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NeoTexan
09-28-2004, 09:16
September 28, 2004 -- JACK Daniel's has sparked outrage among serious drinkers by unceremoniously lowering the proof of its famous Tennessee Whiskey from 86 to 80. The change — which means the hooch has 3 percent less alcohol — has riled those still smarting from the "betrayal" of 15 years ago when the company lowered the strength of its 90-proof, 138-year-old original recipe, to 86 proof. Frank Kelly Rich, editor of Modern Drunkard magazine (and a contributor to The Post's Sunday books section), has taken up the cause along with "alert drunkard" Chris Sharp, who was apparently the first to notice the switch. Sharp has started an online petition and boycott with the magazine's backing "designed to right this grievous wrong." Distillery rep Roger Brashears told us, "We researched it and decided the majority of people wanted a less potent drink." Rich writes, "Jack Daniel's is, of course, a private corporation and they can do whatever the hell they want," but called the alcohol dilution "unfathomable blasphemy. They can lower the proof to zero and call it lemonade if they like. But that doesn't mean we have to drink it."

wrbriggs
09-28-2004, 09:27
I was quite shocked in the liquor store the other day to see bottles of JD that were only 80-proof... and that cost almost $20 per bottle! Sorry, but 750 mLs of 80-proof JD is just not worth $20... I can get EWSB '94 for that price.

cowdery
09-28-2004, 10:43
Distillery rep Roger Brashears told us, "We researched it and decided the majority of people wanted a less potent drink."



Who does he think he's crapping? Lowering the proof is a way to take a price increase without increasing the price, primarily because it lowers the Federal Excise Tax burden on each bottle. (The FET is based on proof.) What I'm sure they researched is the fact that most people won't notice. Happily, they can't do it again, unless they want to take the word "whiskey" off the label. Anything lower than 80 proof has to be labeled "diluted whiskey."

Of course, and we talked about this before, Jack Daniel's might be able to get away with just calling it "Jack Daniel's," period. Example: Southern Comfort, actually a liqueur but positioned and often merchandised as a whiskey, is now 70 proof.

Both brands are owned by Brown-Forman.

wrbriggs
09-28-2004, 11:09
Example: Southern Comfort, actually a liqueur but positioned and often merchandised as a whiskey, is now 70 proof.



Doesn't Southern Comfort still have a 100 proof version? I'm pretty sure I saw some on the shelf the other day up here in VT...

jeff
09-28-2004, 11:13
Yes it does. I saw some this weekend in a Virgina ABC store.

Gillman
09-28-2004, 12:45
Some people notice these things, I have a friend, who knows spirits in a general way (knows what is good but without technical knowledge) and he noticed the proof reduction and said on principle he won't buy it again, that it isn't the same drink. He noticed the drop from 90 proof to 86 proof a few years ago but felt a line had been crossed this time. Personally I don't feel that way, and in fact, support the move for social health reasons, but I find it interesting that some people will take that view.

Gary

jeff
09-28-2004, 12:58
I am not of the mind that it is the distillery's resposibility to protect people from themselves. That said, I think if that were the underlying motive for such a proof reduction, the distilleries would mount an agressive marketing campaign to explain thier actions in an attempt to capitalize on them.

TNbourbon
09-28-2004, 14:13
Just for the record -- and represented by various posts on various threads here over the past several months -- JD started bottling the black label at 80 proof at the beginning of this year, and it has been in stores (at least here in TN) since late-winter, early-spring. Interestingly, however, the second edition of the TN-only (domestically anyway -- I think it's already been released in Europe) "Scenes From Lynchburg" -- distributed around July 1 -- remains 86 proof. Of course, it was already commanding a higher price tag because of its limited sales.

Gillman
09-28-2004, 18:49
But Jack is sort of an institution, Jeff, it may stand on a different footing from other drinks (almost all other major liquor brands are 80 proof or less, I believe).

Also, even if the distillery did not intend a socially beneficial result (hence possibly lack of marketing on this point) the fact there is one is justification enough - IMO.

Gary

musher
09-28-2004, 19:39
What is "socially beneficial" about lower proof? If they're gonna get drunk, they'll just drink more. Its not like they've reduced it to the strength of something like wine.

The only people for whom the change is socially beneficial are the owners of the distillery.

Gillman
09-29-2004, 04:45
The answer is not clear-cut, but in all societies which have sought to control alcohol consumption, they have done so by limiting the strength of the drinks sold. For many years beer at 5% was not available in parts of Scandinavia, for example, and hard liquor was banned for many years in Belgium even though beer and wine continued to be sold. A drop of 3% abv. may not seem like much but if people, especially younger people, gauge their consumption by the number of units, they will drink less, all things being equal (i.e. even accounting for the different sizes of pours in different bars, etc.). Someone may say, I won't have more than 3 drinks tonight: he or she will drink less alcohol on that basis with a weaker liquor than a stronger. True, some people may have an additional drink to get the feeling they want, but I don't think most will. I guess I don't know for sure, but from a social responsibility point of view, I can't see any harm flowing from reducing the proof of a national liquor brand to 80. I don't know if Brown-Forman intended a beneficial social result, but sometimes private and public interest coincide. I had no problem with the move because I don't think the palate was significantly affected, and a higher proof Jack is available (Single Barrel) for the specialty side of their business. Just my opinion.

Gary

Speedy_John
09-29-2004, 05:16
Please, let's not kid ourselves. There is only one reason why JD lowered the proof. And it has nothing to do with social benefits or consumer preferences. It has to do with one thing--the bottom line. If the tax laws were changed so that <font color="green">raising </font> the proof would increase net profits, you can be sure that they would raise the proof.

jeff
09-29-2004, 07:40
I understand your point Gary, but I believe a more effective means of social responsibility would be to mount a responsible drinking ad campaign. What we're talking about here is a product that has certain expectations, and people pay a lot of money with those expectations in mind. Considering JD's target audience, they probably won't suffer for this, as there isn't a lot of difference in an 80 proof Jack and coke and an 86 proof Jack and coke. Time will tell I guess.

musher
09-29-2004, 07:48
I should also add that until the US institutes metered dispensing of liquor as is done in the UK and other countries, the 4% - 8 % difference in proof would be of very litttle relevance to the alcohol consumption of the consumer. I've seen great variance in the amount poured into the glass at bars, let alone by individuals in private settings.

tdelling
09-29-2004, 09:02
&gt; Distillery rep Roger Brashears told us, "We researched it and decided the
&gt; majority of people wanted a less potent drink."

My feeling is that this is absolutely true.

Have you ever seen Joe Sixpack drink JD? Throw back the shot, swallow,
make this terrible grimace of a face, then tell everyone how great it was.
Or sip it on ice, grimace, and tell everyone how great it is.

I've had bartenders tell me that they just can't understand how anyone
can slowly sip whiskey and savor it on the tongue. Bartenders! With years
of bartending experience!

The fact of the matter is that most people haven't cultivated a taste for
whiskey. They want to like it, but they don't want to put the effort in.
They want something that's easily approachable and universally likable.
So, as a consequence, they prefer the watered-down experience. As a matter
of fact, American consumers generally prefer the watered-down experience
in just about everything they consume: food, music, clothing, politicians,
news, movies, books... you almost can't go wrong watering things down
for American consumption.

Tim Dellinger

OneCubeOnly
09-29-2004, 09:07
It has to do with one thing--the bottom line.



Precisely. Simply put, water is cheaper than whiskey.

This may sound condescending, but I'm thinking if their dilution move isn't noticed by the masses, then it's a testament to how marketing prevails over substance. Their consumers might be so married to the brand that they either: 1. won't notice, or 2. won't care. That's what B-F is banking on, and it's pretty sad.

The real irony of the whole deal is JD's supposed long standing "tradition" and "heritage" they push in their ads.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/horseshit.gif

musher
09-29-2004, 09:10
So, as a consequence, they prefer the watered-down experience. As a matter of fact, American consumers generally prefer the watered-down experience in just about everything they consume: food, music, clothing, politicians,
news, movies, books... you almost can't go wrong watering things down for American consumption.



I guess I should know this. I like (truly like!) espresso. I've never been to a coffee shop where anyone else ahead of or behind me in line has ordered an espresso. They usually order a latte, the most watered down (or milked down, as it were) of the drinks offered.

There's a reason that in Italy, an espresso with water added is called an Americano.

OneCubeOnly
09-29-2004, 09:11
As a matter of fact, American consumers generally prefer the watered-down experience in just about everything they consume: food, music, clothing, politicians, news, movies, books... you almost can't go wrong watering things down for American consumption.



You forgot an important one: BEER!

cowdery
09-29-2004, 10:31
Link to the original article in Modern Drunkard Magazine. (http://www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com/md_editors_rant.htm)

musher
09-29-2004, 11:08
I can tell from the article that they don't know a whole lot about how whiskey is made. Brown-Forman didn't alter the recipe, as they frequently alledge in the article. They are merely diluting the barrelled product more than they used to.

wrbriggs
09-29-2004, 11:17
I can tell from the article that they don't know a whole lot about how whiskey is made. Brown-Forman didn't alter the recipe, as they frequently alledge in the article. They are merely diluting the barrelled product more than they used to.


Well, true enough... I'm not knowledgeable enough about whiskey to know how much the dilution alters the flavor though... a "recipe" is how you combine ingredients to get a finished product. Adding 3% more water is indeed a change of the recipe... it's not a change of the mash bill, or a change of the distilling method, or even of the aging... but it IS a change in the recipe, because it could potentially create a measurable, noticeable difference in the finished product.

musher
09-29-2004, 11:29
Based on that line of argumentation, then, you would have to argue that they have a new recipe for a different, new product.

The old recipe was to produce a 90 proof (or 86 proof, in recent years) Tennessee Whiskey. The new recipe is for 80 proof Tennessee Whiskey.

Their true gripe is that they've dropped the old product, and have instituted a new product with its own unique "recipe".

ratcheer
09-29-2004, 15:24
Sadly, that is the truth. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Tim

wrbriggs
09-29-2004, 15:59
Their true gripe is that they've dropped the old product, and have instituted a new product with its own unique "recipe".


Yes, and all the while, they are playing up the "heritage" of Jack Daniels, and how they still use his "original recipe". At the same time, they raised the price. Ridiculous. It's their product, they can do what they want with it... but cashing in on the "heritage" of the brand is just a bunch of hooey. It's almost false advertising.

voigtman
09-29-2004, 16:58
Maybe the Feds should require that whiskey be at least 86 proof. Yeah, it's government regulation of "never wrong" private industry, but I'd sure support it. Personally, I think 80 proof is watered down, regardless of the type of whisk(e)y and I never add water: Stagg 2003 is perfect at 142.7 proof, Van Winkle 15 is perfect at 107 proof, etc. If anything, we need more high proof options: anyone can add all the water they want, at home. As for JD, I've never tried it and have yet to see anything written here at SB.com, or in print, that would make me want to. The JD proof was dropped only to increase profits, as many have said, and the rest is cover story BS.

cowdery
09-29-2004, 19:25
Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 is a simple reminder that some things just never change. And shouldn’t. This is the old-time whiskey made as our fathers made it. Remaining true to Jack Daniel’s original recipe and charcoal-mellowed character means folks today enjoy the same sipping whiskey awarded seven international gold medals.





On the one hand, changing the proof is changing the product, which the above--from the JD web site--seems to say they will never do. On the other hand, only the previous change, from 90 to 86, was within recent memory. No doubt it was 100 proof both before and immediately after Prohibition. Off-proof whiskies only started to appear in the 1950s. On the other hand (how many hands is that?), bottle proof isn't really "recipe," it's more like a serving suggestion. On the other hand, what it really, really is about is a sneaky way to take a price increase. I think that's the real point.

TNbourbon
09-29-2004, 20:05
Happily, they can't do it again, unless they want to take the word "whiskey" off the label. Anything lower than 80 proof has to be labeled "diluted whiskey."

Of course, and we talked about this before, Jack Daniel's might be able to get away with just calling it "Jack Daniel's," period.



Just coincidentally, I happened across an old photograph of JD No. 7 Black this evening from an old (early-Eighties) drink-mixing book -- and the label plainly stated "78 proof". Since it also was labeled "sour mash whiskey" and "70cl", I'm assuming it was an export-only bottle, but it does show that Jack Daniel's has experience and willingness to bottle below 80 proof, at least for certain markets.

gr8erdane
09-29-2004, 20:30
After perusing all that has been said, and enduring the pain of long dormant grey matter being awakened from lack of use, I offer another matter for thought. Could it be that the demand has outstripped their supply and by cutting the proof they can produce a greater quantity to meet the current demand of existing and possibly new markets overseas? This may be a way of stretching a maximized production capacity without adding new capital expenditures needed to increase plant size over a short period of time. It certainly is cheaper to add water than to build a bigger distillery.


Naw, they're probably just greedy as everyone else has surmised.

Vision
09-29-2004, 20:33
Tell 'em what you think (http://www.petitiononline.com/JD002/)

http://www.jackdaniels.com/jdpost/pc_graphics/pc_card_id_006.gif

Gillman
09-30-2004, 04:08
I have at least two books on spirits and liqueurs from the 1970's, published in Britain, which also show a picture of a bottle of Jack Daniels. The proof stated on the labels also is 78. However, I believe this does not not denote 39% abv. Formerly in Britain, the proof system used was British proof, sometimes called the Sikes system after the scientist who devised it in the early 1800's, Bartholomew Sikes. Sikes felt that a proven spirit - one that burned evenly when mixed with gunpowder - was 57.1% alcohol by volume. On this basis, 100 British proof equals 57.1% abv (pure alcohol would be 175.1% proof, that is, 75 overproof). You add or deduct 1% proof for every half-percentage of alcohol. The formula to convert British proof to alcohol by volume is multiply by 4, divide by 7. 78.00 proof produces just under 90 American proof. 78.75 British proof is exactly 90 American proof, which is what Jack Daniels was in the 1970's in America. Possibly, intending to sell the same (U.S. 90 proof) liquor in Britain as in the States, the company settled on 78 British proof although in fact the product may have been 78.75 proof (i.e. on the idea that there is no harm offering a little more than advertised but ensuring no less was offered).

Or possibly I am wrong and the statements on the 1970's U.K. bottles were rendered in U.S. proof thus meaning an approximately 40% abv product was sold in Britain at the time, but I think that was not the case. Certainly in Canada at the time Jack Daniels was 90 proof. On page 208 of the 1970's era British book mentioned in the note below, it is stated that Jack Daniels comes in two versions, a Green Label sold in parts of the South and a national domestic and exported Black Label, and that both labels are "78 proof". If at the time Green Label, as we know the Black was, was 90 proof, this would suggest that "78 proof" was being used on the label of the exported Black Label in its British sense. By the way, I believe domestically in Britain today, the Sikes system is no longer used, and the alcohol by volume system (Gay Lussac) has replaced it.

Gary

Note: The above information on proof systems and strength of the Black and Green Labels in the 1970's is from, "The World Guide To Spirits, Aperitifs and Cocktails" by Tony Lord, 1979, Quarto Limited, London.

Gillman
09-30-2004, 04:57
Parenthetical thought: Old Grandad 114 proof surely is an echo of the old British proof standard of 57% alcohol content.

Gary

OneCubeOnly
09-30-2004, 05:34
Well, it may not be so secret now after all! Yesterday CNN Headline News did a short segment about the proof change. I can only paraphrase, but a few memorable quotes were: "many of their loyal fans are outraged" and "sales have increased since the change."

tdelling
09-30-2004, 08:12
There was an Associated Press story put out at 2PM on the 29th, which,
according to GoogleNews, turned up in ~175 newspapers and TV stations.

Here's a link to the first one that's free to look at:

http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/092980proofjack29-ON.html

My favorite line from the story:

"Rich said the company was saving money by adding more water, but Jack Daniel's
said any savings were canceled by the expense of having to change its labels."


Hahahahahaha!

Ummm... we're not stupid here. A quick surf over to the TTB tells you
that changing the stated alcohol content on a whiskey label doesn't require
re-approval of the label. So it doesn't have to be lawyered up and waited
90 days for or anything like that. And even if it did, it's really only
about three days lawyer-time when all is said and done.

I'm sure they've still got the old 90 Proof label design on file. Any idiot
with photoshop, or even the t-shirt screenprinter down the street, could
take the "0" from "90" and smack it on top of the "6" from "86".

It's pretty easy to change the design at the printer's... I'm assuming they
use offset lithography, but I don't have a bottle on hand. Even if they
have to cut a new gravure/intaglio cylinder, it's not the end of the world.

The only expense I can think of is paying some suit to figure out if it's
more cost efficient to bottle at 86 proof until the supply of old labels runs
out, or to say screw it and send the old labels out the recycler.

Tim Dellinger

BrbnBorderline
09-30-2004, 10:29
I just went and signed the on-line petition, not that they care. Bean counters are running things now, it seems.

By comparison, I read an article on cocktailtimes.com about Jimmy Russell @ WT. He said that the bean counters are always after him to save $$ and cut costs where he can, AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT AFFECT THE QUALITY OF THE PRODUCT. That is what I'm talkin' about.

BTW, here is a list of B-F brands that I am boycotting:
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey
Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey
Canadian Mist Canadian Whiskies
Southern Comfort
Early Times Kentucky Whisky
Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Pepe Lopez Tequilas
Don Eduardo Tequilas
Jack Daniel's Country Cocktails
Jack Daniel's Original Hard Cola
Finlandia Vodkas
Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt Scotch Whiskies
Glen Moray Single Malt Scotch Whiskies
Ardbeg Islay Malt Whisky
Tuaca Liqueur
Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum
Amarula Cream Liqueur
One.6 Chardonnay and One.9 Merlot
Fetzer California Wines
Korbel California Champagnes and Wines
Bel Arbor California Wines
Bonterra California Wines
Jekel California Wines
Sonoma-Cutrer California Wines
Mariah California Wines
Bolla Italian Wines
Fontana Candida Italian Wines
Michel Picard French Wines


http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

cowdery
09-30-2004, 11:28
Maybe one of the math wizards here can figure out how much they actually are saving (i.e., pocketing) WRT the Excise Tax. The FET is $13.50 per proof gallon. A "proof gallon" is one gallon of 100 proof spirits. You can figure it out per-bottle or overall. Jack sells about 7 million "flat" (i.e., 9 liter) cases per year.

The FET is where the money is. The production cost saving of substituting water for some of the whiskey isn't a big deal, but the tax saving is. The genius part, of course, is that by doing this there is no preceptible price increase and 100 percent of the increase goes into the producer's pocket. The rest of the distribution chain doesn't see a penny.

In a few cases, consumers will actually see the price they pay for Jack come down slightly. Cook County (Chicago, Illinois) has a sales tax on alcoholic beverages that is also based on proof. Since this is paid by the consumer, the consumer will realize a slight savings.

It's funny that Jim Beam is crowing about this. Since they're already at 80 proof, Jim Beam can't go any lower without labeling their product as "diluted." They did the same thing, they just did it years ago.

I guarantee that Allied Domecq would love to do the same thing with Maker's Mark, but Bill Samuels stands in their way. At least for now.

musher
09-30-2004, 13:08
First, the math on tax per gallon:
(13.50 * 86) / 100 = 11.61 (the algebra is 13.50/100 = x/86)
(13.50 * 80) / 100 = 10.80 (13.50/100 = x/80)

For the liter/gallon conversion, I went to www.convert-me.com (http://www.convert-me.com), and find that 7 million cases of 9 one-liter bottles comes out to 16,640,000 gallons.

That would mean that instead of paying $193,190,400 in taxes, they would only have to pay $179,712,000. So they're saving $13,478,400 in taxes.

You could argue that the end consumer ultimately pays the taxes, but since they're taking a cut in those taxes and not passing the savings along to the consumer, the company esentially gets an $0.81/gallon price increase.

wrbriggs
09-30-2004, 13:33
It's funny that Jim Beam is crowing about this. Since they're already at 80 proof, Jim Beam can't go any lower without labeling their product as "diluted." They did the same thing, they just did it years ago.


Well yes, I suppose the standard Beam is 80 proof... but for less than a bottle of Jack Daniel's, you can get the 90-proof Black Label, which I've actually found to be quite good http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif.

cowdery
09-30-2004, 14:22
Mike, you the man. There it is, folks. This little maneuver delivered $13,478,400 annually straight to the bottom line. That's not too shabby. If anyone wants to argue that they did it for any other reason, I have about 13.5 million counter-arguments for you.

As an aside, the nine liter case, also known as the "flat" case, is the standard way of expressing sales in the distilled spirits industry, since one case of 12 750ml bottles contains 9 liters of liquor. When you see a statement that such-and-such sells X million "cases," you can be pretty sure they mean flat cases.

TNbourbon
09-30-2004, 14:25
Nah -- the current JB Black is 86 proof. A few states have 7yo, 90-proof still in stock, but it's OLD stock. That switch happened 4-5 years ago.

cowdery
09-30-2004, 14:38
Tim is right, but Beam has screwed around with the Black Label product so much over the years that anyone can be excused for getting it wrong.

Here's what the Jim Beam website says:



Every barrel is aged 8 years to achieve a full 86 proof and distinctive character that anyone can respect.



Isn't it amazing how ignorant the people who write this stuff are? Its age has nothing to do with its proof and 86 is hardly "full" proof (100 is).

But I do like Jim Beam black. Their strategy is pretty obvious v JD, the white label beats Jack on price, the black label is priced at parity with Jack, but it's twice as old and higher proof.

Although I haven't compared them recently, I used to find the taste of JB black very similar to Booker's when you adjust for proof.

TNbourbon
09-30-2004, 14:56
Chuck, as usual, makes good points that I only ham-handedly prompted. And, I didn't mean to disparage JB Black -- it's one of my favorites. But I prefer the older (but younger), 90-proof version myself, and can't find it anymore in TN.

lakegz
09-30-2004, 16:02
strange, i remember buying my first bottle of JD in October of 2003 and i clearly saw 80 proof on the bottle.

TNbourbon
09-30-2004, 19:34
Green-label No. 7 has been 80 proof, if not forever, at least a very long time. But the Black-label was 86 (after dropping from 90 15 or so years ago) until after Jan. 1 this year.

cowdery
09-30-2004, 20:13
It's possible they rolled the 80 proof black label out in some test markets prior to Jan 1. I know there was some test marketing before the general rollout.

Gillman
10-01-2004, 01:34
At the Japanese miniature site, www.ne.jp/asahi/miniature/smallworld (http://www.ne.jp/asahi/miniature/smallworld), there are pictured two bottles of Green Label and Black Label Jack Daniels each bearing a red strip stamp. Clearly these were domestic U.S. bottles. The table of attributes states each is 90 proof. This would suggest that in the mid-1970's, both labels were 90 proof. (Likely, the differentiation was that Green Label was either slightly younger than Black or the same age but less mature in flavor). Years later, Jack Daniels Black Label became 86 proof and likely the Green Label did too. In any case, both finally became 80 proof.

This supports the view that the labels of imported-to-U.K. Jack Daniels Black Label bottles pictured in 1970's drinks books stating, "78 proof" refer to British proof, not American proof, i.e., Jack Black Label sold in the U.K. at the time was essentially 90 U.S. proof, the same whiskey as sold in the U.S. at the time. The Tony Lord book I mentioned is a high quality, carefully written book. I doubt it would be wrong in stating, in the text accompanying the photo, that in the U.S. the proof of both labels was "78 proof". And if the proof of both was the same, as the miniature photos and table of attributes confirm, this had to be 90 U.S. proof in the U.S., of course, not lower since Black Label at the time was always 90 proof in the States. Since the words 78 proof also appear on the label of the bottle pictured in this book, this suggests to me that Jack Daniels Black Label in Britain had the same amount of alcohol as in the U.S.

Gary

Gillman
10-01-2004, 06:42
Further thought: Brown-Forman might consider increasing the proof of the Green Label to 86 or even 90 as a nod to tradition and concession to fans of higher proof Jack Daniels. True, Green Label is said to be somewhat different in flavor but I did a side-by-side tasting a couple of years ago and found it almost indistinguishable from Black Label. I suppose too, distribution of Green Label might have to be increased somewhat, but as long as, say, it was available in the outlets in which one can buy the Single Barrel now, that would seem a reasonable solution. In other words, the product would be a specialty item but reasonably available. I understand that originally the label on Jack Daniel's bottle was green, so there is a strange logic perhaps to this idea.

Gary

bluesbassdad
10-01-2004, 12:15
I commented on the possible difference between the two here (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=other&amp;Number=28335&amp;For um=All_Forums&amp;Words=jack%20daniel%20green%20morefi eld&amp;Match=And&amp;Searchpage=0&amp;Limit=25&amp;Old=allposts&amp;M ain=28161&amp;Search=true#Post28335).

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

TNbourbon
10-01-2004, 13:41
It's possible they rolled the 80 proof black label out in some test markets prior to Jan 1. I know there was some test marketing before the general rollout.



Quite honestly, I don't know if that's what they did. Since we had heard about the proof change several months in advance (I first heard it, then confirmed it via a distributor rep, in October 2003, I think) and knew the change was coming, we were looking for it -- and our stock started changing around the end of February, early-March. It's certainly possible we were the first market to switch, but I don't know that.

pepcycle
10-06-2004, 08:28
This info was shared in an e-mail from Maker's/Bill Samuels today.
Dear Ambassadors,



Last Thursday I was hosting an Ambassador event in Houston, Texas and I was bombarded by questions from our many loyal Ambassadors asking if Maker's Mark ever intended to drop the strength of our 90-proof whisky.

It seems that this question was at the top of everyone's mind that evening due to a flurry of recent news stories about one of the world's most famous and respected whiskies lowering their proof strength.

I cannot speak as to whether their decision was a smart one, or whether they handled it well. But I can say with 100% certainty to all Maker's Mark fans that you'll never have to worry about us trying to fix something that's not broken. We've been doing things the same way for a long, long time and don't plan on changing now.

So here's my promise to all loyal Ambassadors and faithful Maker's Mark drinkers throughout the world. As long as I'm around, the strength of your favorite bourbon will remain at 90-proof. My father strongly believed that 90-proof bourbon made the perfect Manhattan, and he sure knew a thing or two about bourbon.



Your concern is much appreciated, but there is no need to worry.



Okay, let's move on to regular Ambassador business:

cowdery
10-06-2004, 08:51
Hmmmm. What exactly is "regular Ambassador business"?

pepcycle
10-06-2004, 10:07
chuck,
I'm sorry, its a double secret society and divulging ambassador information would subject an ambassador to drinking only MM, a punishment worse than death.
Actually, MM ambassadorship is a marketing pyramid scheme, in which ambassadors nominate other ambassadors, who nominate other ambassadors ad nauseum. You can get to the website via www.makersmark.com. (http://www.makersmark.com.)
Ed

jeff
10-06-2004, 10:21
Yeah, and we get to wear big, fuzzy horned hats to the secret meetings,

"Ack ack a dack, dack dack a ack"

dgonano
10-06-2004, 12:34
And I saved $10 on tickets to WhiskyFest; plus a nice set of aromatic coasters/jar openers.

jbutler
10-06-2004, 12:59
The coasters give off an odor??? Just when you place a drink on them, or all the time?

OneCubeOnly
10-06-2004, 13:23
Actually, MM ambassadorship is a marketing pyramid scheme, in which ambassadors nominate other ambassadors, who nominate other ambassadors ad nauseum.



I must be low man on the totem pole then, because I never even received that Ambassador letter. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

dgonano
10-06-2004, 13:43
The coasters give off an odor??? Just when you place a drink on them, or all the time?






Only when I place my Baltimore Colts rolypoly (courtesy of Shell Oil Co. ) upon them. It's the Irsay effect.

Vision
10-06-2004, 19:48
I used to find the taste of JB black very similar to Booker's when you adjust for proof.




Aren't they the same? I thought it was all the same barrels, but bookers was raw. They still taste identical IMO.

cowdery
10-06-2004, 22:51
I don't know them to be the same, but maybe they are. They could be.

TNbourbon
10-10-2004, 22:28
Actually, MM ambassadorship is a marketing pyramid scheme, in which ambassadors nominate other ambassadors, who nominate other ambassadors ad nauseum.



I guess I got in easy -- I just filled out the little card handed out at the end of the tour.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

jeff
10-11-2004, 16:53
I just filled out the little card handed out at the end of the tour



I hope you read the fine print very closely. I believe you owe me a kidney http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

TNbourbon
10-11-2004, 19:29
I hope you read the fine print very closely. I believe you owe me a kidney http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif



Ever heard of IGA nephropathy, aka Berger's Disease. I've got it (In other words, Jeff, you don't want my kidney!).
For the record, my colon is already removed, and a coronary artery stented. Fine print or no, you're better off leaving me alonehttp://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/deadhorse.gif.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

brendaj
10-15-2004, 12:54
wear big, fuzzy horned hats to the secret meetings


As long as those hats have been dipped in red wax... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

pepcycle
10-16-2004, 10:34
I got a "personal" reply to my web complaint, from Mr. Motlow, master distiller at JD. Patty also got one to her message. Each of the personal replies had the same content only the paragraphs were mixed up, so it looked like different content. I bet you didn't know this, but worldwide, JD drinkers usually mix their whiskey with water or some other mixer, so that means they WANT IT at lower proof. REALLY. I believe it. Lem said so. Its not about money. REALLY. I believe it. They even made it darker, so even though its more dilute, it looks the same as before. REALLY. I believe it. They even claim to be using older whiskey to insure the flavor is the same. REALLY.........
OK, NOT REALLY. I don't believe it a bit.
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/horseshit.gif

OneCubeOnly
10-17-2004, 04:24
They even made it darker, so even though its more dilute, it looks the same as before.



Artificial color?

brian12069
10-17-2004, 05:56
I've heard Jack adds color. If it were bourbon you couldn't do that.

OneCubeOnly
10-17-2004, 06:01
I've heard Jack adds color. If it were bourbon you couldn't do that.



If that's true, why was it so hard to figure out why JD doesn't have to call itself "bourbon"??? This seems like an obvious deviation from the 'rules' to me! Who cares if the filtration step is additive or not? If they're adding color there's the answer.

Gillman
10-17-2004, 16:36
But there is a plausible, alternative explanation for why the color is as dark as before the proof change: the product is older than before. This would explain the continued good color and (as some people have perceived) sweeter taste. If I have it right, this is what distiller Motlow told a poster inquiring about the proof change. Indeed the latest bottles of Jack seem to me somewhat sweeter, and smokier, than before. This is consistent with the assertion that older stocks are being used.

However you cut it, I find the current JD Black very good at 80 proof; in fact, JD Black is better than ever, in my opinion.

Gary

doubleblank
10-17-2004, 18:08
I just got back from my annual dove hunt near Cotulla, Texas on the Cochina Ranch. Several people on the hunt had heard of this 86 vs 80 proof brewhaha from their local papers. Guess what?....they had several 1.75's of the old proof...I told them they might have collector's items.....they poured them just the same. How about them Astros's?

Randy

gr8erdane
10-17-2004, 22:30
What Astros? Oh, those Astros. Wish we could watch the NLCS series together Randy, but I promise you, whichever team wins, I will toast them with a pour from the Randy Blank Edition Lot B and a cold frosty Budweiser. NL Central all the way. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Dave_in_Canada
10-21-2004, 17:00
The opening page to Jim Beam website plays on the Jack "deproofing".

TNbourbon
10-21-2004, 19:15
On the one hand, great. On the other -- well, JB Black used to be 90 proof, too.

ratcheer
10-22-2004, 14:46
Bingo!

Tim