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Gillman
03-11-2011, 14:01
I mentioned this incidentally in another thread, but thought I'd put it here, more upfront that is, for any views/discussion:

"Just a further thought, why shouldn't the next big thing in bourbon be bonded bourbon? The name is evocative, has history and status, the stuff would be just 4 years old, thus suitable for a market in which well-aged bourbon is at a premium. It seems a natural for line extensions or revivals of old brands".

Gary

bourbonv
03-11-2011, 14:17
Gary,
You should say the the bourbon would be "at least four years old" since it can be older if all from the same distillery, made during the same season. I have always said that "vintage" bourbon has been around a long time, but it was simply called "bonded bourbon".

Mike Veach

Gillman
03-11-2011, 15:26
Mike, good to hear from you.

I understand what you are saying, and suggested 4 years on the dot simply because in a time of shortage of aged stocks, I thought it would offer a way to producers to claim an advantage but without the need to age more than the statutory time.

Gary

jburlowski
03-12-2011, 06:29
I think Chuck had it right in another thread: most folks don't know what bonded means. It "is evocative, has history and status" only for a dying (literally) segment of the population that equates it with "the good stuff".

Us bourbon geeks understand, but are less likely to be impressed by any (otherwise undistinguished) 4 yo.

Gillman
03-12-2011, 06:59
Definitely a point of view, but one I don't share. The term bond has a unique set of associations, some historical, some not. In other industries, we hear of beers "triple-hopped" and most consumers have only a vague idea what that means. Bonded whiskey suggests so much more (IMO), even to those who don't know the history.

Gary

squire
03-12-2011, 13:17
I suppose I could do the research but would rather ask. If a producer printed the year of distillation couldn't it be labeled 'Vintage Bottled In Bond'?

cowdery
03-13-2011, 19:43
The term 'vintage' isn't controlled.

There are definitely people in the industry who think about making more of the term 'bond.' The fact that the new Taylor is BIB is an example of this. It sums up a set of attributes in a single word and is controlled, so people can't misuse it unlike terms such as 'small batch,' that mean essentially nothing.

Part of the issue now, I think, is that with a few exceptions bonds tend to be 'legacy' brands (the 'olds,' e.g., Old Grand-Dad) or cheap (Dant, Brown) or both.

Robmo
03-13-2011, 20:47
As a newbie I appreciate this thread. Anything that leads one to think about the terms that are used/not used on bottle labels helps consumers better understand the dizzying array of options faced when looking at the bourbon section of the liquor stores. (If lucky enough to be in a place with such options.)

Interesting to think about what marketers think about.

craigthom
03-13-2011, 21:01
In other industries, we hear of beers "triple-hopped" and most consumers have only a vague idea what that means.

Most beer drinkers don't even know what hops are or what they contribute to the taste and aroma of beer.

Several times when I was working in Milwaukee people told me that they could "smell the hops" when the wind was right from the Miller brewery.

I drove by there a lot, and I often smelled the wort cooking. I sometimes smelled it fermenting. I never, ever smelled hops. And why would I? It was Miller, and they were making Miller (or Pabst or something similar).

They just know beer is made from hops, because they keep hearing it in commercials.

jinenjo
03-13-2011, 23:59
Part of the issue now, I think, is that with a few exceptions bonds tend to be 'legacy' brands (the 'olds,' e.g., Old Grand-Dad) or cheap (Dant, Brown) or both.

Are you saying that if, say, Four Roses produced a bonded version (something I'd personally like to see) they'd be competing with some others "legacies" that would essentially equate this newer bond with cheap, outdated, uninteresting labels?

Hard to say if this could take off, but the romantic in me would like to see a revival of bonds--especially at non-premium prices. However, I can't think of some KY brands other than FR or BT that would excite me--HH already has McKenna, WT might need to be older than 4 yrs to get my attention, and Brown Forman does little for me.

p_elliott
03-14-2011, 09:13
As a newbie I appreciate this thread. Anything that leads one to think about the terms that are used/not used on bottle labels helps consumers better understand the dizzying array of options faced when looking at the bourbon section of the liquor stores. (If lucky enough to be in a place with such options.)

Interesting to think about what marketers think about.

Robmo

I hate to do a tread drift here but check in at off topic post/tread Japanese members check in and let us know how your doing. Your posting so you must be OK. We are concerned about our Japanese members or members in Japan which ever fits.

Paul

p_elliott
03-14-2011, 09:23
Most beer drinkers don't even know what hops are or what they contribute to the taste and aroma of beer.

Several times when I was working in Milwaukee people told me that they could "smell the hops" when the wind was right from the Miller brewery.

I drove by there a lot, and I often smelled the wort cooking. I sometimes smelled it fermenting. I never, ever smelled hops. And why would I? It was Miller, and they were making Miller (or Pabst or something similar).

They just know beer is made from hops, because they keep hearing it in commercials.

I took a tour of the Budwieser brewery in St Louis and the smell of hops knocked you over but not necessarily from the fermenters which they didn't show us. It just emanated from the place I think it was from being stored and and moved around the place. I know what hops smell like and I have drank a river of beer. I couldn't have a drink as I was driving and I wanted a beer so bad and I hate budwieser.

Gillman
03-14-2011, 10:44
I think a Four Roses bond would be great. They could even do it from the ten whiskies currently used for regular Four Roses, provided all are produced in one season, i.e., just cut the proof off at 100.

Gary

jburlowski
03-14-2011, 15:31
Isn't the standard-issue FR single-barrel effectively BiB? IIRC, they (at least the US releases) have been 100 proof and, of course, 4yo or older.

Gillman
03-14-2011, 17:17
True John, but I would do it at 4 years old from the group of ten, or not much over. To be bonded, a certain consistency would be necessary, which wouldn't occur with single barrel bottlings even though they meet the test legally speaking.

Gary

nivto
03-14-2011, 18:50
True John, but I would do it at 4 years old from the group of ten, or not much over. To be bonded, a certain consistency would be necessary, which wouldn't occur with single barrel bottlings even though they meet the test legally speaking.

Gary


I agree. I'm speaking from memory because it's been a while since I've had an open bottle, but I think a bonded yellow label would be quite good.

dbk
03-15-2011, 07:13
To be bonded, a certain consistency would be necessary, which wouldn't occur with single barrel bottlings even though they meet the test legally speaking.

Vintage Single Barrel Bottled in Bond? I smell a new niche...

Gillman
03-15-2011, 07:57
A good point, as was John's. There are many ways to look at it from a branding standpoint.

Gary

squire
03-15-2011, 22:05
Which was my point though I was being half facetious.

BMartin42
03-16-2011, 21:25
Just a relative newcomer's take on the "bottled on bond" terminology. As a late thirty something I rely on the internet for a lot of information. I am sure that most people younger (and many more seasoned than I) do as well. When I bought my first BIB bottle (HM 10 Year) my thought was "What the hell does that mean?" I simply googled it and basically learned the term means nothing/nada/zilch in today's day and age for all practical purposes. As more and more younger generation drinkers come on board the Bourbon train, they will do the exact same thing and realize that in today's terms, BIB is just marketing and will treat it as such. The internet has allowed us to become much more savvy consumers than we were a decade ago, and the trend is just going to continue. Marketers better be aware of that. I think they are and this is why you are seeing more "experimental" type offerings and limited edition releases. Things that actually do seem to be "special" or limited are much more appealing than traditional terminolgy to the younger generation.

dbk
03-17-2011, 05:55
When I bought my first BIB bottle (HM 10 Year) my thought was "What the hell does that mean?" I simply googled it and basically learned the term means nothing/nada/zilch in today's day and age for all practical purposes.

I have to admit, I'm quite puzzled by this statement. What "Bottled In Bond" means in this day and age is precisely what it meant in 1897: whiskey produced in one season that has been aged for at least four years under US government supervision and bottled at no less than 100 proof.

It is certainly true that the need for bonded whiskey has diminished as producers release non-bonded whiskies of quality, but that doesn't resign it to irrelevance. Bonded whiskies undoubtedly still tend to be higher quality than your run of the mill whiskey release.


As more and more younger generation drinkers come on board the Bourbon train, they will do the exact same thing and realize that in today's terms, BIB is just marketing and will treat it as such. The internet has allowed us to become much more savvy consumers than we were a decade ago, and the trend is just going to continue.

The Internet has certainly improved access to valuable information, but that doesn't mean that there hasn't been a commensurate growth of false information that has cropped up alongside it. Members of this board know all too well how often bloggers, journalists, and members of other forums (as well as this one, too, sometimes) can come to the wrong conclusions about a whiskey using nothing more than the Internet as a source. As a University educator, I can say the same thing about much of the student body (and research is their job).


Marketers better be aware of that. I think they are and this is why you are seeing more "experimental" type offerings and limited edition releases. Things that actually do seem to be "special" or limited are much more appealing than traditional terminolgy to the younger generation.

I'm not sure you're at all right about this. Most marketing tries to appeal to the whiskey's history (inventing it if they have to—see the recent Jeremiah Weed campaign (http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2010/10/more-from-department-of-making-shit-up.html), for instance) precisely because people seem to care about that sort of thing. The special releases being made available are not catering to a young crowd at all, but to an older crowd, who (1) can better afford these releases and (2) are in a better position to distinguish their virtues from the more standard releases. Buffalo Trace's recent Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. release is a case in point: it is a "special" release heralding an "historic" method, and it is bottled in bond no less. The excitement surrounding it is palpable, but at ~$70 a bottle, I doubt very much that anybody but those with the money and the interest—the older crowd, in other words—will buy it.

squire
03-17-2011, 09:24
Yes, what dbk said.

BMartin42
03-17-2011, 11:35
I appreciate your points dbk. On the other hand, I still disagree with many of them. Of course, I am basing this only on a very limited sample size. My bourbon group consists of about 6-8 guys ranging in age from 60+ to 28. I am the median age in the group. Based on the discussions that take place within our sample I hold by the surface observation that the more seasoned among us prefer the traditional terminology (e.g. BIB) and view it as "the good stuff", while the younger in the group who look up what the term actually means realize that it is not necessarily "the good stuff" ans has no meaning as to the QUALITY. Maybe I should have made that more clear in my previous post. The youngest four in the group are much more excited about the limited & new releases (i.e. FR, EH Taylor, KCSBR, etc.), while the older three to four view those releases as "marketing gimmicks" and hold that their traditional brands are the best.

I do agree with you that historical references in marketing are vitally important to the industry. The younger in the group are excited about the historical references as they view it as something "different" to try, while the older poo poo those releases as "nothing really new" except the bottle and label.

Maybe our group is just a bunch of outliers. As a fellow researcher, I appreciate the dangers of drawing definitive conclusions based on extremely small and potentially biased sample sizes. It is also possible that we don't disagree as much as it seems, and it is simply my poor writing skills that make it seem that way.

cowdery
03-17-2011, 11:50
Maybe BMartin42 just hasn't expressed himself very well, but his posts are an almost perfect illustration of how the internet can be used to support complete ignorance as well as be a source for useful knowledge. Almost everything BMartin42 has 'learned' from the internet is wrong. That doesn't necessarily mean his conclusion is wrong -- BIB is not a very meaningful term to most consumers today, especially younger ones -- yet his statement of the 'facts' regarding both BIB and marketing in general are almost perfectly incorrect.

squire
03-17-2011, 14:34
Certainly the internet is a vast resource but just because the information is there doesn't make it correct. Research has always been a double edged sword used to prove or disprove.

For instance over 30 years ago a seniour partner handed a young associate (me) a piece of paper saying, "This is our position now go do the research to prove it".

A lot of youthful enthusiasms have dimmed over the years but one belief I held then I still hold now, which is when it comes to comparing whiskys the only thing that counts is whats in the bottle.

BMartin42
03-17-2011, 14:53
Maybe BMartin42 just hasn't expressed himself very well, but his posts are an almost perfect illustration of how the internet can be used to support complete ignorance as well as be a source for useful knowledge. Almost everything BMartin42 has 'learned' from the internet is wrong. That doesn't necessarily mean his conclusion is wrong -- BIB is not a very meaningful term to most consumers today, especially younger ones -- yet his statement of the 'facts' regarding both BIB and marketing in general are almost perfectly incorrect.


Clearly I have not expressed myself very well or I am completely confused. I think I understand exactly what the term BIB means (and doesn't mean)as it is easily found by looking on the internet as well as other sources such as Mr. Cowdery's book as well as others that I have read. All sources I have read on the matter are fairly consistent.

It is a PERSONAL opinion as well as with the other younger members in my group that BIB is not indicative of quality (e.g. the current Old Fitz BIB).

As far as marketing, I have learned none of the information that I am presenting from the internet. I am merely presenting the opinions of a wide age-range small group of bourbon lovers. I do not claim to understand marketing from the perspective of the industry. I am just presenting how our group as consumers view some of terms currently being used. The older do hold that term BIB has meaning in terms of quality, while the younger see the term as just what it is factually and the term does not make us more likely to buy a particular label. Myself and a few of the others in the middle to younger in OUR group are excited about bourbons such as the FR limited releases, the EH Taylor, some of the LDI labels, etc., mainly because they are just different and interesting to try, not necessarily because we deem them to be "better". We view them as learning experiences. Then there are the three-four members of our group who happen to be the older ones in the group that don't give a damn about trying "new" things (which may actually be old things in the case of the EHTaylor), but prefer what they have always known.

I really wasn't trying to be difficult or present inaccurate info. I was a Beam white and WT101 guy for 16 years before discovering that there is a whole bigger world of bourbon out there about two years ago. Can you explain exactly what information of mine is inaccurate or misleading? I ask simply because I am trying to learn.

squire
03-17-2011, 16:57
BMartin I do not consider your post in any way difficult it's just your perspective. After all, this sub forum is titled General Bourbon Discussion and that's why I'm here, to discuss.

BMartin42
03-17-2011, 17:27
Bonded whiskies undoubtedly still tend to be higher quality than your run of the mill whiskey release.




Thanks Squire. I know how things can be taken badly when you can't speak face-to-face. The internet has no inflection after all. I'm just trying to learn and am really enjoying this discussion.

That being said, the comment from dbk above is still what is confusing me. I see no evidence of this in my experience. A lot of today's BIB's tend to be bottom shelf in my experience. I am just not getting how it is CURRENTLY a mark of quality. I get that it was right after prohibition, but currently, I just don't see it. HELP! I'm confused I guess.

dbk
03-17-2011, 19:20
It is a PERSONAL opinion as well as with the other younger members in my group that BIB is not indicative of quality (e.g. the current Old Fitz BIB).

Fair enough, your personal opinion is perfectly valid, and despite the tone, nobody thinks you're wrong for expressing yourself. Nonetheless, your language belies a misunderstanding. You claim that "BIB is not indicative of quality" (emphasis mine), but then point to only one whiskey that fails your test. (Perhaps HM BIB does too, but you didn't pass judgment on this one.) "Indicative" means predictive, not a guarantee of quality. This is why I chose the word "tend" in my statement "Bonded whiskies undoubtedly still tend to be higher quality than your run of the mill whiskey release."


A lot of today's BIB's tend to be bottom shelf in my experience. I am just not getting how it is CURRENTLY a mark of quality. I get that it was right after prohibition, but currently, I just don't see it.

BIBs are at minimum four years, and many bottom shelf whiskeys are less. BIBs are minimum 100 proof, and many bottom shelf whiskeys are less. Many members like the BIBs they've had, like Rittenhouse BIB. If you're going to compare BIBs to any and all releases out there, then fine, there are plenty of better whiskeys than most BIBs. But there are also plenty worse. BIB simply raises the bar, and is therefore indicative. Is BIB status as indicative as it once was? Certainly not. Nonetheless, most BIBs are much better than the rest of the bottom shelf.


Can you explain exactly what information of mine is inaccurate or misleading? I ask simply because I am trying to learn.

Sure. Perhaps your most significant error is viewing the association between age and taste in your bourbon group as representative of whiskey drinkers at large. To be fair to you, you acknowledged this in a later post. The whiskey industry has tried very hard for many years to entice young drinkers, but they aren't joining the fold very quickly. When they do, they're usually interested in the stuff that gets you drunk, not the stuff that tastes good. And they're certainly not interested in doing their homework. They usually aren't interested in the good stuff until they get older (and their tastes change), and they usually can't afford the good stuff until then either. I'm in my early thirties, and I love "good" whiskey, but I'm an exception, and I know it.

Plenty of the "old guys" will be stuck in their ways and see BIB as a larger mark of quality than it currently deserves. In the same way, I hear one older consumer after another crowing about the glories of "the single malt," not knowing that there is no a priori reason why vatted ("blended") malt wouldn't be just as good. They just don't know what "single malt" actually means. While that ignorance might be typical in the whiskey world in general, the ones buying the top shelf stuff are typically more experienced and (at least slightly) wealthier: still the old guys, just not your old guys.

BMartin42
03-17-2011, 19:53
Nonetheless, most BIBs are much better than the rest of the bottom shelf.


No argument at all there. I didn't realize we were limiting the discussion to only bottom shelfers. As far as providing only one example, I could list several more that I have tried if you like: JW DANT BIB, HH BIB, JTS Brown, TW Samuels. All of those I have considered to be "not good" by my standards. Then again, I really only like bourbon neat at this point in my life. On the other hand there are BIB's that I do really enjoy(OGD, HM10). Like I said, I didn't realize the conversation was only bottom shelf. For just a couple of $s more there are many low shelf bourbons that are not BIB that I prefer to the list of BIBs that I do not care for. Just a few examples would Weller SR, OF 86, EW Black.





I'm in my early thirties, and I love "good" whiskey, but I'm an exception, and I know it.



I wonder about that statement. I wonder if there has been any recent research done as to what age people go from drinking to get drunk to drinking to enjoy? I am 38 and I guees I consider myself young for a bourbon drinker. While there are times I like to imbibe freely, even then I want to drink something that tastes good. I wonder if there is a significant difference between 25 & 35 in that regards? There may be more of us 30 somethings enjoying "good" whiskey than we realize. It seems like it has become much more popular recently.

dbk
03-17-2011, 20:26
No argument at all there. I didn't realize we were limiting the discussion to only bottom shelfers.

I wasn't limiting the discussion to bottom shelf releases per se, but I was responding to this:


A lot of today's BIB's tend to be bottom shelf in my experience.

;)

Again, though, we are talking about BIB being predictive of quality. If you include the entire range of American whiskey available, and especially if you weight it by volume of production, BIB is absolutely an indication of quality. Not a guarantee, but an indication.


I wonder if there has been any recent research done as to what age people go from drinking to get drunk to drinking to enjoy? [...] There may be more of us 30 somethings enjoying "good" whiskey than we realize. It seems like it has become much more popular recently.

If the age distribution of this board and the other forums I'm involved with is any indication of interest in quality whiskey, then I would suggest that thirty-something is on the young end of the spectrum. The research is almost certainly being done by marketing firms on behalf of the big producers, and from what I understand (though I could be wrong), it is not the young'uns who are typically buying the premium and "special" releases.

BMartin42
03-18-2011, 10:20
I
Again, though, we are talking about BIB being predictive of quality. If you include the entire range of American whiskey available, and especially if you weight it by volume of production, BIB is absolutely an indication of quality. Not a guarantee, but an indication.




Could you explain this point more thoroughly. I am not following the volume of production argument. Including all american whiskeys means comparing the majority of BIB's to JBW, JD, etc. My understanding is that BIB volume is relatively very low. I am not understanding this argument.

I still fail to see how BIB is indicative of quality. Picture the newbie who walks into a liquor store and studies the bourbon section. Most bottles he sees that are labeled as BIB are on the bottom shelf (there are exceptions of course). If anything, to that person, I would think BIB would have a negative connotation. He would incorrectly think BIB generally means "the cheap stuff" on the bottom shelf. To the more informed consumer, BIB just means at least four years old and 100 proof. He knows that if it says straight bourbon and does not list an age, then it has to be at least four years old. Therefore I don't see how BIB would indicate quality to him either. Maybe I should just give up, because I am just not seeing how BIB trends towards/is predictive of/ or otherwise indicates quality at all.

Brisko
03-18-2011, 11:00
not to speak for dbk, but I think the point is that compared to American blended whiskies, other non-bourbons, non-straight bourbons, and under 4 y/o straight bourbons, BiB is a significant step up regardless of shelf position.

A subtler point, but one that strikes my interest, is hat BiB is a good snapshot of a distillery's abilities. Because it has to be all from one season, there's no mingling of older barrels to shore up an overall weak vatting. What you see is what you get.

Gillman
03-18-2011, 14:32
In my view, the main significance of bottled-in-bond is bottling at 100 proof. Most bourbon is bottled under. The four year guarantee is also one of quality since bourbon can be sold under that age and a number of brands today are.

What about as compared to a 6 year old bourbon at 90 proof, say? Well, some might view the extra years as an offset to the lower proof, but traditionally alcohol level was seen as important to quality, not just to the intoxicating factor, but the taste.

What about bourbons more than 100 proof and more than 4 years old? Well, these may well be superior to bonds, but perhaps not, perhaps the "single whiskey" taste is more pristine when not mingled from different years' production or different plants and when offered at exactly 100 proof. Or maybe not, but the customer is given a specific type, via the bond, to compare.

I invited the debate originally, not really to inquire about the relative quality of bonded whiskey, but just to wonder why the firms, who are always looking for a marketing angle, weren't cottoning faster to the bonded designation. Now I see (thanks Chuck for that) that the new Taylor is bonded, so things may be changing. But I do feel bonding still retains in fact a core of justification, quality if you will.

That said some good points were made in rebuttal, there is no bright line here...

Gary

squire
03-18-2011, 14:50
Thanks Gary, you saved me the time of posting though I doubt mine would have been as well expressed.

Brisko
03-18-2011, 15:01
Gary,
I remember once reading an article or maybe ad copy (probably from the 1950's) where a distillery big-wig (maybe the owner, even) explained why whiskey bottled higher proof was superior to lower proof product, in terms of flavor, even if you cut it with water to drink it.

It had to do with how the congeners interact with the water over time, I think... I wish I could find it again. I don't remember enough details to find it on the web.

Ring any bells?

cowdery
03-18-2011, 15:07
BMartin42,

I don't want to go chapter-and-verse with you because I think it was just an issue of expression and perception. What you said that set me off was: "When I bought my first BIB bottle (HM 10 Year) my thought was 'What the hell does that mean?' I simply googled it and basically learned the term means nothing/nada/zilch in today's day and age for all practical purposes." (emphasis mine.) That is an incorrect statement on its face, but I now see that what you meant was that BIB isn't motivating for you nor, in your opinion, for your age cohort. Fair enough, though I would argue that perhaps you should reconsider.

Where I'm close but not exactly in agreement with dbk is that I have, from personal experience, found that BIB products -- especially in the low price segment -- are generally better than their non-BIB counterparts. I don't know that there is a clear reason for this, it just happens to be what I've experienced, so I feel very confident in grabbing a BIB even if it's one I haven't had before.

With the handful of premium and super-premium BIBs on the market, I don't think that advantage is necessarily there. Henry McKenna 10-year-old is single barrel so BIB doesn't really get you anything, other than age and proof, that single barrel doesn't get you already.

Where I think you and your friends should give some consideration to BIB is in the proof, which in my opinion is the ideal proof for American-style whiskey, and in the 'singularity' requirements which make BIB a 'single batch bourbon,' because while the barrel are typically mixed together, they will all always be from the same distiller, distillery and season, so it's not possible to fix the profile by adding, typically, some amount of older whiskey. In fact, with cheap standard bourbons it's common to use a little bit of older whiskey to mask the immaturity of the overall dump, which may be why cheap BIBs generally seem superior to cheap standard straights.

With BIB, as with single barrel, the distiller has to select the barrels carefully since what you can do to improve the profile after dumping is so limited. That makes it a good indication of the distillery's distilling and maturation, as opposed to its blending skill.

But it's perfectly legitimate for you to say, "there are things I look for in a bourbon, but BIB isn't one of them."

cowdery
03-18-2011, 15:09
Gary,
I remember once reading an article or maybe ad copy (probably from the 1950's) where a distillery big-wig (maybe the owner, even) explained why whiskey bottled higher proof was superior to lower proof product, in terms of flavor, even if you cut it with water to drink it.

It had to do with how the congeners interact with the water over time, I think... I wish I could find it again. I don't remember enough details to find it on the web.

Ring any bells?

That was a Pappy Van Winkle ad for Old Fitzgerald. The title was something like "is bottled in bond bourbon really too strong?" Some of what he says you need to take with a grain of salt.

Brisko
03-18-2011, 15:27
Thanks, Chuck. That's the one.

BMartin42
03-18-2011, 16:33
Very interesting discussion, and one that reiterates to me why I like this forum so much. No matter how many magazines, books, and blogs I read, there is always something to learn here.

Gillman
03-18-2011, 16:42
"Where I'm close but not exactly in agreement with dbk is that I have, from personal experience, found that BIB products -- especially in the low price segment -- are generally better than their non-BIB counterparts. I don't know that there is a clear reason for this, it just happens to be what I've experienced, so I feel very confident in grabbing a BIB even if it's one I haven't had before".

Key comments by Chuck.

Gary

P.S. Thx Squire for your comments.

CaptainQ
03-18-2011, 16:48
That was a Pappy Van Winkle ad for Old Fitzgerald. The title was something like "is bottled in bond bourbon really too strong?" Some of what he says you need to take with a grain of salt.

"I see no sense in shipping water all the way around the country." -Pappy Van Winkle

squire
03-18-2011, 17:56
Presupposes we have something to say but, to a degree, we do.

dbk
03-18-2011, 18:25
Well said, Chuck. I'm in complete agreement.

cowdery
03-18-2011, 19:36
Another thought is that an independent bottler is rarely going to go to the considerable trouble to produce a BIB so, again, that makes unfamiliar BIBs a pretty safe buy.

Back a couple of generations ago, when there were more distilleries, more BIB brands, more brands overall, and many more house brands and distributor brands, as well as more blended whiskeys, and just generally a lot of distractions for the whiskey customer, the words 'bonded' and 'bottled in bond' were words you could look for when you couldn't find your usual brands, or when you were trying to save a few bucks, or for some other reason had to make a selection from among a bunch of products you didn't really know. The words 'bonded' and 'bottled in bond' provided a minimum standard. At least you knew the whiskey would be full proof, at least four years in wood, and a straight whiskey of some kind, i.e., not a blend. It wasn't an assurance that the whiskey would be great -- nobody thought it was -- but it was a pretty good indication that it wouldn't be awful, and that's worth something. To some extent that hasn't changed, it's just that most people don't know about it and, depending on where you live, you may not even be able to find many bonds.

I also think the popularity of Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond, which is much more popular than the 80° proof version, is introducing the term to a lot of people.

jburlowski
03-18-2011, 20:21
I also think the popularity of Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond, which is much more popular than the 80° proof version, is introducing the term to a lot of people.

Without deprecating or disagreeing with the other things you've said, I think the Ritt BiB is more popular because it is a much better whiskey. Now, while we can disagree why it is a much better whiskey, I'm not convinced that the label "BiB" is a significant factor.

BTW, Ritt BiB, is my favorite rye. But, as you have mentioned, rye is still a very, very small category. So, it is hard to imagine that the BiB is a significant factor.

dbk
03-18-2011, 20:27
Without deprecating or disagreeing with the other things you've said, I think the Ritt BiB is more popular because it is a much better whiskey. Now, while we can disagree why it is a much better whiskey, I'm not convinced that the label "BiB" is a significant factor.

Is there any reason to believe that the difference between Rittenhouse BIB and Rittenhouse 80 is anything other than the higher proof, longer aging, and/or that more care was put in to making it a better batch given that it couldn't be rectified with older whiskey?

cowdery
03-18-2011, 22:55
Without deprecating or disagreeing with the other things you've said, I think the Ritt BiB is more popular because it is a much better whiskey. Now, while we can disagree why it is a much better whiskey, I'm not convinced that the label "BiB" is a significant factor.

BTW, Ritt BiB, is my favorite rye. But, as you have mentioned, rye is still a very, very small category. So, it is hard to imagine that the BiB is a significant factor.

Talk about a straw man argument! I said nothing remotely like that. What I said is that Rit BIB is very popular, much more popular than Rit 80, and the fact that it is a BIB is introducing a lot of new people to the term BIB. I never said or implied that it is successful because it is BIB, or really good (which it is) because it's BIB, which I wouldn't say because neither is the case.

I would never say either of those things because the real reason Rit BIB has become so popular is because I have been its tireless champion for the last five or six years. And what thanks do I get? I actually have to buy the stuff!

But what can happen as a result of this is that people who like Rit BIB and noticed the words 'bottled in bond' on the bottle might someday see those words on a different bottle and think "the last BIB I had was really good, maybe this will be really good too." That would not be a bad thing.

Robmo
03-24-2011, 09:34
Just a relative newcomer's take on the "bottled on bond" terminology. As a late thirty something I rely on the internet for a lot of information... The internet has allowed us to become much more savvy consumers than we were a decade ago... I think they are and this is why you are seeing more "experimental" type offerings and limited edition releases. Things that actually do seem to be "special" or limited are much more appealing than traditional terminolgy to the younger generation.

BMartin 42, I'm in your same age bracket and might agree that BIB is to an extent "just marketing" although it actually does have a legal definition whereas--correct me if I'm wrong--terms like "small batch" and "premium" and ---oh, how I adore this one, "VIP"--can legally be used by anyone to mean anything. Ditto "quality" or "special reserve" or the ubiquitous "old". I saw on this board that Jim Beam is going to start saying that the black label bourbon is "triple aged" --also meaningless or confusing at best.

Most BIB products are not readily available in my area but I wish they were because of the history of that term. You try one those products and you know, to a certain extent, what those bonded whiskeys were like at the time when the term actually was--again correct me if I'm wrong-- one of the few quality indicators there were at the time. You get a history lesson in a bottle, and to me that has some charm worth seeking out.

OK, enough rambling here. I just wanted to chime in because although I'm close to your age I don't see things quite the same way. I don't know that age group is the sole determiner of how one thinks about whiskey or chooses a bottle off the liquor store shelf. On another note, I hope it doesn't seem like I'm attacking you personally. I just wanted to express a slightly different take on things.

soad
03-24-2011, 11:05
There may be more of us 30 somethings enjoying "good" whiskey than we realize. It seems like it has become much more popular recently.

I'm 31 and have gone from only drinking Maker's Mark and Jim Beam to now enjoying the "good" stuff over the last two years....maybe I'm aging quickly, or maybe I spend too much time on straightbourbon.com..... :icon_pidu:

squire
03-24-2011, 12:32
soad we can't spend too much time in good company.

jcg9779
03-24-2011, 12:51
I'm 31 and have gone from only drinking Maker's Mark and Jim Beam to now enjoying the "good" stuff over the last two years....maybe I'm aging quickly, or maybe I spend too much time on straightbourbon.com..... :icon_pidu:

Soad, change "Jim Beam" to "Bulleit" and this is exactly what I would have written. I'm 31, and as I've posted on some other threads, this site has opened my eyes to a world of bourbon that I never knew existed. I had never heard of BIB before joining but, after reading some of the threads, I do understand the need for it in the past. In my simplistic view, the only thing that I think of when I see BIB is 100 proof...I don't necessarily think of higher quality (that's just what comes into my mind, whether I'm right or wrong). I do prefer my bourbon to be in the 100 to 110 proof range, so between unfamiliar brands a BIB would be preferable to me over a non-BIB (I think it was Chuck that mentioned something along these lines in an earlier post). I'm sure my perspective on BIB will change as my knowledge of bourbon (and the history of bourbon) continues to grow, and especially as I get more into hunting for those dusties that might still be out there.

soad
03-24-2011, 14:03
To my simplistic view, the only thing that I think of when I read BIB is 100 proof...I don't necessarily think of higher quality (that's just what comes into my head, whether I'm right or wrong).

I'm right with you. In my simplistic view I see BIB as neither good nor bad, just descriptive. I kind of know what I'm getting when I see BIB. The same way I kind of know what I'm getting when I read 'wheated' or 'rye whiskey'.

I will say, seeing BONDED on my OGD BIB makes me feel cool....:rolleyes:

squire
03-24-2011, 14:45
And on the OGD it means something, traditional full flavor and full proof.