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  1. #1
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    Truth in labeling

    Editorial mode on - look away now if you don't want to hear me rant...

    There has been discussion in a couple of threads recently about inaccuracy on BIB labels as far as the DSP number. No one seems too upset about this

    Many of the examples have been of HH products. Now first off, God bless HH, I love their BIB products and kudos for making several corn whiskies. However, I find it totally unacceptable that the BIB labels are often knowingly inaccurate. I understand that there is no deliberate intent to misrepresent, but doesn't the BIB designation exist to guarantee to the consumer exactly what is in the bottle? Just label the bottle as 100 proof straight bourbon whiskey and you can do as you wish. But if you stick a BIB label on it, I darn well expect the info to be accurate.

    I've got a recent BIB botttle at home with NO DSP number on it. I've got current Dant and Mellow Corn BIB's at home with DSP-31 on them and they are almost definitely DSP-1 products. This is not OK.

    The argument that you've got a couple cases of extra labels and want to use them up is very scary. That's quite a slippery slope. What happens if there are extra 90 proof labels that need to get used? Can you put them on your 80 proof product? Oops, our frozen dinner now has three times the fat it used to, but the box doesn't tell you that cause we had to use up all our old boxes first, sorry. No!

    Again, this is not intended as HH bashing, I love many of their products, and they are goodly enough to keep making a lot of BIB offerings, which I love the most. But if you are going to label as BIB, it has to mean something, and it should be correct.

    Now perhaps I'll go have a nice Rare Old HH 10yo BIB and relax....
    Mike

    "You're the best bourbon drinkers ever!" - Margo (waitress at Bourbon's Bistro in Louisville)

  2. #2
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    Re: Truth in labeling

    I have also noticed that Rock Hill Farms is a Bib...and it does not show a DSP either.

    As a note...maybe the DSP can be where it was bottled and warehoused, as well as, which still it came out of. And why don't they list what season and year it was distilled anymore?
    ______________________________

    Jeff Mo.

  3. #3
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    Re: Truth in labeling

    I think Rock Hill is 100 proof, but not a BIB. But I may be mistaken. I have heard opinions that the DSP number can be where it was warehoused or bottled, and not where it was distilled. I did not get a conclusive ruling on that one though. If so, I would be disappointed, because I think the place it was made is the single most important number. Ideally you would list both, which I have seen done. But if you only list one, I would hope it would be the source of the distillate, not where it was bottled.

    For instance, if HH distilled something and then sold it to Barton, who later bottled it as a BIB, I would really like to know that this is HH juice vs. Barton.
    Mike

    "You're the best bourbon drinkers ever!" - Margo (waitress at Bourbon's Bistro in Louisville)

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: Truth in labeling

    RHF was originally labeled as a BIB on the neck of the bottle just below the stopper. Now the label says 100 proof. But since it is a single barrel, it remains essentially a BIB.

    I too have seen many labels state "Distilled at DSP X, Bottled at DSP Y". The use of older labels is surely done without any consideration that there are some of us who care about where the whiskey comes from. I suspect even Julian used up some Lawrenceburg labels even after bottling moved to Frankfort.

    While I'm not as upset about it as you are Mike.....the cost of printing new, accurate labels seems like a minor expense.....and important to protect the integrity and purpose of a BIB designation.

    Randy

  5. #5
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    Re: Truth in labeling

    I would think that they don't list where it was distilled simply because so much whiskey and brands have changed hands and been transferred in the buyouts and consolidation that has gone on in the last 20 years. I too am all for full disclosure of what came from where but it seems that some in the industry think otherwise. I would say that since they removed the government people from permanently being on site in the early 80's, the info and disclosure seems to have become much more optional!

    Thomas

  6. #6
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    Re: Truth in labeling

    Does anyone know what the actual regulations are? I would be surprised if they were breaking any laws, not worth the gamble for a few cents on labels...

    ... I do agree it would be nice to know what you are buying.. truth in product is very important...

  7. #7
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    Re: Truth in labeling

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
    Editorial mode on - look away now if you don't want to hear me rant...

    There has been discussion in a couple of threads recently about inaccuracy on BIB labels as far as the DSP number. No one seems too upset about this

    Many of the examples have been of HH products. Now first off, God bless HH, I love their BIB products and kudos for making several corn whiskies. However, I find it totally unacceptable that the BIB labels are often knowingly inaccurate. I understand that there is no deliberate intent to misrepresent, but doesn't the BIB designation exist to guarantee to the consumer exactly what is in the bottle? Just label the bottle as 100 proof straight bourbon whiskey and you can do as you wish. But if you stick a BIB label on it, I darn well expect the info to be accurate.

    I've got a recent BIB botttle at home with NO DSP number on it. I've got current Dant and Mellow Corn BIB's at home with DSP-31 on them and they are almost definitely DSP-1 products. This is not OK.

    The argument that you've got a couple cases of extra labels and want to use them up is very scary. That's quite a slippery slope. What happens if there are extra 90 proof labels that need to get used? Can you put them on your 80 proof product? Oops, our frozen dinner now has three times the fat it used to, but the box doesn't tell you that cause we had to use up all our old boxes first, sorry. No!

    Again, this is not intended as HH bashing, I love many of their products, and they are goodly enough to keep making a lot of BIB offerings, which I love the most. But if you are going to label as BIB, it has to mean something, and it should be correct.

    Now perhaps I'll go have a nice Rare Old HH 10yo BIB and relax....
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Can't Be Dsp #1 as that was The Publicker Still in Phila and it no longer exsists. Publicker had Dsp-Pa # 1,12,10
    Dave Z
    Old Hickory America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
    --------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by dave ziegler; 06-20-2008 at 11:47.

  8. #8
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    Re: Truth in labeling

    Just an FYI for you Dave, each state has its' own set of numbers.
    ______________________________

    Jeff Mo.

  9. #9
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    Re: Truth in labeling

    Meant to add that the DSP should include the state designation. They should resemble this....DSP KY 113 or DSP PA 12.
    ______________________________

    Jeff Mo.

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Truth in labeling

    Points all well-taken, Mike. If they're going to use the BIB designation, then they should honor it all the way. It isn't strictly about adhering to the letter of the law, which presumably HH has done, but about respecting the value enthusiasts place on reliable provenance information. This may be part of educating the producers about what we value. We know they all read these boards, so use the soap box. Well done, Mike.

    HH probably doesn't equate "enthusiasts" with its cheap, limited distribution BIBs such as J.T.S. Brown and J.W. Dant, yet here we are talking about them. I drank some J.T.S. Brown just last night, in a rocks manhattan.

    Most of the labels are one-color, so updating them when the facts changed wouldn't have been that expensive.

    The law requires that the DSP where distilled be identified and if it was bottled at a different DSP, that one has to be identified too. Although with the place name (e.g., Bardstown, KY) on labels, the producer can use any place of business, the BIB rules are specific: where distilled and where bottled, by DSP number.

    I was surprised to discover how many bottles of J.T.S. Brown BIB and Mellow Corn BIB I have, all bought at different times. HH seems to have switched the J.T.S. Brown labels in 2006 or 2007, which is a B&W back label. They're still using DSP-31 on Mellow Corn, but there it's on the full color front label, a much more expensive reprint.

    It's also possible that because Mellow Corn is such a tiny brand, and because it's aged in used cooperage, it may be significantly older than 4 or 5 years. I can't believe they make corn whiskey very often. I know, for example, that straight rye is the biggest type after bourbon and no distillery in Kentucky devotes more than about four days a year to the production of straight rye, so just imagine how little corn they make.

    Since BIBs have to be from one distillery, there was a point when they did their first bottling run with something other than DSP-31 product and that probably happened in 2002-2003. I can appreciate that for the brief time it was actually whiskey made at Beam or BF they didn't want to print new labels, but even if the law allows them to use-up old, inaccurate labels, it does seem to defeat the purpose of the BIB guidelines. If they just started to use new, up-to-date labels in 2006, that's two or three years in which they were labeling their products incorrectly.
    Last edited by cowdery; 06-20-2008 at 15:04.

 

 

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