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  1. #1

    Old Charter BIB 7-Year-Old

    We've had a single bottle of Old Charter Bottled In Bond bourbon on the shelf of the store where I work part-time for as long as I've worked there. It only just dawned on me the other day that I've never seen it anywhere else (except a reference on this site's 'Bourbon brands' listing), so I got to looking at the bottle. In rather small print on the back label it states, "This bourbon is 7 years old." That was a bit of a surprise, because I think we all most often assume BIB is 4 years old, though I realize the original law specified that as a minimum for taxation purposes.
    Anyway, does anybody know anything about this bourbon? Is it still made? Why is it 7 years old instead of the usual 4?

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    509

    Re: Old Charter BIB 7-Year-Old

    crack it open and drink it!

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
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    Mar 2004
    Location
    virginia
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    441

    Re: Old Charter BIB 7-Year-Old

    crack it open and drink it!
    My bet is that Tim's going to wait until he has two (or three? Or ten?) bunkered before he cracks it open!

    I have never seen the Old Charter BIB to which you refer either. Any possibility of posting a photo?


  4. #4
    Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    SI, NY
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    2,083

    Re: Old Charter BIB 7-Year-Old

    crack it open and drink it!
    My bet is that Tim's going to wait until he has two (or three? Or ten?) bunkered before he cracks it open!

    I have never seen the Old Charter BIB to which you refer either. Any possibility of posting a photo?



    I was going to say the same thing, and looking at it from a collector's standpoint I can't blame him... I'd proably do the same thing until I found out more about it or at a minimum had a 2nd bottle.


    Unfortunately Tim, I don't know much about this particular bottling either. A photo would still be great to see though, that's if you can take a quick one.

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
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    12,656

    Re: Old Charter BIB 7-Year-Old

    Old Charter is a former United/Diageo product, now owned by Buffalo Trace/Sazerac. It's popular in the South, particularly in Arkansas. The Great Bourbon Web Site doesn't show a BIB, but the youngest Charter it does show is 8 years old. At least back when both were made by United at the Bernheim distillery, Old Charter was essentially the same whiskey as I. W. Harper.

  6. #6
    Taster
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    charleston sc
    Posts
    98

    Re: Old Charter BIB 7-Year-Old

    The BIB must have been a United product as it came from Lousiville.The great bourbon web site lists an 8 and 12 year old Old Charter. I have a bottle of 10 year old from Frankfort, and I still see that product around I guess that they are not producing it anymore

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,656

    Re: Old Charter BIB 7-Year-Old

    They still make the 10-year-old. Click any of the other Old Charters on the web site and you'll see it mentioned as a footnote.

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    735

    Re: Old Charter BIB 7-Year-Old

    Old Charter has an interesting history. It was started by the Chapeze brothers at the distillery at Chapeze, Ky. (close to Beam, who uses the warehouses at Chapeze today). The first year of Old Charter sales is also the year of the first Kentucky Derby. The distillery and brand later was sold to Wright and Taylor. W.L. Weller and Sons bottled the product during prohibition for Marion Taylor, taking a percentage from the sales. After Prohibition the brand was sold to the same people who owned I W Harper and in turn was sold to Schenley in 1937.
    The history gets even more interesting after the second world war. Schenley over produced because they were expecting trouble from the Soviets and then really over produced during the Korean War because they were afraid they would have to go back to war production of alcohol. Schenley knew they could not sell of this whiskey in 8 years (the bonding period) so they pushed to have the bonding period pushed to 20 years. In the meantime they increased the age of Old Charter to take care of the older whiskey they had on hand. Old Charter became the "Whiskey that did not watch the clock" and the yellow label was designed with a clock on it (7 o'clock for the 7 year old, 8 o'clock for the 8 year old). They invested into an antique clock collection and they would tour the country with the collection to promote Old Charter. After the bonding period was extended to 20 years, they created a 10 and 12 year old products.

    In the mid 1950's Old Charter also fought a legal dispute with the Charter Oak brand that lasted about 10 years before they finally won their trademark infringement case.

    When U D had the brand they continued to bottle the 7, 8, 10 and 12 yo products and created a label for the Japanese market but the whiskey for the Japanese was actually Old Fitzgerald wheated bourbon.

    Mike Veach

    P.S. TheChapeze distillery can be seen in the movie "Stripes". They filmed the Czech scenes at the distillery.

  9. #9

    Re: Old Charter BIB 7-Year-Old

    Charter 10yo is a staple in our store. From local experience, anyway, I'd say it's the most popular version in Middle Tennessee, at least.

  10. #10

    Re: Old Charter BIB 7-Year-Old

    Here's the pic (front label):
    Attached Images Attached Images

 

 

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