Then, in 1972 or thereabouts, prices went crazy. I was a stock boy in a grocery store at the time, and I personally marked up the price of coffee on a daily basis, going from 29 cents to the unheard of price of $1.89 in mere weeks!
I've concluded that bread, coffee and gasoline stay pretty close to the same price...
I was too young to legally buy liquor at the time, so I bought Annie Green Springs and Boone's Farm when I could cadge it. I seem to remember these 'wines' going for about 69 cents a bottle.
The second distillation. I may be wrong here, and Chuck please correct be if I am, but the thought behind it was to bring it off the beer still at a higher proof and try to avoid having to double. It only went on for a while then they quit. I would imagine it did not age off as quick. The stills that I have seen have a continous doubler. That must not have been the case with the ones who quit doubling.
Tom has it right. Distillers tell me that the rise in proof on the second distillation is incidental and it's real purpose is to 'polish' the spirit by removing some of the more stubborn undesirable congeners. Even with continuous doubling not doubling saves money in energy and maintenance costs, although I guess the 'thumper' type of doubler doesn't require additional energy. Most people don't 'thump.' Since conventional doublers require that the distillate be condensed back to a liquid first, you need two condensers in addition to extra energy.
And for those that are interested here is a newspaper sales ad for Wilson's Cut Rate Liquors in St. Petersburg, Florida from April 12, 1973 that has 31 bourbons listed under BOURBON and others under FULL QUARTS and 100 PROOF, if you scroll around. Examples of the inflation of prices from 1973 to 2010 are $4.99=$23.25, $5.99=$30.44 and $6.99=$35.52.
That's fascinating - thanks for posting it. Maker's is the most expensive bourbon there. Things have definitely improved for the Scotch drinker - but maybe some of those blends were actually really good? Chivas is the most expensive bottle there by far. Interesting.
But maybe the "good old days" weren't so great - it's all just good, straightforward stuff. No premium bottlings, no single barrels. Just workingman's bourbon. Delicious, but not the dizzying array of high end stuff we have now.
I'll take 2 cases of Cabin Still, please. No - make that 3.
Last edited by flintlock; 05-15-2011 at 15:25.
Gotta make it somehow on the dreams you still believe...
Great list there from the early 70's, Thad. I was surprised though to see the name "Jim Beam", I thought that term, as a brand name, only came later.
It's true that there were no premium bottlings or single barrels (Maker's Mark being a partial exception due to its particular marketing and image), but in retrospect there was some very high quality on that list: Maker's of course, Ezra Brooks, Benchmark, OGD 86, amongst others. All fine whiskeys.
Last edited by Gillman; 05-15-2011 at 19:11.
The Jim Beam brand was launched shortly after Prohibition ended, i.e., 1933 or 34, after the family learned it had lost the rights to Old Tub, their pre-Prohibition brand, darn the luck.
Interesting ad, but now I have this irresistible urge to borrow money from a guy named Mac.
I liked the beer ads.
Back then Schlitz was my brand and now I have prrof that it was a real premium beer.
Busch 99 cents a six pack and Schlitz $1.25!!
Chuck, I thought I had read that Jim Beam (the two words together) weren't used on the labeling until the 1980's, as opposed say to Beam's Choice or another name with the word Beam only. Am I thinking of something else?