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  1. #21
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    Re: Bruiting Bonded Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by BMartin42 View Post
    When I bought my first BIB bottle (HM 10 Year) my thought was "What the hell does that mean?" I simply googled it and basically learned the term means nothing/nada/zilch in today's day and age for all practical purposes.
    I have to admit, I'm quite puzzled by this statement. What "Bottled In Bond" means in this day and age is precisely what it meant in 1897: whiskey produced in one season that has been aged for at least four years under US government supervision and bottled at no less than 100 proof.

    It is certainly true that the need for bonded whiskey has diminished as producers release non-bonded whiskies of quality, but that doesn't resign it to irrelevance. Bonded whiskies undoubtedly still tend to be higher quality than your run of the mill whiskey release.

    Quote Originally Posted by BMartin42 View Post
    As more and more younger generation drinkers come on board the Bourbon train, they will do the exact same thing and realize that in today's terms, BIB is just marketing and will treat it as such. The internet has allowed us to become much more savvy consumers than we were a decade ago, and the trend is just going to continue.
    The Internet has certainly improved access to valuable information, but that doesn't mean that there hasn't been a commensurate growth of false information that has cropped up alongside it. Members of this board know all too well how often bloggers, journalists, and members of other forums (as well as this one, too, sometimes) can come to the wrong conclusions about a whiskey using nothing more than the Internet as a source. As a University educator, I can say the same thing about much of the student body (and research is their job).

    Quote Originally Posted by BMartin42 View Post
    Marketers better be aware of that. I think they are and this is why you are seeing more "experimental" type offerings and limited edition releases. Things that actually do seem to be "special" or limited are much more appealing than traditional terminolgy to the younger generation.
    I'm not sure you're at all right about this. Most marketing tries to appeal to the whiskey's history (inventing it if they have to—see the recent Jeremiah Weed campaign, for instance) precisely because people seem to care about that sort of thing. The special releases being made available are not catering to a young crowd at all, but to an older crowd, who (1) can better afford these releases and (2) are in a better position to distinguish their virtues from the more standard releases. Buffalo Trace's recent Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. release is a case in point: it is a "special" release heralding an "historic" method, and it is bottled in bond no less. The excitement surrounding it is palpable, but at ~$70 a bottle, I doubt very much that anybody but those with the money and the interest—the older crowd, in other words—will buy it.
    "Good" may be subjective, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.

  2. #22
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    Re: Bruiting Bonded Bourbon

    Yes, what dbk said.

  3. #23
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    Re: Bruiting Bonded Bourbon

    I appreciate your points dbk. On the other hand, I still disagree with many of them. Of course, I am basing this only on a very limited sample size. My bourbon group consists of about 6-8 guys ranging in age from 60+ to 28. I am the median age in the group. Based on the discussions that take place within our sample I hold by the surface observation that the more seasoned among us prefer the traditional terminology (e.g. BIB) and view it as "the good stuff", while the younger in the group who look up what the term actually means realize that it is not necessarily "the good stuff" ans has no meaning as to the QUALITY. Maybe I should have made that more clear in my previous post. The youngest four in the group are much more excited about the limited & new releases (i.e. FR, EH Taylor, KCSBR, etc.), while the older three to four view those releases as "marketing gimmicks" and hold that their traditional brands are the best.

    I do agree with you that historical references in marketing are vitally important to the industry. The younger in the group are excited about the historical references as they view it as something "different" to try, while the older poo poo those releases as "nothing really new" except the bottle and label.

    Maybe our group is just a bunch of outliers. As a fellow researcher, I appreciate the dangers of drawing definitive conclusions based on extremely small and potentially biased sample sizes. It is also possible that we don't disagree as much as it seems, and it is simply my poor writing skills that make it seem that way.

  4. #24
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    Re: Bruiting Bonded Bourbon

    Maybe BMartin42 just hasn't expressed himself very well, but his posts are an almost perfect illustration of how the internet can be used to support complete ignorance as well as be a source for useful knowledge. Almost everything BMartin42 has 'learned' from the internet is wrong. That doesn't necessarily mean his conclusion is wrong -- BIB is not a very meaningful term to most consumers today, especially younger ones -- yet his statement of the 'facts' regarding both BIB and marketing in general are almost perfectly incorrect.

  5. #25
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    Re: Bruiting Bonded Bourbon

    Certainly the internet is a vast resource but just because the information is there doesn't make it correct. Research has always been a double edged sword used to prove or disprove.

    For instance over 30 years ago a seniour partner handed a young associate (me) a piece of paper saying, "This is our position now go do the research to prove it".

    A lot of youthful enthusiasms have dimmed over the years but one belief I held then I still hold now, which is when it comes to comparing whiskys the only thing that counts is whats in the bottle.

  6. #26
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    Re: Bruiting Bonded Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Maybe BMartin42 just hasn't expressed himself very well, but his posts are an almost perfect illustration of how the internet can be used to support complete ignorance as well as be a source for useful knowledge. Almost everything BMartin42 has 'learned' from the internet is wrong. That doesn't necessarily mean his conclusion is wrong -- BIB is not a very meaningful term to most consumers today, especially younger ones -- yet his statement of the 'facts' regarding both BIB and marketing in general are almost perfectly incorrect.

    Clearly I have not expressed myself very well or I am completely confused. I think I understand exactly what the term BIB means (and doesn't mean)as it is easily found by looking on the internet as well as other sources such as Mr. Cowdery's book as well as others that I have read. All sources I have read on the matter are fairly consistent.

    It is a PERSONAL opinion as well as with the other younger members in my group that BIB is not indicative of quality (e.g. the current Old Fitz BIB).

    As far as marketing, I have learned none of the information that I am presenting from the internet. I am merely presenting the opinions of a wide age-range small group of bourbon lovers. I do not claim to understand marketing from the perspective of the industry. I am just presenting how our group as consumers view some of terms currently being used. The older do hold that term BIB has meaning in terms of quality, while the younger see the term as just what it is factually and the term does not make us more likely to buy a particular label. Myself and a few of the others in the middle to younger in OUR group are excited about bourbons such as the FR limited releases, the EH Taylor, some of the LDI labels, etc., mainly because they are just different and interesting to try, not necessarily because we deem them to be "better". We view them as learning experiences. Then there are the three-four members of our group who happen to be the older ones in the group that don't give a damn about trying "new" things (which may actually be old things in the case of the EHTaylor), but prefer what they have always known.

    I really wasn't trying to be difficult or present inaccurate info. I was a Beam white and WT101 guy for 16 years before discovering that there is a whole bigger world of bourbon out there about two years ago. Can you explain exactly what information of mine is inaccurate or misleading? I ask simply because I am trying to learn.

  7. #27
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    Re: Bruiting Bonded Bourbon

    BMartin I do not consider your post in any way difficult it's just your perspective. After all, this sub forum is titled General Bourbon Discussion and that's why I'm here, to discuss.

  8. #28
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    Re: Bruiting Bonded Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by dbk View Post
    Bonded whiskies undoubtedly still tend to be higher quality than your run of the mill whiskey release.

    Thanks Squire. I know how things can be taken badly when you can't speak face-to-face. The internet has no inflection after all. I'm just trying to learn and am really enjoying this discussion.

    That being said, the comment from dbk above is still what is confusing me. I see no evidence of this in my experience. A lot of today's BIB's tend to be bottom shelf in my experience. I am just not getting how it is CURRENTLY a mark of quality. I get that it was right after prohibition, but currently, I just don't see it. HELP! I'm confused I guess.

  9. #29
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    Re: Bruiting Bonded Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by BMartin42 View Post
    It is a PERSONAL opinion as well as with the other younger members in my group that BIB is not indicative of quality (e.g. the current Old Fitz BIB).
    Fair enough, your personal opinion is perfectly valid, and despite the tone, nobody thinks you're wrong for expressing yourself. Nonetheless, your language belies a misunderstanding. You claim that "BIB is not indicative of quality" (emphasis mine), but then point to only one whiskey that fails your test. (Perhaps HM BIB does too, but you didn't pass judgment on this one.) "Indicative" means predictive, not a guarantee of quality. This is why I chose the word "tend" in my statement "Bonded whiskies undoubtedly still tend to be higher quality than your run of the mill whiskey release."

    Quote Originally Posted by BMartin42 View Post
    A lot of today's BIB's tend to be bottom shelf in my experience. I am just not getting how it is CURRENTLY a mark of quality. I get that it was right after prohibition, but currently, I just don't see it.
    BIBs are at minimum four years, and many bottom shelf whiskeys are less. BIBs are minimum 100 proof, and many bottom shelf whiskeys are less. Many members like the BIBs they've had, like Rittenhouse BIB. If you're going to compare BIBs to any and all releases out there, then fine, there are plenty of better whiskeys than most BIBs. But there are also plenty worse. BIB simply raises the bar, and is therefore indicative. Is BIB status as indicative as it once was? Certainly not. Nonetheless, most BIBs are much better than the rest of the bottom shelf.

    Quote Originally Posted by BMartin42 View Post
    Can you explain exactly what information of mine is inaccurate or misleading? I ask simply because I am trying to learn.
    Sure. Perhaps your most significant error is viewing the association between age and taste in your bourbon group as representative of whiskey drinkers at large. To be fair to you, you acknowledged this in a later post. The whiskey industry has tried very hard for many years to entice young drinkers, but they aren't joining the fold very quickly. When they do, they're usually interested in the stuff that gets you drunk, not the stuff that tastes good. And they're certainly not interested in doing their homework. They usually aren't interested in the good stuff until they get older (and their tastes change), and they usually can't afford the good stuff until then either. I'm in my early thirties, and I love "good" whiskey, but I'm an exception, and I know it.

    Plenty of the "old guys" will be stuck in their ways and see BIB as a larger mark of quality than it currently deserves. In the same way, I hear one older consumer after another crowing about the glories of "the single malt," not knowing that there is no a priori reason why vatted ("blended") malt wouldn't be just as good. They just don't know what "single malt" actually means. While that ignorance might be typical in the whiskey world in general, the ones buying the top shelf stuff are typically more experienced and (at least slightly) wealthier: still the old guys, just not your old guys.
    "Good" may be subjective, but that doesn't mean it's arbitrary.

  10. #30
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    Re: Bruiting Bonded Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by dbk View Post
    Nonetheless, most BIBs are much better than the rest of the bottom shelf.
    No argument at all there. I didn't realize we were limiting the discussion to only bottom shelfers. As far as providing only one example, I could list several more that I have tried if you like: JW DANT BIB, HH BIB, JTS Brown, TW Samuels. All of those I have considered to be "not good" by my standards. Then again, I really only like bourbon neat at this point in my life. On the other hand there are BIB's that I do really enjoy(OGD, HM10). Like I said, I didn't realize the conversation was only bottom shelf. For just a couple of $s more there are many low shelf bourbons that are not BIB that I prefer to the list of BIBs that I do not care for. Just a few examples would Weller SR, OF 86, EW Black.



    Quote Originally Posted by dbk View Post
    I'm in my early thirties, and I love "good" whiskey, but I'm an exception, and I know it.
    I wonder about that statement. I wonder if there has been any recent research done as to what age people go from drinking to get drunk to drinking to enjoy? I am 38 and I guees I consider myself young for a bourbon drinker. While there are times I like to imbibe freely, even then I want to drink something that tastes good. I wonder if there is a significant difference between 25 & 35 in that regards? There may be more of us 30 somethings enjoying "good" whiskey than we realize. It seems like it has become much more popular recently.

 

 

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