I'm drinking Early Times Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky as I type. This one is the yellow label. They also sell brown label sometimes for a couple bucks more. The labels are identical except in color. I like them both. A lot! I've tried them side by side and maybe the brown label is a little older.
I think I'll pour another.
btw: the whisky isn't a typo. it's the way its spelled on the bottle.
Up until a few years ago, Blue Grass Cooperage played down the fact that it was owned by Brown-Forman, as it regularly sold barrels to other distillers. Then, mostly due to the growth of Jack Daniel's, they stopped selling to others and devoted their production entirely to their own brands. Changing the name to the corporate name and touting, rather than hiding, the brands that use its barrels was a natural next step. Part of the efficiency is having ample places to use their used barrels. Daniel's, Woodford, Forester and 4/5 of ET use new barrels. Those barrels then go to Mist, Herradura, Appleton, Korbel Brandy and 1/5 of ET.
They also put a tiny amount of bourbon into Southern Comfort.
That change also explains why it makes sense for them to give tours, as it's a way to promote their many brands. Maybe you go there to see where the barrels for Jack Daniel's are made, but you get a subtle pitch for all of their other products.
Last edited by cowdery; 07-19-2009 at 12:57.
Early Times is not a blend. They just make some with used cooperage so they can not call it bourbon. It is Kentucky Style Whiskey, which maens 100 years ago, they could have called it bourbon.
Before I knew anything about whiskey, I remember having some Early Times on hand. I liked it better than blends, though I couldn't have said why except that it had more flavor. I haven't had any in some time, but I'm curious now. I like to keep an 80-proofer on hand for my mother-in-law and for football season, when I can drink a few without much effect. My standbys for this are AA and EWBL (yes, 86 proof, but still...). The B-F flavor is one I like, and is a bit less sweet than BT bourbon and a bit less corn oily than HH juice. I guess I need to give ET a whirl again.
Not only did they change the name of the cooperage, they also changed the name of the distillery where ET and OF are made ... also to reflect a more corporate image.
"Remember, the BEST bourbon is FREE bourbon ..."
Not to initiate a "me too" response, but I thought read that So Co was switched to a rum base. I've searched for that reference, but I've been unable to find it.
I believe that the marketing materials refer to a whiskey or bourbon taste, but not whiskey/bourbon component.
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Maybe it was easier to just put bourbon in it than it would have been to get the salespeople to stop saying it has bourbon in it. Maybe that was the price they felt they had to pay to keep it in the whiskey section.
Authoritative books used to say SoCo is a combination of bourbon and apricot brandy. It never was. As a liqueur, it's GNS, sweetener and a fruit flavoring concentrate that is primarily apricot, plus a dollop of bourbon. Shake well and serve.