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  1. #21
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    Dec 2005
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    Burbank, California
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    78

    Re: Popular Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101

    I was just thru San Francisco to Vancouver and was able to pick up a bottle of WT 101 that says "8 Years Old" right there on the label.

    This expression WT is only available in Duty Free stores.

  2. #22
    Guru
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MS
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    12,577

    Re: Popular Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101

    Evening,

    I have been a WT customer since the mid 1960s. Years ago there were some proud brands, Crow, Taylor, Fitzgerald, Yellowstone and others, and most of these live on today in name only.

    Back when these names were peers amoung equals and goods were sold on reputation the top of the line standard was 8 years and 100 proof Bottled in Bond.

    Inheritance taxes, corporate takeovers and changing tastes of the buying public made these old names fall victum to the times and a distressing trend emerged. Without exception there was a lessening of the product by lowering the age and proof. Often by just issuing a new label which discretely omited information. Often raising the price as well along with the new look.

    Anchent Age did it with 10 year AAA and Wild Turkey with 8 year 101 by simply leaving the big '10' and '8' on the new label in the same place. I voted with my feet and moved my consumer purchases to other brands. I quit buying Jack Daniels when they went from 5 year 90 proof to 4 year 86 proof and quit buying Wild Turkey when they started following the same path.

    These moves were profit rather than quality driven and any honest person in the buisness cannot say otherwise while still holding a straight face.

    Still good whiskies and still a bargain but not the same and that is my point. Within a short drive from my front door I can get 100 proof BIB Evan Williams, J.W. Dant and Barton, all for less than ten dollars a bottle, with a 10% discount on a case purchase. I doubt anybody produces a more useful around the house mixing, drinking and cooking whiskey than Barton's Ten High and that's available for $14.29 for a 1.75 liter without the case discount.

    We now live in a time when more high end Bourbons are available then ever before and they are certainly worth the money. If the marketers are correct and the new consumers want 80 proof goods thats fine with me. Let us have all versions, properly labeled, and the buying public will sort it out. I just wish the makers would give us an additional choice of their old standards without an overpriced gusseyed up cork stoppered limited edition whatever bottle for which I have no use once the contents have been consumed.

    Regards,
    Squire

  3. #23
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Upstate, New York
    Posts
    125

    Re: Popular Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101

    Thats one of the great things about the WT brand, even the base product is well into the "great bourbon" realm in my opinion. I am a confirmed RB fan but can't fault the straight 101, great when the budget won't permit or it stocks are low.

    WT (all bottlings) is no doubt the standard brand by which all others should be measured.

    Tim

  4. #24
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    G'Town, TN
    Posts
    515

    Re: Popular Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101

    Evening,

    I have been a WT customer since the mid 1960s. Years ago there were some proud brands, Crow, Taylor, Fitzgerald, Yellowstone and others, and most of these live on today in name only.

    Back when these names were peers amoung equals and goods were sold on reputation the top of the line standard was 8 years and 100 proof Bottled in Bond.

    Inheritance taxes, corporate takeovers and changing tastes of the buying public made these old names fall victum to the times and a distressing trend emerged. Without exception there was a lessening of the product by lowering the age and proof. Often by just issuing a new label which discretely omited information. Often raising the price as well along with the new look.

    Anchent Age did it with 10 year AAA and Wild Turkey with 8 year 101 by simply leaving the big '10' and '8' on the new label in the same place. I voted with my feet and moved my consumer purchases to other brands. I quit buying Jack Daniels when they went from 5 year 90 proof to 4 year 86 proof and quit buying Wild Turkey when they started following the same path.

    These moves were profit rather than quality driven and any honest person in the buisness cannot say otherwise while still holding a straight face.

    Still good whiskies and still a bargain but not the same and that is my point. Within a short drive from my fro100 proof BIB Evan Williams, nt door I can get J.W. Dant and Barton, all for less than ten dollars a bottle, with a 10% discount on a case purchase. I doubt anybody produces a more useful around the house mixing, drinking and cooking whiskey than Barton's Ten High and that's available for $14.29 for a 1.75 liter without the case discount.

    We now live in a time when more high end Bourbons are available then ever before and they are certainly worth the money. If the marketers are correct and the new consumers want 80 proof goods thats fine with me. Let us have all versions, properly labeled, and the buying public will sort it out. I just wish the makers would give us an additional choice of their old standards without an overpriced gusseyed up cork stoppered limited edition whatever bottle for which I have no use once the contents have been consumed.

    Regards,
    Squire
    Your synopsis of the historical trend does indeed paint a distressing picture . While I certainly agree that the best possible scenario would be to "Let us all have all versions...", the reality of the present state of affairs in some (maybe most) companies of the industry is dictated by the bean counters. They are concerned only about the bottom line and cloak it under the guise of 'progress' to the consumer as well as telling us what 'we' want to drink. It is not true in this industry alone....just look around, it is everywhere in corporate America. Unless more people vote with their feet, the present course will not be altered. However, the same can be said about many facets of our culture in these times. Unfortunately - and I do not mean this in an unpatriotic manner, most Americans will not "vote with their feet" any longer. They sit on their tushes, become desensitized to it all and do nothing but adjust the remote controls of life to go along with just about anything. Oh yeah, there may be some initial uproar to a undesireable change - be it sudden or evolutionary - forced upon them, but in the long run we just basically get used to it all and go along with life. Now, with all that being said, I am not advocating a new 21st century Whiskey Rebellion nor setting off on a course of fear & panic. And, if I keep going here along these lines, the moderator is going to banish me to the politics section of the Forum. So, I will end the speech before it becomes a rant.

    While I feel your pain and understand the frustration , there are several companies and individuals still alive & well in the industry who IMHO are not going along with the distressing trend. From what you have said, you recognize same. I believe they are truly keeping the old flame alive and trying to bring us a high-quality product at a decent price. Yes, it does cost more....but, what doesn't? In my own line of work, I see it every day of the week....the desire to purchase a product at prices of 10-20 years ago. Of course, we (including myself) would love everything to be stable or decrease in terms of cost. However, that is not the real world in which we live. IMHO, the folks at Buffalo Trace, Julian Van Winkle, and several others in the business are doing an excellent job & making the effort to still go the extra mile to bring us a high-quality product at reasonable costs. Of course, I do realize "reasonable" is entirely subject to each one's pocketbook.

    Amidst the chaos of corporate takeover, loss of old distilleries, and bean counter dictatorships....thank goodness for the aforementioned as well as the Barton & J.W. Dant for the sake of all of us. So, I will continue to vote with my feet & pocketbook to support the efforts of BT, JVW, & others, and, celebrate in some small way their successes. It is my hope their efforts lead the industry to new heights and away from the trend seen in the last couple of decades. Through it all, this is still America & we still have a lot to be thankful for every day. To each his own.....the right to our opinion and to drink what we want.

    Speaking of drinking, I have gone way too far ....much further than I intended. My sincere apology in advance if I have offended anyone . Rather than risk banishment ......and, before I digress off into other tangents that may end in total nonsense , it is the ripe time to stop and head to the keep for some tastings of WT, EW12, WLW and VWSR.

    A good and spirited night to all my !!!


  5. #25
    Enthusiast
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    Aug 2005
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    Garden Grove, California
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    287

    Re: Popular Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101

    This is a great thread!

    Ken
    Of course you'd say that.

  6. #26
    Connoisseur
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    Jul 2005
    Location
    Mentor, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    837

    Re: Popular Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101

    This is a great thread!

    Ken
    Of course you'd say that.
    Well, Happy Birthday, Mark! I'll raise a KS to you tonight!

    Ken

  7. #27
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    G'Town, TN
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    515

    Re: Popular Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101

    This is a great thread!

    Ken
    I'll second that!

    I'll bet you couldn't get this kind response - covering the entire spectrum - with any other bourbon! Maybe, with any other whiskey....well, except perhaps JD.

    All in all, it just underlines the magnitude, impact and power of the product. WT101 quite simply remains one of the world's greatest spirits and let's hope it stays that way!



  8. #28
    Novice
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    Nov 2005
    Location
    San Francisco
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    4

    Re: Popular Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101

    Jimmy Russell says:

    "We like big bold bodies. We want the flavors and hearty taste. Our flagship whiskey, the 101, has been our signature brand from the beginning of time, and got its name for being a robust 101-proof bourbon. This is a combination of 7-, 8-, and 10-year-old bourbons. I think of it as an old-fashioned bourbon style. It's the same whiskey I can remember half a century ago, and it's the bread-and-butter label that's paid the bills here for all these years. With all our products, today, you're looking at pretty close to one million 9 liter cases per year, both domestic and export. But 101 outsells all our other products 8 to 1, worldwide. And I also want to emphasize one thing, here. Wild Turkey whiskies, the day they're made and put in the barrel, are the same product. It's really all the same whiskey. We don't make a different formula for the 101, or our other labels, today, like the 80 proof or Rare Breed or our Kentucky Spirit. It's all made identical everyday. Only differences are how long it's been in that wood and the percent of alcohol in the bottle. That's all. So, there's a basic consistency throughout the whole product lineup."

    http://www.beveragebusiness.com/bbco.../mmbrad09.html

    I'm not sure if that article has been posted here before or not (I've been reading the forum for a few months, but this is my first post), but it's worth checking out. Interviews with Elmer T Lee, Jimmy Russell, Booker Noe, and more.

  9. #29

    Re: Popular Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101

    Welcome, and thanks for the link. It appears to be from 2000, but it's always interesting to read what Jimmy, Elmer, et al, have to say.

  10. #30
    Connoisseur
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    Dec 2005
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    G'Town, TN
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    515

    Re: Popular Bourbon, Wild Turkey 101

    Thanks for the link to that article. Very informative & well written. Of all the master distillers, it sounds like Jimmy Russell is the most likeable and down-to-earth of all of them. Would love the opportunity to meet him in the future.

    Wayne

 

 

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