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  1. #1

    Age statement question

    Why the lack of age statement and other distinguishing marketing for many of the bourbon products in what must be the 4 to 7 year old range. I'm thinking Evan Williams Black, McAfee's Benchmark, Ancient Age, Virginia Gentleman, Rebel Yell, Four Roses Yellow, Jim Beam White; it seems to me that to a casual observer (something I considered myself until recently) there is very little to distinguish any one of these products from the others. (I know Rebel Yell is a wheater, but does it say that on the bottle? Not sure). Anyway, wouldn't throwing something up on the websites of these brands such as where they age in the rick house, or how the barrels are selected, or something about the mash bill, or how old they generally are, or something, anything, be beneficial? I don't know, maybe this only bothers me.....

  2. #2
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    Re: Age statement question

    I know evan williams averages around 5.5 years.

    Mcaffee's is probably right at 4 years

  3. #3
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    Re: Age statement question

    My take on it is that these bottom-shelfers are mostly made to please the drinkers who don't think much about what they drink. Why should the brand owners go through the trouble of elucidating their product's points when the consumer they have in mind won't appreciate it? Any communication of facts connected to a brand is a marketing cost, so it makes economic sense for a brand owner to spare any extraneous facts, but for by law. Unless, of course, the facts are a selling point.

    For these bottom-shelfers, price is the selling point.
    "A man comes from the dust and in the dust he will end-- In the meantime it is good to drink whiskey."
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  4. #4

    Re: Age statement question

    My thinking is that even though this is admittedly relatively cheap stuff, you still want the consumer trolling the bottom shelf to understand that this isn't just vodka with brown food coloring. Most consumers probably aren't aware of what it is legally required to label something "Straight Bourbon Whiskey", but you still went to the trouble of having the stuff sit around in a barrell for four years and everything else, why not embellish it?

  5. #5
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    Re: Age statement question

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronWF View Post
    My take on it is that these bottom-shelfers are mostly made to please the drinkers who don't think much about what they drink. Why should the brand owners go through the trouble of elucidating their product's points when the consumer they have in mind won't appreciate it? Any communication of facts connected to a brand is a marketing cost, so it makes economic sense for a brand owner to spare any extraneous facts, but for by law. Unless, of course, the facts are a selling point.

    For these bottom-shelfers, price is the selling point.
    I wouldn't say this when talking about Evan Williams Black, they are the #2 selling bourbon behind JBW. They have a fairly extensive website and do advertise accordingly.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  6. #6

    Re: Age statement question

    After reading various articles on this subject and board debates, my opinion is because if they put an age on the bottle the uninitiated would buy the bottle with the highest number and no other information. They would assume older is better. After buying a 24 year old bottle of scotch for my 30th birthday that was not as good as Glenfiddich 12, I can definitively say that age is not everything. If they (they probably being people who don't know much about whiskey and are buying for someone else) see a bottle of no age statement Buffalo Trace and see the bottle of Johnnie Walker Black 12, they will probably go for the Johnnie Walker. I'd rather the distillery focus on being consistent with the product, and maintaining a flavor profile that I enjoy than to age it longer for more "prestige."

  7. #7

    Re: Age statement question

    Guess I hit reply too soon lol. The above being said, it would be nice to have some information on the back label as to age range, as well as an indication of the whiskey being a wheater, etc. I think that the reasoning is mostly marketing related. I don't know why they wouldn't put the information on something like the BTAC or Van Winkle lines which are aimed more at connoisseurs but the premium price will probably still attract someone buying a nice gift for someone.

  8. #8

    Re: Age statement question

    Thezenone, your point about the less informed simply veering towards whatever bottle has the highest age displayed makes a lot of sense. If you are Evan Williams Black, you wouldn't want to be upstaged in this way by an inferior bourbon that just happens to technically be six months to a year older or whatever. I would still like it though if they would do what Old Crow Reserve does and surreptitiously state somewhere on the label that the bourbon is in fact aged a "full four years", or whatever the case may be.

    An age statement is only one thing you can use to differentiate your bourbon though. There must be something unique in the production processes of all these bourbons that somehow sets them apart from their peers, no?

  9. #9
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    Re: Age statement question

    Quote Originally Posted by jrobidoux View Post
    Thezenone, your point about the less informed simply veering towards whatever bottle has the highest age displayed makes a lot of sense. If you are Evan Williams Black, you wouldn't want to be upstaged in this way by an inferior bourbon that just happens to technically be six months to a year older or whatever. I would still like it though if they would do what Old Crow Reserve does and surreptitiously state somewhere on the label that the bourbon is in fact aged a "full four years", or whatever the case may be.

    An age statement is only one thing you can use to differentiate your bourbon though. There must be something unique in the production processes of all these bourbons that somehow sets them apart from their peers, no?
    Then, of course, there are quite respectable bourbons that result from mingling not just different mash recipes but different years. How old is the bourbon in that bottle of Four Roses Yellow Label? It is a combination of two mash bills and five different yeast strains plus distillate from different years that may run from five to ten years old. There can actually be 14 different bourbons in one bottle of FRYL. So, how do you explain all of that in four words or less that will fit on the label and mean something to the casual customer?
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

  10. #10
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    Re: Age statement question

    Addendum to my last post: Is not WT 101 a mingling of 6, 8, and 10 year old juice? How do you put an age statment on that?
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

 

 

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