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Hondo
11-12-2009, 15:12
I had a few minutes to kill this afternoon and was passing by a liquor store in the Portland neighborhood of Louisville that I had not been to, so I stopped in to see if they had any goodies that I needed to have.

This was one of those places where EVERYTHING is behind bullet proof glass so its a bit difficult to check out bourbon bottles from afar. However I did spot a lowly bottle of Old Charter 80 proof eight year old sitting on the bottom shelf. I'm usually not a fan of 80 proof stuff however I have had several Old Charter bourbons that I really enjoyed so I thought I would give it a go anyway.

I didn't recognize the label as being the current label. This one had the age statement printed across the label diagonally. It was not a separate label like the current versions as I recalled. Upon closer examination it shows as being distilled in Louisville instead of Frankfort.

I spent some time searching old threads trying to determine when Old Charter changed labels and as far as I can tell it looks like the label change occurred in 2005. The label on this bottle does have the bar code and warning label so obviously its not very old.

I couldn't find much that I could understand about the Louisville distillery and when it changed to Frankfort. Can any of you Old Charter guru's shed any light on this for me?

I have not tried it yet since I'm still at work and they frown upon me drinking bourbon at my desk! :lol: I'll give it a try after I get home in a while.

It looks like this although this is not the actual bottle I bought today.

http://thumb2.webshots.net/t/69/769/6/12/53/2184612530105512162oHdNAK_th.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2184612530105512162oHdNAK)

Josh
11-12-2009, 16:21
I couldn't find much that I could understand about the Louisville distillery and when it changed to Frankfort. Can any of you Old Charter guru's shed any light on this for me?

I have not tried it yet since I'm still at work and they frown upon me drinking bourbon at my desk! :lol: I'll give it a try after I get home in a while.

It looks like this although this is not the actual bottle I bought today.

http://thumb2.webshots.net/t/69/769/6/12/53/2184612530105512162oHdNAK_th.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2184612530105512162oHdNAK)

Louisville= UD. It was made at Bernheim (currently owned by HH), and had the same mashbill as I.W. Harper (I think).

I've been a big fan of the 10 y/o for a long time, but I've tried the current OC 8 and it is not particularly good. I had an old OC 7 from Louisville, but it was badly tained and undrinkable. It ended up orphaned at the gazebo in September.:grin:

Hondo
11-12-2009, 16:56
Thank you Josh!

I should have looked more closely before posting that picture in my original post... its not the same at all.

Here is a picture of the bottle I bought today.


http://thumb2.webshots.net/t/75/175/6/57/15/2798657150105512162OKadwF_th.jpg (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2798657150105512162OKadwF)

Hondo
11-12-2009, 18:33
Looking at the bottom of the bottle there are five markings.

At the two o'clock position is R7, at the four o'clock position is 92, at the six o'clock position is 8, at seven o'clock is 42 and at ten o'clock is a symbol that I can't really describe.

So assuming that the 92 is the year this was bottled, it should have been distilled in 1984. So it is a little older than I originally thought.

So would this have been Bernheim in 1984?

Hondo
11-13-2009, 08:37
If this article is accurate:

http://www.ellenjaye.com/bernheim.htm

Then the bourbon in this bottle should have been distilled in the old Belmont Distillery.

This bottle sure has caused me to do a lot of reading! :grin:

smokinjoe
11-13-2009, 08:45
If this article is accurate:

http://www.ellenjaye.com/bernheim.htm

Then the bourbon in this bottle should have been distilled in the old Belmont Distillery.

This bottle sure has caused me to do a lot of reading! :grin:

Dontcha hate when that happens! Lotsa readin' always makes my head hurt. :D

Josh
11-13-2009, 09:22
Thanks for the links Hondo! I was unaware of the history of Belmont.

theDon
11-13-2009, 10:45
Bought a 7 year around the same time frame and the bottles look about the same. Bad stuff. Mixed it with an RC. Had very earthy flavors too it, but nothing that was inviting. Just musty, dirt. Hope yours is a better year.

On a positive note, I've never had a OC 12 that was anything less than superb. I've had bottles from throughout the 80's and 90's.

smokinjoe
11-13-2009, 11:14
Bought a 7 year around the same time frame and the bottles look about the same. Bad stuff. Mixed it with an RC. Had very earthy flavors too it, but nothing that was inviting. Just musty, dirt. Hope yours is a better year.

On a positive note, I've never had a OC 12 that was anything less than superb. I've had bottles from throughout the 80's and 90's.

That's too bad, Don. Though, I've never had any regular 7yr OC, I've had a couple bottles of the OC BIB, which they age state as 7 years. And, it is superb. You probably can locate some semi-dusties in Weller Heaven...er... (Texas). If you do, I would recommend you give it a try.

cowdery
11-13-2009, 11:43
Linda and John Lipman ("L" and "J") were early participants in this site who drifted away as many do, but even before StraightBourbon came into existence, they were recording their whiskey-related travels and research on their web site. Their posts are very detailed and are in the form of travel journals. They have visited most of the active and defunct whiskey distilleries in the United States.

The famous gazebo gatherings at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival began because too many of us were cramming into John and Linda's room at the General Nelson, because that's where all the whiskey was, and somebody said, "Hey, there's a gazebo in back. Why don't we just go there?"

So my sole purpose in posting this is to let people know that their American whiskey education is incomplete without a visit to www.ellenjaye.com (http://www.ellenjaye.com).