There are both bourbon tasting notes and an article on the spirits business in the May 2004 issue of WE. Both are from F. Paul Pacult. First a summary of his tastings.
Evan Williams 1783 10 yr old - his notes include references to banana, sauteed butter, buttered corn, oak and a regal finish. "The best whiskey value in the world, bar none. Best Buy". That's high praise indeed. But I haven't seen this bourbon in Texas. I'll try to find it during my trip to the Sampler next week in Bardstown.
EWSB '94 - He gets the buttered corn, caramel, nougat and almonds in this one. Says it ranks with the '90 bottling and also a Best Buy. The EWSB's are always in my bar.
GT Stagg - Like the two above, he rates this a Classic (96 - 100 points), but we already know about this one. He tastes it both neat and with water....I get the impression he likes it better with water.
His article is on current marketing trends in the spirits business. He reports that the spirits marketers' most coveted group of consumers is the 21 to 29 age bracket.....this is the group that can make a spirit a mega hit because they are more open to try new things and have superior networking skills to pass along the buzz from a new drink. The 35 and older group is more affluent but more set in their ways. The consensus was that mass marketing was declining and event marketing and sponsorships allow the brand to make a "connection" with its targeted consumer. I've noticed Jim Beam doing this in Texas by sponsoring small rock concerts, etc. He handicaps the newest hot brands to become hits.....he gives HH's product, Hpnitoq (cognac, vodka, fruit juice), the best odds and doesn't give any whiskeys or brandies any chance of becoming a hit among the young.