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cowdery

Light Whiskey

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cowdery   
cowdery

In another thread, funknik posted this story from Time Magazine in 1971. It's about how Light Whiskey was going to save the booze industry.

They called it "The Billion Dollar Gamble," and in 1971, a billion dollars was real money!

I love that Time archive because it gives you these great snapshots. In about the middle of the story, they show the market share change of different types of distilled spirits between 1957 and 1970.

Bourbon declined from 30% to 23%

Blended spirits declined from 34% to 19.5%

Scotch grew from 8% to 14%

Canadian grew from 5% to 9%

Vodka grew from 6% to 12%

Although the chart doesn't show it, 'everything else' grew from 17% to 22.5%, which would have included gin, rum, tequila and cordials (liqueurs).

But American blends were bigger than straights in 1957. Blends are inherently lighter than straights, and blends were dying even faster than straights, yet the brain trust thought something even lighter than blends was the answer? Amazing.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,904993-2,00.html#ixzz0hM8jAHFF

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Jono   
Jono

That time period also saw the rise of "Miller Lite" and other "light / lite" products.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_Lite

I did not realize Miller acquired Meister Brau and that was the souce of "Miller Lite".

Lite / Light foods...everything was trying to capitalize on the trend.

What would the current "consumer" market share trends look like today? Not counting commercial bar stocking etc.

Vodka would still be at the top. Just judging the various parties etc. attended over the past several years most people I know still drink the lite/light stuff. There are only a few of us who appreciate straight whiskey.

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Dramiel McHinson   
Dramiel McHinson

Vodka would still be at the top. Just judging the various parties etc. attended over the past several years most people I know still drink the lite/light stuff. There are only a few of us who appreciate straight whiskey.

Those store owners that show an interest in talking with me about whiskey and scotch echo that the clear alcohol sales like vodka are the biggest sellers. Lots of it can be had for less than a mediocre bottle of single malt or premium bourbon.

A person might find all they are looking for in a liter bottle of Smirnoff buttered trout infused vodka for $14.95. (I'm probably exagerating a little much on that one but it wouldn't surprise me to see it on the shelf soon)

Maybe I'm just a cheap skate and don't fully appreciate what it costs to bring our beloved bourbon to the throne on which it belongs. I'll stick to bourbon though, mainly because I just can't get that wonderful vanilla-oak and spiced caramel taste out of vodka. (Don't get me wrong, vodka is wonderful. I just like the taste of bourbon better.)

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cowdery   
cowdery

Lite beer was actually one of the forces that doomed light whiskey. For the whiskey folks, "light" just meant lighter-tasting and light in appearance, but not lighter in calories. Light whiskey had the exact same calorie content as regular whiskey.

But with light/lite beer, consumers came to associate the term "light" with reduced calories so there was a disconnect with light whiskey, which did not provide that benefit.

I don't have the current market share numbers, but I know American straight whiskey outsells American blended whiskey by about three to one.

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dave ziegler   
dave ziegler

I noted on the first page of the artical that Publicker was doing it also. Well They made a good bit of it and then decided to sell it off as not liking the idea after all. So as I noted on another thread alot of the 8/80 was Publicker light whisky sold to them.

They put alot of research in the stuff only to drop it very quickly and never bottle any but instead sold it all off.

Thanks for posting the Time artical Chuck!

Dave Z

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cowdery   
cowdery

The whiskey from which Frost 8/80 was made probably was acquired from Publiker but Frost 8/80 was not Light Whiskey. It was an attempt to capitalize on the concept, but it was not itself Light Whiskey.

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