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  1. #31
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Jim Beam Black Age statement

    I just learned that Brown-Forman has cut the proof of Woodford Reserve, also just for non-U.S. markets. No change for the USA. The new product is in the pipeline now.

    I just talked to Chris Morris about it and he says it was driven primarily by consumer preferences and the fact that, especially where bourbon is not well developed, most other spirits products are 80 proof and even lower.

    I suspect Beam and BF are doing it for the same reasons, which would be a combination of the reasons both have stated. The international consumers, especially the mainstream ones (not the crazies like us) tend to prefer a lower proof. Chris said the international standard for premium expressions is 86.4 proof, but even a lot of the prestige single malts are 80.

    But, obviously, everybody in the whiskey biz is trying to make the whiskey they have go as far as possible and watering it certain helps.

    Chris says that since Woodford bottles by bottle size, when the 70 cl bottles are up, they mix a batch of the lower proof, and make a lot of adjustments to filtering and stuff to keep the taste as close as possible. It's not just a batch of the U.S. expression with a little more water.

  2. #32
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Jim Beam Black Age statement

    Consumer Preferences? Isn't that the same thing they said when they lowered the proof of Jack Daniel's globally?
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  3. #33
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Jim Beam Black Age statement

    Yep, and there's pretty good evidence that it's true, outside the U.S. Maybe not so much here, although once-upon-a-time most American whiskey was sold at 100 proof and now most of it is 80 and consumer preference was, legitimately, the reason.

    In the JD case, the fact that it saved them about $11 million a year in taxes didn't hurt either.

  4. #34
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    Re: Jim Beam Black Age statement

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Chris said the international standard for premium expressions is 86.4 proof
    Chuck,

    Does this mean WR will be 86.4 proof or will they make it 80 proof?
    Good thing I have a stash!

    Scott
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day" - Frank Sinatra

  5. #35
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Jim Beam Black Age statement

    It seems like I recall not all that long ago reading about a push for premium scotches to be bottled at 46% or 92 proof...I may be wrong, but it seems right. I recall this was the point where they didn't have to chill filter and all that jazz.

    Hell, if they want to sell water, sell water, the markup in that market is enormous, and without the major taxes on beverage alcohol to boot.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  6. #36
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Jim Beam Black Age statement

    I'm a little uncertain. The new international Woodford is either 88 proof or 86.4 proof, but it's definitely not 80 proof. And the U.S. version is remaining at 90.4 proof.

    Another thing I didn't mention above is that many younger consumers, here and around the world, are not so much adopting bourbon or whiskey as they are adding it to a portfolio of spirits they regularly drink, including vodka, gin, rum, tequila, liqueurs, etc. With spirits in general you're even more likely to find things at 80 proof and no higher, and outside the U.S. where the rules are different many major spirits brands--Capt. Morgan and Southern Comfort are two examples--are sold at 70 proof.

    We, my brothers, are not the mainstream, I'm afraid.

  7. #37
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    Re: Jim Beam Black Age statement

    We, my brothers, are not the mainstream, I'm afraid.[/QUOTE]

    I can be mainstream in many other ways. In this case I prefer being right where I am.
    Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.

    Bob Marley.

  8. #38
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    Re: Jim Beam Black Age statement

    I'm more than a little skeptical...

    Just how are these "consumer preferences" expressed? Have sales of 90.4 proof WR suddenly dropped dramatically? Is there a nascent, quasi-temperence movement out there agitating for lower-proof spirits?

    I don't think so... I would guess that the folks that want / buy lower proof spirits are doing so based on price and that they are mixing / diluting them to whatever proof they want.

    Why doesn't WR (and the other brands) just say so so.... that they are trying to maximize profits and be on with it (nothing wrong with that).

    But, please, please, don't say that the consumers "made me do it".
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  9. #39

    Re: Jim Beam Black Age statement

    Quote Originally Posted by jburlowski View Post
    I'm more than a little skeptical...just say...that they are trying to maximize profits and be on with it (nothing wrong with that).

    But, please, please, don't say that the consumers "made me do it".
    Or, say that the "consumers 'allowed' us to do it'"! But, your point is made, and probably correct.
    Tim

 

 

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