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While at the store yesterday, I noticed that next to the red-waxed bottles of Maker's Mark was a big metallicky gold colored box with a bottle of Maker's with the same colored gold wax. I forgot to make note of what exactly the box said, but I was wondering if anyone knew about this and how it compared to regular Maker's?
Same Bourbon, better hype. Quoting from Gary & Mardee Regan (The Book Of Bourbon, 1995), " The V.I.P. Makers Mark contains the same bourbon as the regular bottling, but the packaging is very special: When you buy this whiskey, the retailer will make arrangements for a special label to be printed bearing the name of the person of your choice -- or you can use the order form that comes in the box. The design of the sleek but simple eight-faceted bottles was inspired by a late-nineteenth-century bourbon bottle that resides in the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History in Bardstown. After being filled, each bottle has its neck dipped in gold sealing wax, and the front is emblazoned with a hand-stamped rendition of the Maker's medallion."
It was my understanding that the 'gold' Maker's was only shipped to Japan and not available in the states.
Hope someone on the list can enlighten us both.
Blowin' smoke in Bardstown
You can find the gold wax VIP version in most liquor stores in the states. See my other posting in this thread
Gee I'm so sorry I missed ya'll last night (Mom's birthday). I would really have loved the signing and getting to meet everyone.
Anyway, you said:
"You can find the gold wax VIP version in most liquor stores in the states. See my other posting in this thread"
yes, I understand. I guess what I was trying to say was, in the beginning, the gold wax was intended for Japan only. For years, my friends that worked @ Maker's talked about the gold seal. Couldn't buy it in the stores. Now, there it is (and...you can get your name engraved on the bottle). Was that all some sort of marketing ploy? Was there ever a special bottling involved or was it
just a bunch of hype?
I really always thought they were doing something different to the 'gold' version to appeal to the Japanese market.
Blowin' smoke in Bardstown
BJ and Greg,
You're both right; but only half-right. You're talking about two different "Gold Labels". The VIP bottling is the same Maker's Mark you find in the familiar red-wax bottle, with the only difference being the neat packaging for use as a gift. The bottle (which makes a wonderful decanter) is heavy, cut glass in a very distinctive and classy style. It's dipped in gold wax (hence the confusion) and you can have a custom label printed for it. Woodford Reserve has a package like that, too. It comes in a nice box with a customizable label.
The Gold Label that BJ had heard about is only available overseas (Japan only, I think). It comes in the familiar bottle, but in addition to the gold wax it also has a gold-colored label instead of the parchment-colored label we know and love. The bourbon is different, too. It's 101 proof instead of 90. The age might be different, too; I'm not sure. There's also a black label (5.5 years old, 90 proof). That's also not available in America. They also make some special bottlings (of the regular bourbon) to commemorate colleges and occasions.
When distilleries make whiskies for overseas markets, does that mean only overseas or its available at the distillery if you come and visit? I guess this is rather broad and deserves to be a new heading, but I don't get why things are made specifically for Europe and Asia and not available here. Reading some of the other posts, I have gathered that the product doesn't always fit our "tastes", but why exactly is this done?
I just went and got the Waymack and Harris book and on page 143 they mention a Maker's Mark Limited Edition...is this the same stuff?
You can sum it all up to $$$$. They send the best stuff overseas because they can get the really big bucks for the product. Most Americans would not be willing to pay over $100.00 for a bottle of bourbon but it is not unusual for a bottle to sell for $300.00 or more in Japan.
There isn't any single answer to this. Many years ago, there was a gold topped, 100 proof Maker's Mark that was generally, if not widely, available in the U.S. They decided to discontinue it here for whatever reason. That is not necessarily the same product they now ship to Japan, but similar. Anymore, most distillers have many different products, made up for different markets. In some cases, the same "brand" may even vary within the U.S., depending on the preferences of local distributors. This tends only to be true of minor brands, but the phenomenon is the same as what happens with international markets. Most international markets, not just Japan, are more profitable for bourbon than the U.S. market. Americans are the same way. Look at the prices we pay for imported vodka. Also, the Japanese are known to like very old bourbons that most of us would consider undrinkable. Do they actually like them, or do they just consider them status items? I don't know and the marketers don't care.
You will go nuts if you try to keep track of all the variations, because they change regularly. A good example is Jim Beam Black Label, which the company experimented with for years. It is pretty stable now, but there were several variations in age, proof and package design before it got to be the 7 year old, 90 proof whiskey it is now.
--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)
So true. And what's SO funny about that is that all through history, the bourbon makers, more than any other food industry I can think of, have, each and every one of them, stressed upon the public how much more CONSISTANT they are than the other distilleries. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". "Just the way our grandaddies made it". "We've never changed a thing in six generations". At least Maker's Mark is upfront about recognizing that "new" sometimes DOES mean "improved"
I remember the Limited Edition bourbon from eight or nine years ago where I could get it in Texas. I remember my liquor store guy telling me I bought the last one and there was no more.
It was terrific as I recall; much deeper and richer than the red label
Brenda, we are also sorry you could not join us but hope your mom had a good birthday. There will be more occaissions and I know Mike gets to D. Marie's frequently.
Yes, I was ONLY replying to Chris' question about the gold dipped bottle he'd seen in a U.S. liquor store. As Chuck indicates, I don't want to try to keep track of everything for the world.
Hope to catch you at another BARD meeting.
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