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  1. #1
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    Post Looking for people that drank Old Hickory and what they thought of it!

    Hi having worked for Continental Distilling right out of High school and loving the taste of Old Hickory I would like to know what others thought of it! It was very reasonable in price and for me it was always my Bourbon whisky of choice. Also would like to know what people thought of Hallers SRS Blended and County Fair Bourbon. And if their is anyone out there that ever drank The Kinsey Silver or Kinsey Gold or Kinsey Rye I would be very interested in what it was like as I never had any of the Kinsey brand even though I worked at the Kinsey Distillery. I took a walk over there not long ago it is just sitting in total ruin as I walked my mind filled with many memories I could almost see the old 1941 Ford flat bed trucks hauling barrels from one warehouse to another where it would be dumped to go to bottling. The one other brand I am wondering about was one of their big sellers a few years before they went under Planters Club Bourbon I never had it. I drank lots of Old Hickory and lots of stuff from the barrel. It is hard to believe that the worlds Largest Maker of Drinking and Industrial Alcohol is long gone. They were very Nice to work for and they always went the second mile for Quality and fair Prices!
    Dave z

  2. #2
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    Re: Looking for people that drank Old Hickory and what they thought of it!

    Sorry Dave,
    Haven't had any of those brands. Sounds like a great job though. How would you describe Old Hickory bourbon?
    ______________________________

    Jeff Mo.

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Re: Looking for people that drank Old Hickory and what they thought of it!

    I have several posts on this forum telling how Old Hickory was one of my favorites way back in the day - very late 60's into the early 70's. Part of its attraction was the low price, but of all the low-priced things I tried, it was quite drinkable. I would like to have a taste of it, now!

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  4. #4
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    Post Re: Looking for people that drank Old Hickory and what they thought of it!

    I would say that Old Hickory was the smoothest Whisky I ever drank even after not having any Whisky for about 30 years till my Ulsers Healed up I had a shot from a friends bottle as soon as I did I had to have another it just rolled down so very smooth. I ended up buying the bottle from him it was a half full 1/2 gallon and I am going to be 60 on Sept 23 and plan on a couple more shots of it the bottle is about 40 years old but the flavor is still there it is very Flavorful and it is what you would call a good sipping Whisky because it does not bite it is just very easy on you! They always called it America's most magnificent Bourbon and that is the way I would say it was to me! It was the only Bourbon I drank when they made it!
    My friend was with me the day I had some he had his first shot of Old Hickory right then and he is alway bugging me for another shotter! And to top it off back then when I worked there the price was so reasonable too!
    Dave

  5. #5
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    Re: Looking for people that drank Old Hickory and what they thought of it!

    Hey Tim wish you were near by would gladly give you a shot or two I will now be looking everywhere for old bottles of it great stuff and as you said a very nice price back then!
    Dave

  6. #6
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    Re: Looking for people that drank Old Hickory and what they thought of it!

    Dave, I enjoy your comments and reminiscences.

    I'm just wondering, when you worked there, how did people decide what whiskey to drink?

    Why did you choose Old Hickory for example?

    Who would have drunk those Kinsey blends?

    As best you can remember, did people try a few different ones and then fix on one? Was it more price driven (for some anyway?).

    These different brands (say of bourbon), what made them different in the eyes of people who worked there? Was it proof, or price? Taste? Or did some people just have a favorite for whatever reason?

    I am just interested in how people chose a brand at that time.

    Thanks.

    Gary

  7. #7
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    Post Re: Looking for people that drank Old Hickory and what they thought of it!

    Hi Gary When I went to the Warehouses the old timer took me to the racks that had barrels dated distilled in 1957 Bourbon on the head he told me this is the ten year Old Hickory batch! It was 1967 so he got me some out of the barrel as I told the story by fileing the bung and making a pourer as soon as I tasted it I knew it was the Whiskey for me! I tried others we made when people got bottles from bottling like Hallers SRS and Governors Club both blended but they did not cut it for me. So once I was 21 did not ever take any out as the punishment was very bad, I always supported the company by buying Old Hickory and it never disappointed me! In the bottle house people most time took what they could grab when no one was looking and would hide it. One time when I went back to the Plant after it was abandon about 18 years or so I found a almost full bottle of Governors club Gin hid on a old Desk in one of the old Warehouses, it is in my collection! Allot of People seemed to like Inverhouse Scotch which was bottled there I have never been a lover of Scotch but it was the only Scotch I ever liked at all! I have almost a full bottle from 1977 had a shot about a month ago! Allot of People in the Bottle Hoouse really Liked Governors Club Blended or Philadelphia Blended it was good but Bourbon was always my choice. I found out talking to a lady who worked in the bottle house from the day it open in 1966 till it closed in 1979 and she told me that when they ran Philadelphia Blended they also ran Governors Club they came from the same Batch! However she also said Old Hickory was always ran by itself even when they were making other Bourbons they never switched over till the batch of Old Hickory was done it was like a old Friend you could always count on it for a special flavor and the best Quality and a reasonable price too! I always wanted to try Planters Club Kentucky Bourbon which was ran in single batches too but never got the chance and never bought any as loved the old Hickory! It had a smoothness that was hard to believe and flavor as I said that never failed! my 1/2 of a half gallon after 40 years is still as smooth as silk. I think allot of People just got the bottles they could get without getting caught and in the warehouses we would have to take what we could get depending on which warehouse would be open for that days dumping! I remember one time having some awesome Rye Whiskey dated from about 1955! It was very good and I was told that was from the barrles used for their signature Brand Rittenhouse Rye of which they sold the brand to Heaven Hills right before they closed! I am very glad that brand goes on as they were pioners in making Rye Whisky they made it from the day Continental was founded and Ritten House Square Rye as it was called at first was after Old Hickory one of their biggest sellers. There were always guys who drank whatever they could they just wanted a drink, that was the bad side of it all. They were always very good to us and the quality of their products was part of their debt Problem as they always bought the best bottles Diamond Glass, the Best quality labels some embossed. The highest quality Caps and always had labels that were pleasing to the eye when you went in the state store to get some! They had 10 ocean Liners just to bring Scotch from their stills back to the USA to be brought to Linfield to age and be bottled! It is very sad that they are gone and when I go by I always have memories of those youthful days the good money I made and the Great Whisky we would taste there. They where at that time as I have said before the Worlds Largest maker of Industrial and Drinking Alcohol. So my favorites came from what I learned from the old timer who took me under his Wing and got me the good stuff. He was a good guy as he could have given me stuff not aged right but he got me the Best! Gary If you ever chance on a Bottle of Old hickory in a old Liquor store or flee market grab it you will be amazed at its Flavor bouqet and how smooth it goes down. I hope this has given you some insight into what it was like way back then working there. I never took any out as you could go to jail for a long time but we had a few nice shots during work and some good times back then. We were Paid very well there for that time in History I made $101.00 clear a week back in 1969 I was only 22 years old then and that was great money those days always had a good car back then!

  8. #8
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    Re: Looking for people that drank Old Hickory and what they thought of it!

    That's great Dave, very informative, many thanks. I like the part too about finding the gin in the old desk, with liquor if it survives it can rekindle old memories - keep them alive - and I guess your stash of Old Hickory is like that too.

    I always wonder if in old, disused distilleries there might be a partly full bottle around, maybe buried a foot down in the loam near the wall or something. Your stories would suggest maybe those old sites still hide a bottle or two (full).

    The other idea I bicycled down (in Toronto, Ontario) to the 1800's-era Gooderham & Worts Distillery, which hasn't been used for distilling for maybe 40 years or more. It has the stone warehouses still there, basically empty although some are being converted to housing and other uses (but they keep the outside looking the same when they do that).

    Anyway I poked my head through the small old-fashioned windows with iron grates on them (moved or held in position by a long iron pin which is still there for each window in most cases - some of those pins must be 80 years old or more).

    And it still smelled of whiskey - faintly, but it did. That site has been worked over for some time now since part of it is an urban redevelopment (shops, restaurants and similar modern uses being put in). So if any bottles were hidden in the rafters or the soil I think they've been picked up by now.

    But you could still tell that warehouse held whisky and as I say it is many decades since they held barrels on ricks (the wood ricks are all still in place) or any distilling, blending or bottling occurred nearby.

    Thanks again for your reply.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 09-08-2007 at 18:43.

  9. #9
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    Post Re: Looking for people that drank Old Hickory and what they thought of it!

    Hey Gary yesterday I got a Bottle of Medical Alcohol made by Dougherty's bottled during Prohibition 100 proof Rye for medical drinking only on the box! Sadly half of the half that is still in it leaked because the postoffice never puts things up the way they are marked to ship. It was distilled in 1905 and I bought it because Continental was founded in 1933 and bought Dougerhty's to save the name and products because Prohibition finished them! It looks a bit merky but the smell just totally remended me of the way the warehouses always smelled when we would go in after they were closed for weeks. When I went into one of the old abandon warehouses the cement floor had a strange red color liquid on it I figuered it out right away because the roof leaked a bit and was very damp the whiskey that has soaked in for all those years was coming out! And as you said you can still in places smell the whiskey! I remember the first day I went into one of the warehouses it was around 90 outside yet in those stone walled foot thick it was cool and we wore coats! When we flipped the explosion proof light switch on the lighs revealed blue air vapor all through the building you could almost get a load on just smelling as you worked. So when I smelled the wet bottle and box of that 85 year old Rye whisky I took a deep breath and I could almost be back there again dumping barrels air so blue you would not dare even to take a fash picture but we never had any blowups and when I think about it we never even thought about the vapors being explosive or that the buildings were made to withstand a explosion! I still love that heavy Whisky smell so some leaking in a way was ok because it is still sealed with a metal pull tab cap from that time. I will keep it cool and out of light so that when my days are over it can go to the Getz I want all my stuff to go there so when I am gone people can enjoy them not have them sold in the yard to people they mean nothing to. I have about close to 190 Continental Brands Bottles. I even have a 100 gallon Corn whiskey Barrel head that is dated 1977 use 1981 but by then they had quit whisky and were making only Industial stuff! So it is one of the very last barrels they ever distilled at DSP #1 in Phila! I was routing the other night in my old tool box and found something I have been looking for a long time my old Coopers Hammer and hand sledge to hit it! Have them with my collection now. My friend the day I was there found a old Continental Anasette bottle in the old bottle house maintaince area it had about a 1/10 Pint left in it. It was stuck up on the top rack of big metal parts for the machines he caught a fash from his flash light of the glass! That is the sadest part that building was the worlds most modern Bottling house in 1966 when I started there companys like Jacquins and many others would have us make stuff for them from our whiskeys when they could not meet demand. One time they started the old Kinsey Bottle house down by the river to make Liquiors for Jacquins. Those were exciting days with the companys always growing but in the early 1970's The Chairman Simond Neuman died and after that it lost its direction and as you know went forever! He was chairman from 1933 till he died and was a amazing man of Vision. He was the one who decided not to waste the Carbon Dioxide that was vented in distilling instead made a whole other industry from it by making Dry Ice they had a company called Therm ice and they would use the old Therm Ice trucks to bring barrels up from the still in Phila to be aged and bottled in Linfield. I get carried away when I start writting about the place but because I was young then I can remember things then better then something today! They are now talking about tearing everything up there and making a trash to steam plant I hope because of all the stuff spilled in the ground they never can I would rather have it there to look at and remember! The first group that went in there claiming they were fixing it up all they did was steal all the metal and tear down the still bet they found some good stuff in the ruins. I have a old sprinker from the still and pictures of it in ruin in 2002. The Bottle house is very dirty and Moldy and air very bad I think I got my Asthma back in Jan because of going in there one last time water runing in the roof old wet asbestos on the floor in spots and just very horrible It was so sad it was so beautiful back then so modern and clean with its labs and its amazing amounts of bottles it could make they had Hundreds apon Hundreds of thousons of gallons of tank capasity. All stainless and tanks for what ever they wanted to make every day by just turning some valves. I stopped by the large I think 300 hundred thousand gallon tanks going back to the blend tanks and there stood the Fir tree I had molched when it was a tiny tree it still stands by the tanks and is now about 80 foot high and healthy back in the first years I was on the yard crew and we kept the place spotless. Mr Neuman would get very mad if he saw weeds in the landscaped lawns. I just remembered we always bought Singer Bottling machines from Singer Sewing company which had a large place in Reading Pa some of the old Machines sit rotting in the old Govermen building O. Well hope you enjoyed my going back in time! BE WELL Gary PS if you don't know it already Publicker was founded by Harry Publicker in 1913 I think Mr Neuman was his grand son? After Prohibiton ended they founded Continental to make all their drinking Alcohol and Publicker division did all the industrial stuff they had two stills in Phila and were liscensed to make up too 70.5 Million gallon a year if they wanted to!
    From what I remember and reading about it.

  10. #10
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    Post Re: Looking for people that drank Old Hickory and what they thought of it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    That's great Dave, very informative, many thanks. I like the part too about finding the gin in the old desk, with liquor if it survives it can rekindle old memories - keep them alive - and I guess your stash of Old Hickory is like that too.

    I always wonder if in old, disused distilleries there might be a partly full bottle around, maybe buried a foot down in the loam near the wall or something. Your stories would suggest maybe those old sites still hide a bottle or two (full).

    The other idea I bicycled down (in Toronto, Ontario) to the 1800's-era Gooderham & Worts Distillery, which hasn't been used for distilling for maybe 40 years or more. It has the stone warehouses still there, basically empty although some are being converted to housing and other uses (but they keep the outside looking the same when they do that).

    Anyway I poked my head through the small old-fashioned windows with iron grates on them (moved or held in position by a long iron pin which is still there for each window in most cases - some of those pins must be 80 years old or more).

    And it still smelled of whiskey - faintly, but it did. That site has been worked over for some time now since part of it is an urban redevelopment (shops, restaurants and similar modern uses being put in). So if any bottles were hidden in the rafters or the soil I think they've been picked up by now.

    But you could still tell that warehouse held whisky and as I say it is many decades since they held barrels on ricks (the wood ricks are all still in place) or any distilling, blending or bottling occurred nearby.

    Thanks again for your reply.

    Gary
    Gary I was wondering did you ever have the 100 proof County Fair Bottled in Bond that Publicker Made! I have been told it was real good Bourbon that is one I never had. I have a bottle I bought on line for my 60th Birthday that was distilled in spring 1946 and bottled in Spring 1950! I was born in 1947 and my dad worked there in 1950 so the whiskey would have been distilled at Kinsey and aged at Kinsey and shipped to be bottled in Phila when I was two and a half years old it is a beautiful 4/5 bottle full and sealed and I most likely will keep it that way. But I am am wondering if anyone has drank that and what they thought of it!
    BE WELL Gary

 

 

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