Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 36
  1. #1
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Mentor, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    837

    Direction of the industry

    I'm interested to see if people feel there will be better and better offerings.... or, whether the best bourbons and ryes have been 'hanging about' in warehouses for some time (Mitchner, some(?) of the Van Winkle ryes...) and when they are gone things will go downhill?

    It's not just product, of course, but people. Booker Noe passed away last year, Jimmy Russell is passing the reigns as we speak, etc. Are there new young 'Turks' taking the industry to new heights or, once these giants are gone, they are just irreplaceable?? (it's tough to phrase that without offending just everyone but please take it in the spirit intended ;-)

    What I'm interested in here are people's perceptions on the Bourbon industry over the next 10-20 years. What can we expect???

    My perception (as someone who knows NOTHING about the industry) is we are seeing some wonderful new offerings. I hope that trend continues (or accelerates?).

    Cheers,

    Ken

  2. #2
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Moscow Mills, MO
    Posts
    2,507

    Re: Direction of the industry

    Well Ken, probably the same thing was said about 50 years ago before Booker, Jimmy, Elmer, and the other guys we all revere starting pumping out the bourbon. Sure some labels are shadows of their former selves, but look at the great bourbons that have just appeared in the last 10-15 years. Buffalo Trace gets lauded a lot for their new bottlings, BT, Stagg, ER17 etc (not to mention all the experiments that Ken keeps alluding to). Look at what HH is about to do in launching the Bernheim wheat whiskey. I'm excited about the resurgence in bourbon being seen all over the world. I also am finding that I spend more time these days reminiscing about the "good old days" just like my dad and his dad before used to. Someday these will be the good old days our kids remember fondly. "Remember when you actually had to type into a computer....".

    To sum it all up, I raise my glass to the Grand Masters we all adore tonight, but also to those who they have been grooming to take over. Our future is in their hands. Let's just hope they remember the lessons they learned and keep those darned marketing people from making too many changes. (Not that I dislike marketing people, they put their pants on just like we do, one tenticle and a time)

  3. #3
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,882

    Re: Direction of the industry

    And I believe I recently heard that Elmer T. Lee has retired or semi-retired at Buffalo Trace.

    Tim

  4. #4

    Re: Direction of the industry

    And I believe I recently heard that Elmer T. Lee has retired or semi-retired at Buffalo Trace.

    Tim
    You're a distiller behind, Tim -- master distiller Gary Gayheart recently retired. Elmer's been 'emeritus' for a decade or more now.

  5. #5
    Taster
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    59

    Re: Direction of the industry

    I worry that the bourbon industry will become more and more corporate and not as much family oriented. However, I find that the industry as a whole is VERY concerned with consumer satisfaction and consistently turns out a quality product from top to bottom (try some Rebel Yell or Fighting Cock to see what I mean).

    Again though, the recent reductions in the proof of many bottlings is an area of concern (more water equaling more profits in the eyes of the bean counter).

    2 cents from a person who barely has 2 nickles to rub together.

  6. #6
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,745

    Re: Direction of the industry

    I worry that the bourbon industry will become more and more corporate and not as much family oriented.

    You have cause to worry, what with the Japanese, French and god knows who else running the show at most distilleries.
    I'm sure the Bourbon pioneers would be rolling over in their graves if they knew that foreign interests were calling the shots. Very sad. Let's hope it does not become sadder.
    Joe

  7. #7
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,882

    Re: Direction of the industry

    Well, there you go.

    Tim

  8. #8
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,882

    Re: Direction of the industry

    The way I see it, there is one thing we can do. Support the products (by buying them) of the remaining American family-owned distilleries. As far as I know, that means Heaven Hill and Buffalo Trace. Are there any others?

    But, even that has a flip side. If those remaining American owned companies become more and more successful, it will make them takeover targets for the multi-national corporations. As we all know, a $400 million target can do little to resist a $50 billion force (or, whatever the numbers may actually be).

    Tim

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Mentor, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    837

    Re: Direction of the industry

    I agree, For years (too many to count) I've enjoyed Bourbon. Though I live in Ohio I was born in Kentucky. My parents both drank Bourbon (Kentucky Tavern to be precise, Dad with water, Mom with 7up both on ice). I had my first tast around 6 (dip a finger kind of thing ;-). Dad thought I'd hate it... I never told him.... it was pretty good! But until very recently, I'd never paid much attention to the distilleries. Bourbon came from Kentucky, period. It was American.

    Then I started reading about these megalith companies who own every brand in every country (play Star Wars music with loud Darth Vader breathing!). I found that more than a little depressing.... Having worked for large multinational corporations (including IBM) I have seen how even seemingly innocent cost cutting measures have destroyed entire brands, gutted departments etc. I do applaud those distilleries who remain independant. I wish I could support them more but we don't see much of their product here..... We do have some EC and EW offerings but only like one of each.

    That was certainly 'part' of my thought asking the question.... Is this a real issue or just me being paranoid??? Large companies are run by lawyers and accountants, not craftsmen. I know there are lots of folks out there (both consumers, like me and distillers) who have been watching this process and I wanted to hear what people have been seeing.

    Maybe we'll see a strong resurgence of the small independant distiller (although I still won't be able to buy any in Ohio ;-( similar to the coffee industry. Not long ago almost all coffee was from the megas like Maxwell House. Then small upstarts like Startbucks came along and showed savy consumers they could have a better cup (ok, at like 20X the price, but still). Now Starbucks is a mega-multinational and you see the next generation of small upstarts (we have one here in Ohio www.daybreakcc.com) producing incredibly high end coffee that puts Starbucks to shame.

    I know it takes a lot more capital to start a distillery than a coffee roastery but the scenarios seem very similar, to me...... Could happen....

    Enough paranoid ranting,

    Cheers,

    Ken

  10. #10
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sherburne County, Minnesota
    Posts
    389

    Re: Direction of the industry

    But, even that has a flip side. If those remaining American owned companies become more and more successful, it will make them takeover targets for the multi-national corporations. As we all know, a $400 million target can do little to resist a $50 billion force (or, whatever the numbers may actually be).

    Tim
    They can only be taken over if they're publicly traded. That would eliminate, I believe, Heaven Hill and Sazerac (owner of Buffalo Trace). Other than convincing the current owners to sell (perhaps by making them an offer they can refuse), I can only imagine that they would have to resort to illegal business tactics to force them to sell.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Alcohilism within the industry
    By rob in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-18-2005, 08:02
  2. Getting into the Bourbon Industry
    By whadam00 in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-05-2003, 14:57
  3. Industry News
    By kitzg in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 12-22-2000, 12:04
  4. Industry Changes
    By kitzg in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-25-2000, 15:44

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top