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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    what if a microdistiller made something that was really good.

    I expect to see a lot of micro in the next 5 years fold. They have too, too much bad stuff out there. I have tried a few good ones, Dads Hat rye, is outstanding stuff, had a bottle last week. Balcones does a good job. But if a micro should make whiskey that was close in flavor to what S-W made, would it sell to the general public? Or just enthusiasts like ourselves.

  2. #2
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    Re: what if a microdistiller made something that was really good.

    It would sell Tom, good whisky always does, the problem is keeping the business going for 6-8 years while waiting for the whisky to mature. Of course you know about that, I just make the comment for our general interest readers.

    I think the market is ready for quality distilled beverages whether they be whisky, rum, brandy, aquavit, vodka, but forget the fancy bottles and made up hype about secret family recipes and that sort of thing. In today's age of instant communications a quality product will become known and if it sells at a decent price will find a buyer, make it and they will come.

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: what if a microdistiller made something that was really good.

    agreed. most of us here who've been drinking bourbon, or any spirit for that matter, have moved beyond marketing and hype. we can look at history and track record, but if you put out a good product, it will be bought regardless if the brand is established or up and coming.
    "We're still here. Scarred but here. But then again, we were invincible then."

  4. #4

    Re: what if a microdistiller made something that was really good.

    Being a micro, if it was really good I think the enthusiasts would snap it up and then the hype would kick in and it would be very hard for the general public to get any. Micro by definition having a very small output.

    It could also depend on the region its in as well, cases in point being Garrison Brothers and Wyoming Whiskey. They are basically selling out everything they have right now. If they ever put out some amazing stuff it'd be almost impossible to get any.

  5. #5
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    Re: what if a microdistiller made something that was really good.

    I don't think the micro would have trouble selling a S-W replica and at the moment at least there are probably enough enthusiasts to soak up all the production of a micro distiller who produced that unicorn. Providing distribution could be handled on the net and was national in scope.

    But wasn't the best of the SW juice was at least 8yrs old and typically in the 15yr range? Hard to reproduce that in just a few years even given identical white dog.

    Tom, do you think the majority of the micros are attempting to make what the big producers are making only better? Wouldn't the more productive route be to make something different but delicious in it's own right? Otherwise it's just a "me too" product and faces some serious headwind in the market. I have the feeling that the "similar but different" tack is what High West, Corsair and Balcones is doing.

    BTW - I had a chance to taste some of your juice last week and thought it was delicious. Thanks.
    Last edited by sailor22; 03-19-2013 at 07:19.

  6. #6
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    Re: what if a microdistiller made something that was really good.

    I think High West will do very well switching over to their own aged distillate. They've got a pretty big footprint for such a small operation. And Balcones is definitely doing something different, in a very good way. They've got hype and a great start with their young whiskey. As it gets into to the 6-10 year old window I think the tastemakers are going to push it to the moon. I personally can't wait for a 12 year old Balcones Texas Single Malt.

    In my back yard, Smooth Ambler gets a lot of praise for their Yearling whiskey, and while I really want them to do well and support them through the various Old Scout labels, I've not been impressed with the Yearling. At less than 2 years old it's impossible to tell exactly how it will taste at 6, but I'm not on board yet. Their goal for the "official" Smooth Ambler Bourbon is something in the wheelhouse of MM or WSR, a higher proof wheater around 6 years old. So, we'll see how it develops in the next few years.

  7. #7
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    Re: what if a microdistiller made something that was really good.

    One of the reasons Pappy choose to continue with wheat recipe Bourbons is they reached maturity faster and immediately following Prohibition the majors were playing catchup. The market helped shape the product and Stitzel-Weller eventually became known for 100 proof BIBs in the 8-12 year range.

    Could a micro replicate that profile? Certainly, but not with a 2 year old expression, or a 3-4-5 year for that matter. What a micro can do is make something with a flavor profile outside of what the majors provide. The grocery store will always sell white bread but the small baker makes the french style loaf I prefer.

  8. #8

    Re: what if a microdistiller made something that was really good.

    I have had the pleasure to taste a wheated bourbon that tmckenzie made, barreled and aged the proper way. It has a profile unlike any bourbon on the market today, I have to break in to the dusty closet to get a profile close to what he made. Given the popularity of dusties, I think it will be a seller in the enthusiast market, which generally creates a buzz about a product which in turn causes the casual drinker to take notice. I usually stray away from the micros as you never know what you will get, unless it is "found" product like the Smooth Ambler and HW stuff. I am looking forward to trying HW juice once it is properly aged as they seem like a place that will do it "right".

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: what if a microdistiller made something that was really good.

    that's one of the reasons i'm enjoying what corsair, balcones, and big bottom are putting out. they're putting out such interesting interpretations.
    "We're still here. Scarred but here. But then again, we were invincible then."

  10. #10
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    Re: what if a microdistiller made something that was really good.

    I'm interested in something with 'butterscotch' notes found in some of the old National Distillers products (Old Taylor) that I believe McKenzie is also working on.

 

 

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