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Thread: Private Cellar?

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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2007
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    994

    Private Cellar?

    I have never tasted Private Cellar, but it is on every bottom shelf in town. I did a search, which yielded 4 threads. Basically, what I've gathered from those and from reading the labels is this:

    It is availabe only in Texas and/or surrounding areas (?)
    There are 80- and 90-proof expressions
    The 90-proof vatted 50/50 w/OGD 86 is very good (whose suggestion was this?)
    It may be Barton whiskey (?)
    It is definitely straight bourbon, but priced like and placed with American blends like Kentucky Deluxe.

    I'm asking because, basically, Tom Moore and Ten High are the only Barton whiskeys we get here, and while I like the Tom Moore BIB (especially the old bottles I recently found), I'd love to taste something else, particularly if it's a drinkable, cheap bottom-shelf.

    Anyone have any input on this stuff?

  2. #2
    Disciple
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    Re: Private Cellar?

    Hey T, that was my suggestion. The PC 90 is a HeavenHill product. It along with many other labels come from the HH mashbill. I have compared it to Ezra Brooks and believe that it is slightly better. Ezra is probably a HH product that David Sherman buys in bulk, seeing as he doesn't have a KY distillery.
    PC won't break the bank and is a great mixer for the times your having a bunch of thirsty football fans over. Not the best neat, thats why I threw a little OGD in.
    Jeff Mo.
    Last edited by mozilla; 02-11-2007 at 15:20.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Private Cellar?

    I don't know anything about PC per se, but the outline goes like this. Actually, it can happen in one of two ways. (1) A non-distiller producer such as Luxco (formerly David Sherman) buys bulk whiskey from one or more distillers and bottles it under a brand name that Luxco owns. Ezra Brooks is an example of this. Luxco happens to be national, but some of these non-distiller producers are local or regional. PC could be that or it could be...

    (2) A distributor or large chain retailer (using a distributor as a middle-man) contracts with a distiller-producer to make a private label product. They, the distributor or retailer, own the brand but the distiller makes it for them from start to finish, supplying them with case goods ready for sale.

    Of the distillers who supply this market, Heaven Hill is the primary one, so they are the prime suspect for any unfamiliar label you happen to encounter, especially one that occupies the bottom shelf. In many cases the relationship between the customer and Heaven Hill is very long-term, though occasionally they are one-offs.

    As for the other distillers, none of them sell bulk whiskey except when they do. The truth is that while they aren't routinely in the bulk whiskey business the way Heaven Hill is, they will sell bulk whiskey when the price is right, when they have excess inventory, or when they need cash.

    There used to be a lot of distilleries that solely served this market but with industry contraction and consolidation, only Heaven Hill does so routinely, but everyone else does so occasionally.

  4. #4
    Disciple
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    Re: Private Cellar?

    Chuck, you are wonderful fountain of information. Always able to see things from a number of positions.
    IIRC Boone informed me that PC was most assuradly HH. It is widely available in the deep south.
    Jeff Mo.

  5. #5

    Re: Private Cellar?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    ...(2) A distributor or large chain retailer (using a distributor as a middle-man) contracts with a distiller-producer to make a private label product. They, the distributor or retailer, own the brand but the distiller makes it for them from start to finish, supplying them with case goods ready for sale...
    This is, by the way, I think, the story behind the creation of the whiskey which has recently become the Rittenhouse 21yo single-barrel rye: Heaven Hill distilled the rye whiskey for a distributor/retailer, which left it unbottled in HH warehouses until the distillery contacted it to tell them it was reaching the point beyond which it shouldn't be aged. The owner, instead of accepting it, opted to sell it back to Heaven Hill. Heaven Hill -- with the help of a little feedback, perhaps, from folks such as SB.com'ers who tasted it -- were persuaded to bottle and issue it.
    Tim

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Dec 2005
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    Re: Private Cellar?

    Thought I'd jump on here since I picked up a couple of bottles of Private Cellar today that pre-date the sale to HH. One is a liter and the other a quart. They're both tax stripped and are labeled Hiram Walker's Private Cellar Straight Bourbon Whiskey. They're 6 yr old BIBs from Illinois DSP-3, bottled in NJ DSP-1. The quart is dated '71/'77. I saw quite a bit of the old Walker's Deluxe in California, but I don't remember seeing this label. Cheap as dirt so I couldn't pass it up.

    -Mike
    "This is the real article. It is double-rectified busthead from Madison County, aged in the keg. A little spoonful would do you a power of good."

    -True Grit by Charles Portis

  7. #7
    Advanced Taster
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    Jan 2007
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    Re: Private Cellar?

    Scratchline, did you try those old BIB Private Cellars yet? One of the stores I'm gradually pulling dusties out of has some pints, but every time I look at one, I think it's $6 I could spend on one of the other old bottles that I know I like.

 

 

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