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  1. #31
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    Makes sense that they need older whiskey for their blend, but why use such a rare (and valuable!) bourbon if more affordable substitutes of similar age are available? Heaven Hill has a LOT of extra-aged whiskey, and I bet Diageo could sell the S-W whiskey (assuming it hasn't overaged and become undrinkable straight) and replace it with similarly aged HH stock at a substantially lower cost. I mean, we're talking about bourbon that could be (at least some of the barrels, anyhow) bottled as Pappy Van Winkle 20 or 23 in just a few years.
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  2. #32
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Dan.....The 18yo SW is definitely drinkable......we tried some during the last Sampler. Several of us are working on Diageo to sell/release some of this.....if only for history's sake. I'm not going to post any more info until I get a definitive answer from Diageo. We're probably just dreamin...but who knows.

    I used to office in a 70 story tower downtown. There was a private dining room on the 70th floor and several peregrines nested up there during their migration. It was quite interesting to watch them attack the pigeons and other prey in mid air. But I had never heard anyone use the term peregrinate Gary.....thanks.

    Randy
    Last edited by doubleblank; 07-10-2006 at 08:08.

  3. #33
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    By happy coincidence, I was at a friend's house yesterday and he offered me a pour of his favorite bourbon, which happened to be WR---batch 201, specifically. This was the first sample of WR I've had in a number of months, and as others have said in this thread, it seemed a bit bland. It had some interesting flavor components but they were barely there, just flitting around on the very threshold of detectability.

    The experience prompted some musings on WR's marketing success. My friend is far from a bourbon connoisseur, but he thought he was really getting something special in WR. I thought it was interesting how WR, in a relatively short period of time, managed to position its product in the mind of the public at large. I don't see much bourbon advertising, but I don't know whether or how much advertising WR does. Clever advertising seems to have pulled off a similar coup for Maker's Mark, however, so that may factor into things. I also wondered whether, having the marketplace clout of Jack Daniel's in the family, Brown-Foreman was somehow able to push WR on retailers who might not otherwise stock a premium bourbon, or not many of them. Certainly, WR is available in places like some supermarkets and smaller stores, which markets other premium bourbons do not crack. So uneducated consumers, who are unaware of the full range of bourbons out there, may well see WR as the top of a limited heap, since it is probably the most expensive bourbon sold in some of those outlets.

    In any event, it appears Brown-Foreman has had some success in making WR the non-premium-bourbon-drinker's premium bourbon.

  4. #34
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    The packaging might help some too. WR bottles LOOK expensive and exceptional to me and if I were to put together a good LOOKING home bar, would definitely consider the bottling for its aesthetics alone.
    Dane
    I don't drink to excess. But I'll drink to most anything else.

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by gr8erdane
    The packaging might help some too. WR bottles LOOK expensive and exceptional to me and if I were to put together a good LOOKING home bar, would definitely consider the bottling for its aesthetics alone.
    Agreed. The bottle, coupled with "distiller's select" coupled with the price implies premium product. I have always wanted to try this stuff simply from seeing it on the shelf. I always *assumed* it was a high quality bourbon from the packaging.

    On top of that they have a little thing hanging off the bottle with rave reviews of how great this stuff is. "Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby!"

    I think that was why i was so disappointed when I finally bought a bottle. I expected something great, and this did not even come close to delivering.

    Sigh.

    Joel
    "Oh Bother!" said Pooh as he slapped another magazine in his AK-47...

    http://vinesnwines.blogspot.com

  6. #36
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    The main thing Brown-Forman's marketing muscle accomplishes is distribution. They can get a product like Woodford Reserve into every liquor store and every bar or restaurant that they want to be in, and get it placed in the exact location they want. So, like Joel says, every time you go to the store and you look longingly at that top shelf, there it is.

    Look at how good their distribution is even on Old Forester and Early Times.

  7. #37
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    It would be fun to take WR and 5 other bourbons of different price points. Then decant them and repour in another of the bottles. Say, pour a WR into an Ancient Age bottle. Then, taste and rate them, say the way Joe does. Would the ratings mimic the price points? This is hard to say. There might be "anomalies" (e.g. I could see a VOB finishing higher than some batches of WR), but in general I believe the ratings would follow the quality as priced in the market. Anyone can do this at home informally (say using bottle ends) and I'd be interested in their comments. I don't have enough bourbons of different kinds currently to do this, plus I still have my vodka tasting to do. (I bought a second corn vodka, the Canadian-bottled Iceberg vodka, which states on the label it is distilled from corn, so I'm getting there).

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 07-12-2006 at 13:19.

  8. #38
    On a whim, I took this bottle and put it in the freezer for an hour. My hope was to cool the bourbon without the dilution of ice. This bourbon doesn't have a strong enough flavor to be diluted...

    I like it this way. Sure, it's no PVW, but it's improved over straight room temperature, and vastly improved over this stuff on the rocks.

    I've never put bourbon in the freezer before. Interesting.

    Joel
    "Oh Bother!" said Pooh as he slapped another magazine in his AK-47...

    http://vinesnwines.blogspot.com

  9. #39
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    As I've noted, in the later 1800's whiskey bottles were kept on ice by professional bartenders. This is stated as a normal practice in Jerry Thomas' How To Mix Drinks. I think at the time, it was regarded as normal in fancy establishments that whiskey was drunk cold, either as a shot from a chilled bottle, shaken cold in mixed drinks, or served with ice as in juleps and punches. It doesn't answer to say this was all white common whiskey. "Bourbon" existed by the 1860's when Thomas' book first appeared and is mentioned as such in the book, numerous times. Even at 1 and 2 years old which may have been the standard aging then, bourbon would have had good color as we know from other contemporary accounts. The practice by some of taking whiskey very cold today is a survival and echo of that old practice, in my view. Of course, some people probably stipulated for their whiskey not to be chilled, if they had a choice (e.g., the frontier and workers' barrooms probably offered fewer amenities including a paucity or absence of ice). I've never tried bourbon iced in the way mentioned, but it sounds good for some brands. Of course in general it sounds too a lot of what we like about the drink would disappear when it is taken in that form, the texture, smokey background for some bourbon, etc. Everyone will have their preference though.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 07-13-2006 at 01:55.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sijan
    Makes sense that they need older whiskey for their blend, but why use such a rare (and valuable!) bourbon if more affordable substitutes of similar age are available? Heaven Hill has a LOT of extra-aged whiskey, and I bet Diageo could sell the S-W whiskey (assuming it hasn't overaged and become undrinkable straight) and replace it with similarly aged HH stock at a substantially lower cost. I mean, we're talking about bourbon that could be (at least some of the barrels, anyhow) bottled as Pappy Van Winkle 20 or 23 in just a few years.
    Dan you ask all the same questions I wonder when I heard the same thing! I just try not to think about it because it is this kind of obstinate illogical way of the world I find to be all to prevalent at times. And being a person who likes to try to improve things or change those things that I do not agree with I just frustrate myself into a tizzy and then have to get a drink of bourbon to calm me down...

    Anyway as for the subject of the BOTM, I am probably going to have to pass as I finished a bottle a while ago and just have too many open right now and other things I'd like to try. I do recall it growing on me and enjoying it quite a bit though; although unlike a couple of others I don't particulary care for the bottle shape - it's hard to pack this one amongst many round "regular" shaped bottles for moving! And doesn't fit in the typical formed styrofoam/cardboard boxes.
    C

    "everybody defamates from miles away
    but face to face
    they haven't got a thing to say"

 

 

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