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mosugoji64
03-22-2012, 20:51
For those of you who have been members here for a long time, the recent talk of an impending rye revival got me thinking about the bourbon revival we're experiencing. Do you remember when the bourbon revival began, and what were the reactions like back then? Was there the same, "I'll believe it when I see it," or, "It looks good, but we'll see," reaction? Just wondering if anyone noticed any parallels.

jburlowski
03-23-2012, 16:02
Shortly after I joined this board (in 2004), I read some posts about a bourbon called George T. Stagg. A few days later I was driving by a local liquor store and stopped in to see if they had any. There they were... sitting forlornly on the shelf next to the Bookers.

Since then, the market for GTS (and other bourbons) has changed a little.... :rolleyes:

tommyboy38
03-23-2012, 22:38
Talk of a "rye revival" has been going on for 10 years or more.

mosugoji64
03-24-2012, 10:30
Talk of a "rye revival" has been going on for 10 years or more.

That long? Interesting. Chuck mentions the many premature proclamations of a bourbon revival in his book. Was there a point when anyone thought, "Okay, this is real?" And Chuck, if you're reading this, do you think any of the people predicting a bourbon revival really saw it coming or was it purely a happy coincidence? I was a kid in the 70s/80s, so it's interesting for me to read about things going on in the industry while I was riding my bike and playing with Star Wars toys!

clingman71
03-24-2012, 10:58
I've only been on SB since '08, but I've been driving down to CnB to puchase whiskey since '93-94. In the mid to late '90s, while the single malt explosion was driving up scotch prices, the early single barrel and small batch bourbons were holding steady. I recently complained in a post about Old Rip and lot B prices at CnB. I remember a day when all VWs were on the shelf all of the time. I remember buying Old Rip 107 $21-24 and lot B $25-28. You add the low supply of a limited release bourbon and the high demand of a boom in popularity and you have what we see today. I wish it were as simple as the craft beer industry where you are never more than a few batches and few months away from getting increased production to the retail level. As Chuck has stated in many posts, it takes great foresight and analysis of trends and years of aging to "catch up". Hopefully the distillers of the whiskeys that are in short supply now saw the shortage coming early enough that the down time will be lessened.

trumpstylz
03-25-2012, 15:37
The revival has its ups and its downs (for us).

I remember 5 years ago when you could go to the binnys event and buy the ticket the day of or get whiskyfest tickets fairly close to the event. That's not true anymore now that the hipster scene took over. I think it kind of pisses some of us off - we get shafted when we were the ones who liked it before it was "cool" or "hip" to.

In short, people who regularly purchase jbw and seem to drink whiskey b/c its cool to kind of piss me off.

SMOWK
03-25-2012, 16:03
In short, people who regularly purchase jbw and seem to drink whiskey b/c its cool to kind of piss me off.

The nerds/dorks/geeks like us always get shafted. Or do we? I think I just confused myself. Time to drink and forget that I just did that.

Young Blacksmith
03-25-2012, 18:49
The best thing about revivals are:

1. The good folks they bring in who stay around for the long haul.

2. The hipsters always find the door fast and get hip on another thing.

SMOWK
03-25-2012, 18:57
Hipsters don't have anything on bunkers like ours. I'm sure we've all had our encounters with the folks who's pants are so tight around their ankles that they can't remember which bourbon they like best.

"Walter Van Pincus is my favorite go-to bourbon, and it's a Rye."

T Comp
03-29-2012, 22:35
Indication to me of some momentum of the revival further into the main stream. A whiskey themed restaurant is opening soon in Schaumburg, Illinois. Schaumburg is about 25 miles northwest of Chicago and home to one of the bigger shopping malls in the country, Woodfield, along with many other chain retail stores and restaurants. It could be characterized as the epitome of American suburbia and a place urban hipsters (whatever your definition) may visit to shop but not live or entertain in.

Lincoln Whiskey * Kitchen is being created by restaurateurs with other establishments such as Cinzzetti's Italian Market and White Chocolate Grill. Their web site contains some talk on whiskey, Lincoln and why this place is so special to them. They have their own barrel of Evan Williams SB and met with Al Young of Four Roses last week during Whiskyfest activities. I find it interesting that a group of successful restaurateurs, with their marketing savvy, believe there is enough traction with whiskey to make it a theme for their restaurant, in this area, far from the hipper area of the city.

ILLfarmboy
03-30-2012, 00:08
I joined the board late in '06 and had lurked off an on for a year or more before joining.

Back then I could easily find WT RR 101 (one of my faves at the time) for 24.99 at just about any Hy-Vee with a decent liquor section and annual releases of Stagg could be had for 47-49 bucks. I had to drive down to Peoria to get them but all that was required was a phone call to make sure the store had gotten that year's release in. ORVW 10 107 wasn't very hard to find as were many others.......

now..... its hard to find anything I really want let alone something I can get exited about.....shelves are filling up with crap I don't want.....Red Gag, flavored stuff from Philip's Union, overpriced young ryes in fancy bottles like R1 ad nauseam.

I live out in the sticks. I don't know if I have ever seen a "hipster". But I'm beginning to really hate these mythical "hipsters". Why can't they drink Red Gag and JBW?

I keep downgrading my daily pours a notch at a time as the bottles I realy want become harder to find or go out of production all together.

I like Makers 46 well enough. I'm about ready to say screw it. Makers 46, Dickel 12 and BT are it........It ain't worth chasing after stuff that's hard to find and priced significantly higher than it was just a few years ago. The price itself isn't such a big deal but with gas being so damn expensive (remember I live out in the country) when you add it all up it just takes to much out of my leisure budget and eats into my grocery budget.

JayMonster
03-30-2012, 04:58
That long? Interesting. Chuck mentions the many premature proclamations of a bourbon revival in his book. Was there a point when anyone thought, "Okay, this is real?" And Chuck, if you're reading this, do you think any of the people predicting a bourbon revival really saw it coming or was it purely a happy coincidence? I was a kid in the 70s/80s, so it's interesting for me to read about things going on in the industry while I was riding my bike and playing with Star Wars toys!

I think those that were finally "right" about the bourbon revival, were correct on an "even a broken clock is right twice a day," sort of way. Because clearly none of them were ready for this.

And with diluting of some brands and loss of others (such as the rumor of OWA going away), as well as the loss of the Age Statement on so many labels, it is a loss that we may never recover from as consumers even when the distillers catch up.

mosugoji64
03-30-2012, 10:32
Does anyone think we may be in for another glut period when the hipster movement dies down, or have distillery production processes advanced to a point where that will be unlikely? For me, another glut period is about the only silver lining I can see in light of the recent revelations from Harlan Wheatley. I was complaining to my wife last night about BT's future plans, and she essentially said to be patient until the craze dies down, but I'm concerned about permanent damage re: age statements, etc.

grubbster
03-30-2012, 11:43
This same sort of thing has happened in other areas as well. I remember back in the early 80s when the same thing happened in the cigar industry. They became trendy and all of the sudden you could not find premium cigars. It took a while for the trend to settle down, but they always do. Many people get into these things because it is the "thing to do". Most people will not stick with it. In the long haul this should be good for the bourbon industry because although it may not create a glut, it should at least fill the pipeline for many years.

TradingBoiler
03-30-2012, 11:51
Does anyone think we may be in for another glut period when the hipster movement dies down, or have distillery production processes advanced to a point where that will be unlikely? For me, another glut period is about the only silver lining I can see in light of the recent revelations from Harlan Wheatley. I was complaining to my wife last night about BT's future plans, and she essentially said to be patient until the craze dies down, but I'm concerned about permanent damage re: age statements, etc.

Brian I was just thinking the same thing. Just as in the 80's and early 90's there will be a leveling out period of demand and as corporations have taught us in the past is that their forecasting is poor. So there will be over supply to work down. When that happens the consistent bourbon fans will be rewarded with better bargain brands with older bourbon, but I am also concerned that there will be damage to brands and the business in general if we have to endure this cycle again.

ILLfarmboy
03-30-2012, 11:52
In the long haul this should be good for the bourbon industry because although it may not create a glut, it should at least fill the pipeline for many years.

Yes, but with the loss of labels, age statements and the dropping of proofs that won't come back, all largely because of the time frame between the distillate coming off the still and mature barrels being dumped, its not the same as cigars (I'm assuming, I don't smoke) I don't see how the two could be the same in the lasting effects to us consumers, anyhow.

sku
03-30-2012, 12:00
Brian I was just thinking the same thing. Just as in the 80's and early 90's there will be a leveling out period of demand and as corporations have taught us in the past is that their forecasting is poor. So there will be over supply to work down. When that happens the consistent bourbon fans will be rewarded with better bargain brands with older bourbon, but I am also concerned that there will be damage to brands and the business in general if we have to endure this cycle again.

I think Red Stag is the thorn in the bubble. The last time the bottom fell out of the market, the distilleries just put their glut bourbon out under their regular labels and decreased production. This time, I'm guessing they will put it out in flavored brands.

grubbster
03-30-2012, 12:01
Yes, but with the loss of labels, age statements and the dropping of proofs that won't come back, all largely because of the time frame between the distillate coming off the still and mature barrels being dumped, its not the same as cigars (I'm assuming, I don't smoke) I don't see how the two could be the same in the lasting effects to us consumers, anyhow.
You are correct that the two do not parallel each other since the time scale of product is vastly different. I was more comparing the phenomenon of trends rather than the product of the trends.

stiffchainey
03-30-2012, 17:20
Yo! In Germany no one has a clue what rye is! Here, they still think Jack Daniels is a very good "bourbon"...what else can I say?:cool:

JayMonster
03-30-2012, 18:07
Yes, but with the loss of labels, age statements and the dropping of proofs that won't come back, all largely because of the time frame between the distillate coming off the still and mature barrels being dumped, its not the same as cigars (I'm assuming, I don't smoke) I don't see how the two could be the same in the lasting effects to us consumers, anyhow.

Actually to two are so similar it is almost scary. Both require forecasting and aging (yes, good tobacco is aged, sometimes in old Whiskey barrels). Both have gone through similar gluts. And during the boom times, things like aging and quality took a big hit just as happens with Bourbon.

Mergers and acquisitions have forced the shuttering of some of the best tobacco rolling places (A Villazon produced Punch Rare Corojo is to me, the cigar equivalent of Stizel-Weller Bourbon).

It took many years (and 2 separate glut periods... one in the late 90's and one going on now), for Cigars to ALMOST recover from the damage done by the Cigar Boom of the late 80's early 90's.

The path with the way things appear to be going with Bourbon, it looks to me like history repeating itself, just in another industry.

When the next glut hits, how will these companies look to bolster their profits? If it becomes a pricing war for the general comsumer dollar, then the race will be to water down the bourbon so they can get the highest profits from the lowest dollar amount.

Then based on history, only after they have more stock than they know what to do with, will we possibly see more things offered again at higher proofs, return of some "nostalgic" brands, etc. But how long it will take to get there would be anybody's guess.

In the meantime, we the consumer suffer and deal with whatever we can get that has devolved the least.

Restaurant man
04-01-2012, 00:04
"when there is blood in the streets, buy real estate" build your bunker in a reasonable way. when things get really tough, wait it out. when the hipsters drop off and prices drop and age statements rise. load up ladies:duel:

ILLfarmboy
04-01-2012, 10:49
[quote=Restaurant man;281664 when the hipsters drop off and prices drop and age statements rise. load up ladies:duel:[/quote]

Aging whiskey is like raising livestock where the livestock takes 1/8 to 1/5 of a human lifespan to reach market weight.

You better be a young man if you expect age statements to come back as a selling point before you are looking at retirement options.

At least, that's the way I see it.

Perhaps, I'm just a little pessimistic

LostBottle
04-01-2012, 22:54
I love, love, love rye - ultra aged rye to be specific. The rise in popularity over the last few years is driving the price up and making it very hard work to find...but man is it still worth it.

The silver lining? Rye is back from the dead and for this, I am glad. It has now become a profitable business which means future supply is assured and is being laid down as I speak. This also means that we should see more good rye labels enter the market breeding competition, which is always good for the consumer.

The only worry I have is that it takes time for new ultra aged stock to mature and the current supply may not stretch that long with the rising demand. This means that I will throw elbows in the scramble to clean out that top shelf if you are wearing boat shoes and skinny jeans....I just want the Saz, not your Pabst Blue Ribbon:lol:

Restaurant man
04-01-2012, 23:28
Aging whiskey is like raising livestock where the livestock takes 1/8 to 1/5 of a human lifespan to reach market weight.

You better be a young man if you expect age statements to come back as a selling point before you are looking at retirement options.

At least, that's the way I see it.

Perhaps, I'm just a little pessimistic

In ten years I'll be 49. Should be plenty of well aged rye by then. In the meantime I figure I've got 2-3 good years of hoarding left. There are lots of good barrels left in those creaky old rick houses in Kentucky. As far as the hipsters... Let em drink makers 46, wood ford double and whatever "new" product is around the bend. I'm sure someone will release a regular bourbon finished in some old macallan barrel and that will be the new direction for speculators. Or eBay will get shut down and pappy will be back on the shelf and all those attic finds will end up in yard sales :thankyousign:

JayMonster
04-04-2012, 08:25
Going back to the original question of whether the people who saw this coming had some actual knowledge... I ran across a quote today that I thought was revealing... or at least interesting on this front. It was a now 4 year old review of Beam's (ri)1.

In the review, it states that Beam is "late to the Rye revival party" with (ri)1. LATE! If (ri)1 was "late" 4 years ago, then there should be (in theory) plenty of Rye available, or available soon since production should have been ramped up at least 5 years ago.

But that sure doesn't seem to be the case.

Brisko
04-04-2012, 10:12
Without reading it in context I assume they're talking about the fact that Beam was just then coming out with a new rye, along the lines of Sazerac or the reboot of the Rittenhouse label.

But in truth Beam has lead the rye category for years, by a huge margin, so I'm not sure what the author means.

The other thing to remember is that four years ago the "rye revival" existed more on paper than in real sales numbers. Today that has changed shifted, and if anything, Beam is ahead of the curve, given that they're bringing out the Knob Rye at a time when everyone else is on allocation.

Do you have a link for the review?

JayMonster
04-04-2012, 10:40
Actually re-reading it, they say, not that (ri)1 was late, but that "people" who were late to the revival, and wanted something "cool" is who (ri)1 would appeal to. (Though now in hindsight, it didn't seem to appeal to many at all).

Anyway, herr is the link. http://m.drinkoftheweek.com/site/mobile?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.drinkoftheweek.com%2F2 008%2F11%2Fri1-rye-whiskey%2F

Bmac
04-04-2012, 16:32
I know I haven't been on this board long or in the bourbon world long enough to have any insight into any impacts. But I believe I have been around long enough see the industry changing. I am glad to be a part of the Rye revival at least. I do see Rye on the rise; there seem to be more and more labels popping up.

The other day, I was in my favorite store and the owner told me that his bourbon isle was dead and that the only person who goes near it is me. :bigeyes:Seems the people in that area only want cigarettes and vodka :puke:

So from my perspective it's hard to see the trends because I am something of a diamond in the rough.

Young Blacksmith
04-04-2012, 19:51
The Vodka crowd is huge out here too. I'll be shopping/dusty hunting, and in the time it takes me to browse the store several folks usually come in, grab a handle or pint of cheap vodka, and get going again.

trumpstylz
04-05-2012, 02:18
I think the specialty vodka fad around here has started to die out.

Restaurant man
04-05-2012, 09:21
Chris morris told me yesterday that "woodford Rye" is still 3-4 years out. We will see if demand is still strong at that point.