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MikeK
06-20-2008, 07:36
Editorial mode on - look away now if you don't want to hear me rant...

There has been discussion in a couple of threads recently about inaccuracy on BIB labels as far as the DSP number. No one seems too upset about this :skep:

Many of the examples have been of HH products. Now first off, God bless HH, I love their BIB products and kudos for making several corn whiskies. However, I find it totally unacceptable that the BIB labels are often knowingly inaccurate. I understand that there is no deliberate intent to misrepresent, but doesn't the BIB designation exist to guarantee to the consumer exactly what is in the bottle? Just label the bottle as 100 proof straight bourbon whiskey and you can do as you wish. But if you stick a BIB label on it, I darn well expect the info to be accurate.

I've got a recent BIB botttle at home with NO DSP number on it. I've got current Dant and Mellow Corn BIB's at home with DSP-31 on them and they are almost definitely DSP-1 products. This is not OK.

The argument that you've got a couple cases of extra labels and want to use them up is very scary. That's quite a slippery slope. What happens if there are extra 90 proof labels that need to get used? Can you put them on your 80 proof product? Oops, our frozen dinner now has three times the fat it used to, but the box doesn't tell you that cause we had to use up all our old boxes first, sorry. No!

Again, this is not intended as HH bashing, I love many of their products, and they are goodly enough to keep making a lot of BIB offerings, which I love the most. But if you are going to label as BIB, it has to mean something, and it should be correct.

Now perhaps I'll go have a nice Rare Old HH 10yo BIB and relax....

mozilla
06-20-2008, 07:47
I have also noticed that Rock Hill Farms is a Bib...and it does not show a DSP either.

As a note...maybe the DSP can be where it was bottled and warehoused, as well as, which still it came out of. And why don't they list what season and year it was distilled anymore?

MikeK
06-20-2008, 08:17
I think Rock Hill is 100 proof, but not a BIB. But I may be mistaken. I have heard opinions that the DSP number can be where it was warehoused or bottled, and not where it was distilled. I did not get a conclusive ruling on that one though. If so, I would be disappointed, because I think the place it was made is the single most important number. Ideally you would list both, which I have seen done. But if you only list one, I would hope it would be the source of the distillate, not where it was bottled.

For instance, if HH distilled something and then sold it to Barton, who later bottled it as a BIB, I would really like to know that this is HH juice vs. Barton.

doubleblank
06-20-2008, 08:42
RHF was originally labeled as a BIB on the neck of the bottle just below the stopper. Now the label says 100 proof. But since it is a single barrel, it remains essentially a BIB.

I too have seen many labels state "Distilled at DSP X, Bottled at DSP Y". The use of older labels is surely done without any consideration that there are some of us who care about where the whiskey comes from. I suspect even Julian used up some Lawrenceburg labels even after bottling moved to Frankfort.

While I'm not as upset about it as you are Mike.....the cost of printing new, accurate labels seems like a minor expense.....and important to protect the integrity and purpose of a BIB designation.

Randy

ThomasH
06-20-2008, 09:32
I would think that they don't list where it was distilled simply because so much whiskey and brands have changed hands and been transferred in the buyouts and consolidation that has gone on in the last 20 years. I too am all for full disclosure of what came from where but it seems that some in the industry think otherwise. I would say that since they removed the government people from permanently being on site in the early 80's, the info and disclosure seems to have become much more optional!

Thomas

spun_cookie
06-20-2008, 12:07
Does anyone know what the actual regulations are? I would be surprised if they were breaking any laws, not worth the gamble for a few cents on labels...

... I do agree it would be nice to know what you are buying.. truth in product is very important...

dave ziegler
06-20-2008, 12:41
Editorial mode on - look away now if you don't want to hear me rant...

There has been discussion in a couple of threads recently about inaccuracy on BIB labels as far as the DSP number. No one seems too upset about this :skep:

Many of the examples have been of HH products. Now first off, God bless HH, I love their BIB products and kudos for making several corn whiskies. However, I find it totally unacceptable that the BIB labels are often knowingly inaccurate. I understand that there is no deliberate intent to misrepresent, but doesn't the BIB designation exist to guarantee to the consumer exactly what is in the bottle? Just label the bottle as 100 proof straight bourbon whiskey and you can do as you wish. But if you stick a BIB label on it, I darn well expect the info to be accurate.

I've got a recent BIB botttle at home with NO DSP number on it. I've got current Dant and Mellow Corn BIB's at home with DSP-31 on them and they are almost definitely DSP-1 products. This is not OK.

The argument that you've got a couple cases of extra labels and want to use them up is very scary. That's quite a slippery slope. What happens if there are extra 90 proof labels that need to get used? Can you put them on your 80 proof product? Oops, our frozen dinner now has three times the fat it used to, but the box doesn't tell you that cause we had to use up all our old boxes first, sorry. No!

Again, this is not intended as HH bashing, I love many of their products, and they are goodly enough to keep making a lot of BIB offerings, which I love the most. But if you are going to label as BIB, it has to mean something, and it should be correct.

Now perhaps I'll go have a nice Rare Old HH 10yo BIB and relax....-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Can't Be Dsp #1 as that was The Publicker Still in Phila and it no longer exsists. Publicker had Dsp-Pa # 1,12,10
Dave Z
Old Hickory America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
--------------------------------------------------

mozilla
06-20-2008, 13:39
Just an FYI for you Dave, each state has its' own set of numbers.

mozilla
06-20-2008, 15:49
Meant to add that the DSP should include the state designation. They should resemble this....DSP KY 113 or DSP PA 12.

cowdery
06-20-2008, 15:58
Points all well-taken, Mike. If they're going to use the BIB designation, then they should honor it all the way. It isn't strictly about adhering to the letter of the law, which presumably HH has done, but about respecting the value enthusiasts place on reliable provenance information. This may be part of educating the producers about what we value. We know they all read these boards, so use the soap box. Well done, Mike.

HH probably doesn't equate "enthusiasts" with its cheap, limited distribution BIBs such as J.T.S. Brown and J.W. Dant, yet here we are talking about them. I drank some J.T.S. Brown just last night, in a rocks manhattan.

Most of the labels are one-color, so updating them when the facts changed wouldn't have been that expensive.

The law requires that the DSP where distilled be identified and if it was bottled at a different DSP, that one has to be identified too. Although with the place name (e.g., Bardstown, KY) on labels, the producer can use any place of business, the BIB rules are specific: where distilled and where bottled, by DSP number.

I was surprised to discover how many bottles of J.T.S. Brown BIB and Mellow Corn BIB I have, all bought at different times. HH seems to have switched the J.T.S. Brown labels in 2006 or 2007, which is a B&W back label. They're still using DSP-31 on Mellow Corn, but there it's on the full color front label, a much more expensive reprint.

It's also possible that because Mellow Corn is such a tiny brand, and because it's aged in used cooperage, it may be significantly older than 4 or 5 years. I can't believe they make corn whiskey very often. I know, for example, that straight rye is the biggest type after bourbon and no distillery in Kentucky devotes more than about four days a year to the production of straight rye, so just imagine how little corn they make.

Since BIBs have to be from one distillery, there was a point when they did their first bottling run with something other than DSP-31 product and that probably happened in 2002-2003. I can appreciate that for the brief time it was actually whiskey made at Beam or BF they didn't want to print new labels, but even if the law allows them to use-up old, inaccurate labels, it does seem to defeat the purpose of the BIB guidelines. If they just started to use new, up-to-date labels in 2006, that's two or three years in which they were labeling their products incorrectly.

TNbourbon
06-20-2008, 16:00
You guys are doing a good job of explaining why BIB designations are going away. I'd be surprised if there are any left in 10 years.

MikeK
06-20-2008, 17:07
What's interesting is that I have bought within the last year or 2 a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye with DSP-354 and with DSP-31. So it looks like they did go to the trouble of printing labels while they were in-between distilleries, at least for the Rittenhouse. (Or were they farming that out anyway?)

I have seen a lot of Dant BIB DSP-31 on the shelves with '07 bottle stampings this year. It is actually quite good. It does not taste like 4yo. And having trusted the DSP# it was quite believable that this was 10yo that was in a low-temperature fluctuation spot in the warehouse.

So it turns out that it is likely DSP-1 juice, but I still think it is well older than 4yo, and it is still a nice pour.

Good point, Tim, a lot of whining is more likely to make BIB go away than correct anything. Too few of us know and care what it means. But I guess I'd rather it go away than be wrong.

And again, HH is the main subject of this discussion soley because they make such a huge number of BIB offerings, which I sure do appreciate.

Cheers,

mozilla
06-20-2008, 17:22
I saw a liquor board sheet that listed JW Dant as a 54 month old bourbon. I don't know how correct it is today with most products losing age, though.

cowdery
06-20-2008, 20:24
If Tim's point is that whining is more likely to make BIB go away than correct anything, that's not much of a point. What good is the BIB designation if the producer isn't following the rules?

As for Rittenhouse, BF has been making all of Heaven Hill's straight rye since the fire and is still making it, as they don't have enough capacity at Bernheim.

As for the quality of the whiskey, I feel the same way about the J.T.S. Brown as you do about the Dant. There is no better whiskey for less than $10 anywhere on earth. It's great. As for it being, "10yo that was in a low-temperature fluctuation spot in the warehouse," I have too much respect for Heaven Hill as a successful business to believe that is possible. They would sell that as Old Heaven Hill BIB 10-year-old, which they have recently discontinued because no way are they going to sell 10-year-old whiskey that cheap in this market.

MikeK
06-20-2008, 20:57
They would sell that as Old Heaven Hill BIB 10-year-old, which they have recently discontinued because no way are they going to sell 10-year-old whiskey that cheap in this market.

Crap! I didn't know the 10yo was discontinued. Make sense in this market though.

I shall covet my only bottle all the more. Until I drink it. :cry:

TNbourbon
06-21-2008, 22:02
...Good point, Tim, a lot of whining is more likely to make BIB go away than correct anything. Too few of us know and care what it means...

If Tim's point is that whining is more likely to make BIB go away than correct anything, that's not much of a point. What good is the BIB designation if the producer isn't following the rules?..no way are they going to sell 10-year-old whiskey that cheap in this market.
Actually, it was more you two guys' latter points that most reflect what I meant.

cowdery
06-22-2008, 22:02
BIB probably is dead whether I whine about it or not, because even if the concept has some appeal--especially the idea of a "single batch" whiskey--the name sucks and the proof is inflexible. Today it probably would make more sense to call something "single batch" and explain what that means rather than try to explain BIB. Of course a single barrel product is single batch by definition, but a single batch product that is not single barrel could be produced less expensively since it can be bottled on a standard, automated line.