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Gillman
03-25-2010, 18:20
What if suddenly a person who really knows his bourbon - his NAS', ND OTs, WLW '08 and '09, Stagg in all its iterations, the up and coming Tuthilltown products, the fine single barrels, the VOBs, Makers' old and new, all the Jacks and Evans, and the whole ball of wax (no pun intended) - went to sleep for 20 years. A la Rip Van Winkle (pun intended to salute a fine bourbon name). Maybe induced by an extra-strong single barrel vintage doozy of a new release. Sleeping on and on ... after Obama is long gone from public office, after electric cars become the norm, electric railways link some of the major cities, all banking is done and bills paid by hand-held devices ... sleeping on again ... new Presidents elected ... taxes still high (well I hope not)... and then the last fumes of that monster barrel finally die away and our somnolent 2010 bourbon fan awakes in a start 20 years from now, in a ravine of Atlanta or Philly or somewhere - hankering for something to eat and a shot of - bourbon.

He walks over to the big warehouse-style place down the corner - it looks a little different, brighter somehow, and gosh haven't fashions changed recently, I gotta keep up more with what is going on, and how come the streets are so quiet with all those cars, those retro 70's shapes have come back with a vengeance, I gotta be more up to date with what's going on. Lots of beeps and flashes in the new/old store but bourbon will still be in the corner where it always was. There's the bottles, all the good American brown whiskey.

What will he find there?

Gary

BBQ+Bourbon
03-25-2010, 19:28
What if suddenly a person who really knows his bourbon - his NAS', ND OTs, WLW '08 and '09, Stagg in all its iterations, the up and coming Tuthilltown products, the fine single barrels, the VOBs, Makers' old and new, all the Jacks and Evans, and the whole ball of wax (no pun intended) - went to sleep for 20 years. A la Rip Van Winkle (pun intended to salute a fine bourbon name). Maybe induced by an extra-strong single barrel vintage doozy of a new release. Sleeping on and on ... after Obama is long gone from public office, after electric cars become the norm, electric railways link some of the major cities, all banking is done and bills paid by hand-held devices ... sleeping on again ... new Presidents elected ... taxes still high (well I hope not)... and then the last fumes of that monster barrel finally die away and our somnolent 2010 bourbon fan awakes in a start 20 years from now, in a ravine of Atlanta or Philly or somewhere - hankering for something to eat and a shot of - bourbon.

He walks over to the big warehouse-style place down the corner - it looks a little different, brighter somehow, and gosh haven't fashions changed recently, I gotta keep up more with what is going on, and how come the streets are so quiet with all those cars, those retro 70's shapes have come back with a vengeance, I gotta be more up to date with what's going on. Lots of beeps and flashes in the new/old store but bourbon will still be in the corner where it always was. There's the bottles, all the good American brown whiskey.

What will he find there?

Gary
I'm not sure how many shrooms you ate tonight, but I'm having trouble following you. It sounds like you're in a great place :slappin: Party on!

Avi
03-25-2010, 19:35
Hmmmm...This isn't so easy to answer unless you've done as many shrooms, and I haven't...but, maybe....Diet-PVW 23?

Gillman
03-25-2010, 19:37
No shrooms, no anything (just post-dinner coffee), this is a journey into the future, what will the bourbon market look like in 20 years?

I'll answer my own question but am interested in others' views of course.

I think there will be many micro-distillers with small specialty markets. Jim Beam will still be a big seller, maybe under a different name for the current White Label. Jack Daniels will be a big seller, as always. 12-20 year old bourbon will be a standard offering, a la malt scotch. Heaven Hill will be going strong and indeed all the current distillers will be, but not too many new players will enter at a macro level.

Bourbon also will (it's already happening) have a rise in social status and the lingering frontier associations will be long gone.

I don't think flavored bourbons will be that big, maybe one or two.

There will be a whole new range of brand names, but some still familiar to us. The craft distillers will offer a wide array of whiskey products and some will become well-established. That's what I think Old Rip will wake up to in 2030. What do you think?

TNbourbon
03-25-2010, 19:51
I have no way of knowing, Gary. My Social Security benefit and public retirement has been decimated by hyper-inflation, so I'm lucky to afford water. And, if I could buy liquor, I STILL couldn't afford it -- because if my liver starts to give me trouble, at my age, the bureaucrat in charge of approving my medical treatment will probably decide I'm just not productive and young enough to warrant it.
The best I'm going to be able to do -- if Alzheimer's hasn't robbed me of that faculty, too -- is remember that I once was among a relative few who knew and appreciated historical, fine, distinctive (before the U.S. was just another assimilative social democracy) American bourbon (which probably now can be distilled wherever on the globe one can buy corn).

Dramiel McHinson
03-25-2010, 20:08
Our thirsty friend will find beautifully crafted polyethelene bottles of artificially inseminated whiskey, cheap. A breakthrough invention by Burns and Dithers Group that brought cheap whiskey to the masses. This would have been made possible by government subsidies to Burns and Dithers lobbied for by Congressman Bill "Beelzebub" Gates.

Burns and Dithers were able to buy up all of the big spirits corporations under the guise of helping the little guys bring their wares to market. Once Burns and Dithers had 80% of the market they directed their spirit companies to begin producing whiskey with a common look and feel to the consumer so as not to cause brand confusion and dilution of the market.

Great value was found in all brands using the same bottle made by the bottle company owned by Burns and Dithers. Next, tremendous savings were found by using artificial colors and flavors added to bulk distilled grain neutral spirit. No more pesky oak barrels, no aging warehouses, no more angels share which constituted huge losses in profit prior to the change. The end result was three dollar bottles of whiskey. This at a time when independents were selling their glass bottle whiskey for $49.99 or more.

The end result was predicted a decade before by an octogenarian, Col Chauncy Cowbell, a notable whiskey expert and beloved blogger. He disappeared shortly after Burns and Dithers filed suit for inferring the company was responsible for the rise in alcoholism among crack addicts. Col Cowbell was a victim of "turd in the punchbowl' effect.

A few diehard bourbonites moved to Easter Island and established a monastery for people who believed in the sanctity and purity of old school bourbon. Col Cowbell has been rumored to be the group's spiritual leader but lawyers have not been able to find him there after numerous attempts.

Our thirsty friend would count his blessings for the abundance of $3 whiskey and commence to partake with a powerful unshakable thirst. It seems the more he drank the more he wanted to drink. Burns and Dithers knew why but no one had won that lawsuit yet either.

Soon his liver failed. His brain pooped out of his ears onto his shoulders and his carcass was used to feed livestock. It was the ultimate lifecycle management scheme. After the cows pooped out our thirsty friend he was spread on the hybrid artificially inseminated grain fields where his now recycled self gave nourishment to the grain that grew so fast that made so much alcohol for $3 a bottle.

cowdery
03-25-2010, 22:52
I'm old enough to think 20 years not such a long time ago, and today not so different from 1990.

More distilleries in the U.S., rather than fewer? I hope so, but it's possible to imagine Beam Global and Brown-Forman, in the roles of Miller and Bud, as a #1 and #2 miles ahead of #3.

The cats and dogs business shreds and Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill become mostly whiskey-makers, owned by Bacardi and LVMH, respectively. Those two along with Four Roses (Kirin) and Wild Turkey (Campari) are in the second tier, size-wise, but just like today, they're making equally as good if not better whiskey than the two giants.

Diageo gets into and out of the American whiskey business at least five times, finally getting out of it altogether, selling George Dickel to Beam, I. W. Harper to Four Roses, and Bulleit to Buffalo Trace where Tommy Bulleit (age 90) is hailed as a prodigal returned.

What's left of the micro-distilleries are actually mid-size regional producers who have strong community ties and superior relationships with local customers, who rely on them for exceptional service and customized products. A few of them have developed excellent boutique whiskeys that are good enough to be distributed internationally.

Malt whiskey is being made in so much of the world that Scotland loses some of its hold over that style of whiskey, which becomes known as the International Style, consisting of single malts and blends, made in dozens of different countries. This competes with the American style, made mostly in America (which now includes Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean including Cuba, all of Central America, and Venezuela). The International Style is still the more popular, but the gap has narrowed.

The three-tier system is dead.

The largest producers handle their own distribution directly. Mid-size producers band together to form joint ventures to handle their distribution. Local/regional producers handle their own distribution directly. The cats and dogs business (commodity brands) becomes local again.

There are still 'distributors,' but they are transportation companies that simply handle deliveries on a non-exclusive basis. Every transaction is tracked electronically.

Lots of things are local again due to high transportation costs that render the advantages of low cost labor markets less compelling. It becomes more cost effective to produce goods close to where they will be consumed, rather than where labor is cheap.

Just as the world is a bit more developed now than it was 20 years ago, the world of 2030 is a little more developed than today. Cheap labor isn't what it used to be.

And, oh yeah, I am immortal and your king.

NOBourbon
03-26-2010, 05:12
The beauty (and despair) of 2030 is that you'll be able to buy those powder sticks (like crystal lite) and mix it with water to create your bourbon on the fly. Of course this is going to require a modification of the law so you can still call it KSBW.

DeanSheen
03-26-2010, 05:24
Hail to the King!

kickert
03-26-2010, 05:25
Chuck, there is not much in your post I would disagree with.

I would add that I expect the category lines to continue to be blurred (to the point of being useless). More and more unaged whiskey of various sorts, more flavored whiskey and plenty of things that have never been tried before. I think we will see lots more experimentation with mash ingredients, barreling processes and other yet-to-be-discovered techniques.

barturtle
03-26-2010, 06:21
Option One

Our sleepy friend goes over to his old haunt, the big mega liquor store and walks over to the big extra wide central aisle where all the bourbons have always been displayed, to find nothing but $100 bottles of vodka, though there do happen to be some $50 bottles on the lower shelf.

He continues to browse the store to find the whiskey aisle. He finally finds it, though the whiskey now shares space with rum and gin.

He recognizes a number of bottlings, though upon closer examination there are some changes he's not entirely comfortable with.

Makers, is still there in all its red waxed glory, though the proof has stayed the same at 90, it is now age stated, 36 months old.

WL Weller has a new label (again) and still has both 90 and 107 proof versions...bourbon whiskey (a blend)

It appears that the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection has been recently released as he notices George T Stagg Vanilla, William Larue Weller Cinnamon, and Eagle Rare Almond.

He continues down the aisle: Russels Reserve Honey; Knob Creek #100 9months old; Woodford Reserve Masters Collection, Now with more JIF!!!; Rittenhouse 45yo barrel dust (just add water); Frost 8/80 seems to have been reintroduced.

He finally purchases an old favorite, still unchanged, Very Old Barton 6yo 100.

unclebunk
03-26-2010, 06:49
These days, it's hard for me to think 20 minutes ahead, let alone 20 years. I may be pushing up daisies by then, so rather than project what the whiskey world may look like in two decades time, perhaps it would be better for me to simply state my final wishes here and now so that there's no confusion for my family when my button is finally pushed:

Just freeze my head like they did with Ted Williams' noggin and stick it on an old bootle of Wild Turkey. Put a straw in my mouth and the remains of my bunker in front of me and hope for the best. :lol:

sailor22
03-26-2010, 06:52
While classifications of spirits will blur there will still be differentiation between the "classic" spirits that have some marketing cachet and the Bourbon isle will look remarkably similar to how it looked when he fell asleep.

There will however be bold new retro graphics on the labels with younger juice inside. There will be some new bottles with obviously humorous or ironic labels representing the surviving micros. He will see the word blend more often on labels.

The biggest difference will be the expanded ultra premium shelf. A lot of the labels he will recognize but also a few new micros. The bottles containing Bourbon who's label describes the mash recipe and yeast, age, source of barrel wood, size of barrel, degree of char, where aged and age acceleration technique used. It will remind him of the top shelf of todays Scotch section.

barturtle
03-26-2010, 07:36
Option 2

Our sleepy friend goes over to his old haunt, the big mega liquor store, only to find that is now run as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) store. He asks one of the farmhands running the place where he can go to get a bottle of whiskey. The farmhand takes him over to an aisle where there are several bottlings of whiskey, all made locally; corn, rye, bourbon, wheat and barley malt, all barrel proof, unfiltered, single barrel with ages ranging from 3-8 years old. He grabs a bottle of the 5yo rye and asks if any of the old brands are still available anywhere. He's told there's a place at 107 W Main, downtown Louisville that carries most everything.

After walking a couple blocks from where the BRT (bus rapid transit) drops him off (8664 seems to have been a success) he arrives in front of the old JTS Brown & Sons Distillery, where the building now wears a sign denoting it as The Bourbon Society Quart House.

Upon entry he is overwhelmed by the sheer number of bottles on display, hundreds, if not thousands of bottles. His mind boggles and he goes looking for someone to help.

In the back corner, he notices a guy with a long goatee cleaning a very dirty bicycle.

He goes over and asks if the gentleman happens to work here.

"If you can call it work"

Where did all these bottles come from, he asks.

All 49 states, plus the Republic of Texas, he is told.

When did people start distilling everywhere?

A long story is unfolded, how locally produced products caused the end of multinational corporations, nearly everything is produced locally for local consumption. The big producers were sold off piecemeal, Jim Beam is now a separate distiller from Old Grand Dad and from Old Crow. Diageo is long gone, with its distilleries around the world now all operating independently. Heck, even Budweiser is now a small regional specialty beer.

He tells the gentleman that he seems to have been away from whiskey for 20 years or so, but he'd like to get a bottle of his old favorite Van Winkle Lot "B".

Well, Preston just brought over some from the Old Fitzgerald Distillery the other day, though it's not quite the same as in the old days. Seems there's just not much of a market for 90 proof whiskey anymore, so it's now 107 and unfiltered. You'd be hard pressed to find anything under 100 proof these days. We still do have Maker's Mark Red Wax at 90, but the Gold Wax 101 is much more popular.

If you're interested in rye, we just got in some Old Overholt from Pennsylvania, it's 8yo and 112 proof.

kickert
03-26-2010, 07:47
Timothy, I would like to use my 1000th post to ask:

Does the guy cleaning his bicycle happen to be you?

barturtle
03-26-2010, 07:51
Timothy, I would like to use my 1000th post to ask:

Does the guy cleaning his bicycle happen to be you?

It's actually not my bike, it belongs to my wife, Anne Hathaway.:grin:

NOBourbon
03-26-2010, 09:19
If things keep on the current track:

In 20 years you will go to your nearest federally owned liquor store for the only bourbon still available, "Government Blended Bourbon."

It will cost a little more than you expect since you will be required to buy an additional bottle for the unemployed homeless person outside.

Unfortunately, you woke up on a Sunday and due to the national blue laws, you can not drink alcohol on Sundays..... or anytime before 6pm.

You think...my, my...how things have changed.

Finally, Monday evening you crack open the plastic 150ml bottle only to find that this new bourbon has such a generic flavor profile that it is sure not to offend any of the proletariat.

ILLfarmboy
03-26-2010, 11:25
I don't remember people drinking in alcohol in the movie Demolition Man. :grin:

Like eating meat and smoking, whiskey will probably be be illegal.

Gillman
03-26-2010, 11:46
Hey very good, I was laughing out loud - well done Timothy and Dramiel - or paying obeisance to the king like Robert but enjoyed all the comments. Don't stop.

Gary

Gillman
03-26-2010, 11:49
And how about more fables? Who will take on 2060? :)

Gary

ErichPryde
03-26-2010, 12:39
And how about more fables? Who will take on 2060? :)

Gary

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pepcycle
03-26-2010, 13:54
There are no stores.
The chip that connects me to the network searches the virtual archive for sensory aps for American Whiskey.
Oooh. Look they recently created a 1893 Belmont ap.
Let's see, merge that file with a roaring 20's manhattan with orange bitters.

Activate sensation

Wow.

Reminds a little of that Nano Distilled Stuff from Uranus.

Let's see, run Gillmanize Ap. to achieve 102.6 proof, 6.4 yr aging, hillside, Clermont, Romanian Oak char #2.

Very nice. Add Euphoric effect equal to BAC 0.73.

I can almost taste it.

Gillman
03-26-2010, 16:49
Very good gents! As it happens I have some Romanian ancestry, Ed, so it all ties together. :)


Gary

jburlowski
03-27-2010, 04:47
I think the industry will be remarkably similar to what it is now --- highly concentrated. Ownership of companies and certainly brands will change back and forth as they have in the past. Certainly there will be fewer brands and expressions produced; a trend that has already begun.

I'd like to believe that micro or regional distillers will become a significant factor in the market, but I doubt it. The economics are just too tough.

The "flavored" segment will grow --- it's cheap way to expand sales of lower quality product to those that are looking primarily for an alchohol-delivery mechanism (a la flavored vodkas).

Sadly, I think the three-tiered delivery system will remain, at least in most locations --- the economic / political interests involved will be too hard to change. I do think there will be (in most locations) the end of direct goverment control / operation of distribution and sales --- they'll continue to get their cut in taxes without the hassle / expense of hands-on operations.

Ultra
03-27-2010, 05:46
Micro distillers will begin to chip away at market shares of the big boys and brands will become more and more geographic and age demographic in the marketing and appeal. Transportation costs and the power of local communities pushing their own products will be the driving force behind the aforementioned changes. Frontier associations of Bourbon will be an asset in the marketplace in a time when government bankruptcies, currency devaluations and societal hardships encourage people to recall our history in a romanticized light. This will bring back many labels and ads designed to conjure up images from the decades of Bourbon's youth. Old brands, currently extinct, will be revived, packaged in a manner designed to recall them in their heyday and marketed to a new generation in an attempt to link the modern product in the bottle to a bygone era. Bottle shapes themselves will become ever more varied and intricate as the machines that craft them become cheaper to buy and operate.

Dramiel McHinson
03-27-2010, 15:52
And how about more fables? Who will take on 2060? :)

Gary

I'll see if my overactive imagination can take this challenge. :cool:


In the year 2060 the tribal descendants of Chief Thirsty Friend have been operating a distillery for religious purposes in the splinter Republic of Death Valley, California just south of Furnace Creek for 29 years.

They use a long lost mash bill kept hidden in a monastery on Easter Island. A descendant of Chief Thirsty Friend found it there next to an abandoned pot still. The inhabitants of the monastery had long abandoned it after lawyers invaded and brought with them a mysterious illness called ass pain.

The mash bill is framed next to a working replica of the pot still on Easter Island. It's called lovingly, "Ole Cowbell." Some believe the name came from the sound the pot still makes when the temperature reaches 160 degrees on the pot still and the magic elixer begins to pulse upward and through the worm tube ringing an old bell attached to the small arm of the Lyne arm. Still others think it is named for an ancient whiskey guru and beloved blogger.

The tribe worships the angels that live in the barrels. When the angels have taken half the barrel's whiskey, they dump it into a large wooden vat of juniper cedar and there let it rest until it is ready for the feast of ancestors. This feast is every Friday night and lasts until Sunday evening. One must gulp the whiskey with every bite of food to nourish their spirit, give thanks to their ancestors and ward off parasites and no see-ums that live in the shaded areas of the reservation.

The remainder of the whiskey is bottled in old polyethelene bottles stored on the reservation from when the tribesmen first settled the area. The now defunct Burns and Dithers labels are soaked off and new labels printed to Federation standards on the tribal printing press are placed on the bottles. The whiskey is sold tax free to tourists who come from all over the Federation to visit the reservation and buy the whiskey which is reported to have medicinal properties.

Some tourist come in hopes of seeing the elaborate ritual burial of a deceased tribesman which rarely occurs thanks to the medicinal properties of their whiskey. When a tribesman dies he is deboned and ground with a mixture of pot ale and catnip. The mixture is fed to the large population of holy cats that live in the tribal area. When the cats have consumed the spiritual offering of their tribesman they go to the wild wheat fields and bury small portions of the tribesman around the wheat stalks.

Their belief is that the tribesman's spirit will be pulled into the wheat to give it strength and make it grow. The tribesman is ultimately taken to heaven when he is distilled and placed in the barrel for the angels to take home.

The tourists find this laughable but don't really care because the only source of high grade whiskey is right there in Death Valley in the hands of whacky natives that pay the Federation protection money so they can freely practice their religion.

Stu
03-27-2010, 16:43
Chuck,
I concur with Kickert. (See Ben, we do agree on some things!)

However, like micro breweries, micro distilleries will come and go. A few might last, but certainly not all. I further believe that malt whisky will not taste the same if aged in a place other than Scotland, and bourbon will not taste the same if aged in a place other than KY. Even the finest Japanese malts are readily identified as not being Scotch, just as JD could never be confused with bourbon. (George Dickel is another story). The one exception I can think of is J W Dant that was distilled in Lawrenceburg, IN) but that's just across the river from KY. All this is opinion by a self styled "kind of sewer", so take it for what it is worth (not much).

cowdery
03-28-2010, 13:31
I respectfully disagree. I don't believe there is any unmistakable 'scotch-ness,' or Kentucky-ness, for that matter. Certain distilleries have an unmistakable flavor. I have tasted malt whiskies made outside of Scotland that said 'scotch' to me, but you drink a lot more scotch than I do.

ThomasH
03-28-2010, 15:23
I'm glad my current bunker will stretch that far, that way the good old days will be just a glassfull away!

Thomas