When looking for information on schooners and Lums (on the thread dealing originally with the origin of the term sliders for small burgers, etc.), I found this reproduction of a 1950's menu of Luchow's, the renowned German-style restaurant that operated in New York from 1882 until about 1985.


The menu is reproduced just under the resolution for easy reading, but in the section dealing with bourbon and rye, you can clearly see that there is a date next to three brands at least: Old Gran-dad, Mount Vernon and Old Overholt. The dates clearly seem to be from the 1930's, around 1933, 1934 unless I've misread them due to the low resolution. The menu is definitely from the 1950's because the story to which it is annexed states that Luchow's only installed air-conditioning after 1952. And on the border of this menu it states clearly, Air Conditioned.

Why was Luchow's advertising vintage whiskeys from the early 30's 20 years later? One answer may be, they thought they were better than what was made after WW II. Another answer may be, when this menu was printed - at the earliest this would have been again 1952 - there wasn't any post- WW II straight whiskey under these brand names available. This seems unlikely to me, since distilling must have started up in '45-'46 again (i.e., for beverage use), but if these brands got 6-7 years aging or so perhaps there wasn't any available when the menus were printed or it was hard to find.

I'd like to think Luchow's management just liked the pre-war stuff.

Can anyone read the dates next to these three brands better than I? I tried to magnify the text but wasn't successful.