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  1. #1
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    Question Origins of EAGLE RARE

    Perhaps someone can answer a few questions I have in terms of the origin of Eagle Rare, OR, be so kind to point me to a past thread that addresses same. Somewhere back in time - although my memory is fuzzy beyond 5-10 years, I seem to recall that Seagrams once had something to do with the ER label. Is that correct, and, did they create the original offering? If not, who did? Also, is there actually an "Old Prentiss Distillery" as such - either past or present - or does it exist on the label alone. If there is a distillery by that name, what is the history behind it.....an old family name, etc.?

    I have for years been a big, big fan of ER101 though it is growing scarcer nowadays. Also, I have a growing infatuation with ERSB90. Every bottle I get of the latter seems to be a little better than the previous one although I am aware as a single barrel offering, it will not be as uniform each time as the old ER101. In any event, the newer ER is growing on me with each pour.

    Thanks for any and all help.
    Jake

  2. #2
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    Re: Origins of EAGLE RARE

    look here for Old Prentice

    and here

    and here
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  3. #3
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    Re: Origins of EAGLE RARE

    Eagle Rare was created by Charlie Beam for Seagram's in the early 1970s, or thereabouts. It was one of the last new Bourbon brands created until Booker's and Blanton's came along in the late 1980s. Charlie was master distiller at what is now Four Roses, which was owned by Seagram's at the time. Eagle Rare was a Wild Turkey knock-off, hence the bird theme and 101 proof. Sazerac acquired it in 1989.

  4. #4
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    Re: Origins of EAGLE RARE

    Thanks guys for the links and info. BTW, I should have been looking at the bottle when trying to spell the name of the distillery. Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Re: Origins of EAGLE RARE

    I know early bottles of this stuff were from Old Prentice-Lawrenceberg. Then there were bottles from Old Prentice-New Orleans (with UPC 88004 - BT) and finally bottles from Frankfort (UPC 88004- BT). Does anyone know the timelines or stories behind these various bottlings. I know that Seagrams owned the label and that probably explains Lawrenceberg, but how and when did the rest happen?
    Joe
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  6. #6
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    Re: Origins of EAGLE RARE

    Quote Originally Posted by BourbonJoe View Post
    I know early bottles of this stuff were from Old Prentice-Lawrenceberg. Then there were bottles from Old Prentice-New Orleans (with UPC 88004 - BT) and finally bottles from Frankfort (UPC 88004- BT). Does anyone know the timelines or stories behind these various bottlings. I know that Seagrams owned the label and that probably explains Lawrenceberg, but how and when did the rest happen?
    Joe
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Weber View Post
    Eagle Rare actually comes from BT mash bill #1, whereas, AA comes from BT #2. I also just spoke with the bottling manager and he said the last New Orleans product was probably bottled in early 1997.

    Ken
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Weber View Post
    I have spoken with Sazerac president, Mark Brown, and can report the following.
    1. Sazerac bought Eagle Rare and Benchmark from Seagram in 1989.
    2. The Eagle Rare 17 was made here from Mash Bill Rye-1 (1981).
    3. Benchmark, recently awarded the Best of Show at the International Spirits Challenge 2000 (London), will continue to be released under the same name.
    4. Seagram's did release a knockoff of Jack Daniel's - #1 Bourbon Street. It did not live up to expectations. Perhaps Benchmark was also intended to battle JD, however, we can't verify that. Seagram had been trying to break into the premium bourbon category and they apparently thought a contempory package was the answer. It was not. Also, we did not buy it.
    5. Kentucky Rain was a bourbon that was introduced primarily because we wanted to legally protect the name "Rain". You see, we are the only distillery in Kentucky that also produces vodka, namely, Rain Vodka. This product is made of 100% organically grown corn and is consistently rated in the top 10 internationally. It is generally rated as the #1 vodka produced in the states.

    Some general information. Seymour Leikind ran Austin Nichols and was then hired by Seagram's to run General Wine and Spirit. This outfit introduced Eagle Rare. So, my assumption is that Eagle Rare was to compete with Wild Turkey. We have changed that strategy. Not only is the eagle a distinct American icon, it also flys better than a turkey.
    Old Prentice is the original name for the "Spanish Mission". Originally owned by J.T.S. Brown, when we bought Eagle Rare from Seagram, they sold us the name. I can't say when Four Roses was first made there.
    Finally, Benchmark was introduced in the 60s and Eagle Rare in the 80s.

    Ken
    I think these should cover it

    So, New Orleans bottled from 89 to 97 or so then on to BT
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  7. #7
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    Re: Origins of EAGLE RARE

    The original Seagram's Eagle Rare was distilled at Four Roses in Lawrenceburg. Presumably it was aged and bottled at Lotus, but Seagrams also had a big facility in Louisville at that time.

    After Seagram's sold the brand to Sazerac, there was a period when Sazerac was buying whiskey from Heaven Hill for its whiskeys. Heaven Hill may actually have been doing the bottling too. Companies have a lot of flexibility about what location they put on the label. Sazerac chose New Orleans because it is headquartered there, but that doesn't necessarily mean the product was even actually bottled there. I suspect it was bottled at Heaven Hill.

    When Sazerac bought what is now Buffalo Trace they began to use whiskey distilled there and began to bottle there as well. The switch to Frankfort on the label doesn't necessarily mean anything more than a business decision to change from one place-of-business to another, after the company made the decision to focus its bourbon operations on the Kentucky facility.

  8. #8
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    Re: Origins of EAGLE RARE

    Ken Weber stated that the last New Orleans bottlings occured in 1997. I have a liter from New Orleans on which the bottle bottom date is 2002. More DBA label games?????????
    Joe
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  9. #9
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    Re: Origins of EAGLE RARE

    Quote Originally Posted by BourbonJoe View Post
    Ken Weber stated that the last New Orleans bottlings occured in 1997. I have a liter from New Orleans on which the bottle bottom date is 2002. More DBA label games?????????
    Joe
    Maybe it's the equally popular "using up the old labels."

    Roger

  10. #10
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    Re: Origins of EAGLE RARE

    As I said, producers have a lot of flexibility about what location they put on the label. The last company I would criticize would be Sazerac-Buffalo Trace, as they consistently have been the most forthright producer in the industry when it comes to provenance information.

 

 

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