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View Full Version : What will happen to SW prices when the last barrels are dry?



BBQ+Bourbon
10-07-2009, 20:27
This is really bothering me. To me, the SW whiskey is the holy grail and knowing that it will only become more scarce over time is frightening. Naturally there will be other great whiskey, but nothing will ever replace it.

So, what will happen to the values of SW juice 5 years from now? Ten years? Twenty?

Am I crazy for thinking that JRPS is a great investment at $82 a bottle? I already feel like the bottle of 07 PHC was a bargain at $78.

Is it true that gold veined OWA is bringing well over $100?

Sheesh. As a whiskey nut, it's worrying that I might not be able to afford the pours I really enjoy in the near future.

jburlowski
10-09-2009, 13:00
Sound like pretty common symptoms....

Sit down, pour yourself a healthy pour, and relax.

You can't do anything about it so it's best to let go.

Big TR
10-09-2009, 13:27
Please help a newbie out with the lingo.

SW?
JRPS?

Lost Pollito
10-09-2009, 13:39
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/announcement.php?f=43&a=8

That should help Big Tr.

cowdery
10-09-2009, 13:40
You know how a lot of times, when they report something like a new interest rate from the Federal Reserve, the reporter will say something like, "the market had already factored that into prices." The SW situation is sort of like that. The distillery has, after all, been silent for 17 years. Even in the slow-moving world of whiskey, that's a long time.

That said, items like Pappy 15 and Jefferson's may be some of your last chances to buy SW whiskey for less than $100 a bottle.

sku
10-09-2009, 15:33
This is really bothering me. To me, the SW whiskey is the holy grail and knowing that it will only become more scarce over time is frightening. Naturally there will be other great whiskey, but nothing will ever replace it.

So, what will happen to the values of SW juice 5 years from now? Ten years? Twenty?

Am I crazy for thinking that JRPS is a great investment at $82 a bottle? I already feel like the bottle of 07 PHC was a bargain at $78.

Is it true that gold veined OWA is bringing well over $100?

Sheesh. As a whiskey nut, it's worrying that I might not be able to afford the pours I really enjoy in the near future.

You need only look to our friends in Scotland and check the prices for Brora, Port Ellen, Rosebank, Dallas Dhu, Glenugie, St. Magdeline and the many other closed distilleries. Prices will go very high and potentially come out of alignment with quality. The one thing we Americans have going for us is that there's not much of a resale market for American whiskey (it being mostly illegal), so speculation is less likely to drive up prices (unless the Scots and Europeans suddenly discover S-W).

Big TR
10-09-2009, 17:16
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/announcement.php?f=43&a=8

That should help Big Tr.

Thanks. I thought I saw that post once upon a time when I first started trolling around here, but couldn't locate it again.

ggilbertva
10-10-2009, 19:38
Hmmm.....interesting question. I may need to hit the dusty spots I know still have SW sitting on the shelves or back rooms and load up once again. I need more $$.:skep:

spun_cookie
10-10-2009, 21:55
Hmmm.....interesting question. I may need to hit the dusty spots I know still have SW sitting on the shelves or back rooms and load up once again. I need more $$.:skep:

I hear that... I have a hard time opening mine becuase I know we are down to the end... I have been stocking Older WT 8yr of late... been on a handle spree... got to love the handels.. twice the juice for the same price or less sometimes (from the 70s and 80s that is)...

boss302
10-11-2009, 02:54
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/announcement.php?f=43&a=8

That should help Big Tr.

But it doesn't. None of those acronyms are covered in that post.

So, Big Tr, my best guesses are SW= (I think) Stitzel Weller, and JRPS= (I think) Jefferson's Reserve Presidential Select.

Honestly, would it kill any of us to type out the names every now and then? Especially for the fairly esoteric stuff, like this?

indyrider
10-11-2009, 05:20
Im definitely liking the Pappy 15 much more than the Jeff Pres Reserve....I dont know if its the higher proof and just a more rounded SW profile, but I'll be stocking the Pappy instead, 2 bottles for the price of one JPR17....

silverfish
10-11-2009, 07:58
Hmmm.....interesting question. I may need to hit the dusty spots I know still have SW sitting on the shelves or back rooms and load up once again. I need more $$.:skep:

Is there a list of what SW whiskey (brands/names)
is currently available? From this thread I gather these
are all included:

JRPS
Pappys
WT 8yr

I did check this thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11993) and found a few bottles listed.

T Comp
10-11-2009, 08:16
Im definitely liking the Pappy 15 much more than the Jeff Pres Reserve....I dont know if its the higher proof and just a more rounded SW profile, but I'll be stocking the Pappy instead, 2 bottles for the price of one JPR17....

Prior posts I recall state that current Pappy 15 (08 and 09) is not SW juice. Good luck figuring out any bottling date. It sure don't stick around long enough in most places to be anything more than current.

IronHead
10-11-2009, 08:22
Is there a list of what SW whiskey (brands/names)
is currently available? From this thread I gather these
are all included:

JRPS
Pappys
WT 8yr

I did check this thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11993) and found a few bottles listed.

I thought the WT 8yr was simply WT juice aged for 8 years.

I am sure this has been covered somewhere down the road but this seems like a good thread in which to bring it back up:

Why is it that no one is producing juice from the SW mashbill and yeast strain? Or was Stitzel Weller a time and place thing and we will never see those results reproduced? Or is BT producing it with Julien and Preston and we are just waiting for the results to come of age?

ggilbertva
10-11-2009, 09:23
Is there a list of what SW whiskey (brands/names)
is currently available? From this thread I gather these
are all included:

JRPS
Pappys
WT 8yr

I did check this thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11993) and found a few bottles listed.

WT 8 yr is not SW juice. It's good stuff but WT is a rye bourbon while SW is a wheat bourbon.

I won't go into years of production because it would take a really long time to compile that info (might be a blog entry later on), but in no particular order, SW has been found in the following (not an exhaustive list by any means):

Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond
Old Fitzgerald Prime (various proofs)
Cabin Still
Old Weller Antique
Weller Special Reserve
Old Rip Van Winkle
Pappy Van Winkle
Old Fitzgerald 1849
William LaRue Weller
Weller 12 year
Weller Centennial
Very Special Old Fitzgerald
Very Old Fitzgerald
Very Very Old Fitzgerald
Very Extra Old Fitzgerald
Wellers Antique Reserve
Henry Clay
Joseph Finch
Rebel Yell
Van Winkle Family Reserve Lot B
Various Willett bottlings

....there's probably a smattering of others but they don't come to mind.

OscarV
10-11-2009, 09:39
Henry Clay
Joseph Finch





Henry Clay and Joseph Finch are S-W?
There's two S-W's that I have that take on new prominence.

BBQ+Bourbon
10-11-2009, 10:37
I thought the WT 8yr was simply WT juice aged for 8 years.

I am sure this has been covered somewhere down the road but this seems like a good thread in which to bring it back up:

Why is it that no one is producing juice from the SW mashbill and yeast strain? Or was Stitzel Weller a time and place thing and we will never see those results reproduced? Or is BT producing it with Julien and Preston and we are just waiting for the results to come of age?
That's a great question!

I know the frustration of trying to decipher the shorthand around here. With the current discussion of Jefferson Reserve Presidential Select, I figured most people would know what JRPS referenced. Also, if you don't know what S-W is, it's probably best to keep it that way. Since it's becoming scarce and expensive, if you develop a love for the stuff, your wallet will hate you!:slappin:

silverfish
10-11-2009, 10:44
... but in no particular order, SW has been found in the following (not an exhaustive list by any means):


Great! Thanks for a starting point at least.
Nice to see that I already have a few from
that list, both opened & unopened

ggilbertva
10-11-2009, 10:48
Henry Clay and Joseph Finch are S-W?
There's two S-W's that I have that take on new prominence.

Oscar,

From what I remember, those two were from UD which would make it SW juice, but I could be wrong. I was going on dated memory on those two. I remember Chuck did a review quite a few years ago on Finch and mentions it's a rye bourbon which of course would mean it is not SW, but in doing some research, the distillery is listed as UD. Go figure. Diageo could have used barrels from other sources but I seem to remember both those bottles not only were bottled by UD but contained SW juice. If someone has contrary info, please post.

ggilbertva
10-11-2009, 10:50
Great! Thanks for a starting point at least.
Nice to see that I already have a few from
that list, both opened & unopened

When it comes to SW juice, I say "handle with care". I'm always nervous when visitors want to see my bunker and start picking up bottles, especially bottles like my SW stash.

ggilbertva
10-11-2009, 11:01
I thought the WT 8yr was simply WT juice aged for 8 years.

I am sure this has been covered somewhere down the road but this seems like a good thread in which to bring it back up:

Why is it that no one is producing juice from the SW mashbill and yeast strain? Or was Stitzel Weller a time and place thing and we will never see those results reproduced? Or is BT producing it with Julien and Preston and we are just waiting for the results to come of age?

I believe SW is a time and place thing. Remember, it's not just he mashbill that makes up the unique profile of SW whiskey. It's also the mash tub, water, yeast strain (if it still exists), still, barrel wood, stave thickness and char level, warehouse configuration, barrel placement, etc. There's so much that goes into a bourbon profile, I don't think it can ever be replicated. I think BT and Preston will do a good job (as they've done to date), in producing a good wheated bourbon.

IronHead
10-11-2009, 11:14
I believe SW is a time and place thing. Remember, it's not just he mashbill that makes up the unique profile of SW whiskey. It's also the mash tub, water, yeast strain (if it still exists), still, barrel wood, stave thickness and char level, warehouse configuration, barrel placement, etc. There's so much that goes into a bourbon profile, I don't think it can ever be replicated. I think BT and Preston will do a good job (as they've done to date), in producing a good wheated bourbon.

I agree that BT and the Van Winkles are producing a good wheated bourbon, but it never hurts to dream :)

OscarV
10-11-2009, 11:15
As far as achieving taste then aging is at the top of the list.
All mashbills are similar but yeast plays a major role.
Maker's still was built by the S-W Master Distiller with the same design as the S-W still.
Also didn't Pappy Van Winkle give Samuels Sr his recipe?

ggilbertva
10-11-2009, 11:31
Also didn't Pappy Van Winkle give Samuels Sr his recipe?

That's the what's been stated but who knows as the history of bourbon is tainted with half truth, lore, etc.

OscarV
10-11-2009, 11:56
Also didn't Pappy Van Winkle give Samuels Sr his recipe?




That's the what's been stated but who knows as the history of bourbon is tainted with half truth, lore, etc.



yeah that's the way it happened, but the official MM myth is that Samuels Sr invented the mashbill after baking rye and wheat bread and found the wheat bread sweeter.

IronHead
10-11-2009, 11:58
As far as achieving taste then aging is at the top of the list.
All mashbills are similar but yeast plays a major role.
Maker's still was built by the S-W Master Distiller with the same design as the S-W still.
Also didn't Pappy Van Winkle give Samuels Sr his recipe?

IIRC according to "But Always Fine Bourbon" Pappy gave Bill Sr. his yeast strain, too. That brings up Chuck Cowdery's 'More Maker's Anyone' thread in the Premium Bottlings forum. If I may quote Rughi:

"I've had '70s MM that was really, really good. SW good."

That may lend a little credence to the Pappy-Bill Sr. story. I guess Bill Jr. has chosen to go a different route. But I can't really argue with is results from a marketing perpective.

cowdery
10-11-2009, 13:57
The "Pappy gave Bill Sr. the SW recipe" story came to me many years ago from a guy who worked for Stitzel-Weller when Pappy was still alive and the Van Winkle family still owned the distillery, and it apparently was common knowledge among insiders at the time. I've talked to Bill Jr. about it and he more-or-less confirms it, saying his father sought and received input from many of his friends in the industry. He mentioned, for example, that Pappy told Bill Sr. that you can't cook a wheated mash under pressure.

As for the still, Vendome built both of them and the Maker's still has some unique characteristics that are shared by the still at Stitzel-Weller. BourbonGeek can explain that much better than I can.

Joe Beam and his sons worked at Stitzel-Weller at various times and Will McGill, the longtime Master Distiller at Stitzel-Weller, was married to Joe Beam's sister. One of the sons, Elmo Beam, was the first Master Distiller at Maker's Mark. How much he had to do with building the distillery, I can't really say, but he would have had easy access to just about any information he would have wanted about Stitzel-Weller.

It's very difficult, if not impossible, to exactly duplicate the whiskey made at one place someplace else. There are just too many variables. If Maker's has the best possibility, then you get to the fact that Maker's follows practices that would inevitably make their whiskey less like Stitzel-Weller rather than more. Although it is interesting to note that some percentage of Maker's whiskey is actually aged at Stitzel-Weller.

According to press releases issued at the time, Julian Van Winkle has since joining Buffalo Trace provided guidance to help BT's wheated juice more closely ressemble SW whiskey, but of course the distillery itself is very different. The proof, I think, is in the excellence of the Van Winkle bottlings, where I no longer care if, in fact, there is SW whiskey in there or not, because the quality is there (e.g., Lot B).

As for Finch and Clay, definitely not SW. At the time, United (now Diageo) had a large inventory of whiskey from closed distilleries. You can read the whole story beginning on page 201 of my book. It's tragic that, in the course of the final merger that created Diageo, the company lost interest in that project, as quite a few very interesting whiskeys never saw the light of day.

Finally, I tasted some of the Jefferson's yesterday at Binny's and I agree with what others have said. It's definitely SW whiskey and is very good, although it's not the best SW whiskey I've had by a long shot. It reminds me of that Everett's bottling of Weller 12 from a few years ago, that contained 16- and 14-year-old SW whiskey.

For the money, I prefer Lot B.

ggilbertva
10-11-2009, 15:17
Thanks Chuck for clearing up the Finch/Clay provenance.

DeanSheen
10-11-2009, 15:59
"For the money, I prefer Lot B."

Yep, though I hate admitting it. I like it better as a secret.

tommyboy38
10-16-2009, 13:54
Who knows what will happen to the "prices" of the whiskey but I'll be enjoying the few bottles I have in the bunker.

jburlowski
10-16-2009, 18:34
"For the money, I prefer Lot B."

Yep, though I hate admitting it. I like it better as a secret.

What he said....

bigtoys
10-20-2009, 21:36
I have a few Jefferson Pres Selects unopened that I'm gonna do a blind side by side with some of the Pappy 15, 20 and Lot B. Maybe I'll give a couple of the Jeffersons away.

Guess I better pick up some Lot B's and PvW's if I can find them.