View Full Version : Mattingly & Moore
Picked up a bottle of Mattingly & Moore the other day. Search the forum and didn't find any comments and/or tasting notes. I know that HH owns the brand ... but other than that I know very little about it [other than it is value priced]. Bought it because I like the heirloom aspects of the bottle/label and the history associated with Tom Moore, Ben Mattingly and the Willett sisters.
Anyone have more information? Is it worth trying?
I too recently picked up a one liter , tax stamped Mattingly & Moore . 80 proof and looks to be from 1989. The label reads "Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey- A Blend", but on the back of the neck , it specifiies 49 % grain neutral spirits. After noticing that , it doesn't taste quite as good, but it's still going down.
Jim, that was a Seagram brand that HH picked up around that time. Pour a slug of any circa-1990 bourbon in it (for period authenticity) or any modern bourbon for that matter, and you'll get an even better drink. But those blends could be good, plus you've got almost 25 years of those components getting to know each other. It's valid history on its own.
I've got a liter bottle of M&M Straight Bourbon Whiskey aged 5 years (80 proof) from 1980, distilled in Lawrenceburg, IN. At first I thought it lived up to its tagline "Mild and Mellow" (it's the only 80 proofer I've had), but on second taste I've decided it has a distinct tobacco and sherry profile that is - not bad (even tho I don't smoke). I only wish the store kept regular hours so I could bunker a bottle. They were selling the blend, too, but why buy a blend when you can have 'the good stuff'? ;)
Okay, I started today with a pour of MM, I'd call it a wheater benchmark. Then Larceny, a bit hotter and sweeter with more flavor interest. Popped a new W12, whoa, chemical aroma, sweet (like the Larceny) mild entry and palate, cedar (or sandalwood or just oaky) finish. Most wood I've ever tasted, but it reminds me of something I've had. Follow it with M&M (1980), same sweetness, but more of a sherry flavor. The tobacco of the M&M is very close to the wood of the W12. Final analysis - M&M (5yo, 1980) is just a bit better than this current W12 (and I don't really like tobacco). Is it possible the M&M is as old or older than the W12? It is certainly darker colored. Trying the W12 gives me a new appreciation of dem dusties (and I was able to bunker a couple).
Current M&M is very suspicious - it's cloyingly sweet, almost like they're trying to cover something up. I love HH, but I refuse to drink M&M. In all honesty, I'd rather drink JW Dant 80 proof or even HH 80 proof.
It's another one of those just to try and if you don't want to drink it decant into another bottle for the Bourbon & coke crowd.
Who says Mattingly & Moore is a wheater? It certainly never was historically. I know the brand well because my parents drank it. They chose it because, in the Ohio state stores, it was the cheapest Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey on the shelf. I like that about them. They wanted cheap but they wouldn't take less than Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. I was raised right.
I don't know about its status as a blend or blended bourbon. That may be a market-by-market thing, as it is with Ten High.
It's a very old brand. The 'Moore' in the name is Tom Moore. The Mattingly & Moore and Tom Moore distilleries were adjacent to each other on the site where Barton is now. Joe Beam and Will McGill both worked there as distillers.
M&M used to be straight bourbon in MI, but it's been a few years since I checked.
I'm alot like your parents, and I mourn the loss of Ten High straight in MI every day. :(
I'm not saying M&M is a wheater, Maker's Mark is the wheater I was calling a benchmark. However, the M&M 5yo I have was distilled in Lawrenceburg, IN (bottled 1980, 'Straight Bourbon Whiskey' - no Kentucky) and going head-to-head with a current Weller12 recently opened, it wins out. The M&M has a more interesting nose, sweeter entry, more and better flavor. I like the wood of the W12, but the tobacco of the M&M is just a deeper and richer take on the W12 wood. These two bottles are similar as far as flavor goes, but the M&M is richer. I used to think that the M&M was 'cooked', having spent so many years out here in Hawaii with no a/c, but now having tried W12 I see that it's just made to a different profile.
I bunkered 2 more liters of this juice, but left the M&M Blend on the shelf next to the Imperial.
I misread your post. Sorry.
M&M is still listed on Heaven Hill's web site (http://www.heavenhill.com/product-specifications) as both a bourbon and a blend, and I find it hard to believe they're buying whisky from MGP. Could you post a picture or two?
Also don't understand why you're comparing it to wheaters.
I checked at the liquor store today, and it's still "Straight Bourbon Whiskey" in MI. I doubt current M&M is MGP juice, because it says Bardstown, KY on the label. Remember though that Ed is talking about M&M from 1980.
I guess I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that M&M was ever a Seagram's brand. Not sure how that would have happened. Gary?
Here ya go. I'm comparing it to wheaters because it has no rye spice. It's 'Mild & Mellow' as the wheaters are, but lacks the wholewheat pasta bitterness I detect in wheaters.
Great. All great. And that supports that it was a Seagram's brand. I wonder if that iteration ever made it to Ohio (Ohio is funny that way) although I do recall my parents becoming disenchanted with M&M and asking me to help them find a good alternative. That was probably about the same time these were made. And I thought it was probably in the same deal that brought Henry McKenna to Heaven Hill, but my question is how did it get to Seagram's in the first place. I can't find anything about who brought the brand back after Prohibition and I owe it to my parents' memory to find out.
Chuck, based on information Michael Veach posted in 2000 on SB and elsewhere (see e.g. his Seagram timeline on the other board), I understand Mattingly & Moore was a brand of Frankfort Distilling, Inc., a distillery established in 1902 on Main Street in Frankfort from a merger of a number of rectifying plants. Other brands included Oscar Pepper. Paul Jones bought the distillery in the 1920's and in 1943, it was acquired by Seagram, mainly for the Four Roses brand.
That's the answer. What I couldn't remember was if any of the Seagram's predecessors had been a concentration warehouse and medicinal licensee. Frankfort was one of the six, which was why Jones bought them and adopted the name. Later, Seagram's bought them out. Frankfort must have gotten M&M in its capacity as a concentration warehouse.
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