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Thread: What If...?

  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    What If...?

    What if suddenly a person who really knows his bourbon - his NAS', ND OTs, WLW '08 and '09, Stagg in all its iterations, the up and coming Tuthilltown products, the fine single barrels, the VOBs, Makers' old and new, all the Jacks and Evans, and the whole ball of wax (no pun intended) - went to sleep for 20 years. A la Rip Van Winkle (pun intended to salute a fine bourbon name). Maybe induced by an extra-strong single barrel vintage doozy of a new release. Sleeping on and on ... after Obama is long gone from public office, after electric cars become the norm, electric railways link some of the major cities, all banking is done and bills paid by hand-held devices ... sleeping on again ... new Presidents elected ... taxes still high (well I hope not)... and then the last fumes of that monster barrel finally die away and our somnolent 2010 bourbon fan awakes in a start 20 years from now, in a ravine of Atlanta or Philly or somewhere - hankering for something to eat and a shot of - bourbon.

    He walks over to the big warehouse-style place down the corner - it looks a little different, brighter somehow, and gosh haven't fashions changed recently, I gotta keep up more with what is going on, and how come the streets are so quiet with all those cars, those retro 70's shapes have come back with a vengeance, I gotta be more up to date with what's going on. Lots of beeps and flashes in the new/old store but bourbon will still be in the corner where it always was. There's the bottles, all the good American brown whiskey.

    What will he find there?

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 03-25-2010 at 18:36.

  2. #2
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    Re: What If...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    What if suddenly a person who really knows his bourbon - his NAS', ND OTs, WLW '08 and '09, Stagg in all its iterations, the up and coming Tuthilltown products, the fine single barrels, the VOBs, Makers' old and new, all the Jacks and Evans, and the whole ball of wax (no pun intended) - went to sleep for 20 years. A la Rip Van Winkle (pun intended to salute a fine bourbon name). Maybe induced by an extra-strong single barrel vintage doozy of a new release. Sleeping on and on ... after Obama is long gone from public office, after electric cars become the norm, electric railways link some of the major cities, all banking is done and bills paid by hand-held devices ... sleeping on again ... new Presidents elected ... taxes still high (well I hope not)... and then the last fumes of that monster barrel finally die away and our somnolent 2010 bourbon fan awakes in a start 20 years from now, in a ravine of Atlanta or Philly or somewhere - hankering for something to eat and a shot of - bourbon.

    He walks over to the big warehouse-style place down the corner - it looks a little different, brighter somehow, and gosh haven't fashions changed recently, I gotta keep up more with what is going on, and how come the streets are so quiet with all those cars, those retro 70's shapes have come back with a vengeance, I gotta be more up to date with what's going on. Lots of beeps and flashes in the new/old store but bourbon will still be in the corner where it always was. There's the bottles, all the good American brown whiskey.

    What will he find there?

    Gary
    I'm not sure how many shrooms you ate tonight, but I'm having trouble following you. It sounds like you're in a great place Party on!

  3. #3
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    Re: What If...?

    Hmmmm...This isn't so easy to answer unless you've done as many shrooms, and I haven't...but, maybe....Diet-PVW 23?

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: What If...?

    No shrooms, no anything (just post-dinner coffee), this is a journey into the future, what will the bourbon market look like in 20 years?

    I'll answer my own question but am interested in others' views of course.

    I think there will be many micro-distillers with small specialty markets. Jim Beam will still be a big seller, maybe under a different name for the current White Label. Jack Daniels will be a big seller, as always. 12-20 year old bourbon will be a standard offering, a la malt scotch. Heaven Hill will be going strong and indeed all the current distillers will be, but not too many new players will enter at a macro level.

    Bourbon also will (it's already happening) have a rise in social status and the lingering frontier associations will be long gone.

    I don't think flavored bourbons will be that big, maybe one or two.

    There will be a whole new range of brand names, but some still familiar to us. The craft distillers will offer a wide array of whiskey products and some will become well-established. That's what I think Old Rip will wake up to in 2030. What do you think?
    Last edited by Gillman; 03-25-2010 at 19:45.

  5. #5

    Re: What If...?

    I have no way of knowing, Gary. My Social Security benefit and public retirement has been decimated by hyper-inflation, so I'm lucky to afford water. And, if I could buy liquor, I STILL couldn't afford it -- because if my liver starts to give me trouble, at my age, the bureaucrat in charge of approving my medical treatment will probably decide I'm just not productive and young enough to warrant it.
    The best I'm going to be able to do -- if Alzheimer's hasn't robbed me of that faculty, too -- is remember that I once was among a relative few who knew and appreciated historical, fine, distinctive (before the U.S. was just another assimilative social democracy) American bourbon (which probably now can be distilled wherever on the globe one can buy corn).

  6. #6
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    Re: What If...?

    Our thirsty friend will find beautifully crafted polyethelene bottles of artificially inseminated whiskey, cheap. A breakthrough invention by Burns and Dithers Group that brought cheap whiskey to the masses. This would have been made possible by government subsidies to Burns and Dithers lobbied for by Congressman Bill "Beelzebub" Gates.

    Burns and Dithers were able to buy up all of the big spirits corporations under the guise of helping the little guys bring their wares to market. Once Burns and Dithers had 80% of the market they directed their spirit companies to begin producing whiskey with a common look and feel to the consumer so as not to cause brand confusion and dilution of the market.

    Great value was found in all brands using the same bottle made by the bottle company owned by Burns and Dithers. Next, tremendous savings were found by using artificial colors and flavors added to bulk distilled grain neutral spirit. No more pesky oak barrels, no aging warehouses, no more angels share which constituted huge losses in profit prior to the change. The end result was three dollar bottles of whiskey. This at a time when independents were selling their glass bottle whiskey for $49.99 or more.

    The end result was predicted a decade before by an octogenarian, Col Chauncy Cowbell, a notable whiskey expert and beloved blogger. He disappeared shortly after Burns and Dithers filed suit for inferring the company was responsible for the rise in alcoholism among crack addicts. Col Cowbell was a victim of "turd in the punchbowl' effect.

    A few diehard bourbonites moved to Easter Island and established a monastery for people who believed in the sanctity and purity of old school bourbon. Col Cowbell has been rumored to be the group's spiritual leader but lawyers have not been able to find him there after numerous attempts.

    Our thirsty friend would count his blessings for the abundance of $3 whiskey and commence to partake with a powerful unshakable thirst. It seems the more he drank the more he wanted to drink. Burns and Dithers knew why but no one had won that lawsuit yet either.

    Soon his liver failed. His brain pooped out of his ears onto his shoulders and his carcass was used to feed livestock. It was the ultimate lifecycle management scheme. After the cows pooped out our thirsty friend he was spread on the hybrid artificially inseminated grain fields where his now recycled self gave nourishment to the grain that grew so fast that made so much alcohol for $3 a bottle.
    Often I am forced to deal with the fact that I prefer bourbon over dealing with facts.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: What If...?

    I'm old enough to think 20 years not such a long time ago, and today not so different from 1990.

    More distilleries in the U.S., rather than fewer? I hope so, but it's possible to imagine Beam Global and Brown-Forman, in the roles of Miller and Bud, as a #1 and #2 miles ahead of #3.

    The cats and dogs business shreds and Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill become mostly whiskey-makers, owned by Bacardi and LVMH, respectively. Those two along with Four Roses (Kirin) and Wild Turkey (Campari) are in the second tier, size-wise, but just like today, they're making equally as good if not better whiskey than the two giants.

    Diageo gets into and out of the American whiskey business at least five times, finally getting out of it altogether, selling George Dickel to Beam, I. W. Harper to Four Roses, and Bulleit to Buffalo Trace where Tommy Bulleit (age 90) is hailed as a prodigal returned.

    What's left of the micro-distilleries are actually mid-size regional producers who have strong community ties and superior relationships with local customers, who rely on them for exceptional service and customized products. A few of them have developed excellent boutique whiskeys that are good enough to be distributed internationally.

    Malt whiskey is being made in so much of the world that Scotland loses some of its hold over that style of whiskey, which becomes known as the International Style, consisting of single malts and blends, made in dozens of different countries. This competes with the American style, made mostly in America (which now includes Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean including Cuba, all of Central America, and Venezuela). The International Style is still the more popular, but the gap has narrowed.

    The three-tier system is dead.

    The largest producers handle their own distribution directly. Mid-size producers band together to form joint ventures to handle their distribution. Local/regional producers handle their own distribution directly. The cats and dogs business (commodity brands) becomes local again.

    There are still 'distributors,' but they are transportation companies that simply handle deliveries on a non-exclusive basis. Every transaction is tracked electronically.

    Lots of things are local again due to high transportation costs that render the advantages of low cost labor markets less compelling. It becomes more cost effective to produce goods close to where they will be consumed, rather than where labor is cheap.

    Just as the world is a bit more developed now than it was 20 years ago, the world of 2030 is a little more developed than today. Cheap labor isn't what it used to be.

    And, oh yeah, I am immortal and your king.
    Last edited by cowdery; 03-25-2010 at 23:17.

  8. #8
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    Re: What If...?

    The beauty (and despair) of 2030 is that you'll be able to buy those powder sticks (like crystal lite) and mix it with water to create your bourbon on the fly. Of course this is going to require a modification of the law so you can still call it KSBW.

  9. #9
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    Re: What If...?

    Hail to the King!
    ~Robert BTOTY #2 2009

    GBS Member - 2011 Indoctrination

  10. #10
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    Re: What If...?

    Chuck, there is not much in your post I would disagree with.

    I would add that I expect the category lines to continue to be blurred (to the point of being useless). More and more unaged whiskey of various sorts, more flavored whiskey and plenty of things that have never been tried before. I think we will see lots more experimentation with mash ingredients, barreling processes and other yet-to-be-discovered techniques.
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

 

 

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