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bourbonmed
11-16-2003, 09:00
Tennessee whiskey is the export king...but bourbon scores respectable 35% growth in the last 5 years.

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=10516248&BRD=1614&PAG=461&dept_id= 161049&rfi=6

Omar

kitzg
11-20-2003, 05:33
It seems possible they are confusing the words whiskey and bourbon in this article

The state (Tennessee) has become America's largest exporter of bourbon

does not seem plausible.

Jono
11-29-2003, 19:38
In a nutshell, why is it that Tn whiskey (JD) rules the export market?

TNbourbon
11-29-2003, 19:56
Consistent marketing, I presume, made possible by long ownership and production in the same hands.

ratcheer
11-30-2003, 07:47
IMHO, the reason is Jack Daniels (Brown Forman) marketing. The ads are subtle and laid back, but ubiquitous. They have created an image that customers want to buy in to.

Tim

bluesbassdad
11-30-2003, 11:15
... an image that customers want to buy in to.



Yep. At least that's how they got me. I drank the stuff, albeit infrequently, for 30 years. The image and an early, bad experience with bourbon are the only reasons I can think of. (A distillery tour about 25 years ago still lives vividly in my memory.)

I can still drink Gentleman Jack and JD Single Barrel, but I actually dumped the remainder of a bottle of No. 7 a few months ago. I reached that decision only after failing to finish a single pour on half a dozen occasions.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Gillman
11-30-2003, 11:29
I truly believe Jack Daniels and even JD Single Barrel would benefit greatly from a few more years aging. While the astringency of Jack Daniels suits mixing with cola and other soft drinks, we here in Bourbonia who like to take whiskey neat or with a little water or ice need often a heavier-bodied, more aged taste to satisfy the palate. The JD Single by virtue of being unmingled and higher proof is a good dram. I think it would be much better at, say, 8-10 years old. It surprises me the company does not offer an older whiskey as a line extension: imagine a Jack Daniels confected along the lines of the same company's superb Birthday Bourbon (so it is not as if they don't know how to do it). Old photos of Jack Daniels bottles show that at one time fairly long-aged Jacks were available. I have mentioned a photo in a Michael Jackson book of a 21 year old Jack Daniels. I believe all current iterations of Jack issue at about 5-6 years old. Great whiskey needs to be older that, in my view. Jack is a fine and distinctive product but it can't claim to be a gustatory classic along the lines of Birthday Bourbon, Weller Centennial, the Van Winkle whiskeys or other such luxury drinks often discussed on these boards.

Gary

Dave_in_Canada
11-30-2003, 15:28
I actually dumped the remainder of a bottle



DSOB, don't dump it, no matter how bad. Just put it to use in the kitchen. works well in dessert sauces, marinades, BBQ recipes, etc. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

OneCubeOnly
11-30-2003, 16:41
DSOB, don't dump it, no matter how bad. Just put it to use in the kitchen. works well in dessert sauces, marinades, BBQ recipes, etc.



Seriously!? I've always used the same philosophy with distilled spirits that you're supposed to use with wine: don't cook with it if you wouldn't drink it.

Dave_in_Canada
11-30-2003, 18:44
Hey, is JD all that bad for, say, Spaghetti sauce? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

OneCubeOnly
11-30-2003, 19:12
Hey, is JD all that bad for, say, Spaghetti sauce? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif



Well, probably not, but all I can tell you is you have to ask yourself what flavors you're actually adding. If you dislike JD, will you like the added flavor(s) it adds to the sauce? But you're right--in a thick sauce it would probably be camoflauged so much that it wouldn't matter. But if so, does the JD really help?

brendaj
12-11-2003, 14:24
OCO,


don't cook with it if you wouldn't drink it.



Absolutely... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
The basic flavor of the Bourbon is all that's left once the alcohol is cooked out. If you didn't like that to begin with, it most likely won't enhance your food.
Bj

Cholly
03-11-2004, 06:50
Jack Daniels success in MOHO is clearly attributed to customer interaction. No other brand has as much fun with their customers. The Tennessee Squires Club (of which I am a new member) is one example of this connection between the company and the consumer. Other examples are the JD BBQ Cook-off, the JD product newsletter and their sponsership of various events. They relate to everyone from buisness execs. to the rednecks (my catagory) at the back yard BBQ. It's simple salesmanship. It works for Jack the same way it works for Bud. I drink both. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif
Cholly
"be seen drinking what you like, not what you'd like to be seen drinking"
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/soapbox.gif

dhooch
03-11-2004, 16:39
Jack Daniels... No other brand has as much fun with their customers.



I agree! My wife and I have been on most of the bourbon distillery tours. Most of those were pretty good. However, we got the best tour and tour guide at Jack Daniels distillery, at our one and only visit. The tour guide was so funny and so knowledgeable! We had wished the tour would have lasted all day, or maybe two days! The tour guide even made me want to start drinking Jack. But, when I got home and decided to try Jack, again, I remembered why I didn't like it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/puke.gif

I think the charcoal filtering takes out the taste! There is something missing, or something distasteful that is added to Jack. Would I drink it with Coke? You bet! Neat? No, thanks!

Getting back to the tour... Everything was perfect! The distillery, the tour guide, the visitor's center, the little town down the street, etc. And you have to admit it; their logo is the most familiar one, possibly, on Earth!

Thank goodness Van Winkle (and many other brands) doesn't get that popular, or we might not be able to buy any of these fine products! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

bluesbassdad
03-11-2004, 19:22
As I've detailed elsewhere, my experience at J.D. back in the 1970's was very similar to yours. For years afterward I actually thought I liked No. 7.

Today I find it not lacking in taste, but distasteful (oily licorce?). Surprisingly, I still enjoy Gentleman Jack somewhat and J.D. Single Barrel a lot -- almost enough to justify the price, but not quite. I finished my first bottle a while back, and so far I haven't been tempted to replace it.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

dhooch
03-11-2004, 19:54
I guess I will have to try Gentleman Jack and/or J.D. Single Barrel.

Thanks.

bluesbassdad
03-12-2004, 13:33
If you tend to like lighter whiskey, I'd suggest the Gentleman Jack. If you prefer a real mouthful of flavor, then the more expensive Jack Daniel's Single Barrel may be more to your liking.

JDSB is one of the few upper-shelf liqours that I've been able to try in a bar before making the commitment that buying a bottle (priced in the mid-$30 range around here) entails. Perhaps you will find that you can do the same.

I really and truly intended to post tasting notes before I finished that bottle, but I could never get a handle on it. Most of the time the dominant flavor was dark fruit, like plums and cherries.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Blackkeno
03-13-2004, 18:18
I've never really cared for JD black the few times I've tried it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif I do like JD single http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif, which tastes like the same flavor profile as JD black IMHO, but higher quality. My favorate is Gentleman Jack http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif, which tastes like a whole different whiskey to me.

bourbonmed
03-17-2004, 10:05
Monster hit today for Jack in the NY Times: Whiskey's Kingdom (Pop. 361). The article also has nice things to say about premium bourbons and ryes. Check it out.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/17/dining/17WHIS.html?ex=1080539528&ei=1&en=b0b8210ba0cd93dc

Cheers,

Omar

TNbourbon
03-17-2004, 21:00
As it has been since 1866, every single drop of Jack Daniel's, seven million cases a year, is made here in Cave Spring Hollow, amid the gentle hills about 75 miles south of Nashville.
Whiskey's Kingdom (Pop. 361), NYTimes, 3/17/04



Not precisely true -- Prohibition was the law in Tennessee before it became the law nationwide. During the interim, Jack Daniel's production moved to St. Louis for a brief number of years (which I'm too lazy to look up).

kitzg
03-19-2004, 06:05
Tim, you might e-mail the NYT imes reporter. I've corresponded with newspaper writers frequently about such things and find they truly appreciate it. They take a puff piece from a firm, make a few calls, and then assume it is true. The NYT is usually very good about fact checking but unless they know Mike Veach or Chuck Cowdery they don't know who to call. Of course I am assuming YOUR facts are correct. I've not followed the JD history. -- Greg

cowdery
03-19-2004, 13:11
Tim's right, and when the St. Louis distillery burned down, they moved to Alabama, which is where they were when National Prohibition shut everyone down (except the people who went to Mexico or Canada).

angelshare
05-04-2004, 15:11
Jack Daniels success in MOHO is clearly attributed to customer interaction. No other brand has as much fun with their customers. The Tennessee Squires Club (of which I am a new member) is one example of this connection between the company and the consumer.



The thoughts expressed on this thread, in my opinion, tie loosely into both the recent distillery tour discussion as well as the discussion of the "psychology" of taste.

Before I liked bourbon, I liked Jack. I genuinely liked the taste, but I will freely admit that I responded to the marketing/image. Hey, if Keith Richards liked it, it had to be cool!

As time went on, I grew a little more objective regarding the taste. Jack was still #1, but I tried other things. The first year we were married (1993), Tina and I went through a very short-lived scotch phase before deciding that American whiskey was better and cheaper. Eventually, we got interested in touring the JD distillery because we heard so much about it. We went in the fall of 1994 and had a GREAT time.

That's when the second phase of JD marketing started working on us. Whipped into a JD frenzy by the tour, we bought our first special bottling (Jack in the Box). Subsequently, I joined the Tennessee Squire Association and have been enjoying the mailings for the last 9 years. The deed to my "plot of land" and the accompanying photo hang in our whiskey room. We have amassed various trinkets, promos and souvenirs. We have a JD bar stool, JD rail mat, and even a used JD barrel. We have the recent series of gold medal bottles, all registered with certificates on display. You hit the nail on the head - JD makes drinking and collecting JD products fun.

Recently, I named Gentleman Jack as probably being one of my top three favorite whiskeys. Do I like the taste that much? Yes. How much has my buy-in to the JD mystique and marketing influenced that perception? Hard to know, but I bet a lot.

With bourbon, I feel less influenced with the possible exception of Wild Turkey. I'll never forget that WT was introduced to me by a friend as "Hunter S. Thompson's favorite whiskey." WT has the Rare Breed Society, the opportunity to get personalized labels, intermittent correspondence, etc. Not as well done (marketed) as JD, but well done. Though not consistent with everyone's experience here, we also had a GREAT tour of WT in 1997. And guess what? Kentucky Spirit is in my top three whiskies, too. Just a coincidence? I wonder.

Obviously, JB markets well, too, and I am a big fan of Booker's and Baker's. I just think that, for whatever reason, the JB style of marketing doesn't work quite as well on me. Or maybe it's that I tried for about a year to join the KY Bourbon Circle by calling a phone number or mailing something in and didn't receive anything while JD and WT kept sending me stuff!

Hmmm. That reads like a confession of sorts. Maybe I'm asking for forgiveness from Bourbonia for being such a marketing-susceptible whiskey drinking sheep. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Casino
08-27-2004, 01:03
IMHO, the reason is Jack Daniels (Brown Forman) marketing. The ads are subtle and laid back, but ubiquitous. They have created an image that customers want to buy in to.

Tim

This is true, and they are using their popularity as a mask, to dropping the proofage and raising the price at the same time. JD is arguably, if not, the most popular whiskey on Earth - to drop the proofage and raise the price... They are trying to rip us off, plain and simple.

tlsmothers
08-28-2004, 17:39
I totally agree with that and I try to point out the lower proof and higher price to every customer that comes in asking for JD.

TNbourbon
08-28-2004, 19:46
I try to point out the lower proof and higher price to every customer that comes in asking for JD.


Ditto here -- for that reason and the fact that I simply like the much-cheaper Dickel (especially the No. 12) better. But, I'm fighting a losing battle with home-state parochialism. Tennesseans like being 'first' at anything and everything, and they'll stick with JD just because it is best-known around the world.

Casino
08-29-2004, 17:57
I wish they had the guts to keep it up at 90 proof, or even 86. I wrote to them a while back, and they wrote back claiming that the majority of their customers enjoyed the watered down taste of an 80 proof Jack to the 86. Then on top of that, they bump the price... An icon like JD can afford to keep the whiskey at 86 proof, if people prefer a watered down taste, let 'em buy the Green label.

lakegz
09-01-2004, 01:46
speaking from the college crowd (i just graduated but i can still claim that dammit!), so many people think of Jack Daniel's as being an ultra- hardcore drink that will mess you up big time. There is so much myth and hype revolving around that brand yet people are so ignorant to the much higher proof and higher quality bourbons out there. People see the black rustic looking label, the all american name, the brown color, and think that that 80 proof liquid is the most lethal and rugged in the US market. kinda silly

gr8erdane
09-01-2004, 13:04
I don't know about the college you went to, but years ago when I attended the University of Missouri (where Rolling Stone magazine considered drinking to be a pasttime and therefore ineligible for their top party schools list), JD was higher proof than it is now but the bad boy was Wild Turkey 101. Everyone drank JD because it was always on sale. All you had to do to show that you were a true wildman was to pop open the WT 101 and everyone would take notice. Funny, back then I didn't have any idea that WT 101 actually tasted so good as it usually was slugged down in shots without even taking the time to taste it.

clayton
09-01-2004, 14:08
At my college, nobody drank anything but vodka. Vodka martinis, vodka-and-tonic, black Russians. The better the vodka on the mixing table (Grey Goose, Belvedere, Chopin, etc), the higher class the party was. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

Whiskey was apparently completely out of style.

Gillman
09-01-2004, 14:29
Of those who imbibed during my college years (early 1970's), beer was the preferred choice, also, red wine, which endured from the atmosphere of the 1960's and has been popular in Quebec Province (where I studied in Montreal) for yonks. Liquor was frowned upon except for occasional sallies with Seagram's '83 or similar: Seagram was the local distiller, just as Molson was (and still is) the major local brewer. Some bourbon and related spirits were drunk, though. Jack was becoming popular as was Southern Comfort due to association with rock bands. Thinking about what Dane said about WT 101 I am thinking now Brown Forman probably made the right decision when it reduced the proof of JD to 80 from 86. Because, all things being equal, this will likely mean people, especially collegians, will drink less. JD is not a connoisseur's drink in the sense of people pouring small drams at home the abv of which is noted and monitored. For them, there is the Single Barrel to relish the higher proof. For the mass market who drink JD, it is better I think to sell them the lower proof version so they will not consume as much alcohol as might otherwise be the case. Six points more per drink over a few drinks can add up. This is particularly relevant to young people, who (IMO) should stay away from spirits anyway. If they want to drink, stick with a little beer or wine and leave it at that. I really believe this. Whiskey and spirits are more, again humbly IMO, an adult drink. The student lifestyle should either be alcohol-free or restricted to the odd sip of beer or wine. That is how I feel about it although I recognise the reality often departs from this ideal.

Gary

BrbnBorderline
09-01-2004, 16:13
JD is all I drank in college when it came to whiskies. It was an image thing. And no, I didn't sip it like I do bourbon today. It was pounding shots http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/falling.gif

Man, I'm glad I grew up. JD Single Barrel is good, but the black label is good only for mixing w/Coke for those that don't know any better.

tlsmothers
09-01-2004, 18:13
I agree. I tell folks all the time that if they just have to have an American Icon, go ahead and buy some Jack. If they want true flavor, go for the GD12.

Personally, I didn't drink during college years. We had to sign something as part of sorority membership saying we wouldn't drink underage, and I'm one of those rare freaks that took that seriously. Figured if I signed my name pledging to do somethin' I should honor my own signature. I didnt' drink until I was 21. Just don't count that one night that I had one drink during the night I accepted my bid to join my sorority before I signed onto the dotted line saying I wouldn't drink underage. I don't know if many people actually saw me dance on the pool table that night.

Casino
09-01-2004, 23:36
Of those who imbibed during my college years (early 1970's), beer was the preferred choice, also, red wine, which endured from the atmosphere of the 1960's and has been popular in Quebec Province (where I studied in Montreal) for yonks. Liquor was frowned upon except for occasional sallies with Seagram's '83 or similar: Seagram was the local distiller, just as Molson was (and still is) the major local brewer. Some bourbon and related spirits were drunk, though. Jack was becoming popular as was Southern Comfort due to association with rock bands. Thinking about what Dane said about WT 101 I am thinking now Brown Forman probably made the right decision when it reduced the proof of JD to 80 from 86. Because, all things being equal, this will likely mean people, especially collegians, will drink less. JD is not a connoisseur's drink in the sense of people pouring small drams at home the abv of which is noted and monitored. For them, there is the Single Barrel to relish the higher proof. For the mass market who drink JD, it is better I think to sell them the lower proof version so they will not consume as much alcohol as might otherwise be the case. Six points more per drink over a few drinks can add up. This is particularly relevant to young people, who (IMO) should stay away from spirits anyway. If they want to drink, stick with a little beer or wine and leave it at that. I really believe this. Whiskey and spirits are more, again humbly IMO, an adult drink. The student lifestyle should either be alcohol-free or restricted to the odd sip of beer or wine. That is how I feel about it although I recognise the reality often departs from this ideal.

Gary

But then doesn't this make the Green Label seem redundant? I know the Green Label is supposedly not on the same level as the Black, but how can we be sure? BF can bottle Green as Black in the NE states where Green Label is not available at all. To me, this smacks of something far more nefarious... A part of me thinks that JD lowered the proof for three reasons, - one - to appeal to a wider audience, two, to save money on taxes that are applied to higher proof whiskies, and three, to force those of us who enjoyed the 86 proof JD to buy only the higher end JD, single Barrell and so on.... They are selling us out, any way you look at it.

Gillman
09-02-2004, 03:51
Even if one of the company's goals was to extract a price increase by lowering the proof of Old No. 7, that is a separate issue (from the one I was addressing). As for the green label, in areas where both it and Old No. 7 were commonly available (not that many), the green sold for less and probably still does. Green label is less mature-tasting than the black label so there is still a difference albeit reduced, I agree. I just think it was a good idea to make a mass-marketed whiskey 80 proof. I haven't checked, but would assume Jim Beam's white label is 80 proof too, same for Early Times. Also, I don't think that the green label whiskey is being used to fill bottles of Old No. 7, I believe they will use Old No. 7, just lowered to 80 proof. In many markets (e.g., Canada) 80 proof Old No. 7 has been sold for some time. It is clearly the Old No. 7 whiskey, just a tad weaker.

Gary

tdelling
09-02-2004, 09:12
You have to change your way of thinking with regards to whiskey to see
the logic. People aren't buying "whiskey they can enjoy because they're
enlightened consumers of a broad range of whiskies". (That's what we
on straightbourbon do). Instead, they're buying "The Jack Daniels
Experience".

What I'm calling The Experience includes the bottle, the label, the
brand image, etc... and also the taste and the way it goes down the
gullet. We enlightened consumers can tell the difference in taste
between 80 proof and 90 proof, and consider this taste to be one of
the prime reasons we choose a whiskey. But for most consumers, it's
only one part... drinkability is another important part, and it's
definitely true that 80 proof goes down easier.

Most people just won't add a splash of water themselves. But if it's
added at the distillery, then that's okay... you're still (psychologially
and literally) drinking it "straight from the bottle". No, this
is not logical, but that's just how people are. Heck, some folks refuse
to add water to Stagg!


The company thus bottles a lower proof product, and it's more drinkable
and thus more popular. Oh, and they save money in the deal, too. So
it's a win-win.



I definitely see the opposing viewpoint, though. It's a bit like rock
musicians selling out and "watering down" their music for the mass consumer.

In the end, I'm all for 80 Proof JD if it creates a more accessable
stepping stone to get people on the path to enjoying whiskey.
But I reserve the right to call the people at JD "sell-outs".

Tim Dellinger
(who, incidentally, recently applied for a job at Lynchburg and
was ready to "sell out". I probably won't get the job, since
they're probably looking for someone with verifyable, legal, on-the-
-job distilling experience... all I have to show for myself is
a whole bunch of book learnin' and basement tinkering.)

Casino
09-02-2004, 11:03
Even if one of the company's goals was to extract a price increase by lowering the proof of Old No. 7, that is a separate issue (from the one I was addressing). As for the green label, in areas where both it and Old No. 7 were commonly available (not that many), the green sold for less and probably still does. Green label is less mature-tasting than the black label so there is still a difference albeit reduced, I agree. I just think it was a good idea to make a mass-marketed whiskey 80 proof. I haven't checked, but would assume Jim Beam's white label is 80 proof too, same for Early Times. Also, I don't think that the green label whiskey is being used to fill bottles of Old No. 7, I believe they will use Old No. 7, just lowered to 80 proof. In many markets (e.g., Canada) 80 proof Old No. 7 has been sold for some time. It is clearly the Old No. 7 whiskey, just a tad weaker.

Gary



True, the Beam and Earl Times are 80 proof, and there's really nothing wrong with that, hell I love Beam White. The problem with JD, aside from upping the price, and then telling us that if we like higher proof whiskey, buy the JD Single Barrell ( at 43 bucks a bottle...yeah right ), but also, they are sullying a tradition. JD's been 86 proof for a long time and 90 proof for even longer, the exclusivity of the Black label is lost with a move such as this. Their website really plays up the "tradition" and the "history" of the brand name, and in a full affront to their tradition and history, they turn around and water it down. I look at it like this, a bunch of Zima drinking lightweights don't like the taste? Too bad. I see the point of making JD more accessable to the masses and so on, but to me, JD was never something that people should start off with, the enjoyment of drinking JD neat has to be earned, or rather, worked up to. I can only imagine what the proof will be in ten years time.

Gillman
09-02-2004, 11:35
I agree with you on price, I wish they had reduced the price, or, added a 90 proof (say) to the range as a nod to tradition. My reason for supporting 80 in the mass market is the drink is less intoxicating that way - a good thing when the mass market, and the younger market, are considered. One way to reduce the cost of the JD Single is to blend it 50/50 with the Old No. 7. That produces a proof of about 86/87, about where it was before the change to black label. It is all Jack Daniels, same mash bill, about the same age too, only different barrels. I find this improves the black label, produces a proof which I like (personally) and makes the the Single Barrel go further.

Gary

cowdery
09-02-2004, 13:59
The decision to change Early Times from a bourbon to a "Kentucky Whisky" flowed from the same reasoning that drives these changes to Jack. Brown-Forman believes--and I'm not saying they're wrong--that strong brands are virtually bullet proof when it comes to actual product changes. The brand image is more important than the product itself. Protect, support and develop the brand image and you can take liberties with the product itself without paying a price. I would bet you that 99 percent of JD loyalists didn't even notice the proof reduction, on the label or in the glass.

All they have to do to offset it is add less Coke. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

A note about the proof reduction. Federal Excise Taxes are $13.50 per proof gallon. A proof gallon is one gallon of 100 proof spirit. Therefore, a proof reduction lowers the tax and increases profits without altering the price. Unfortunately, 80 proof is the limit. By law, whiskey can't be bottled at less than 80 proof unless it is labeled "diluted whiskey" or not labeled as "whiskey" at all. Could JD get away with that? Put out a 74 proof product just called "Jack Daniel's" with no type designation? Probably not. I think all spirits have to be called something and "liqueur" seems to be the catchall for any spirit that doesn't fit another recognized category. There is no proof requirement for liqueurs. Could JD get away with something like that? Most Southern Comfort consumers think that product is a whiskey. It says "liqueur" on the label and in all of the ads, but the type is tiny.

Evan Williams (the standard expression) reduced its proof not long ago, cutting it from 90 to 86, for the same reasons. EW can still take that final cut sometime in the future and probably will.

So JD is now in the pool with Jim Beam white label, Early Times, Ancient Age, Old Fitgerald gold label, Ten High and the other standard, mass market, 80 proof bourbons, yet it still commands a premium price. Capitalist that I am, I call that brilliant!

tdelling
09-02-2004, 14:22
Unfortunately, I think that the Zima-drinking lightweights are where
all the action is with regards to expanding sales. It's probably
worth it monetarily to neglect the whiskey fans a bit in order to chase
after the Sex on the Beach & Slippery Nipple crowd.

Fortunately for us, StraightBourbon.com is a no-holds-barred forum,
and we don't have to worry about offending potential advertizers.

I don't think the glossy whisk(e)y mags would ever print something
calling JD a bunch of corporate sellouts.

Did I mention yet that I'm starting to think that the move to 80 Proof
is "a total sellout move"?

Tim Dellinger,
uncharacteristically surly today

tdelling
09-02-2004, 14:32
They probably do regard JD as a bulletproof brand. My favorite
bulletproof brand story is Harley-Davidson: during "the dark
years", quality was so low that the brand new bikes would leak
oil on the showroom floor! I seem to recall that it was mis-
management rather then calculated neglect, but a better Harley
historian would know the story better than I do, and could
probably tell the effect of motorcycle quality on sales.

A funny thing about bulletproof brands is the "quiet transition".
Could a quiet transition have prevented the backlash against
"New Coke"? Just slowly change the formula without mentioning
it, and hope no one notices? (I know, that wasn't the point of
New Coke, but the question still stands.)


Tim Dellinger

ratcheer
09-02-2004, 15:48
There is no proof requirement for liqueurs. Could JD get away with something like that? Most Southern Comfort consumers think that product is a whiskey. It says "liqueur" on the label and in all of the ads, but the type is tiny.



Well, I am old enough that I remember when all Southern Comfort was 100-proof, too. What is on the shelves here is now 80-proof, too. Another sellout? Is any 100-proof Southern Comfort still made?

Does anybody care? Not I.

Tim

ratcheer
09-02-2004, 15:55
Well, I believe you have a slight problem with this comparison. Harley-Davidson almost killed their brand when they were run by the AMF conglomerate in the period you are speaking of. It was eventually bought back from the conglomerate by a new group, consisting of many of the people who had run it before AMF. If this had not occurred, Harley might not exist, anymore.

The new ownership was dedicated to both a quality product and to winning back their previously loyal customers.

Disclaimer: I am not now nor have I ever been a Harley "fan". But I am a motorcycle fan, so I know about this from reading m/c magazines for the past 40 years.

Tim

cowdery
09-02-2004, 18:24
Southern Comfort was only available as 100 proof until sometime in the late 1970s, I believe. That's when the lower proof version was introduced. I believe the 100 proof was discontinued for a time, but eventually was reintroduced and is available today.

(Full disclosure. I worked on Southern Comfort for six years and, among other things, wrote the Southern Comfort recipe books during that period.)

TNbourbon
09-02-2004, 20:45
Actually, the two Southern Comforts we have in the store are 70 and 100 proof.

Gillman
09-02-2004, 21:35
Not to stray overly from The Jack, but I wonder how people distinguish between the two Southern Comforts when purchasing? Do some really know the 100 proof version gives a stronger kick for the same quantity? Maybe some people don't know that but figure the high proof version somehow is better...

By the way recently I had some Southern Comfort for the first time in about 20 years. It was good, showing very pure peach and citrus flavors, but the alcohol component was evidently neutral spirits-type, clean and vodka-like. There happened to be a bottle of Elmer Lee on the table and I added it to the Comfort, 50/50. This produced a really good drink, one I'd try again. I would assume one of the recipes Chuck wrote was combining Comfort with bourbon to make a Southern Rob Roy-type cocktail such as this. It was a good drink, and had a rich, "historical" taste to it.

Gary

Casino
09-02-2004, 22:58
A bulletproof brand , it certainly is, and all the more reason to keep it at a solid 86, or even be so bold as to bump it up to 90. Keep the tradition alive and their website won't look like the bastion of hypocrisy it already is.

angelshare
09-03-2004, 04:29
Man, I'm glad I grew up. JD Single Barrel is good, but the black label is good only for mixing w/Coke for those that don't know any better.



At the risk of repeating my earlier post, I'll just say that Tina and I have liked JD through the two proof changes, even if we don't like the proof change/price hike itself. We were also in the 99% that Chuck cited. Since we drink JD over ice, the change was not really noticeable to us, and I'm not sure the change would have been noticed by me even neat without prompting.

Is JD marketing hypocritical? Absolutely, and it probably is one of the more aggregious examples of it in the industry. Tinkering with the proof twice in 10 years while marketing based on a 150 year tradition is pretty lame.

But I think marketing is inherently deceptive at same level. For instance, as previously discussed, there's an awful lot of "charcoal mellowed" bourbon labeled out there. Sounds great, but what does it mean? IMO, it means that some bourbon distillers/bottlers are trying to use general terms or concepts made familiar by JD to sell a completely different product. I may be wrong, as I don't know who used "charcoal" in their marketing first, but JD has certainly used it most and best.

I guess when I think of our liking for JD, I think about the person who really likes Big Macs. It's not so much that s/he can't tell the difference between a Big Mac and an expertly prepared, thick, juicy, seasoned home grilled hamburger. It's a totally different food. Even if you like Big Macs, when you're in the mood for a home grilled burger, a Big Mac will not suffice, and vice versa.

Our tastes may be pedestrian, but they are what they are.