? I would think that everything has to have a place if only for taxation purposes.

cowdery
06-29-2009, 09:04
An illustration.

"Moonshine" is a term with a general meaning, of a distilled spirit produced in an unlicensed still, and means in its verb form the production of same.

The regs, however, are silent about the term "moonshine." Therefore, Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon can call itself "moonshine" without offending the regs, even though legal moonshine is a contradiction. The legal classification for the product is 100% grain neutral spirits, but the term "moonshine" is used on the packaging. The term "moonshine" is prominent while "100% grain neutral spirits" is in mouse type, but it's all legal.

ThomasH
06-29-2009, 10:36
Red Stag must be gaining in popularity. Many of the stores here in Myrtle Beach (I'm here on vacation) have it in the 1L bottles in addition to the 750's.

Thomas

AVB
06-29-2009, 12:41
Chuck - I see what you mean. Thanks.


Horrid thought. It is (STILL) nasty stuff.


Red Stag must be gaining in popularity. Many of the stores here in Myrtle Beach (I'm here on vacation) have it in the 1L bottles in addition to the 750's.

Thomas

cowdery
06-29-2009, 19:54
We're still in the midst of the launch push. Wait six months before you pronounce it a success.

ILLfarmboy
06-30-2009, 05:06
Will we someday see a product called
Kentucky Straight Bourbon with natural flavor added

or Kentucky Bourbon with natural flavor added?

gr8erdane
07-01-2009, 07:42
I was drinking a Pepsi last night and it left me wanting something more so I splashed in just a little Red Stag. It reminded me of the Cherry Cokes I used to get after little league baseball games at our Dairy Queen. A little went a long way though.

Lab Walker
08-01-2009, 12:24
That's it...cherry coke!!!
I think the college kids will like it!

AVB
08-02-2009, 07:42
Not selling well at all in my part of York county. The idiots at the PLCB put it right next to the regular Jim Beam too instead of with other the flavored whiskey. One can only hope for abject failure.

ILLfarmboy
08-02-2009, 15:02
Not selling well at all in my part of York county. The idiots at the PLCB put it right next to the regular Jim Beam too instead of with other the flavored whiskey. One can only hope for abject failure.

In every liquor store around here it is similarly placed.

AVB
08-02-2009, 19:27
I haven't done a survey but of the few Maryland stores I've been in most had it separated. The PLCB is still comprised of idiots.

cowdery
08-04-2009, 11:03
I was in Binny's recently and heard a page, "customer is looking for Red Stag liqueur." It was in the bourbon section, with the other Beams, which I'm sure is what Beam is recommending.

StraightBoston
08-04-2009, 12:31
I finally tried it last night -- solo on the rocks, and as part of a (not-very-well-made) Manhattan.

I liked it (but then I like both cherry and bourbon!) Still has nothing on the cherry "essence" of classic Stitzel-Weller distillate, but I'll probably give the "cherry Beam and coke" variation on a "Beam and cherry coke" a try next time.

My only beef is the pricing (see previous post) -- around these parts it lists north of $20/750 ml, the same as Jim Beam Black. More interesting to me at $16.99 in the NH state liquor store.

Bourbon Geek
08-04-2009, 15:21
I was in Binny's recently and heard a page, "customer is looking for Red Stag liqueur." It was in the bourbon section, with the other Beams, which I'm sure is what Beam is recommending.

Why not? Brown - Forman puts Southern Comfort in the bourbon section, and WT honey is also there. Phillips Union stuff is also frequently there ...

Maye we need a bourbon sub-section for the wannabes

cowdery
08-04-2009, 16:18
Binny's seems to be going with a North American whiskey section. One peculiarity, perhaps related to the penchant of some to call Canadian whiskey "rye," is that they have put the American straight ryes and the Canadians adjacent to each other. The American blends are at the other end of the section and, naturally, on the lower shelves.

They aren't exactly all mixed together, but there are some odd adjacencies.

Southern Comfort, which actually is a liqueur (Red Stag is not), has always been in the bourbon section, though at times they have asked for dual placement. That was established long before Brown-Forman bought the brand.