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TNbourbon
07-04-2004, 11:15
We've had a single bottle of Old Charter Bottled In Bond bourbon on the shelf of the store where I work part-time for as long as I've worked there. It only just dawned on me the other day that I've never seen it anywhere else (except a reference on this site's 'Bourbon brands' listing), so I got to looking at the bottle. In rather small print on the back label it states, "This bourbon is 7 years old." That was a bit of a surprise, because I think we all most often assume BIB is 4 years old, though I realize the original law specified that as a minimum for taxation purposes.
Anyway, does anybody know anything about this bourbon? Is it still made? Why is it 7 years old instead of the usual 4?

brian12069
07-04-2004, 11:34
crack it open and drink it!

angelshare
07-04-2004, 16:09
crack it open and drink it!



My bet is that Tim's going to wait until he has two (or three? Or ten?) bunkered before he cracks it open! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I have never seen the Old Charter BIB to which you refer either. Any possibility of posting a photo?

Paradox
07-04-2004, 16:20
crack it open and drink it!



My bet is that Tim's going to wait until he has two (or three? Or ten?) bunkered before he cracks it open! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I have never seen the Old Charter BIB to which you refer either. Any possibility of posting a photo?






I was going to say the same thing, and looking at it from a collector's standpoint I can't blame him... I'd proably do the same thing until I found out more about it or at a minimum had a 2nd bottle.


Unfortunately Tim, I don't know much about this particular bottling either. A photo would still be great to see though, that's if you can take a quick one.

TNbourbon
07-04-2004, 17:10
Well, you and Mark are both (at least, temporarily) right -- assuming it hasn't been sold before I get to work tomorrow -- I think I'll buy it, and ask my boss to reorder it, just to see if the distributor still has some in stock. If so, I'll buy another and drink one of 'em. If not, then...well -- we'll see.
Once I have it in hand, I'll try a pic.

cowdery
07-05-2004, 17:53
Old Charter is a former United/Diageo product, now owned by Buffalo Trace/Sazerac. It's popular in the South, particularly in Arkansas. The Great Bourbon Web Site (http://www.greatbourbon.com/) doesn't show a BIB, but the youngest Charter it does show is 8 years old. At least back when both were made by United at the Bernheim distillery, Old Charter was essentially the same whiskey as I. W. Harper.

TNbourbon
07-05-2004, 18:01
Here's the pic (front label):

TNbourbon
07-05-2004, 18:04
And the back:

mike1
07-06-2004, 08:23
The BIB must have been a United product as it came from Lousiville.The great bourbon web site lists an 8 and 12 year old Old Charter. I have a bottle of 10 year old from Frankfort, and I still see that product around I guess that they are not producing it anymore

cowdery
07-06-2004, 08:52
They still make the 10-year-old. Click any of the other Old Charters on the web site and you'll see it mentioned as a footnote.

TNbourbon
07-06-2004, 09:24
Charter 10yo is a staple in our store. From local experience, anyway, I'd say it's the most popular version in Middle Tennessee, at least.

bourbonv
07-06-2004, 09:37
Old Charter has an interesting history. It was started by the Chapeze brothers at the distillery at Chapeze, Ky. (close to Beam, who uses the warehouses at Chapeze today). The first year of Old Charter sales is also the year of the first Kentucky Derby. The distillery and brand later was sold to Wright and Taylor. W.L. Weller and Sons bottled the product during prohibition for Marion Taylor, taking a percentage from the sales. After Prohibition the brand was sold to the same people who owned I W Harper and in turn was sold to Schenley in 1937.
The history gets even more interesting after the second world war. Schenley over produced because they were expecting trouble from the Soviets and then really over produced during the Korean War because they were afraid they would have to go back to war production of alcohol. Schenley knew they could not sell of this whiskey in 8 years (the bonding period) so they pushed to have the bonding period pushed to 20 years. In the meantime they increased the age of Old Charter to take care of the older whiskey they had on hand. Old Charter became the "Whiskey that did not watch the clock" and the yellow label was designed with a clock on it (7 o'clock for the 7 year old, 8 o'clock for the 8 year old). They invested into an antique clock collection and they would tour the country with the collection to promote Old Charter. After the bonding period was extended to 20 years, they created a 10 and 12 year old products.

In the mid 1950's Old Charter also fought a legal dispute with the Charter Oak brand that lasted about 10 years before they finally won their trademark infringement case.

When U D had the brand they continued to bottle the 7, 8, 10 and 12 yo products and created a label for the Japanese market but the whiskey for the Japanese was actually Old Fitzgerald wheated bourbon.

Mike Veach

P.S. TheChapeze distillery can be seen in the movie "Stripes". They filmed the Czech scenes at the distillery.

TNbourbon
07-08-2004, 07:52
In luck! The distributor still has some bottles, so we got a couple more back in on reorder. I've also found a handful of bottles at an older liquor store in Nashville. So, I'll be cracking open a bottle soon.

Sijan
08-09-2006, 15:39
I recently found a 200 ml bottle of this same stuff, Old Charter BIB 7 yr old, at a liquor store in Baytown, TX (near Houston). There are several still on the shelf if folks are interested. Mine has a tax strip (or faux tax strip) with the dates "Fall 1976" and "Spring 1984". Despite the apparent 8 1/2 year age, the back of the bottle still says "This whiskey is 7 years old." I'm not sure if it's a real tax strip b/c I thought that the official ones ended in 1980-81. I'm sure someone remembers...

cowdery
08-09-2006, 19:54
After the tax stamp requirement ended, companies were still required to seal bottles just for tamper-evidence purposes. For those who could not immediately install new capers or other sealing technology, the faux tax stamps were used.

There is no reason to doubt the stamp's authenticity. It was bottled during the bourbon glut, when it was common for the whiskey's actual age to be significantly greater than the age stated on the standard label for that expression.

Sijan
08-09-2006, 21:42
Oh, I didn't doubt the stamp's authenticity in terms of the dates, just doubted that it was a real tax stamp. I understand that the age stated on the bottle is just the minimum age for bottling. Just thought it was interesting that they would disclose the actual age on the tax stamp.

The cap is also odd - it sort of looks like a narrow lampshade with lots of ridges. Almost like a mini shot glass - was this the intention?

cowdery
08-10-2006, 13:22
Just thought it was interesting that they would disclose the actual age on the tax stamp.

My assumption is that they simply continued all of the practices they had done when the stamps were required.


The cap is also odd - it sort of looks like a narrow lampshade with lots of ridges. Almost like a mini shot glass - was this the intention?

Possibly. That's not unusual. The cap on Sauza Hornitos Tequila bottles is designed to be used as a shot glass.