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FasterHorses   
FasterHorses

What is the prevailing wisdom on SB.com re: sourced brands? I ask because I liked the products High West was putting out there. It lost a lot of luster for me when I originally found that it was sourced. They're good at what they do but I hold them in much less esteem than I did. Does this usually keep most SBers from buying? 

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gurgalunas   
gurgalunas

It's a brand by brand decision for me.  Some have made aging or finishing a fine art, some just slap a label on other's product.  High West is good at what they do.  Willett has a knack for choosing, aging, etc.  AE has a reputation for good stuff.  

 

I, personally, have a much easier time buying sourced whiskey than buying microdistillery stuff.

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DCFan   
DCFan
6 hours ago, FasterHorses said:

It lost a lot of luster for me when I originally found that it was sourced. 

This one has me intrigueged.  Why did you let the nuts and bolts of bourbon making affect your taste buds? If something tastes good and it's affordable then why not run with that instead of looking at the label? It's not like we're talking blood diamonds here. ;)

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Flyfish   
Flyfish

Good bourbon is good bourbon no matter who makes it. SAOS is outstanding. Bulleit and Old Ezra have a lot to offer. Not long ago, a "journalist" made a big deal out of going to distillery towns looking for the "Xxxxx Distilling Co."  Even the Chamber of Commerce could not tell him.  Notice that several bourbons may come from the same distillery even though their labels say they are from different distilling companies. In a manner of speaking, you could even say that one of the most coveted of all bourbons is "sourced" in that it is made at Buffalo Trace for another company. That would be Pappy.  

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dcbt   
dcbt

For me it's an integrity issue.  If the NDP is open and upfront about their sourced whiskey, I'll buy it if I like it.  If they play games, make up stories, lie, deceive, etc, I won't buy it no matter how good it may be.

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Richnimrod   
Richnimrod

I agree with the comments made here by gurgulunas, DCFan; and, to a lesser extent dcbt. 

If a company is honest, and does a good job with whatever they put in the bottles, and sells at reasonable price/quality ratio, I'm not gonna hold against 'em where the distillate originates. 

I agree with dcbt about integrity being important; but, I don't completely ignore a brand merely because of some marketing bs that I know to be false or 'less-than-honest'.      I mean the majors all have their creation myths and bs about old family recipes, and such.    It's bs; but it doesn't stop me from pulling down a bottle from a retailer's shelf, if I know the quality and especially if the expected profile is in my wheelhouse.

Now, those products that intentionally obfuscate and mislead about something, in order to convey the idea that what's in the bottle is something it actually is not, I avoid.

More than a few 'crafters' are guilty of this sort of thing, and so too, some of the NDP's of long-standing.    That doesn't automatically mean their products are substandard, though in many of the craft cases it is.

So, to sum up; I judge all of 'em on a brand-by-brand basis, and on quality/price before the other concerns.    That generally eliminates many before the rest of the shenanigans enter the equation.

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FasterHorses   
FasterHorses
3 hours ago, DCFan said:

This one has me intrigueged.  Why did you let the nuts and bolts of bourbon making affect your taste buds? If something tastes good and it's affordable then why not run with that instead of looking at the label? It's not like we're talking blood diamonds here. ;)

I think the sentiment is captured in this article..http://www.thedailybeast.com/your-craft-whiskey-is-probably-from-a-factory-distillery-in-indiana

 

For the lack of a better word, I "respect" the final product a little more if a bottler isnt just a bottler. If a producer goes through all of the hard work to make something unique from beginning to end as opposed to buying something (even if its a really good "something")from Indiana and putting a sticker on it....i am a little more impressed. Of course taste has a ton to do with it , so i do still buy the High West products, i just look at them differently now. 

I only have one friend that drinks/appreciates bourbon and talking about it with him is really not that rewarding. A couple neighbors indulge, but when I showed up with OWA and ETL, they had no idea what they were. So I came to the experts just to bounce this off of you fellas. No crisis, just seeing what the SBers thoughts are.

Edited by FasterHorses

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jvd99   
jvd99

Regarding the OP, High West checks all the boxes for an above-board NDP and there's no reason to hold their products in "less esteem."  

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BigRich   
BigRich

Poopooing it because it is sourced seems odd to me. As others have said, good whiskey is good whiskey. High West, as previously mentioned is mainly a blender and they do that well. The scotch analogy would be crapping on Compass Box or Signatory for bottling stuff they didn't distill. This makes no sense to me. My only problem with some sourced whiskey bottlers in the US is that they A) don't disclose the providence of the whiskey and in the worst cases try to pass it off as their distillate and B ) charging ridiculous prices for a fancy story slapped on MGP, HH, or BF whiskey.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

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FasterHorses   
FasterHorses
18 minutes ago, jvd99 said:

Regarding the OP, High West checks all the boxes for an above-board NDP and there's no reason to hold their products in "less esteem."  

My palate still holds them in high esteem. In fact if I could only be limited to 3 bottles of anything for the rest of my days, I think one of their products  would have a good shot at making the journey with me.

 

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jvd99   
jvd99
11 minutes ago, FasterHorses said:

My palate still holds them in high esteem. In fact if I could only be limited to 3 bottles of anything for the rest of my days, I think one of their products  would have a good shot at making the journey with me.

 

OK, that's about exactly opposite of the sentiments that kicked off this whole discussion, just sayin :blink:

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FasterHorses   
FasterHorses
5 minutes ago, jvd99 said:

OK, that's about exactly opposite of the sentiments that kicked off this whole discussion, just sayin :blink:

Dam.. i had a question about the thoughts of the board on sourced whiskey.

I respect what Laws distillery is doing.. creating their own product from local grains and doing all of the hard work.. way more than i respect what high west does. I never once said i dont like how their product tastes, i just felt differently about them. I guess no one else feels this way. Again.. damn.

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JoeTerp   
JoeTerp

I forget what I've read where, but I think the general consensus is that people think certain sourced whiskey is really good. SAOS and High West ar two that come to mind and are thought of very favorably. They are also very transparent about being sourced (even about where they are sourced from rather than the usual nonsense about hiding behind a NDA). 

 

I also think hunk most of the stuff that is sourced from Alberta distillers (meaning just about all of the 100% rye) isusually looked upon pretty favorably. That includes the Whistlepig cask strength store and the Hochstaftets Family Reserve (which is about the best reviewed rye I've ever seen semi available). Come to think about it most of the good eyes are sourced from either Alberta distillers or MGP

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DCFan   
DCFan
13 minutes ago, FasterHorses said:

Dam.. i had a question about the thoughts of the board on sourced whiskey.

I respect what Laws distillery is doing.. creating their own product from local grains and doing all of the hard work.. way more than i respect what high west does. I never once said i dont like how their product tastes, i just felt differently about them. I guess no one else feels this way. Again.. damn.

To answer your Q, most here seem to thumb their noses at MGP products.  So it's not just you.  But taste is subjective.  Which is why I don't understand why many rotgut bourbons are enjoyed and discussed here.  Take Harry and his Old Crow. (we need a gagging and puking emoji here, :D )

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flahute   
flahute
47 minutes ago, DCFan said:

To answer your Q, most here seem to thumb their noses at MGP products.

Huh? Plenty of appreciation for MGP here. Not sure where you get that.

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flahute   
flahute
1 hour ago, FasterHorses said:

Dam.. i had a question about the thoughts of the board on sourced whiskey.

I respect what Laws distillery is doing.. creating their own product from local grains and doing all of the hard work.. way more than i respect what high west does. I never once said i dont like how their product tastes, i just felt differently about them. I guess no one else feels this way. Again.. damn.

You are misunderstanding the comments.

Generally speaking, appreciation or dislike of sourced bourbon comes down to the honesty/transparency of the producer combined with the price being charged relative to the quality of the product.

There is plenty of extreme dislike here products such as Blood Oath and Kentucky Owl.

Alternatively, there’s respect for brands such as High West, Smooth Ambler, and Ezra Brooks.

As said by others above, it’s case by case according to the criteria I mentioned. There is no one size fits all answer.

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JCwhammie   
JCwhammie

I agree with the above consensus. One of my favorite pours right now is this Barrel select Belle Meade Cask Strength.

image.jpg

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EarthQuake   
EarthQuake

Right, few here have a problem with MGP - but many have a problem with "craft" distilleries who source from MGP (or others) and do not disclose it. High West, Smooth Ambler, Angels Envy, Barrell, etc are all NDP which are generally well regarded as they make it clear where (at least which state) the distillate comes from. Sourcing is nothing new and there is nothing inherently wrong with it, nor does a company like High West not deserve respect.

 

On the other hand, the fiasco with Templeton is a very clear example of why people take exception. Templeton went so far as to say they were distilling their MGP sourced juice in Iowa, which was a complete fabrication, and lost a court battle over it.

 

Personally, if the whiskey is good, I will buy it. I happily buy WhistlePig because they make fantastic rye - specifically their standard 10 year 100 proof expression and the store pick barrel proof versions of it. I know people have some problems with them as they were initially not totally transparent (they are today). I love many of High West's products, Bourye is one of my favorite whiskeys period. I even like the Orphan Barrel series, which many take exception to for how it is marketed, because bottles like Barterhouse are fantastic and offer a flavor profile that is unique and hard to find in other products.

Edited by EarthQuake

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DCFan   
DCFan
14 minutes ago, flahute said:

Huh? Plenty of appreciation for MGP here. Not sure where you get that.

Sure there are some that like MGP but it’s my sense that most here don’t. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. :D

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EarthQuake   
EarthQuake
17 minutes ago, DCFan said:

Sure there are some that like MGP but it’s my sense that most here don’t. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. :D

It's somewhat complex. You might see a comment such as "this is just MGP juice at $40". This doesn't mean MGP juice isn't good, it simply means that you can probably get the same or better product from an NDP using MGP source at a better price. For instance if you want a youngish MGP rye for cocktails, you can pick up George Dickle rye for $25 rather than Templeton or many others for $40 or more. This doesn't mean people don't like MGP - it just means they don't like overpaying for MGP - which is completely reasonable.

 

Knowing whether or not something is MGP sourced is also a very important piece of information if you're looking for a new tasting experience. If a new brand comes on the market selling 90 proof 6 year old rye for $80, and it turns out it's MGP sourced, two things are generally clear: It's probably going have the typical MGP rye flavor profile (so no new experience to be found here), and it's likely overpriced.

 

I think the bourbon and rye whiskey that MGP produces is far and away better than nearly every legitimate craft whiskey operation currently running. Maybe in 4-8 years or so when these craft shops can put some serious age on their stuff it will be a different picture, but even then I'm not sure as I expect it will take the craft operations time to perfect their techniques and make consistently good whiskey.

 

Edited by EarthQuake

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JoeTerp   
JoeTerp
12 minutes ago, DCFan said:

Sure there are some that like MGP but it’s my sense that most here don’t. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. :D

The only negative comments I can recall seeing about Smooth Ambler have been directed to their own distillate. I think it's pretty widespread opinion that MGP makes some good whiskey. Especially their ryes. 

Edited by JoeTerp

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DCFan   
DCFan
1 minute ago, EarthQuake said:

If a new brand comes on the market selling 6 year old rye for $80, and it turns out it's MGP sourced, two things are generally clear: It's probably going to taste like MGP rye, and it's overpriced.

And it will get the negative comments here which I chalk up as another poster who doesn’t like MGP.

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EarthQuake   
EarthQuake
Just now, DCFan said:

And it will get the negative comments here which I chalk up as another poster who doesn’t like MGP.

Yep, and that is where you're mistaken. People don't like being gouged for MGP juice, they like the juice just fine - generally speaking.

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flahute   
flahute
6 minutes ago, DCFan said:

Sure there are some that like MGP but it’s my sense that most here don’t. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. :D

Well then I have to question the veracity of your story.:D

There's a number of people here who like MGP just fine but who don't find it amazing. Given that MGP is always a sourced product (outside their occasional house brand), it's usually being marked up in price.

There's the standard mark up as a result of whatever story the producer is trying to sell.

Then there's the more recent markup as a result of the extremely tight supply of sourced whiskey available on the market. And the prices have gone up a lot.

So all these NDP's are paying a lot more than they used to for MGP whiskey and then have to invent a premium brand from scratch to justify the price they now have to charge in order to make a profit.

The wise members of this board see that MGP whiskey being sold for $60, $80, $100 a bottle and know it's the same whiskey they enjoyed a few years ago $30-40 a bottle. So they say "pass".

This is very different frame saying they don't like it.

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DCFan   
DCFan
3 minutes ago, JoeTerp said:

The only negative comments I can recall seeing about Smooth Ambler have been directed to their own distillate. I think it's pretty widespread opinion that MGP makes some good whiskey. Especially their ryes. 

I picked up a bottle of SAOS straight bourbon at a NC ABC store last spring and I felt like I hit the jackpot. It cost something like $40 and I’m enjoying the hell out of it. There were 3 bottles on the shelf and I left 2 because I abhor hoarding. ;)

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