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cowdery
04-02-2001, 12:58
We still don't know who is buying Four Roses, but we know it won't be Jim Beam. According to an article today on Just-Drinks.com, Beam has indicated that it will pass on Passport Scotch and Four Roses Bourbon, seemingly the two most attractive brands on the block. Interestingly, in another Just-Drinks article, the head of Pernod (Diageo's partner in the Seagrams deal) indicated they would like to keep Four Roses but don't think it is compatible with their existing bourbon brand, Wild Turkey.

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

bourbonmed
04-09-2001, 19:10
...the head of Pernod indicated they would like to keep Four Roses but don't think it is COMPATIBLE with their existing bourbon brand, Wild Turkey.

What nonsense is that? Since when do bourbons have to be "COMPATIBLE"? How does variety pose a threat? Anyone else intrigued by that explanation?

Omar

cowdery
04-10-2001, 08:54
I thought it curious that he mentioned it at all. "Compatible" was my word and perhaps the wrong choice.

Here is what the article really said: "(Patrick Ricard) hinted that Pernod might have wanted to keep Four Roses Bourbon, saying: 'We already have Wild Turkey, and we are not that big so we have to make choices, there has to be some limit. Life is choice.'"

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

**DONOTDELETE**
04-10-2001, 16:29
Omar, I think you have a really good point. But one that is equally debatable from both sides. You're into promotion, so you should understand this pretty well... Pernod Ricard has been very successful with Wild Turkey. There's only so much money budgeted for foreign (i.e., American) spirits; every franc spent on promoting Four Roses would be a franc NOT spent on Wild Turkey. Also, a good share of the money already spent on Wild Turkey went to convince Europeans, Asians and the rest of the world that it's a better bourbon than Four Roses (a major brand everywhere but North America), and it was pretty successful, too. They would now have to pay for the privilege of fighting against their own advertising success!

Of course, not everyone sees it that way. Mark Brown, Ken Weber, and the rest of the Buffalo Trace folks are facing an identical situation in acquiring the Weller label. Here is a bourbon they spent money to compete against, and now they own it. Their solution is to spotlight the new brand and promote it heavily. Of course, they have an incentive that is really the same situation in reverse... they have several VERY well-known and respected brands that they don't want to sink another nickel into because they're likely to be lost in their current corporate divorce/custody battles with Age International.

It's a very delicate tightrope, and I don't blame Pernod Ricard one bit for not wanting to go anywhere near there.

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

bourbonmed
04-10-2001, 21:32
John, Chuck, thanks for the insight. I visited just-drinks.com in search of that article but couldn't find it. I did find a wonderful interview with Mr. Samuels about Maker's Mark and their projected growth. All bourbonheads must read it, dated April 2nd. Why doesn't MM go after Four Roses?

I still can't figure why Four Roses isn't sold here -- or maybe IT IS and we don't know it, Mr. Kulsveen?

Cheers,
Omar

**DONOTDELETE**
04-11-2001, 04:57
Four Roses (bourbon) is available in Kentucky and Indiana (I believe) and maybe a couple of other states. After being unavailable at all in the U.S. for many years, they decided to testmarket it. In typical bourbon-marketing fashion, they chose to do this by not advertising or promoting it in any way. It got the results you might expect.

It's an interesting bourbon, in that it's made differently from the way any other bourbon is made today. It's basically a blend of several completely different bourbons (different mashes, yeasts, processing, etc.), all of which happen to be made at the same distillery. We had a wonderful private tour of the distillery a couple years ago, given by Al Young (see here (http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey/4roses.htm), or at our website below, under my signature), and they offered a similar tour to folks at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival as late as last year, I believe. We weren't at that one, but I understand it was similar to what you and Ken Weber are planning at Buffalo Trace. If they're not already closed down, maybe that'll be available again this year (it's currently scheduled for Friday morning; reservations required -- contact the Festival (http://www.kybourbonfestival.com/) now; you don't want to miss this).

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

bourbonmed
04-11-2001, 09:43
John,

Besides the blended concoctions, they make a single barrel, a single barrel ''reserve'', (the green label beauty that Jim Rutledge is so fond of and is just about depleted now) and a super-premium Asian platinum which must be a very small batch. I'd guess the stuff selling in Kentucky/Indiana (yellow label?) is a blend, like the black label export. Four Roses are age enigmas -- none in my collection have any kind of age statement.

Omar

cowdery
04-11-2001, 19:12
Bulleit Bourbon also is now being made at Seagrams and sold by them.

At the time Seagram's discontinued Four Roses in the U.S., it had deteriorated into a cheap blend with a bad reputation as, well, a cheap blend. Rather than try to revive it, they simply killed it.

Many of the large drinks companies (Brown Forman is another example of this) have as a business philosophy that if they can't be a leader in a particular segment, they don't see the point of being in it at all. Sadly, the quality bourbon market is too small and unprofitable to interest the giant international companies. That's why most of the innovations in recent years have come from smaller companies like Sazerac (Buffalo Trace) and Heaven Hill.

In addition to the Four Roses Bourbon sold internationally, the product of the Lawrenceburg plant is used as the aged whiskey constituent of Seagram's Seven Crown and the company's other blends.

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

**DONOTDELETE**
04-12-2001, 15:59
I was told the main difference between yellow and black label Four Roses was that Yellow label had about 20% 8 Year old whiskey and the rest was 4 to 6 Year old whereas the black label was about 80% 8 Year old whiskey with the rest younger whiskey. That is why neither has an aged statemnet on the bottle.
Mike Veach

**DONOTDELETE**
04-12-2001, 16:35
I think with Four Roses, unlike all the other bourbons, age is not as much of a distiguishing factor. With most bourbons, there is only a single mashbill involved, only one yeast. And age (and warehouse location) becomes the most important factor in providing a range from which to create a finished product. With Four Roses, there is a much wider palette. I feel a little cheated, as an American, because I've only had the opportunity to experience one version of Four Roses bourbon (the yellow label -- which IS a straight bourbon, not a blend in the American whiskey sense). Frankly, I'm quite a bit less than impressed by what I've tasted. But with the selection of bourbons they have available, I imagine their other brands must be very different from one another, and to whatever degree they differ from Yellow Label, they must also be just that much better tasting :-)

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

**DONOTDELETE**
04-12-2001, 17:16
John,
Of course you and I have also forgotten to mention the other unique thing about Four Roses - their warehouses. Four Roses and Geaorge Dickel are the only two distilleries in America that I know of that use a single story warehouse system. The theory is that by not having multistoried warehouses the whiskey all ages at the same rate and in the same manner. Of course there are other factors such as the location of the warehouse in comparison to other warehouses at the same site that can cause some changes in the aging process but they are minor compared to the height/heat ratio of the multistoried warehouses.
Mike Veach

**DONOTDELETE**
04-12-2001, 17:54
Yeah John but it tastes just like a canadian bland. I bought a bottle and I'll never buy another. If ever a whishkey deserved to die Four Roses is it.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. /wwwthreads/images/smile.gif Will Travel.

**DONOTDELETE**
04-12-2001, 19:08
That's pretty much what I meant, Linn, when I said if the other Four Roses bourbons taste different, they'd almost have to taste better. http://www.straightbourbon.com/wwwthreads/images/wink.gif
With the quality and attention to detail, I just won't believe the Yellow Label version is the best they can do. Actually, it's probably no worse than Beam white label or regular I.W. Harper, both of which sell well in Europe. And people who enjoy Maker's Mark (certainly not you, and I don't drink it often myself) might not find Four Roses unpleasant at all. For one thing, we don't either one of us care for 80-proof whiskey all that much. Just bottling Four Roses at 100-proof might make all the difference in the world.

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

**DONOTDELETE**
04-13-2001, 11:53
Two years ago, in New Jersey (of all places) I found two bottles of the Four Roses Single Barrel, in two different stores! NJ must have been a "test market" in some capacity, because bottles did not look old at all. I haven't tasted either of these bottles yet, but was surprised to see them in the stores!

Dave

**DONOTDELETE**
04-13-2001, 12:45
Gary & Mardee Regan mentioned Four Roses Single Barrel as being the only Four Roses bourbon available in the U.S. in their second book (the Bourbon Companion), but not in their first. I've also heard that somewhere else. I think Seagram's may have experimented in limited markets before settling on the Yellow Label. Who knows? Maybe they did both, and New Jersey got the upscale stuff while Kentucky/Indiana got the entry-level?

=John=
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

cowdery
04-14-2001, 10:24
Although they are taller than the ones at Seagram's and Dickel, Beam also has some pallatized warehouses.

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

**DONOTDELETE**
04-14-2001, 10:42
The warehouses at Dickel are not palletized, they are rick warehouses. I am not sure about Four Roses but I thought they were also rick warhouses.
Mike Veach

**DONOTDELETE**
04-14-2001, 10:44
last night at D' Marie's I tried the Four Roses Yellow label again for the first time in several years. Unfortunately it was just as I remembered it - not bad but very bland and watery. The Black label is much better and the single barrel is a decent drink in my opinion.
Mike Veach

cowdery
04-15-2001, 12:21
I haven't actually been in the Four Roses warehouses but thought I was told they were palletized. I can't speak for Dickel. I do know that Beam has several palletized warehouse. They are steel buildings but with large electric fans to ensure air circulation and exchange. For those who don't know, in a palletized warehouse the barrels are on end on, stacked on pallets, which can be moved around with fork lifts. In a traditional rackhouse, the barrels are on their sides.

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

bourbonmed
04-18-2001, 19:42
Chuck,

I have wondered why barrels are typically stacked on their sides. Is it mostly a space saving tactic or is there another reason to stack them on their sides?

Omar

cowdery
04-19-2001, 10:42
In the days before fork lifts, the only practical way to move barrels around was by rolling them, including into and out of the storage racks. Also, since the bung is in the side, the only way to keep the bung above the liquid is by laying the barrel on its side and rolling the bung to the top.

In the old days, the bung would be removed periodically to test the contents, to make sure they were aging properly. Now it's easier to use a power drill to make a tiny hole in the barrel for extracting whiskey to test. Then a wooden plug is used to seal the hole, so now bungs are seldom removed during aging.

As Beam learned when they started to palletize their storage, barrels on end also are more prone to leaking, not just at the bung but at all the lower joints.

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

bobbyc
07-22-2002, 18:39
This may be old hat by now but I know for a fact that 4 roses warehouses at Lotus are rack houses 6 tier. If you've seen these buildings you notice they aren't very tall but have a very large footprint so I believe they are close to 20,000 barrel houses. Four Roses always places a pretty good team in the barrell rolling at the Fest, I guess in the future they will need to include forklift driving competition.The barrel for the single barrel only comes from 2 tiers period . So much for them thinking it all ages the same , memory fails me so I can't say which 2 , but they are higher rather than lower.

cowdery
07-24-2002, 09:28
This is good information. I was under the impression that all of the houses at Lotus were palletized.

walter
10-20-2002, 22:08
Chuck,

Ironically I just joined the forum a couple days ago in order to get information on the age of a bottle of Four Roses Whiskey. You appear to be very well informed so I'll ask you if you can direct me to a source that will allow me to accruately date this bottle.

I believe that this is the bottle that was given to me on the occasion of my son's birth 34 years ago. He is now about to become a father himself and I would like to be able to present him with "the" bottle.

I'd appreciate any help you may be able to lend.

Walt Sarapa

cowdery
10-22-2002, 09:58
Is it bourbon (as opposed to a blend)? Is it "bottled-in-bond" (those words, or the word "bonded," will appear prominently on the label)? As you might guess from those questions, dating a particular bottle is an inexact science. One useful tip. Look at the bottom of the bottle for numbers embossed in the glass. If one of those numbers appears to express a date consistent with your memories, you may be in luck. Bottles are frequently encoded with their date of manufacture. The date the bottle was manufactured will typically precede the bottling date by a fairly short period, i.e., a few months, so if a bottled is dated (19)87, you can assume that the product likely was bottled in 87 or 88, but definitely not before 87, which is pretty useful information. Good luck.