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Thread: Golden Age?

  1. #21
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: Golden Age?

    Maybe it will make a return visit!
    Sorry if it seems I am conversing with myself.

    I can't bring it back next year, I have some National Distillers Old Taylor that needs to be sampled. Maybe we can be surprized again!

  2. #22
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    Re: Golden Age?

    The more the merrier Bobby I hate to show my ignorance, but please elaborate on Mellow Mash's relationship to Wathens.

  3. #23
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    Re: Golden Age?

    Both are creations of Master Distiller Charles Medley. We have discussed the origin of Wathens before and no real consensus was arrived at. However behind these 2 Bourbons stands the Yellowstone plants in Louisville( Now Gone) and Owensboro. Charles Medley had a distillery in Owensboro, hence the guessing game as it pertains to Wathens. The Mellow Mash does state that it came from Louisville.

  4. #24
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    Re: Golden Age?

    Bobby, thanks for your posts on the Mellow Mash. I am sure the Old Taylor of National Distillers would acquit itself well too. I recently had some current Old Taylor and it is a shadow of what I recall from 20-30 years ago. As I was saying in the post you quoted from, in the old days many bourbons (e.g. Old Grandad) had a richness where as you say lots was happening. In other words, complexity. Not sure if it came from mingling or different production processes, but I fear we may be losing this "middle" category of quality bourbons, ie. the rich tasty ones far above the 4 year old norm in quality but less costly (and usually less woody) than most of the current super-premium bourbons out there.

    Back to Mellow Mash, I kind of knew it would be very good because even the regular Yellowstone of the era was great, so I figured the Mellow Mash Yellowstone (being a premium version) had to be a winner. Thanks again for "tabling" it at the Gazebo '03.

    Gary

  5. #25
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    Re: Golden Age?

    Just to continue my thoughts here, I hope that the increasing number of super-premiums in the market doesn't lead distillers to weaken the quality or even withdraw their "regular" bourbons. Old Forester for example is a fine whiskey, so is Very Old Barton. The fact that Woodford Reserve has been a winner in the market (and rightly so) will not, I hope, lead to any less effort being put into OF than is done now. Since margins on the premium category are higher (given enough volume) than on the "regular" issue, I wonder if some distillers may be tempted to de-emphasise the regular bourbon(s) in their portfolio. 1792 is good but I actually prefer VOB and I hope the latter will always be available in its current forms (the various proofs and the BIB version).

    Looking for a moment at Heaven Hill, their Elijah Craig bourbons are outstanding but I hope the company will always put out its current range of whiskeys under the Heaven Hill brand name and maintain their quality.

    If one looks at the brewing industry, many brewers felt they had to go into the microbrewery style of beer (rich-tasting, more costly to make) and this led many to stop making their former line-up or lower its quality or image. I hope this will not happen in the bourbon industry.

    Gary

  6. #26
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    Re: Golden Age?

    Just to continue my thoughts here, I hope that the increasing number of super-premiums in the market doesn't lead distillers to weaken the quality or even withdraw their "regular" bourbons.
    Is that even possible!? My understanding of how distilleries allocate their barrels isn't exactly by choice in most cases. BT can't just on a whim decide it's going to make more Blanton's...the individual barrels have to meet certain criteria (SB.com calls these "honey barrels"). There are always lesser quality ones which make it into lesser bottlings in the lineup. Sure, they can sell them to make blends, but only a certain percentage can be bottled as their premium products. Am I wrong here!?

  7. #27
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    Re: Golden Age?

    I assume production could be expanded or adjusted to produce more high end bourbon. New warehouses can be built, maybe heated in certain ways, to produce more honey barrels. If the market is there, supply will respond to it...

    Gary

  8. #28
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    Re: Golden Age?

    Bobby,
    Actually Charles Medley had nothing to do with the Mellow Mash bourbon. Mellow Mash was a product of the Yellowstone Distillery in Shively and it was closed down before Glenmore even bought the Medley Distillery. The reason it was called Mellow Mash was because the Yellowstone distillery had a special buffer zone at the top of its column still that recirculated the distillate before being sent through to the doubler. It was believed to make the whiskey more "mellow".
    If I am remembering correctly, the distiller at Yellowstone when it closed was either a Dant who was married to a Beam or a Beam married to a Dant. Maybe Betty Jo can can help us out here.

    Another footnote of interest - When Buddy Thompson sold Glenmore to U.D. the Mellow Mash label and about 50 barrels of the bourbon were kept by him for his personal use. At the 2001 Heritage Seminar (a program that has been cancelled by the new administration of the Getz Museum since it does not make the Bourbon Festival any money and only appealled to bourbon enthusiast) Julian Van Winkle and Buddy Thompson was on the panel. After the program was over, Julian tried hard to get Buddy to let him bottle the last of that 20+ year old bourbon for him before it all evaporated away.
    Mike Veach

  9. #29
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    Re: Golden Age?

    I think Wilmer Beam was at Yellowstone, But also several Dants were in the game as well. Interesting about Charles Medley not having anything to do with it. I took that from someones

    " Whiskey Adventure"
    Actually they only said he may have had something to do with it.

    It is an excellent bourbon. the prospect of 20 year is intriguing, Hope he has monitored it for an improvement each of those years so as not to have a barrel of whiskey tainted tannins.

    Beyond that All operations ceased at Louisville Yellowstone in 1991, so it was out before that.

    I'll save you a drink Mike.

  10. #30
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    Re: Golden Age?

    Very Good Bobby

    It was indeed my Uncle Wilmer who was a distiller at Yellowstone. I don't know the exact number of years that he worked there but I do have a letter dated November 1956 Hmmmmm...another little tidbit to finish in my records. I don't know (from memory) how long he worked there

    Bettye Jo


 

 

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