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silverfish
10-24-2009, 09:20
I was doing some mindless bourbon searching and
ended up at TIME magazine article on Light Whiskey:

time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,910362,00.html

A few brand names are mentioned and I was wondering
if anyone here has any recollections of this "light era"
(1972). I didn't start drinking until about 6 - 8 years
after that and figger the light versions may have not
lasted that long.

OscarV
10-24-2009, 09:36
It seems to me that Beam did some sort of a light bourbon in the '90's, but I could be wrong.
Where's Cowdery when you need him?

barturtle
10-24-2009, 10:06
I actually brought a bottle of the Frost 8/80 to the Gazebo this year. Barton QT was on the shelves not all that long ago, there may still be some floating around. Fleischmanns also was on the shelves recently.

Josh
10-24-2009, 10:59
I actually brought a bottle of the Frost 8/80 to the Gazebo this year. Barton QT was on the shelves not all that long ago, there may still be some floating around. Fleischmanns also was on the shelves recently.

Colonel Lee is a brand of light whiskey that is still in production.

I SWEAR I saw some sort of 4R Light expression in an old person's liquor cabinet once, but I've been told there never was such an animal.:confused:

UPDATE: Upon skimming the article it appears I was sort of right!

OscarV
10-24-2009, 11:11
I SWEAR I saw some sort of 4R Light expression in an old person's liquor cabinet once, but I've been told there never was such an animal.




Are you thinking of 4R Blended Whiskey?

Jono
10-24-2009, 11:12
This comment is revealing:

"...a new kind of spirit that goes down more smoothly and has less flavor than bourbon or rye..."

"This is not a big-black-cigar whiskey. It's more a filter-cigarette whiskey."

Hmm, at this point in my life I favor the full flavor of "heavy" proof bourbons and ryes.

How are they different from current 80-86 proof offerings on the shelf today?
Are these products relics from that time period?

It seems any 80-86 proof bourbon could be called light....for example WT 80
http://www.barnonedrinks.com/tips/dictionary/w/wild-turkey-80-proof-bourbon-969.html

Or Ezra Brooks
http://marketviewliquor.com/index-id-47344-a-1.01.html?utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=organic

silverfish
10-24-2009, 11:14
UPDATE: Upon skimming the article it appears I was sort of right!

Others mentioned in the TIME article:

(Old) Crow Light
(Seagram) Galaxy
(Schenley) J.W. Dant Premium Light, Schenley XL, and Red Satin (+ 3 others)
(American Brands) White Balloon, Honey Go Light

Josh
10-24-2009, 11:27
Are you thinking of 4R Blended Whiskey?

From the bottle I saw, and the article there seemed to have been a Four Roses light blend in addition to the regular blend. So maybe it wasn't a light whiskey per se, just something they were calling a light blend.

barturtle
10-24-2009, 11:33
How are they different from current 80-86 proof offerings on the shelf today?
Are these products relics from that time period?

It seems any 80-86 proof bourbon could be called light....for example WT 80


Actually Light Whiskey is a class unto itself with specific legal definitions

"(3) "Light whisky" is whisky produced in the United States at more than 160° proof, on or after January 26, 1968, and stored in used or uncharred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies. If "light whisky" is mixed with less than 20 percent of straight whisky on a proof gallon basis, the mixture shall be designated "blended light whisky" (light whisky--a blend)."

The higher distilling proof reducing the amount of flavor remaining from the mash. They would then be cut, first to barreling proof for aging, then to bottling proof after aging.

cowdery
10-24-2009, 13:38
I have no direct memories of Light Whiskey even though I am, indeed, old. It was supposed to save the bourbon industry from vodka. It didn't It seems stupid in retrospect, but everybody was excited about it at the time. It took special stills and some of them are still out there. As mentioned, Barton was still making the stuff until a few years ago. The Light Whiskey still at Buffalo Trace was pressed into service to make Rain Vodka.

One thing that killed Light Whiskey was Light (Lite) Beer, because it gave light/lite a different meaning. Light Whiskey was lighter in color and had a lighter (i.e., less) flavor, but had the same alcohol content and calories as regular whiskey. Lite beer, of course, meant "less filling." So a new and confusing category got even more confusing. It died out quickly.

pepcycle
10-24-2009, 14:58
Thanks to a certain SB member, I got to try them all.

I was on a light whiskey kick about 5 years ago.

It was a great mixer. I got hooked on High Balls made with Light Whiskey.
I also made Lt Whiskey and Water in a Pinit Glass with Ice cubes and sprig of mint.
This would be my drink for a light meal like salad with grilled salmon or lobster rolls.

Ends up Colonel Lee was my favorite.

I still have a pint or two left and sample them from time to time.

If bourbon appeals to you as a fall and winter drink, than light whiskey is for the other times.

ThomasH
10-24-2009, 15:51
I have minis of Frost 8/80, Scenley XL and Crow Light. I'll have to try them and report back. In my mini collection, I even have a bottle of Crystal Comfort, which was clear in color. It was made by Southern Comfort and I suspect that it may have been their entry in the light whisky craze!

Thomas

smokinjoe
10-24-2009, 19:48
I have a 200ml of Tom Moore, that's described as "A Fine Light Whiskey". I'm guessing from the stamp and the bottle that it's 1980ish? Actually, the color's pretty good. But, I guess that shouldn't be regarded as a "good" thing. :rolleyes: Which leads me to chuckle, as I read the Time article. Everything that they describe as an attribute, or goal, of "Light Whiskey", is everything we would abhor in a bourbon. Well, I suppose that was the point.

Also, the similarities between the travails of the bourbon industry, and the same angst being experienced by the cola manufacturers, is startling. New Coke, Pepsi Clear, Crystal Pepsi, etc. as ill-conceived answers to perceived threats. And currently, the explosive growth of the non-carbonated/non-cola sector of the soft drink market, and to what means the Big 2 will go to counter it. I'm sure there's something to be learned here.

silverfish
10-24-2009, 20:12
Which leads me to chuckle, as I read the Time article. Everything that they describe as an attribute, or goal, of "Light Whiskey", is everything we would abhor in a bourbon. Well, I suppose that was the point.


Yeah, I was scratching my head at the "chomping at
the bit" tone while waiting for the four year limit to end.

cowdery
10-24-2009, 21:18
As I understand Frost 8/80, a Brown-Forman product, it was actually not a Light Whiskey but, rather, an attempt to get a jump on that market. It was introduced before the official deadline and was not labeled as Light Whiskey. They took fully aged straight whiskey--I vaguely recall that it was rye but it may have been bourbon--and then filtered it like crazy to get the color and most of the flavor out of it. I've tasted it and it is everything you fear it would be.

When I was working for one of Brown-Forman's marketing agencies in the early 1980s, Frost 8/80 was rarely mentioned and only in hushed tones. It ended a few careers I believe.

shoshani
10-29-2009, 14:24
The Gallery of Graphic Design ( http://graphic-design.tjs-labs.com/index ) has quite a few whiskey ads on its searchable index, and the influence of lighter spirits in the postwar market is very apparent.

Ads for whiskey from the end of Prohibition until the start of WW II and thereabouts are all about the double-rich bold flavor and extra aging. From the early 1950s onward it's all about "today's lighter, milder, finer Brand X whiskey".

Interestingly, a few former straight whiskeys, such as Green River and Mount Vernon Rye, became blends in the late 1930s-early 1940s.

chazjaz
10-29-2009, 16:04
Thanks Shoshani, that is one interesting website. A brief history of whiskey advertising. A peak at Dad's old whiskey cupboard.

Stones
10-29-2009, 16:51
I was doing some mindless bourbon searching and
ended up at TIME magazine article on Light Whiskey:

time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,910362,00.html

A few brand names are mentioned and I was wondering
if anyone here has any recollections of this "light era"
(1972). I didn't start drinking until about 6 - 8 years
after that and figger the light versions may have not
lasted that long.

With the popularity of bourbon increasing and supply being dwarfed by demand i wonder if this is something the bourbon companies might take up again to keep the masses happy?

ACDetroit
10-29-2009, 17:38
I have a couple they were free but I do have the FR Light and a Watkin's Light whiskey. Have not had a chance to try either, one day.

Tony

JasonE
10-29-2009, 19:28
Rebel Yell would fit the bill if someone wanted a low-flavor whiskey now.


JasonE

Bourbon Geek
10-30-2009, 07:22
I agree with Chuck here ...

The category "light whiskey" ... was supposed to be lighter in taste and in color than regular whiskey ...

Because it was distilled at a higher proof than regular whiskey, it had less grain character ... Because it was aged in used or uncharred oak barrels, it had less wood character than regular whiskey.

Indeed, it was the whiskey man's answer to vodka ... supposedly...

Problem was, no one understood what the category was ... or what "light" meant ... was it light in color, light in character, light in calories ... etc.

Light beer confused the matter all the more ... because the beer guys spent a lot of bucks educating the consumer that "light" ... or "lite" ... meant lower in calories. The spirits guys didn't do such a good job educating the consumer about the category ... and most of the brands that started up died a quick and horrible death ... Frost 8/80 was one of the chief among them ...

spun_cookie
10-30-2009, 07:33
Others mentioned in the TIME article:

(Old) Crow Light


I have this one. Found it in DC. I have not opened it yet - 80 proofer

funknik
03-02-2010, 10:23
Colonel Lee is a brand of light whiskey that is still in production.

I SWEAR I saw some sort of 4R Light expression in an old person's liquor cabinet once, but I've been told there never was such an animal.:confused:

UPDATE: Upon skimming the article it appears I was sort of right!
Here you go, Josh -- this ad is hilariously self-depricating!

CorvallisCracker
03-02-2010, 10:31
Future Old Person Josh wrote:


Colonel Lee is a brand of light whiskey that is still in production.

Yes, they have a web page for it, but I'd love to know whether anyone has actually seen any on a store shelf.



I SWEAR I saw some sort of 4R Light expression in an old person's liquor cabinet once, but I've been told there never was such an animal.

Of course there was. I bought a bottle. Also one of Seagrams "Royal American" and one of Crow Light. All were equally underwhelming.


And not to come across like a mod here, but shouldn't this thread be in the "Other American Whiskey" forum?

Josh
03-02-2010, 10:35
Here you go, Josh -- this ad is hilariously self-depricating!

That is hilarious! That is the bottle I saw in the cabinet, which was at a friend's family cottage Up North.

It sickens me that the Four Roses name was ever on that crap, though. Thank God Seagram's was dismembered years ago. It must have been some sort of divine punishment.

And I do recall having seen Colonel Lee on a shelf somewhere once, but I don't remember where or when.

ILLfarmboy
03-02-2010, 10:46
Here you go, Josh -- this ad is hilariously self-depricating!

:slappin: :slappin: :slappin:


Now that's some funny stuff......
................................................

Somehow, it also reminds me of soft-core porn.
I can't believe there's a market for such stuff.

cowdery
03-02-2010, 13:53
Here you go, Josh -- this ad is hilariously self-depricating!

The guy looks like he's had a powerful neurotoxin, not a glass of light whiskey.

smokinjoe
03-02-2010, 16:56
Here you go, Josh -- this ad is hilariously self-depricating!

Him: "I'm sorry honey. This has never happened to me before. Maybe, it was too much OGD 114."

Her: "It's OK, dear. Don't worry. I'm fine. Why don't I fix us some 4R Lights?

cowdery
03-02-2010, 19:39
An idea, perhaps, for the next BTEC or WRMC release: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished with Pulverized Cialis (tadalafil) Tablets.

Josh
03-03-2010, 04:04
An idea, perhaps, for the next BTEC or WRMC release: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished with Pulverized Cialis (tadalafil) Tablets.

That outta get a rise outta some people.:grin:

smokinjoe
03-03-2010, 05:34
An idea, perhaps, for the next BTEC or WRMC release: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished with Pulverized Cialis (tadalafil) Tablets.

5:00 AM C.S.T.
March 3, 2010
Somewhere North of Downtown Chicago

Ring…Ring….Ring….

CC: Uh..Hello?

BS III: (in an excited staccato-like voice) Chuck! Great idea, Chuck!

CC: What ide… Who the hell is this?

BSIII: Bill Samuels, Chuck. The ED med infused bourbon Chuck. Great idea! Couldn’t wait to call you since reading it on SB.Com last night! I’m gonna beat those cow herder’s in Frankfort to the punch!

CC: What?...(fumbling for watch) Do you realize it’s 5AM!

BSIII: This can’t wait! I’ve been up all night. Couldn’t sleep. Great idea, but I want to go with Viagra, Chuck, Viagra.

CC: Are you fuc*#$! Crazy?

BSIII: Chuck, do you know if any of these pills come in red, Chuck? How about Red?

CC: Uh…

BSIII: I like color Chuck. Color. Nobody know Cialis’ color. EVERYBODY knows Viagra Blue. I’m gonna go with them. I’ve already contacted Pfizer. They’re on board.

CC: Sure, whatever.

BSIII: My trademark people are already preparing the submission to the government. Blue Wax Tops, Chuck, Blue Wax!! This is gonna be huge. I need you in Loretto this morning, Chuck.

CC: Bill, are you OK?

BSIII: Never better, Chuck. Never better. I haven’t felt this good since I sued those cactus drinkers at Diageo.

CC: Uh, Bill? Uh, you’re not nearby….are you? Chuck says as he deftly peers through the blinds out onto the cold hard streets of Chicago, looking for any signs of danger.

BSIII: Heck no, Chuck. I told you, I’m in Loretto. I need your help. I remember your marketing days at BF. Great work, Chuck. Great work! I’ll have a car pick you up in 2 hours.

CC: Are you sure about this Bill? I mean, it was meant as a joke….

BSIII: Dead serious Chuck. Dead serious. I’ve been working on names.

CC: Names?

BSIII: Yes, Chuck. Names! How about “Makeher’s Mark”! Get it, Chuck!? MakeHER’s Mark!! (Beeeeep. “ Sally, get the lawyers on the phone. See if anyone has rights to Makeher’s Mark!!”!)

CC: That’s a little over the top, don’t you think, Bill?

BSIII: Yeah….maybe….(Beeeeeep. “Sally, shitcan that last request.”)

CC: Ya know, have you thought of a cross-over marketing deal with a condom maker? Chuck sheepishly says while holding back the giggles.

BSIII: Brilliant, Chuck!!!!! BRILLIANT!!!!! (Beeeeeeep. “Sally, get Trojan on the phone. Pronto!!”) Chuck, this is great!!! We can include a condom with each bottle!!!! Get em happy! Get em laid! And, do it safely!!! This might help my reputation as being a mean old tyrant!

CC: How about blue condoms?

BSIII: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CC: Blue condoms with faux wax drippings! Chuck roars while rolling on the floor in uncontrollable laughter.

BSIII: Oh my freakin’ Gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!! BSIII screams while blowing into a Liquor Barn brown paper bag in an attempt to keep from hyperventilating. (Beeeeeeep.Beeeeeep!!!Beeeeeeeeeeep!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!! “Sally, get legal again!!!!” pant…pant…pant… “Get them moving on a trademark for blue faux wax drippings condoms!!!!!!”)

Thud…………..

CC: Bill?.......Bill???.......

Josh
03-03-2010, 05:45
"And the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay goes to..."

:lol:

cowdery
03-03-2010, 09:58
Very funny, except Bill doesn't believe in telephones. It would be a handwritten note.

barturtle
03-03-2010, 15:44
Very funny, except Bill doesn't believe in telephones. It would be a handwritten note.

That's probably just so he can put a wax seal on it.

dave ziegler
03-09-2010, 09:17
I can tell you one thing about the Frost 8/80 Light whisky and that is the Light whisky first bought and put out by them was whisky bought from Continental Distilling as Continental was thinking big on getting into that market and suddenly decided not to and sold all they had to them. I had not seen this thread and someone sent me an e mail because I had talked to them about our started venture into light whisky and the dession to abandon the Idea.
Dave Z
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