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  1. #1
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    NDP Contradictions/Hypocracy

    The majority of active users here often state that NDPs are not a good value either because you don't know what you are getting, they are overpriced, are repackaged versions of other house brands, are sub-standard barrels from known distilleries, or some combination of those reasons. On the other hand, the most coveted bottles in the bourbon/rye world seem to be from NDPs (PVW, Rathskeller, VWFRR, Willett, Hirsch, Black Maple Hill, Red Hook, etc.) The most confusing to me is Willett. It seems like most members really love Willett, but will knock Rowan's Creek, Noah's Mill, and other offerings from the same NDP (KBD.)

    If I didn't know any better I would say that it has to do with the rarity of the bottle more than anything else. What do you guys think?
    I've never tried GTS with any sort of soda. Maybe I'm missing out; but I'm OK with that.

  2. #2
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    Re: NDP Contradictions/Hypocracy

    Quote Originally Posted by smknjoe View Post
    The majority of active users here often state that NDPs are not a good value either because you don't know what you are getting, they are overpriced, are repackaged versions of other house brands, are sub-standard barrels from known distilleries, or some combination of those reasons. On the other hand, the most coveted bottles in the bourbon/rye world seem to be from NDPs (PVW, Rathskeller, VWFRR, Willett, Hirsch, Black Maple Hill, Red Hook, etc.) The most confusing to me is Willett. It seems like most members really love Willett, but will knock Rowan's Creek, Noah's Mill, and other offerings from the same NDP (KBD.)

    If I didn't know any better I would say that it has to do with the rarity of the bottle more than anything else. What do you guys think?
    Yeah I have issues with a lot of the KBD stuff.

    BMH built a rep based on (a) some truly outstanding age stated releases, and (b) a rash of articles declaring them the "Next" PVW. Now they can barely scrape together enough bourbon to release a few cases every 3 months of non-age stated (and anecdotally increasingly young tasting) product. They also have tried to increase their MSRP to ~60 per bottle.

    Noah's Mill dropped the 15 year age statement and the newer bottlings taste nothing like the older ones.

    Rowan's creek I never found to be that good.

    As for Willett - at least all the bottles are age stated. And just going on taste buds alone I've really liked the three bottles I've purchased, as well as the couple other older ones I've sampled in bars. They seem to at least be making an effort to "go legit" too with distilling their own stuff.

    I wish KBD would just cut the obfuscative brands like Rowan's etc and focus on the Willett name. But I guess there are people out there looking for them...so it's hard to blame them when they can sell non-age stated sourced bourbons for ~$50 per bottle.

    /End of rant.

  3. #3
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    Re: NDP Contradictions/Hypocracy

    That's the kind of reasoning that I don't understand. So, they used to have or currently have an age statement. So what? You still don't know where it came from (which seems to be the number one reason why people don't like NDPs.)
    I've never tried GTS with any sort of soda. Maybe I'm missing out; but I'm OK with that.

  4. #4
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    Re: NDP Contradictions/Hypocracy

    Quote Originally Posted by smknjoe View Post
    That's the kind of reasoning that I don't understand. So, they used to have or currently have an age statement. So what? You still don't know where it came from (which seems to be the number one reason why people don't like NDPs.)
    I just don't like the bait and switch aspect of it.

    I don't particularly care what distillery a bourbon comes from if it tastes good to me.

    I just dislike that the company makes a rep on a specific product (e.g. Black Maple Hill and the 16/23/etc stuff they sold in the past), then uses the same name to sell something that isn't even close in flavor profile and likely not even from the same source.

    People complain about Sazerac dropping their age statements on some products. But at least we know it's the same recipe from the same distillery...

  5. #5
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    Re: NDP Contradictions/Hypocracy

    I agree the bait and switch is an issue that leaves a sour taste in my mouth, but ultimately I'm in the "as long as it tastes good" camp, at least as long as they're not gouging me too badly on price. I've had a couple bottles of Rowan's Creek and enjoyed them both very much; not too expensive, so I'll keep going back unless/until I get burned. I've tried Noah's Mill a couple of times and was underwhelmed. Weird, since that's supposed to be the better (and certainly the more expensive) of the two. Can't imagine ever buying a bottle. The BMH I've had - and it wasn't the black label/at least 16 year bottlings - has been uniformly good. At $40 I might splurge on a bottle now and then. At $60 I wouldn't.

    Some are more transparent than others. I've now had three different High West products and really liked all of them. They may not tell you the exact blend ratio, but don't seem to be too shy about the details of what's in their blends. I've enjoyed every Smooth Ambler product I've tried, given that track record I'm looking forward to when they start putting out their own distillate. I feel better taking a chance with SA or HW than most of the others.

  6. #6

    Re: NDP Contradictions/Hypocracy

    Quote Originally Posted by nd2005 View Post
    People complain about Sazerac dropping their age statements on some products. But at least we know it's the same recipe from the same distillery...
    Unless we are talking about Bottled in Bond bourbon or a product specifically states where it was produced, we can't know for certain that anything we are buying is from the distillery that is selling it. I know of no particular instances of a large distillery doing this, and I don't think that's the sort of information that gets out there. However, there are many instances of large distilleries selling bourbon to NDP's.
    I agree with many of the posts above relating to quality, however I don't believe this to be isolated to just NDPs. I feel the quality of a lot of things has declined in recent years (including my hairline.) The change is more gradual the larger the producer. At the same time, in the last few years we've seen some really incredible stuff come to market from distillers and NDPs
    I don't think there is anything inherently evil about not producing your own whiskey, or dropping an age statement. One thing I have learned, if a whiskey is really good, buy some extra...it's unlikely you will get the chance later in life.

    A few questions:

    Who did MGPI (LDI) sell to before the KBD's of the world existed, and after Seagrams ownership?

    What happens to the extra bottles from a single barrel? I've been involved in quite a few retailer barrel selections. Somehow all the barrels I've seen picked have yielded a number of bottles divisible by 6 or 12.

  7. #7
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    Re: NDP Contradictions/Hypocracy

    Quote Originally Posted by benpearson View Post
    What happens to the extra bottles from a single barrel? I've been involved in quite a few retailer barrel selections. Somehow all the barrels I've seen picked have yielded a number of bottles divisible by 6 or 12.
    I wondered that myself when on the Beam tour last year watching KCSB being bottled. I didnt ask, but just assumed anything left at the end of bottling, like say there was enough for 200.5 bottles, that they bottled 200 bottles and the other .5 bottle worth was mixed in with regular KC before cutting to 100 proof.

    itd be interesting to know for sure though

  8. #8
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    Re: NDP Contradictions/Hypocracy

    Wastage is one of the perks of working on the single barrel line.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  9. #9

    Re: NDP Contradictions/Hypocracy

    My thought is that all of this wastage is sold as a lot, at least by some distilleries. It could also be put in with larger batches, but I would think large amounts could throw the product off profile.

  10. #10
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    Re: NDP Contradictions/Hypocracy

    I would drink it.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

 

 

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