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  1. #11
    Disciple
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    Wisconsin
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    Re: Medley Brothers Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by fussychicken View Post
    Who in Kentucky contract distills unique mash bills? Not many people left that will do that...

    Any idea where they are keeping their barrels?

    I've always hoped the Medleys would be able to open back up Owensboro one day. So many good comments about the bourbon that used to come out of that distillery.
    Good question. HH or B-F?? Come on, Chuck. You know we all wanna know where it's distilled.

  2. #12
    Advanced Taster
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    Jul 2013
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    NH
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    151

    Re: Medley Brothers Bourbon

    Saw this in on http://queencitydrinks.com/2013/10/1...rbon-relaunch/ "Soon be available in Georgia, South Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Connecticut, and Rhode Island"

    I already have a good idea where to ask about it.

    Ted
    In Society that Outlaws Adventure the Only Adventure is to Outlaw that Society

  3. #13
    Connoisseur
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    Apr 2011
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    Sutton, Massachusetts
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    999

    Re: Medley Brothers Bourbon

    I love the Old Medley 12yo I have - I'll keep an eye out for this, esp. if there is a family relationship to the 12yo.
    Mark

  4. #14
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2009
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    Manheim, PA 17545
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    725

    Re: Medley Brothers Bourbon

    Sounds like a decent bourbon. I'm good for a bottle. Hopefully it makes its way to PA or MD....
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  5. #15
    Enthusiast
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    Dec 2011
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    NYC
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    405

    Re: Medley Brothers Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by ethangsmith View Post
    Sounds like a decent bourbon. I'm good for a bottle. Hopefully it makes its way to PA or MD....
    No it does not sound like a decent bourbon. it sounds like an overpriced less than decent bourbon just like wathen's single barrel. What sounds decent about this? The proof? The age? Is it non-chill filtered? This sounds like a $10 - $15 bourbon that they are charging $25 for. I can name some bourbons at $25 that I would pay more for. (but I won't)
    "Sat down to my supper twas a bottle of red whiskey" -Dire Wolf

  6. #16
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2009
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    Manheim, PA 17545
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    725

    Re: Medley Brothers Bourbon

    To each their own, but that's like saying the Beams don't know crap about whiskey. Keep in mind it was stated earlier in this thread that the Wathens are having this made for them and it's not just bulk whiskey. What does that mean? It means they've got a good control over their product and it stands to be potentially different than other whiskies on the market. Again, you're free to your opinion, but I am interested to try something that could potentially be a little different and keeps the heritage of a famous KY distilling family alive.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  7. #17
    Virtuoso
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    Jul 2002
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    North Carolina
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    1,202

    Re: Medley Brothers Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    I had dinner with Sam Medley last night and we talked a lot about the mash bill. It has been the Medley family mash bill at least since the generation of the five brothers, maybe longer. It is 77% corn, 10% rye, 13% malt. All three of their expressions use that mash bill.
    Ah ha, that explains a lot - 77% corn. I used to always keep a bottle of the SiB around b/c the sweetness of it made it an easy drink. I don't buy it much anymore though - it's not in NC and when I do see it when traveling, it always seems to be $40. At that price, I'd rather buy more complex bourbons. However, I am interested in the MB version - I'd drop $25 to try it.
    A man's got to know his limitations.

    -Harry Callahan, Magnum Force

  8. #18
    Advanced Taster
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    May 2013
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    HTFD, CT
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    132

    Re: Medley Brothers Bourbon

    I really enjoy the Old Medley 12. Have yet to try the Wathen's and will keep an eye out for this as it appears CT is on the future release list (surprisingly).

  9. #19
    Guru
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    May 2005
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    Eastern Pennsylvania
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    2,745

    Re: Medley Brothers Bourbon

    I tried the 12 y/o at Cork and Bottle in Covington. I did not like it well enough to buy it. YMMV.
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  10. #20
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
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    12,375

    Re: Medley Brothers Bourbon

    As I wrote in the original post, all three Medley expressions use the same mash bill, so the Medley Brothers is just the 12-year-old at 4-years-old. I tried it and it's very good, very rich with all of the good wood flavors, but with a little bit of grain too.

    One thing about bulk whiskey is that, especially in the current environment, you don't always get the pick of the litter. You have to take what the distillery is willing to sell you, which often isn't their best stuff. There are 4-year-olds the distillers will sell in bulk and 4-year-olds they keep for themselves, for their own brands. This tastes more like the ones they keep for themselves.

    Who will do contract? As I've said many times, no one is in the bulk whiskey business except when they are, though most of the majors only sell aged whiskey in bulk as inventory adjustments. That's sometimes called the spot market. Almost anyone with the capacity will do contract. Why not? You get paid up front plus you get an income stream from aging, and you never have to worry about selling the stuff when it matures because the NDP owns it. The retail sale is their problem.

    Most start-ups can't afford to do contract, they need whiskey they can sell right away. They usually have very little capital to invest and don't want to wait four or five years before they have something to sell. If you're going to do that, you might as well build a distillery. Most contract work is from established businesses. The considerable whiskey that Diageo buys from MGPI and others is all contract. What regional rectifiers like Phillips, Luxco, Frank-Lin and Paramount buy is contract. I suspect Templeton Rye, which has been a successful brand for six or seven years now, has switched from spot to contract.

    Heaven Hill uses a contract distilling model with their distributors. The 6-year-old whiskey that will be 7-year-old (theoretically) Evan Williams next year isn't owned by Heaven Hill. They sold it to their distributors years ago, when it came off the still. This allows Heaven Hill to free up capital to invest in more production and gives the distributors a favorable price, especially in an expanding market. Heaven Hill works with its NDP customers the same way. Brown-Forman still has quite a bit of excess capacity in Shively so they're happy to do contract. They just prefer to work with other producers, people who already know the industry. I've never really talked to anyone at Beam about it but I know they do it too and I suspect their attitude is the same. Heaven Hill was probably doing a little less of it until they expanded Bernheim sufficiently, but Heaven Hill has always done both contract and spot as a regular part of their business.

    No producer except MGPI has any interest in talking about this part of the business. If you want to write something about them, they'd prefer you write something about the brands they own. Nobody will talk about what products use their whiskey and that's fair. If I'm a contract producer, I'm making and selling whiskey with certain specifications. I don't really know if customer A is using that whiskey to make Brand B. It's none of my business and I don't care.

    You also have to remember who Charles Medley is. He's not some guy who one day got a wild hair to start a whiskey business. He's been doing this for 50 years and knows everyone in the business. He was the master distiller at Medley when the family owned it and stayed as master distiller with every subsequent owner, down to and including United Distillers, which became Diageo. When Diageo sold the Owensboro distillery in 1992, Charles bought it. He also bought the 8,000 or so barrels of whiskey that were still in the warehouses. That's what Wathen's single barrel was originally. When that started to run out, they looked around for partners. They needed whiskey, they also needed someone to bottle and distribute it. They worked with Luxco for a while. There was also a period when they weren't doing much of anything. Now it's Frank-Lin, from California, and Sam, son of Charles, is now the driving force. They figure this is a good time to ramp it up. In a couple of years they hope to being doing 30,000 cases, most of that in the Medley Brothers.

    Companies like Luxco and Frank-Lin already have contract relationships with distillers, so somebody like Charles can either buy from them or buy directly from the distiller. He buys directly from the distiller.

    What does Charles do? He isn't hanging out at the distillery. He's sitting in his office, tasting samples, deciding what's ready and what needs to age a little longer.

    Who will do contract under those terms? Just about everybody. The list of who won't is shorter: Maker's, Wild Turkey, Four Roses. In their cases it's just because they don't have enough capacity. With the enlarged distillery, I wouldn't completely rule out Wild Turkey. I suspect, but don't know, that Charles is getting his from Heaven Hill. He was still employed by United Distillers (now Diageo) when new Bernheim was being built, so he knows that distillery. But it could be anybody.

    Do I care? Not too much. I know it's one of those guys and I know it's Charles Medley, not Craig Beam or Chris Morris, who is doing the quality control.

    I don't want it to sound like I'm working for them because I'm not, but I think there is a qualitative difference between this and the many micro-producer whiskeys that have come on the market recently. I put them in the same category as Angel's Envy.
    Last edited by cowdery; 10-17-2013 at 13:17.

 

 

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