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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Mar 2012
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    Favorite Bottle/Decanter Design

    One of my friends works for a company that designs bottles and labels for the wine and spirits industry. Sometimes they will use existing bottle/glass designs for a new product, and just design a label, but many times companies will want unique glass for their product. Many people are highly influenced by marketing and packaging, so I was curious what many of you thought was a superior design from purely visual and tactile aspect.

    I know the first time I saw the BTAC bottle design I was smitten. The tall, clear bottle with the thick base and minimal label was very attractive before I even tasted the contents. I also appreciate the Parker's Heritage Collection, Four Roses Small Batch LE, and Rittenhouse Single Barrel packages. On the rougher side of things, the High West bottles and labels fit so well with the image the company projects in their marketing. And if we cross over to the dark side, you have to hand it to Bruichladdich; they know their way around a bottle!

    I find it interesting that one of the most coveted whiskey products these days, the Van Winkle line, features a relatively amateurish portfolio of labels on such unremarkable bottles.

    We all know what really matters is what is IN the bottle. Take that factor out of the picture entirely. What whiskey products influence you strongly in this way?

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Favorite Bottle/Decanter Design

    I share your admiration for the BTAC bottles. The design is simple, elegant, and serves to showcase the product within.
    My favorite bottles are the old paper label Weller bottles, except for the W12. That one looked a bit amateurish, but the whiskey inside was another story!
    -Brian-

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
    -Agent Kay

  3. #3
    Guru
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    Here's a few of my favorites:

    - Hibiki
    - Woodinville Whiskey
    - Aha Toro
    - Corzo Tequila
    ¡Geaux Tigers! - ¡Visca el Barça!

    "Really though, my hands are sore. The tool was doing it's thing with a flex hose." -Barrel_Proof

  4. #4
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    Re: Favorite Bottle/Decanter Design

    That Hibiki bottle looks like a squat Zima bottle.

    Jefferson's
    BTAC
    PHC
    4RSmB
    I've never tried GTS with any sort of soda. Maybe I'm missing out; but I'm OK with that.

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
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    Dec 2012
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    New England
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    Re: Favorite Bottle/Decanter Design

    This thread is Robert Parker's wet dream. Cleanup on aisle 6.

    Nice Bottles: Hibiki
    Classic Cask Ryes
    Baby Saz
    Nice Labels: BMH
    ORVW10/107
    PHC

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Jun 2010
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    Greenwood, IN
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    675

    Re: Favorite Bottle/Decanter Design

    I really like the bottles that HH bonds come in. It may be the same one they use for EW too. This bottle has a square base, and a long neck. The neck has grooves in the glass running up and down. It is a very stable bottle. It doesn't feel like it would tip over easily. It's easy to pour. Some have said HH copied the old JD bottle. I don't know. I also like the Old Charter bottles with the grain embossed up and down the sides. I also like the Sazerac Rye bottle (haven't seen many of those lately). The bottles I don't care for are those that are shaped like a big flask: Woodford, 1792, and others. They seem like they fall over easily.

  7. #7
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    Re: Favorite Bottle/Decanter Design

    I agree Paul, the basic HH bottles are hard to beat for a simple, uncluttered, practical design.

  8. #8
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Favorite Bottle/Decanter Design

    For me there is a certain cache' when a company uses average looking unremarkable bottles and has a retro label glued on. A label that looks hand written is another big plus. Somehow it shows a confidence in the fundamental goodness of the product that fancier packaging doesn't. I'm thinking of the Bouju Tres Vieux Brut de Frut Cognac and the Darroze Cognac line. I suppose the traditional Cognac shape bottle (Van Winkle lot B) is my favorite. Interesting that so many are moving away from it.

    I prefer the shape of the 4 Roses Yellow label to any of the other shape bottles they use. The Scarlet Ibis Rum is a very nice shape bottle and the label compliments it.

    Some of my dusty Old Charters are a graceful shape with some wheat stalks embossed in the side - lovely. Many of my friends have commented that they like the reto look of the Baby Saz bottles but to me they come across like some sort of movie prop.

    Probably in the minority on these but as far as shapes I dislike the OFBB bottles and the Willett pot still shape in the 1.75 size stand head and shoulders above the rest for being a PITA. The new Weller Antique and Weller 12, Russell's Reserve are not attractive in any way.

    The McKenna label is the worst.
    Last edited by sailor22; 06-24-2013 at 08:01.

  9. #9
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    Re: Favorite Bottle/Decanter Design

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor22 View Post
    For me there is a certain cache' when a company uses average looking unremarkable bottles and has a retro label glued on.

    Probably in the minority on these but as far as shapes I dislike the OFBB bottles and the Willett pot still shape
    Fully agree, especially on those round, bulbous bottles whose design went out with the 18th century for good reasons.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2011
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    Lexington, MA
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    Re: Favorite Bottle/Decanter Design

    I love the classic E.G. Booz "Old Cabin" whiskey bottles, in the shape of an old cabin. Just do an image search for many views of one. This whiskey brand is also thought to be the origin of the word "booze". There are many reproductions, but originals can be found. I love the crazy Old Forester "holiday" bottles from the 1950s.

    For whiskey that I can buy now, I'm a fan of the Four Roses bottles. The unpretentious Yellow Label, the nice ovoid Small Batch, and the round-base-to-square pillar shape of the Single Barrel. In scotch, the Balvenie bottle is a great design.

    Overall, I'm not a fan of 21st century label design... I prefer the old school looks.

    I've been having trouble finding decanters that I like that aren't made of lead crystal. I don't want to be pouring into a decanter only to have to pour back at the end of the night. But most non-leaded glass whiskey decanters aren't really great designs, and most are poorly made.

 

 

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