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View Full Version : Before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good!



BBQ+Bourbon
02-20-2010, 22:52
You heard that right. Bill Samuels singlehandedly created a concept wherein it was OK for bourbon to taste good! According to Dave Pickerell, MD at Maker's, before Bill Samuels reinvented the bourbon-making process, bourbon was not tasty. You know all those SW OFBIB you knew and loved? No good. Not unless they came after 1958, when A. Ph. Stitzel stole Samuels' mashbill:rolleyes:

There was some good information and advice in this presentation, but at the end, I was pissed off at Pickering's dishonesty and arrogance. Until this moment I had nothing against MM. So you know, the only thing that matters in the bottle is where the flavor lands on your pallate:rolleyes:.

http://www.doityourself.com/video/Master-Bourbon-Tasting-Class-Art-of-the-Drink-41-34251984

DeanSheen
02-20-2010, 22:56
Don't be upset by a mediocre one trick pony brand based on marketing.

Not worth your time.

Lost Pollito
02-20-2010, 23:08
Don't be upset by a mediocre one trick pony brand based on marketing.

Not worth your time.
I'll second that !!! Not worth your time.

OscarV
02-21-2010, 06:50
I wonder if MM is feeling the heat from 4R?
MM used to be trendy, (in the phoney selfish 1980's) but 4R has passed them up (not in $ales) and is now, IMHO the industry leader in unique offerings.
It wasn't that long ago that you could not get 4R outside of Japan and KY and now look at what they offer.
"Yellow Label" ,Single Barrel ,Small Batch, 3 different Barrel Strengths, two different Mariage's, and private bottles from retailers all over the country of Single Barrels and Barrel Strengths of their 10 different recipes.

So MM, when's that new bottle coming out that you put some sticks in?

jburlowski
02-21-2010, 06:53
Simply a bunch of crap! Screw you, MM!

Thesh
02-21-2010, 12:36
Maker's Mark is great for cooking and mixing... Although it's a little too pricey to justify a lot of the times.

barturtle
02-21-2010, 12:45
That video is a bit old, and I'm sure has been linked to before.

Here's the link to the original source:

http://artofthedrink.blogspot.com/2007/03/episode-41-master-bourbon-tasting-class.html

Josh
02-21-2010, 14:12
Typical baloney that a lot of companies engage in. Does anybody really believe that it is rude to serve any other bourbon, since Old Fitzgerald is the "Key to Hospitality"? Or that Paul Jones really was smitten by a southern belle who wore a corsage of four roses at a party? Or that Evan Williams was Kentucky's first distiller? Maybe some people do, but those people probably don't have the time or inclination to find out the facts.

So yeah, it's a dumb statement, but nothing unusual or worth getting outraged about.

RamblinWreck007
02-21-2010, 14:28
That video is a bit old, and I'm sure has been linked to before.

Here's the link to the original source:

http://artofthedrink.blogspot.com/2007/03/episode-41-master-bourbon-tasting-class.html

Fascinating video, thank you for linking it. I've been enjoying "experimenting" with my BT White Dog, and that gave me some more ideas.

ErichPryde
02-21-2010, 21:46
Or that Paul Jones really was smitten by a southern belle who wore a corsage of four roses at a party?

So yeah, it's a dumb statement, but nothing unusual or worth getting outraged about.

You must not have seen that southern belle, but believe me.... :bigeyes:

cowdery
02-21-2010, 22:16
The Maker's Mark style has always been tongue-in-cheek overstatement. When they misstep, it's by taking themselves too seriously.

However, Maker's Mark genuinely did change the bourbon industry's perception of itself and its product. Before Maker's Mark proved it could be done, you couldn't convince any bourbon marketer that there was a market for premium quality American whiskey.

It's true. I know. I was there.

bourbonv
02-22-2010, 09:30
I have heard that same talk from Bill Samuel's son and had the same thoughts about many of the other excellent bourbons made before the 1950s. By following the logic of the presentation then since Jim Beam is made the same as it has been since 1795 and any bourbon before Maker's tasted bad, then Jim Beam tastes bad by Maker's Mark's logic. I wonder how that goes over in the Chicago Headquarters of Jim Beam.

When Maker's Mark was family owned, they deserved every bit of their reputation. Maker's from the 1960s and 70s was every bit as good as anything that came out of Stitzel-Weller. I wish I had a case of the Gold Wax 101 from the late 1970s.

Mike Veach

HighTower
02-24-2010, 04:22
I wish I had a case of the Gold Wax 101 from the late 1970s.


Amen to that!!

Scott

Old Lamplighter
02-24-2010, 17:08
When Maker's Mark was family owned, they deserved every bit of their reputation. Maker's from the 1960s and 70s was every bit as good as anything that came out of Stitzel-Weller. I wish I had a case of the Gold Wax 101 from the late 1970s.

Mike Veach

Then why, in heaven's name, can they not do it again? If Julian and others can still produce a high quality product, why can a tradition-rich house such as MM not do the same? Do they plan to just ride off into the sunset and live forever on just the name & label as in the likes of JD (that coming from a Tennessean.....apologies to anyone who may be offended) and a few others out there? The VW line is living proof that a high quality product can be continued - and some would argue improved, as it has transitioned from ORVW to PVW and S-W to B-T through the years.

Gillman
02-24-2010, 17:28
I think it's fair to say that Bill Samuels, whether he felt that way personally or not, perceived a truth: the rye content in bourbon is an acquired taste and puts off even many experienced imbibers. I know this because when I started drinking bourbon, I found the ones heavy on the rye undrinkable and ditto for rye whiskey. It took years to acquire the taste - even for someone interested in alcoholic drinks, their make-up and their history. I liked Makers and Old Fitz much more than any rye-recipe bourbon, but finally I changed because I could see that rye-recipe was more complex. I just "got" the taste at a certain point. This is something Maker's perceived and exploited and you can't blame them. It is not to say the traditional bourbon mash (or what became so by the post-Pro era) could not be marketed in as creative a way, but no one really tried, from what I can see. It was only by reading Michael Jackson in his World Guide to Whisky (1987) that I really understood what rye contributes to a mashbill of whiskey.

Gary

rocky480
02-24-2010, 19:57
Then why, in heaven's name, can they not do it again? If Julian and others can still produce a high quality product, why can a tradition-rich house such as MM not do the same? Do they plan to just ride off into the sunset and live forever on just the name & label as in the likes of JD (that coming from a Tennessean.....apologies to anyone who may be offended) and a few others out there? The VW line is living proof that a high quality product can be continued - and some would argue improved, as it has transitioned from ORVW to PVW and S-W to B-T through the years.

I'm sure they can do it again, but, and I'm making a few guesses here, why would they need to do it again or change what they are already doing when MM seems to be selling everything they can bottle. Granted, the new expression coming out may argue against that statement, but until I see it at retail at the same price point as regular MM, I'll stick by this thought, as I'm guessing the new expression is going to carry some sort of a premium with it. I'm also guessing that higher quality is going to be acheived with longer aging and higher proof which is going to lower the profit margin, reducing the incentive for MM to radically change what they are currently doing.

Mike

ErichPryde
02-25-2010, 00:39
I think it's fair to say that Bill Samuels, whether he felt that way personally or not, perceived a truth: the rye content in bourbon is an acquired taste and puts off even many experienced imbibers. I know this because when I started drinking bourbon, I found the ones heavy on the rye undrinkable and ditto for rye whiskey. It took years to acquire the taste - even for someone interested in alcoholic drinks, their make-up and their history. I liked Makers and Old Fitz much more than any rye-recipe bourbon, but finally I changed because I could see that rye-recipe was more complex. I just "got" the taste at a certain point. This is something Maker's perceived and exploited and you can't blame them. It is not to say the traditional bourbon mash (or what became so by the post-Pro era) could not be marketed in as creative a way, but no one really tried, from what I can see. It was only by reading Michael Jackson in his World Guide to Whisky (1987) that I really understood what rye contributes to a mashbill of whiskey.

Gary


It's funny that you say that, as it reflects Maker's advertising style- wheat must taste better because wheat bread tastes better than rye bread? :rolleyes: It's a bunch of crap. I was one of those people (whether or not it is a small number or not I'm not sure) that actually prefered rye based bourbon over wheat based bourbon. At the beginning of my bourbon-drinking career I actually couldn't find a single wheater I thought was worth a damn. one of the few that I actually do like now is Pappy Van Winkle 15 year.

Maker's mark advertising tells people that they WILL like wheated bourbon better than rye-recipe bourbon. Is it anywhere within the realm of possibility, that this effects their actual taste of the stuff? I personally think it is.

Gillman
02-25-2010, 02:43
My view is based on my own experience, not Maker's Mark advertising, clearly yours is different, so that's valid for you. I didn't mention bread in my notes, I have no opinion on that. Anyone is entitled to market based on how they see things or what they perceive the market to like or not like. There is a rough analogy in my view with peated malt whisky...

Gary

ErichPryde
02-25-2010, 10:55
Gary, I probably came across as harsh last night when I typed that (as I enjoyed a pour of Weller 12, by the way.... :o ). I wasn't trying to say that you were full of crap, but that the advertising itself is full of crap. I actually had someone try to convince me that I should/would like maker's mark the best of all bourbons because of the "bread recipe" analogy that Maker's Mark uses. This particular person was like an avid Jack Daniel's fan- not clear that they had tried any other bourbon and they were completely convinced that Maker's was the pinnacle of the bourbon world.

bourbon-n00b
02-25-2010, 11:40
Gary, I probably came across as harsh last night when I typed that (as I enjoyed a pour of Weller 12, by the way.... :o ). I wasn't trying to say that you were full of crap, but that the advertising itself is full of crap. I actually had someone try to convince me that I should/would like maker's mark the best of all bourbons because of the "bread recipe" analogy that Maker's Mark uses. This particular person was like an avid Jack Daniel's fan- not clear that they had tried any other bourbon and they were completely convinced that Maker's was the pinnacle of the bourbon world.

My uncle is one of these people. The sun rises and sets on MM. I tried to expose him to OWA last fall, figuring he'd enjoy a different wheater, but it was "too strong".

I suggested that he could add a little water to bring the proof down and he told me that he hated adding water to bourbon. He couldn't quite understand the point that MM doesn't come straight out of the barrel and into a bottle at 90 proof, so what difference does it make when the water gets added...

Oh well, I probably won't bother him with anything like a PVW, WLW, OGD114, etc. If he is truly content with only MM and has no desire to look beyond it, more power to him. I tried.

Gillman
02-25-2010, 11:47
Oh no problem Erich and I didn't read it that way. It is true that some advertising is just puffery as it's termed - selling the sizzle with the steak - and some ends up being just empty formulae. But in the Bill Samuels story about trying to improve on the rye-recipe, there was always something about it that rang true to me, simply because of my own experience. And also, evidently bourbon is not America's leading spirit. Vodka far outsells it and even blended whiskey (including Canadian) does I believe. It's not just price, since a lot of bourbon is still inexpensive. It's palate, the traditional American straight whiskey taste, based on a rye-influenced mash, just doesn't appeal to a lot of people. True, there is a traditional market for it in the south and elsewhere simply because of history, so it carries on and indeed rye-recipe bourbon is still the majority type. But a lot of bourbon has little rye in it - BT has 10% as was noted in another thread - and I think JD and Dickel have less... True, the Beam bourbons have a respectable amount of rye in the mash and Jim Beam is a big seller. How many though drink those products neat? I suspect more people drink Maker's neat that Jim Beam. But anyway, I do believe Bill Samuels probably knew people, friends and others, who said, Bill, I can't drink that twangy stuff, it has a weird aftertaste, I can't accustom to it, and I like Canadian whisky and Cutty Sark better. So (I infer) Bill said, hmm how can I make a non-traditional product, but still within the bourbon precincts, that will overcome that? And he did. I am not sure about the bread thing although I believe he did think the experiments showed superiority of a corn-wheat mash for bourbon, but anyway the fundamental insight about rye recipe's limitations - perceived limitations of course - always rang true to me in part because of my own experience.

I know people on this board who couldn't stand straight rye when they first tasted it and now really like it - they finally twigged to the taste.

That's just my view, I must say though I tend (unless it is completely vacuous/ponderous/empty of meaning) to take ad claims more literally than many others here. Not sure why that is, I don't think I'm more credulous than the average person. I believe, especially in the context of a smaller company, that when the people behind it say something they genuinely mean it. I start from that assumption and find often no reason to depart from it.

Gary

CorvallisCracker
02-25-2010, 11:50
...wheat must taste better because wheat bread tastes better than rye bread? :rolleyes: It's a bunch of crap.

Sure is. Rye bread is better than wheat bread.

Hot pastrami on rye, with melted Swiss cheese. :yum:

OscarV
02-25-2010, 13:59
When Maker's Mark was family owned, they deserved every bit of their reputation. Maker's from the 1960s and 70s was every bit as good as anything that came out of Stitzel-Weller. I wish I had a case of the Gold Wax 101 from the late 1970s.

Mike Veach

This is the first time I've heard any kind of comparision of MM to S-W.
But I have done my own irresponsible speculation in the past.
I've always thought MM could make great boubon, they did after all have the same type of still built for them by S-W people and Pappy gave Mr Samuels his recipe.
I did not know until now that they use to make great bourbon.
Thanx for the info Mike.

SMOWK
02-25-2010, 19:06
This is the first time I've heard any kind of comparision of MM to S-W.
But I have done my own irresponsible speculation in the past.
I've always thought MM could make great boubon, they did after all have the same type of still built for them by S-W people and Pappy gave Mr Samuels his recipe.
I did not know until now that they use to make great bourbon.
Thanx for the info Mike.

StraightBoston was kind enough to send me a sample of MM from 1981 that I have yet to sample, as well as some older gold wax 101. I was very, very, overly fascinated (VVOF) with the gold wax. It tasted nothing like the bottle I had purchased earlier that day in a local store. It was superb. My girlfriend even said it was the best bourbon she had ever tasted.

One thing I learned from the whole "test". Mike V knows what he's talking about.

Gillman
02-25-2010, 20:22
Open that '81 Makers! I remember it being a rich, brandy-like dram. It would be interesting to hear a side-by-side with the current issue. No question gold wax was great, but a comparison of the regular label from 30 years ago to now would be more interesting.

Gary

SMOWK
02-25-2010, 20:44
I was born in 1981, so I've been waiting for a birthday for some reason. The problem is, there's a good 6 or 10 bottles in the closet with "Birthday" on the label. It could take a while....

Gillman
02-26-2010, 05:58
I once was given a taste at Louisville Bourbon Society of some from the 70's and it was very good, just as I remembered it from then. Perhaps the person who gave you the sample has some and will offer a taste note.

Gary

Gillman
02-26-2010, 06:00
Actually, I am going to get some Maker's later (current obviously) and give a taste note, it has been a while since I have had some.

Gary

steeltownbbq
02-28-2010, 13:39
I was introduced to the pleasures of drinking straight bourbon in 1980 when an older gentleman offered me some MM (black wax I believe). He had picked it up while driving through Kentucky to a family gathering in Alabama and was real happy to have it and to share.

For a long time all I knew was MM and I knew that I liked it. Many years later I discovered other bourbons and learned to appreciate the differences. Today, while I wouldn't turn down a glass of MM if you offered it, I don't spend my hard earned dollars on their brand any more.

And as for personal tastes, my brother-in-law enjoys whiskey too - Canadian Club diluted 3:1 with 7-Up. So when we set down for a drink - I sip on my WT101, BT or 4R and he swills his CC flavored soda. And we both end up happy.

ILLfarmboy
03-01-2010, 13:51
I agree with Gary's comments with regard to wheat Vs. rye and straight rye. For the most part, rye is less noobie friendly.


My uncle is one of these people. The sun rises and sets on MM. I tried to expose him to OWA last fall, figuring he'd enjoy a different wheater, but it was "too strong".

I suggested that he could add a little water to bring the proof down and he told me that he hated adding water to bourbon. He couldn't quite understand the point that MM doesn't come straight out of the barrel and into a bottle at 90 proof, so what difference does it make when the water gets added...

Oh well, I probably won't bother him with anything like a PVW, WLW, OGD114, etc. If he is truly content with only MM and has no desire to look beyond it, more power to him. I tried.

I find there's a lot of ignorance with regard to distilling proofs, barreling and bottling proofs.

As to the rest of it, some men just can't be reached.....

nblair
03-01-2010, 16:08
When Maker's Mark was family owned, they deserved every bit of their reputation. Maker's from the 1960s and 70s was every bit as good as anything that came out of Stitzel-Weller. I wish I had a case of the Gold Wax 101 from the late 1970s.

Mike Veach

I am curious to know what happened to MM. Was the Allied Domecq takeover the sole reason for the decline in quality? Was the situation similar to Stitzel-Weller and UD where Allied Domecq came in and started drastically cutting costs, raising the barrel proof, etc.? How could it go from SW quality to what it is now?

TNbourbon
03-01-2010, 16:41
I am curious to know what happened to MM. Was the Beam takeover the sole reason for the decline in quality? Was the situation similar to Stitzel-Weller and UD where Beam came in and started drastically cutting costs, raising the barrel proof, etc.? How could it go from SW quality to what it is now?
I've long been associated with the viewpoint that Maker's isn't what it could be, or ought to be, so I find myself in the unusual position of being its defender here: There's nothing wrong with Maker's Mark! I enjoy it. It's about the best one can expect from a c. 6yo, 90-proof wheater.
My gripe with MM always has been that its single iteration is/was underaged, and therefore 'unfinished'. In fact, the lack of a finish, taste-wise, was its worst sin, for me, because everything about it up to the point when you expect to relish the finish is quite good.
Plus -- in our market, at least -- distributors made a concerted effort to pair it with Jack Daniel's, because it is the market leader. They wanted it placed near JD on the shelf, and they wanted it priced like JD -- when one price moved, the other did, too. Now, JD ALSO is a too-pricey, too-young whiskey that's otherwise okay, so that never thrilled me, and kept me from buying Maker's Mark just like it keeps me from buying Jack Daniel's.
All that said, Beam (which has only owned Maker's 18 months or so now) seems to have broken, at least, that price-point link to JD, and the price seems to have fallen a bit. Frankly, I've been thinking it may be time to try Maker's again.

As an aside, I was kind of taken aback by the near-ad hominem attack on Dave Pickerell in the lead post of this thread. Dave has been a pretty regular poster here recently (not sure everyone realizes that since his ID is barely suggestive of his industry prominence), and I'd hoped he might chime in to give some background about MM's marketing, if not to defend his honor. For whatever it's worth, 'dishonest' and 'arrogant' are two adjectives that never would have jumped to my mind about Dave, despite my aforementioned aversion to his erstwhile bourbon's market position.

nblair
03-01-2010, 16:57
All that said, Beam (which has only owned Maker's 18 months or so now)


Thank you for catching my mistake. In my post I meant to say Allied Domecq, who I believe the distillery was sold to in the early 80's (I could be wrong), not Fortune Brands/Beam who has just acquired it.

smokinjoe
03-01-2010, 17:41
I've long been associated with the viewpoint that Maker's isn't what it could be, or ought to be, so I find myself in the unusual position of being its defender here: There's nothing wrong with Maker's Mark! I enjoy it. It's about the best one can expect from a c. 6yo, 90-proof wheater.
My gripe with MM always has been that its single iteration is/was underaged, and therefore 'unfinished'. In fact, the lack of a finish, taste-wise, was its worst sin, for me, because everything about it up to the point when you expect to relish the finish is quite good.
Plus -- in our market, at least -- distributors made a concerted effort to pair it with Jack Daniel's, because it is the market leader. They wanted it placed near JD on the shelf, and they wanted it priced like JD -- when one price moved, the other did, too. Now, JD ALSO is a too-pricey, too-young whiskey that's otherwise okay, so that never thrilled me, and kept me from buying Maker's Mark just like it keeps me from buying Jack Daniel's.
All that said, Beam (which has only owned Maker's 18 months or so now) seems to have broken, at least, that price-point link to JD, and the price seems to have fallen a bit. Frankly, I've been thinking it may be time to try Maker's again.

As an aside, I was kind of taken aback by the near-ad hominem attack on Dave Pickerell in the lead post of this thread. Dave has been a pretty regular poster here recently (not sure everyone realizes that since his ID is barely suggestive of his industry prominence), and I'd hoped he might chime in to give some background about MM's marketing, if not to defend his honor. For whatever it's worth, 'dishonest' and 'arrogant' are two adjectives that never would have jumped to my mind about Dave, despite my aforementioned aversion to his erstwhile bourbon's market position.

Tim, your posting here is Golden. We may wish for more, but there is nother wrong, or bad with Maker's Mark. There is no lack of quality. It just may not be as good as we would like, or as good as some have seen it. And, the vitriolic attacks on the distillery and those associated with it are unfounded, unwarranted, and based on nothing short of ignorance.

cowdery
03-01-2010, 19:53
If Maker's Mark has 'declined in quality,' a debatable proposition in its own right, it cannot be laid at Beam's feet. Beam only took over in 2006 and they haven't made any significant changes. Bill Samuels is still in charge. Beam is undoubtedly having an influence on marketing and promotion, but there is no evidence they have gotten their fingers into production.

Whatever the time frame is for people who pine for the Maker's Mark of yesteryear, they're not talking about the way it was five or ten years ago. Is it different from, say, 30 years ago? That, I think, is the question.

SMOWK
03-01-2010, 20:16
If Maker's Mark has 'declined in quality,' a debatable proposition in its own right

It has. I have the taste test to prove it. Come by sometime.

nblair
03-01-2010, 20:31
If Maker's Mark has 'declined in quality,' a debatable proposition in its own right, it cannot be laid at Beam's feet. Beam only took over in 2006 and they haven't made any significant changes. Bill Samuels is still in charge. Beam is undoubtedly having an influence on marketing and promotion, but there is no evidence they have gotten their fingers into production.

Whatever the time frame is for people who pine for the Maker's Mark of yesteryear, they're not talking about the way it was five or ten years ago. Is it different from, say, 30 years ago? That, I think, is the question.

Chuck,

I apologize for mistyping my post. I spoke of the Beam purchase of Maker's Mark, but meant to refer to the sale of Maker's Mark to Allied Domecq (or whoever it was that acquired MM) in the 1980's.

I am curious if anything changed in production back then. To my understanding they were purchased by a foreign company and I didn't know if that company tinkered with production. It was roughly 30 years ago, correct?

cowdery
03-01-2010, 21:37
Much as with Beam, Allied Domecq was involved with marketing and promotion, but not production. Having no other American whiskey properties, unless you count Canadian Club, they were even more arm's length than Beam.

Here's the history. Maker's Mark was established by Bill Samuels Senior in 1953. It was owned by the Samuels family until 1981, when it was sold to Hiram Walker and Sons, the Canadian company that made Canadian Club. Allied subsequently bought Walker, and so on. Through it all, Bill Sr. was in charge, then Bill Jr., who is still in charge.

The change from family to corporate ownership, therefore, was nearly 30 years ago.

The family sold not because the company was in trouble but because it was doing well and the family couldn't or didn't want to make the additional investment needed, so they sold to a bigger company with deeper pockets.

If you want to look for an event of some kind, look at the 1996 expansion, when Maker's essentially built a second distillery, ostensibly exactly like the original.

cowdery
03-01-2010, 21:38
It has. I have the taste test to prove it. Come by sometime.

Time frame, please? When was it supposedly 'better'?

SMOWK
03-02-2010, 06:05
I've got a nice sample from 1981 that StraightBoston was kind enough to send me. Compared to the current stuff, it's like night and day. Even my girlfriend who doesn't even drink bourbon was able to pick out the good stuff immediately.

birdman1099
03-02-2010, 06:55
Allow me, if I may, to add a point that seems to be lacking in this thread.

I understand that the majority of this board finds MM to be a less than stellar tasting product with a premium price. And I tend to agree. But I think you need to realize that MM took the stand years ago to be an industry leader and not an enthuiasts favorite. MM is a business and the business is selling bottles. Which it does well. And since the product cannot really stand on its own, it needs advertising to support it. And their marketing plan is no different than others that plan to be market leaders. Is Budweiser the "best " beer out there? They say it is. But the hard core beer drinkers I know won't touch it. Does that mean Budweiser should go back in and re-work the recipe to supply a product that is in favor with the hardliners? absolutely not. They are already selling more product than any other beer. MM is doing the same thing. We can wish all day long that MM would make a better product and taste more like the VW lines, but why would they want to follow the VW business plan if they are already selling so much more product then VW? remember, that is the goal. Selling product. McDonalds has a similar plan. Not the best burgers, but they sell the most. Thats the plan. Don't hate them for it. Just don't but into it if you don't like the product.

and also remember, we here on the board are the 1%'ers. We are more knowledgeable and emotionally tied to our bourbons than 99% of the population. I wouldn't build a business plan around us, I'd plan it around the more "impressionable" 99%.

Sorry for the ramblings....

nblair
03-02-2010, 07:08
That was a great post Scott. The analogies to Budweiser and McDonald's put it in perspective a little bit. I did want to take it one step further and say that IMO Maker's Mark has done better than McDonald's and Budweiser in promoting a "PREMIUM" product. When people drink The Diesel or eat a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, they might like it, but I doubt they are under the illusion that no better beer or burger exists. Maker's has definitely succeeded in making people think there is nothing else out there better than the red wax dipped bottle.

Josh
03-02-2010, 07:09
Allow me, if I may, to add a point that seems to be lacking in this thread...
...and also remember, we here on the board are the 1%'ers. We are more knowledgeable and emotionally tied to our bourbons than 99% of the population. I wouldn't build a business plan around us, I'd plan it around the more "impressionable" 99%.

Sorry for the ramblings....

Well put Scott.


pad

kickert
03-02-2010, 07:10
I would compare Jim Beam White to McD's and MM to something like Applebees. It is better than the cheap/easy stuff, but everyone knows it is not like the local specialty shop.

Inthewater
03-02-2010, 07:20
And people wondered why I said I noticed "A bit of hostility" around MM when I first joined.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

I think this thread proves that some people here are a bit hostile about this particular bottle of flavored distillate.

Birdman, that was a great post. If people still don't get it, then oh well. Its all about selling product, in the end, whether you like it or not.

Some sell $80 - $150 bottles to a tiny market, some sell $35 bottles to a much larger market.

smokinjoe
03-02-2010, 07:44
Indeed Scott, nice post. I agree with nblair though, in regards to the mission not targeting the masses with a general product, rather targeting the premium imbibers with a premium product.

I've always been puzzled by the perception of the Marketing efforts of Maker's Mark. I honestly do not see the overwhelming marketing effort that many believe is coming out of them. I don't see anything from them that is any different than the efforts of just about any other distillery. Am I wrong on this?

Finally as a general statement, I think we need to be careful in how we categorize what is inside the bottle. Or, any bottle for that matter. Many times I hear "Poor quality", or "bad", as descriptors of Maker's. These really are inaccurate adjectives for it. You may not like it, or you may like other bourbons better for any number of reasons, but there is nothing in Maker's processes nor the final product that can be constituted as either "bad" or "poor quality".

Sorry for my ramblings, too...:D

Halifax
03-02-2010, 08:48
...I've always been puzzled by the perception of the Marketing efforts of Maker's Mark. I honestly do not see the overwhelming marketing effort that many believe is coming out of them. I don't see anything from them that is any different than the efforts of just about any other distillery. Am I wrong on this?...

I operate my own business. I can tell you that from a business and marketing perspective MM has 3 big factors that aide them in creating the perception of being a "premium" brand in the minds of the mass consumer:

1. Unique & highly recognizable packaging. Almost all alcohol consumers can easily identify the MM product.
2. Distribution. The MM bottle sits on the top shelf of almost every bar in th country.
3. Past & present marketing. Most people are sheep and easily influenced. Once they buy into it, more often than not, they are done.

I can't tell you how many of bottles off MM that I bought and mixed with ginger ale over the years. I bought into the hype, just as many other consumers do. If it weren't for SB I wouldn't be any the wiser.

JMHO
Rod

George
03-02-2010, 09:00
Very interesting thread.

I like MM. I'm not sure how I would classify it. Premium? Mid-shelf? I guess it doesn't really matter much to me. At $27-28, I'll pass on it every time. At $22-23, it's part of my regular rotation.

I also think there are some consumers who don't like MM because it is so ubiquitous. That happens with a lot with good products. Once they become mainstream, a certain segment of the population dismisses them. I believe there's some of that with MM.

Just my $0.02.

Gillman
03-02-2010, 09:52
One factor sometimes overlooked I think is that the average buyer, who has no idea of the range out there of whiskey and its characteristics, tends to choose, not necessarily the best, but just something reliable. Indeed the "best" may not be wanted, due to price. So you get a known quantity and it won't displease - as important as getting something that is "the best"... I know this because I apply this rule to other areas of consumer products, say cookies. I like Dad's oatmeal cookies (a brand we get in Canada, not sure if it is a U.S. brand also). There are so many kinds out there, but I am not sure I have the time or interest to experiment, plus I don't want to waste $$$ on something I won't like. So I buy Dad's brand because it is always good and I know what it is like.

Gary

smokinjoe
03-02-2010, 10:29
I operate my own business. I can tell you that from a business and marketing perspective MM has 3 big factors that aide them in creating the perception of being a "premium" brand in the minds of the mass consumer:

1. Unique & highly recognizable packaging. Almost all alcohol consumers can easily identify the MM product.
2. Distribution. The MM bottle sits on the top shelf of almost every bar in th country.
3. Past & present marketing. Most people are sheep and easily influenced. Once they buy into it, more often than not, they are done.

I can't tell you how many of bottles off MM that I bought and mixed with ginger ale over the years. I bought into the hype, just as many other consumers do. If it weren't for SB I wouldn't be any the wiser.

JMHO
Rod


Thanks for input, Rod. But, I don't see where your list differs from what other distilleries do. Even in breadth and scope. Where is the past and present marketing that has the sheeple fooled? I've just not seen an overwhelming amount of information/marketing/advertising presented by MM. Certainly, not anything resembling MM induced "hype". Short of the occasional billboard, I don't see anything in the other media. No radio, TV, internet ads, newspaper, mags, sports related mkg, blimp, NASCAR Chevy :D...nothing. I'm sure there are some spots in some of the media I listed, but not an inundation. Sure, you can get a fair amount of MM apparel etc. at the gift shop, but you can get similar at BT, HH, etc. I just don't get it.

Halifax
03-02-2010, 11:48
... Where is the past and present marketing that has the sheeple fooled? ...

http://www.doeanderson.com/our-work/makers-mark.aspx

http://higheredbcs.wiley.com/legacy/college/bygrave/0471755451/add_cases/makers_case.pdf

It's out there. They have built a significant brand over the years by using a pretty consistant message.

I know when my wife and I are doing the dinner party thing with neighbors and friends I often see MM on the kitchen counter or bar. It sits right there next to the Jack Daniels, Absolute, Capt Morgan, Crown Royal, Dewars, Bacardi and the various other perceived upscale brands. These are the same people that buy other perceived upscale brands like Toyota, Bose, Nike, Lays, LazyBoy, etc... etc...

It's all perceived value vs. brand awareness. Without the marketing, MM would be out of business or on the bottom shelf next to Old Crow.

ILLfarmboy
03-02-2010, 11:52
I would compare Jim Beam White to McD's and MM to something like Applebees.....

I'd say you are being generous.

smokinjoe
03-02-2010, 14:09
http://www.doeanderson.com/our-work/makers-mark.aspx

http://higheredbcs.wiley.com/legacy/college/bygrave/0471755451/add_cases/makers_case.pdf

It's out there. They have built a significant brand over the years by using a pretty consistant message.

I know when my wife and I are doing the dinner party thing with neighbors and friends I often see MM on the kitchen counter or bar. It sits right there next to the Jack Daniels, Absolute, Capt Morgan, Crown Royal, Dewars, Bacardi and the various other perceived upscale brands. These are the same people that buy other perceived upscale brands like Toyota, Bose, Nike, Lays, LazyBoy, etc... etc...

It's all perceived value vs. brand awareness. Without the marketing, MM would be out of business or on the bottom shelf next to Old Crow.

Thank you for the links, Rod. Interesting information, for sure. There would be no argument from me that MM has been very successful in building their brand. (Incidently, that's why in another thread, I have defended their position to aggressively protect it.) I certainly would expect them to attempt to build their brand, otherwise what's the point. Like all distilleries, they have ad agencies doing what they do. What do they call it? Enthusion! :lol: But, I see nothing in the information you provide that would lead me to believe that what they have done is significantly different or applied in in greater scope than what most other major brands in the bourbon industry have done, or for that matter, any consumer product. If we have a problem with their success at it, well that's our fault. So, I continue to remain skeptical of claims of over-the-top marketing.

PS:
Out of business, or on the bottom shelf next to Old Crow, without the marketing? Wow, now that's a claim!!

rocky480
03-02-2010, 14:39
Excellent post Scott, and a good analogy as well.

To add to the perspective that Scott gave, when I did the MM tour back in November, the tour guide stated that their goal for 2009 was to ship 900,000 cases (I'll assume they meant case equivalents since there are different sizes). I joined SB in January and I'm member #5588, so if every member through me purchased 1 case of MM last year, we'd have accounted for 0.62% of the total amount of volume that they expected to ship.

Also, as to the marketing comments, I'm still relatively new to all the bourbons that are out there and I've seen the ads (billboards or print ads) for MM, but I can't say that I was ever aware of other products like BTAC or ORVW through advertising. I'm sure these products don't really need advertising, because they are so limited, but without the knowledge gained here, I'd still think that products like OGDBIB and Weller Antique weren't worth me spending money on because they were lower tier brands. (Again, this is my former perception.) Now, I know the fact that there are some great lower priced bourbons out there and maybe MM isn't "worth" the retail prices I generally find. However, before doing research in here I was largely unaware of the quality and variety that was out there, so advertising played a role in my perception of what constituted quality.

Mike

Halifax
03-02-2010, 14:53
..PS:
Out of business, or on the bottom shelf next to Old Crow, without the marketing? Wow, now that's a claim!!

Looking back, perhaps I should have gone further. The point that I was trying to make is that the marketing and building of the brand has had more of an impact on the success and retail postioning of MM than the actual product itself. I'm not trying to be negative regarding the actual product, and at the end of the day, the product itself has to be desirable to the consumer. However, IMHO, if MM launched its product minus the marketing and branding it would most likely be a mid-shelf product at best.

Josh
03-02-2010, 14:54
PS:
Out of business, or on the bottom shelf next to Old Crow, without the marketing? Wow, now that's a claim!!

Yes, indeed quite a claim. I'd reach for MM over any current Old Fitz, Weller SR or ORVW 90.

If you don't care for the taste of the whiskey, that's fine, but I don't understand why sucessful marketing is a bad thing, or why MM are sell-outs because they don't make bourbon with a group of elves in a hollow tree. Last I checked, the Van Winkles got their whiskey from a distillery (two of them actually) that has been owned by just about every big liquor company on the planet. What is now the Four Roses distillery has been owned by a bajillion BIG LIQUOR companies too. And I don't see anyone challenging Julian's or Jim Rutledge's integrity. In fact, if you want to talk about "the little guy" MM is the exemplar par excellence of "the little guy makes good". As the late Don King might say "Only in America!"

But maybe I'm biased because on the last MM tour I took, Bill touched me twice.

UPDATE: I just read your post above, Halifax. Note that the above rant isn't directed specifically at you.

cowdery
03-02-2010, 15:08
I don't buy this "it's just marketing" argument for any of the products to which it is usually applied. There is an adage in marketing that great marketing will get people to buy a bad product, but only once. Products simply do not succeed 'on marketing alone,' as frequently is claimed by posters on this site.

The product has to pay off whatever promises the marketing makes. That's not the same as saying that the products in question are great products, just that to the people who buy them, the marketing promise is in synch with their experience.

Some people will set up a straw man by offering their interpretation of the marketing promise and their opinion of the product, which invariably does not match up, and which is essentially irrelevant. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. If the product is successful, then the people who buy it must believe their expectations are matched by their experience.

To argue to the contrary is inherently insulting to anyone who enjoys those products, because you are saying they are ignorant sheep, easily misled by a pretty picture and a clever phrase into drinking overpriced swill. (What is the appropriate price for swill, anyway?)

The appreciation of fine spirits is not about feeling superior to other people. Well, maybe for some it is, but it shouldn't be.

nblair
03-02-2010, 15:11
I'd reach for MM over any current Old Fitz, Weller SR or ORVW 90.


Really? I cut OWA to 90 proof and did a side by side with Maker's. I didn't take any notes, but thought I preferred OWA across the board. I figured WSR would hold up to it too, even though cutting OWA isn't exactly the same as WSR...

Halifax
03-02-2010, 15:13
Like I said earlier... I've bought tons of MM over the years. Got a handful of bottles sitting in my cabinet. I didn't buy those bottles because I knew it was the best product out there at that price. I bought MM because I, like other consumers, perceived MM to be the best in it's class. Hey, nothing wrong with that. I think what MM execs have done is absolutley genius from a business standpoint.

Had I not stumbled across SB I would have never discovered the joys of WLW SR, OWA, etc, etc. As a novice bourbon consumer I was not familiar with these brands. I was never made aware thru marketing or promos, and have never seen them in any bar.

Thankfully thru word of mouth and additional bourbon experience/knowledge I have been enlightened. That being said, word of mouth, although highly desirable, is no a single component for which to build a brand around.

Josh
03-02-2010, 15:37
Really? I cut OWA to 90 proof and did a side by side with Maker's. I didn't take any notes, but thought I preferred OWA across the board. I figured WSR would hold up to it too, even though cutting OWA isn't exactly the same as WSR...

I stand by my assertion. I'm all about some OWA, but I don't think Weller SR is really up to snuff. Just too mild. I have some bunkered OWA 107/7 y/o, so the next time I buy some MM I'll do a side by side (with the OWA cut to 90) and see how it goes. I love tastings.:grin:

CorvallisCracker
03-02-2010, 15:51
I don't buy this "it's just marketing" argument for any of the products to which it is usually applied. There is an adage in marketing that great marketing will get people to buy a bad product, but only once. Products simply do not succeed 'on marketing alone,' as frequently is claimed by posters on this site.

For something truly bad, agreed. For something passable (letter grade C), the product can succeed thanks to marketing efforts alone. It only has to be better than something else in its category.

The difference can be miniscule. The only thing that distinguishes a bad vodka from a good one is that the latter lacks a noxious rubbing alcohol smell. Thanks to a brilliant marketing campaign, Absolut has millions of people convinced that it's the best thing since mother's milk.

And once people have settled on it, their loyalty to it can be fierce. You'll never get them to try something else, so they'll never know that there is A grade stuff out there. The loyal MM drinker will never try VW Lot B, and will live out his life in blissful ignorance.

I've seen too many examples of willfull ignorance to discount it the way you appear to. I recollect, back in the 1980s, being part of a hunting party one member of which, at the evening campfire, pulled out a bottle of "bourbon" that was actually Yukon Jack, a liqueur based on Canadian whisky. Efforts by others in the party to convince him that his bottle was not bourbon only succeeded in bringing him to the edge of completely losing it. We left him alone after that (he didn't get invited along the next year, though).


(What is the appropriate price for swill, anyway?)

Absolut goes for $23.95 here in OR. Yukon Jack for $19.95.

jburlowski
03-02-2010, 15:53
I personally have nothing against MM. I drink it from time to time, especially in many bars where it is the best of (usually) limited choices. They have proven that they consistently make good whiskey.

But I, like many others, would like to see them also make some great whiskey.

TNbourbon
03-02-2010, 19:43
...And once people have settled on it, their loyalty to it can be fierce. You'll never get them to try something else, so they'll never know that there is A grade stuff out there. The loyal MM drinker will never try VW Lot B, and will live out his life in blissful ignorance...
And it took me a lot of years of being a willful arrogant to become okay with 'blissful ignorance'!
The point of drinking intoxicating spirits (of which, perchance to notice, bourbon IS one!) is not to be wise so much as to be blissful!
I'm pretty sure standard Old Crow will never commence blissfulness. However, I could enjoy Maker's Mark -- especially at someone else's expense -- enough not to be so arrogant and willful!
Thus, while I agree with your description of many bourbon drinkers, I think I, too, agree with Chuck that marketing alone won't transcend the execrable (I think another way of saying it is: "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's whiskey" -- or something like that:skep:).

craigthom
03-02-2010, 19:47
I don't buy this "it's just marketing" argument for any of the products to which it is usually applied. There is an adage in marketing that great marketing will get people to buy a bad product, but only once. Products simply do not succeed 'on marketing alone,' as frequently is claimed by posters on this site.

I have a counterexample: Heineken. It's a middle-of-the-road pilsner. They may have improved their quality control in recent years (OK, decades), but in the past I have sampled many bottles of it, and every one was skunked, probably due to the green glass and poor handling.

I bet we've all had a skunky Heineken. It's such a common flaw that many people assume that it's the was the beer is supposed to taste. I once heard my uncle say, "who opened a Heineken" when we drove past skunk roadkill.

The vast majority of people buy Heineken because they've been told it's the best. When they get a little extra money or what to celebrate, that's what they get. When it tastes funny they assume that it's because they don't have a well-enough developed palate.

callmeox
03-02-2010, 19:55
Anyone who buys a consumable like food or beverage because it is the "best" is a marketers dream and they deserve to get fleeced.

I buy what I enjoy consuming and I don't give a damn what others think.

p_elliott
03-03-2010, 09:33
Really? I cut OWA to 90 proof and did a side by side with Maker's. I didn't take any notes, but thought I preferred OWA across the board. I figured WSR would hold up to it too, even though cutting OWA isn't exactly the same as WSR...

OWA cut to 90 proof is WSR.

CorvallisCracker
03-03-2010, 09:56
I, too, agree with Chuck that marketing alone won't transcend the execrable (I think another way of saying it is: "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's whiskey" -- or something like that:skep:).

Tim, I'm not talking about the execrable.


For something truly bad, agreed. For something passable (letter grade C), the product can succeed thanks to marketing efforts alone.

I'm talking about the mediocre.

CorvallisCracker
03-03-2010, 10:03
I have a counterexample: Heineken. It's a middle-of-the-road pilsner. They may have improved their quality control in recent years (OK, decades), but in the past I have sampled many bottles of it, and every one was skunked, probably due to the green glass and poor handling.

I bet we've all had a skunky Heineken. It's such a common flaw that many people assume that it's the was the beer is supposed to taste. I once heard my uncle say, "who opened a Heineken" when we drove past skunk roadkill.

The vast majority of people buy Heineken because they've been told it's the best. When they get a little extra money or what to celebrate, that's what they get. When it tastes funny they assume that it's because they don't have a well-enough developed palate.

An excellent example.

callmeox
03-03-2010, 10:41
OWA cut to 90 proof is WSR.

Good catch, Paul.

Yes, so the only difference would be the water that you use to cut the OWA versus the water that BT uses.

nblair
03-03-2010, 12:54
OWA cut to 90 proof is WSR.

I know that they are the same thing, just that one is cut to 90 proof prior to bottling. However, I thought that there were other variables that don't make it EXACTLY the same if you buy a higher proof bottling and cut it yourself.

cowdery
03-03-2010, 13:01
Old Forester uses different profiles for its 'Signature' 100 proof and standard 86 proof expressions. The 86 isn't just the 100 with more water. I suspect this is also true of the Wellers, though that is by no means assured. The easiest way to make a product at multiple proofs is to start with the highest, bottle that, add a little more water, bottle the next one, and so on.

Another factor, not applicable in either of these cases but applicable to Very Old Barton, for example, is that if the 100 proof is a bond, then it must be all from one season, whereas with every other proof point they can mix in older whiskey and even whiskey from other distilleries.

Josh
03-03-2010, 13:01
I know that they are the same thing, just that one is cut to 90 proof prior to bottling. However, I thought that there were other variables that don't make it EXACTLY the same if you buy a higher proof bottling and cut it yourself.

Indeed. Barrel selection plays a role, plus OWA is now NAS, whereas WSR is 7 y/o.

Gillman
03-03-2010, 13:05
Heineken is an interesting case. I was mystified 30 years ago that so many people drank it when as often as not the bottles (in North America) seemed affected clearly by light. Not only, in my opinion, was it often not that beer-like, it was inferior to beers people could pay much less for. Status and mass marketing clearly played a role. Yet, for some 20 years at least, Heineken now is far better in quality due to faster shipping and other factors. But it is still a big seller! While this would suggest the enduring power of mass suggestion, I think other factors are at play, not exclusively, but they play a role. And they are linked to the fact that the majority of people who drink beer apparently don't like the taste. I read this not long ago and wish I could find the reference. Thus, it may be that the fresh product is to these people no better than the unfresh, they don't like beer in general regardless of its condition. So beer may be a special case in part at least. I won't of course deny the power of mass advertising although I still believe at bottom most large-selling products offer a certain basic quality. And consistency is as important to many as inherent quality - more so in some cases.

Gary

CorvallisCracker
03-03-2010, 13:08
I know that they are the same thing, just that one is cut to 90 proof prior to bottling. However, I thought that there were other variables that don't make it EXACTLY the same if you buy a higher proof bottling and cut it yourself.

There might be. They may come from different parts of the warehouse. Only BT knows for sure.

MrAtomic
03-03-2010, 13:12
The first whiskey -- actually, the first liquor -- I enjoyed drinking was Maker's Mark. It taught me that whiskey was more than a prop for wanna-be tough guys like Slash and David Lee Roth (I'm dating myself here). If for no other reason, I'll always have a soft spot for Maker's, even if I don't buy it outside of bars anymore.

That said, I was recently reminded of the power of Maker's Mark-eting. A colleague did me a favor, and knowing that he likes Maker's, I thanked him with a bottle of Weller 12. It's a personal favorite and impossible to find locally, so it was a meaningful gift in my mind. But the recipient was unimpressed. I told him Weller was similar to Maker's, and he thanked me and then said he'd pass it on to his bourbon-drinking girlfriend.

His reaction didn't offend me (it's not my business, after all), but it sure made an impression. This is a smart, generally open-minded, friendly guy but he was totally uninterested in the Weller. He drinks Maker's. Period. I didn't say another word about the Weller, as I suddenly felt like I was insulting his taste. Hopefully his girlfriend enjoys it.

Back on topic, I'll definitely try this new version of Maker's, but by the glass, not the bottle.

callmeox
03-03-2010, 13:23
There might be. They may come from different parts of the warehouse. Only BT knows for sure.

We went through this ad nauseum when OWA went NAS while you were on your hiatus from SB.

OWA and WSR are sourced from the same barrel dump. A fraction of the juice is sent to be cut to proof for OWA and the remainder is cut to proof for WSR.

This info came straight from BT when I was there last fall. It was to answer a question about OWA going NAS and was followed with "if WSR loses its age statement, then worry."

CorvallisCracker
03-03-2010, 13:39
We went through this ad nauseum when OWA went NAS while you were on your hiatus from SB.

I was still reading. Just not posting.

I just don't remember the thread.


OWA and WSR are sourced from the same barrel dump. A fraction of the juice is sent to be cut to proof for OWA and the remainder is cut to proof for WSR.

This info came straight from BT when I was there last fall. It was to answer a question about OWA going NAS and was followed with "if WSR loses its age statement, then worry."

Thank you for the information!

Gillman
03-03-2010, 13:48
So many interesting ideas and directions here. I always find it interesting when people aren't interested to try something different. Maybe it depends on the product. Recently in a commercial-oriented bar in Toronto I commented that no craft beer was available. The server (in no way showing annoyance, but more wondrously) said it was the first time in 10 years she had heard anyone comment on brand availability or quality. I said, what if you don't have what they ask for? She said, I will suggest something else, and they always say OK. This suggests beer is a generic category to these buyers. Clearly one's whiskey is viewed differently by many (although it didn't used to be anywhere in fact, branding occurred much later).

If someone offers me a different brand of cookies than I usually buy, I'll try them, and wouldn't take offence regardless of cost. I'll try anything once.

Gary

Gillman
03-03-2010, 13:53
By the way, about 2 months after visiting that bar (re the beer choice) I went back. I completely forgot about that palaver on brand choice in the bar. But the same server came over and remembered, and said, "now we have thus and such brand", a kind of faux-micro brand made by one of the big brewers but still pretty good. I was surprised she remembered! This shows that consumer reaction albeit in a small way can make a difference.

Gary

Inthewater
03-03-2010, 14:04
I am lost in this discussion at this point, but did I hear someone mention somewhere that they think most beer drinkers don't like the taste of beer?

Well, that is a bit dated info, I think. Lots of fans of craft beers these days. Very similar issue to the one we are discussing, though I won't agree that MM : ORVW as Budweiser : Sierra Nevada (or insert favorite craft brewer). More like Sierra Nevada to Court Ave Brewing Company (small local brew pub) in my home town.

Both are good products and high quality, one just goes for an even smaller percentage of an already small slice of the consumer pie.

Gonna have a glass of MM tonight just in honor of this thread, and enjoy it.

:)

Gillman
03-03-2010, 14:07
I will try to find that poll I mentioned. Craft beer is growing but in Canada at any rate it doesn't have more than 7% or so of the total market.

Gary

craigthom
03-03-2010, 21:18
While the availability of craft beers in the U.S. has grown incredibly over the past twenty-five years, it's still just a drop in the bucket.

I think the fact that Corona is the best-selling imported beer in the U.S., and probably outsells any craft beer, support the contention that most beer drinkers don't drink beer for taste. Corona with lime tastes a lot like club soda with lime.

DeanSheen
03-03-2010, 21:41
RE Canada Beer: The beer situation there is horrible. The "Beer Store" stocks little but sub par Euro beers and vaguely branded Canadian major faux craft garbage.

RE US Beer: Alabama finally let good beer in state. It's coming along. Ohio only let it in about 8 years or so ago.

RE US Ohio Beer: We have everything here in Cleveland. Another Brewery is on the way in the summer and many bars where you can get a large selection of micros from coast to coast and darn near any import you can think of. The stores are similar, but you need to know where to look. Right now, the US is the beer capital of the world. I was in the UK for the Holidays and the beer there sucks. I was drinking all cask ales but if you lined up a Bitter, ESB, and a Brown cask ale I would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

I got a big kick out of being in a bar in Sheffield that had about 15 taps and the only tap they were out of was Stone Ruination. Go figure. Stones plans to establish a brewery in Europe is brilliant.

Back on topic, to me MMark = Bose = Budweiser = Cuervo etc. You get the idea.

kickert
03-04-2010, 06:48
Well, that is a bit dated info, I think. Lots of fans of craft beers these days. Very similar issue to the one we are discussing, though I won't agree that MM : ORVW as Budweiser : Sierra Nevada (or insert favorite craft brewer). More like Sierra Nevada to Court Ave Brewing Company (small local brew pub) in my home town.

Both are good products and high quality, one just goes for an even smaller percentage of an already small slice of the consumer pie.


Really??? Budweiser is a good product? Really???

Inthewater
03-04-2010, 07:06
I guess I don't understand what you mean?

The symbol I used is commonly understood as "is to", such as cat is to dog or cat : dog.

It does not mean "equals".

My point was that both MM and ABInBev make a good product that sells to many folks, versus competition in their same markets.

Man, lots of "snobs", both beer and burbon, coming out of the woodwork on this one. Is this a wine website, suddenly?

Anyway, I am no huge Budweiser fan, but besides being boring for a lager / pilsner, it is not a "bad" product. It just doesn't appeal to the tiny percentage of people that will only drink craft beers, much the same way that MM doesn't appeal to the very tiny percentage of an already tiny percentage of people that actually enjoy burbon or whisk(e)y.

As someone else said earlier, I drink what I like, not what others think I should like.

Much anger, I sense in you. (Making Yoda sounds)

kickert
03-04-2010, 07:56
While I am well aware of how ":" functions in an analogy, I'll admit I might have misunderstood your statement. It is not clear which two products you are referring to when you say "both are good products" Are you saying MM and ORVW are both good products (I would agree with that). Are you saying Sierra Nevada and Court Ave are both good products (Haven't had the later, but I bet I would still probably agree). Or, as I assumed, are you saying MM and Budweiser are both good products (that, I won't agree with).

Inbev currently holds 50% of the beer market in the US. Obviously they are doing something right and plenty of people are drinking it. But that does not mean it is a "good" product.

You are right there is not a whole lot of love for MM on the board, but I would say most people here can appreciate it. I have had my fair share of bourbon and while MM is not my favorite, I would gladly choose it over many other bottles (and I think most people here would agree.)

That is the difference I see. I doubt you could find a beer snob that can appreciate a Budweiser. But with MM, even if people don't think it lives up to the hype, even the snobs can find a few redeeming qualities with it. (But then again, maybe I am just a bitter old man)

T Comp
03-04-2010, 09:02
I've long been associated with the viewpoint that Maker's isn't what it could be, or ought to be, so I find myself in the unusual position of being its defender here: There's nothing wrong with Maker's Mark! I enjoy it. It's about the best one can expect from a c. 6yo, 90-proof wheater.
My gripe with MM always has been that its single iteration is/was underaged, and therefore 'unfinished'. In fact, the lack of a finish, taste-wise, was its worst sin, for me, because everything about it up to the point when you expect to relish the finish is quite good.


I'll vote yay in favor of this being the best comment about the actual whiskey and would add that 100 proof does seem to be the magic spot for wheaters, also, no matter the distillery. Can you hear me BT distillery/ Weller 12?

Inthewater
03-04-2010, 09:24
While I am well aware of how ":" functions in an analogy, I'll admit I might have misunderstood your statement. It is not clear which two products you are referring to when you say "both are good products" Are you saying MM and ORVW are both good products (I would agree with that). Are you saying Sierra Nevada and Court Ave are both good products (Haven't had the later, but I bet I would still probably agree). Or, as I assumed, are you saying MM and Budweiser are both good products (that, I won't agree with).

Inbev currently holds 50% of the beer market in the US. Obviously they are doing something right and plenty of people are drinking it. But that does not mean it is a "good" product.

You are right there is not a whole lot of love for MM on the board, but I would say most people here can appreciate it. I have had my fair share of bourbon and while MM is not my favorite, I would gladly choose it over many other bottles (and I think most people here would agree.)

That is the difference I see. I doubt you could find a beer snob that can appreciate a Budweiser. But with MM, even if people don't think it lives up to the hype, even the snobs can find a few redeeming qualities with it. (But then again, maybe I am just a bitter old man)

I was just saying that both MM and Budweiser are products that sell well and are not crap (even if the tiny percentage of enthusiasts dislike them), but do not appeal to the high end enthusiasts. I am not making any direct comparisons between MM and Bud.

MM to ORVW and Sierra Nevada to CABCO (local brew pub, craft brewery you enjoy).

One appeals to a much wider swath of consumers than the other, but both are good products. When you go to a company as large as AB, it gets pretty hard to find a comparison.

I was at Boulevard Brewing Co. last summer and was told in the tour that the Budweiser plant in St. Louis can make as much beer in one day (could have been one shift) as Blvd Brewing can make in a year. They have a nice new brew house, as well. Its just that big.

Anyway, just surprised by the animosity that MM brings out on this usually friendly board. It's like people love to hate on it and just start slamming it, and at the same time, insulting those who DO enjoy it.

Also, I am a "beer snob" and I can appreciate Budweiser for what it is. A massively produced, light lager that is great for an after work out beverage. It is what it is, but I don't know that I would call it a "bad" product just because I do not enjoy it as much as something else.

ErichPryde
03-04-2010, 12:55
...Anyway, just surprised by the animosity that MM brings out on this usually friendly board. It's like people love to hate on it and just start slamming it, and at the same time, insulting those who DO enjoy it.



Inthewater-

I think that most of us are displaying animosity not because maker's mark is a bad product- it isn't- but because they make claims MUCH larger (and much more loudly) than their product is. I enjoy maker's mark, but have little respect (or perhaps grudging respect?) for an ad campaign that can create people who truly believe that there is not a better whiskey and won't try other things.

It's a bit like Jack Daniels- I don't think there's a single other whiskey that goes as well in coca-cola with a bit of lime, and if I wanted any sort of whiskey in coke, It would be a jack 'n coke. I find Jack Daniels and coke to be absolutely delicious. Jack Daniel's isn't my favorite, and they certainly aren't the best, but they do have a coca-cola sized ad campaign to advertise their product everywhere in the world.

The difference between Maker's Mark and Jack Daniel's, however, is that Jack put out a couple of other types of Jack- and on at least one occasion I had a single barrel of Jack that was absolutely amazing. By far my biggest problem with Maker's Mark is that they spend so much money on saying how awesome their product is, that they can't seem to actually make some of it that way. But, perhaps that will change- I will eagerly try this new Maker's Mark product with hope.

I am jaded/cynical/wary of products that scream the most loudly, and I typically hate TV commercials. Perhaps that adds some to my disdain of Maker's. I work for a company that tries its absolute hardest to be the best in its field, and I sometimes have trouble respecting companies that only scream loudly and are only mediocre. That type of advertising has always read like a caveat emptor to me.


All of that being said, I do enjoy maker's mark. I would choose it over very many other types of bourbon, but I am (unfortunately) the type of person that finds their ad campaign a turnoff and feels that their product could be better.

I hope you understand my standpoint a little bit better. There's a lot of tone of voice that gets completely lost in text format. If I ever found myself at your house, and you offered me a pour of maker's, I would not be offended. :)

HOWEVER,

smokinjoe
03-04-2010, 13:20
Inthewater-

I think that most of us are displaying animosity not because maker's mark is a bad product- it isn't- but because they make claims MUCH larger (and much more loudly) than their product is. I enjoy maker's mark, but have little respect (or perhaps grudging respect?) for an ad campaign that can create people who truly believe that there is not a better whiskey and won't try other things.

It's a bit like Jack Daniels- I don't think there's a single other whiskey that goes as well in coca-cola with a bit of lime, and if I wanted any sort of whiskey in coke, It would be a jack 'n coke. I find Jack Daniels and coke to be absolutely delicious. Jack Daniel's isn't my favorite, and they certainly aren't the best, but they do have a coca-cola sized ad campaign to advertise their product everywhere in the world.

The difference between Maker's Mark and Jack Daniel's, however, is that Jack put out a couple of other types of Jack- and on at least one occasion I had a single barrel of Jack that was absolutely amazing. By far my biggest problem with Maker's Mark is that they spend so much money on saying how awesome their product is, that they can't seem to actually make some of it that way. But, perhaps that will change- I will eagerly try this new Maker's Mark product with hope.

I am jaded/cynical/wary of products that scream the most loudly, and I typically hate TV commercials. Perhaps that adds some to my disdain of Maker's. I work for a company that tries its absolute hardest to be the best in its field, and I sometimes have trouble respecting companies that only scream loudly and are only mediocre. That type of advertising has always read like a caveat emptor to me.


All of that being said, I do enjoy maker's mark. I would choose it over very many other types of bourbon, but I am (unfortunately) the type of person that finds their ad campaign a turnoff and feels that their product could be better.

I hope you understand my standpoint a little bit better. There's a lot of tone of voice that gets completely lost in text format. If I ever found myself at your house, and you offered me a pour of maker's, I would not be offended. :)

HOWEVER,

Erik:

I must be living in a cave.:D Can you give me some specifics of the advertising for MM that creates the single-minded people that you describe. And, how is it really different in the message than any other bourbon or consumer product? Are Wichita and Tucson really saturated with so much MM advertising? I swear, I only see the occasional billboard. I mean occasional, as in 3 a year. And, the billboards typically are whimsical and light, without mentioning the benefits that would cause the reactions from their supporters that you and others write about. I can't remember the last print ad I saw, though I'm sure they're out there.

I'm sorry if I sound obtuse, but I continue to not buy the fact that there is this avalanche of MM marketing and advertising.

They've built a terrific brand. No doubt. But the beauty of their brand is that those who tried it, apparantly continue to buy it. And, they tell others about their positive experience. Which brings in more. Golden. Sounds more like a good product, than mind controlling advertising.

I also don't get that it's bad for a bourbon to tell it's customers that it's the best they can get. Should they say it sucks?

Inthewater
03-04-2010, 13:49
"Our stuff is allright, but you'd be better off buying our competitors product."

Sounds like a winner of an advertising campaign.

Joe - You put into much better words what I was thinking. It seems like people are more upset by the fact that they have had success, and that they personally don't think they are the best, than any huge problem with the product itself.

Sounds to me like they have just had good luck with their marketing schemes. Money well spent.

SMOWK
03-04-2010, 14:58
My favorite whiskey depends on the day of the week, the moon, the sun, and sometimes how the planets are aligned. Since I have no ambition to actually calculate where these things are on any given day, I usually just work my way around the shelf to find what I like. And by then, I'm definitely in no mood to calculate all these alignments and document what I liked, and how these things were all lined up at the time. I think Mars was inside of Orion the last time I really enjoyed some MM. Now, if I just had the patience, and the memory, to remember to drink MM then, I would be one smart bourbonian. But I'm not.

Inthewater
03-04-2010, 15:07
Hehe, I just need to drink more burbon and read the forums less, unless I am looking for information about buying more burbon to drink.

That is my problem.

Gonna have a big 'ol glass of Buffalo Trace tonight. :) After a free home brew event that a local pub puts on called Jimmy Carter Happy Hour.

Should be a good night, for me anyway. :lol:

craigthom
03-04-2010, 15:08
Really??? Budweiser is a good product? Really???

Yes, really. It's well made. It could be made less expensively, but it isn't. They make exactly the beer they want to, year after year, no matter which brewery, and it is a beer that millions of people want to drink.

It's not the kind of beer I prefer, but the light "American Pilsner" is solid style of beer that a lot of breweries make, and I don't think any do a better job than AB.

pepcycle
03-04-2010, 15:32
I think there is an innate need for people to have brand loyalty.
From a psychological perspective, it reduces the anxiety associated with selection from a diverse population of choices.
Once an association is made with a brand, team, model etc, it makes life easier because it no longer requires research, decision making, buyer's remorse etc. to play into the transaction

The logic and terms of loyalty are not easy to identify but we see them here all the time.
My dad drank it. An "expert" drinks it, it appeared on the table at the Gazebo, it makes a great manhattan, its a good value.

Many people here don't suffer the neuroses associated with making a bad choice. They can brush off having purchased something that was too expensive, doesn't taste right or even if the cork is hard to pull. MOST CAN"T. They have to make the best decision every time!!!! They pride themselves on never owning a car that was lemon, a toaster that was recalled or seeing a movie that had a bad ending.

Pride and intelligence are inextricably tied to "Good Judgement" in today's society. Heck, we even pride ourselves on voting for the guy who got elected, like that made them a better politician or leader. Wow, the :shithappens: getting pretty deep.


All this MM talk is nothing but posing about being on the winning team.

Some truly independent thinkers take joy in failure and the learnings that come with it.

Its not about winning and losing, being a fan of the championship team or having the car you own be the Motor Trend Car of the Year.

To me, its enough to try it, formulate an opinion and be willing to allow others their opinion.

jburlowski
03-04-2010, 15:40
I am lost in this discussion at this point, but did I hear someone mention somewhere that they think most beer drinkers don't like the taste of beer?

:)

Well, if true, it would help explain the popularity of lite beer....

fishnbowljoe
03-04-2010, 16:27
I think there is an innate need for people to have brand loyalty.
From a psychological perspective, it reduces the anxiety associated with selection from a diverse population of choices.
Once an association is made with a brand, team, model etc, it makes life easier because it no longer requires research, decision making, buyer's remorse etc. to play into the transaction

The logic and terms of loyalty are not easy to identify but we see them here all the time.
My dad drank it. An "expert" drinks it, it appeared on the table at the Gazebo, it makes a great manhattan, its a good value.

Many people here don't suffer the neuroses associated with making a bad choice. They can brush off having purchased something that was too expensive, doesn't taste right or even if the cork is hard to pull. MOST CAN"T. They have to make the best decision every time!!!! They pride themselves on never owning a car that was lemon, a toaster that was recalled or seeing a movie that had a bad ending.

Pride and intelligence are inextricably tied to "Good Judgement" in today's society. Heck, we even pride ourselves on voting for the guy who got elected, like that made them a better politician or leader. Wow, the :shithappens: getting pretty deep.


All this MM talk is nothing but posing about being on the winning team.

Some truly independent thinkers take joy in failure and the learnings that come with it.

Its not about winning and losing, being a fan of the championship team or having the car you own be the Motor Trend Car of the Year.

To me, its enough to try it, formulate an opinion and be willing to allow others their opinion.

Nice post Ed.

My Colts lost in the Superbowl. I drive a Pontiac Aztek. I like Maker's Mark. I may not drink it that much anymore, but I'll always have a bottle on the shelf. It was my gateway bourbon, and it's always nice to go home for a visit once in a while. Joe

Stu
03-04-2010, 17:15
It seems that the consensus of opinion is that MM is an OK bourbon. I agree, not my favorite, but I won't refuse a pour (but I usually won't refuse a pour of anything). I actually have a hard time downing ABusch products (I can handle Michelobe, but would prefer a High Life). The St Louis brewery uses a lot of rice in their mash bill. I don't care for Japanese beer for the same reason - I like barley beer. I don't like wheat beer or rice beer. Likewise I like a high rye content in my bourbon. I know there are others who disagree with me. Each to their own. Madison avenue has a lot to do with sales. Marketing is great. I doubt that anyone on this board would agree that JD deserves to be the worlds best selling whiskey, but it is. They are in business to make money, not to satisfy connoisseurs. My 2 cents worth for what it is worth.

CorvallisCracker
03-04-2010, 17:52
All this MM talk is nothing but posing about being on the winning team.

Having reached the point where you're able to perceive and appreciate the complexity and refinement of a PVW 15 does not constitute "posing".

You're free to call it that. I'm free to say you're wrong.


Wow, the :shithappens: getting pretty deep.

On that we agree.

craigthom
03-04-2010, 19:55
It seems that the consensus of opinion is that MM is an OK bourbon. I agree, not my favorite, but I won't refuse a pour (but I usually won't refuse a pour of anything). I actually have a hard time downing ABusch products (I can handle Michelobe, but would prefer a High Life). The St Louis brewery uses a lot of rice in their mash bill. I don't care for Japanese beer for the same reason - I like barley beer.

You apparently like corn beer. The Milwaukee brewery uses a lot of corn in its mash. AB differs only in the adjunct they use, not the use of an adjunct. The adjuncts add very little if any taste.

A few years ago AB switched Michelob back to an all-barley beer. I haven't tried it since, but I keep meaning to. They did it when they switched back to the lava lamp bottles.

I am unaware of any beer Miller makes that doesn't have corn in it.

ErichPryde
03-04-2010, 20:14
"Our stuff is allright, but you'd be better off buying our competitors product."

Sounds like a winner of an advertising campaign.

Joe - You put into much better words what I was thinking. It seems like people are more upset by the fact that they have had success, and that they personally don't think they are the best, than any huge problem with the product itself.

Sounds to me like they have just had good luck with their marketing schemes. Money well spent.

Joe & Inthewater-

you two are absolutely correct, they absolutely should not suggest that their stuff is sub-par. Advertising your product as the best is very common practice, and ultimately there's nothing wrong with it. :cool:

There business strategy is sound, and it works wonders for them. I am not upset that they are a successful company.

They have been a one-horse parade for a long time, and when they have done any sort of special edition, it has almost always been a label or wax color change only. I genuinely want to see a maker's mark product that gives something like PVW15 a run for its money.

and as for the maker's fanatics- I guess I've just been lucky enough to meet a couple. the most extreme one worked for boeing in wichita, and other than the bread argument, they also tried to convince me that maker's mark was pretty much the only bourbon still actually made in kentucky. Now, whether or not that particular person got those ideas from maker's ad campaign or not is certainly debatable- perhaps they got their mis-information somewhere else and it wasn't really maker's fault at all.

mad props to a company that knows how to use marketing to corner the market share! I've got nothing but respect for them for that. Hopefully this new incarnation of their whiskey will be as amazing as I could hope for.

Stu
03-04-2010, 20:24
You apparently like corn beer. The Milwaukee brewery uses a lot of corn in its mash. AB differs only in the adjunct they use, not the use of an adjunct. The adjuncts add very little if any taste.

A few years ago AB switched Michelob back to an all-barley beer. I haven't tried it since, but I keep meaning to. They did it when they switched back to the lava lamp bottles.

I am unaware of any beer Miller makes that doesn't have corn in it.

I didn't know that. I guess you're right, I must like corn beer, at least I like it better than rice beer. I haven't had a Mich in years. I'll give it another shot since you say they are using all barley now.

DeanSheen
03-04-2010, 21:06
Having reached the point where you're able to perceive and appreciate the complexity and refinement of a PVW 15 does not constitute "posing".

You're free to call it that. I'm free to say you're wrong.



Thanks for that. This meme where preference is automatically tied to ego drives me nuts and has been a fallacy perpetuated many times throughout this thread.

Sometimes preference is derived from research and that's what some consumers do even when the merits of the product in question may be subjective.

smokinjoe
03-04-2010, 21:43
Thanks for that. This meme where preference is automatically tied to ego drives me nuts and has been a fallacy perpetuated many times throughout this thread.

Sometimes preference is derived from research and that's what some consumers do even when the merits of the product in question may be subjective.

I get your second paragraph, but I'm not sure what the first paragraph means. What fallacy has been perpetuated many times? Robert, I ask this in all sincerity, and not as some sort of "bait".

DeanSheen
03-04-2010, 22:04
Gotchya Joe.

My first paragraph was more a reply to what Pepcycle wrote and some other words I've read that seemed to equate the idea of preference with superiority.

Ultimately despite the drift I think this thread was allot of fun especially when it touches on the abstracts of decision making. There are some interesting perspectives here on mechanics even if the choices involved are trivial leisure products.

The Heineken example earlier in this thread reminded me of the episode of Mad Men when they decided to place the beer in end caps and only put it in supermarkets in upper middle class neighborhoods and associate the product with Europe which would lead the women who did most of the shopping to see it as quality and exotic. I'm paraphrasing here but ultimately Don's wife bought it and was pissed when she found out about his campaign thinking Don used her to come up with the campaign, but he just exploited perceptions he observed.

I'm rambling now, so I'll quit.

Pep wrote: "Many people here don't suffer the neuroses associated with making a bad choice. They can brush off having purchased something that was too expensive, doesn't taste right or even if the cork is hard to pull. MOST CAN"T. They have to make the best decision every time!!!! They pride themselves on never owning a car that was lemon, a toaster that was recalled or seeing a movie that had a bad ending."

BBQ+Bourbon
03-04-2010, 22:25
To clarify; I did not intend to knock Maker's product. I used to drink a lot of it and to this day I like Makers. I would have a bottle in my cabinet if it were priced closer to the $20 price that I think it deserves.

My bitch is about the comment made in the video. It's insulting to serious bourbon distillers to say that Makers is the first bourbon that made bourbon taste good. And its bullshit.

I could ignore the blatant lies Makers spewed when it claimed to have created wheated bourbon. I understand that their marketing department wants to claim that Makers is the best bourbon ever put in a bottle.

When their master distiller makes such a patently absurd and untrue comment about being the first bourbon that tasted good, I was insulted. Prior to that I had no problem with all the shenanigans of MM's marketing department. I'd still buy it at the $20 or less price the juice deserves.

callmeox
03-04-2010, 22:55
Thanks for that. This meme where preference is automatically tied to ego drives me nuts and has been a fallacy perpetuated many times throughout this thread.



I don't think it is a fallacy. If you want examples, visit any enthusiast product or special interest internet forum and just read. I'm sure that you will find many threads where folks will fight tooth and nail to "prove" that the product or service that they chose is the "best" or the market leader overall. I don't care if it is mobile phones or cable/satellite TV or whatever, you will find what I'm talking about. People have their entire being defined by their choices in these forums and are very passionate about it.

Honestly, I find the claims that something is "best" to be juvenile, as what suits my needs may not suit yours and vice versa.

There is no best when opinion is involved.

DeanSheen
03-04-2010, 23:13
I was talking about the idea of determining preference which is different from the idea of best and the two notions do not require linkage. How did we get to best from preference? Because some individuals make the relation between the two absolute does not mean that they have to be.

What I think you meant was that there "is no best for everyone". Well outside of water and air. I think that's pretty much the best for everyone.

callmeox
03-05-2010, 00:12
I was talking about the idea of determining preference which is different from the idea of best and the two notions do not require linkage. How did we get to best from preference? Because some individuals make the relation between the two absolute does not mean that they have to be.

What I think you meant was that there "is no best for everyone". Well outside of water and air. I think that's pretty much the best for everyone.


How? Unless one is trolling or is a self denier, they wouldn't select what they thought was the worst, would they?

ErichPryde
03-05-2010, 00:59
How? Unless one is trolling or is a self denier, they wouldn't select what they thought was the worst, would they?

Scott. would you agree that every single person cannot agree on one single product being "the best?" I'm fairly certain that is what Dean meant.

craigthom
03-05-2010, 05:25
If you want examples, visit any enthusiast product or special interest internet forum and just read. I'm sure that you will find many threads where folks will fight tooth and nail to "prove" that the product or service that they chose is the "best" or the market leader overall.

To go one further, people often consider it a personal insult when they hear a negative comment about something they like:

"I think the guitar in that latest song by XXX is out of tune, and the vocals are too far down in the mix."

"You're an idiot! I'd like to see you do better!"

NeoTexan
03-05-2010, 06:24
Being the poster boy for this thread ( see www.flipshare.com (http://www.flipshare.com) / Login: crightonspam@gmail.com (crightonspam@gmail.com) / Password: Emily [case sensitive]), I just thought I would throw in a few words…..

Marketing

I understand MM makes outrageous claims. As It has been pointed out in other treads that there are other claims made by other distilleries that may stretch the truth a tad. I do not think that making claims of this sort is unique to MM. Marketing s marketing ….. always present your product as superior to the other guy. Making a claim that before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good, is an opinion. You have free will to accept it or reject it.

Liking MM

I drink MM as my usual evening drink. Not exclusively …… As those of you have been to my home or kindly invited me to their homes, I am not averse to drinking a wide variety of bourbons. I enjoy the taste of the majority of them and do not care for others. Some of those I do not care for are, are loved by some on this board, but I would never question their opinion or their ability to judge good bourbon. Their preference is different from mine and I respect it.

Buying into the Hype

I collect MM items. I make no apology for this. It is a hobby and I enjoy it. For the most part, the special bottles MM puts out are to benefit some charity. (Talk about marketing!! Sell more product and get great press! Win/Win )

callmeox
03-05-2010, 06:32
Making a claim that before Makers' Mark, it was not OK for bourbon to taste good, is an opinion. You have free will to accept it or reject it.



To be an opinion, it should be framed as such otherwise it comes off as a statement of fact (as this does, IMO).

callmeox
03-05-2010, 06:40
Scott. would you agree that every single person cannot agree on one single product being "the best?" I'm fairly certain that is what Dean meant.

As I said above, I find the claims that something is "best" to be juvenile (and to expand) an attempt to make one's ability to choose seem superior to others who prefer something else. It is the same personal ego boost that people get by claiming fanship to a particular sports team, etc.

I own the xPhone, your phone sucks.
I drink Pippy Von Schtankle, the crap that you drink is swill.
I drive a Chebby, Furd's are trash.

Etc, etc...

Inthewater
03-05-2010, 07:16
Yeesh...

That is all.

cowdery
03-05-2010, 09:49
I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again as an addendum to Dale's comments. In the history of MM advertising, the tone has usually been one of tongue-in-cheek overstatement. Some people don't get the tongue-in-cheek part and, in fairness, there have been times when MM seems to forget it too, and takes itself too seriously. Bill Samuels and I have discussed this and he agrees. As for the tape, I didn't watch it but I've seen Dave do that presentation live. I wasn't offended by it, but he never did pull off the tongue-in-cheek part as well as Bill does.

Especially because I have worked in Marketing, I find personally that the only way to avoid getting worked up by overstated claims is to not take any marketing claims too seriously.

CaptainQ
03-05-2010, 10:31
"I collect MM items. I make no apology for this. It is a hobby and I enjoy it."

That's quite a collection there NeoTexan.

Hell, I'd settle for a Pappy tee shirt.

ErichPryde
03-05-2010, 15:11
Pippy Von Schtankle


This is getting added to my list of favorite whiskeys. :slappin:

SMOWK
03-05-2010, 20:35
I drink Pippy Von Schtankle, the crap that you drink is swill.

hahahahahaha. i love it!

pepcycle
03-06-2010, 08:25
Now to finish to my original treatise on making good decisions.

The real point I was trying to make is that no one can be an expert in everything and in order to be prepared for decisions that are not in an area of expertise, its nice to have a "go to" product that you can trust.

I, for one, am not an expert on cheese. I like cheese and often bring it as a guest when I visit. I want to bring something good that shows I'm not a cheese rube. For this role, Cambazola fills the bill. I can thank Jeff for introducing me to this cheese. It gives me that "can't go wrong" feeling when I show up with it.

I think Maker's Mark fills this niche perfectly. Most host would be glad to receive it. It ain't bad, but it ain't Pappy Van Stankle either. Its recognizable as a "premium" brand and has a nice story, even if its not totally true. You can't go wrong, except with a limited population of real bourbon enthusiasts and even then, most would be glad to have a bottle to keep on the bar.

Now, the apologies.

I wasn't trying to imply that everyone on sb.com has no capability to express their free will. On the contrary, many here are "out of the bottle" thinkers and can appreciate a diverse profile of products with an open mind.
I don't believe that most people here are driven by marketing hype when it comes to alcoholic beverages or cars or cheese. I do believe that we all want just a little more info to base our decisions on, something that makes a product unique in some way that we appreciate the difference.

I'm glad that this thread is here. Its a credit to the open discussion and level of respect members have for each other, in spite of broadly varying opinions. I know that I've learned a lot by seeing someone else's point of view.
OH NO. The :shithappens: is getting deep again.

Thanks for having me here.
I'm going see if that old Fiat in the garage will fire up so I can drive it to the mechanic (again)

callmeox
03-06-2010, 11:12
So what you are trying to says here is "Makers Mark is cheesy"? :lol: