I saw an old looking bottle of Echo Spring in a store for about $10. I'd never seen it before, so I bought it. I've been searching old posts and it seems like it is an HH brand. Does anyone know anything else about it? Is it very similar to something else? Is there some region where it's popular? Is it still in production? Just curious.
Does anyone know anything else about it? Is it very similar to something else?
Indeed I do!
It was the brand of the Murphy-Barber distillery in Clermont that began in 1881. I think according to Sam Cecil, Murphy died and Barber retired, or vice versa, and S Grabfelder who was the wholesale company became receivers. This is where the fun begins. Gerald Everbach ended up with all of the property and the distillery in Clermont, Including tract 9 of 127 acres with the 6.5 acre lake,
( There is a picture of Murphy-Barber distillery in the Getz, in an upper corner there's a small picture of the Lake.) in all over 1200 acres. There was a quarry on the site. He later would own Kentucky's only, for a long time, Cadillac dealership(It became Brown Brothers Cadillac later and after they sold it) . Before Prohibition or shortly after he sold the Distillery, quarry and about 275 acres to Jim Beam. They ran the quarry during Prohibition, and Geralds son GL related to me that Jere Beam lived across the creek and managed the quarry, he lived in very humble circumstances.By the end of prohibition they had had enough of the rock business and went back to whiskey only. GL and brother Jack Everbach ( They had inherited it before then) sold what is known as Big Level in the 80s, about a thousand acres.GL retained ownership of Tract 9 alone. In around 1999 after Everbach ownership for 90 years that was sold to Jim Beam. Jim Beam did a lot of restoration and the main residence has become for all intents and purposes the "Knob Creek Guesthouse". This still has the name "Echo Spring Farm". I haven't been over there for a while so I'm not sure if they removed the ESF sign from a building there but since the label is at Heaven Hill I seriously doubt if Beam plays up this connection. Really Beam should buy that label from HH, in my mind,but they probably figure they can do fine without it.
The Everbachs had some really pretty ad posters in the old house before they left, Pretty women drinking Bourbon,what could be next,I was given to wonder when looking at those. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
I remember when I was growing up on Sundays in the Summertime, my grandfather would marvel at how much ammunition was being expended over there,literally hundreds of dollars worth and this was in the 60s.GLs son Tommy was caretaker of the place in the last years that they owned it, I still remember the party that would start as soon as it got warm enough in the spring and continue more or less uninterrupted until it was too cold in the fall to carry on. You could count on Tommy to give the whole neighborhood a little atmosphere, you never knew, but I had a good idea how it would go, A few boxes of 22's, then various pistol and rifle fire usually increasing the calibre as it went on, or my favorite, breaking out an SKS or AK on full auto and letting it rip. His sense of timing either was impeccable or he just did it so much that happy coincidences would occur. I recall having a visitor once, that while welcome, I could have done without, Tommy broke loose,my guest was concerned. Don't worry about it I said, he's shooting in the lake, it won't hit us up here. Nope never came back! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
As for the whiskey, HH puts a decent bourbon in the bottles of it that I have tried.It seems to be the same bourbon that they put in the JTS Brown & H McKenna. They have a lot of labels that they run in those round shouldered HH bottles and what they put in the TW Samuels and Old Bardstown bottles is pretty foul stuff. I really hope that it is picked that way and not an all the same bourbon run and sometimes it's good and sometimes it's terrible. If that is the case then it's really going to be a crap shoot to get a good bottle on those.
It is still readily available in Ky.
Your recollections of the Echo Spring land remind me of the woods where my grandparents lived when I was a boy. They had a big ol'basset hound named Shadrach that disappeared to the surrounding cabins as soon as hunting season started every year. He was always staying at the party cabins of the hunters eating bacon and deer trimmings until their trip was up. We knew where he was because of the racket and shooting at the cabins, and by the silence when he'd come back He'd only come back once or twice a week, fatter each time. I liked Shadrach just fine, except that he liked to sleep across the foot of my bed (and he took the whole width of that twin-size bed, too) and would growl if I disturbed him trying to stretch out my legs. I learned to sleep on my side with my legs pulled up thanks to Shadrach.
I've only ever seen one bottle of Old Echo Spring; it was a dusty bottle purchase. Do you know anything about where and by whom it was made? All that I know is posted at Old Echo Spring (http://www.straightbourbon.comhttp://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthreaded.php/Cat/0/Number/49179/page/vc/vc/1)
Was Echo Spring a Schenley product in the '60s? Would it have been a highly regarded brand at that time?
Actually I have no idea the trip it took from Murphy-Barber to Heaven Hill. I wonder if Mike Veach knows. I figured it became a dead label at one time, and someone came along and snapped it up. But that's just a guess on my part, it may have changed hands and has a storied past.
The Echo Springs Ads that I referred to were very similiar to the Yellowstone ads in the back of Sam Cecils book. An attractive woman and Echo Springs Bourbon.
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