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cowdery
09-07-2007, 20:29
In the "what new products do you want" thread, Tony wrote "I would also like to see some of the premium Export bottles go State side! Come on it's made here why can't we get it here."

My question, what do you want that you can't get here?

I'm not just addressing this question to Tony, because I know this is a frequently-aired complaint.

My reason for asking is that I contend there's really nothing in export or Duty Free that you can't get here. Perhaps not exactly the same, but virtually the same. Yes, there are completely different names and packages, but in all (almost all?) cases there is something sold in the U.S. that is the same or very close.

Discuss.

ACDetroit
09-07-2007, 20:49
Well here are the few I can not seem to find...Enlighten me Chuck.

Blanton's Export only Gold, Silver, Black, Special Reserve (green label), Straight from the Barrel and Four Rroses Super Premium (Platimnum).

These are the few I can think of I've never seen anywhere. I have noticed several people on the board have these bunkered but I don't travel out of the country much.

I would put Four Roses SB Export 90 proof but I like the 100 proof state side better.

If am mistaken let me know! I want thes bottles for the Bunker!!

barturtle
09-07-2007, 22:18
Evan Williams 15yo 107
Wild Turkey 12yo
Wild Turkey 14yo and 17yo were both Japan only releases
James E Pepper

cowdery
09-07-2007, 22:55
The purpose here is to illustrate a point.

Buffalo Trace makes so many different bourbons you should be able to match the specs of any of those Blanton's almost exactly with another Buffalo Trace bourbon.

Same answer with Evan Williams. Between the 9-year-old EWSB, the 12-year-old EC, the 18-year-old EC, all of the Heaven Hill-brand bottlings, and all of the non-distiller bottlings, 90% of which are Heaven Hill, and you don't know what Heaven Hill bourbon at 15 years tastes like?

The Four Roses Super Premium is probably less premium than either Small Batch or Single Barrel. Sure, Four Roses has ten different bourbons, to use individually or blend, but do they taste that different?

Pepper is Old Charter.

Wild Turkey Tribute was a 15-year-old. Limited, yes, but a domestic release.

I understand these answers aren't satisfying for a collector who has to have one of everything, but they should satisfy most people who just want to drink the stuff.

My purpose here is that, okay, there are a couple of things in export that I'd like to have, but not really so many that it's something I'm concerned about. There are a lot of things here that aren't in export. The companies develop their portfolios in every market based on that market. Some of the exports are different from some of the domestics, but a porfolio that included both probably wouldn't make sense, because they're so similar.

But, yes, I wish Turkey had an ongoing product in the 15-18 year range. I'll mention that in the other thread.

ACDetroit
09-07-2007, 23:41
Chuck none of us stated we were just collecting. I think your right the products from same distilleries will have similar profiles (agreed).

My brother, cousin, uncle and dad all stand behind a back lit sheet. All are family and when turned have similar profiles...doesn't make all 4 of us the same!

I'm was just saying I'd like to have a couple of those bottles to do taste the similarities myself.

I also agree we have way more here than they have there and I wouldn't want that to change.

Cheers!

I'm having some WTKS tonight. :grin:

T47
09-08-2007, 00:33
My angle on this thread is a little different. My State (WA) just does not carry some of the bottles I would like to try, and they are bottles that are available in other States. I don't know the way the "system" works, but I hope to stop in to my liquor store next week and get a little education. We don't really have "dusty bottles" here in WA. My wish list is not exotic, just a few more from Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill and Brown-Foreman...all distilleries we already seem to do business with. I am sure I am missing important facts that will explain the lack of availability, but I shall explore my options!

Hedmans Brorsa
09-08-2007, 02:50
I pity those who canīt get Makers black seal. Superb and quite different from the standard red seal.

At the same time, I have no problems seeing Chuckīs point. Methinks, a "the-grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side-of-the-hill" mentality sometimes gets in the way of rational thinking.

ILLfarmboy
09-08-2007, 06:33
excellent point. We always want what's not available in our own market, even if we have a near twin readily available.

But I still find it irksome that American distilleries send special bottlings oversees. bottlings you just can't get here. Mostly WT products spring to mind.

I'n not a big fan of Blantons but would like to try the Barrel proof version (wasn't it an export only, one time afair) Also, as an ocational JD drinker I keep a bottle of Single Barrel around for when the mood strikes and would like to have access to the 100 proof version of same; Select Silver I think it is called.

I know very little about scotch and Scottish/Irish distilleries, do they generally do the same in this respect as American distilleries? I was disappointed that in the case of Redbreast 15 the answer would be no. because the only way I could have gotten my hands on any would have been to order from "The Whisky Exchange" and I was unsure about ordering from oversees so I didn't pursue it.

Hedmans Brorsa
09-08-2007, 07:40
I know very little about scotch and Scottish/Irish distilleries, do they generally do the same in this respect as American distilleries?

There must be thousands of Scotches īround the world that are not for sale in the UK.

As Iīve written in earlier threads, the only reason this becomes an issue is because of the relative dearth of bourbon distilleries. If the bourbon industry could boast with the same plethora of distilleries as in Scotland, then no one would care. Weīd all be too busy soaking up the latest domestic releases.

For instance, I love Balvenie but I never feel that I have to taste every single bottling released from that distillery. Iīd much rather try something obscure like Tomintoul. Thatīs the power of variety.

T47
09-08-2007, 09:33
I pity those who canīt get Makers black seal. Superb and quite different from the standard red seal

Do they still provide Makers of higher proof? I recall in Sept of 2006 I went to a Makers Ambassador "focus" group. They touted how they make just one bottle, and it's the "best". I enjoy Makers and did not mean this in any real negative way...but I brought up the point that I knew many people would like to try the higher proof version available in Japan and it just did not seem right that it was not available here. The other members of my small "focus" group (obviously not SB.com folks) had never heard of such a thing...there was another Makers out there? The gal from Makers came in later to assure the group that the 90š version was all that is available now, they had stopped bottling the "other" version.

barturtle
09-08-2007, 10:40
While I do realize that many non-distiller bottling are HH, the quality assurances of a distiller bottling (i.e. more barrels to choose from and therefore a more uniform product) are my reasons for choosing this bottling, I've had it...it's good.

My thoughts on WT: I would like to have 12yo as a regular product. If they feel a need (and I hope they will) to do an older special release, be it annually, alternate years or once a decade, they should be available in the homeland and if there is enough, export too.

Interesting about the Pepper..so Diageo gets product from FR (Bulliett), Barton and B-F(Harper) and BT(Pepper)...you would think for all that they could have kept a distillery going...even if they sold most production in bulk.

ggilbertva
09-08-2007, 13:26
The purpose here is to illustrate a point.

Buffalo Trace makes so many different bourbons you should be able to match the specs of any of those Blanton's almost exactly with another Buffalo Trace bourbon.

Same answer with Evan Williams. Between the 9-year-old EWSB, the 12-year-old EC, the 18-year-old EC, all of the Heaven Hill-brand bottlings, and all of the non-distiller bottlings, 90% of which are Heaven Hill, and you don't know what Heaven Hill bourbon at 15 years tastes like?

The Four Roses Super Premium is probably less premium than either Small Batch or Single Barrel. Sure, Four Roses has ten different bourbons, to use individually or blend, but do they taste that different?

Pepper is Old Charter.

Wild Turkey Tribute was a 15-year-old. Limited, yes, but a domestic release.

I understand these answers aren't satisfying for a collector who has to have one of everything, but they should satisfy most people who just want to drink the stuff.

My purpose here is that, okay, there are a couple of things in export that I'd like to have, but not really so many that it's something I'm concerned about. There are a lot of things here that aren't in export. The companies develop their portfolios in every market based on that market. Some of the exports are different from some of the domestics, but a porfolio that included both probably wouldn't make sense, because they're so similar.

But, yes, I wish Turkey had an ongoing product in the 15-18 year range. I'll mention that in the other thread.

Chuck,

In an e-mail exchange early this spring with a rep at Pernod Ricard, she stated that they are looking to release an age specific WT brand this fall or early next year. She wouldn't elaborate on whether it would be a current offering or a new one. Maybe you have more insight.

ggilbertva
09-08-2007, 13:32
I'n not a big fan of Blantons but would like to try the Barrel proof version (wasn't it an export only, one time afair)


I have Blanton's SFTB, Gold and Silver. Now, I'm not enough of the Blanton's Original fan to pay the $40 price tag but I've tried these export only versions and I consider them to be better than original. I also live in a controlled state and there are particular brands and bottlings that just aren't sold in VA. For instance, I can only get Weller Antique if I order online or drive into Maryland. Can I get it? Yah, but it's not very convenient. I guess my point is, I wish my State carried a better variety of bourbons but in the absence of those brands, I have to make adjustments and do a little more driving or pay shipping.

cowdery
09-08-2007, 14:29
When Pepper was revived for European export about ten years ago, and Diageo still owned Bernheim, it was the same rye bourbon as Old Charter and I. W. Harper. Today, Diageo has both Brown-Forman and Barton making whiskey for them, as well as Bulleit at Four Roses, and are "buying whiskey wherever they can" according to my source. So, what's actually in a Pepper bottle is anybody's guess, but it's nothing special.

All of this, including Bulleit, is small beer in Diageo's world. The only "American whiskey" in their portfolio that is really a priority is Crown Royal.

camduncan
09-08-2007, 15:16
I guess from an Australian perspective, it's a bit different... There are whole distilleries of products we can't get in this country yet*1. We get no products from Four Roses, Buffalo Trace (or Van Winkle*2) and very little from Heaven Hill (Evan Williams, Evan Williams SB, Elijah Craig 12 & Virgin Bourbon)
We also have the grand total of one US Rye Whiskey - Jim Beam Rye.


*1 There is one single retail outlet store in Melbourne with a web site who brings in some of these products (via the UK market I beleive)

*2 Another single retail outlet in Melbourne has the entire Australian distribution rights to Van Winkle products. (COmpletely different topic, buy sadly, it's often cheaper by half to order direct from the US because they don't have a large buying power)

camduncan
09-08-2007, 15:19
Ok, I just read Chuck's last post.... If Bulleit is from Four Roses, then we do get one product distributed nationally by that Distillery. Ironically, it's distributed at two different proofs :skep: ... depends on which (national) retail chain you buy it at.

Aged In Oak
09-08-2007, 18:17
I have Blanton's SFTB, Gold and Silver. Now, I'm not enough of the Blanton's Original fan to pay the $40 price tag but I've tried these export only versions and I consider them to be better than original. I also live in a controlled state and there are particular brands and bottlings that just aren't sold in VA. For instance, I can only get Weller Antique if I order online or drive into Maryland. Can I get it? Yah, but it's not very convenient. I guess my point is, I wish my State carried a better variety of bourbons but in the absence of those brands, I have to make adjustments and do a little more driving or pay shipping.


Being a fellow resident of the Old Dominion, I feel your pain about the problems trying to find certain brands/expressions. Some of the exclusions from the available line make very little sense to me. For example, they have all the WT products except WT Rye (the rye selection is very limited, though they do have Sazerac). Same thing for Old Forester... they carry the 86 proof version but not the 100 proof (which I've heard is much better). I won't even mention higher end stuff, since you've already brought that up.

Speaking of shipping, do you mean Internet/mail order? I was under the impression that VA did not allow this except for beer and wine, but maybe I'm mistaken. In fact, I hope I am, since that might make it easier to get a few things I've been looking for... :cool:

Hedmans Brorsa
09-09-2007, 03:42
[COLOR=white]Do they still provide Makers of higher proof? The gal from Makers came in later to assure the group that the 90š version was all that is available now, they had stopped bottling the "other" version.

Well, there were two "other" versions. A black seal (94 proof) and a gold seal (101 proof). In a recent thread it was claimed that the latter has been discontinued which is probably true since itīs nigh on impossible to find nowadays.

The black seal, on the other hand, is still available from different specialist outlets in Europe. It is not a European release, though (the back label is almost all in Japanese). I remember Chuck writing about this earlier this year, claiming that all premium Makerīs were on their way out so maybe these are the last ones on offer? I do not know. The Japanese have their own MM site http://www.makersmark.net/ My Japanese is non-existent but I canīt find anything about the either the black or the gold seal.

What I do know, is that my latest bottle of red seal is the best one Iīve had. Especially the nose has been subject to a tremendous improvement. Whether this is due to MM putting all their eggs in one basket, I cannot say. Merely speculate.

Stu
09-09-2007, 08:48
[quote=cowdery;95913]The purpose here is to illustrate a point.

The Four Roses Super Premium is probably less premium than either Small Batch or Single Barrel. Sure, Four Roses has ten different bourbons, to use individually or blend, but do they taste that different?


After the Mellow Moments event at the sampler in May, I'd have to say yes. We compared the high rye mash bill to the low rye using the same yeast - definite difference. Then we compared two high rye mash bills using different yeasts - even a greater difference!

Stu

Rughi
09-10-2007, 09:24
[quote=cowdery;95913]The purpose here is to illustrate a point.

The Four Roses Super Premium is probably less premium than either Small Batch or Single Barrel. Sure, Four Roses has ten different bourbons, to use individually or blend, but do they taste that different?


After the Mellow Moments event at the sampler in May, I'd have to say yes. We compared the high rye mash bill to the low rye using the same yeast - definite difference. Then we compared two high rye mash bills using different yeasts - even a greater difference!

Stu

Stu,
You're absolutely right, but we shouldn't get too worked up about it.

There are many who would tell us to just shut up and drink, it's all pretty much the same. My grandparents were like that. The store brand cheese that's on sale is the same as the Tillamook (it wasn't), Sears Toughskins are the same as Levi's (they weren't), the bike at the department store is the same as the one at the real bike shop (no, the department store bike was POS).

This attitude exists in the world and I'm sure feels real for those who espouse it. But I'm not sure what the point is, as I don't see why someone who believes each distillery's products are all pretty much the same would read sb.com.

Roger

cowdery
09-10-2007, 11:12
I don't see why someone who believes each distillery's products are all pretty much the same would read sb.com.

Huh? Who said that? But a 10-year-old, 94 proof, low rye recipe bourbon from Buffalo Trace is going to be pretty much the same as any other 10-year-old, 94 proof, low rye recipe bourbon from Buffalo Trace, despite having a different name and label. Not that they couldn't find in their racks two very different 10-year-old, 94 proof, low rye recipe bourbons, but they don't. Because they generally are looking for the best thing they have in a 10-year-old, 94 proof, low rye recipe bourbon, every 10-year-old, 94 proof, low rye recipe bourbon they bottle will be pretty similar, regardless of what it says on the label, and if the label says 8- or 12-years-old instead of 10, or 96.2 proof instead of 94, what are you really missing if you can't get all of them?

One reason there isn't much difference is that every distillery is at all times and with every batch trying to make the best whiskey they know how to make. They strive for consistency, not variety.

My specific point about Four Roses is merely that despite the unlimited possibilities of mixing ten different house bourbons together, we probably are getting the best combinations available in Four Roses Yellow Label, Single Barrel, Small Batch and Bulleit, and are the four of them so different from each other that you feel terribly deprived at not being able to sample several more combinations? For me, the answer is no, although some very-old 4R expressions might be nice, but those aren't available anywhere.

I'm trying to help everyone understand that a lot of the export-only products are virtually or exactly the same as domestic releases, only the packaging is different. It's like Hotpoint and GE, Ford and Mercury, the exact same products just branded differently for different distribution channels. Nothing wrong with it, it's a very common and standard practice, but I think people can make better decisions about what they want if they know the facts. I always hate to see it when someone thinks they're sampling a bunch of different bourbons but all they're really doing is sampling the same bourbon out of several different bottles.

Yes, I have said often that it's the taste profile that matters, not the specifications, but all of these things are matters of degree and the range of difference when you have the same distillery, same recipe, same age and same proof is really small.

Sure, it would be wonderful to have access to everything that is or ever was, but this discussion started with the premise that American consumers are getting shorted because lots of really desirable expressions are only in export. I contend that's a fallacy and people ought to get that idea out of their heads.

So far this thread is telling me that living in a state where many US releases are not available is a bigger problem for more people than lack of access to export-only releases.

By all means, this whole enterprise is about experiencing differences that non-bourbonians might find inconsequential. My point is that the differences that matter to me are inside the bottle, not outside. Personally, I'm having trouble tasting everything that is available to me, so I'm not too worried about what isn't.

But far be it from me to criticize anyone who wants and demands everything. That's the attitude that made America great.

gothbat
09-10-2007, 11:39
My question, what do you want that you can't get here?

Bourbon that is aged more than 23 years. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a brand that I'm just unaware of but I've never seen anything that they sell here that was aged more than 23 years. I've heard that most of the 25 year ones taste like they've been in the barrel too long and aren't that good but I'd like to see for myself, especially since the only 23 year old bourbon I've ever had was one of the best I've ever had. Someone, a distiller, independent bottler, or whoever, should do a domestic 25 to match and then something even older (if there's even anything left in the barrel after that point) to one-up the overseas offerings!

ggilbertva
09-10-2007, 12:19
Being a fellow resident of the Old Dominion, I feel your pain about the problems trying to find certain brands/expressions. Some of the exclusions from the available line make very little sense to me. For example, they have all the WT products except WT Rye (the rye selection is very limited, though they do have Sazerac). Same thing for Old Forester... they carry the 86 proof version but not the 100 proof (which I've heard is much better). I won't even mention higher end stuff, since you've already brought that up.

Speaking of shipping, do you mean Internet/mail order? I was under the impression that VA did not allow this except for beer and wine, but maybe I'm mistaken. In fact, I hope I am, since that might make it easier to get a few things I've been looking for... :cool:

Virginia changed the rules a couple of years ago. They now allow the shipment of spirts from out of state up to a 1 gallon per shipment. Following is direct quote from the VA ABC website:

Importing Alcoholic Beverages

No more than one gallon of alcoholic beverages (or the metric equivalent) may be brought into Virginia from outside the Commonwealth, excepting shipments to the commission or its licensees, or new residents under special permits (http://www.abc.state.va.us/enforce/shippinginfo.html#import).
Alcoholic beverages includes wine, beer, or distilled spirits. This restriction applies not only to those alcoholic beverages brought into Virginia from other states or the District of Columbia, but also from defense installations.

I've received shipments from Binny's and Shoppervineyard on a couple of occasions, no problem.

Rughi
09-10-2007, 13:32
By all means, this whole enterprise is about experiencing differences that non-bourbonians might find inconsequential. My point is that the differences that matter to me are inside the bottle, not outside. Personally, I'm having trouble tasting everything that is available to me, so I'm not too worried about what isn't.


Chuck,
I find your response satisfying, and worthy of the high esteem that you command of many, including me.

You lost me, though, on saying that if you've had EC12 and EC18 you pretty much know what HH15 would be. As an enthusiast, that made me thirsty for some HH15, to see for myself if I shouldn't really want any. By that logic, if I have Lot B and Pappy 20, there's no need for me to have Pappy 15 - and that's heresy on this board!

And while it is true that Four Roses may have the 10 combinations in order to have great blending options to make a consistent product, I've had many of those combinations and Stu is exactly right. The trick, as many believe, is to get the different profiles released to us.

Roger "not a brand drinker" Hodges

cowdery
09-10-2007, 16:38
It's all on a continuum, as evidenced by the fast one you tried to play with your example. The difference between 12, 15 and 18 is 3 years each gap. Your Van Winkle example is 12, 15 and 20, and in fact the 12 and 15, 3 years apart, are pretty similar, while the 5 years between Pappy 15 and 20 is more significant.

I've also been told by Japanese friends that EW 15 is nothing special. I conceded the point that it would be nice to have access to everything that is or ever was. I never said there was no difference, just not much. I guess I'll even concede that some people have a greater need to try every possible iteration than I do.

To sum up my thesis in as few words as possible it would be that, speaking as someone who gets to try damn near everything, I want to reassure the rest of you that you're not missing much just because you can't get some or all of the export-only bottlings.

As for "over 23 years old" bourbons, I think one of the KBD Kentucky Vintage US releases is 25 years, if you really like that sort of thing, but the difference between 23 and 25 is negligible. And it's not like they're exactly flooding into export either. I think there's a EW 25 in Japan. What else?

That's more a comment for the "what would you like to see" thread, and I suppose it would be interesting to try (why fool around) bourbons and ryes at 30 years, 40 years, 50 years.

mgilbertva
09-10-2007, 18:44
As a bit of a diversion from the main discussion, gothbat made observed something that I've seen others call attention to: in Japan there are several older releases that are unavailable here, some as old as 25 years.

These might not be something to get too worked up about, however. Dave (dgonano) was telling some of us that a reliable source (not sure if it was ok to say who) told him some of these older barrels that just aren't that good are sent to overseas markets and sold as these off-brands.

As for your main point, Chuck, I think the resistance you're getting is you are questioning the sanity of our collective madness. We're not crazy, just very dedicated. :smiley_acbt: Heh.

barturtle
09-10-2007, 18:51
As a bit of a diversion from the main point Chuck is making, gothbat made a point that I've seen others raise: in Japan there are several older releases that are unavailable here, some as old as 25 years.

These might not be something to get too worked up about, however. I think it was Dave (dgonano) who was telling some of us that a reliable source (not sure if it was ok to say who) told him some of these older barrels that just aren't that good are sent to overseas markets and sold as these off-brands.

As for your main point, Chuck, I think the resistance you're getting is you are questioning the sanity of our collective madness. We're not crazy, just very dedicated. :smiley_acbt: Heh.

I'm not sure I would refer to them as off brands, but for the most part they are brands that aren't distillery bottlings (with a couple exceptions, HH 25 and 28 yo, etc). Some may not be good, or at least not fit everyone's palate, but they are an expression of bourbon that you don't get to try very often, which does make them hold some interest.

Like anything else, your approach to them or what you think they are going to be will influence your experience with them...if you are expecting the most mind-blowing dram you've ever tasted, you're likely to be disappointed, but if you are expecting far, far worse, you just might be pleasantly surprised.

Cornman
09-13-2007, 23:47
My angle on this thread is a little different. My State (WA) just does not carry some of the bottles I would like to try, and they are bottles that are available in other States. I don't know the way the "system" works, but I hope to stop in to my liquor store next week and get a little education. . . .

As a fellow Washingtonian, let me just plead that if you succeed in getting educated, let me know! I was in 'old #101' (the state's best stocked liquor store, south of downtown Seattle) this afternoon. I asked if they had any info on any possible GT Stagg showing up this fall. No one had ever heard of it and wasn't about to start now. I do see on the on-line inventory that there is exactly 750ml of any BTAC in the state - a bottle of Weller in Spokane, but an 8hr round trip seems a bit much even if it was really there! (101 does have some EC18, plenty of EWSB, and, if you care, the Ardbeg trifecta). Happy hunting!