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  1. #41
    Enthusiast
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    Mar 2000
    Location
    Midland, MI
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    455

    Re: Jack of All Nations

    They probably do regard JD as a bulletproof brand. My favorite
    bulletproof brand story is Harley-Davidson: during "the dark
    years", quality was so low that the brand new bikes would leak
    oil on the showroom floor! I seem to recall that it was mis-
    management rather then calculated neglect, but a better Harley
    historian would know the story better than I do, and could
    probably tell the effect of motorcycle quality on sales.

    A funny thing about bulletproof brands is the "quiet transition".
    Could a quiet transition have prevented the backlash against
    "New Coke"? Just slowly change the formula without mentioning
    it, and hope no one notices? (I know, that wasn't the point of
    New Coke, but the question still stands.)


    Tim Dellinger


  2. #42
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,898

    Re: Jack of All Nations

    There is no proof requirement for liqueurs. Could JD get away with something like that? Most Southern Comfort consumers think that product is a whiskey. It says "liqueur" on the label and in all of the ads, but the type is tiny.
    Well, I am old enough that I remember when all Southern Comfort was 100-proof, too. What is on the shelves here is now 80-proof, too. Another sellout? Is any 100-proof Southern Comfort still made?

    Does anybody care? Not I.

    Tim

  3. #43
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,898

    Re: Jack of All Nations

    Well, I believe you have a slight problem with this comparison. Harley-Davidson almost killed their brand when they were run by the AMF conglomerate in the period you are speaking of. It was eventually bought back from the conglomerate by a new group, consisting of many of the people who had run it before AMF. If this had not occurred, Harley might not exist, anymore.

    The new ownership was dedicated to both a quality product and to winning back their previously loyal customers.

    Disclaimer: I am not now nor have I ever been a Harley "fan". But I am a motorcycle fan, so I know about this from reading m/c magazines for the past 40 years.

    Tim

  4. #44
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,637

    Re: Jack of All Nations

    Southern Comfort was only available as 100 proof until sometime in the late 1970s, I believe. That's when the lower proof version was introduced. I believe the 100 proof was discontinued for a time, but eventually was reintroduced and is available today.

    (Full disclosure. I worked on Southern Comfort for six years and, among other things, wrote the Southern Comfort recipe books during that period.)

  5. #45

    Re: Jack of All Nations

    Actually, the two Southern Comforts we have in the store are 70 and 100 proof.

  6. #46
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,162

    Re: Jack of All Nations

    Not to stray overly from The Jack, but I wonder how people distinguish between the two Southern Comforts when purchasing? Do some really know the 100 proof version gives a stronger kick for the same quantity? Maybe some people don't know that but figure the high proof version somehow is better...

    By the way recently I had some Southern Comfort for the first time in about 20 years. It was good, showing very pure peach and citrus flavors, but the alcohol component was evidently neutral spirits-type, clean and vodka-like. There happened to be a bottle of Elmer Lee on the table and I added it to the Comfort, 50/50. This produced a really good drink, one I'd try again. I would assume one of the recipes Chuck wrote was combining Comfort with bourbon to make a Southern Rob Roy-type cocktail such as this. It was a good drink, and had a rich, "historical" taste to it.

    Gary


  7. #47
    Novice
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    12

    Re: Jack of All Nations

    A bulletproof brand , it certainly is, and all the more reason to keep it at a solid 86, or even be so bold as to bump it up to 90. Keep the tradition alive and their website won't look like the bastion of hypocrisy it already is.

  8. #48
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    virginia
    Posts
    441

    Re: Jack of All Nations

    Man, I'm glad I grew up. JD Single Barrel is good, but the black label is good only for mixing w/Coke for those that don't know any better.
    At the risk of repeating my earlier post, I'll just say that Tina and I have liked JD through the two proof changes, even if we don't like the proof change/price hike itself. We were also in the 99% that Chuck cited. Since we drink JD over ice, the change was not really noticeable to us, and I'm not sure the change would have been noticed by me even neat without prompting.

    Is JD marketing hypocritical? Absolutely, and it probably is one of the more aggregious examples of it in the industry. Tinkering with the proof twice in 10 years while marketing based on a 150 year tradition is pretty lame.

    But I think marketing is inherently deceptive at same level. For instance, as previously discussed, there's an awful lot of "charcoal mellowed" bourbon labeled out there. Sounds great, but what does it mean? IMO, it means that some bourbon distillers/bottlers are trying to use general terms or concepts made familiar by JD to sell a completely different product. I may be wrong, as I don't know who used "charcoal" in their marketing first, but JD has certainly used it most and best.

    I guess when I think of our liking for JD, I think about the person who really likes Big Macs. It's not so much that s/he can't tell the difference between a Big Mac and an expertly prepared, thick, juicy, seasoned home grilled hamburger. It's a totally different food. Even if you like Big Macs, when you're in the mood for a home grilled burger, a Big Mac will not suffice, and vice versa.

    Our tastes may be pedestrian, but they are what they are.

 

 

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