MM only bulk sells the barrels that are at 42%ABV.
MM only bulk sells the barrels that are at 42%ABV.
Did you hear that K&L blew out their 42% inventory at $5 a bottle, just to mock the people who were calling it a collectors edition?
That's an offer to good to refuse.
I understand inventory didn't last long.
Here are a couple of thoughts.
I have always thought the bourbon industry can learn a lot from the scotch industry. The single malt bottlers, whether distillers or non-producer bottlers (Compass Box, Signatory for instance) are always transparent with what is in the bottle.
Wouldn't it great if the non-producer bottlers here did the same?? I know some are bound by agreements that they can't disclose the source of the juice. Not sure what to do about that.
Now, what about the scotch blenders (Dewars, Cutty Sark ect..)? We don't know what goes into each bottle, and will likely never know. Those who drink blended scotch whisky just know each bottle tastes the same.
Maybe the NPDs here think the same way as the blenders in Scotland. They are just attempting to produce a consistant taste, regardless of the juice that goes in the bottle?
That being said, I would love to see more transparency in the bourbon industry.
Mark the two models do not rest on the same premise. The Scottish Independents thrive on openness whereas our producers profit from secrecy.
Unfortunately, we have domestic non distilling producers who buy bulk whisky, pass it off as their own make and sell it for a premium price. They cloak themselves in secrecy and misinformation to disguise the fact their product is not worth a premium and, in fact, may be less desirable than the much cheaper standard product put out by the house that sold them the the bulk whisky.
I'm an informed consumer. If I need surgery I want to know the qualifications of the doctor who will perform the work. If a NPP charges me $79.95 for a bottle of whisky they must first explain why it's worth that much. A producer who has to conceal the details of their whisky to get their price will not get my business.
But I completely agree with your sentiments.
Life's too short, and there's too much good whiskey within reach.
It's also common practice for these undisclosed malts to sell for bargain prices.
I've predicted that this is something we will eventually see with micro-distilleries, or even a combination of micro-distillery and macro-distillery sources.
The difference between the U.S. and Scotland is that most of the production of virtually every distillery in Scotland is sold as part of a blend, whereas very little of the production of American distilleries is used in blends. The relevance of this is that in Scotland there are vastly more barrels of whiskey from different producers is circulation than there is in the U.S. Even if distillery A has a contractual relationship with buyer A, that includes non-disclosure, any given barrel might be bought and sold several times and that original agreement isn't binding on buyer G. In the U.S., it's rare that barrels are bought and sold multiple times as they are in Scotland. The Americn independent bottlers mostly buy directly from the distilleries, so they might very well be bound by contract from revealing their sources, and the independents need to stay on good terms with the producers, because there just aren't enough barrels out there available from other independents.
In Scotland, virtually all producers tried to stop unauthorized bottlings that used the distillery name. Since with virtually all single malts, the distillery name is the brand name, an honest statement of where something was made would seem to also infringe on a trademark. British courts held that, no, the simple name of a distillery can't be protected. Today some producers still fight independent bottlings but others see it as positive for the brand.
In the U.S., Woodford Reserve is both a brand name and a distillery name. So are Jim Beam, Jack Daniel's, Wild Turkey, George Dickel, Four Roses, Maker's Mark, Heaven Hill, and Buffalo Trace. But W. L. Weller, Evan Williams, Old Fitzgerald, Old Forester, Old Crow, Old Taylor, Blanton's, Knob Creek, Booker's, Basil Hayden, Baker's, and many others are not.
Even in Scotland, the market for blended malts, which I prefer to call by the old name, vatted malts, is very small, but that's what would be interesting here, blends of straight whiskey. Or to call them by their proper name, gillmanizations.
Last edited by cowdery; 03-07-2013 at 16:47.
"Even in Scotland, the market for blended malts, which I prefer to call by the old name, vatted malts, is very small, but that's what would be interesting here, blends of straight whiskey. Or to call them by their proper name, gillmanizations. "
That leads to the questions: If we were to see blends of straight whiskey here, and Mr Gillman acquired some
A. Would he vat the vatted bourbon with other straight bourbon?
B. Would he vat vatted bourbon with other vatted bourbon?
C. If vatting different straight bourbons is "Gillmanization", what would you call vatting different vatted bourbons?