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SFS
01-31-2013, 18:13
I was in a store the other day, and saw a brand I've not seen much written about here: Sam Houston. There were 4 bottles, so I pulled the first one down to look at it. Small batch, NAS. When I went to put it back, the one behind it was different - it had an age statement (10 Years). So I started comparing the two:

NAS was 42.8%, batch 47, bottle 1323 (two other bottles were NAS, same batch, bottle numbers within 10 of this one), UPC starts with 55709 (ignoring the small first number)
10 year was 45%, batch number faded off, bottle number very faded but looked like 127. UPC also starts with 55709.

No dates on the bottoms of the bottles, but one (and I didn't record which) had a manufacturer's symbol - a triangle followed by a capital "V".

BE.com has reviews of a 45% Sam Houston that span 2005 to 2009, and the picture looks a lot like the 10 year bottle I had in my hands (see pics below). BE.com also has review of a 43.25% offering written from 2007 to 2010. But there is no mention of a 42.8% offering.

Are either of these noteworthy? Can anyone tell me anything about this juice? McLain & Kyne/Castle Brands are not names I know.

squire
01-31-2013, 18:28
This is sourced whisky from the same bunch that puts out Jefferson. I believe McLain was Trey Zoellar's grandmother's maiden name or something like that, but it's spot market Bourbon. With Houston, Zoellar was trying to get the same name recognition he got by appropriating Thomas Jefferson's name but I don't think the Texans were amused. For the 10 year old I would pay about the same as I would for a bottle of Heaven Hill 1783.

SFS
01-31-2013, 18:34
Thanks Squire. I've never seen the 1783, but these bottles were $45 and $46. (The 10 year was a dollar more). Seems pretty expensive to me, that's about $8 more than 4R SB (which I've now bought, but not tasted yet). Any point in picking either one up at those prices?

And what do you think is up with the weird proof?

WAINWRIGHT
01-31-2013, 18:43
Squire is quite right on all counts,I feel this is a pretty uninspiring whiskey also.Last time a saw this gracing any shelves they were priced around $30-32 and even then there are many choices well above and beyond it's profile and quality level,a true pass on all counts.

squire
01-31-2013, 18:45
Zoeller's marketing plan seems to be buy some whisky, name it after a famous person to get instant name recognition, then inflate the image with a high price tag.

EW 1783 was, up until recently, a 10 year old 86 proof upgrade of EWB. It is now NAS but still in the $12-$15 price range which I was using to illustrate what I consider the value of 10 year Sam Houston, although I consider the 1783 to be a superior whisky.

SFS
01-31-2013, 18:47
That tells me everything I need to know. Thank you, kind sir.

HighHorse
01-31-2013, 19:38
I concur with Squire on the1783. It's $11 here and a darn good bourbon that compares favorably with brands twice and more the price. It was even better when it was ten years old.

SFS
01-31-2013, 19:40
Well, I won't buy this and bring it in March then.

thezenone
02-01-2013, 12:26
Here in CA they have a NAS Sam Houston at 45% for $30. The label is much different that the ones pictured though.

jcg9779
02-01-2013, 12:55
I bought some of that Sam Houston 10yr early on in my bourbon buying days at a price of $40ish, I think. I wish I'd left it on the shelf.

Enoch
02-02-2013, 08:57
I personally like the Sam Houston 10 year better than the 1783 10 year. I picked up several bottles of SH10 for around $20 on clearance when the brand was re-released in the tall bottle (nasty stuff). But, I don't think it is worth much more than $20 or so. At $40-45, there are much better bourbons to be had.

Enoch
02-02-2013, 09:01
Here in CA they have a NAS Sam Houston at 45% for $30. The label is much different that the ones pictured though.



If it is the tall bottle, then I don't think it is even produced by the same company. The brand changed hands a couple of years ago I think.

smokinjoe
02-02-2013, 09:35
I personally like the Sam Houston 10 year better than the 1783 10 year. I picked up several bottles of SH10 for around $20 on clearance when the brand was re-released in the tall bottle (nasty stuff). But, I don't think it is worth much more than $20 or so. At $40-45, there are much better bourbons to be had.

I liked the 10 yr, too. My dad really liked it, so I would pick up as many as I could find for him before his passing. It was one of the whackiest priced bourbons that I have ever seen, however. The pricing was anywhere from $13 to mid $40's depending on location. Not specials or sales or anything like that. Just standard pricing.

squire
02-02-2013, 09:44
The brand was sold but part of the deal was the sellers be hired to continue building the brand so the same guys are still in charge.

squire
02-02-2013, 09:47
Makes you wonder what the wholesale was Joe, presuming the $13.00 bottles were being sold at a profit.

dustyj
02-02-2013, 11:05
I also enjoyed the TRUE 10yr. I have had two and got them for around 30$. I do stay clear of the non age stated one though. I would pull the trigger if I were to find another 10 year. For me I could say the same for an age stated Johnny Drum 12 or Pure Kentucky XO true 10 year vs. there non age stated releases.

squire
02-02-2013, 11:29
I'm in favor of 10 year old Bourbon from any source I just refuse to pay more than it's worth.