I'm sure the pros & cons of 86 v. 80 proof have been covered & beaten here like a in previous threads....but, my question is more in regard to availability of 86 proof Old No. 7 still in the market. Though my tastes have veered away into the direction of straight KY bourbon the last couple of years, my first love was the original 90 proof Old No. 7 over 25 years ago. Though troubled when the 90 went away, I got used to 86 without losing any sleep. I guess I've been living under a rock because I just discovered last month that JD has now been altered to 80 proof in the standard offering.
My local store owner pointed out that 90 & 86 proof bottlings are still available but only in JD special offers such as the Gold Medals, Scenes of Lynchburg and others. Of course, the cost is higher for any of those as opposed to the standard bottle. I find myself wondering why we now have to pay more for what Mr. Daniel's wanted us to always enjoy as his best and ONLY real Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey. However, I know the answer - $MONEY$ - pure and simple .
Looking back now, I have no idea why I did not bunker away some of the 90 proof before it completely disappeared in the early 1990s . While I am sure it would have been long ago consumed by yours truly....at least I could have enjoyed some for a while longer.
MY PRESENT OUESTION: If one should come across bottles of 86 proof here & there, should one grab them up? Since I have not yet bought any of the 80 proof JD Black, I have no idea if the change is very noticeable.
QUESTION for the real JD experts: is there a noticeable difference? If so, then I will run back by the store I stopped at last evening where I saw 2 liters of 86 Proof Old No. 7 that was bottled back in 1999. The price is $32.49 each which is about standard in this area I have found for JD Black by the liter.
Thanks for all advice and help.