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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,637

    Historical Claims. Do You Care?

    I devoted the most recent issue of my newsletter to the subject of dubious historical claims in the marketing of American whiskey.

    When you see a historical claim in a whiskey's marketing, are you inclined to believe it? Or do you usually dismiss it as marketing fluff? Either way, do you care if it's true or not?

    My rationale for excusing many of these claims is that they were first made before anyone conceived of 'truth in advertising' as a value. To some extent they were grandfathered in when the government began to police product claims in the early 20th century. No one means any harm. It has simply become part of the brand's fabric, its background music.

    I like knowing what's true and what's fluff, but I don't mind the fluff.

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
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    Jul 2005
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    Mentor, Ohio, USA
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    837

    Re: Historical Claims. Do You Care?

    I guess I'm the same way, Chuck. I enjoy hearing the "lore". It doesn't influence my buying or drinking enjoyment. I guess I take all of it with at least a grain of salt but the stories are fun.

    By the way, I really enjoyed your latest issue. Nicely done. Always a good read!

    I would LOVE to have interviews with the master distillers to hear what they think their advantages really are. I know it would be laced with the marketing bullet points but something like the Whiskey Magazine round table discussions would be fun to read.

    Ken

  3. #3
    Guru
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    May 2003
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    Moscow Mills, MO
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    2,507

    Re: Historical Claims. Do You Care?

    The way I look at it, lore doesn't add or detract from the product in the bottle. I've bought a lot of bottles without tasting them first but when it comes to replacing them, I had to like what was in the first bottle well enough to finish it. All the marketing hype in the world won't make a difference to me if I didn't like what was in the first bottle.

  4. #4
    Guru
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    Sep 2001
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    Pelham, AL
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    Re: Historical Claims. Do You Care?

    I don't really care whether its true or not. I think, "Maybe, maybe not. Its a nice story." and go on my way. Like the thing about Knob Creek and Lincoln growing up. Its mildly interesting, but who cares?

    Tim

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Kentucky
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    2,942

    Re: Historical Claims. Do You Care?

    Like the thing about Knob Creek and Lincoln growing up.
    That one is generally accepted, as much as you can accept something from a little over 150 years ago. The odd thing is they mention that if left at the distillery, young Abe was certain to grow up to be the finest Master Distiller ever, And I'm given to wonder if perhaps they might really have thought he would have been the finest warehouseman or fireman of the boilers rather than the top slot. I suppose a hundred years from now it will be said of Bill Clinton, that if he had been born in Ky he would have been the best Brands Manager ever to come form our fair state.

  6. #6
    Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Jackson, MS
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    12,471

    Re: Historical Claims. Do You Care?

    The stories are nice and they add a bit to the lore. At least some of the old brands are being kept alive. J.W. Dant ran it off a log and even though the brand exists now only in name the 100 proof BIB HH expression is a good whiskey and a bargain at its price.

    Regards,
    Squire

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Feb 2002
    Location
    Kentucky
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    2,942

    Re: Historical Claims. Do You Care?

    I like JW Dant a lot. That is the Brand my Dad drank the most of.My mother worked at Beam and the only time he drank Jim Beam was the 1 bottle she got at Christmas or if he ran into Baker.

  8. #8
    Guru
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    May 2005
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    Eastern Pennsylvania
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    Re: Historical Claims. Do You Care?

    I like JW Dant a lot.
    So do I Bobby. Last night I had a pour of 86 proof Dant from 1959. It was as good as anything I've ever had.
    Joe

  9. #9
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    295

    Re: Historical Claims. Do You Care?

    I find most of the historical claims on whiskey bottles blatantly not credible. It saddens me, as I think, "Who do they think they're kidding?" Ultimately, none of that is going to determine whether I buy a whiskey or not. If the whiskey's good, I don't care if you can trace it back to 1783; if it's not, I likewise don't care if you can trace it back to 1783.

    I think it's high time that distilleries started taking more pride in what they're doing RIGHT NOW. I do think that's starting to happen, particularly with the (relatively) recent spate of whiskeys named after living distillers (ETL, RR, Baker's, Booker's). If a real person is willing to put his name on a bottle, THAT is something to which I would give some weight.

    P.S. I know Booker is dead, but he was alive when Booker's was launched, within recent memory---recent enough that I doubt the flavor profile has wandered much.

  10. #10
    Advanced Taster
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    Aug 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    180

    Re: Historical Claims. Do You Care?

    I find most of the historical claims on whiskey bottles blatantly not credible. It saddens me, as I think, "Who do they think they're kidding?" Ultimately, none of that is going to determine whether I buy a whiskey or not.
    I agree with that. I automatically assume anything written on a bottle is made up marketing crap and usually don't read it. If the contents of the bottle taste good to me, I'll likely buy it again regardless of what is written on it in the way of lore or product history. I never use the "stories" on bottles to attract me to new products, either.

    Jay

 

 

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