View Full Version : Old Blacksmith

10-17-2004, 10:05
Beeing an avid single malt whisky drinker, I have only too recently discovered the wonders of bourbon. My problem now is I'm getting a bit confused over a bottle that was given to me by a friend who bought it in Germany. I haven't been able to find anything about it on the internet, so I hope someone here can fill me in on this one.

The brand is Old Blacksmith and is claimed to be distilled and shipped by Willow Springs Distilling Company Ltd, San Fransisco.


10-17-2004, 11:08

I'm glad you stopped by, and I hope you'll stick around.

Would you mind providing the exact verbiage from the label? I will be surprised if it says "Distilled by.." in reference to the company that bottles it. If words such as "Willow Springs Distillery" appear in isolation, that would be less surprising. Many a non-existent distillery is commemorated on a bourbon label.

Come to think of it, I've been to Willow Springs Raceway (closer to Rosamond than S.F.) a couple of times, and the springs are pretty much non-existent, too. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

10-17-2004, 11:53
Ok then, prepare to be surprised... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif This is what is says:



Old Blacksmith

American Straight Bourbon Whiskey

This Bourbon Whiskey has been carefully selected for its fine flavor and quality.

Distilled and shipped by Willow Springs Distilling Ltd, San Fransisco/CAL.


On the side of the label it says:


This Bourbon Whiskey has captured the old tradition of a Blacksmith's business. After itīs done, the Blacksmith and the rider had their special kind of smokey Bourbon with the soft and smooth flavor like ours. That's what we say: Enjoy a Blacksmith and make a good thing even better. The horseshoe means good luck to you.


Beeing from Sweden I'm probably not the best judge of "marketing english", but that to me sounds like it's been translated from another language (german?).

10-17-2004, 14:01
Very well, I am surprised (and obviously mistaken -- not an infrequent occurrence). It seems that I stepped on what I merely thought was home plate. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif (A little baseball humor, from the days when the game was sometimes played in any available cow pasture. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif )

Now I need to revisit some of the bottlings on my cupboard to review the wording in those cases where a fictitious distillery is cited.

I suspect you are correct about the source of the stilted English. Of course, the only other language of which I have any knowledge is Latin, and even that familiarity is all but gone. (If a person who speaks two languages is called "bilingual", what is a person who speaks only one language? Answer: A born American)

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

10-18-2004, 04:33
I'm probably the last person you want advice from, but it sounds like this is bourbon distilled outside of Kentucky, given that the label says "American Straight Bourbon" instead of "Kentucky Straight Bourbon". I remember reading about some smaller, experimental whiskey distilleries on the West Coast. Could this have come from one of them?

10-18-2004, 07:05
Willow Springs was a distillery in Louisville before 1920. See the name in the alphabetical index and some associated brands at www.pre-pro.com (http://www.pre-pro.com) (resource for whiskey shot glasses and related information). There was a whiskey called Willow Springs Bourbon and a Queen Rye made by the same company. Interestingly, one of these brands shows an Oakland, CA address, so maybe Californians owned the Louisville company and/or were the agents for sales in CA. I did not check Old Blacksmith in the index at pre-pro.com but that name is not listed under the Willow Springs entry. Could this bottle sourced in Germany be prewar stock? Seems unlikely. Maybe a modern Kentucky distillery acquired the Willow Springs plant and related trade marks many years ago and uses them for exports like this one or special contract items. Hard to say. I doubt it is a local (micro) distiller in California, if it is though it would be exciting to know bourbon is being made by a small plant out West. Perhaps a close-up photo of the bottle (both sides) could give more information which could unlock the puzzle.


10-18-2004, 07:27
This is getting wierder by the minute... I am now trying to locate the german company listed as importer on the label (Ylldal Import), but that company is as illusive as their bourbon. It is not in any current local or national german phone book or company listing.

Is it possible that this is just a fake label slapped on some russian moonshine...? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

Since noone seems to know what it is, I've adressed the trading comission in Hamburg, Germany, to try to locate the importer. Maybe that way I can finally find out what this is. Because it really is a very nice bourbon... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

10-18-2004, 07:45
If Distilleries do not want you to know who's bourbon is in that bottle. You will not know.

Several distilleries sell bulk bourbon. Distilleries also run product without a face label. Generic wrap...Litterally, shipped out without a face label for a private label to be affixed to it later.

There's bourbon out there everywhere. As William stated...only the bourbon produced in Kentucky can put the words Kentucky Straight Bourbon on the label. That will get you one step closer to the maker's of product. DSP# are excellent source of identification. It takes a bit to find out who is who but it's a absolute source about who's bourbon is inside a bottling. It's mandatory (Federal Law) on BIB...Bourbon Whiskey, is a American Spirit. Any other county, it's called whiskey.

Gary is right about bourbon label from California...On the data base (on the front page, Straightbourbon.com, brands) there is a bourbon listed as Jim Grant, Gaetano CA http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-18-2004, 08:02
> I remember reading about some smaller, experimental whiskey distilleries
> on the West Coast. Could this have come from one of them?

I looked at the USPTO website, and there are no trademarks registered
for Old Blacksmith or Willow Springs Distilling... any reputable distillery
would probably register their trademarks, so I'm guessing it's not
a microdistiller.

Tim Dellinger

10-18-2004, 08:41
Ok, I've taken some pictures of the labels. I hope it helps you guys. The upside to this problem is that I'm learning a lot of new stuff, so even if we never manage to resolve this one I am very thankful for all your help!!!

Anyway, here they are, for your viewing pleasure...(?)

10-18-2004, 08:42

10-18-2004, 08:43
and the final pic...

10-18-2004, 09:02
I forgot...the barcode tells alot but not who's bourbon is inside the bottle. Just a extra "tidbit" of information that's uselful from time to time.

Maker's Mark is...85246...One of Heaven Hill's numbers...96749...Jim Beam, 80686
and the list goes on and on...

10-18-2004, 09:36
That sounds like something for me! Is there any site on the internet that will list barcodes?

10-18-2004, 09:43
I don't know http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif...maybe somebody on this forum knows if such a list exists?

I got the number's off of my bottles in my bunker http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Some distilleries have more than one bar-code.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

10-18-2004, 10:01
An inquiry to the purveyor of this site (http://www.uc-council.org/) may yield useful information regarding the availability of Universal Product Code (UPC) lists by industry or product category.

Or maybe this one (http://www.kybourbon.com/english/pages/main_frame.html), for the Kentucky Distillers Association, will do the trick. Note the presence of a "Contact Us" button.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

10-18-2004, 11:15
Thanks a lot!

After this piece of info I went out on google, and after a few misses I found this site: http://www.gepir.org/client.asp It is actually a search engine for EAN-UCC barcodes! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

The barcode on my bottle turns out to be EAN-13 barcode (didn't even know there were so many different barcodes until a few minutes ago http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif ), and it belongs to a company called "Borco-Marken-Import" in Hamburg, Germany.

I have contacted people at kybourbon.com as you suggested, and I will get in touch with the borco-people asap.

This little problem of mine has turned out to be way more diffucult to solve than I thought it would be. On the other hand, it has been a fun journey so far, and I keep learning new stuff all the time. Maybe it's time to raid the liquor cabinet and find myself a nice, genuine, Kentucky Bourbon... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

10-18-2004, 11:30
Turning a bit off topic now, but since I found this info... Well... maybe someone might be interested in it. If you are looking to find UPC codes, these guys have them all! (almost)