View Full Version : Forbidden corn

12-06-2000, 11:46
A visitor from Japan has graciously agreed to bring me some bourbon next week. I have asked my Japanese Santa to locate the following forbidden corn:

Four Roses Single Barrel (or the older green label SB reserve)
I.W. Harper President's Reserve
Maker's Mark Select or Limited Ed.

I believe there are a couple of other highly regarded Asian offerings : Heaven Hill Blue? Taylor & Williams 17? Am I missing other gems? How much does the HH Blue cost anyway? Will I need a loan?

Any help from our "export" experts greatly appreciated.


12-06-2000, 12:52
Omar said, "...highly regarded Asian offerings : Heaven Hill Blue? Taylor & Williams 17? Am I missing other gems? How much does the HH Blue cost anyway? Will I need a loan?

Depends on whether the word "specialist" applies to the "med" part of your screenname :-))

Don't worry, Omar; it's winter now. You won't really need the boat or the jet anymore.


12-06-2000, 13:11
It is my understanding that all bourbons in Japan are quite expensive by our standards. I don't know if the exchange rate is considered favorable now or not, but you could be getting yourself into some major expense.

But, then again, it's only money.

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

12-06-2000, 15:12
Omar don't forget about Wild Turkey's Kentucky Legend or Blanton's Gold!
If you don't have a spare grand or two in your wallet yes you'd need a loan.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

12-06-2000, 16:55
Omar, I believe the prices of US bourbons sold only in Japan translated into US dollars would interest a number of site readers. However, all need to realize that the cost of bourbon in Japan is strongly influenced by the tax Japan places on US spirits.

In a 1996 US Govt. report we can read, "In 1987, a GATT panel found that Japan's excise tax system unfairly discriminates against imported distilled spirits in favor of the domestic distilled spirit shochu. Afterward, Japan reduced the extent of discrimination, but Japan still maintained taxes on shochu far below those on imported whisky, brandy and white spirits. Imported distilled spirits are significantly disadvantaged on the retail level. Industry comments and market surveys demonstrate that the excise tax discrimination is the number one remaining market access barrier for U.S. exports to Japan of Bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, rum, gin, vodka and other brown and white spirits. Japan is the second-largest market for U.S. distilled spirits exports. Elimination of the discrimination is particularly important in view of Japan's agreement to eliminate tariffs on brown spirits, and the high growth potential of this market."

I believe prices for some of the products available in Japan may be on the web at German sites. If you get prices in Dollars or Euros it would be interesting to the rest of us.


Ken Weber
12-11-2000, 13:30
You called about Blanton's gold. It is the same Blanton's, only at 103 proof.


12-11-2000, 16:44
What about the other Blanton's variations; the silver and the green Special Reserve? Are they all the same only different?

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

12-11-2000, 18:03

I'll have a good idea what the Japanese 'MSRP' is very soon. I suspect that beside stiff excise taxes, superior packaging is adding to the cost. For example, their bottle of 12-year-old Wild Turkey is packed in a great cannister, not the plain looking bottle we get here. I believe Blanton's also gets better glass (hard to imagine since Blanton's unusual bottle is among the best). I can't wait to see what's coming. I should have asked for some Suntori, a whiskey made in Japan.

Sometimes, the export packaging is essentially the same as the domestic. One example is the bottle of President's Choice I picked up in a duty free shop in Mexico recently. Looks just like Woodford Reserve, except for the name and the higher proof (100). I have not opened it yet.


Ken Weber
12-14-2000, 09:16
It is amazing what a those damned people in marketing come up with! Blanton's is all selected from the same warehouse (H) with a very similar taste profile. We market the different variations based on changing the proof and the package. Since much of the product is sold for a premium in Japan, the packaging is often up-scaled. Many drinkers refuse to cut their bourbon and we must therefore supply them with the appropriate strength to match their tastes. It also goes without saying that some people are very ostentatious and want to display a "special" Blanton's package that not just anyone can get.