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Thread: Medley Bourbons

  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Medley Bourbons

    As I mentioned in another thread, in 1990 I worked on a project for what was then Glenmore, which had then just recently acquired Medley, which had itself acquired Flieschmann's only a few years before that. The purpose of the manual was to show the company's sales people what to do with all of their new brands.

    The whole document is an interesting historical snapshot of one corner of the industry as it looked almost 20 years ago.

    For example, the first line of text reads as follows: "Glenmore is an American-owned, publicly-held, $370M company, whose shares are traded on the American Stock Exchange."

    The company's lead segment was American straight whiskey. In 1989, the American Straight Whiskey segment was 10.9% of U.S. spirits sales.

    Glenmore's biggest bourbon then was Ezra Brooks, which it had acquired from Medley. Its leading blend was Flieschmann's Preferred, which obviously had been part of Medley's Flieschmann's stable.

    Although not stated on the labels, Glenmore in this manual claimed that its three leading straight bourbons were all at least 6 years old. This was in the time of the great whiskey glut, and there was even older whiskey than that in the mix, but they weren't bottling anything at less than six years. In addition to Ezra, they made this claim for Kentucky Tavern and Yellowstone, Glenmore's leading bourbons before Medley arrived.

    In addition, they had seven other straight bourbons that they included in the manual, and other, regional brands that they didn't include.

    Here is the bourbon section as Glenmore recommended it be set in 1990.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Medley Bourbons

    In addition to Ezra Brooks, Kentucky Tavern (KT) and Yellowstone (itself a 1944 acquisition), Glenmore featured in the 1990 manual the following seven bourbons:

    Mellow Mash (a Yellowstone spin-off)
    Bourbon Supreme
    Five Brothers (a Medley brand)
    Kentucky Beau (a Medley Brand)
    Kentucky Bonded
    Old Medley (a Medley Brand)
    Medley Brothers (a Medley Brand)

    Charles Medley has said that, in addition to Wathen's (which he created) he owns the rights to Five Brothers, Kentucky Beau, Old Medley and Medley Brothers.

    My guess is that the actual value of those brand names is approximately zero, but Charles says he owns them and may sell them to Angostura is Angostura is interested.

    I'm not sure about Bourbon Supreme and Kentucky Bonded, as to where they came from.

    Glenmore was more-or-less realistic about their shelf placements. It's hard to believe there is a shelf lower than the one Old Crow is on, but in this 5-shelf set, they put Ten High, Crow and Evan Williams on the same shelf as their KT and Yellowstone, then claimed the entire bottom shelf for their cats and dogs. Here is a close-up of the lower right hand corner of the original picture.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Medley Bourbons

    Here is the corresponding lower left hand corner of the original picture.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Medley Bourbons

    Nice Chuck. Thanks for the post. I see Wt 101 on the top shelf! The boom sure is different than the glut. Pickin up some 101 this week.

  5. #5
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    Re: Medley Bourbons

    Here is what the Old Grand-Dad 114 label looked like in 1990.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Medley Bourbons

    And here is what I would be bringing back in my time machine from 1990.

    (note: it's the 8-year-old VOF, not the 12-year-old VVOF, but still...)
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  7. #7
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    Re: Medley Bourbons

    You may notice that a lot of these products were 90 proof too. In fact, I recall some of the Medley brands came in a full range of proofs, but we only used the 90 proof expressions in the pictures. I also recall a mess of Medley brands that we didn't photograph, that had even more primitive labels than the ones we did show. I don't recall any of the names.

    Glenmore had a full line of spirits. Their lead Scotch was Scoresby, which they felt should be shelved next to Dewar's White Label. Their lead Canadian was Canadian LTD. Elduris, from Iceland, was their premium imported vodka. Skol was their popular-priced U.S.-made vodka and their number one brand overall.

  8. #8
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    Re: Medley Bourbons

    I'm a proud owner of that bottom shelf 90 proof Medley Bros. bourbon. Found a lone bottle in an old store in downtown Little Rock. Have yet to try it. Possible gazebo fodder. The label declares, "The heart of the run".

    -Mike
    "This is the real article. It is double-rectified busthead from Madison County, aged in the keg. A little spoonful would do you a power of good."

    -True Grit by Charles Portis

  9. #9
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    Re: Medley Bourbons

    Yep, that's a pretty nice looking top shelf, there. Chuck, if you have dibs on the Old Fitz, I call dibs on the Mellow Mash!

    It looks like Heaven Hill went back to the future on the EW label when they dropped the age statement a few years ago. Isn't that main label, the one that dresses the bottle now?

    And fittingly, Bourbon Supreme occupies the last position of the last shelf...
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  10. #10
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    Re: Medley Bourbons

    Here's a close-up of the Evan Williams. I notice these bottles still had the 200th Anniversary capsule, even though the anniversary was in '83 and these were taken in 1990.
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    • File Type: jpg EW.jpg (117.6 KB, 105 views)

 

 

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