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  1. #1
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    Re: Black Maple Hill, No Age?

    My enjoyment of any whiskey is diminished when I can't answer the fundamental question "who made this?" Having to guess about something so fundamental is wrong and I hold it against products that won't tell me. That is why I have never been able to muster much personal interest in Black Maple Hill, even though I respect what they have accomplished in the marketplace.

  2. #2
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    Re: Black Maple Hill, No Age?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Having to guess about something so fundamental is wrong and I hold it against products that won't tell me. That is why I have never been able to muster much personal interest in Black Maple Hill...
    That's a character flaw that I share with you Chuck

    However, having tried the 16yo and now the 21yo, they are some of the best bourbons I have tasted. I'm starting to come around to the idea that whoever "made" the bourbon is not as important as who selects the barrels that are to be bottled. I assume () that in this case it was Even and/or Drew and, judging by this and other labels that they bottle for themselves and on contract, they have well-trained palates and know good bourbon when they find it. Unfortunately, I think current market conditions will/are making it harder to find the good stuff; enter the BMH "small batch."

    My usual practice for selecting "bottler brands" is to wait a while and let others spend their money, and then I evaluate several opinions before I drop the bucks.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  3. #3
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    Re: Black Maple Hill, No Age?

    Well, eventually the debate went in the direction i desired.

    Needless to say, I agree wholeheartedly with Chuck. With all due respect, Jeff, I do not care about minor changes in taste profile. It just doesn´t turn me on, y´know?

    I think this is what so great about the Scotch industry. There are so many distillers that you don´t have to choke yourself on a small bunch of distilleries. I simply don´t need to taste every single bottling of Springbank that there is. Nor do I yearn for it, either. There are so many other Scotch products out there begging for exploration that the need never arises.

    I also think this is the main reason why so many here whine like crazy when a WT 14yo happens to be sold on the Fiji Islands only. If we had as many distillers in the bourbon industry as in Scotland, people would never had the time to moan, simply because there would be so many great products out there waiting to be discovered.

    What we need, of course is MORE DISTILLERIES!
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  4. #4
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    Re: Black Maple Hill, No Age?

    Lennart,

    Good bourbon is good bourbon, regardless of who bottles it. That is my only argument. Any prejudice against a particular label doesn't change what's in the bottle. But one must be cautions when trying something new that is unfamiliar, but that goes for products of a known source as well.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  5. #5
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    Re: Black Maple Hill, No Age?

    The great thing (well, one of many great things) about the independent bottling of single malt scotch is that while the distilleries may grumble, the bottler's ability to reveal the whiskey's maker is undeterred. American independents usually aver that the producers prohibit them from advertising the whiskey's maker, presumably by making such a pledge a condition of sale. I can see Max doing that.

    However, if the distillery that made the whiskey is now silent, who has an interest in supressing the information then? Only the bottler, who would rather create the illusion that he is a distiller.

    Sometimes a bottler will tell you verbally who the producer was, but they won't put it on the label, or a hang tag, or post it in public view on their web site. Why not?

    Even the "can't" situations would be negotiable if the bottlers would acknowledge and honor the interest of consumers in having that information.

    Buffalo Trace does those fact sheet for the Antique Collection, and they're so geeky, and I feel so geeky when I read them, but God I love them. I want everybody to do them for everything and that would make some of these products a lot more interesting to me than they are.

    But I have to say, I'm like you, Jeff, in all things, but in particular in that if you hear a lot of people saying a particular line or expression is A+, then by all means buy and enjoy it. That has been the case with Black Maple Hill. A lot of people whose palates I listen to say Black Maple Hill usually gets it right.
    Last edited by cowdery; 02-23-2007 at 15:35.

  6. #6
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    Re: Black Maple Hill, No Age?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedmans Brorsa View Post
    I think this is what so great about the Scotch industry. There are so many distillers that you don´t have to choke yourself on a small bunch of distilleries.
    Overall, I'd agree, although there are Scottish distillers that have tried to suppress independent bottlings through the legal system (example: the Leapfrog controversy). Grant's, on the other hand, uses a different tactic: when they sell malt whisky from one of their distilleries for blending purposes, they add a shot of whisky from one of their other distilleries to each cask, specifically so that it cannot be bottled as a single malt.

    Even so, it's unfortunate that there are few enough US distillers that independent bottlers usually can't state their sources.

    Of course, what with currency fluctuations and supply vs. demand problems driving the price to insane levels, not to mention that I found I love bourbon and rye, Scotch is no longer my first choice, even though I love it too.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  7. #7
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    Re: Black Maple Hill, No Age?

    Enjoy your bourbons, Jeff! I was only trying to explain my stance.

    I was born and raised on the British music press, which may explain my occasional penchant for going for the throat. Believe me, I´m a real sweetie compared to some of those writers.

    As for Chuck´s last post: isn´t it a question of totally opposed problems? In Scotland, the independent bottlers desperately want to put the original distillery´s name on their labels. In the US, on the other hand, it seems to me, that they, more often than not, attempt to make the product appear as their own. Sometimes using morally questionable tactics.
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  8. #8
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    Re: Black Maple Hill, No Age?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedmans Brorsa View Post
    Enjoy your bourbons, Jeff! I was only trying to explain my stance.

    I was born and raised on the British music press, which may explain my occasional penchant for going for the throat. Believe me, I´m a real sweetie compared to some of those writers.

    As for Chuck´s last post: isn´t it a question of totally opposed problems? In Scotland, the independent bottlers desperately want to put the original distillery´s name on their labels. In the US, on the other hand, it seems to me, that they, more often than not, attempt to make the product appear as their own. Sometimes using morally questionable tactics.
    Companies buying product from other manufacturers (and service providers), and rebranding as their own, is nothing new, and quite widespread in our world today. Automobiles, electronics, tools, call centers, you name it...it's standard practice. Same goes for whiskey. Nothing "morally" questionable about it at all, IMO. Just efficient use of manufacturing/service capabilities and capacity.

    JOE

  9. #9
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    Re: Black Maple Hill, No Age?

    I agree with Hedmans. The "morally questionable" part is when they try to make it appear that they are the distiller that made the product. Virtually every independent bottler does this to a greater or lesser extent and to call the practice "morally questionable" is the mildest way of putting it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Black Maple Hill, No Age?

    I have a friend who likes Knob Creek and he thought it was made by a small company. The label reads, Knob Creek Distillery, Clermont, Kentucky. He had no idea it was made by liquor giant Beam Brands. The hang tag does refer to the historical Jim Beam through its reference to Booker Noe and Baker Beam being descendants of Jim Beam. That is kind of a suggestion that the small batch line has a Beam connection. I wonder how many people would read that hang-tag, or get the connection, but then most don't really care I am sure. For those who do, a careful reading of the tag will twig them to the origin of the bottles. I guess I just expect a bit of creativity and salesmanship in this area (far from limited to the liquor business). Isn't all advertising about trying to create an image, or aura? There are boards like this one where people interested to learn can find out more...

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 02-24-2007 at 11:45.

 

 

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