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View Full Version : Kentucky Tavern, the Forgotten Wheater



bobbyc
01-29-2003, 22:18
I am rereading The Book of Bourbon, I came upon this . Kentucky Tavern is , according to Gary & Mardee, a wheater. I didn't know that. It was owned by United Distillers so it was made at Bernhiem Distillery. It is an inexpensive whiskey, 1.75ml for 14 or so, usually in a plastic bottle.

Marvin
01-30-2003, 15:55
Bobby - Let's just leave it that way---Forgotten----!

Cheers,
Marvin

jeff
01-30-2003, 16:01
Oh, I don't know. Being one of the few defenders of wheated bourbon around here, I might have to give it a try. It goes for what, $6.95 for 1.75L http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif ? It might even be better than Weller http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif

bobbyc
01-30-2003, 19:04
I think the price point and marketing is the same for Ky Tavern as any other industrial strength solvent!

jeff
01-30-2003, 19:08
If I could use it to strip my deck and fence this spring, then I could get double duty out of it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

bobbyc
01-30-2003, 19:56
Is it that bad , Marvin? http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif

hollywood
01-30-2003, 20:08
Kentucky Tavarn...I've never tried it, but it can't be any worse than EC12! Talk about double duty....lets see....toilet bowl cleaner, grease remover,....No, I think you had it...paint stripper! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif See ya, H'wood http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif

Barrel_Proof
01-30-2003, 20:33
All this ruckus about a 4 yo wheater sent me out to the bunker. Lo and behold if a liter of KT wasn't there-- parked rather shallow, though, attempting (unsuccessfully) to obstruct frequent forays into the rare chestnuts hidded deep in the bunker. Nothing to get excited about here, but nothing worthy of stripping the varnish off grandma's rocker on the porch, either. Just a simple, sweet, (did I mention simple?), unobtrusive whiskey. Nothing's screaming here, so h'wood can relax, his EC 12 bottle is way louder!

avery
02-03-2003, 00:29
I've never tried Kentucky Tavern, although I did see it on Friday when I went to my neighborhood liquor store. It was on the bottom shelf, of course, and I can't say that I was tempted to try it...

I'll agree with you on the EC12, hollywood. I'm not for sure what to do with my mostly full 750ml of it, but you've given me some ideas... http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif

jeff
02-03-2003, 05:45
Bobby,

Your post made me curious so I picked up a half pint at the LB for $1.99 http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif This one struck me as loud and harsh. This is the hardest wheater to drink that I have tried. Its only redeaming quality is it seems to lack the tannins that some other wheaters posses. Might make a decent mixer though http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif

Marvin
02-03-2003, 14:18
yes

cheers
marvin

ratcheer
02-03-2003, 19:14
As the saying around here goes, send it to me for proper disposal. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

Tim

jeff
02-12-2003, 15:45
After a second attempt last night at finding even the slightest redeaming quality, I think this one is best left forgotten http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/tongue.gif

bourbonv
09-09-2003, 15:51
Bobby,
When the Regans wrote their book Kentucky Tavern was a wheated bourbon. Kentucky Tavern was the flagship brand for Glenmore Distilleries for many years. The problem was that when United Distillers acquired Glenmore and their two distilleries, neither of their distilleries had been in operation for several years. This meant that the whiskey for Kentucky Tavern was running short when U.D. took over. In 1993 it was decided that U.D. would put wheated bourbon from Stitzel-Weller in Kentucky Tavern because there was no more Glenmore bourbon to support the brand.

In 1996 the brand Kentucky Tavern was part of the sale to Barton that included the bottling facilities in Owenboro, Ky. Barton then started to put their own, rye recipe bourbon, in Kentucky Tavern.

Those people who bought Kentucky Tavern Bottled in Bond between 1993 and 1996 were getting the same whiskey that was going into Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond. It was a real bargin.

Mike Veach

ratcheer
09-09-2003, 17:41
Those people who bought Kentucky Tavern Bottled in Bond between 1993 and 1996 were getting the same whiskey that was going into Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond. It was a real bargin.




So, that is probably why KT had such a great reputation a few years ago.

Tim

Barrel_Proof
09-09-2003, 18:37
Thanks for the details, Mike. Good to see you back in the neighborhood!

kitzg
09-09-2003, 18:38
For those of you who do not know Mike Veach, he is likely one of the best bourbon historians in the world. It is very good to see your post, Mike.

In my humble opinion, with both Chuck and Mike posting we truly have Bourbonia's elite. That is among those not employed currently in the industry.

bobbyc
09-09-2003, 19:23
Good to see you , Mike. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Dave_in_Canada
09-09-2003, 19:38
Mike, I will add to the spirit of the other posts -- to encourage you to continue to enlighten us! More, more, more! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif

MurphyDawg
09-09-2003, 21:03
Hiya Mike. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gifhttp://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung/sprachlos/speechless-smiley-003.gifhttp://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung/sprachlos/speechless-smiley-040.gifLong Time no see.


TomC

bourbonv
09-10-2003, 06:51
Tim,
Kentucky Tavern enjoyed a good reputation as a Glenmore product. United Distillers even received some complaints when they changed the whiskey. The old Yellowstone Distillery did make some fine bourbon as a matter of fact in the 1970's Yellowstone was Kentucky's favorite whiskey if you simply look at sales figures.

Mike Veach

cowdery
09-10-2003, 11:36
Good to see you back on the board, Mike. To finish that thought, pre-1993 KT was probably made either at Yellowstone in Louisville or, more likely, Glenmore in Owensboro (previously a Medley plant, I think). Bernheim was the Schenley/UDV plant.

Pre-1993 KT drinkers were also getting a bargain because for at least some period of time prior to the sale, they were bottling 10 year old whiskey as ordinary KT because they had too much old whiskey in inventory.

That was, as you indicate, not wheated but rye-recipe bourbon.

ratcheer
09-10-2003, 15:49
That was, as you indicate, not wheated but rye-recipe bourbon.



All the better, then. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Tim

bourbonv
09-10-2003, 17:00
Chuck,
Kentucky Tavern would have been made in Louisville at the Yellowstone distillery. Buddy Thompson loved that distillery and the whiskey it made but it had fallen into such disrepair that it would cost a small fortune to start it up again. This is one of the factors that caused the Glenmore company to buy the Medley distillery and its Ezra Brooks brand. The real problem came in 1989 or 1990 when they knew they were running short on whiskey and they had to start distilling again. Buddy could not face the fact that Yellowstone was too expensive to start up and did not want to give the OK to start up Medley. He solved the problem by selling the whole company to United Distillers.

There was whiskey at Medley but that was to support Ezra Brooks. This extended the life of Kentucky Tavern as a rye recipe some months when U.D. sold Ezra Brooks to Heaven Hill (who sold it in turn to David Sherman).

Mike Veach

Marvin
10-02-2003, 14:29
Bobby,

I have made a statement before about Kentucky Tavern and I said then "Let's just leave it forgotten" and I will say it again. This is one bourbon that makes all the rest better. Let's just leave it forgotten - it's better that way. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/puke.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/puke.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/puke.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/puke.gif

Cheers,
Marvin

bobbyc
10-02-2003, 15:12
Marvin, I take your opinion seriously. You've convinced me! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

pepcycle
10-03-2003, 07:45
Did anybody taste the vintage Kentucky Tavern at the Gazebo. My taste buds may have been numb, but I thought it was pretty good. It was a bottled in bond version and I believe was Pre United Distillers. I know that Jeff poured some. Opinions?

cowdery
10-03-2003, 08:34
I brought the KT to the gazebo and while it was BIB it wasn't vintage. I bought it a few days before in Mansfield, Ohio. It was made a stone's throw from the gazebo, at Barton.

pepcycle
10-03-2003, 10:33
Chuck,
Thanks. At that point of the evening, samplings were pretty much "hey, I haven't tried that yet" and not too much "Hmm, nice color and bouquet". A hazard of having thirty or more bottles present on the buffet.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Gillman
10-03-2003, 13:45
Many of those bottles have been described here, but not all. Can anyone give label details and taste notes for the Prohibition whiskeys? Were they outstanding, if so why?

Gary

Blackkeno
10-03-2003, 21:56
What wheaters are currently available as BIB?

CL
10-04-2003, 11:08
Isn't Old Fitz a wheater? It sure has the smoothness of one. Old Fitz BIB is one of my favorite mid-shelf bottlings.

Barrel_Proof
10-04-2003, 16:05
These two are B.I.B. wheaters:

- David Nicholson 1843 7yo 100
- Old Fitzgerald 100, aka "Cracker Jack"
- Very Very Old Fitzgerald 12yo 100
- Very Very Old Fitzgerald 15yo 100

These wheaters are 100 proof or more, but not strictly B.I.B.:

- Maker's Mark Gold Label 101
- Old Commonwealth 10yo 107
- Old Rip Van Winkle 10yo 107
- Old Rip Van Winkle 15yo 107
- Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve 16yo 101
- Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve 17yo 101
- Old Rip Van Winkle "Samís" 20yo 133.4
- Old Weller Antique 7yo 107
- Society of Bourbon Connoisseurs, Batch 74-476, 20yo 102.4
- Society of Bourbon Connoisseurs, Batch 74-241, 20yo 103.6
- Society of Bourbon Connoisseurs, Batch 74-706, 20yo 107
- Society of Bourbon Connoisseurs, Batch 74-327, 20yo 110
- Society of Bourbon Connoisseurs, Batch 80-040, 20yo 108.4
- Society of Bourbon Connoisseurs, Batch 80-045, 20yo 112.2
- Twisted Spoke 16yo 105
- Van Winkle Family Reserve "Park Avenue" 18yo 105.2
- W.L. Weller Centennial 10yo 100

jeff
10-04-2003, 18:03
Ed,

I remember this being very flavorful and quite smooth. But alas, this was about my 5th pour of the evening and the particulars elude me. All I can say truthfully is is that it's no Kentuck Crown http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

jeff
02-23-2004, 12:00
Who would be listed as the distillery on a bottle of Kentucky Tavern produced today? I ask this because I ran across a bunch this weekend that listed Glenmore as the distillery. Is this some of the older stuff, or does Glenmore still appear on the new bottles? FWIW, the bottles looked rather new, not like bottles that might have sat around for a while.

bourbonv
02-23-2004, 12:19
Jeff,
When United Distillers sold Barton Kentucky Tavern they also sold tham the Glenmore Brands and probably the "Glenmore Distillery" company. I would look at the bottles and see if any of them are Bonded and look for the DSP number. If it has the Stitzel-Weller DSP number then it will be wheated bourbon. There is a liquor store in Maryland with about 10 cases of this wheated Kentucky Tavern on their shelves, but that is because they were closed down for about 10 years after being caught selling to minors and only recently reopened.

Mike Veach

jeff
02-23-2004, 12:25
Mike, I looked for a DSP and non was listed. Also I think it was only 80 proof. Probably rules out anything good then huh?

bourbonv
02-23-2004, 12:44
My opinion has always been that bourbon should not be bottled at less than 90 proof. The 80 proof KT is not an exception to that rule.

Mike Veach

jeff
02-23-2004, 13:53
I'm sure you're right about the quality, but does the 80 proof rule out any chance that this is the older, wheated KT?

bobbyc
02-23-2004, 13:56
U.D. sold Ezra Brooks to Heaven Hill (who sold it in turn to David Sherman).




Mike,
Did David Sherman also get the "RebelYell" label at the same time, and from Heaven Hill as well? Were there any others?

dgonano
02-23-2004, 15:41
Mike,

You've mentioned this liquor store in Maryland
a few times now. Just where is it?

Barrel_Proof
02-23-2004, 18:29
I recently bought a bottle of Kentucky Tavern BIB at a small shop in Versailles. The label identifies Owensboro as the location of Glenmore, so this would have been bottled after the assignment of the Glenmore trademarks from United to Barton. (By contrast, the latest bottles of 80 proof KT identify Owensboro, Bardstown, and Atlanta as the locations of Glenmore.)

The DSPs are KY-12 for the distiller and KY-24 for the bottler. I haven't cracked the seal, but what do you all expect to be in this bottle? Can anyone approximate a date for this bottling?

bobbyc
02-23-2004, 20:22
Looks to me anyway, Barrel_Proof that you missed the wheat version. DSP12 is Barton, DSP24 is what was Glenmore in Owensboro. A date? Sometime after the early 90s, and up to whenever that bottling line shut down. I think BettyeJo knows when that was.

bourbonv
02-24-2004, 06:16
David Sherman received Rebel Yell as part of the later deal with Barton, not the 93 sale of labels to Heaven Hill.
Mike Veach

bourbonv
02-24-2004, 06:18
This would be a Barton Bottling done sometime after the sale of the label in 96.
Mike Veach

boone
02-24-2004, 07:01
David Sherman received Rebel Yell as part of the later deal with Barton, not the 93 sale of labels to Heaven Hill.
Mike Veach







When Heaven Hill bought the distillery, there was a big deal with, several labels (going on also).

David Sherman, was "in" on "the deal", with the labels (only). When all the cards were dealt, the end result was, David Sherman, came away with Rebel Yell and Ezra Brooks.

I just got off the phone with the vice-president of Heaven Hill. He verified, exactly, what I was told years ago.


http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

bourbonv
02-24-2004, 07:32
United Distillers sold Ezra Brooks in 1993. I thought Heaven Hill immediately sold the label to David Sherman along with Yellowstone, but from what you are saying Heaven Hill kept it until the later deal?

I thought Rebel Yell was sold with the Barton sale and the Viking Distillery in Georgia, but on second thought U.D. may have kept it until the big sale of the Bernheim distillery, along with the other major brands after I was gone in 97 or 98. That sale involved the distillery and the Old Fitzgerald brand going to Heaven Hill and the Weller brands and Old Charter to Buffalo Trace. United Distillers kept only the Dickel Distillery and brands and I W Harper bourbon brands.

Mike Veach

BourbonJoe
06-27-2006, 21:05
Bobby,
When the Regans wrote their book Kentucky Tavern was a wheated bourbon. Kentucky Tavern was the flagship brand for Glenmore Distilleries for many years. The problem was that when United Distillers acquired Glenmore and their two distilleries, neither of their distilleries had been in operation for several years. This meant that the whiskey for Kentucky Tavern was running short when U.D. took over. In 1993 it was decided that U.D. would put wheated bourbon from Stitzel-Weller in Kentucky Tavern because there was no more Glenmore bourbon to support the brand.

In 1996 the brand Kentucky Tavern was part of the sale to Barton that included the bottling facilities in Owenboro, Ky. Barton then started to put their own, rye recipe bourbon, in Kentucky Tavern.

Those people who bought Kentucky Tavern Bottled in Bond between 1993 and 1996 were getting the same whiskey that was going into Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond. It was a real bargin.

Mike Veach

Mike, I acquired an Old Kentucky Tavern BIB fifth from the 1950's. Who was making it at that time? Glenmore? Should it be good stuff?
Joe :usflag:

Route 66
12-12-2006, 15:19
Hello Everyone,

I have a little experience with Old Kentucky Tavern bourbons from Glenmore. A roadhouse I visit occasionally has some older OKT. It is the bonded 8 year, dated as barreled in 1957, bottled in 1965. As others have mentioned here, this older bourbon does seem to have way more flavor than todays typical varieties. As a comparison the closest other bourbon I have tasted like this 1965 BIB bottling is 10 year 107 Old Rip Van Winkle. I certainly don't think they are the same in taste but it goes with what others have said as the Glenmore OKT being "the forgotten wheater".

The OKT has a nice enough taste but it's not very balanced. It has very, very strong caramel notes over the others. It's nice to experience but if I had an UNopened bottle of Old Kentucky Tavern, which I do, I'd save it as a collectable and just spend the ~$27 on the 10/107 ORVW, or similar for drinking.

I have also tried the current Kentucky Tavern from Barton. Needless to say, there is no comparison at all - obviously not a "wheater". Yet for the $7.99/750ml it sells for here, I'd buy it all day long for mixers such as bourbon and cokes over the price of Jack Daniels.

Hope that helps a little.


-Mark