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Thread: Proof changes

  1. #1
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    Proof changes

    There is a considerable amount of discussion on lowering proof of some old standbys, i.e. WTRR 101 down to 90 proof. Some feel it's marketing, but others are adament it's to make more profit. My question is, If production is 100 barrels at 101 proof, how many more barrels will I get diluting down to 90 proof? After we have answered, I'll ask about the two trains travelling east to west and north to south, leaving 18 minutes apart...Ok, seriously I would really like to know the production difference. Chaz

  2. #2
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    Re: Proof changes

    Letís say that you have a gallon of Wild Turkey Rare Breed (barrel proof) at 108 proof and want to take it down to 101 proof, you then have 1.07 gallons. If you take that same gallon of 108 proof whiskey and turn it into 90 proof spirit you have 1.2 gallons, an increase of .13 gallons per gallon of aged spirit from 101 proof to 90 proof. This works out to about 2 extra 750's for every 3 gallons of spirit.

  3. #3
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    Re: Proof changes

    Seems like fairly simple math, to me. 11/101 = 10.9% weaker whiskey. Would they not, in fact, be getting 11 additional bottles of the weaker whiskey for every 101 bottles of the old, stronger whiskey? Even if this math is not precisely correct, it is going to be close.

    But, the additional thing is that you would be paying less tax per bottle. And, remember, they are still selling it for the same old price.

    Even if they are not doing it for the money, they will still be making more money.

    Tim

  4. #4
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    Re: Proof changes

    Hi Tim,
    The tax seems where they will stand to make/save the most money, but I don't really know. Does anyone know what the difference is?

    My method of calculating was 101/90 which gave me 1.12222 more whisky than before.
    Ed

  5. #5
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    Re: Proof changes

    Tim has it exactly right. The easy way to do the math, without doing any math, is just this: 90 bottles of 101 proof has the same alcohol content as 101 bottles of 90 proof. So they get 11 extra bottles and no price decrease per bottle. Looks like a pure profit decision to me. Cheers, Ed V.

  6. #6
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    Re: Proof changes

    I am sure you are right but you hear quite a bit that the large majority of whiskey drinkers (read - NOT folks here!) prefer a lower proof pour. I find that very odd as you can always dilute a higher proof pour to whatever level you enjoy but it seems to be a more subliminal reaction like - 'Oh, that 101 is SO HARSH, I'll stick with the 90'. It's much smoother.' Totally discounting that they just diluted it to 20 proof with ice and coke! But as the distiller, you do what sells more whiskey for you. There are 200 folks on this forum who would buy 10 more bottles a year if they'd kept the proof high and 100,000 more people who will but 1 more bottle each if you lower the proof. Selling it at the same price is just a freebie.

    I get that math.

    Ken

  7. #7
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    Re: Proof changes

    But, my question is still, why couldn't they have created a new brand instead of messing up one that we already knew and loved? Or, why couldn't they have kept the RR101 and added a RR90? Just like they have the regular WT in 101 and 80-proof versions.

    Tim

  8. #8
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    Re: Proof changes

    I am sure you are right but you hear quite a bit that the large majority of whiskey drinkers (read - NOT folks here!) prefer a lower proof pour. I find that very odd as you can always dilute a higher proof pour to whatever level you enjoy but it seems to be a more subliminal reaction like - 'Oh, that 101 is SO HARSH, I'll stick with the 90'.
    Ken
    In most instances I much prefer the higher proof. In fact the only one I have added water to in the past is GTS 138. But I stopped because even a few drops, to me anyway, made it taste watered down. It's like oil and water, they never seem to totally blend. But the WTRR 90 doesn't taste watered down, just different. In other words, the distilleries do a bettter job than I. But I agree with Tim, maybe WT should have introduced an new bottle, as opposed to change (and that's from someone who prefers the 90, albeit ever so slightly). I appreciate all you math wizards out there; but what I did not know of, was the tax issues. I think every one realized I was trying to distiguish between marketing and profiteering. I know, as a lover of microbrews, some markets do well with more adventuresome brews like stouts and Belgian styles (Colorado)while others make not much more than Coors light, because that's what sells. Thanks, Chaz

  9. #9
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    Re: Proof changes

    I think that's a great solution but I'm sure there is some target number of labels they want to maintain (1 duty free, KS, RB, RR, 101, 80, rye). To use my previous example. If once there exists a 90 proof, they only sell those 2000 bottles of the 101, would it be cost effective to produce the 101?? I don't know the answer but I would guess the answer is 'no'. That may have been the answer even before the 90 was released. Just for example, if they need 10000 bottles to break even on production/marketing costs and without the 90 they sell 9000(101), with both proofs they sell 2000(101) +12000(90) and with only the 90 proof they sell 12000 (okay, those are ALL made up but you see what I'm thinking). Regardless of why, I wish the RR101 would continue forward!

    Ken

  10. #10
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    Re: Proof changes

    from a business standpoint it makes sense to change an existing brand because you don't have to get a new UPC and then have it authorized thru distributors and retail outlets.

    If they produced a new product, they would first have to get all the new UPC stuff done, then get each distributor to add(approve) it to their lineup, then each retail store that buys from that distributor would have to add a new item.

    It's hard to get new items approved, because it takes up store space.

    By using the old product, they do none of this and the new version gets into the stores much quicker and into a lot more retail outlets w/o much problem or work or convinicing.

    one of the tricks of the trade.



    But, my question is still, why couldn't they have created a new brand instead of messing up one that we already knew and loved? Or, why couldn't they have kept the RR101 and added a RR90? Just like they have the regular WT in 101 and 80-proof versions.

    Tim

 

 

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