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  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: JACK DANIEL\'S: LEMONADE NEXT?

    The answer is not clear-cut, but in all societies which have sought to control alcohol consumption, they have done so by limiting the strength of the drinks sold. For many years beer at 5% was not available in parts of Scandinavia, for example, and hard liquor was banned for many years in Belgium even though beer and wine continued to be sold. A drop of 3% abv. may not seem like much but if people, especially younger people, gauge their consumption by the number of units, they will drink less, all things being equal (i.e. even accounting for the different sizes of pours in different bars, etc.). Someone may say, I won't have more than 3 drinks tonight: he or she will drink less alcohol on that basis with a weaker liquor than a stronger. True, some people may have an additional drink to get the feeling they want, but I don't think most will. I guess I don't know for sure, but from a social responsibility point of view, I can't see any harm flowing from reducing the proof of a national liquor brand to 80. I don't know if Brown-Forman intended a beneficial social result, but sometimes private and public interest coincide. I had no problem with the move because I don't think the palate was significantly affected, and a higher proof Jack is available (Single Barrel) for the specialty side of their business. Just my opinion.

    Gary

  2. #12
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: JACK DANIEL\'S: LEMONADE NEXT?

    Please, let's not kid ourselves. There is only one reason why JD lowered the proof. And it has nothing to do with social benefits or consumer preferences. It has to do with one thing--the bottom line. If the tax laws were changed so that <font color="green">raising </font> the proof would increase net profits, you can be sure that they would raise the proof.

  3. #13
    Administrator in exile
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    Re: JACK DANIEL\'S: LEMONADE NEXT?

    I understand your point Gary, but I believe a more effective means of social responsibility would be to mount a responsible drinking ad campaign. What we're talking about here is a product that has certain expectations, and people pay a lot of money with those expectations in mind. Considering JD's target audience, they probably won't suffer for this, as there isn't a lot of difference in an 80 proof Jack and coke and an 86 proof Jack and coke. Time will tell I guess.

  4. #14
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    Re: JACK DANIEL\'S: LEMONADE NEXT?

    I should also add that until the US institutes metered dispensing of liquor as is done in the UK and other countries, the 4% - 8 % difference in proof would be of very litttle relevance to the alcohol consumption of the consumer. I've seen great variance in the amount poured into the glass at bars, let alone by individuals in private settings.

  5. #15
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    Re: JACK DANIEL\'S: LEMONADE NEXT?

    &gt; Distillery rep Roger Brashears told us, "We researched it and decided the
    &gt; majority of people wanted a less potent drink."

    My feeling is that this is absolutely true.

    Have you ever seen Joe Sixpack drink JD? Throw back the shot, swallow,
    make this terrible grimace of a face, then tell everyone how great it was.
    Or sip it on ice, grimace, and tell everyone how great it is.

    I've had bartenders tell me that they just can't understand how anyone
    can slowly sip whiskey and savor it on the tongue. Bartenders! With years
    of bartending experience!

    The fact of the matter is that most people haven't cultivated a taste for
    whiskey. They want to like it, but they don't want to put the effort in.
    They want something that's easily approachable and universally likable.
    So, as a consequence, they prefer the watered-down experience. As a matter
    of fact, American consumers generally prefer the watered-down experience
    in just about everything they consume: food, music, clothing, politicians,
    news, movies, books... you almost can't go wrong watering things down
    for American consumption.

    Tim Dellinger

  6. #16
    Connoisseur
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    Re: JACK DANIEL\'S: LEMONADE NEXT?

    It has to do with one thing--the bottom line.
    Precisely. Simply put, water is cheaper than whiskey.

    This may sound condescending, but I'm thinking if their dilution move isn't noticed by the masses, then it's a testament to how marketing prevails over substance. Their consumers might be so married to the brand that they either: 1. won't notice, or 2. won't care. That's what B-F is banking on, and it's pretty sad.

    The real irony of the whole deal is JD's supposed long standing "tradition" and "heritage" they push in their ads.


  7. #17
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    Re: JACK DANIEL\'S: LEMONADE NEXT?

    So, as a consequence, they prefer the watered-down experience. As a matter of fact, American consumers generally prefer the watered-down experience in just about everything they consume: food, music, clothing, politicians,
    news, movies, books... you almost can't go wrong watering things down for American consumption.
    I guess I should know this. I like (truly like!) espresso. I've never been to a coffee shop where anyone else ahead of or behind me in line has ordered an espresso. They usually order a latte, the most watered down (or milked down, as it were) of the drinks offered.

    There's a reason that in Italy, an espresso with water added is called an Americano.

  8. #18
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    Re: JACK DANIEL\'S: LEMONADE NEXT?

    As a matter of fact, American consumers generally prefer the watered-down experience in just about everything they consume: food, music, clothing, politicians, news, movies, books... you almost can't go wrong watering things down for American consumption.
    You forgot an important one: BEER!

  9. #19
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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  10. #20
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    Re: JACK DANIEL\'S: LEMONADE NEXT?

    I can tell from the article that they don't know a whole lot about how whiskey is made. Brown-Forman didn't alter the recipe, as they frequently alledge in the article. They are merely diluting the barrelled product more than they used to.

 

 

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