I'm sitting in front of a sealed gift box of "Pre-War distilled in 1936 Grommes and Ullrich Black Label Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottled Exclusively for Grommes and Ullrich, Inc Chicago Ill., from their selected Kentucky reserve stocks" The gift box is blue with decorative black and gold felt letters saying "Gentlemen we know". The box has gold seals on top and bottom with the words "Res Publicam Serviens" embossed on them along with a two lion coat of arms.
I've researched previous threads in 2002 and 2005 and nobody has any hard fact about it. All I could deduce was that it was a Private Label and it's some pretty good stuff. I invite all members of this forum to an open discussion concerning it's history and value.
Who cares about history or value....how does it taste?
I don't know very much about Grommes and Ullrich. My sense is that they were one of many big city whiskey brokers in the late-19th, early-20th century who bought whiskey in bulk from producers to supply their own brands. Grommes and Ullrich may have been bigger than most, as I see the name from time to time in literature and such. The Chicago Historical Museum has a set of large, very cool advertising signs for Grommes and Ullrich that are (or were when I was last there, some years ago) hanging in their administrative offices suite.
The structure of the beverage alcohol industry changed substantially after Prohibition and companies like Grommes and Ullrich were the big casualties. I suspect that by 1936 it was just a brand, owned and distributed by someone else, who revived the name because they thought there was a market for it. Perhaps there was some connection between the pre- and post-prohibition entities, but I doubt it.
One good place to research this sort of thing is pre-pro.com. At least, that's a good place to research Grommes and Ullrich. It's most likely impossible to determine when this particular gift package was issued, or why, or how many were made, etc. Gift packages around Christmas time always have been common, some companies have done gift packaging for other holidays, such as Father's Day. Producers also sometimes do special packaging for customers, shareholders, clubs, etc.
You don't mention an age statement. You say it says distilled in 1936, but when was it bottled, i.e., how long was it aged? If it doesn't say, then it's probably more than four but less than six years old.
There's no accounting for what people will pay for things on eBay, but you won't send your kids to college on it. Best case scenario would probably be any number over $100.
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