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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    These are the Good Old Days

    The thread "Good bourbon that has changed the least over the years" got me to thinking about how good we really do have it these days. Consider that not long ago 4R was sending all of their good stuff to Japan. The BTAC is a lineup of outstanding whiskies by any measure you would care to use. At HH, there was no EC18 or PHC. The Beam Small Batch Collection and KCSB were not available. Distillers today are competing for our dollars by offering unfiltered, barrel strength bourbons.
    It seems to me that we have a wider choice of truly outstanding bourbon and rye than ever. And there are plenty of really fine options for those of us who might not be able to justifiy spending more than $70 a bottle.
    So, what's your nominee for the number one development in bourbon in the last 20 years or so?
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

  2. #2
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    Jackson, MS
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    The internet, or, more precisely, the immediate availability of accurate information that makes us an informed consumer. A 22 year old grad student can go on Straightbourbon.com and over a weekend learn more about Bourbon than the liquor store owner who has been in business for 40 years.

    25 years ago an informed consumer was one that had learned to sort out brands by trial and error. Today the informed consumer is aware of the differences in mash bills, yeasts, barrel char, how location in the warehouse affects aging, and who (for the most part) actually made the whisky in the bottle. We are not impressed by claims of special water, only the choicest grains, of being hand made using a secret family recipe that no one else can duplicate or that old canard about being pot stilled when we know it damn well ain't.

    What we now have are marvelous whiskys because producers are willing to make them available with a label specifically identifying the whiskys used in the vatting, their mashbill, yeast,when, where and for how long they were aged in specific warehouses even down to rack and barrel numbers. These are the days of Bourbon made for connoisseurs who can appreciate them and are willing to pay for true premium goods.
    Last edited by squire; 03-30-2013 at 13:11.

  3. #3
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    Flyfish, you bring up some good points as to why we are in "the good old days" now.
    But I think we are past that peak and are backtracking.
    The distilleries are running out of good aged bourbon, they are dropping age statements and the "special" releases are just ho-hum bourbons in great packaging and high prices.
    They can't keep up with demand or refuse to (MM not building that 3rd still), and we get younger a product.
    The good old days were probably the 1980's, '90's and up to the date when Buffalo Trace killed WL Weller Cetennial.
    Before then there was a glut and for example you could get a WT101 8yo with 10 or 12 yo bourbon in the bottle.
    Same went with a lot of brands.
    ovh

  4. #4
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    Oscar I don't see where the distillerys are running out of good aged Bourbon. If you have solid inside information to the contrary I would like to hear it.

  5. #5
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    I'm just going by what's on the shelfs of retail outlets and the taste of current bourbons.
    Age statements are disapearing and the bourbons are tasting younger.
    ovh

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Mar 2012
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    New Orleans, LA
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    I have to agree with Flyfish. At no other point in bourbon producing history have distillers had such a demand to release high quality whiskey. Sure, in the 80's and 90's all those dusty bottles that we covet NOW were everywhere, but where was the unchill-filtered barrel proof, extra old stuff? Where were the single barrel selections? Where was Four Roses? Where was RYE?

    Sure, inflation, increased demand, and increased cost of production have pushed prices up, but the quality is excellent.

  7. #7
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    True, but they are not properly aged, so it's all for nothing.
    ovh

  8. #8
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    Mar 2012
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    New Orleans, LA
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    In answer to the original question, the regular release of barrel proof whiskey would be my number one improvement. Not that it didn't happen before then, but I don't believe it was something that ever showed up on store shelves.

  9. #9
    Disciple
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    Jul 2012
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    I would have to agree with both sides of the story here.I think high end limited releases are more abundant and the variety is improving while the mid shelf and down are the ones taking the hit.I think that there are a lot of quality products out there,but you are going to pay for them as well.The fact that products are losing age statements does bother me as well but the days of the glut era have come and gone and cheap age stated beauties,only their dust remains.Hopefully with the resurgence of interest lately we will see more products like the RRSB and ECBP hitting the shelves and bring back some of that quality and value to the market.
    "To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human."
    Larry Wachowski

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    Mar 2012
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    New Orleans, LA
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarV View Post
    True, but they are not properly aged, so it's all for nothing.
    For example? True, you can't buy WT12 year anymore, but I've got a 14 year old WT sitting on the shelf down the street.

 

 

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