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Jackinbox
05-20-2013, 21:24
As a newbie, I notice a lot of posts that allude to the fact that many bourbon brands were better decades ago. Just a few examples that come to mind are:

- OGD bottled by ND is better
- Make sure you get the PVW with the SW juice
- Jim Beam White Label was better in the 70s

What's causing this? Are they changing the formulas? Aging less? Cutting corners in distillation?

tigerlam92
05-20-2013, 22:14
There is a huge amount of discussion on this before and something I constantly think about as well.

I think a big part is best described by Pappy's statement in this image where no business now a days would even consider.

Cheers
Hugh

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/05/21/asyzesa9.jpg

HighInTheMtns
05-20-2013, 22:26
-Barrel proof, extra-aged whiskey is a thing that can be purchased these days, even if it's not on every shelf.

-Specially selected single barrels are widely available.

-Distillers are adding new expressions, experimenting with new production techniques like barrel finishes, etc, etc, etc...

Why is bourbon getting better?

....anyways, just saying, don't be so quick to be a pessimist.

Max Power
05-20-2013, 22:41
As a newbie, I notice a lot of posts that allude to the fact that many bourbon brands were better decades ago. Just a few examples that come to mind are:

- OGD bottled by ND is better
- Make sure you get the PVW with the SW juice
- Jim Beam White Label was better in the 70s

What's causing this? Are they changing the formulas? Aging less? Cutting corners in distillation?

It's because everyone would rather harken back to the "good old days." Also, enthusiasts in an industry would rather highly value things that they have and that the general public does not. It's the same in any industry from tequila to scotch to beanie babies. Retired ones were "worth more" and way better. I've had many chances to have "treasure bottles" of tequila or bourbon and I haven't found them to be hugely better. Some have been really good, but not really better than some of the best brands that are currently on the shelf.

Bottom line: Fins something that you like at a price that you like and enjoy the hell out of it. Don't worry about what everyone says about discontinued or hard to find juices. Find something that you like, for a price that you like, and enjoy it.

Alden
05-21-2013, 03:52
Bourbon is getting worse? What? Why wasn't I alerted to this fact?

I agree with Max above. It's like my mom, always longing for the good old days of the 50's and 60's.

As one of my students once told me, "Everything changes, and nothing stays the same, either." :lol:

portwood
05-21-2013, 05:50
As a newbie, I notice a lot of posts that allude to the fact that many bourbon brands were better decades ago.
It's an age old phenomenon - everything in the past was better than the present and if we keep it up we're all going to hell in a hand basket.
The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.*



*attributed to Socrates by Plato

P&MLiquorsEric
05-21-2013, 06:12
The good ole days... when pappy was on the shelf, beam was 7 years old, old crow was #1, and a gallon of gas along with a can of beer were under 25 cents.

The list of things they didnt have "back then" was equally as long if not longer... iphones, computers, the internet etc.

squire
05-21-2013, 06:39
What we are seeing is the result of a mature industry adjusting to changing markets. Everything costs more (ingredients, labor, warehousing, shipping, insurance) to make whisky now than it did 40 years ago so producers had to streamline where ever they could to remain productive and competitive. A computer controlled still produces a less individualistic product but a more consistent one so that and other production techniques have changed flavor profiles a bit.

The biggest flavor shift I think comes from barrel selection. In the past all the best barrels were blended into the House brands but now they are selected for the premium lines, single barrels, that sort of thing, and the regular brand's profiles have been reformulated accordingly. Our old favorites may have changed somewhat but we are also presented with a wider selection while still having a choice of very good stuff at value prices. I think we are better off now and while the 'dustys' are useful for taste comparisons I don't yearn for the clock to be turned back because the the most interesting Bourbon and Rye made in my lifetime is being made today.

Sometimes when we reflect on past memories the good old days were good because weren't so old.

Josh
05-21-2013, 06:40
There is a lot of "the good old days" mentality but there was also an actual event, the glut. When bourbon sales crashed, it took a long time for distillers to adjust their production downward so they ended up with a glut of whiskey. Because they had too much, more mature whiskey was going into lower and middle shelf offerings. Now bourbon is more popular and supplies have tightened so younger whiskey is going into those same brands.

squire
05-21-2013, 06:47
Ah yes, the glut, those are some good old memories to reflect upon.

BourbonJoe
05-21-2013, 06:59
I am old enough and drank bourbon at a young age and IMO the off=the=shelf bourbons of today don't hold a candle to their older counterparts. Don't get me wrong, there are great bourbons being produced today but they are usually much older and offered at barrel proof. I still drink bourbons from yesteryear and prefer them to their modern equivalents.
Joe :usflag:

WhiskyRI
05-21-2013, 07:16
Josh and Squire's answers are spot on in my opinion. You can see parallels in the Scotch Whisky industry in the 80s with the Whisky loch, or lake. In addition to the factors already mentioned, I think access to information is changing things. 30 years ago most people would only have known what their local store carried and would have been satisfied - and might never have ventured down to the bottom or mid-level shelves or much less tasted exotic things called single barrel offerings. It would have been done by word of mouth only - and transmitted at a much slower pace. Now because of the amplification of the network effect, search engines, blogs Robert Parker (just kidding....) and such people can quickly build a list of things to try and buy, driving up scarcity. For example, recently my local liquor store had a free raffle just for the chance to buy a bottle of Pappy 12, 15, 20 and 23 - had to be present to win. Over 100 people showed up - the bonus was Julian was there so you could get it signed if you wanted. It wasn't that long ago that Pappy sat on the shelves collecting dust because "it was over-priced" over-aged bourbon. Now it just sits on the shelves behind the counter because it is way over-priced by store owners. Personally I think we'll see another boom/bust but the cycle will be shorter - right now Bourbon is booming and probably will continue to do so for some time but the bust will inevitably come. And when it does their will be bargains to be had - mostly likely from KBD et al.

mosugoji64
05-21-2013, 07:22
As Josh mentioned, the Glut made it easy to get good whiskey at a very low price. That doesn't mean we don't get good whiskey at a reasonable price now. It just means you have to look for it.
Some brands were better in days past, some are different now but just as good, and (I think) some are better now. One of the best examples is the Weller line. It is very different from what it was under SW, but I think it's just as good under BT. While I enjoy SW Wellers, I find I don't prefer them to current ones - it's just different. And I think HH bourbons are better now than they were. I find their current bottles to be tastier than the pre-fire bottles I've had.
I'm sure everyone here can point out similar examples, and everyone will disagree over some of them as well. I agree with Squire that we're living in a great time where we have a lot to choose from and many opportunities to drink some great whiskey at great prices. Just be sure to attend some SB gatherings in your area and in KY and you'll get ample opportunity to try some of those older bottles and make up your own mind.

Jackinbox
05-21-2013, 07:27
-Barrel proof, extra-aged whiskey is a thing that can be purchased these days, even if it's not on every shelf.

-Specially selected single barrels are widely available.

-Distillers are adding new expressions, experimenting with new production techniques like barrel finishes, etc, etc, etc...

Why is bourbon getting better?

....anyways, just saying, don't be so quick to be a pessimist.Perhaps my original post came out wrong. I probably should have used a different title. I'm not pessimistic at all. I've just noticed that quite a few people think the legacy brands aren't as good as they used to be. I know that there are a few cases where brands like Old Crow are no longer using the same mashbill, so I understand that criticism. I picked up a bottle of Bonded OGD a couple of weeks ago and I think it's great. Having read comments about the ND juice being better just made me wonder what I was missing.

I couldn't be happier with the variety of the selection available today. Thanks to advice on this board, every bottle I've picked up in the last month has been terrific. No complaints here.


It's because everyone would rather harken back to the "good old days." Also, enthusiasts in an industry would rather highly value things that they have and that the general public does not. It's the same in any industry from tequila to scotch to beanie babies. Retired ones were "worth more" and way better. I've had many chances to have "treasure bottles" of tequila or bourbon and I haven't found them to be hugely better. Some have been really good, but not really better than some of the best brands that are currently on the shelf.

Bottom line: Fins something that you like at a price that you like and enjoy the hell out of it. Don't worry about what everyone says about discontinued or hard to find juices. Find something that you like, for a price that you like, and enjoy it.As a guitar player, the same thing exists amongst many guitar collectors. Every vintage guitar is great. Everything made today is substandard.


The biggest flavor shift I think comes from barrel selection. In the past all the best barrels were blended into the House brands but now they are selected for the premium lines, single barrels, that sort of thing, and the regular brand's profiles have been reformulated accordingly.That's a great point that I had not thought of. That makes perfect sense.


There is a lot of "the good old days" mentality but there was also an actual event, the glut. When bourbon sales crashed, it took a long time for distillers to adjust their production downward so they ended up with a glut of whiskey. Because they had too much, more mature whiskey was going into lower and middle shelf offerings. Now bourbon is more popular and supplies have tightened so younger whiskey is going into those same brands.That's another great point that I had not thought of.

Thanks for all of the responses.

Flyfish
05-21-2013, 07:32
A lot of us have found that you don't have to go to the upper shelf to find bourbon that is more than satisfactory. Though some brands have declined in quality, I still find considerable value in AAA, VOB, OWA, OGD, EC12, HH White, and...and... Once in a while, I spring for a $30+ bourbon but I am still quite happy with the value pours. Even if they ain't what they used to be. When I was young, I only dated women who were 10s. Now, if a 9.7 smiles at me, I'm a happy old geezer.

squire
05-21-2013, 08:17
Yes, a child's smile warms the heart, an attractive woman's smile warms everything.

Grain Belt
05-21-2013, 08:25
Nostalgia vs. The Modern World
Art vs. Commerce
Newfound Popularity/Demand vs. Time it takes to make quality product
Massive Corporate Buyouts vs. Family Businesses

AaronWF
05-21-2013, 08:36
In addition to the factors already mentioned, I think access to information is changing things. 30 years ago most people would only have known what their local store carried and would have been satisfied - and might never have ventured down to the bottom or mid-level shelves or much less tasted exotic things called single barrel offerings. It would have been done by word of mouth only - and transmitted at a much slower pace.


As Josh mentioned, the Glut made it easy to get good whiskey at a very low price. That doesn't mean we don't get good whiskey at a reasonable price now. It just means you have to look for it.

I think access to information is often over-looked as having a profound effect on what people agree is good whiskey, as well as how much they know about what they like. And I'd re-phrase Brian's quote by saying that the glut made it easy to drink aged whiskey at a very low price. A number of bottles with 4-year age statements are said to have contained juice twice as old and perhaps older.

I also think that the changing quality of water and wood in KY is going to produce products that taste different over time. Same with the underlying grains. Today, most of us consider 6yo bourbon as still immature, but S-W was producing 6yo bourbon with remarkable depth of color and flavor.

The stuff that reminds me the most of the limited experience I've had with high-quality dusties are HH BiB, VoB BiB and just about everything FR produces.

mosugoji64
05-21-2013, 08:57
I'd re-phrase Brian's quote by saying that the glut made it easy to drink aged whiskey at a very low price. A number of bottles with 4-year age statements are said to have contained juice twice as old and perhaps older.

Good point. I think we often equate age with quality, though that's not always accurate. I do believe that age makes the whiskey more likely to be good, but that's only one component that factors into the value. We often mourn the loss of age statements, and with good reason, but there are other things to consider. A case in point for me is the loss of the 8-year age statement on Basil Hayden. The loss is sad, but I never bought a bottle anyway. While I thought it was good, the proof was too low and the price too high given the availability of OGD BIB and 114. The age didn't really matter to me.

ChainWhip
05-21-2013, 09:11
AaronWF alluded to grains used - I wonder if the corn/rye/barley/etc has changed much over the years. I figure corn probably has changed significantly due to the introduction of GMO crops.

sku
05-21-2013, 09:25
This is a great discussion, with lots of good points made. Keep in mind though, that it's not all bad. At least one distillery is making bourbon that's far better than its old stuff, and that's Four Roses. When I started drinking bourbon, you couldn't even buy Four Roses in the US, and the few 4R dusties were all blended junk. Now, they've got a wide variety of great stuff out there, and it just keeps coming. In addition, unlike many other great brands, they've resisted dumbing down age or proof and their prices are reasonable.

Flyfish
05-21-2013, 10:14
AaronWF alluded to grains used - I wonder if the corn/rye/barley/etc has changed much over the years. I figure corn probably has changed significantly due to the introduction of GMO crops.

Freddie, tour guide at BT, said they contract for non-GMO grain because the international market is so hostile to GMO products.

Jackinbox
05-21-2013, 10:18
This is a great discussion, with lots of good points made. Keep in mind though, that it's not all bad. At least one distillery is making bourbon that's far better than its old stuff, and that's Four Roses. When I started drinking bourbon, you couldn't even buy Four Roses in the US, and the few 4R dusties were all blended junk. Now, they've got a wide variety of great stuff out there, and it just keeps coming. In addition, unlike many other great brands, they've resisted dumbing down age or proof and their prices are reasonable.I just picked up a Four Roses Single Barrel yesterday. Great stuff! I'm still amazed at how Seagram's handled 4R when they owned it.

One thing I have noticed is that I have yet to read anyone saying the MM is any worse than it was back in the day (84 proof fiasco aside). Perhaps they were so small back then that there just aren't many dusties lying around?

squire
05-21-2013, 10:18
Aaron I think a number of people look at age as a quality indicator because that's intuitive but you are correct, Pappy bottled his trademark whisky, Old Fitzgerald, at 6 years as did E. H. Taylor with Old Taylor, Booker Noe with Booker's, Bill Samuels Sr. with Makers Mark and I believe I'm correct in paraphrasing Jim Rutledge, Master Distiller at Four Roses as saying by about 5 years the whisky has extracted all the best the barrel has to offer. There are exceptions of course, some barrels age gracefully for much longer, but across the board 6 years has proved to be the number that works.

Jackinbox
05-21-2013, 10:20
Freddie, tour guide at BT, said they contract for non-GMO grain because the international market is so hostile to GMO products.Thanks for pointing that out. I'm learning quite a bit today! That makes total sense since it probably wouldn't be worth the trouble to bring in separate grains for the U.S. Market bottles.

squire
05-21-2013, 10:27
Johnny, I'll reference Jim Rutledge again who is on record as saying there is no difference in quality of the whisky made with GM or regular dent corn.

squire
05-21-2013, 10:32
Jack we have to look at where Seagrams was at the time. Their VO and other blends were the company's cash cow so they sold Four Roses as a Bourbon overseas (quite successfully) and did not let it compete with their other brands sold here.

ChainWhip
05-21-2013, 10:33
Johnny, I'll reference Jim Rutledge again who is on record as saying there is no difference in quality of the whisky made with GM or regular dent corn.

That's good to know. With scotch, the barley used apparently has had an effect on the quality of the malt (been reading up on Golden Promise barley) so I thought something like this would be mirrored in the Corn/Bourbon world. Was "dent" corn the strain that was used through the "glut era"?

squire
05-21-2013, 11:00
What we now call Dent Corn (a reference to the shape of the grain which has a large dimple or 'dent' on each side) has been commercially grown since the 1840s and the primary corn grain used for distillation since that time. Unlike the different varieties of barley, dent corn is remarkably consistent wherever grown.

Flyfish
05-21-2013, 11:04
Johnny, I'll reference Jim Rutledge again who is on record as saying there is no difference in quality of the whisky made with GM or regular dent corn.
Scientifically, this may be true but it is not politically correct to unleash the scourge of GM food into the environment. If you want to get into the European Market, you might want to be able to certify that your product is GM free. (Now we'll hear from those who believe that defending the planet from genetically modified foods is the very essence of responsible science.)

Rutherford
05-21-2013, 11:05
I'd doubt type of corn would significantly affect bourbon.

There's a bigger difference with barley in scotch because they lack a stronger flavoring grain (rye) and don't use new barrels, all of which give barley more potential to affect the taste of the final product than corn.

Meruck
05-21-2013, 11:34
I dont know, I find the more I drink the more I like it, regardless of what it is......................................

squire
05-21-2013, 11:39
Yes, golden Promise is to Scottish malts as Maris Otter is to British ales. Interestingly, Golden Promise was created in 1956 by exposing an existing variety to gamma rays making it one of the first genetically modified grains to be widely accepted by the distilling and food industry.

miller542
05-21-2013, 11:47
I also think that the changing quality of water and wood in KY is going to produce products that taste different over time.


GMO aside, I also wonder about the water and especially the wood. Anyone building anything out of wood today can tell you how much difference there is vs. wood from 30-40 yrs ago.

OscarV
05-21-2013, 11:51
As a newbie, I notice a lot of posts that allude to the fact that many bourbon brands were better decades ago. Just a few examples that come to mind are:

- OGD bottled by ND is better
- Make sure you get the PVW with the SW juice
- Jim Beam White Label was better in the 70s

What's causing this? Are they changing the formulas? Aging less? Cutting corners in distillation?

I highlighted your question that is also the answer.
It's as simple as that.

(7000)

T Comp
05-21-2013, 12:00
Far removed from my maternal farming grandparents but hasn't the development of hybrid corns and management of kernel processing greatly increased the starch content availability in the corn now being used. More starch in the mash should have some effect.

Meruck
05-21-2013, 12:04
I also think that the changing quality of water and wood in KY is going to produce products that taste different over time. Same with the underlying grains. Today, most of us consider 6yo bourbon as still immature, but S-W was producing 6yo bourbon with remarkable depth of color and flavor.


Water quality and wood? The water is drawn from the limestone shelf and it takes literaly hundreds of years for the water to perculate down to the table. As for wood, most commcially harvested wite oak trees for barrel staves are taken from eastern Ohio and PA, not KY. S-W produced thier bourbon differently. "Pappy always said presure cooking the mash killed the wheat."

Global warming is NOT effecting your bourbon..........................................r ight Al?

P&MLiquorsEric
05-21-2013, 12:08
Jack we have to look at where Seagrams was at the time. Their VO and other blends were the company's cash cow so they sold Four Roses as a Bourbon overseas (quite successfully) and did not let it compete with their other brands sold here.

A good amount of four roses bourbon was used in the 70s era canadian 7 and VO blends. And speaking of Diagio dumbing down a quality and successful brand. They will be ending the contract with 4 Roses to make bulleitt in the next year. The ten year is all four roses but the regular is a blend of a number of bourbons including four roses.

OscarV
05-21-2013, 12:21
Corn? Wood?
It's all in the aging, everyone is bottling green whiskey, it ain't done aging and they are selling young stuff.

smokinjoe
05-21-2013, 12:30
...The ten year is all four roses but the regular is a blend of a number of bourbons including four roses.

Are you sure about that, Eric? I am thinking both Bulleitt's are 4R distillate.

Phil T
05-21-2013, 12:45
Are you sure about that, Eric? I am thinking both Bulleitt's are 4R distillate.

Aaannnd..if its a blend from different distilleries, it can't be straight, which they say it is

OscarV
05-21-2013, 12:46
The ten year is all four roses but the regular is a blend of a number of bourbons including four roses.



Are you sure about that, Eric? I am thinking both Bulleitt's are 4R distillate.


Joe, I think Eric is correct about this.
It does remind me of some original staements about Buillet in it's introduction.

OscarV
05-21-2013, 12:48
Aaannnd..if its a blend from different distilleries, it can't be straight, which they say it is



Here we go, I think this clears it up.
I stand corrected.

But,......could they have broke the law?
And if they did who is going to bust them?

HighInTheMtns
05-21-2013, 12:50
Aaannnd..if its a blend from different distilleries, it can't be straight, which they say it is
It can still be labeled straight bourbon, as long as all the straight bourbon involved is from the same state. Only something like High West American Prairie Reserve, which contains FR bourbon and LDI bourbon, must be labeled "A Blend of Straight Bourbons."

squire
05-21-2013, 12:56
I believe a mingling of straights made in the same State and otherwise meeting labeling standards (less than 4 years must have an age statement) can be labeled as Straight Bourbon.

Phil T
05-21-2013, 12:56
It can still be labeled straight bourbon, as long as all the straight bourbon involved is from the same state. Only something like High West American Prairie Reserve, which contains FR bourbon and LDI bourbon, must be labeled "A Blend of Straight Bourbons."

Gotcha, thanks for the clarification

smokinjoe
05-21-2013, 13:04
I was thinking it was a mingling of different 4R mashbills, but not different distilleries.

To get back on topic, this is one reason bourbon is getting worse...Too damn many mystery bottles...:D

Balcones Winston
05-21-2013, 13:19
Biggest factor, IMO, quality of the cooperage has taken a huge dive. Fully yard-aged wood used to be the norm, now it's a rarity.

P&MLiquorsEric
05-21-2013, 17:11
I was thinking it was a mingling of different 4R mashbills, but not different distilleries.

To get back on topic, this is one reason bourbon is getting worse...Too damn many mystery bottles...:D

Definitely has a number of 4R recipes in both the 10 year and regular bulleit. If the info we were given is accurate, only the 10 year is 100% 4roses.

At times regular bulleit may have been 100% 4R but they could not say for certain that it is now 100%. I don't know if that means if it is distilled at different places, then shipped to be barreled and aged at 4R or if the filled barrels were brought in from outside sources, aged at 4R or if diagio simply bought aged stock elsewhere and it is blended in.

cowdery
05-21-2013, 23:20
Biggest factor, IMO, quality of the cooperage has taken a huge dive. Fully yard-aged wood used to be the norm, now it's a rarity.

Do you have any evidence to support that? According to the history as I know it, fully yard-aged wood may have been the norm before Prohibition, though I doubt it, and it most certainly has not been the norm since until very recently. Brief yard aging followed by kilning was the norm from WWII until just recently (no more than the last decade), when the benefits of natural yard aging were rediscovered.

Go here for more. (http://www.independentstavecompany.com/library/documents/malt-advocate-article.pdf)

T Comp
05-22-2013, 06:22
As to age...let's take the 1960's so we are pre glut...how many bourbons (or ryes) as a percentage were sold with more than 8 years of age? I'd think a very small figure compared to today. I mentioned an increase in the starch in corn and I see that for scotch, Oliver Klimek in his blog Dramming, argues the same with regards to more recent barley and the need for wood and longer ageing. More starch equal more alcohol but less proteins, minerals and fats that give flavor. The many factors that create the difference between old and new are of course many and discussed numerous times before. Chuck's write up in The Bourbon Country Reader on the Fairfax County dontated by smokinjoe, which was chemically analyzed is also recommended.

p_elliott
05-22-2013, 07:48
In the 60's they didn't chill filter bourbon either leaving those fats in the bourbon unlike today.

black mamba
05-22-2013, 07:54
Soil leaching could be another factor. All reports today are that our vegetables and grains have far less nutrient value than they did decades ago because of the intense farming practices used to keep up production.

But I still think age in the barrel is the biggest difference, if there is much difference at all. Lots of great bourbons around today, in all price ranges.

Quantum
05-22-2013, 08:53
As a newbie, I notice a lot of posts that allude to the fact that many bourbon brands were better decades ago. Just a few examples that come to mind are:

- OGD bottled by ND is better
- Make sure you get the PVW with the SW juice
- Jim Beam White Label was better in the 70s

What's causing this? Are they changing the formulas? Aging less? Cutting corners in distillation?

One perspective is that certain bourbons will decline in quality as they became more popular, but new quality bourbons will take their place. We have had plenty of time to identify the best bourbons bottled 10 or 20 years ago, but many of those have changed or are no longer available. Demand increases as more people discover it, but there is a finite supply because it has already stopped production. Even if bourbon quality steadily increases over the next 20 years, there will be a handful of bourbons that were widely available today, but will be considered highly desirable because that exact bourbon is no longer available.

Bourbon is a long lead time product, and there are frequent changes in the ownership and operation of the distillers and bottlers. Overall quality may have gone down, but there is still plenty of high quality bourbon widely available. It just might not be the same quality bourbon from the same distillery sold under the same label from decade to decade. An old friend said he may have managed to stay satisfied with the same woman for 60 years, but he would be damned if he wasn't going to pick a new favorite whiskey for every one of those years.

cowdery
05-22-2013, 13:14
In the 60's they didn't chill filter bourbon either leaving those fats in the bourbon unlike today.

Who told you that? It's not true. Chill filtering has been almost universally practiced since the repeal of Prohibition.

Most of you aren't old enough to be so nostalgic about the good old days. The only real factual basis for this phenomenon is that many bourbon enthusiasts picked up the hobby during, and in part because of, the bourbon glut that made well-aged bourbon ridiculously affordable. That was a fluke of history and likely won't be repeated. Aside from that, bourbon has never been better than it is today.

Okay, I've said it. You may now resume your ill-informed speculation and analysis.

MyOldKyDram
05-22-2013, 13:40
Still tastes pretty damned good to me. But then again I don't have the basis for comparison that many of you do.

squire
05-22-2013, 14:03
Good then, good now and it will still be good tomorrow.

Phil T
05-22-2013, 14:49
In the 3 yrs I've been drinking bourbon, I've had just a few opportunities to partake in dusties. A few were very good, but nothing that blew me away.

In the last couple weeks, I've been drinking mega ml's of OWA SB and FRSB, both new releases. I can't fathom that I'll ever pour anything down my pie hole that would taste any better!!

SMOWK
05-22-2013, 15:23
Count me as a fan of current whiskey. Sure, there are some great dusty bourbons. But, the more dusties I try, the less I like them as a whole. Now, as then, there are gems in the bottom to mid shelves.

However; I do think that premium bourbons of yore are more likely to impress than premium bourbons of today. If only because of the sheer amount of them available today.

darylld911
05-22-2013, 15:32
I'm more worried about the bourbon of the future. I believe that today's EC12 will taste different from EC12 a decade from now thanks to global warming (assuming nothing else changes, such as where they age the barrels, implementing temp control, etc). I was chatting with someone at Willett/KBD who said that they're seeing evaporation rates in the past few years higher than in years past. Although, this may have more of an impact on the value bourbons aged closer to the top of the rickhouses.

CoMobourbon
05-22-2013, 17:08
Most of you aren't old enough to be so nostalgic about the good old days. The only real factual basis for this phenomenon is that many bourbon enthusiasts picked up the hobby during, and in part because of, the bourbon glut that made well-aged bourbon ridiculously affordable. That was a fluke of history and likely won't be repeated. Aside from that, bourbon has never been better than it is today.

Okay, I've said it. You may now resume your ill-informed speculation and analysis.

A (hopefully) clarifying analogy: Many complain that the American middle class lifestyle has slowly deteriorated over the last couple decades or so. Conversely, many boomers and even x-ers complain that gen-y must be uniquely lazy because of all the trouble they seem to be having. Really, though, the fluke economic fat years of the post war and then dot com periods made it especially easy to be middle class - in terms of US history. We mistook these fat years for permanent progress, but now things are cycling down to normal again.

So, new bourbon hobbyists (gen y) are right that our glut year predecessors had it easier.
Also, veteran bourbon hobbyists (boomers) are shortsighted when they read worsening conditions as a special new and unfair dark time.
Both can recognize that, glut (boom) years notwithstanding, things are still pretty good overall.

P&MLiquorsEric
05-22-2013, 17:48
I'm more worried about the bourbon of the future. I believe that today's EC12 will taste different from EC12 a decade from now thanks to global warming (assuming nothing else changes, such as where they age the barrels, implementing temp control, etc). I was chatting with someone at Willett/KBD who said that they're seeing evaporation rates in the past few years higher than in years past. Although, this may have more of an impact on the value bourbons aged closer to the top of the rickhouses.

Buffalo trace has said the same thing about evaporation rates to us. Blaming some very extended periods of summer heat and mild winters on lower yields.

squire
05-22-2013, 19:47
Gary if I'm still around a decade from now I won't complain about a shift in the EC flavor profile.

As for evaporation, that's due to weather.

squire
05-22-2013, 19:50
"are right that our glut year predecessors had it easier. "



If you kids don't stop making swipes at us glut veterans I'm gonna shake my cane at 'ya and chase ya'll out of the yard.

MyOldKyDram
05-22-2013, 19:55
They'll just market it as Global Warming Surviving Bourbon and many of us will gladly pay.

mosugoji64
05-22-2013, 21:49
Count me as a fan of current whiskey. Sure, there are some great dusty bourbons. But, the more dusties I try, the less I like them as a whole. Now, as then, there are gems in the bottom to mid shelves.

Yup. What he said. I think we get so caught up in chasing those old bottles that we forget there are some damned good ones sitting on the shelf at the liquor store waiting to be brought home. 10 years from now we'll all be bitching about how good bourbon was in the 20-teens and bragging about the number of bottles of Knob Creek we managed to squirrel away, "because it was better back then."

squire
05-22-2013, 22:37
We'll probably be slugging down 10 year old Rye/Bourbon hybrids by then.

DeanSheen
05-23-2013, 19:06
The dusty chase is not much fun unless you get lucky. I like my bunker, I wish there was more in there, but it is what it is. There is a lot fo good stuff out there now and much of it is current production.

But as for the original topic, I nominate Wild Turkey for the getting worse prize. Such a shame too.

cowdery
05-23-2013, 19:09
Pick up a bottle of WT101 next chance you get. Make it a 375 if you're skeptical. I think you may be pleasantly surprised. I was. (And in case anyone is wondering, it's a bottle I bought.)

Josh
05-23-2013, 19:12
They'll just market it as Global Warming Surviving Bourbon and many of us will gladly pay.
I like it! I'll put it next to my tornado surviving and opossum surviving Col. Taylor bottles.

The dusty chase is not much fun unless you get lucky. I like my bunker, I wish there was more in there, but it is what it is. There is a lot fo good stuff out there now and much of it is current production.

But as for the original topic, I nominate Wild Turkey for the getting worse prize. Such a shame too. Hear hear. No wild anymore, just turkey.

Josh
05-23-2013, 19:15
Pick up a bottle of WT101 next chance you get. Make it a 375 if you're skeptical. I think you may be pleasantly surprised. I was. (And in case anyone is wondering, it's a bottle I bought.) I'm sure the liquor companies know where you shop and planted super special good Turkey on the shelves in case you came in.

DeanSheen
05-23-2013, 19:37
Pick up a bottle of WT101 next chance you get. Make it a 375 if you're skeptical. I think you may be pleasantly surprised. I was. (And in case anyone is wondering, it's a bottle I bought.)

Thanks Chuck, will do.

darylld911
05-24-2013, 04:30
Pick up a bottle of WT101 next chance you get. Make it a 375 if you're skeptical. I think you may be pleasantly surprised. I was. (And in case anyone is wondering, it's a bottle I bought.)

I think this is where my lack of historical insight/taste helps me out. I've only tasted what WT "was" at special gatherings, where everything always tastes better in large part due to the company. So when I try WT101, I'm not comparing it to some recollection of what it might have been. After seeing the thrashing it typically (not always) receives here, I was skeptical - and pleasantly surprised to find in a blind tasting that I liked it quite well.

squire
05-24-2013, 12:32
Blind tasting rounds off a lot of square pegs and I'm glad to hear the current WT 101 is still showing well.

MissingKY
05-24-2013, 13:17
Pick up a bottle of WT101 next chance you get. Make it a 375 if you're skeptical. I think you may be pleasantly surprised. I was. (And in case anyone is wondering, it's a bottle I bought.)

As he tends to do, Chuck makes a great point here. I've got tons of dusties and premium bottles, but I find that current make WT101 is among those that I reach for most often. It's great neat and makes wonderful cocktails. And while I've had some bottles from the 70s/80s/early 90s that were terrific, the ones I've bought in the last year or so are just as good.

In a more general sense, dusties make for a fun scavenger hunt, and if you get lucky, you can score some very good whiskey relatively inexpensively. But just looking at the open dusties on my bar right now, there are quite a few where I wish I'd have been just as happy buying and drinking current bottles of Weller 12, OWA, Rittenhouse BIB, WT101, BT, etc. For every dusty bottle that's wowed me, there's been one that was disappointing or (more frequently) forgettable.

squire
05-24-2013, 15:01
Dusty hunting is a good way to get the SO involved. Tell the girl to pick a destination, garb a bag and camera and off we go. That way she doesn't mind when you occasional stop at 'interesting' places.

White Dog
05-28-2013, 18:07
Thanks Chuck, will do.

I'd love to hear your thoughts once you do. I recently bought current WT101(new package) and found it very disappointing. I can buy BT, FC, OGD114, and FRSmB for the same price, and all are leagues better, IMHO. Don't even get me started on current WTKS.

brettckeen
05-29-2013, 07:38
Anyone else sick of the lies people tell especially about origin of the juice? It's exhausting.

squire
05-29-2013, 07:58
Brett I'm only mildly amused by the tall tales but will speak out against NDPs who use puffery to claim their bought whisky is so special as to command a premium.

brettckeen
05-29-2013, 08:03
Brett I'm only mildly amused by the tall tales but will speak out against NDPs who use puffery to claim their bought whisky is so special as to command a premium.

Squire I'm not amused when a sales person from an NDP almost weekly comes into my job insulting my intelligence and proficiency in my occupation by alluding to some tall tale of their grandfather, a back porch, and a distillery which does not exist.

squire
05-29-2013, 08:46
Brett in that context I would have to agree with you. As a non speaker of BS myself I have a low tolerance to listening to it.

HighHorse
05-29-2013, 08:58
I find it difficult to enter a liquor store and get out without having bumped into some damn fine bourbon or rye.

Hey ... in those golden ages back in the 60's and even a bit of the 50's .. 70's and 80's .. I only remember a handful of brands ... and who the hell knew or cared anything about which distillery they came from. We didn't blog .. a get-together was at an Elvis or Muddy Waters Concert ... and you were a hot shit if you pulled out a bottle of Jack and Black which everyone promptly mixed with a coke. Ginger ale was for pussies.

Today ... and for the last several years ... it's great to get to know the master distillers ... pick up wonderful juices ... pour them neat into a Glen Cairn .. to sip neat or with an ice cube. It's fun to get a blind flight ... to vat a few different spirits .. to pick up on nuances ... and the nose ... ahhhh, the nose ...

Trust me guys ... This beats the hell out of the old days. Although it would be kind of fun to catch Elvis again!

Bourbon ain't getting worse. Not the stuff on my shelves.

P&MLiquorsEric
05-29-2013, 09:30
I find it difficult to enter a liquor store and get out without having bumped into some damn fine bourbon or rye.

Hey ... in those golden ages back in the 60's and even a bit of the 50's .. 70's and 80's .. I only remember a handful of brands ... and who the hell knew or cared anything about which distillery they came from. We didn't blog .. a get-together was at an Elvis or Muddy Waters Concert ... and you were a hot shit if you pulled out a bottle of Jack and Black which everyone promptly mixed with a coke. Ginger ale was for pussies.

Today ... and for the last several years ... it's great to get to know the master distillers ... pick up wonderful juices ... pour them neat into a Glen Cairn .. to sip neat or with an ice cube. It's fun to get a blind flight ... to vat a few different spirits .. to pick up on nuances ... and the nose ... ahhhh, the nose ...

Trust me guys ... This beats the hell out of the old days. Although it would be kind of fun to catch Elvis again!

Bourbon ain't getting worse. Not the stuff on my shelves.

Well said. Liquor stores were small places going back 20 years. In each category, you had a couple top shelf offerings, a couple of mid shelf and a couple of bottom shelf dwellers. Nothing was flavored. The ready to drink section did not exist. Beer consisted of Singles, 6 packs and 12 packs of about 10 different brands but all the same style.

squire
05-29-2013, 10:59
Well said Jon, well said indeed.

mosugoji64
05-29-2013, 22:22
Squire I'm not amused when a sales person from an NDP almost weekly comes into my job insulting my intelligence and proficiency in my occupation by alluding to some tall tale of their grandfather, a back porch, and a distillery which does not exist.

Do you allow them to finish their stories and maintain a straight face as they do so? If you do, you're a better man than I! I don't know that I could control my laughter.

brettckeen
05-30-2013, 02:54
Do you allow them to finish their stories and maintain a straight face as they do so? If you do, you're a better man than I! I don't know that I could control my laughter.

I do a lot of "yeah but where was this distilled and aged?" and I get a lot of diverted responses.

squire
05-30-2013, 04:31
Brett, how about saying, "I see you bought this whisky from MGPI".

brettckeen
05-30-2013, 09:05
Brett, how about saying, "I see you bought this whisky from MGPI".
I'll try that next time, should be soon enough.

Restaurant man
05-30-2013, 09:46
Brett, how about saying, "I see you bought this whisky from MGPI".

I say it all the time. The blank stares are priceless

squire
05-30-2013, 09:56
Sometimes I feel moved to go forth and spread the word.

fussychicken
05-30-2013, 18:09
Blame it on the accountants

Increase of distillation proof
and the corresponding
Increase of barrel entry proof (and/or the water needed to bring it down to 125)

I'm still begging to anyone who is listening to please make me a whiskey that is distilled to 100 proof, entered into the barrel untouched, and bottled 5-10 years later untouched. Please! You can just take all my money!

savagehenry
05-30-2013, 18:18
I'm still begging to anyone who is listening to please make me a whiskey that is distilled to 100 proof, entered into the barrel untouched, and bottled 5-10 years later untouched. Please! You can just take all my money!

Please enlighten those of us who are neither chemists nor distillers on what would come of the procedure above....

Meruck
05-30-2013, 18:43
Please enlighten those of us who are neither chemists nor distillers on what would come of the procedure above....

Use a wheated receipe, dont cook your mash under presure\, sing to the barrels at night and you may end up with the real vintage SW juice.................. but probebly not.

squire
05-30-2013, 18:47
Oh, and sell it cheap.

ChainWhip
05-30-2013, 20:18
Bottled by vestal virgins I'm guessing?

squire
05-31-2013, 07:09
The vestals have been transferred to the marketing dept.

fussychicken
05-31-2013, 17:19
Use a wheated receipe, dont cook your mash under presure\, sing to the barrels at night and you may end up with the real vintage SW juice.................. but probebly not.

It would maximize the amount of grain flavor in the final product. Distilling to a high proof removes flavor (think vodka). Also you have to add water to get the proof down to 125 before putting it into the barrel which also reduces grain flavor.

While we are indeed getting more and more cask strength offerings (and paying dearly for the privilege) the majority of the extra flavor you are getting is barrel flavor. Everything that the barrel "adds" isn't watered down before being put in the bottle. The grain flavor on the other hand is being watered down twice before even getting to the barrel.