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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    But I still would like to know to know, what happened to existing Medley stocks of rye when HH bought the label of Rittenhouse from Glenmore/United or whomever the parent of Medley was at that time? Maybe it became that Stephen Foster brand?


    I guess Julian bought quite bit of the 1985 stock for his rye brands.

    Swedish lover of American whiskey

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    In the spring of 1993, Heaven Hill bought 70 brands from what was then United Distillers (now Diageo), immediately selling some of them to David Sherman. This is when they acquired Rittenhouse. While I can't state this as a fact, it is unlikely that HH acquired any whiskey in that transaction, just the brand names. HH never had any reason to buy whiskey from anyone else until the fire in 1996 destroyed the Bardstown distillery. Heaven Hill has production capacity issues now because they have grown so much and the Bernheim plant isn't as big as they would like, but back then they had all the capacity they needed. They also prided themselves on being the only whiskey distillery in the US that made whiskey all year.

    Prior to the Rittenhouse acquisition, the only rye HH made was Pikesville. It's possible they had some occasion to make rye prior to contracting with Standard to supply whiskey for Pikesville, but I doubt it.

    That was some good detective work on Dave G's part and I suspect he's right, that the 21-year-old rye HH reacquired probably was made for Standard. As for what happened to the Glenmore whiskey (remember, Glenmore had owned Medley for several years at that point), it became United's, which, as you'll recall, also owned Old Fitz, from which Julian was buying his bourbon.

    Just to be clear, UD didn't keep that whiskey on purpose, they kept it because HH didn't need or want it. Although it was starting to lessen by 1993, there was still a whiskey glut.

    Another reason to doubt that the whiskey in question is Medley/Glenmore is that in 1993 it would have already been nine years old. HH does not throw money away and in 1993, buying 9-year-old rye whiskey would have been perceived as throwing money away.

    Also to clarify, Heaven Hill's Bardstown plant made one rye whiskey and one bourbon. In other words, when they acquired Rittenhouse they didn't start making a different rye formula. It was the same rye they were using for Pikesville. Today, HH makes one rye whiskey, one wheat whiskey and two bourbons, one using wheat and the other using rye.

    The late-80s, early 90s was a period of massive realignment and was when HH, Sazerac, David Sherman, Barton and others acquired many of their brands. Beam either sold off or discontinued a lot of National's brands after that acquisition in 1987, Seagram's unloaded a bunch in 1989 (most of them going to either HH or Sazerac), then the big United sell-off in 1993.
    Last edited by cowdery; 05-18-2006 at 15:54.

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Toronto, Canada
    Excellent Chuck, many thanks.




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