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HighTower
09-13-2007, 09:21
Today, I noticed here in Australia, our bottles of Jim Beam Black have lost the 8yo age statement, and simply have "aged to perfection". Does it still carry an age statement in the US?

Scott

mozilla
09-13-2007, 09:35
As far as I have seen there are versions: 7/90, 8/86 and 8/80 (decantor, I think).

TBoner
09-16-2007, 17:08
Those versions reflect evolution over time. Originally, Beam black was 101 month, 90 proof. Then 8-yr 90 proof, then 7 yr 90 proof, then 8 yr 86 proof. Never seen an 80-proofer. But I've also never seen one without an age statement, and there are places here with high turnover, so I'd think I would see NAS bottlings soon if they're losing the age statement worldwide.

And if that happens, I won't buy anymore Beam black. I'm not going to continue to support products that lose age statements and proof.

mozilla
09-16-2007, 17:13
And if that happens, I won't buy anymore Beam black. I'm not going to continue to support products that lose age statements and proof.

I support that statement 100%. Too bad the list is getting so long.

SBOmarc
09-16-2007, 17:22
Be careful what you say, We may soon be left with with no choice. The way things are trending.

mozilla
09-16-2007, 17:33
I have not purchased a Jack or Beam product for a really long time. Except fot bottles that should have ND juice in them. Made that decision a long time ago. Price goes up, proof goes down, just a bad deal in my opinion.

ACDetroit
09-16-2007, 18:36
So Jeff does this mean you would no longer buy WTRR? Price went up proof went down.

You can still find some 101 WTRR out there but the price is going up.

SBOmarc
09-16-2007, 18:56
Not out here in this part of the world, I haven't been able to find it in the last 6 months. Even the nicer bars that had it now only feature the 90 Proof. As plentiful as it may be elsewhere I would gladly pay the freight to get soemone to send a bottle my way.

mozilla
09-16-2007, 19:00
Tony,
I have two bottles of WTRR101 that were purchased for $19. each(when I worked at a liquor store). I have not purchased one since....I have a bottle and a third left. And I will not be buying any more, because it is not my favorite bourbon. Is it good...hell yeah! But I would rather spend my $25.99 on something else. Maybe some ER 101 for $17.99 and a Steak.
I have never had Bookers or Bakers, Woodfords "special bottles", Rare Breed, OF birthday and a few others. I just don't feel the value is there. Combined with the fact that I have been dusty hunting and have spent my budget in that direction. Mostly buying stuff I know won't be around anymore.

craigthom
09-16-2007, 21:32
I've had Booker's. I drive to Bardstown from Louisville once or twice a month, so I always stop by Beam and run into the house for a taste. They only do two of their small batches at a time, so the Booker's isn't always available.

There's no tour at Beam, just a gift shop and a few outside displays, so there's no obstacle to just hitting the tasting room.

TBoner
09-17-2007, 08:57
So Jeff does this mean you would no longer buy WTRR? Price went up proof went down.

You can still find some 101 WTRR out there but the price is going up.

I won't buy the WTRR 90. Russell's Reserve implies it is just as Jimmy Russell selected it. And yet it lacks the signature 101-proof. Rubbish. And, naturally, the price went up. After all, it's in a much prettier bottle.

I've become pretty disenchanted with the trends in whisk(e)y, particularly American whiskey. I don't buy EW black, won't buy any 1783, won't buy the NAS version of Beam black if it appears, etc. Am I boycotting myself out of enjoying whiskey? Maybe. But, hey, if the problem is all on the supply side, then a few of us not buying the stuff should right the ship and we'll be back to age statements and higher proofs, right?:rolleyes: In the meantime, I have dusties and some nice current-production bottles to sustain me.

Of course I'm particularly put off by the thought of Beam doing this. Not a single age statement over 9 years and there's not enough whiskey? Ugh. From what I've ascertained on other whisky forums, Beam global has recently decided that Canada doesn't need Laphroaig 10, and will get the Quarter Cask instead: higher price, younger whiskey finished in small casks. It's fine stuff, but it's part of a range of options, and the 10yo is the regular distillery bottling (for how much longer?). Which one oughta be the more available?:hot: And when do you think Beam Global will decide we don't really need Laphroaig 10 anymore, either?

It's all a lot of nonsense. I love whisk(e)y, and I want to love the distilleries, but the conglomerates that own them make it damned hard. Stagg sounds like a great thing, until we're told that there's not enough aged whiskey to sustain older age statement bottlings. Ditto WLW. I'm having a hard time talking myself into running all over town like a madman this fall begging BT to screw me up front on the price of the bottles and in the rear by pulling age-stated products off the market.

Rant over.

mozilla
09-17-2007, 21:02
An aside to some of Tim's statements: I asked Ken Weber about a bottle I had found while hunting in Atlanta, 8yr Benchmark. He said it was not available anymore bacause they were using the stock to fill the Buffalo Trace brand. A brand that runs $19.99 or so far a 750ml, while the Benchmark 8YR sells for $18-19 per 1.75. I'll let y'all do the math on the profit margin for BT over Benchmark 8. This is why Benchmark is now a 4yr product at $15. Who is the real winner with us loosing a decent mid shelfer and gaining a moderate top shelfer?

cowdery
09-17-2007, 22:28
I have often called Jim Beam Black the most fiddled-with brand in history, but ever since they really launched it in the USA, full bore, a few years ago it has been 8-years-old and 86 proof. Still is here unless something has changed very recently. The website still shows it as 8/86.

Jim Beam, unlike some other companies, exports some of its whiskey in bulk for bottling in the country where it will be sold, so just the packaging may be different, or the product may be different, or both.

mozilla
09-17-2007, 23:46
I have a bottle of 7/90 Black label. Most of the newwer ones I have seen are 8/86.

TBoner
09-18-2007, 05:05
I have often called Jim Beam Black the most fiddled-with brand in history, but ever since they really launched it in the USA, full bore, a few years ago it has been 8-years-old and 86 proof. Still is here unless something has changed very recently. The website still shows it as 8/86.

Jim Beam, unlike some other companies, exports some of its whiskey in bulk for bottling in the country where it will be sold, so just the packaging may be different, or the product may be different, or both.

Fair enough, and I may have gotten a bit more perturbed than I needed to given that I've not seen any U.S. product without an age statement. However, these things have a way of spreading out once they start somewhere (especially if people buy the new product). And it's symptomatic of some things I find annoying. Anyway, here's hoping the Beam black stays at it's price, proof, and age points for years to come (unless, of course, they want to increase the age and proof without driving up the price).

cowdery
09-18-2007, 12:59
There's a big difference between the way Beam Global runs its business and the way Heaven Hill is run, which is why I would be very surprised if Beam took the age statement off Beam Black like HH did with Evan Williams.

Gillman
03-01-2008, 20:39
I just purchased a bottle of Jim Beam Black in Ontario. I cannot see where on the label it states an age of 8 years.

There was a small label on the back of the bottle but it fell off (I can see glue remnants on the glass), so unless the missing rear label stated 8 years of age, this bottling would appear not to claim an age of 8 years.

On the front label it states over the reference to 86 proof, "Aged to Perfection".

It's actually pretty good, regardless of actual age.

Gary

cowdery
03-01-2008, 20:49
This might be something new or just for Canada, or both, because the fairly recent bottle I have has "Aged 8 Years" very prominent where you have "Aged to Perfection."

We all know there's a shortage, especially in extra-aged product, that forced the age statement off Evan Williams and many other Heaven Hill products about three years ago. If Beam is following suit, that's unfortunate.

The web site (http://jimbeam.com) still says it's 8 years.

I hate to think my brothers to the north are getting shortchanged, but better you than us. :) :) :)

Gillman
03-01-2008, 20:51
I see now Tracy's comment that current Beam Black in Australia does not have an age statement of 8 years. My bottle must be the same since it also states on the front "Aged To Perfection".

Beam Black is a brand I know very well. If in fact the contents of this bottle are under 8 years barrel age, it must have been selected to match the profile of the 8 years Black since they are identical in flavor from what I can see.

Gary

TBoner
03-01-2008, 21:42
Damnit! Damnit! Damnit!

It's only a matter of time before the age statement disappears here, too.

I know there's a shortage of extra-aged whiskey, etc., yadda, yadda, whatever and ever amen.

Again I ask, how can Beam not have a single age statement over 9 years and yet have a shortage of 8-yr-old product? The hell with it...I'm going back to beer.

In all seriousness, I am finding myself drawn to beer consumption as I watch prices climb, age statements vanish, proofs diminish, and quality slide.

Sure, there are lots of NAS products that drink quite well: ETL, BT, WT Rye, WT 101, etc. come to mind. Sure, good whiskey is good whiskey, no matter how old it is or what the proof is. Sure, the only reason for all of this is lack of aged whiskey to meet demand.:skep: (I'm skeptical as I don't expect the age statement will suddenly reappear on any of these products when the "shortage" is over - the shortage will end, given ramped up production and warehouse space at the top 3 American whiskey producers, right???).

Sometimes I think bunkering is silly, that I don't really need all of this whiskey sititng around, that I'll be able to pick up a bottle of OGD 114 whenever this one's empty. Then I watch as the rest of the English-speaking world loses age-stated Beam black and wonder how much time I have to stockpile a few bottles.

I'm tired of excuses, including those we make here, for the American whiskey industry's failure to continue satisfying the demand for traditional products: BIB, age-stated, and otherwise; even as they scramble to generate "new" products that they can charge exorbitant prices for. What's the saying? You don't make money by selling more cars. You make it by selling more car. Witness Parker's Heritage, Stagg, etc. Roger has lamented the fact that some truly superb individual barrels are sacrificed to maintain profiles for EW Black, Old Taylor, and other cats and dogs. I understand the sentiment, and to some extent I agree. But I also lament the fact that barrels are held back for premium bottlings at the expense of age statements, proof, or quality in the everyday bourbons that have been the cornerstone of American whiskey.

A scattershot rant, as I look back. Oh, well. I'm in no mood to focus the argument: I just finished my taxes, and I'm a bit tired.

If I could go to the store tomorrow and buy a couple of handles of Beam black, I would. Guess I'll have to wait until Monday.

HighTower
03-02-2008, 01:36
Since I first started this post I have been seeing the 8yo Beam Black slowly diminish from store shelves, only to be replaced by the "aged to perfection".
I've never been a big fan of the Beam Black, but maybe I should revisit the 8yo before it's all but gone.

I personally prefer the Beams Choice at 5yo.

Scott

cowdery
03-07-2008, 10:25
The official word from Beam is that Black Label sales in markets outside the U.S. have exceeded projections. This has led to a shortage of aged product, which has forced them to change the label and, obviously, the age of the product inside. The "Aged to Perfection" label is being used in all markets outside the USA but the product sold inside the USA is and will remain 8-years-old, with the age statement on the label.

scopenut
03-07-2008, 11:05
Thanks for that useful information, Chuck.

-Kevin

TBoner
03-07-2008, 16:44
I overreacted. I often do. It's still frustrating to see age statements vanish anywhere. But I'll go ahead and be happy about the continuance of an 8-yr age statement stateside. And I'll say I'm sorry to Beam, because I know they were listening.:lol:

dcb
03-08-2008, 14:02
I almost grabbed a bottle of Jim Black the other day, it was on sale for $15.50. Haven't had it in a while, maybe I'll give it another taste.

Jaysus
03-10-2008, 12:53
He is a pic I snapped at the state store this week (wanted to show the t-shit packaging to a friend)

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a17/jaysus145/bourbon/IMG_8390.jpg

craigthom
03-10-2008, 15:50
Since you mentioned beer, have you noticed the effect the hop shortage is having on small brewery IPAs?

Jaysus
03-10-2008, 20:38
Since you mentioned beer, have you noticed the effect the hop shortage is having on small brewery IPAs?


absotivley... and on homebrewing. Hop prices have nearly doubled at my LHBS.

Sijan
03-11-2008, 20:40
Very glad to hear that JB Black is not losing the 8 year old age statement here in the US. It has long been a favorite everyday pour of mine.

felthove
03-12-2008, 09:34
Damnit! Damnit! Damnit!

It's only a matter of time before the age statement disappears here, too.

I know there's a shortage of extra-aged whiskey, etc., yadda, yadda, whatever and ever amen.

Again I ask, how can Beam not have a single age statement over 9 years and yet have a shortage of 8-yr-old product? The hell with it...I'm going back to beer.

In all seriousness, I am finding myself drawn to beer consumption as I watch prices climb, age statements vanish, proofs diminish, and quality slide.

Sure, there are lots of NAS products that drink quite well: ETL, BT, WT Rye, WT 101, etc. come to mind. Sure, good whiskey is good whiskey, no matter how old it is or what the proof is. Sure, the only reason for all of this is lack of aged whiskey to meet demand.:skep: (I'm skeptical as I don't expect the age statement will suddenly reappear on any of these products when the "shortage" is over - the shortage will end, given ramped up production and warehouse space at the top 3 American whiskey producers, right???).

Sometimes I think bunkering is silly, that I don't really need all of this whiskey sititng around, that I'll be able to pick up a bottle of OGD 114 whenever this one's empty. Then I watch as the rest of the English-speaking world loses age-stated Beam black and wonder how much time I have to stockpile a few bottles.

I'm tired of excuses, including those we make here, for the American whiskey industry's failure to continue satisfying the demand for traditional products: BIB, age-stated, and otherwise; even as they scramble to generate "new" products that they can charge exorbitant prices for. What's the saying? You don't make money by selling more cars. You make it by selling more car. Witness Parker's Heritage, Stagg, etc. Roger has lamented the fact that some truly superb individual barrels are sacrificed to maintain profiles for EW Black, Old Taylor, and other cats and dogs. I understand the sentiment, and to some extent I agree. But I also lament the fact that barrels are held back for premium bottlings at the expense of age statements, proof, or quality in the everyday bourbons that have been the cornerstone of American whiskey.

A scattershot rant, as I look back. Oh, well. I'm in no mood to focus the argument: I just finished my taxes, and I'm a bit tired.

If I could go to the store tomorrow and buy a couple of handles of Beam black, I would. Guess I'll have to wait until Monday.

Great post. One of the reasons I love this place.

cowdery
04-01-2008, 17:33
I just learned that Brown-Forman has cut the proof of Woodford Reserve, also just for non-U.S. markets. No change for the USA. The new product is in the pipeline now.

I just talked to Chris Morris about it and he says it was driven primarily by consumer preferences and the fact that, especially where bourbon is not well developed, most other spirits products are 80 proof and even lower.

I suspect Beam and BF are doing it for the same reasons, which would be a combination of the reasons both have stated. The international consumers, especially the mainstream ones (not the crazies like us) tend to prefer a lower proof. Chris said the international standard for premium expressions is 86.4 proof, but even a lot of the prestige single malts are 80.

But, obviously, everybody in the whiskey biz is trying to make the whiskey they have go as far as possible and watering it certain helps.

Chris says that since Woodford bottles by bottle size, when the 70 cl bottles are up, they mix a batch of the lower proof, and make a lot of adjustments to filtering and stuff to keep the taste as close as possible. It's not just a batch of the U.S. expression with a little more water.

barturtle
04-01-2008, 17:40
Consumer Preferences? Isn't that the same thing they said when they lowered the proof of Jack Daniel's globally?

cowdery
04-01-2008, 17:47
Yep, and there's pretty good evidence that it's true, outside the U.S. Maybe not so much here, although once-upon-a-time most American whiskey was sold at 100 proof and now most of it is 80 and consumer preference was, legitimately, the reason.

In the JD case, the fact that it saved them about $11 million a year in taxes didn't hurt either.

HighTower
04-01-2008, 23:43
Chris said the international standard for premium expressions is 86.4 proof
Chuck,

Does this mean WR will be 86.4 proof or will they make it 80 proof?
Good thing I have a stash!

Scott

barturtle
04-01-2008, 23:53
It seems like I recall not all that long ago reading about a push for premium scotches to be bottled at 46% or 92 proof...I may be wrong, but it seems right. I recall this was the point where they didn't have to chill filter and all that jazz.

Hell, if they want to sell water, sell water, the markup in that market is enormous, and without the major taxes on beverage alcohol to boot.

cowdery
04-02-2008, 19:34
I'm a little uncertain. The new international Woodford is either 88 proof or 86.4 proof, but it's definitely not 80 proof. And the U.S. version is remaining at 90.4 proof.

Another thing I didn't mention above is that many younger consumers, here and around the world, are not so much adopting bourbon or whiskey as they are adding it to a portfolio of spirits they regularly drink, including vodka, gin, rum, tequila, liqueurs, etc. With spirits in general you're even more likely to find things at 80 proof and no higher, and outside the U.S. where the rules are different many major spirits brands--Capt. Morgan and Southern Comfort are two examples--are sold at 70 proof.

We, my brothers, are not the mainstream, I'm afraid.

SBOmarc
04-02-2008, 20:58
We, my brothers, are not the mainstream, I'm afraid.[/QUOTE]

I can be mainstream in many other ways. In this case I prefer being right where I am.

jburlowski
04-03-2008, 17:30
I'm more than a little skeptical...

Just how are these "consumer preferences" expressed? Have sales of 90.4 proof WR suddenly dropped dramatically? Is there a nascent, quasi-temperence movement out there agitating for lower-proof spirits?

I don't think so... I would guess that the folks that want / buy lower proof spirits are doing so based on price and that they are mixing / diluting them to whatever proof they want.

Why doesn't WR (and the other brands) just say so so.... that they are trying to maximize profits and be on with it (nothing wrong with that).

But, please, please, don't say that the consumers "made me do it".

TNbourbon
04-03-2008, 19:58
I'm more than a little skeptical...just say...that they are trying to maximize profits and be on with it (nothing wrong with that).

But, please, please, don't say that the consumers "made me do it".

Or, say that the "consumers 'allowed' us to do it'"! But, your point is made, and probably correct.