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A respected bourbon retailer in my acquaintance reported to me today that one casualty of Julian's new affiliation with BT may be the demise of Old Commonwealth whiskey, at least as we know it now. You may wish to bunker a bottle of this gem of a little-known Van Winkle bourbon before it's gone.
I wonder about another one, Twisted Spoke, and will it also become unavailable.
Bobby, not to worry on the Spoke. I just spoke (the verb, not the noun) with the bartender at Twisted Spoke, who said they just took a delivery of 15 cases or so. I'll be in Chicago in mid-February, so if any of you want me to score one of these Van Winkle private label bourbons for you while I'm there, let me know.
16 years of sucking wood and 105 proof. Named for a Biker Bar in Chicago. At present Toddy's has this. I ordered one from Old Ky Home Liquors. I should get another soon. HH also has American Biker, I think it's another Dog &Cat label.
That's my understanding, too. Twisted Spoke is a Van Winkle private label for the eponymous Chicago biker bar, while American Biker is a 6yo Heaven Hill bottling, whether more cat or more dog is beyond me!!
I was at the Liquor Barn on Richmond road today and they had about 7 bottles of Twisted Spoke. If this was made exclusively for a biker bar, why is it being distributed to other retail locations? Maybe the bar isn't living up to its end of the deal?
No, I'm not MIA. After spending all January in one place (and enjoying your company in the process), travel's back on the agenda again. Stopped in at Binny's in Chicago on Friday to say hi to Joe C. at his new digs and pick up some Old Commonwealth.
Here's the scoop on Old Commonwealth. Binny's has about 16 cases of it left, but that's the end of it. With the BT deal, the OC is now history.
Chicago's whiskey event is coming up in a few weeks, so that inventory may be seeing its final days sooner rather than later. For those of you not familiar with O.C., it's a pre-BT bottling of Julian's 10yo 107 that sells for $20. At that price, any bunker could use a few--or more than a few!
I ordered a Twisted Spoke a year or so ago, sight unseen , bought it for the name only and had no idea who made it, etc. When I got it in hand I remarked to the owner of the Liquor store that got it for me that they should stock it, They wondered why and I told them, You can sell this, there's a lot of bikers in this town. Has any one tried this bottling?
I tried to order some bottles of Old Commonwealth from Sam's. But they were out. They said, they will not be getting anymore. The hard choice to make is should I just get the Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr 107 or go Binny's for Old Commonwealth. Right now, they are priced the same. I was told, they are the same whiskey. Are they similar or are there definite differences?
Mark: I got it straight from Julian that it's the same whiskey--only the packaging is different. Joe C. at Binny's has all that remains of the OC, some 16 cases or so as of this past weekend. I like the OC for a couple of reasons: (1) it's a distinctive private label bottling that will soon have collectors' value and (2) the bottles are tall and narrow like the Pappy bottle, rather than squat like the ORVW bottle, thus saving on shelf space. As everyone here is well aware, it's wonderful whiskey regardless of which way you like it packaged!
Here's some info on two of my brands.
Old Commonwealth is indeed history. Binney's in Chicago has the only inventory left. But don't dispare, ORVW 10-year 107 proof is the same whiskey.
The Twisted Spoke label is owned by Mitch Einhorn who owns the Twisted Spoke restaurant in Chicago. He sells this whiskey by the drink & the bottle.I sell a little bit here in Kentucky because of the interest in Harley-Davidson. Mitch gets a commission on sales outside of his restaurant. The whiskey is the same recipe as all my other bourbons. I'm not sure what the future of this brand is. I'll keep you posted.
I am in L'ville this weekend and had dinner tonite at Pat's Steakhouse on Brownsboro Road. That's Pat as in Patrick as in Irish. They had in their display case a couple ceramic collector decanters of Old Commonwealth with shamrock stoppers. I really didn't get a good look, though, at the rest of the bottle. I was only up in the waiting area because I was holding my 2 yo niece. She had started to act up at dinner, so I took her up front to distract her and calm her down.
The most recent version of OC was a special bottling of Van Winkle bourbon that JVW used as a lower priced version, especially for big volume retailers. It was nearly our house bourbon here for several years until the supply dried up. Once BT and JVW started working together BT did not need the OC brand.
I am not familiar with an older version of OC, though I suspect Chuck may be.
This reply from Julian has been in this thread since early April:
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Old Commonwealth is indeed history. Binney's in Chicago has the only inventory left. But don't dispair, ORVW 10-year 107 proof is the same whiskey.
I can testify that Binny's does indeed still have a pretty good supply, at $19.99 a bottle. It's good stuff.
My bottle of Twisted Spoke was donated by me for an auction to raise money for Rett Syndrome. It cioncides with a bike rally and so forth, I figured it would be a good fit with the biker folks. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif
The Old Commonwelath decanters that are in Pat's Steak House in Louisville are from a series of St. Patrick's Day apothecary styled decanters that we produced until 1996. My dad started the series at Old Fitz in 1968. When we sold Stitzel-Weller in 1972, the new owners continued the series until we took it over again in 1978 under our Old Commonwealth label. Before that, they were all labeled Old Fitzgerald. A different design was produced each year. I stopped the series in 1996 as the market for decanters was dying. Most Old Commonwealth labeled decanters contained a 7 or 4 year bourbon at 80 proof.
I'm still drinking it, although I don't recall when I got the current bottle. I'm drinking it right now, in fact. This bourbon, more than any other that comes to mind, conjures up fine Cognac. The wood has done its work without leaving much of either a smokey or oaky quality. Instead you get rich, complex fruit flavors. When this Stitzel-Weller whiskey finally does run out, it will be a great tragedy. I hope the wheaters from BT or HH (or even MM) can someday come close to it.
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