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  1. #1
    Enthusiast
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    Heavy weights of the Bourbon Industry

    Just read a reply from Linn on my post of the re-match between Bookers & Staggs and Linn asked the question if Jim Beam (American brands) and other distilleries would bring out better bourbon, or keep their heads in the sand while Brown & Forman and Buffalo Trace are taking over the lead. You have great master distillers and CEO's all to be considered "heavy weights" who really know their bourbons and in which way the market is heading. But!! I wonder who are the "heavyweights"? It seems to me that Bourbon.com just might be the biggest, so you can rest assured they are reading every post that comes up and I don't think that the CEO's will set back and not step up to the plate with better bourbon from their own distilleries. So, let's not give all the credit to the people that are running the show. I tip my hat to Jim Butler for setting up straightbourbon.com and of course to all of us who post our tastes and thoughts and wants. I think that maybe we are the "heavyweights" of the bourbon industry!!!You must remember this site goes all over the world and as long as we keep posting and telling the truth the bourbon industry will keep flourshing better in the future than it is right now. So I give round 3 to Jim Butler and people like Chuck, Linn, Bobbye Jo, and a host of others too numerous to mention that's a fan of bourbon. We win --- they win!!!!!!!!It doesn't get much bette than that.

    These are my thoughts, what are yours??????

    Cheers,
    Marvin

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: Heavy weights of the Bourbon Industry

    Marvin, What insight! Many thanks to Mr. Butler as well. You should post more!
    I do think at times , these guys don't realise that there's any room for improvement.( We've been doing it this way since the Garden Of Eden, no use to change now! Or as the Wax machine must think, " It's already perfect, how can we make that better?") Buffalo Trace and Brown-Forman, if those names aren't on your door , you are in a dust storm! I will concede that the dust isn't blowing too bad around the cliffs over looking the Kentucky River! ( Read Wild Turkey)

  3. #3
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    Re: Heavyweights of the Bourbon Industry

    Marvin,

    All I know about heavyweights, I've learned from stepping on the bathroom scale each morning , and most of what I know about bourbon and the industry, I've learned right here at StraightBourbon.com .

    However, there is an enduring truth that is summed up in one sentence. Follow the money .

    Granted, George T. Stagg is an outstanding bourbon, but will it increase the overall profitability of Buffalo Trace? Perhaps more to the point, given its limited run (so far), does it point the way for new products (or new marketing strategy for existing ones) that will achieve that end? Will such new success as Buffalo Trace might enjoy come at the expense of other producers, or will George T. Stagg and its successors expand the market for bourbon to the point where other producers can maintain profitability while losing market share, or even benefit by association?

    Such questions are easily asked but difficult to answer. Whether we like it or not, this is the domain of MBAs and focus groups, of consumers’ whims regarding self-image, and of blind luck. (As examples of each, consider the market success of the Ford Taurus, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and Microsoft DOS/Windows – none of which was/is the “best” product of its kind for the knowledgeable consumer.) Where the marketing of alcoholic beverages is concerned, the self-image component may be the dominant factor. Furthermore, complications such as government control and the rigidity of the three-tier distribution system also enter in.

    We as connoisseurs of bourbon (or wannabes in the case of the undersigned) may well be providing guidance to those in the industry who choose the direction for their flagship products. However, our preferences may have less influence on the industry as a whole than we might hope. Do our purchases represent a significant fraction of the total profit of the industry? Are we trendsetters whose influence extends to the more typical consumer, Joe Gettabuzzon, whose favorite drink is Jack ‘n’ Coke?

    I’m not sure I really care. Maybe it’s enough to know that our collective voice has some influence on the cream-of-the-crop releases, the ones that are the creations of the master distillers, not the marketing arm of the parent company. We can be reasonably sure that the existence of StraightBourbon.com plays a role in perpetuating the influence of the master distillers in product development decision-making.

    Just as you said, Marvin, we are all indebted to Jim Butler for creating and continuing this forum, and to all the knowledgeable and lucid bourbon fans who share their experience.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  4. #4
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    Re: Heavyweights of the Bourbon Industry

    Dave, I think you hit the nail on the head. The CEOs are running businesses and their decisions will be made accordingly. SB.com won't/shouldn't have much influence on that.

    I doubt if SB.com would be the reason a distiller releases a flagship product. There are only 250 of us here. If GTS was bottled based on our market, we'd have to buy 8 each (Bobby not withstanding) to sell it out. That's alot.

    However, I wouldn't be surprised if SB.com had influence, because we do know our bourbon and some of us write about it publicly. The other nice thing about SB.com is that when the distilleries do hit the mark (like GTS or OFBB), they know the word will spread like wildfire and we will all rush out to buy.

    I hope there continues to be a sizable market for flagship bourbons. (I am assuming there is based on all the special bottlings we are seeing.) I hope it gets to large enough to keep the specials coming and to have even more come out. But, selfish ol' me wants the audience to grow just enough to keep the prices sane. I don't need a bourbon bubble caused by new bourbon snobs.

    At the end of the day, though, I am like you and don't care if we have influence as long as we continue to have plenty of good bourbon to drink. That's the bottom line.

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2007
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    Re: Heavyweights of the Bourbon Industry

    And rush out and buy we did! Based on bunker storage reports posted here and private communications with forum members, the sb gang acquired no less than 5 to 10% of the entire bottling of George T. Stagg!

  6. #6

    Re: Heavyweights of the Bourbon Industry

    I think, S.B.com has an influence on the market. I didn't even know about George T. Stagg, until I joined the board. Thanks to Linn's help, I was able to find GTS. And really thank you Mr. Spencer. The scotchy purists, that i know, got a sight of the GTS, it made their heads spin. "Get me a bottle!" was the request. GTS and Booker's and other premiums are just good p.r. moves. The premiums brands got me into bourbons, but the quality and price of the everyday pours are what kept me.
    mark h.

  7. #7
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    Re: Heavyweights of the Bourbon Industry

    You make an interesting point, Mark.

    How many others hereabouts are old enough to recall the phrase "...with Thunderbird styling!"? It was applied back in the 1950's to huge, boxy-looking Ford sedans that bore only a superficial resemblance to the small, racey, European-inspired, two-seater Thunderbird. I assume it sold cars; they used it for a few years, as I recall.

    A savvy marketing department could certainly take a shot at creating a similar association between their top-of-the-line bourbons and their everyday pours.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

  8. #8

    Re: Heavyweights of the Bourbon Industry

    Dave, also premium bottlings would get people to try bourbon. I feel once people give bourbon a try, they might become regulars. I once brought out a variety of different types of bourbon, and poured for my friends. One reply was, "No wonder my dad drank this." Bourbon needs an upscale "This is america's best whiskey" feel. I sometimes think, if bourbon was imported, in pretty bottles, and had a label that required a little guide book to understand and pronounce, it would retail for unbelievable prices.
    mark h.

  9. #9
    Administrator in exile
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    Re: Heavyweights of the Bourbon Industry

    SB.com definately has some influence, as Stagg is the direct result of a forum members suggestion to BT and ETL himself. Now if that isn't influence, I don't know what is.

  10. #10
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    Re: Heavyweights of the Bourbon Industry


    thanks jeff

    marvin

















 

 

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