Once in San Francisco I picked up a bourbon in a corner liquor store on Geary Street. I liked the brand name, Woerner's Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and Woerner's is also the store's name. The owner, a personable gentleman, told me that the company which did the private label for him also does the Joshua Brooks bourbons, and he carried at least one of those too. He said the bourbon in both bottles was the same and the private label arrangement was not being renewed so what he had in the store under the Woerner's label is the last of that brand. This was a while back but I am sure he still has some.
I bought the bottle, a 750 ml. (it came in both 750 ml. and 1 litre containers, both 80 proof).
I only tried it recently since I did not think it would be anything special but in fact it is excellent and a superb value. It has a marked sweetness and yet a good charred barrel taste against a good "mashy" background. This is the real deal, for under $9.00 it puts most other bourbons I know in that price range in the shade. As sometimes happens, it trumps many bourbons which cost multiples of its own price.
I searched Frank-Lin Distiller's Products (bottler's name on the label). This produced an interesting website describing a long-established business (since the 30's). They bottle tequila, vodka, bourbon and other drinks. Unlike many bottlers, they state on the website where they get their bourbon from except it is multiple sources. The site notes that bourbon has been obtained past and present from National Distillers, Fleischmann's, Jim Beam and Heaven Hill. The house indicates it likes to choose "sugar barrels" and even the 80 proof Woerner's shows that. I imagine the 8 year old, 90 proof Joshua Brooks must be even better but I am quite happy with the regular, inexpensive private label. I like a whiskey that does not rub out all distillery character but is smooth and drinkable.
In sampling Woerner's brand bourbon, I can't place the distillery. I don't get either Beam or Heaven Hill markers: maybe it is a mingling of both or from somewhere else.
Anyone at Gazebo tasting this would approve. Bay Area SB-ers, pick up Woerner's from the store of that name on Geary (not far the downtown side of Van Ness) and tell me I am wrong.