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1952 Kentucky Beverage Journal


Vosgar
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While at this years KBF, Fishnbowljoe took me to a small mom and pop liquor store south of Bardstown that had yielded him a couple of goodies on a previous visit. When we got there, we found out the original owner, 90+ yrs of age, had passed away earlier in the year and that the man behind the counter was his 70 yr old son (one of 16 kids!). We had a nice long visit, with him doing 95% of the talking, and while there weren't any special bottles, I did end up buying a 6yr HHBIB and an age stated FC.

 

What caught my attention after he let me go behind the counter to get a nice, close look at everything was a box of old magazines. He explained that the family was trying to clean out some of old man's stuff packed away in the storeroom and that I could take whatever I wanted. The only thing that was of interest to me was a November 1952 copy of the Kentucky Beverage Journal, which apparently is/was a trade magazine for liquor stores in the state.

 

Maybe it'll be of interest to a few of you as well. After the picture of the front cover, there's information regarding the price list and then I've included some pics that show prices on various bottles. The first two are for the most part brands we know while the second two have a number of whiskies I've never heard of.

 

At first glance the prices seem absurdly cheap, but you have to remember that those are 1952 prices. According to http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/  $1.00 back then is equivalent to $9.12 today. That $7.24 bottle of OGD BIB would be over $60 today. Yes, we are living in good times.

 

 

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Super fascinating. Thanks for posting this. I love those old names that are no longer.

That inflation calculator translation is a bit of an eye opener.

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VERY COOL Stuff!    Thanx for posting this, Gary.    Really interesting to see how many brands listed are no longer with us 65-years on, eh?    Gotta wonder how many of today's 'mainstays' will be gone in 2-or 3-generations.....

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Excellent  post Gary and great minds think alike :lol:. Had a few posts some years ago on old bourbon ads and how much some of that old dusty pre glut bourbon was actually costing drinkers compared to today. 

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Good stuff, Gary.  Thanks for sharing.  Interesting on the younger ages on many well known and respected bourbons.  Outside of the WSR at 7 yrs, nothing else over 5 it looks like?  Are there additional pages that show older aged products, such as 10, 12, or 15 yr?  

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1 hour ago, smokinjoe said:

Good stuff, Gary.  Thanks for sharing.  Interesting on the younger ages on many well known and respected bourbons.  Outside of the WSR at 7 yrs, nothing else over 5 it looks like?  Are there additional pages that show older aged products, such as 10, 12, or 15 yr?  

I had the same thought.

My guess is that with bourbon production being severely limited during WW2 since they all(?) switched over to ethanol production that there wasn't much aged stock older than 7 years in 1952.

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Here's a couple of pics showing the oldest whiskies listed in this Journal. The 10yr pre-war Beams were offered by a couple of the distributors as were the 8yr Old Schenley and Pebbleford (need to do some legwork about Pebbleford, never heard of them before this)

 

My guess is that Steve nailed it with his observation. Perhaps the fact that Prohibition hadn't been gone that many years before the war started didn't help.

 

 

 

 

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Harry in WashDC
2 hours ago, flahute said:

I had the same thought.

My guess is that with bourbon production being severely limited during WW2 since they all(?) switched over to ethanol production that there wasn't much aged stock older than 7 years in 1952.

Good observation, Steve.  I think I read that somewhere, probably a Chuck book, but don't remember if I knew that or not.  I do remember my Dad ( a WW II vet) telling me that pre-war bourbons were so rare that he paid $100 (in 1943 money) for a fifth of Ten High while he was on a recruiting tour for the Navy between carrier assignments (he was an aviator).

 

Gary, wonderful of you to share this with us.

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4 hours ago, Harry in WashDC said:

Good observation, Steve.  I think I read that somewhere, probably a Chuck book, but don't remember if I knew that or not.  I do remember my Dad ( a WW II vet) telling me that pre-war bourbons were so rare that he paid $100 (in 1943 money) for a fifth of Ten High while he was on a recruiting tour for the Navy between carrier assignments (he was an aviator).

 

Gary, wonderful of you to share this with us.

$100 in 1943? DANG! Good bourbon must have been really hard to find then. Also telling how scarcity lead to high prices back then just like it does today. Difference is back then there probably weren't a lot of quality alternatives like we have today.

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The magazine also had a few industry articles and some other fun stuff to read, like this........

 

 

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A very interesting 'time capsule'.  Thank you for sharing. 

 

Speaking of, is that an article to the left about our late friend Booker Noe's promotion to apprentice distiller?  :o

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Ha!     I wonder if my great, grand uncle was ever raided by the 'revenooers'...     His still was down in a 'holler' in a place that's now under TVA water near the 'Land Between the Lakes' area of Southwest Kentucky.    ...Not too far from the small town of Golden Pond, KY.      I kid you not.      I never met him, not tasted any of his 'shine; but am told it was the best in that part of the State.

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Thanx for showing us that article about Fred Noe getting his next chance to experience more of 'the Industry'.    I wonder why no mention of Booker Noe in the article?

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That is Booker in the article.  His name was Fred also.  The II.

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What Joe said.

 

The Fred Noe you may be thinking of is also "Booker", Frederick Booker Noe III and was born in 1957

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3 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

That is Booker in the article.  His name was Fred also.  The II.

I did NOT know that!    That makes more sense given the year this was printed.    Thanx for setting me straight, sir!

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I love those ads!   "Get More profit"   "Faster Returns"   "Get Set for Profits & Sales"    Great Stuff!

As to experiencing any of these brands?    Never.     In fact, never even heard of any of 'em, with the possible exception of 'Old Stagg', which I think I've heard mentioned before....

Again; Thanx, Gary; for putting this stuff up!   Very entertaining to look these over.

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From 90 proof and "The rarest whiskey in the world" to 80 proof and virtually everywhere in the world

 

 

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4 hours ago, Vosgar said:

From 90 proof and "The rarest whiskey in the world" to 80 proof and virtually everywhere in the world

 

 

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Now this one I've had.     And... It was damned good.   Today's 80-proof is fairly crummy, compared to the older, stronger Jack Old #7.

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Another feature I found interesting and amusing was this one about retailers and bars getting popped for various offenses. I especially like the "Minors Loafing" and "Female Bartender"

 

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'Female Bartender'.... WOW!!!!    It's this sort of sh_t that wound up getting us women's lib, and bra-burning (that I actually favored).

Hard to believe that in my lifetime it might have been against some law to have a lady serve liquor.     I wonder what the thinking behind that was?

Just unseemly?    Not in keeping with the image of Southern Women of Genteel Upbringing?    Funny stuff.

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Just amazing look back in the days when Bourbon was king. I would love to have had some 105-107 proof 5 year Weller.

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