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  1. #21
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    Re: Seagram's Benchmark

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Benchmark had the distinction of being the last new bourbon brand introduced in the U.S. until Jim Beam launched Booker's in the late 1980s, a gap of about 20 years.
    I guess finding a list of when brands were introduced would be asking too much, wouldn't it?

    Wouldn't Blanton's count? I remember the first time I saw Blanton's, in the mid-'80s, and I thought $28 was a crazy price for bourbon! That was $15 more than just about everything else, and even $5 more than Laphroaig.

    How old is Fighting Cock?

  2. #22
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Seagram's Benchmark

    There's not a list, and it would be more like an essay, because in few cases would the answer be simple and straightforward.

    Blanton's may well have preceded Booker's. It was one of those two. I think Fighting Cock goes back to the sixties, but I don't recall its provenance. There were a couple created in the late sixties, like Ezra Brooks, but Benchmark is generally considered to have been the last of them.

    It's also not definitive that Blanton's and Booker's were the first ones since Benchmark. Heaven Hill came out with the current 12-year-old Elijah Craig in the late 70s or early 80s, but I think that was a relaunch of an existing brand.

  3. #23
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    Re: Seagram's Benchmark

    Fighting Cock was an 8 year product when it was distilled by JTS Brown and Sons(now Wild Turkey Distillery). HH kept the age at 8 yrs for some time until it was reduced to 6yrs.
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  4. #24
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    Re: Seagram's Benchmark

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    There were a couple created in the late sixties, like Ezra Brooks
    Who made Ezra Brooks in Louisville back in the day?
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  5. #25
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    Re: Seagram's Benchmark

    Quote Originally Posted by BourbonJoe View Post
    Who made Ezra Brooks in Louisville back in the day?
    Joe
    I thought that EB switched from Owensboro to Lawrenceburg? Was it not, a Medley product by origin?
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  6. #26
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Seagram's Benchmark

    This is my understanding.

    Gary

  7. #27
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    Re: Seagram's Benchmark

    Ezra Brooks was named after and created by Ezra Ripy at the Hoffman Distillery outside of Lawrenceburg. That's the distillery Julian Van Winkle later used for aging and bottling.

    The last distillery operated by the descendents of J.T.S. Brown to make J.T.S. Brown Bourbon is the distillery now known as Four Roses. Seagram's bought the brand when they bought the distillery during World War II and later sold it to Heaven Hill. Presumably, Fighting Cock followed J.T.S. Brown in all of those transactions. I believe Creel Brown remained with the distillery until about 1953. He's still living.

    Fighting Cock, like Eagle Rare, was a Wild Turkey knock-off. Ezra Brooks, like Evan Williams, was a Jack Daniel's knock-off.

  8. #28
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    Re: Seagram's Benchmark

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Fighting Cock, like Eagle Rare, was a Wild Turkey knock-off. Ezra Brooks, like Evan Williams, was a Jack Daniel's knock-off.
    When I was just starting college (late 60's), my friends frequently bought Ezra Brooks and Evan Williams. It was always my distinct impression that they were trying to present themselves as being like Jack Daniels.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  9. #29
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    Re: Seagram's Benchmark

    Sure. Square bottle, white on black label, big old "7" on the front. They both wanted a piece of that Lynchburg pie.

    I figured that Eagle Rare and Fighting Cock were both Turkey competitors, given the proof and the birds. Fighting Cock is even two proof points better, while Eagle Rare was two years older.

    What I haven't read, but assume given the facts, is that Wild Turkey, sold when most bourbons were 100 proof, was Nigel Tufnel marketing: "It's like at 100, and then you turn it up to 101!"

    So where is this closed distillery in Lawrenceburg? I want to drive by it.

  10. #30
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Seagram's Benchmark

    It may be possible that Wild Turkey didn't want to give away its source(s) by doing a bonded bourbon. When the brand was started they were nothing more than a bottler, they didn't own a distillery. KBD does similar things today, look at the proofs of their brands, 101, 100.1, gets you right there, keeps your source hidden.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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