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View Full Version : The Secret to quality in American Whiskey in the old days



dave ziegler
05-08-2008, 13:38
One of the things I learned when I worked for Publicker is in a quality Statement I wrote last week and gave to the company I work for now to use in a quality Paper being put out in the Plant
"The Sign of a Truly Great Product
is in its Consistency"
And the great American Whiskeys did just that in the old days without alot of the modern equipment that is out there now. It was and is a tribute to them from those days gone by. Publicker had a total of 4 Labs going in the old days with lots of R&D. They had a Lab at the Kinsey Bottle House, one on Chestnut Street in Phila one at the Phila Distillery and one in Essington Pa. When they produced their Many brands the thing about them was you would get a bottle one year and go back two years later get one and it would be just as Good in its quality and Cosistancy as it was before. If your Product goes up and down your sales will be gone People like to have brands they can count on that they can walk in buy it and enjoy, its as simple as that! Philadelphia Blended was that way and Old Hickory was always a great and Consistant Product.
Dave Z
Old Hickory America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
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TNbourbon
05-10-2008, 21:28
...If your Product goes up and down your sales will be gone People like to have brands they can count on that they can walk in buy it and enjoy, its as simple as that! Philadelphia Blended was that way and Old Hickory was always a great and Consistant Product.
Dave Z
Old Hickory America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
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Dave, I believe you promote a very sound philosophy, and the recent Sampler experience with several Old Hickory bottles accentuates it. All were excellent. One of the three was an 8yo quart from the late-'50s that I'd already enjoyed about half of, and which was universally well-received, even by the likes of bourbon hall-of-famer Bill Friel ("That's good whiskey!"), retired MD of Barton. I'm very glad to be able to enjoy the last inch or so still in the bottle that I brought home.
Yet, we have often discussed here whether or not we are currently in a 'Golden Age' of bourbon/American whiskey, and the most prevelant answer seems to be, "Yes, we are." And with the likes of Jimmy Russell, Lincoln Henderson, Jim Rutledge, Parker Beam, et al, and their long careers in the bourbon/whiskey business, we may be residing in a transcendent age between the 'seat-of-your-pants' excellence of the old-time distillers, and the lab-driven, technology-centered production methods of today's industrial distillers. In short, the likes of Russell, Henderson, Rutledge and Beam could make great whiskey then, and they still make great whiskey now!
I've had some epiphaniacal bourbons from times past -- I offer an 8yo Weller BIB from the '40s which wowed even the likes of Chuck Cowdery and fellow SB.com'ers recently as evidence -- but I also revel in Parker Beam's Heritage Collection selection from last year, and the recent Wild Turkey Tribute and American Spirit. The George T. Stagg bottlings are trend-setters deserving of their frequent kudos.
The quality of bourbon and American whiskey is ageless, Dave. And your appreciation and description of former glories of distillers such as Publicker are straight on! I wholeheartedly agree with them. But we fail in our current appreciation and understanding if we don't credit the fine offerings of today's distillers and distilleries, which we enjoy regularly, and extol often.
Let that be a challenge to today's producers -- we are used to decades of fine bourbon/whiskey, and YOU are charged with providing it in perpetuity!

cowdery
05-11-2008, 19:48
There have always been great whiskeys. Why I think this is the "golden age" is because we have access to so many different great whiskeys. I also think the overall quality is better than it's ever been, but in a way that's an easy statement because of consolidation.