I have to post something about this because I had such an excellent experience recently dealing with the Sazerac company.
The background is that I had just bought two bad bottles of EC12 (my favorite) from my local liquor store and was in a foul mood when I bought a bottle of Saz Jr. (which is new in my area). I thought that it, too, tasted bad and was very disappointed but not willing to bring it back especially since I had never had it before....so I gave it a few days.
After still tasting what I can only describe as rotten wood & must/mildew, I was depressed -- more because I had wanted to try this rye and I didn't feel like I was getting the genuine article. I read reviews and tasting notes here and elsewhere that spoke about oranges and spice notes and, while I'm not the most experienced taster, I do usually taste subtle flavors in whiskey. So, I thought, "Hell, why not call the number on the back of the bottle?" It was conveniently located after all.
After being passed around on the phone for a while, I spoke to Ruby who is apparently the customer service rep who handles New England. She patched me over to Kevin Richards who is, supposedly, the manager of the brand. I left a polite message about my concern and figured that would be the end of it. I had sufficiently tired myself out and gotten my whiskey demons exorcised anyway.
I was very surprised when Mr. Richards, indeed the manager of the brand, returned my call the next day. We talked about the general state of big companies and customer service, I told him my story and we chatted about rye for a bit and I guess he got the impression that I wasn't a complete whiskey idiot (read "complete") and said he'd like to help me out. He was sending a new bottle from the distillery (which turned into a refund check due to stupid liquor laws) and a package for me to send my old bottle back for testing. I was feeling sheepish & a little like a burden, but was supremely impressed by the whole thing.
I got my check and Buffalo Trace called me a few weeks later to say that my bottle was "within acceptable standards for the brand." Maybe my standards are higher than theirs, who knows. So, the blame is mine, but I can't say enough good things about this company and how they handled this whole situation -- kudos BT & Sazerac! This is the best transaction I have had with any company over anything. You guys are a class act!
I will also be less bold in the future when judging bottles -- I guess I'll just suck it up. Won't be trying Saz Jr. again for a while, though.