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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Better American Blends?

    The following question was posed to me today on my blog:

    Do you think a premium American blend could be successful? Something that was, say, 40% straight whiskies and the balance light whiskey, all of which was aged 8-12 years?

    What do you folks think?

  2. #2
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    Re: Better American Blends?

    Yeah, if Beam put it out.
    They have the muscle to get it out on the shelves and in the public's face, see Red Stagg.
    ovh

  3. #3
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    Re: Better American Blends?

    Why not? Americans buy Canadian blends, Irish blends, Scotch blends, granted those don't contain GNS, but I think you could sell a blend if you marketed it well and it had a good flavor profile. It would have to be something different and you wouldn't be converting Jack or Jim's drinkers, but I'm guessing there are a lot of vodka drinkers out there who would go for something with a bit more flavor, but aren't up to sipping straight whiskey.

  4. #4
    Irreverent One
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    Re: Better American Blends?

    I don't think you'd want GNS in it. You'd want to use grain ("light") whiskey as a base. If you're going to try to distance it from the cheap blends, you'd want to make a point of letting folks know it's 100% whiskey.

    As for flavor profile, you might want to stress rye over corn, so as not to make it too "bourbony". A couple of weeks ago, during a gazebo chat, I followed some OWA with a glass of Saz 18 and was struck by how sophisticated it seemed. If you could acheive a similar flavor profile, maybe a little lighter in body, and lower in cost, that might appeal even to those who normally prefer straight whiskies.

    With an effective marketing effort, who knows?
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Better American Blends?

    I kind of like the HW Bourye.... I see no problem with blending if something unique can be the end result.
    Jeff...

    I can learn to resist anything but temptation.

  6. #6
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    Re: Better American Blends?

    I'd like to see more blends like the bourye than I would blends that include light whiskey again.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMOWK View Post
    I like to save up the charred bits in the bottom of the unfiltered stuff. When I have enough, I pour milk on it and eat it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Better American Blends?

    I'm less optimistic than you guys. I look at something like Early Times which in the US is a blend of bourbon with a whiskey aged in resused cooperage. It sells fairly well, but B-F is getting ready to convert it back into a straight bourbon. To me, that speaks volumes. If B-F, which isn't Beam big, but is still big, can't make something like that work, I doubt anyone else can. See also the Ten High "bourbon, a blend" experiment.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  8. #8
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    Re: Better American Blends?

    If you make a quality blend and advertise it well, there won't be any problems. Early Times is nothing more than B-F's Toy Soldier in the Jack-Jim-Evan war, but the problem is that Jack has an automatic shotgun, Jim has a Garand, and Evan has some sort of an interesting repeating rifle. Unfortunately the only thing anyone could scrounge up for ET was an old muzzle loading musket. At least they didn't give him an blunderbus, I guess.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMOWK View Post
    I like to save up the charred bits in the bottom of the unfiltered stuff. When I have enough, I pour milk on it and eat it.

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Better American Blends?

    I thought about the ET example. It proves a couple of things. At this point, the halfway-ness of ET is forcing them to shit or get off the pot. They either need to make it cheaper, to make it more profitable, or make it bourbon so they can stand shoulder to shoulder with other value-priced KSBW and make it more profitable by charging more.

    But I agree with Scott (who actually started this) that "100% whiskey" would be the key differentiator, although that might start a pissing match since--100 years ago--blends got the right to call themselves "whiskey."

    That's what I meant on the blog about the "magic" of replacing 1/5 of your vodka with straight whiskey and transmutting it all into whiskey.

  10. #10
    Irreverent One
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    Re: Better American Blends?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErichPryde View Post
    If you make a quality blend and advertise it well, there won't be any problems. Early Times is nothing more than B-F's Toy Soldier in the Jack-Jim-Evan war, but the problem is that Jack has an automatic shotgun, Jim has a Garand, and Evan has some sort of an interesting repeating rifle. Unfortunately the only thing anyone could scrounge up for ET was an old muzzle loading musket. At least they didn't give him an blunderbus, I guess.
    Why would B-F want ET to compete with JD? They own both.
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

 

 

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