Cream of Kentucky
Well, my friends, after countless stops at out-of-the-way liquor stores in parts unknown in search of that elusive bottle of rare bourbon, I just scored big in, of all places, a shop catering to winos in Altadena, California. Yeah, crack me up.
I found three bourbons there that are no longer made: Hill and Hill, as well as Sunny Brook, both straight bourbons formerly bottled by Jim Beam, (the Sunny Brook trademark survives as a blended whiskey only), but, on a greasy back shelf was a bottle of <font color="red">Cream of Kentucky</font>.
I'll fire up the digital camera soon, but sitting here on the table right now is a quart of CREAM OF KENTUCKY straight bourbon whiskey. I kid you not. I'm still researching this find, but according to Buffalo Trace, this was one of Col. Blanton's original premium brands. BT web page
It may not have been bottled since the 1980s. web page
I've really got to get the digicam going, 'cuz this a real wonder. The front and back labels are heart-shaped and the bottle is molded with a heart shape in which the front label sits, too. I know my description doesn't do it justice.
This, my friends, is the whiskey that Walker Percy sipped from his flask in the stands during the NC-Duke game while sitting next to the co-ed of his dreams and which is memorialized in his infamous BOURBON story.
And this is the bourbon for which Norman Rockwell drew numerous ads.
I'd love to hear from any of you who can help me identify the origin of this bottle of Cream of Kentucky. It bears a revenue stamp numbered 742214010 and is labeled as follows:
"Cream of Kentucky Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, IN, Frankfort, KY, & Fresno, CA."
I'd be interested in any information concerning this bottle of 80 proof "DOUBLE RICH FROM THE HEART OF BLUE GRASS" BOURBON. To that end, I'll post digicam pics as soon as I can.
Re: Cream of Kentucky
Is the Cream of Kentucky you found bourbon?
The three locations listed on the label are interesting: "Lawrenceburg, IN, Frankfort, KY, & Fresno, CA" Lawrenceburg, IN is the site of a formerly-Seagrams facility, where many of Seagram's American Blended Whiskey brands were made. The only distillery with a Frankfort address that has been active in the last few decades is Buffalo Trace, although aging and bottling have taken place at the old Forks of Elkhorn place that used to be Old Grand-Dad and is now owned by Jim Beam. The California address is likely a distributor, but the location would only need to be on the label if some part of the production process, such as bottling, took place there.
All this might make more sense if it's a blend, as opposed to a straight bourbon. If it's a straight, it's possible the whiskey was distilled and aged in Frankfort, and that some of it was bottled in each of the other two places. The label has to be inclusive. It doesn't have to be exclusive. In other words, perhaps some bottles were bottled in California and some were bottled in Indiana.
Check the bottom of the bottle. Often, there is an embossed date that indicates when the bottle was made, which is a pretty good indicator of when the product was bottled.
Anyway, an interesting find.
Re: Cream of Kentucky
Chuck: It's straight bourbon alright and, according to the BT website, Cream of Kentucky was a brand that Blanton himself introduced after prohibition as a premium label. The Norman Rockwell ad in my first post is an ad for a blended whiskey bottled under the label that dates from 1948. The bottle I just located is bourbon, but the Schenley name is nowhere to be found. The Rockwell ad below is from 1940.
The Cream of Kentucky Distilling Co. is still an assumed name of United, by the way. I checked the KY Sec. of State search engine.
Maybe once I get a pic of this beauty up on the site, Ken Weber can track down the time period from which this particular bottle dates. When were quart bottles introduced? When did the tax stamps disappear? Perhaps even the tax stamp number is a clue. The bottle has no other words on the bottom other than "liquor bottle." Glad those were there, too; I might have mistaken it for something else!