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GoodDram
02-25-2007, 10:30
On the bottle I saw that Early Times says that it is "Kentucky Whiskey." What is that? I know the differences between Bourbon & Tennessee Whiskey, but not Kentucky.

TNbourbon
02-25-2007, 10:43
Early Times is 80% bourbon, married with 20% whiskey that is aged in used barrels, thus can't be called bourbon.
Of course, they never really tell you that:
http://www.earlytimes.com/heritage/distillation.asp

RoyalWater
02-25-2007, 20:58
In this area (and I work in retail) Early Times is one of the better-selling shelf/store liquors (that is, liquor cut to 40 proof or lower). People buy it because they think it is bourbon and it is ridiculously cheap at 40 proof. In this respect it is in a class with Orloff and Kamchatka vodka and any McCormick or Paramount 40 proof or less product. Strangely, it does not seem to sell well in NW Ohio at full proof.

TNbourbon
02-25-2007, 21:10
In this area (and I work in retail) Early Times is one of the better-selling shelf/store liquors (that is, liquor cut to 40 proof or lower)...

Sorry, don't understand your reference to 40 proof -- ET is bottled at 80 proof, or 40% abv. Anything under 80 proof in the U.S. must be labeled 'diluted' or 'flavored' whiskey.
Where are you located? (your profile doesn't say)

HighTower
02-26-2007, 04:38
There's a bottle of Early Times on ebay in Australia, clearly labeled as Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Now the person selling it states that it is about 40 years old ( and also apparently gets better with age:slappin:)
I have asked if there is a DSP no on the bottle, or if there is a date on the tax strip, the answer for both a No.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=015&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=250087681238&rd=1&rd=1

Is this bottle at all worth getting? The price it is at is what we down here pay for EWSB or EC12.

Scott

mozilla
02-26-2007, 11:42
From what I understand Early Times is the same as Old Forester until it is blended with the whisky that is in reused barrels. As far as "is the bottle of ET that's 40 years old", I can't say about value, but I believe you can find ET ksbw in Europe or duty free shops.
Jeff Mo.

boone
02-26-2007, 11:52
From what I understand Early Times is the same as Old Forester until it is blended with the whisky that is in reused barrels. As far as "is the bottle of ET that's 40 years old", I can't say about value, but I believe you can find ET ksbw in Europe or duty free shops.
Jeff Mo.

That bottle on ebay looks like the "real McCoy". Made back in the day when Early Times (brand) was Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey---states it on the front label----I have one just like it in my bunker.

Bettye Jo

cowdery
02-26-2007, 12:45
ET and Old Forester are not the same. They use different yeasts, have a slightly different mash bill, and there may be some other specifications that differ too. They are both made at the same distillery, however.

In Ohio and, I think, nowhere else, the law says that anything that is more than 20% alcohol by volume (ABV) must be sold in a state-controlled liquor store, while anything below 20% ABV can be sold in grocery stores, etc.

So in Ohio, they sell all manner of "diluted" spirits, at 40 proof (i.e., 20% ABV). This is legal, as long as the word "diluted" is in big letters. You can buy diluted rum, diluted vodka, and even some major brands such as ET and Southern Comfort in "diluted" versions.

As I said, these are only sold in supermarkets and the like. The real stuff, including real ET, can be bought in any liquor store.

mrt
02-26-2007, 14:18
I want to remind that ET outside US is a straight bourbon, becouse they say that they do the %20-%80 (used barrel-new barrel) blend only for the US market, and what they sell outside US is aged completely in charred new oak barrels-my reference is ET itself, so I do not accept any responsibility :)

cowdery
02-26-2007, 14:38
Yes, outside the US ET is Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

But Ohio is inside the US, last time I checked.

mrt
02-27-2007, 11:06
Oh, I'm glad to learn that. I appreciate this contribution.I'll keep this in mind."Ohio is in the US, Ohio is in the US, it was checked, Ohio is in the US,..."

cowdery
02-27-2007, 15:04
We're just jealous because you get the good ET and we don't.

RoyalWater
02-27-2007, 19:11
This is now an interesting thread; I took it for granted that what is commonly advertised as store or shelf liquor (really liquor dilute) here in NW Ohio is common everywhere. In Ohio liquor retail licenses are issued county by county, based to some degree on the number of residents in the county. To illustrate, let's say a county has 17,000 residents, they might be allocated 4 licenses but a county with 200,000 residents has proportionally more available licenses (I guessed on the first figure). To be able to sell liquor-like products without the state license retailers resort to selling dilutes. Many buyers don't pay enough attention to know that they aren't buying full proof beverages, so everyone is happy. As Cowdery mentioned, a wide variety of liquor products are available in the 40 proof bottling, as well as ready to serve Margaritas, Cosmopolitans, Fire and Ice, Schnapps, Creme de Menthe etc. This stuff is available at many grocery stores and most convenience stores and is much cheaper than full proof liquor.

Virus_Of_Life
02-27-2007, 20:00
In Ohio and, I think, nowhere else, the law says that anything that is more than 20% alcohol by volume (ABV) must be sold in a state-controlled liquor store, while anything below 20% ABV can be sold in grocery stores, etc.


Hey Chuck, I think you might need to add Oregon to that list. I am not 100% sure of the number; however I do believe it is 20%, that which nothing above can be sold in a grocery/market store. I remember my high school days getting people to buy MD 20/20 because IIRC it was the highest proof that could be purchased in the corner market...

OscarV
02-28-2007, 12:46
Early Times is 80% bourbon, married with 20% whiskey

What is the "20% whiskey"?

I love the way Early Times states on their web-site,.... "we put new whiskey in charred oak barrels,..."

cowdery
02-28-2007, 13:03
It's all the same spirit, they just age about 20% of it in used barrels.

OscarV
02-28-2007, 13:06
It's all the same spirit, they just age about 20% of it in used barrels.

Ugh?

I don't get it.

mozilla
02-28-2007, 16:02
OscarV, maybe this will help. 8 out of 10 barrels dumped in a batch is whisky in new barrels, and 2 out of 10 barrels dumped to make a batch are whiskey in used barrels. I believe that the 8 barrels could be called bourbon because they use new charred barrels. Where as the other 2 can't because of the use of the used copperage. Hope that helps.

cowdery
02-28-2007, 17:56
Here's another way to say the same thing.

I'm going to make 100 gallons of Early Times.

As the whiskey comes out of still, I put the first 80 gallons into new barrels and the last 20 gallons into used barrels.

Approximately four years later (and ignoring the angels share) I have 100 gallons of Early Times.

Gillman
02-28-2007, 19:52
I think what he is getting at (OscarV) is that the website of the brand suggests that all the whiskey is aged in charred barrels, yet how can that be if 20% is aged in used barrels?

The answer is the site is being a little cute. The 20% aged in used barrels is in fact aged in charred barrels because those used barrels are charred (maybe even re-charred) before being filled (since they once held Bourbon).

In other words, the reference on the site to charred barrels means in effect new and used charred barrels (note the site is careful not to state that Early Times whiskey is aged in "new" charred barrels because that would suggest 100% of it is so aged, when it is not).

Gary

OscarV
03-01-2007, 13:09
So only 20% is aged in used cooperage, how much could they be saving.
I would just go all the with used or none at all and make a bourbon.

Gillman
03-01-2007, 13:43
Chuck once explained the economics of that. B-F has certain profit requirements for each brand. To keep ET from slipping under, they used 20% used bourbon barrels, the saving was enough to keep them north of the line. That is how I recall the explanation anyway.

Gary

cowdery
03-01-2007, 22:57
That's the gist of it.

smokinjoe
03-04-2007, 11:12
Chuck once explained the economics of that. B-F has certain profit requirements for each brand. To keep ET from slipping under, they used 20% used bourbon barrels, the saving was enough to keep them north of the line. That is how I recall the explanation anyway.

Gary

I could agree that there is an "economics" reason for doing this, but I just can't help but think it goes beyond using the used barrels. :skep:I think that may be only part of the equation. I gotta believe that the economic impact of using 20% used barrels is minimum, and that savings on this whiskey are achieved with what is going INTO those 20% of used barrels. Or, it's more involved than just dumping 20% of the same distillate in used barrels that just happen to be laying around. Otherwise, the economic impact is literally pennies/bottle. Maybe, that's enough?

Does the used cooperage come directly from the same location that ET is produced? And, when they say "used", does that mean that a bourbon has been aged in them prior to, or are there other definitions of "used" in this case? :confused:

JOE

cowdery
03-04-2007, 12:07
The savings could be more than you think. Remember that when you buy a bottle of whiskey at retail, you have in that a retail mark-up, a wholesale mark-up and a lot of taxes. Relative to the producer's actual profit, a small production cost savings can make a big difference in the bottom line. My dad was an engineer for an appliance manufacturer and he would work on projects that might reduce the cost of a certain part by two or three cents per unit, and that was important.

A new barrel today costs in the neighborhood of $135. The cost of a used barrel is simply how much you won't make by selling it because, yes, the used barrels they use are their own used bourbon barrels. Sometimes the price for used barrels is as little as four or five dollars.

So, yes, pennies per bottle is significant.

Jazzhead
03-04-2007, 14:00
But is there any reason to expect a deterioration, or even a difference, in the taste? How can that difference in taste be described? Other than the fact that it misses by a technicality the definition of "bourbon", it is not a blended product and it doesn't strike me as a layman why the use of the product's own used cooperage for a small percentage of the inventory ought to mean a diminution in quality.

I had a bottle last years of Michter's "Unblended American Whiskey", which I guess is the same basic deal as the ET (although presumably not aged in the product's own old barrels). I recall it had a distinctively fruity quality. I liked it, and would buy it again.

cowdery
03-04-2007, 21:30
It should be said there was a little more method to ET's madness than just the cost savings. The use of used barrels helped them also achieve the taste profile they wanted, which was a pretty mild one. Aging bourbon in a first refill bourbon barrel gives you something that tastes like bourbon but has fewer barrel notes and more grain and yeast notes.

I suspect that the "reformulated" Seagram's Seven being sold in Europe is made like a Canadian whiskey. They're taking a bourbon-type mash but distilling it above 160 proof, maybe approaching 190 even, then aging it in their own first refill bourbon barrels.