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Gillman
09-06-2004, 17:53
Is anyone interested to give taste notes on Early Times? Chuck (the Book) says it is almost a bourbon in that it has a bourbon mash, is aged long enough for straight whiskey (i.e. at least two years, and I think ET is at least three years old), and is aged mostly in new charred barrels. This has to be very close to bourbon in flavour. I would offer my notes but don't have any in the bunker at the moment.

Also, does Early Times come in more than one expression, e.g., a high proof version?

Gary

cowdery
09-06-2004, 20:12
The only "other expression" of ET is that in non-US markets, it is a bourbon.

ratcheer
09-07-2004, 03:35
Gary, even when it was a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, back in the 60's & 70's, it was not a very good one. I had it on several occasions and I don't recall ever enjoying it.

Tim

Gillman
09-07-2004, 04:35
Thanks, and I just saw that the Book in fact gives taste notes for Early Times (others' views are solicited too if they drink this). I believe young whiskeys, or whiskeys on the younger side of the spectrum, can benefit from high proof. A number of malt whisky distillers (Glenfarclas, now Macallan) sell their cask strength whiskies on the younger side for the range. The extra hit of alcohol seems somehow to off-set some of the less mature flavors. We see this too with some white overproof rum in the Caribbean. There was the opposite tendency too, illustrated in the discussion recently on the Michter's quarter whiskey, discussed I should add in Michael Jackson's 1988 World Guide To Whisky. That was, originally at least, a pot still distillate cut to 25 proof. In the 1700's/1800's, the drink (as the label of the latter-day recreation suggested) was often used as a beverage akin to the way wine or beer would be used today, i.e., to accompany meals; that explains, I think the unusually low historical proof. But returning to liquor sampled in high proof form, I think it would be interesting to sample Early Times (I mean, the whiskey, not the bourbon) at 90 or 100 proof. It can be interesting too to remind oneself of "distillery" flavors which mostly get effaced with long aging. Jim Beam's white label tends also to have a certain distillery or grainy character even after four years of aging. Recently I was looking at a photo of a modern Beam warehouse (not sure which one it was) and it was interesting to see barrels standing on end, palleted, in a very large hangar or shed-type facility. It seems evident, despite the ventilation which I am sure is done via HVAC systems, that maturation will take longer than in a smaller building which has more exposure to the elements by not being too large and having a cladding that is not too staunch. Thus, if Early Times (whisky or bourbon) was aged for the same time in a small country warehouse where the wind whistled through windows and cracks in the walls, would it taste more mature than at present? One wonders.. Proof, whiskey type, warehouse type, length of aging, char level for barrels, so many factors enter into a process that still has elements of mystery and unpredictability..

Gary

cowdery
09-07-2004, 08:27
Early Times is aged in masonry warehouses in the Louisville suburb of Shively. The warehouses can be heated, so the barrels can be artifically cycled in the winter. Not sure if they are actually doing this, as there continues to be a debate about whether or not it actually works.

Gillman
09-07-2004, 09:38
Good point but I was thinking also of Charlie Thomason's saws about ensuring a free flow of outdoor air around the barrels. He was speaking of facilities that had many apertures - one sees those little windows in old distillery buildings around the world including in the oldest parts of the disused Gooderham & Worts facility in Toronto - but also of situating a warehouse on a hillside to take advantage of winds. Some buildings were so porous he recalled seeing barrels with snow resting on them in winter. Now that's country aging. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I do believe heating artifically can create aging cycles though, but the movement of fresh air over the barrels was something he insisted on as part of classical practice. He seemed concerned with two things: artificial heating sometimes worked too well in that too much tannin could be brought into the whiskey too soon, and also, the risks of mustiness were increased if there wasn't sufficient ventilation (and it stands to reason fresh air was important here). I have rarely if ever noticed a musty scent in any Fortune Brands bourbon, nor any issues with over-tannic tastes. I would say, though, that they don't seem to mature super-fast: even Knob Creek, a favorite of mine, never seems to show big barrel character, ditto Baker's, etc.

Gary

bourbonv
09-07-2004, 11:59
Gary,
I have been with Chris Morris for the past several years at the Bourbon academy held at Woodfrod Reserve. Early Times is one of the products he talks about. He says that there is 3yo whiskey in the product, but some of the whiskey is as old as 8yo. The used cooperage is only about 20% of the product. It taste OK but it is what I call a "Brown Vodka" - not a complex taste or a lingering finish. It is similar to Jim Beam White Label in taste. It is meant to be your "bourbon and coke" type whiskey.
On the other hand I have had some of the Early Times bourbon sold in Japan. It is quite good with some caramel from aging and what surprised me was a hint of cocoanut on the finish.

They do heat the warehouses at Early Times in the winter. They claim it makes for faster aging, but I am not so sure. I still tend to prefer products aged in iron clad warehouses but admit there are some mighty fine products that come from the brick warehouse (AAA, Old Forester and Woodford Reserve to name a few).
Mike Veach

cowdery
09-07-2004, 13:18
The Beam pallatized warehouses have big industrial fans to ensure air circulation. They insist the combination of pallatized storage and forced air ventilation provides better air circulation. The biggest problem with the barrels stored on end is leakage.

And they don't look good for the tourists.

camduncan
09-07-2004, 14:44
The only "other expression" of ET is that in non-US markets, it is a bourbon



It's definately sold as a bourbon here in Australia..
Not a big seller, and, from personal experience, not a great taste either. I'd put way down under Jim Beam White for preference..

Edward_call_me_Ed
03-29-2005, 00:50
I just saw two different bottles of Early Times at the discount liquor store. Same price but one had a yellowish label and the other a brown label. Both said they were Straight Kentucky Bourbon. I couldn't find an age statement on either one. I haven't tried Early Times for maybe 10 years. At that time I preferred Jim Beam White label. I drank a lot of that at the time. I tried a number of bourbons in the same price range and always went back to Jim Beam. When I wanted something better, (a lot better!) and was willing to pay about twice what I did for Beam I got WT 101 8 year old.
Now Beam White is pretty far down on my list. Not quite off my list, it is not bad for what it is. So Early Times has been even farther down the list. However, reading about it in Chuck's book and here on this thread I am getting curious about it. One of these days I will have a chance to try it again at a bar where it is the house bourbon. I am kind of looking forward to it.
Ed

TNbourbon
03-29-2005, 07:33
Grab 'em! If they say 'bourbon' and not 'Kentucky whiskey', snatch 'em up -- Early Times bourbon is no longer available in the U.S., and hasn't been for some time. Thus, they are instant collectibles -- and eminently tradeable to others here http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif -- so to get them at off-the-shelf prices would be quite a coup.

Edward_call_me_Ed
03-29-2005, 13:58
That is an interesting idea. Does anyone know anything about the legality of mailing whiskey to the States from Japan? And any taxes that would be due? I need to find out about the opposite case as well. There are bourbons and other whiskeys that I would like to try but have been unable to find here.
Ed

Ken Weber
03-30-2005, 08:18
If you found the bottles in Japan, then Early Times is indeed a bourbon. All ET sold in the U.S. is called "Old Style Kentucky Whiskey". The bourbon, which I recall as being quite nice, did not have as good an ROI as the folks at BF required, hence it went to used cooperage and 36 months (rendering it a bourbon no longer). The bourbon version is still made for the Japanese market.

Ken

wadewood
03-30-2005, 08:38
Early Times Bourbon was also available in Tahiti, so it must ship to Japan and other export markets, but not to US.

cowdery
03-30-2005, 17:17
Although Early Times is not bourbon in the U.S., it is bourbon in all international markets. The current label was adopted in the early 1980s, if I remember correctly. Before that the brand had a very garish yellow label. It was in a round bottle then too (now it's square).

Brown-Forman, which makes Early Times, calls the U.S. product "Kentucky Whisky." Brown-Forman was the first to use that term, but others have used it since. The resemblance to "Tennessee Whiskey" is obvious and intentional. Brown-Forman also makes Jack Daniel's.

Early Times can't be called bourbon because about 20 percent of it is aged in used barrels. Bourbon must be aged 100 percent in new, charred oak barrels.

mrt
02-02-2006, 13:32
I couldn't find this thread until now, so I posted two new threads about ET. In the answers to the first one, ET is highly critised by the bourbon discussioners. For the second one, I'm waiting the answers still, but I found many here.

Well, I tried ET last weekend, and I liked it very much. Though the finish is not lingering as stated here, taste is sweet (IMO) and easy to drink. I tried it on the rocks, by the way. It's sold as "Kentucky Starigh Bourbon Whisky" here. I was just about to ask the reason for not being labeled as the same in the US, but-thank you- I learned here that it was due to the used barrels for the %20. But, isn't the legal definition of bourbon valid for the countries other than US? If it's a bourbon, it is, if not, then it is not, IMO.

Anyway, I like ET and will continue drinking it as long as I find here.

Thanks for all the useful info.

Gillman
02-02-2006, 13:57
See my answer on the other thread.

GAry

JeffRenner
02-03-2006, 07:40
I was just about to ask the reason for not being labeled as the same in the US, but-thank you- I learned here that it was due to the used barrels for the %20. But, isn't the legal definition of bourbon valid for the countries other than US? If it's a bourbon, it is, if not, then it is not, IMO.
Not to beat a dead horse, but rather to make sure that it's clear, there are at least three different ET products. One is aged partly in used barrels, and is therefore not a bourbon. It is this that is sold in the US, and not in other countries, as far as I know. Then there are the brown and yellow bourbons, which are, indeed, true bourbons in that they are aged in new barrels. These are not sold in the US.

Jeff

boone
02-03-2006, 09:05
Not to beat a dead horse, but rather to make sure that it's clear, there are at least three different ET products. One is aged partly in used barrels, and is therefore not a bourbon. It is this that is sold in the US, and not in other countries, as far as I know. Then there are the brown and yellow bourbons, which are, indeed, true bourbons in that they are aged in new barrels. These are not sold in the US.

Jeff

This is a old bottling (1979) of Early Times that my father in law gave to me :grin: Back then, it was "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey"...

This bottling is 4 years old, 86 proof.

boone
02-03-2006, 09:18
This is a old bottling (1979) of Early Times that my father in law gave to me :grin: Back then, it was "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey"...

This bottling is 4 years old, 86 proof.

Here is another bottling of ET that my father in law gave to me :grin: This one is not Bourbon...

Gillman
02-04-2006, 09:31
Very interesting bottle, Bettye Jo. A rare example of a post-war "straight whiskey", i.e., as you noted it is neither a bourbon nor (presumably) a straight rye. Maybe its grain bill was 50% corn, the rest rye and barley malt, or 50% rye, the rest corn and barley malt. If aged two years it would qualify for the straight designation but could not be called straight bourbon or rye. I am sure it is very good. Maryland used to sell "straight whiskey" and sometimes "a blend of straight whiskeys", but it was less common after WW II in Kentucky. In this era, it seems distillers experimented with non-bourbon mash bills, of which a well-known one, devised by your uncle Everett for Michter/Pennco, was 50% rye, 37% corn, remainder barley malt. Maybe Early Times was experimenting with something similar at the time.

Gary

mrt
05-13-2006, 11:23
I still like ET bourbon! Might seem weird, but I prefer this bourbon to Jack Daniels. I liked JD at the beginning, but now I think there's sth. wrong with it, it lacks sth. about flavour, aroma, etc. Nowadays, ET comes second for me, after Jim Beam Black. But remember, I can't see any WR, ORVW, Knob Creek, etc. bottles here, yet.

Isoflex
05-14-2006, 00:58
Not to insult anyone here but to me ET is just that... alien (bitter, harsh, medicinal). It is one of only two whiskeys I have not enjoy or appreciated something about. The only thing I disliked more than ET was a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey. I am very glad ET is not Bourbon (I thought is was when I first bought it) as it would be the 1st bourbon I didn't at least like enough to finish the bottle! But like many say, to each his own.

wadewood
05-14-2006, 09:00
Early Times currently sold in the US is whiskey, not bourbon. But they still sell Early Times bourbon in export markets, which is probably what mrt was commenting on.

pepcycle
05-14-2006, 09:58
I've just started a 1.5 L of Dusty Early Times Bourbon that was previously available in the U.S.
This is pretty good whiskey. Nice floral nose, medium body and a fair finish.
I put it right in the middle of the pack, compared to modern mid-shelf bourbons.

Unique enough to continue study.

(PS: Thanks Doug)

cowdery
05-14-2006, 17:02
What MRT is getting in Turkey, as ET bourbon, is probably very close to what we get here (in the USA) as Old Forester, which is made at the same distillery. Old Forester contains a little more rye, but my guess would be that export ET bourbon tastes more like Old Forester than it does like the ET "Old Style Kentucky Whisky" we can get here.

As for the age statement, the law says that you have to state the age of the youngest whiskey in the mix if the youngest whiskey is less than four years old. If the youngest whiskey is four years old or older, age statements are optional but must, of course, be true. In either case, whether mandatory or optional, the age statement must give the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.

Most straight whiskeys (i.e., bourbon, rye or Tennessee) will contain whiskey of various ages. This is one advantage of a bottled-in-bond straight whiskey, which must all be from the same vintage,

Isoflex
05-14-2006, 18:38
Most straight whiskeys (i.e., bourbon, rye or Tennessee) will contain whiskey of various ages. This is one advantage of a bottled-in-bond straight whiskey, which must all be from the same vintage,

I for one am enlightened, just yesterday I was wondering why a whiskey would be BIB and what difference it made. Thanks!!

mrt
05-16-2006, 12:12
Those at ET say that ET bourbon sold in the export markets and the ET Kentucky Whisky sold in the US are made from exactly the same mashbill, and the only difference between them is that "%20" of the ET Kentucky Whisky is matured in "used" charred oak barrels, the reason to be labeled as "Kentucky Whisky" and not bourbon. Does this make such a big difference between the two that one can enjoy the bourbon and hate the other? Although I know that it's the barrel that makes a bourbon, probably the role of the barrel is even much more important than I guess...

Gillman
05-16-2006, 12:39
Most of the taste typically associated with bourbon whiskey is imparted by the new charred barrel. Even 20% aging in barrels that are not new charred wood would make a noticeable difference. Tasting corn whiskey proves this since, say, Heaven Hill's Mellow Corn, aged for a few months in reused wood, is something quite different to bourbon. If it was aged in new charred wood it would be recognisable as and indeed legally bourbon, but denuded of the new barrel it is something quite other. True, this corn whiskey may have little or no rye in it, but that is not the point: it is the barrel that makes the difference to bourbon.

Gary

cowdery
05-16-2006, 18:26
While I'm sure they are telling the truth that all ETs sold everywhere use the same mashbill, there could be other differences, such as more older whiskey in the export bottles. Remember, the most important factor in a whiskey's taste is the profile, i.e., a whiskey tastes the way its maker wants it to taste, and they select and combine barrels to achieve the desired taste, i.e., to match the profile. It's possible the export bourbon is using the same profile as the domestic KY whiskey, but it's also possible it is not, and (for example) the export expression contains a higher percentage of older whiskey.

Hedmans Brorsa
05-17-2006, 06:43
Early Times was a staple here in Sweden up until some five or six years ago. Now it has completely vanished from the shelves.

What I really don´t get is the reason for its degradation into a non-bourbon in the US. Ken hints that it didn´t shift enough units but would using 80 % new barrels instead of 100 % really make that much difference in an economic sense? Sounds like an incredibly exact science! :)


Tasting corn whiskey proves this since, say, Heaven Hill's Mellow Corn, aged for a few months in reused wood, is something quite different to bourbon.
Gary

Really? I was pretty sure that MC was aged in used barrels all the way to bottling. I´m curious to know where you picked up on this, Gary.

Gillman
05-17-2006, 07:24
Hedmans, I think the reason to use 20% reused barrels for aging of the domestic Early Times whiskey is to have a lighter palate which will appeal to people who don't want an all-straight whiskey taste.

I agree that MC is aged in all-reused wood until bottling (as far as I know anyway). I am not sure though for how long it is stored in such wood. The taste of whiskey so aged is quite different from bourbon. And therefore, the 20% of Early Times that is aged in reused wood also would taste different to bourbon and when blended into the new charred wood component would alter its taste sufficiently to make the blend different to bourbon. If you mixed Old Forester with a corn whiskey 8:2 this might be doing something similar, not exactly of course, but you might come up with a palate somewhat like the domestic Early Times. It isn't a bad whiskey, but I find it quite light and again this appeals to some but not others. Corn whiskey is used in some regular American whiskey blends so that is where the idea came from, probably, to blend a bourbon mash distillate aged in reused wood with a regular bourbon. Amongst the current Michter's line is a whiskey also apparently a bourbon mash but aged in reused wood, it is the one often spoken of here as having a maple-like taste. If that was mingled 2:8 with a young straight bourbon maybe that would approximate to the Early Times taste. It is certainly possibly as Chuck said that older whiskey goes into the export, bourbon version of Early Times. But all things being equal, I would not expect a bourbon lightened with 20% whiskey aged in reused wood to taste like that bourbon on its own.

Gary

cowdery
05-17-2006, 08:30
What I really don´t get is the reason for its degradation into a non-bourbon in the US. Ken hints that it didn´t shift enough units but would using 80 % new barrels instead of 100 % really make that much difference in an economic sense? Sounds like an incredibly exact science! :)


It so happens that I was in the room, if not when this decision was made, at least when it was announced within the company. (I worked for one of their marketing agencies at the time.)

To understand the decision, you have to understand the company, Brown-Forman, and the times in which the decision was made, the early 1980s.

Brown-Forman was then and still, for the most part, is a very focused company. They had very strict return-on-investment (ROI) and share rank requirements. If a brand wasn't first or second in its category and didn't achieve its targeted ROI it was dropped, period. The only exception was Old Forester, which was the company's founding brand and kept around for that reason.

At the time, American whiskey was still tanking and virtually every American whiskey brand was losing sales every year, some at double-digit rates. Early Times, believe it or not, was number 3 in the American whiskey category, behind Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's. (Brown-Forman also owns Jack Daniel's.) I don't recall the exact numbers, but the spread between ET and the two leaders was not insurmountable.

The analysis was as follows:

Of the two leading American whiskey brands, one was a bourbon, the other was not. The one that was not was also a Brown-Forman product. The folks at Brown-Forman believed that people don't buy categories, they buy brands. In other words, they believed "bourbon" didn't matter.

The cost savings achieved by reusing cooperage didn't make a huge difference, but it was enough to hit the ROI target.

The two leading brands were both men's names and sold in square bottles. ET couldn't change its name, but it did switch to a square bottle. They also competely redesigned the label.

The hope was that the re-launch would breath new life into ET and give it enough of a growth spurt to get at least within striking distance of Beam.

One thing that probably was not anticipated was that while up to this point Jim Beam too had been following the brand strategy, selling Jim Beam the brand and promoting mixability, almost as if it were a vodka, the change with ET promoted JB to spend a lot more money promoting the fact that it was a bourbon. A few years later, the acquisition of National Distillers, which roughly corresponded to the launch of the Small Batch Collection, amplified this effort. Beam spent a lot of money touting itself as a bourbon company. The strategy didn't have much effect on Jack Daniel's but it helped beat ET into the ground.

The other thing Brown-Forman didn't anticipate was the growth of interest in premium bourbons, which started to take off at about the same time, when Maker's Mark got its big write-up in the Wall Street Journal, which was the turning point for that brand.

Bottom line, Brown-Forman guessed wrong.

Hedmans Brorsa
05-17-2006, 08:41
Well, there you have it, almost straight from the horse´s mouth! Thanks, Chuck.



I agree that MC is aged in all-reused wood until bottling (as far as I know anyway). I am not sure though for how long it is stored in such wood.
Gary

My bottle of Mellow Corn is bottled in bond. Therefore at least 4 years old, or?
Or did you perhaps mean something else with your phrasing?

Gillman
05-17-2006, 08:46
Mine is bottled in bond too but I am not sure (without checking) if the rule that bonded bourbon must be at least 4 years old also applies with respect to bonded straight corn whiskey. If it does, it proves my point even more, i.e., that years of aging in reused cooperage does not a bourbon make..

Gary

BobA
05-17-2006, 11:24
I wish I knew how to post links, or even quotes, but in an earlier thread, someone said yes, it is four years for any BIB, and it's almost certainly the used cooperage that that accounts for Mellow Corn's lack of bourbon character.
Bob

JeffRenner
05-17-2006, 11:33
Mine is bottled in bond too but I am not sure (without checking) if the rule that bonded bourbon must be at least 4 years old also applies with respect to bonded straight corn whiskey. If it does, it proves my point even more, i.e., that years of aging in reused cooperage does not a bourbon make..

We had this discussion a while back, and I think I documented then that this is the case. (Wouldn't be much point in aging the whiskey in something other than oak just to claim age).

From the government regulations (http://www.atf.treas.gov/regulations/27cfr5.html):


Age. The period during which, after distillation and before
bottling, distilled spirits have been stored in oak containers. "Age''
for bourbon whisky, rye whisky, wheat whisky, malt whisky, or rye malt
whisky, and straight whiskies other than straight corn whisky, means the
period the whisky has been stored in charred new oak containers.
and

"Corn whisky'' is whisky produced at not exceeding 160 deg.
proof from a fermented mash of not less than 80 percent corn grain, and
if stored in oak containers stored at not more than 125 deg. proof in
used or uncharred new oak containers and not subjected in any manner to
treatment with charred wood; and also includes mixtures of such whisky.
and

(a) Statements of age and percentage for whisky. In the case of
straight whisky bottled in conformity with the bottled in bond labeling
requirements and of domestic or foreign whisky, whether or not mixed or
blended, all of which is 4 years old or more, statements of age and
percentage are optional.

Of course, corn whiskey may be sold with no age, but it looks to me like if you do age it, it must be in used oak and for the stated age if less than four years.

Jeff

Gillman
05-17-2006, 11:39
Thanks, Jeff, and BobA. The smell of fresh corn oil is quite strong in the Bonded Mellow Corn I have, I wonder what the four years does to it!

Gary

cowdery
05-17-2006, 16:34
To be bottled in bond, it must be at least 100 proof, at least four years old, and all from the same distillery, season and distiller.

To be corn whiskey it must be aged in used or new uncharred wood. It may not have any contact with new, charred wood.

To be bottled in bond corn whiskey it must be all of the above.

mrt
05-19-2006, 12:51
It so happens that I was in the room, if not when this decision was made, at least when it was announced within the company. (I worked for one of their marketing agencies at the time.)
...

Early Times, believe it or not, was number 3 in the American whiskey category, behind Jim Beam and Jack Daniel's. (Brown-Forman also owns Jack Daniel's.) I don't recall the exact numbers, but the spread between ET and the two leaders was not insurmountable.
....

The two leading brands were both men's names and sold in square bottles. ET couldn't change its name, but it did switch to a square bottle. They also competely redesigned the label.
.....

Bottom line, Brown-Forman guessed wrong.

Most interesting! That's great information for me, thanks. IMO, the switch to square bottle is OK becouse I think bourbon is sth. to be sold in square bottles, too. For the rest, it's a pity. By the way, do you expect any further changes in the marketing strategy for ET since they seem to be the loser in the US for now? I understand that you do not work for them now, I just want to learn your insight based on experience.

One thing more: The name (ET) and the new label are quite good, IMO.

cowdery
05-19-2006, 13:31
I expect Brown-Forman has decided ET is a lost cause in the US and will "harvest" it, meaning they won't spend any money to support it but will continue to sell it unless or until it becomes unprofitable to do so. I don't know how it's doing outside the US so I can't even speculate about that.

At the time of the decision described above, it was felt that the name was probably neutral, not negative like an "old," but not positive like a man's name.

BarItemsPlus1
05-29-2006, 21:16
Can someone offer any info on this bottle...Tim??

wadewood
05-29-2006, 21:37
Can someone offer any info on this bottle...Tim??

sure - it is an export only bottle.

BarItemsPlus1
05-29-2006, 21:46
Is it still produced though?

mrt
05-31-2006, 13:44
That's the same bottle as I have here. I had also attached a pic. of mine to a post somewhere here. However, the stuff inside looks nearly red in this pic., mine is more like brown. Mine is %40 abv., but the bottle in the pic. "%37.1 abv." is written-if I see right. Is this true? As far as I know, bourbon should be 80 proof min. Anyway, good to see sth. like my ET :)

Gillman
05-31-2006, 14:46
I believe the minimum 40% ABV requirement only applies to bottles sold in the U.S., it is an American law which therefore only applies in the States

Gary

Hedmans Brorsa
06-01-2006, 01:53
I believe the minimum 40% ABV requirement only applies to bottles sold in the U.S., it is an American law which therefore only applies in the States

Gary

I believe this applies to (Western) Europe, as well.

I have never seen a bottle made for the European market lower than 40%

BarItemsPlus1
06-01-2006, 02:47
the minimum 40% ABV requirement only applies to bottles sold in the U.S., it is an American law which therefore only applies in the States


I believe this applies to (Western) Europe, as well

I am rather intrigued at this Law...by this I mean that it only applies to 'Bourbon' sold in the US.

I am uncertain if there is a requirement that applies here(in Oz), however it would seem that these particular Laws pertaining to the legal requirements for the production of - Cereal Spirits - is only applicable to each country.
I have been following a similar topic regarding whisky sales and marketing in India.
http://www.scotchwhisky.net/news/index.php
look under subject heading -
Indian malts as good as authentic Scotch, says expert

I also made mention somewhere in another thread about how recently in Australia The Treasurery Dept. backed down on changing the minimum age requirement of whisky/brandy/rum from 2yrs(I believe they intended to lower the minimum age requirement).
I can also inform that the industry producers and people of the likes are lobbying to have this changed to be brought in line with Scotland's legal classification of whisky.
I am a major supporter of this!! I would also support a worldwide classification(legally recognised of course!!) for the classification of Bourbon!!

Gillman
06-01-2006, 03:59
I have a bottle of Finsbury London Dry Gin made in London by The Finsbury Distillery Co. Ltd., which is marked "37,5% vol". This was bought in Ontario. I don't know if this brand is sold at that strength or higher in the EU. On the back label there is a statement, "Borco World of Spirits Hamburg/Germany". I take from this the brand is popular in the German market and probably there it can be legally sold at 37.5% abv or maybe that can only be done for export, I don't know. It is excellent gin by the way, one of the many fine lesser known (to me anyway) brands of a historic, well-flavored drink that, like bourbon, seems to denote another time and its preferences by its rich and frank flavor. Fortunately the vodka tide hasn't completed effaced bourbon and gin which retain good sales in many parts of the world.

Gary

Gillman
06-01-2006, 04:28
I found details on Borco, see www.borco.com. This Hamburg-based company carries a fine line of spirits and, impressively, gives a good amount of production details on the drinks. E.g., it is noted that Finsbury gin is made not by adding juniper and other flavours to alcohol "cold, so to speak" but by redistilling the mixture to produce a refined and full-flavoured drink with good length. Indeed the best gins are traditionally made that way. The drink is called "mild" and I can't read the abv on the pictured bottled label but no doubt it is still 37.5%, however there is another, luxury version of Finsbury available called "Platinum" which is stated at an impressive 47% abv. It is noted the juniper and other flavors are particularly intense in such version. I am sure an American Martini made from that must be something.

The site (to return to bourbon) also discusses the company's PennyPacker bourbon, which is stated as a 40% abv Kentucky bourbon. I've seen this brand sold in various European markets on my travels there. It is noted too its maize (corn) content is 70%. Some good data is given on Kentucky limestone water and aging methods. I like the name, PennyPacker.

Gary

mrt
06-01-2006, 12:14
I believe the minimum 40% ABV requirement only applies to bottles sold in the U.S., it is an American law which therefore only applies in the States

Gary

However, in order to sell in the US or to export, bourbon is produced in the US in either case-this is a legal requirement. A whiskey, to be labeled "bourbon", should be produced in the US. Then, given that export-only bourbons are also produced in the US, aren't they supposed to obey the law in all aspects including abv?

Gillman
06-01-2006, 12:54
Well, this is a U.S. legal question that I can't answer. I would have thought that if a product is marketed only outside the U.S., then the information on the label is something to be governed by the law of the place where it will be sold. But this is speculation. The people whose job it is to give legal advice to the bourbon producers will of course know the true position and advise their clients accordingly. It is a question of what the relevant U.S. rules state and how they are to be interpretated in this specific circumstance.

Gary

cowdery
06-01-2006, 21:12
However, in order to sell in the US or to export, bourbon is produced in the US in either case-this is a legal requirement. A whiskey, to be labeled "bourbon", should be produced in the US. Then, given that export-only bourbons are also produced in the US, aren't they supposed to obey the law in all aspects including abv?

With major producers, such as Brown-Forman (makers of Early Times and Jack Daniel's) and Jim Beam, how they package and market their products outside the U.S. has a lot to do with their worldwide branding strategy. They don't want the products to be too different from place to place.

However, the U.S. labelling laws apply only to products sold in the U.S. and the major producers sell products--the 70 proof Jack Daniel's is a good example--outside the U.S. that would not be permitted inside the U.S.

Think of the U.S. laws as applying not to what is produced in the U.S. but to what is sold here and it becomes less confusing.

The other aspect about non-U.S. sales, especially where there are no treaties regarding "distinctive products," is with regard to locally-sold brands that are not the worldwide brands such as Jim Beam, Early Times and Jack Daniel's. In these cases, you really have no idea what you are getting. It might be an export-only brand from a major producer, it may be a local brand created by a local producer using imported bulk whiskey, or it may be an entirely local creation of who-knows-what.

This is controlled, or not, by local authorities exclusively.

In some countries where the government is unwilling or unable to enforce international intellectual property laws, you may even encounter counterfeit versions of major international brands. Other than complaining to that country's national government, there is nothing the producers or the U.S. government can do about it except, of course, invade.

(And don't think we won't!)

mrt
06-04-2006, 01:34
........

Think of the U.S. laws as applying not to what is produced in the U.S. but to what is sold here and it becomes less confusing.

.........


Thank you, this explains everything. My starting point was not true.

mrt
07-06-2006, 14:24
I found the page "http://www.ellenjaye.com/earlytimes.htm", while surfing on the net. As you can guess, it caught my attention :)

And besides, I found the table below. I just wanted to share.

"Top Ten Brands of Bourbon & Straight American Whiskey
Brand Supplier Market Share

1. Jim Beam Jim Beam Brands 25.8%
2. Jack Danielís Black Brown-Forman Beverages 24.1%
3. Early Times Brown-Forman Beverages 7.4%
4. Evan Williams Heaven Hill Distilleries 7.0%
5. Ancient Age Sazerac 4.6%
6. Ten High Barton Brands 4.3%
7. Old Crow Jim Beam Brands 4.1%
8. Wild Turkey IDV North America 3.6%
9. Heaven Hill Bourbon Heaven Hill Distilleries 2.4%
10. Makerís Mark Hiram Walker 1.8%
Cumulative Share of Top 10 Brands 85.1%
Source: Adams Liquor Handbook 1998"

Any up to date information about the market shares above?


Regards...

MGades
05-08-2007, 19:17
The Thread originally asked for tasting notes, and I didn't see much on that despite 55 posts so I'll take a crack at it.

Mine is a new bottle and the label says Kentucky Whisky aged at least 36 months in reused cooperage.

I've seen it for as low as $13 for a 1.75 ltr., but I don't recommend anybody buy that much of it.

First, there is virtually no nose other than alcohol, and the color is pretty pale. Second I get some hot burn that reminds me of cheap spirits. Third, there is no body to speak of and I get a musty, old-barrel flavor. I don't notice rye or anything interesting, it seems mostly a bland corn alcohol underneath. Definitely not for drinking neat.

When mixed (with 7up or Coke or as a sour), the mustiness remains and there is little bourbon flavor to shine through.

Definitely my least favorite of the 20 American Whisky/Bourbon/Ryes I've tried.
It is extremely bland except for some hot rubbing alcohol burn and a bad musty flavor.

If someone is interested in low-priced bourbon, then check out the "Blue Collar whiskey" thread.
From what I've tried, I'd go for EW Black Label or Ezra Brooks if I want the lowest-priced decent bourbon, or even JB White if that's your style. I haven't tried AA, but that seems a good candidate as well.

jburlowski
05-09-2007, 14:56
Source: Adams Liquor Handbook 1998"

Any up to date information about the market shares above?



FWIW, you can buy the current Adams Liquor Handbook on-line for $775.00.....

mrt
05-21-2007, 13:00
.....

[FONT=Verdana]Mine is a new bottle and the label says Kentucky Whisky aged at least 36 months in reused cooperage.

...

First, there is virtually no nose other than alcohol, and the color is pretty pale. Second I get some hot burn that reminds me of cheap spirits. Third, there is no body to speak of and I get a musty, old-barrel flavor. I don't notice rye or anything interesting, it seems mostly a bland corn alcohol underneath. Definitely not for drinking neat.

When mixed (with 7up or Coke or as a sour), the mustiness remains and there is little bourbon flavor to shine through.
.....



That's weird...I know that I do not have a developed palate and I do not have much experience either, but I definitely get a clear vanilla aroma and a sweet taste whenever I sip Early Times. Besides, my friends to whom I served ET also share my views. Though ET here is a bourbon unlike the one in the US, I still doubt how can this make that much difference. BTW, if the label on your bottle says "aged in reused cooperage", this information is also contradictory with what I know, that's %20 of ET is aged in used cooperage. I know ET is not a brand of much importance there, but being one of my few alternatives, comments about ET attracts my attention.

mrt
05-30-2007, 13:51
I encountered a few ET reviews on the net (bourbonenthusiast.com), purely by chance. I wasn't even aware of that site before, nor am I subscribed to there. But, I want to share these reviews with you:

1. From a member whose username is "gillmang":

"Small deli/liquor store in San Francisco
Purchased for: 18.00
Info on this bottle: Red tax stamp, quart, 70's vintage
Proof Of this Bottle: 80
Nose: Quite light, like Mike states below for his
Taste: Very soft in the palate, pillowy and clean with good corn flavours and a scattering of teaberry smoke/char decay at the end. Very drinkable neat, like a VSOP cognac but in bourbon. Lovely drink. No fruitiness.
Finish: Echos of the taste, pleasant, no tannic edge, justa light barrel effect remaining
Overall: Very high rating. Mike's review of the current export sounds similar but I think mine is better because it is fairly complex while still being subtle and mild. You can see the connection to WR and Forester of today but the Early Times is less aggressive"

2. 1. From a member whose username is "bourbonv":

"Purchased at: Gift from Lincoln Henderson
Info on this bottle: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky bottled for the Japanese market
Proof Of this Bottle: 80
Nose: Corn silk and light oak tones. This product has a light nose, very simple and clean.
Taste: Corn with wonderful caramel and a hint of coconut. Very smooth with no alcohol burn. Everytime I drink this I wish they would offer it in the U.S.A.
Finish: Clean and sweet. A little caramel ank oak that is nice, but short.
Overall: This is a good bourbon to drink when you want something light and easy. It is a pleasant drink that would lend itself well to a bourbon and coke while watching a ballgame or straight up as a palate cleanser after a spicy meal."

This second one is a review for the export ET which is a bourbon, just the same as what I have here, as you notice. There are also words about the "vanilla" in some other reviews, but I guess that would be boring for the readers to include all of them here.

BTW, is there any problem for referring to posts on another site? I hope not, since I give the exact references...

OscarV
05-30-2007, 14:06
BTW, is there any problem for referring to posts on another site? I hope not, since I give the exact references...


No problem as far as I am concerned. I like to read the news and the reviews on BourbonEnthusiast.com.
That one review by bourbonv is by Mike Veech, he is a noted historian and was recently inducted to the Bourbon Historical Mueseum in Bardstown, KY.

mrt, I have to ask you, do you ever try to buy different kinds of bourbon via mail order?
Is there a problem with out of country shipments to private individuals in Turkey?
If not, try binnys.com or samswine.com and then there ofcourse is eBay.

mrt
05-31-2007, 13:20
Actually, I'm not sure about whether I can get my order from abroad. There isn't any problem with book, music, etc. orders from sites like amazon com, but I don't exactly know the case for alcoholic beverages. Prices of alcoholic beverages include a great tax burden here, so this may lead to a problem. (For example, the USD equivalent of what I pay for JBW 75cl. here is 45 USD.)However, I'll try one day, putting an acceptable (little) amount of money at risk, and I'll place an order for a bottle of bourbon. If it arrives here safely, then I'll be ready for online purchase of upper shelf bourbons. In fact, I'm rather impatient to try different bourbons which gets good reviews on SB-like Woodford Reserve, Van Winkles, and others.

CrispyCritter
06-08-2007, 22:44
Prices of alcoholic beverages include a great tax burden here, so this may lead to a problem. (For example, the USD equivalent of what I pay for JBW 75cl. here is 45 USD.)

There's a possibility that the bottle might be delivered to you, but with duty payment due on receiving it. That happened to my sister when she was spending time in England and received more than the duty-free allowance of cigarettes from home.