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  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Ten High is now a blend, at least in New York.

    Since the original message, my correspondent has tasted the stuff. He writes:

    I am sorry to have to tell you that the taste is just awful. It gets that (as best as I can describe it ) that high in the nose taste, that a cheap blend has. That is from the gns. I will just have to switch brands. Drink a little too much of that, and you will smell it all day tomorrow. Reminds me of blended Bourbon Supreme.  Luckily, Ancient Age, is available.
    Please be on the look-out for this stuff. I'm curious to know how widely it's distributed.

  2. #12
    Connoisseur
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    Oct 2007
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    SE PA
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    804

    Re: Ten High is now a blend, at least in New York.

    well, around here, it's still the real thing....not that i've cared to try, but in the name of an homage-to-the-disappearing-past, is it worth trying the final run of the non-blended version?
    HUP!

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Ten High is now a blend, at least in New York.

    One good thing about control states such as Pennsylvania is that the producer can't just make the switch. Since they're actually changing the product, they have to de-list the original and apply for listing of the new version, which costs money and runs the risk that the new product won't get listed, so one can often find in control states products that aren't sold anywhere else, because the maker is loath to give up the listing.

    I have a half-full bottle of the real stuff, and will buy another at my next opportunity. It's not bad, and it is cheap, and I too would like to have a full one against its future disappearance.

    Even though Sazerac has done a good job in the cats and dogs business, I thought they were moving away from that. If they really are, then I expect they will do some serious pruning, either by selling brands to someone like Luxco, or just discontinuing them.

    Or maybe not. The thing about cats and dogs is you don't spend any money marketing them, so all you need is enough business to justify the incremental cost of making and distributing them. As long as the distributor keeps ordering it, why stop making it?

    The problem is that except at the very bottom of the scale, essentially generics, you can't really substitute. If you discontinue, say, Ten High and say, "here, take Ancient Age instead," some people (both trade customers and consumers) will, but plenty of others will switch to Old Crow or JTS Brown, something else on the bottom shelf that's not made by BT.
    Last edited by cowdery; 02-03-2009 at 19:49.

  4. #14
    Connoisseur
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    Sep 2008
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    Modesto, CA
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    549

    Re: Ten High is now a blend, at least in New York.

    Hello,

    I work for a distributor in California and YES all the Ten High is switching from Straight Bourbon to Bourbon Whiskey a blend. This something Constellation did before the sale to Sazerac. Disappointed we sold Ten High to many bars for their well, now they will have to switch to Old Crow.

    Dave

  5. #15
    Disciple
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    Jul 2005
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    North Shore Boston, MA
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    1,604

    Re: Ten High is now a blend, at least in New York.

    Just had Ten High KSBW at a bar Friday night in MA. As I explained to my teammates, if I don't see something on the top shelf that tickles my fancy, I'm just as likely to "call" for the "well" drink. I find Ten High to be very drinkable (I'm not sure I can say the same for Old Crow, though I didn't mind the newest version of Old Taylor) but quite light.
    Kevin

    "Clears up her head with bourbon/Cause beer is so suburban/And declasse for what it's worth"

  6. #16
    Disciple
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    Nov 2005
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    Alliance,Ohio
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    1,514

    Re: Ten High is now a blend, at least in New York.

    I was just at my local liquor store (which really isn't much of one) to get lottery tickets and the Ten High here is still KSB. At 10.65 a 1L, I may have to get a bottle before the blended replacement shows up!

    Thomas

  7. #17
    Guru
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    Sep 2008
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    Re: Ten High is now a blend, at least in New York.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    I believe Hiram Walker retained the brand for some time after it closed the plant in Peoria, but contracted with Heaven Hill to produce it. They closed Peoria in 73, so they probably contracted with Heaven Hill in the late 70s, when they started to run out of the Peoria whiskey. I'm not sure when Walker sold the brand, but I think it was always just a contract job at HH, then HW moved the contract to Barton, which eventually bought the brand, and then only a few more years after that, took the Hiram Walker name off the label. They also added their own (i.e., Tom Moore's) founding date of 1879.
    I just found a Hiram Walker's Ten High Ten (86 proof) in a handsome metal cannister for $15 at a local liquor store. It was distilled by Barton in Bardstown and has a number "90" on the bottom of the bottle, so I'm assuming that it was bottled in 1990. Can't wait to taste it actually--I'll spring for a $15 ten year old any day of the week and give her a try. Nice looking bottle too!

  8. #18
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Ten High is now a blend, at least in New York.

    Thomas, Ohio is probably safe since they would have to delist the bourbon and relist the blend, which they will be loath to do.

    Unclebunk, I'll be interested in your opinion of the Ten High Ten. It wasn't available for very long and was rather too early to the super premium bourbons game, launching just shortly after Beam's Small Batch Collection. Super premium at $15? It was in 1990.

    What can we learn from this change? We can conclude that Barton is allocating its stock of fully-aged whiskey to its most profitable distribution channels. It just can't spare enough 4-year-old bourbon to support Ten High as a 4-year-old bourbon.

    They could have saved a lot more bourbon by making it a straight-up blend, but this allows them to keep the word "Bourbon" on the label.

    I assume that Ten High, in Barton's overall mix, is high volume, low margin. They probably calculate that a price increase will cost them more business than will a cheapening of the product. Those are the kind of calculations you make.

    The fact that they have other channels where they can sell that bourbon more profitably means the bourbon market continues to be healthy, which is overall good for us as straight bourbon enthusiasts.
    Last edited by cowdery; 02-04-2009 at 15:19.

  9. #19
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    Re: Ten High is now a blend, at least in New York.

    Chuck, if this is the case (and I hope it is), I will probably be on the lookout for a couple of minis of the blended, one for the collection and one to taste!

    Thomas

  10. #20
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    Re: Ten High is now a blend, at least in New York.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Unclebunk, I'll be interested in your opinion of the Ten High Ten. It wasn't available for very long and was rather too early to the super premium bourbons game, launching just shortly after Beam's Small Batch Collection. Super premium at $15? It was in 1990.
    .
    Well, I had an opportunity to pour a few fingers of the Ten High Ten last night and was really impressed. Chuck, I think you're on to something with your suggestion that THT might very well have been marketed in its day (1990) along the lines of a "super premium," but didn't exist long enough to gain any traction. Judging by the handsome outer packaging, unique bottle shape (tall, rectangular and stylish symmetrical indentations on each side) and elaborate notes on the rear of the bottle, the THT has all the traits of an ahead-of-its-time super premium and the juice inside the bottle confirms that. In fact, I'll go way out on a limb and suggest that, in a blind taste test, the THT would compete favorably with virtually any bourbon currently on the market in the $20-$30 range.

    While I hate to make comparisons of this sort, as each bourbon should be appreciated on its own merits, I would liken THT to Ancient Ancient Age 10 Year Old. They are both 10 year old 86 proofers with a similar flavor/aroma, however THT seems slightly more robust all the way around, with a more burnished copper color in the glass, better legs and a bit more body in the mouth. My brother reached the same conclusion without a word from me, if two feeble-minded opinions count for anything. What a nice surprise for a mere $15. I guess it pays to keep an open mind because cost really has little to do with quality bourbon in the overall scheme of things.

 

 

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