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Thread: New Bulleit?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrispyCritter
    The best thing to do, IMO, is keep buying what you like best. I'm certainly glad to see the folks at Sazerac (mostly) bucking the low-proof trend - let's hope it stays that way!
    Cheers!

    It is possible to capture the bourbon enthusiast market and make money, but the size of this market will dictate how many players can exist. Sazerac has successfully tapped into the bourbon enthusiast market and as long as they keep putting out winners and we keep buying them, they will continue to profit. I would love to see more bourbons like Stagg. The key is for us to reward companies making top notch unchillfiltered bourbons with higher proofs.
    -TMH aka Tim3

    You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
    -Dean Martin

  2. #12
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    I've been think about this divergence that you mention, as I've noticed it as well. It's almost like you have all these bourbon makers moving in either direction, but basically away from good, mid range bourbon.

    what I make of it is that the bulk and quality of middle priced bourbon is losing out.

    I think producers realize now that they can use marketing to sell to the cheap/mid range consumer and reduce proof/quality(age) as the demand for hard spirits continues to increase.

    Then they can also have a small growing segment of high end bourbon that they can make and sell. They can ask much more per bottle than for any of the middle range stuff.

    We all know what a great "bang for the buck" most bourbon is and how great the mid range stuff has been, you can get INCREDIBLE buys in the $12-$30 range.

    But I think from a business standpoint they feel than can make more $$$ as the demand for whiskey increases by selling a younger product for less $$ and throw some marketing dollars at it.

    I'm sure the producers see this, and on the low to mid end they realize that people will differentiate on price first, taste second.

    The high enders will differentiate on taste first, price second, so they can increase the price and not worry too much b/c they don't have to carry a super high inventory.



    Quote Originally Posted by CrispyCritter
    And yet, as a counterexample, we have, for instance, George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, Weller Antique 107, Van Winkle 107s, OGD 114, Rare Breed - it's almost like there's a move away from the middle to both low and high proofs.
    !

  3. #13
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    It's interesting that Bulleit decided to lower the proof rather than increase it and/or age state it to make it compete for the bourbon enthusiast niche. I think from the beginning it was never really a middle shelf contender. Most other middle shelf bourbons have an age statement and/or a higher proof.

    As many of us know, more time in the barrel does not always mean the bourbon gets better. On the other hand, typically (always?) bourbons get better as the proof goes up. Could it be that Bulleit is at its best being a mix of aged bourbons and never could be an age stated bourbon? There are a few exceptions, but most sought after bourbons tend to be age stated or at least presumed to come from old barrels.

    If increasing the proof and stating the age wouldn't help increase sales, it makes since to lower proof and try and drive sales based on its bottle design. The Bulleit bottle may be its best selling point, which would make it attractive to bar owners whose sales may come from customers looking at bottles and picking a "whiskey" based on appearance.
    -TMH aka Tim3

    You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
    -Dean Martin

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMH
    It's interesting that Bulleit decided to lower the proof rather than increase it and/or age state it to make it compete for the bourbon enthusiast niche.
    Bulleit is just jumping on the bandwagon with Heaven Hill and a bunch of others whose marketing department got the hots to make more money by selling water rather than whiskey.
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  5. #15
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    The Bulleit bottle may be its best selling point, which would make it attractive to bar owners whose sales may come from customers looking at bottles and picking a "whiskey" based on appearance.
    I fully concur!

    The bottle always attracted comments and will continue to do so. I used to think the 90 proof whiskey was pretty good as well - not an Earth shaker by any means but something that would run rings round Jim Beam white for example.

    Now at a meek 80 proof the bottle is the only thing going for it! I actually double checked at 2 wine stores and both culprits were 80 proof, so at least I didn't dream the whole thing!
    Last edited by jbutler; 03-12-2006 at 06:52.

  6. #16
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    If you were vacationing in Deadwood, what would you order?
    Remy?
    Heck No!!
    Gimme that cowboy lookin' stuff!!
    Colonel Ed
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  7. #17
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    Am I correct that the only place anyone on this thread has seen an 80 proof bottle is the UK? Is 80 just an export bottling? I like having it around, not one of my absolute favorites, but I'd be disappointed to see it reduced.

    Sorry if our British friends end up with the disappointment, but if it's still 90 in the US, you can maybe work something out.

    Bob

  8. #18
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    Hey Bob!

    I said above that is certainly a very recent thing, that Bulleit has gone down to 80 proof and now comes with a screw cap. This version is the norm in the UK so it would seem - and suddenly much more available i.e. in large supermarkets.

    Not the end of the World by any means but I more that curious as to their motive, to mess up a pretty good tasting and well priced whiskey (at 90 proof of course!)

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BourbonJoe
    Bulleit is just jumping on the bandwagon with Heaven Hill and a bunch of others whose marketing department got the hots to make more money by selling water rather than whiskey.
    Joe
    Joe, you may be on to something, bottled water is a huge business. Perhaps were are seeing the transition from bourbon production to bottled water.

    I share your frustration with the bourbon producers lowering proof instead of raising proof, but believe there is a lot more going on. I also need to point out that just because a bourbon has low proof doesn't make it a bad bourbon. Flavor is way more important than proof. I'll take a 1975 bottle of 80 proof Old Taylor anyday over most 90 proof bourbons of today.

    If Bulleit believed they could compete against higher proof bourbons and make money they would have raised the proof. Unfortunately, they must have come to the conclusion they couldn't. Bulleit hasn't received that much attention on this board, except for its bottle. This leads me to the conclusion it is better for Bulleit to compete against lower proof bourbons for the non-enthusiast market. If the masses of mainstream consumers were demanding 100 proof bourbon, Bulleit would deliver because if they didn't someone else would.

    The only way to convince bourbon producers to make higher proof bourbons is to buy more, a lot more. If bourbon enthusiasts only make up say 5%-10% of the market, our sales as whole would have to at least double to even make a small dent. Considering most of us buy from the same couple of producers, the other brands have no incentive to satisfy our needs.

    The reality is that most sales go to consumers who prefer lower proof alcohol and don't have loyalty to any one bourbon producer. In fact, Bulleit isn't only competing against low end WT, HH, and JB, but is also competing against vodka, tequila, and beer. Bourbon producers are competing for consumers' discretionary income, which could be spent on other things like movies, NASCAR, food, etc.

    Look at the top 10 bourbon lists on this board and see how many of us listed Bulleit. Then ask yourself, why should Bulleit care what we think about their bourbon?

    Here's a thought for you, many of us have noticed that middle shelf bourbons seem to be disappearing and the market is becoming polarized. Could it be that enthusiasts are no longer spending money on middle shelf bourbons, but instead on top shelf bourbons, thereby killing off middle shelf bourbons? This would seem to explain why some bourbons, like Bulleit, are regressing back to being a lower shelf bourbon.
    -TMH aka Tim3

    You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
    -Dean Martin

  10. #20
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    I have a bootle of Bulleit (80 proof) and there's "aged for not a drop less than 6 years" statement on a label attached to the neck of the bottle. I read this on their website, too. It's not my favourite (as a beginner, yet), but I don't hate it, either.

 

 

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