The way the producers look at this is that they are committed to maintaining a consistent taste profile for the brand. That is actually easier to do if they aren't restricted to stock above the label-stated age. And, yes, it's certainly more cost effective to use a 6-year-old that matches the profile rather than under-produce the expression because you don't have enough whiskey over 7-years available, that matches the profile as well. Therefore, the producers don't feel they are cheating the consumer by switching to NAS. I noted yesterday that both Special Reserve and Antique are still well under $20 a bottle, which I think is part of the point. I've said before that age statements are likely to be untouched in higher price ranges. The cards are getting a little shuffle right now, it's not the beginning of the end for age statements.
Joe - strongly disagree with your assessment. Distillers do this because they think they can get away it - that most consumers will not notice and they will lose very little business because of change and ultimately they will make more profits.
You can choose to be one of those consumers who do not mind about the change - I'm not.
Am I missing something?
On the other hand, an age statement is no guarantee of good whiskey either, it's just a guarantee that the whiskey will be at least 7-years-old. My point is if the 6-year-old is closer to the profile than the 7-year-old at any given moment, which would you rather have? It's not really an answerable question.
Last edited by cowdery; 10-11-2009 at 18:48.
not that Joe... curious if it has thinned any like the 09 OWA compaired to the 07 version...
I bet the new OWA bottles is thicker than the 09 OWA old label I had a few weeks ago...
I have the older 1988 WSR and it blows the doors off the 90s and later... but I still like the WSR... fun drinker...
... and don't worry Joe... we will pick on any label that changes... don't forget about the WTRR and WTRRR that did not change anything but the label... though as far as I can tell... it only changed from bad to bad... oops... no change..
and great topic Joe... I love a lively one
Last edited by spun_cookie; 10-11-2009 at 19:28.
I spoke to someone at Buffalo Trace and I was told that 7 year old barrels are selected and dumped for both OWA and WSR. Some juice is directed to be cut to proof for OWA and the rest is cut and bottled at 90 proof for SR. It all starts as the same batch of aged juice. They also added that if the SR ever loses its age statement, then we can worry. I think that's a pretty important thought.
IIRC, WSR outsells OWA by a factor of 5 or 6 so anywhere from 75 to 90% of the dumped aged stock gets bottled as SR. If the OWA label change was really intended to extend their ability to sell wheated brands without proper stock, why mess with the lower impact, lower selling brand? It's a drop in the bucket when compared to its stable mate.
I understand that this doesn't appeal to the emotional responses and those looking for bourbon industry villains, but it looks like a case of "as goes SR so goes OWA" and SR is still age stated bourbon.
My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
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