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  1. #11
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Russell\'s Reserve 90 proof

    If they do, I would assume that it is over the objections of Jimmy Russell. At least that is the impression he left me with from his interview in Chuck's video from years back.

  2. #12
    Apprentice
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    Re: Russell\'s Reserve 90 proof

    i'm told by industry insiders at pernod-ricard that it is most likely a permanent change. it has been lowered in proof to compete with maker's mark and knob. if i were you i'd hunt down every last original 101 russell's reserve and buy them up. i liked the old bottle, label, etc. much much better. that said, i have not tasted the new product.

  3. #13
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2000
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    Louisville, Kentucky
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    Re: Russell\'s Reserve 90 proof

    Omar,
    it looks like a cost-cutting move
    My thoughts exactly! They offered this expression at The Sampler last night. It is what you would expect it to be...
    I asked the gentleman at the table (Jimmy Russell wasn't there at this point) what would make them do such a thing... The lengthy explanation pretty much boiled down to 'marketing'...
    I doubt Jimmy Russell was happy with the changes, but I don't know that for sure. He was at the gazebo last night, I think a couple of folks asked him about it. Maybe they'll chime in here.
    It's sad really, that a skilled craftsman like Mr. Russell has to deal with what some damn marketing dept. thinks...
    Bj

  4. #14
    Bad Girl and Bourbonian Of The Year 2012
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    Re: Russell\'s Reserve 90 proof

    According to the gentlemaen manning the table at the sampler, the change is indeed a marketing strategy to "attract the younger generation". Their research shows the younger bourbon drinkers like the lower proof....and not the hotter/spicier expressions. How's that for a bunch of bull!

  5. #15
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    Re: Russell\'s Reserve 90 proof

    Gee, it couldn't possibly be that they up their output by 12% just by lowering the proof. Of course, that's nothing compared to what it will save them in taxes (I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was significant when we looked at the difference when JD lowered their proof).

    I'll believe they mean it if they cut the price accordingly. Of course, they won't.

  6. #16
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2000
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    Louisville, Kentucky
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    Re: Russell\'s Reserve 90 proof

    Yeah, I stopped hearing what he was saying somewhere around
    "Their research shows"...

  7. #17
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Feb 2002
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    Kentucky
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    2,942

    Re: Russell\'s Reserve 90 proof

    I inquired at the table as well, but didn't speak to Jimmy Russell about it. The one fellow says it is the same whiskey and profile, just watered down to 90 proof, to which I said " Exactly". One fellow excused himself. One wonders using the same logic, if someday there might be a 90 proof Bookers or Makers with no wax at all. ( Retorical question) Cliff, Julian and myself shared a chuckle at Pappy's Quote, " Why ship all that damn water all over the country"!

    May the marketing department at Wild Turkey get everything they wished for on this one.


    Btw the bottling house manager told me the amount of time they expect the old version to deplete, let's put it this way, if you liked it, you better buy it, and soon.

  8. #18
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Russell\'s Reserve 90 proof

    OK, here's the tax part of it . . .

    The Federal Excise Tax on a proof gallon (gallon of alcohol at 100 proof) is $13.50.

    The current rate: (13.50 * 101) / 100 = $13.635 (per gallon of 101 proof)
    The 90 proof rate: (13.50 * 90) / 100 = $12.15 (per gallon of 90 proof)

    Since a case (9 liters, or 12 750s, which equals 9 liters) is 2.378 gallons, they're saving $3.53 per case in Federal taxes alone. Add in the 12% increase in output, and you're starting to talk about real money.

    I guess given the recently announced layoffs, this probably shouldn't surprise us.

  9. #19
    Advanced Taster
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    Mar 2005
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    Park City, UT
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    198

    Re: Russell\'s Reserve 90 proof

    Well, if they're using all this as a way to remain financially viable as a company, then I guess let them do it. Some Wild Turkey is better than no Wild Turkey at all, and I'd hate to see them go away!

  10. #20
    Moderator and Bourbonian Of The Year 2014
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    Brisbane Australia
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    Re: Russell\'s Reserve 90 proof

    Their research shows the younger bourbon drinkers like the lower proof....and not the hotter/spicier expressions. How's that for a bunch of bull!

    I'm not sure if I qualify as a "younger bourbon drinker" at 35, but I know I definately don't like a hot and spicy bourbon at lower proof. The bottle of WT Freedom I opened yesterday was a big dissapointment to me. Nothing but alcohol burn from start to finish - I couldn't even taste the whiskey properties I much prefer Rare Breed... or give me a Van Winkle, Evan Williams or Bookers any day. Something that has a taste and character to explore without lifting burning my mouth out.

 

 

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