PDA

View Full Version : Could Maker's Mark Make SW Whiskey?



fussychicken
03-26-2007, 23:13
Back long ago, I thought just like Maker's Mark wanted me to think. I was young and Maker's was the cool young sophisticates drink. It came in an awesome bottle with the cool red wax and tasted better than JB and JD. It just screamed yuppie. (A funny side note is that while I've had a fair amount of Maker's in my past, it was EWSB that was the spring board to make me go bourbon crazy)

Fast forward to today now that I am a bourbon hound, and I feel just like most of you other guys. Makers is a nice drink, but no wow. Chuck made a great post in 2001 that pretty much sums up what I feel about it. Only he puts it far more eloquently than I could: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1783#post1783

Maker's says that they sell all they can make. I know they are expanding, but I still don't buy that. Why don't they start a new label? Why don't they expand even more? Why would they just sit by and watch the super premium bourbon market explode? Are they too scared that it would hurt the sales of Maker's?

And if they DID decide to make a super premium, what would it taste like? The story goes that they use the SW recipe and yeast. (or at least used to) Lets say they lowered the distilling proof and barreled for 12 years. What would you have then?

I guess I really shouldn't care, just because there are already so many great pours on the market today. Nevertheless, I guess it just confuses me as to why Maker's would just sit back and act so differently compared to all the rest of the distillers. And if they COULD make SW style whiskey, hooo boy!

Hedmans Brorsa
03-27-2007, 00:55
And if they DID decide to make a super premium, what would it taste like?

It tastes excellent, I can assure you!

FWIW, Iīve always protested mildly when the annual Makerīs bashing came around. Not because I considered it to be world-class but a fairly good whiskey not deserving of the contempt that it has met on this forum.

I have to say, though, that my last bottle was devastatingly good, the best red seal Iīve ever had. Much more rich and complex than earlier incarnations.

I remember Chuck mentioning that MM were on the retreat in Japan. Could this mean a gradual increase in quality in the standard output or is my bottle just a freaky one-off?

ThomasH
03-27-2007, 07:12
As far as SW whiskey is concerned, I have a better idea. Why doesn't one of these bigger distillers just make an offer for for the Stitzel plant and rehab it? I know it has been said that the still house has asbestos, but so have many other factories in America and elsewhere. Even though it is expensive to abate, I think SW would still be a go, seeing that there is an explosion of demand going on in the whisky world. When Woodford Reserve was started up, its price tag was supposedly 10 million. even if SW was more, so what. Look at the other expansions going on in Kentucky alone. I hope someday to see SW back in action!

Thomas

ILLfarmboy
03-27-2007, 15:48
I can understand their fear that whatever super premium label they might produce would cannibalize the standard MM but why not do what Beam does. Knob Creek doesn't cannibalize Beam Black cuz there is little indication on the bottle it's produced by the same corporation. You have to know there is no such thing as the Knob Creek Distillery.

BourbonJoe
11-03-2007, 07:08
At the Makers Mark stand at the Philly Whiskeyfest, there was this industry guy serving up the pours. I told him "tell Samuels and Pickerell that they need to bring back the likes of the old Gold Wax 101's." He looked me in the eye and said "you must be confusing us with another distillery. Makers Mark never made a 101". What did I do? I just walked away.
Joe :usflag:

Barrel_Proof
11-03-2007, 08:52
At the Makers Mark stand at the Philly Whiskeyfest, there was this industry guy serving up the pours. I told him "tell Samuels and Pickerell that they need to bring back the likes of the old Gold Wax 101's." He looked me in the eye and said "you must be confusing us with another distillery. Makers Mark never made a 101". What did I do? I just walked away.
Joe :usflag:

:lol:

I guess that bottle in my bunker is counterfeit!

:lol:

Rughi
11-03-2007, 09:11
At the Makers Mark stand at the Philly Whiskeyfest, there was this industry guy serving up the pours. I told him "tell Samuels and Pickerell that they need to bring back the likes of the old Gold Wax 101's." He looked me in the eye and said "you must be confusing us with another distillery. Makers Mark never made a 101". What did I do? I just walked away.
Joe :usflag:

At the SF Independent Spirits Fest I struck up a conversation with the Woodford rep (why were they there anyway?). When I asked about how their barrel program worked, he said you picked two barrels, minimum, which were then blended. I asked "so that's to allow for the Shively distillate and the Versailles distillate to blend, like the standard product?" His response was "All Woodford Reserve is distilled in Versailles," and he would not be shaken from that, as he had met with Chris Morris on at least 7 seminars to discuss Woodford Reserve.

I don't think he was lying (even though he was obviously wrong), I think Brown Forman doesn't tell their rep network nearly as much as enthusiasts know, as information like that doesn't necessarily advance the marketing, takes up expensive orientation time, and it would sail right past any employees who don't have a personal interest in their product. Most employees have their own hobbies they care about - it's not bourbon for everyone.

Roger

barturtle
11-03-2007, 09:24
Yeah, they don't know, and I bet the Co. they work for it quite happy about that. Can you imagine what would happen if they were telling all the customers that their favorite whiskey had been "downgraded" or was blended with cheaper stock, or just wasn't as good as it was when it was made elsewhere.

HighTower
11-03-2007, 17:58
:lol:

I guess that bottle in my bunker is counterfeit!

:lol:

Yeah, I better tip mine down the drain!
I can't wait to try the 101, it looks as though it has lots more age to the regular red wax, it is an amazing color!

Scott

camduncan
11-03-2007, 18:28
I'm a big fan of MM. It's such an easy going bourbon. I can drink it straight, cut with water, with an ice cube, or even with coke (it's not so expensive that I don't ever want to use it as a mixer on a hot day)
For years now, it's been a stable addition to my bar.

cowdery
11-04-2007, 13:41
The Woodford barrel program is a little more complicated, but Roger is essentially right and the rep was most definitely wrong.

One selects two barrels from an offering of some number (I forget how many, let's say six, maybe it's eight, though it might be four). There will be at least one barrel from each distillery in the offering set, but you won't know where a given barrel was distilled. You have to select strictly based on sampling and may pick one of each, two Versailles barrels, or two Shively barrels.

The point is that while it is a personal selection program it is not a single barrel program. That is their wrinkle. They won't sell single barrel Woodford.

It's also worth noting that the Shively-made whiskey comes to Versailles after about two years to finish aging there, so everything comes out of the Versailles warehouses and has been managed for most of its aging as Woodford, not as Old Forester.