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  1. #21
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    I agree with squire. I think it's the availability of solid information. I truly believe that posters on SB know more about bourbon that almost ANY liquor store owner I've came across
    Well, how can it not be McCormick's, the $7 well bourbon of the finest dive bars? Tastes like kerosene and sadness.

  2. #22
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    Hectic:

    What percentage of the juice in your impressive bunker was released to the market more than 10 years ago?

  3. #23
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Manthey View Post
    Hectic:

    What percentage of the juice in your impressive bunker was released to the market more than 10 years ago?
    I'm not sure what your driving at but I can tell you that I don't buy any current releases of the bottles that I listed in my previous post...a comparison between old (a couple years ago) and current on a number of these has shown me enough.
    You can find me in chat most nights on days ending with the letter y!

  4. #24
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    My mistake, I am trying to highlight the evolution of retail releases from glut era compared to what has been available in the last 5 years or so. That is, I believe the quality and variety of releases has improved in that time.

    Maybe we can distill the topic it to a simpler question tuned to each person's taste:

    Knowing what you know now, if you could only get the whiskey released in a certain decade (or any continuous 10 year period), which would that be? Taking into consideration factors like pricing, availability, and knowledge. Oscar might say 1985-1995. Sku says 1999-2009 (this is closer to my opinion).

  5. #25
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Manthey View Post
    My mistake, I am trying to highlight the evolution of retail releases from glut era compared to what has been available in the last 5 years or so. That is, I believe the quality and variety of releases has improved in that time.

    Maybe we can distill the topic it to a simpler question tuned to each person's taste:

    Knowing what you know now, if you could only get the whiskey released in a certain decade (or any continuous 10 year period), which would that be? Taking into consideration factors like pricing, availability, and knowledge. Oscar might say 1985-1995. Sku says 1999-2009 (this is closer to my opinion).
    I think they're both right...there is a different profile to the bourbons of the 80-90's then there is of the 2000-to today. I happen to favor the stuff in the late 90's to the mid to late 2000's but I know plenty of others who prefer the earlier stuff. At the end of the day, all of the stuff going on today isn't good for bourbon lovers in the short term...the boom in bourbon has created a shortage of aged bourbon and the only way to cure it is time. Some distilleries can wait, others will just bottle younger juice to keep the stills going.
    You can find me in chat most nights on days ending with the letter y!

  6. #26
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    The availability of product information to interested consumers is an important part of the current bourbon scene but my answer to the question is: the development of very-aged whiskeys as a talisman of bourbon quality.

    Never in the past was old whiskey lionized to a similar degree. At times in the market fairly old whiskey was available, say, 10-17 years old, there are old mail order ads in Oscar Getz's book which show this for example. But the acme of quality was bonded whiskey that could be as young as 4 years old (itself well-aged by 1800's standards). Only when the bonding period was increased after WW II did 8 year old bonded become available. In any case, 8 year old bourbon is within the 4-8 year range I would say has always characterized the bourbon market as its mainstay of quality. 8 year bourbon is nothing compared to 12-23 year old (and yet older) bourbon seen on the market in the last 20 years and fetching ever-higher prices. Julian Van Winkle IMO is responsible to a large degree for this development, and deserves a permanent place in American whiskey history for that reason alone. He continued what his father (JVW II) started but expanded and rationalized so to speak the category of super-aged bourbon. He really has played a huge role in the bourbon business in the last 20 years and deserves much credit for this IMO.

    Others were there too, notably Heaven Hill with its Elijah Craig 12 and especially 18 year old expressions, Sazerac 18 year old rye and William Larue Weller from Buffalo Trace and the plethora of 20 years+ NDM ryes and bourbons, and so forth.

    To be sure, many and even most distillers did not seek to enter this market but it doesn't matter: the die was cast and bourbon forever is changed as a result.

    Thus, in the 1960's, Charlie Thomasson, long-time distiller at Willett who started in the pre-Pro whiskey business, could write that the best bourbon for the best price with the best bouquet was 4-7 year old bourbon. He opined that much older bourbon tended to have a "punky" taste from deteriorating barrel wood and wanted no part of it. 30 years later, very old bourbon was regularly available for purchase and praised in the whiskey media, most of it much older than even the famed Very Old Fitzgerald or Very Very Old Fitzgerald of the 70's and earlier which was (generally at most) 12 years old. Very old straight whiskey caught the imagination of the whisky-buying public, people liked the taste and became ever on the search for that elusive 18, 20 or 23 year old whiskey.

    Now, will this change? Yes, due to the glut disappearing. Hence we don't see EC 18 issued at this time (or I haven't seen it lately). Van Winkle's products will continue though due to careful planning and savvy marketing.

    Where do I stand on the quality side of it? Generally I favour bourbon in the 4-7 year range, like Thomasson said. But I do admire some older expressions. Van Winkle Lot B 12 years old is one of the best profiles ever devised for bourbon, it is brilliant. And there are other whiskeys in the 8-12 year range I enjoy from time to time. I believe that for a number of reasons such as the change over 30 years ago in the entry proof maximum and generally higher distilling-out proofs than were typical 50 years ago, you can age bourbon longer than many thought advisable 50 years ago. A lot of it does taste good, up to 15 years for my personal taste.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 03-31-2013 at 08:43.

  7. #27
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    I'll take the variety of what is now available from most of the majors, even if in limited releases, as the main reason for these being the good old days. And well aged will always be available just at a much higher price. I expect more mingling of aged with young as in the recent 4R LE. Very well aged bourbon has a once or twice a week place for me just the same as scotch or Irish and other whiskies do and I'm willing to pay for that variety too.
    Thad

    BTOTY-2011

  8. #28
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    Some good points being brought out in this thread, think I'll just sit here in the corner with my luncheon cocktail made with 6 year old Barton and listen to the conversation.

  9. #29
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    Some good points being brought out in this thread, think I'll just sit here in the corner with my luncheon cocktail made with 6 year old Barton and listen to the conversation.
    Did the Barton bunny stop by last nght?

  10. #30
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    Re: These are the Good Old Days

    Let's just say the evening involved a bunny and Barton.

 

 

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