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My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?
Let's not forget that some of the best selling and most highly regarded whiskies in the world are flavored.
Or does malted barley normally taste like peat smoke?
It tastes like peat smoke if the barley is malted over a peat fire. I don't know how many outfits actually do that anymore, but that's how they did it "back in the day."
As with anything that enjoys sudden, explosive popularity, I wonder if flavored whiskey is a fad. One can only hope...
I hate scotch.
That's a funny situation, with Southern Comfort. When Brown-Forman acquired the company in 1979, it was a 100% GNS base. A few years later, they reformulated it to contain a little bit of bourbon, I guess so they could call it a whiskey liqueur, rather than just a liqueur. Apparently, although no one will give me the details, they reverted back to 100% GNS a few years after that and that's what it is now.
It's mixed and bottled at Brown-Forman in Louisville. The GNS comes from some GNS supplier like MGP or ADM, the fruit concentrate (mostly apricot) is made at a Brown-Forman facility in Puerto Rico, and the final ingredient is sugar. I remember being in the room one time when they were bottling it. It goes through a filtration system and after a while, the filter module looks like a honey comb, with sugar syrup oozing out of it at every opportunity.
If you know your American whiskey history, compound or 'fake' whiskeys were a big problem pre-Prohibition. Southern Comfort can be traced back to 1874. You might consider it history's most successful compound or 'fake' whiskey. They didn't call it whiskey, of course. They called it "The Grand Old Drink of the South." Another funny thing, it never sold that well in the South. When I was working on the brand, its #1 state was New Jersey.
Col. Charles K. "Crotchety" Cowdery
"Whiskey Don't Keep."
We know that flavored whiskey is popular, but do we know who is actually buying this stuff? MauiSon proposed vodka drinkers, but I always see Shanken News and others claim that these drinks are targeting the "young brown spirits drinkers" category.
Are these products 'winning over' vodka drinkers, or are they just competing with other low-priced bourbon?
Ok, I ran some numbers at work today. All reported numbers below are our store's sales, so far, for 2013 (January to present):
Jack Daniels Black // all sizes we carry
1.75l = 151 btls
1L = 98 btls
750ml = 132 btls
375ml = 57 btls
Jack Daniels Honey // all sizes carried
1L = 35 btls
375ml = 12 btls
Jim Beam White //
1.75L = 102 btls
1L = 116 btls
(we also carry 750ml and 375ml, but sales are fairly low)
Jim Beam Red Stag// all sizes we carry
1.75L = 15 btls
1L = 38 btls
So, yeah, we sell some flavored whiskey, but the numbers don't add much to our bottom-line. I mean, there's certainly items in the store that sell far, far less than Jack Tennessee Honey, but Jack Honey isn't keeping the lights on.
One question to inform this discussion: are the margins on flavored whiskeys significantly higher than those of regular bottles?
I would guess the answer is yes based on the following speculations:
-they can put cheaper / lower quality / less aged whiskey into flavored bottles
*-they can and do mix in some GNS, which is of course much cheaper than aged spirits
-at scale, the cost of the sweetener/flavor rounds to zero
-they can consistently charge as much or more for the flavored bottles as the regular bottles (they do around here)
If these speculations are right, then someone somewhere along the supply chain is making a relatively high profit per bottle. Is it the retailer (like TheOakMonster) or the producer? I would guess the producer.
Then, in that case, does that explain why producers are pushing it so hard?
Last edited by CoMobourbon; 04-14-2013 at 08:15. Reason: good point squire
“I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.”
― Kurt Vonnegut
Not only younger (cheaper) whiskys but lower alcohol proof as well so the profit margin is greater. Is there any GNS in these things?