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Thread: Today's Puzzler

  1. #1
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    Today's Puzzler

    I was in a store the other day, and saw a brand I've not seen much written about here: Sam Houston. There were 4 bottles, so I pulled the first one down to look at it. Small batch, NAS. When I went to put it back, the one behind it was different - it had an age statement (10 Years). So I started comparing the two:

    NAS was 42.8%, batch 47, bottle 1323 (two other bottles were NAS, same batch, bottle numbers within 10 of this one), UPC starts with 55709 (ignoring the small first number)
    10 year was 45%, batch number faded off, bottle number very faded but looked like 127. UPC also starts with 55709.

    No dates on the bottoms of the bottles, but one (and I didn't record which) had a manufacturer's symbol - a triangle followed by a capital "V".

    BE.com has reviews of a 45% Sam Houston that span 2005 to 2009, and the picture looks a lot like the 10 year bottle I had in my hands (see pics below). BE.com also has review of a 43.25% offering written from 2007 to 2010. But there is no mention of a 42.8% offering.

    Are either of these noteworthy? Can anyone tell me anything about this juice? McLain & Kyne/Castle Brands are not names I know.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Re: Today's Puzzler

    This is sourced whisky from the same bunch that puts out Jefferson. I believe McLain was Trey Zoellar's grandmother's maiden name or something like that, but it's spot market Bourbon. With Houston, Zoellar was trying to get the same name recognition he got by appropriating Thomas Jefferson's name but I don't think the Texans were amused. For the 10 year old I would pay about the same as I would for a bottle of Heaven Hill 1783.

  3. #3
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    Re: Today's Puzzler

    Thanks Squire. I've never seen the 1783, but these bottles were $45 and $46. (The 10 year was a dollar more). Seems pretty expensive to me, that's about $8 more than 4R SB (which I've now bought, but not tasted yet). Any point in picking either one up at those prices?

    And what do you think is up with the weird proof?

  4. #4
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    Re: Today's Puzzler

    Squire is quite right on all counts,I feel this is a pretty uninspiring whiskey also.Last time a saw this gracing any shelves they were priced around $30-32 and even then there are many choices well above and beyond it's profile and quality level,a true pass on all counts.
    "To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."
    Larry Wachowski

  5. #5
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    Re: Today's Puzzler

    Zoeller's marketing plan seems to be buy some whisky, name it after a famous person to get instant name recognition, then inflate the image with a high price tag.

    EW 1783 was, up until recently, a 10 year old 86 proof upgrade of EWB. It is now NAS but still in the $12-$15 price range which I was using to illustrate what I consider the value of 10 year Sam Houston, although I consider the 1783 to be a superior whisky.

  6. #6
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    Re: Today's Puzzler

    That tells me everything I need to know. Thank you, kind sir.

  7. #7
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    Re: Today's Puzzler

    I concur with Squire on the1783. It's $11 here and a darn good bourbon that compares favorably with brands twice and more the price. It was even better when it was ten years old.
    Jon

  8. #8
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    Re: Today's Puzzler

    Well, I won't buy this and bring it in March then.

  9. #9

    Re: Today's Puzzler

    Here in CA they have a NAS Sam Houston at 45% for $30. The label is much different that the ones pictured though.

  10. #10
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    Re: Today's Puzzler

    I bought some of that Sam Houston 10yr early on in my bourbon buying days at a price of $40ish, I think. I wish I'd left it on the shelf.
    Jack
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