Last night I was thinking after having a couple tastes of some historical bourbon (AH Hirsch 16 and Ten High Ten) about what holds for us in the future. Thanks to places like this forum those of us who are enthusiasts can debunk products which are all the same mashbill. My theory is now with the success of products like Angel Envy and New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon that the special finishing is here to stay and will only expand. By taking two MGPI bourbons of the same age, finish them in wine, port, Madeira rum, maybe an islay scotch barrel... you have just created a new product..... People new to the bourbon category will develop tastes for just those products. Where will the raw natural bourbon land? Will there be less differentiation in mashbills? Will bourbon go the way of single malt scotch in the next two decades? More interesting to me is emerging markets like China and India whose purchasing power and tastes for 1st world products increase. Exports of bourbon will have to go up and so will prices.
Micro distilling is bringing new people to whiskey and with it these people have a preference for young small barrel juice. You and I may say great but the big boys do not ignore what the little guys do. Two years after craft distilling exploded in my market we see white spirits from Beam, Jack, Heaven Hill. Angels Envy has been on the market for a while and now this August Beam will be releasing a spanish brandy finished bourbon (?) Bourbon is a product of tradition but it seems with all the ivy league minds in the marketing departments a lot of the tradition could be thrown out the window.
Personally I hope these new products all just distract the people buying up the 15 yr old + wheated bourbons that I have developed a preference for. And I pray some marketing director at Beam global is forcing MM to put some barrels away to be released at 10+ years because their golfing buddies demand it.