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Baker's Single Barrel

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kevinbrink

I posted this in the TTB thread a few weeks back, a PM from @Mako254 got me thinking though about how it really kind of feels like a big deal that it appears that Baker's may be a Single Barrel product going forward, particularly as it was one of the four products in the Beam Small Batch Collection. I guess (in a tired joke I've made many times) a single barrel is a pretty small batch but it kind of feels like the end of an era of sorts. What I do think it does is better differentiate Baker's from Booker's. KC SiB might make it seem overpriced to some but the profile is different enough that one is not a replacement for the other in my book.

https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=19080001000890

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TimeWillTell

I spoke to a guy at Beam Urban Stillhouse this weekend about this. Idk if he really knows what he's talking about but he says Beam is in fact re-branding Bakers into a single barrel to better differentiate it in the lineup.  He didn't know exactly when or if there will be a price change. He did comment "someone has been checking in on TTB," so thanks to @kevinbrink for making me look "in the know."

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Mako254

I really enjoy Baker’s. The proof point and age are a sweet spot for me.  Not sure why it kind of got lost in the shuffle. Basil Haden is the intro, KC was Freds baby and Booker’s was well, Booker’s. I do think Beam has had it priced abt $10 high. If this was closer to HM10 and four roses single barrel (in my market) it would be a daily for sure. Hands down. Something about crossing that $50 mark otd moves it into a different category for me. 

 

Very curious to see where this goes w/ the re branded Baker’s. 

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alcoholica

For me, I'm over the whole single barrel deal. If it's a store pick, awesome, but I'd rather the distillery put out consistent small batches. I can thank EH Taylor for my views on this. Just my humble opinion.

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fosmith
14 hours ago, Mako254 said:

I really enjoy Baker’s. The proof point and age are a sweet spot for me.  Not sure why it kind of got lost in the shuffle. Basil Haden is the intro, KC was Freds baby and Booker’s was well, Booker’s. I do think Beam has had it priced abt $10 high. If this was closer to HM10 and four roses single barrel (in my market) it would be a daily for sure. Hands down. Something about crossing that $50 mark otd moves it into a different category for me. 

 

Very curious to see where this goes w/ the re branded Baker’s. 

Totally agree.  Baker's is $50 - $60 here but should be $35 - $40.  Why Beam prices it higher than KCSiB is beyond me...

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beasled

I'm curious to see what this means from an export perspective as Baker's is my go-to.

 

We don't get KCSiB (aside from a couple of naughty importers, never store picks), and our Booker's seems to be 6 years-ish most of the time. 

 

I'd wager that Baker's isn't a big hit overseas (KC would be most well known, and Booker's amongst the aficionados) so this could well be the end of it here... hoping that's not the case. 

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Richnimrod

Baker's to me is a somewhat unique pour, and whenever I crack a bottle, I find myself returning to it pretty regularly.    It's GOOD! 

But, that said, I've always thought it was over-priced, so often do NOT have one at hand to open, being a confirmed careful-with-his-cheddar sort of guy. 

If all Baker's is set to become even more 'high-end', I may have to content myself with other other options.     Now, if Beam/Suntory were to 'see the light' and keep the 'regular' Baker's (lowering the price), while pushing out the 'new premium' version at a higher cost, I'd likely grab a few of the 'old' style Baker's for the bunker.

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TimeWillTell
16 minutes ago, Richnimrod said:

Baker's to me is a somewhat unique pour, and whenever I crack a bottle, I find myself returning to it pretty regularly.    It's GOOD! 

But, that said, I've always thought it was over-priced, so often do NOT have one at hand to open, being a confirmed careful-with-his-cheddar sort of guy. 

If all Baker's is set to become even more 'high-end', I may have to content myself with other other options.     Now, if Beam/Suntory were to 'see the light' and keep the 'regular' Baker's (lowering the price), while pushing out the 'new premium' version at a higher cost, I'd likely grab a few of the 'old' style Baker's for the bunker.

I would appreciate keeping the SmB and having a lower price point. If not, I'll be watching for the regular to go on closeout to grab a few. 

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squire
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, alcoholica said:

For me, I'm over the whole single barrel deal. If it's a store pick, awesome, but I'd rather the distillery put out consistent small batches. I can thank EH Taylor for my views on this. Just my humble opinion.

 That's my view as well.  When Beam introduced the Small Batch line Baker's was my pick of the litter which is a view I held for a very long time.  This recent move is just an excuse to jack up the price.  

 

This whole single barrel idea is a marketing stunt borrowed from the Scots who are as adept at selling whisky as they are at making it.  Even the Scottish distillers who introduced the concept to consumers admitted it was really a marketing ploy to increase their profits.

 

Same thing for putting whisky in a fancy corked bottle (Basil Hayden I'm looking straight at you) and charging twice as much as other brands in the same grade.  If you're gonna charge twice as much then the whisky should be twice as good, or close, otherwise I'm the chicken being plucked and I don't like being plucked.

Edited by squire
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alcoholica
2 hours ago, squire said:

 That's my view as well.  When Beam introduced the Small Batch line Baker's was my pick of the litter which is a view I held for a very long time.  This recent move is just an excuse to jack up the price.  

 

This whole single barrel idea is a marketing stunt borrowed from the Scots who are as adept at selling whisky as they are at making it.  Even the Scottish distillers who introduced the concept to consumers admitted it was really a marketing ploy to increase their profits.

 

Same thing for putting whisky in a fancy corked bottle (Basil Hayden I'm looking straight at you) and charging twice as much as other brands in the same grade.  If you're gonna charge twice as much then the whisky should be twice as good, or close, otherwise I'm the chicken being plucked and I don't like being plucked.

Beam and BT seem to be the worst offenders of the whole marketing gouge 

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Mako254
4 hours ago, squire said:

 That's my view as well.  When Beam introduced the Small Batch line Baker's was my pick of the litter which is a view I held for a very long time.  This recent move is just an excuse to jack up the price.  

 

This whole single barrel idea is a marketing stunt borrowed from the Scots who are as adept at selling whisky as they are at making it.  Even the Scottish distillers who introduced the concept to consumers admitted it was really a marketing ploy to increase their profits.

 

Same thing for putting whisky in a fancy corked bottle (Basil Hayden I'm looking straight at you) and charging twice as much as other brands in the same grade.  If you're gonna charge twice as much then the whisky should be twice as good, or close, otherwise I'm the chicken being plucked and I don't like being plucked.

 

I am going to take a counter position to a SBer I have a great deal of respect for. I think a great deal of it relies on what we like to drink. @squire is a BiB man through and through. OGD bib and HH6 are likely in his glass more often than not. 

 

My loyalties are in Lawrenceburg...be it Wild Turkey or Four Roses (or MGP!)

 

It is hard to argue against BiB from a heritage distiller. A consistent, quality product that is available and you are otd with change after handing over a $20. 

 

That said, I’ll argue against Four Roses cask strength single barrel being a marketing gimmick. 10 recipes that make up the core expressions can’t be replicated in a small batch/mass batch expression. 10-11 year OESV or OBSK is a different animal for my money. 

 

Russell’s Reserve is the flip side of the same coin, yet Eddie Russell has 1 mash bill and 1 yeast and different rickhouses to find different profiles. RRsib certainly has a baseline profile but Tyrone B and Camp Nelson F have completely different profiles (or so my taste buddies say so). 

4/5 of my cabinet is single barrel offerings from WT or 4R. I love trying new bottles and comparing them to favorites. 

 

At the end of the day, ain’t no wrong way to drink bourbon. 

 

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alcoholica
1 hour ago, Mako254 said:

 

I am going to take a counter position to a SBer I have a great deal of respect for. I think a great deal of it relies on what we like to drink. @squire is a BiB man through and through. OGD bib and HH6 are likely in his glass more often than not. 

 

My loyalties are in Lawrenceburg...be it Wild Turkey or Four Roses (or MGP!)

 

It is hard to argue against BiB from a heritage distiller. A consistent, quality product that is available and you are otd with change after handing over a $20. 

 

That said, I’ll argue against Four Roses cask strength single barrel being a marketing gimmick. 10 recipes that make up the core expressions can’t be replicated in a small batch/mass batch expression. 10-11 year OESV or OBSK is a different animal for my money. 

 

Russell’s Reserve is the flip side of the same coin, yet Eddie Russell has 1 mash bill and 1 yeast and different rickhouses to find different profiles. RRsib certainly has a baseline profile but Tyrone B and Camp Nelson F have completely different profiles (or so my taste buddies say so). 

4/5 of my cabinet is single barrel offerings from WT or 4R. I love trying new bottles and comparing them to favorites. 

 

At the end of the day, ain’t no wrong way to drink bourbon. 

 

Hey don't get me wrong. Russell's SiB is a favorite as are the cask strength 4R store picks. Heck, I even mentioned store picks specifically. I think the big issue I get with some single barrels is that they are forced. EH Taylor is a glaring example. How many people have had bad barrels and at $65 a bottle that should never happen. My real big issue is turning Baker's into a SiB as a money ploy. Beam has been steadily exploiting the boom, and I'm just too cynical to think this is going to turn out well..

 

But to your point, Yes, there are some remarkable SiB offerings that are consistent enough to be worth the extra money for the quality they bring.

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Paddy

I agree that this is probably not a great development, for us... but hey, what percentage of the market is rushing out the door for a Baker's on a weekly basis?  To that point, I really can't blame them for wanting to do something a bit different in order to exploit the uniqueness of the Baker's profile.  They know that we 'geeks' are gonna whine, but really... what percentage of our budget is currently going toward this product?  Hell, I'd bet that the majority of the 'normal' population (we are definitely not in that group:blink:) don't know the first thing about Baker's, nor have most ever purchased a bottle.  So, if you know the answer to the question posed above, that is exactly why this product is primed for a 'tweak'.   

 

There's also been a bit a shade thrown at Beam here, and some it may certainly be deserved.  But at least they can argue that they've done as good a job as anyone out there, both in keeping bottles available on the shelves while also expanding on a  portfolio that is capable of stacking up with anyone else's currently out there.

 

Maybe it should have been in the unpopular bourbon opinion thread, but at least I'm on topic in discussing a soon to be single barrel product.  So while we all say I'd rather get the proof from Booker's or age and value from KCSB, Baker's remains a low production, but very unique product from either mentioned above.  

 

Given that it generally does nothing but gather dust even in this frenzied market, I really don't blame them.  Hell, I'm just wondering why they didn't do it sooner. 

 

The marketing boys are winning 'cause they've already grabbed our attention... and if you'll admit it, you're probably already interested.  :P

 

Bueller?  ;)

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flahute
3 hours ago, Mako254 said:

 

I am going to take a counter position to a SBer I have a great deal of respect for. I think a great deal of it relies on what we like to drink. @squire is a BiB man through and through. OGD bib and HH6 are likely in his glass more often than not. 

 

My loyalties are in Lawrenceburg...be it Wild Turkey or Four Roses (or MGP!)

 

It is hard to argue against BiB from a heritage distiller. A consistent, quality product that is available and you are otd with change after handing over a $20. 

 

That said, I’ll argue against Four Roses cask strength single barrel being a marketing gimmick. 10 recipes that make up the core expressions can’t be replicated in a small batch/mass batch expression. 10-11 year OESV or OBSK is a different animal for my money. 

 

Russell’s Reserve is the flip side of the same coin, yet Eddie Russell has 1 mash bill and 1 yeast and different rickhouses to find different profiles. RRsib certainly has a baseline profile but Tyrone B and Camp Nelson F have completely different profiles (or so my taste buddies say so). 

4/5 of my cabinet is single barrel offerings from WT or 4R. I love trying new bottles and comparing them to favorites. 

 

At the end of the day, ain’t no wrong way to drink bourbon. 

 

Took the words right out of my mouth!

I will add that when I go Heaven Hill and pick a barrel of Elijah Craig (which of course is normally a small batch) and I get a barrel that is off profile a bit and delicious and it comes from the Deatsville warehouses (which was Parker's favorite location) and it costs the same as the small batch despite being vastly superior there is nothing gimmicky about that.

I now have four such barrels so it's clearly worth going back for!

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lcpfratn
Took the words right out of my mouth!
...
I now have four such barrels so it's clearly worth going back for!

4 barrels! Party at Steve’s house! Only bad part is he lives a long distance away.

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GaryT

I would love a Baker's barrel picked by the GBS . . . but am less excited about the lineup being a permanent SB product.  I've loved pretty much every pour I've had from Bakers, and can honestly say the same thing about FRSB.  I think 98% of the pours of ETL were delicious, and more like 80% of HMcK.  Beam has enough production capacity and stock to do this right and keep it consistent, but I expect this will come with a price increase.  I'd rather they followed the KC model - kept Baker's a small batch and offer a SB version (and already being at 107 proof, I dunno that they have to make it a higher proof . . . wow, this may be the first time I haven't argued for HIGHER proof :lol:

 

But again - despite having a listed phone number, the bastards didn't call and ask for my opinion.  Hey - maybe they'll go in another direction and re-position it with a price DECREASE!  

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alcoholica
2 hours ago, GaryT said:

I would love a Baker's barrel picked by the GBS . . . but am less excited about the lineup being a permanent SB product.  I've loved pretty much every pour I've had from Bakers, and can honestly say the same thing about FRSB.  I think 98% of the pours of ETL were delicious, and more like 80% of HMcK.  Beam has enough production capacity and stock to do this right and keep it consistent, but I expect this will come with a price increase.  I'd rather they followed the KC model - kept Baker's a small batch and offer a SB version (and already being at 107 proof, I dunno that they have to make it a higher proof . . . wow, this may be the first time I haven't argued for HIGHER proof :lol:

 

But again - despite having a listed phone number, the bastards didn't call and ask for my opinion.  Hey - maybe they'll go in another direction and re-position it with a price DECREASE!  

You hit the nail on the head. This is about increasing price. I won't be surprised to see it go NAS either. After all, they shouldn't be restricted by age to bring you the SiB profile that you're used to.  

 

I think they robbed the old Maker's Mark strategy, let's just charge more money and people will think it's good. Bakers should have been in that Rare Breed price range from the start. Maybe less. Them and Basil's were always about $10 too much. I saw some Baker's online for $37 recently online w/free shipping and I stocked up. 

 

Maybe Beam's higher price model is working for them. But not for me. 

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Mako254
On 5/13/2019 at 9:53 PM, kevinbrink said:

I posted this in the TTB thread a few weeks back, a PM from @Mako254 got me thinking though about how it really kind of feels like a big deal that it appears that Baker's may be a Single Barrel product going forward, particularly as it was one of the four products in the Beam Small Batch Collection. I guess (in a tired joke I've made many times) a single barrel is a pretty small batch but it kind of feels like the end of an era of sorts. What I do think it does is better differentiate Baker's from Booker's. KC SiB might make it seem overpriced to some but the profile is different enough that one is not a replacement for the other in my book.

https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=19080001000890

 

TIFWIW. 

 

Heard from a friend who generally has solid info. 

 

Baker’s small batch going away, replaced by single barrel. Not part of barrel program. $60 MSRP. 

 

Dammit. 

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TimeWillTell
5 minutes ago, Mako254 said:

 

TIFWIW. 

 

Heard from a friend who generally has solid info. 

 

Baker’s small batch going away, replaced by single barrel. Not part of barrel program. $60 MSRP. 

 

Dammit. 

[Thumbs down]

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Marekv8
Posted (edited)

The biggest bummer is that Baker's has recently disappeared from the Delta Sky Club, where a generous double was cheap as chips (a double is 1.5x the cost of an already discounted single). I'm not sure it's related to this unfortunate re-branding exercise or if they were just tired of me asking for "Baker's with a B" to avoid a glass of the red waxed wheater.

Edited by Marekv8

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mal00768
5 hours ago, Mako254 said:

 

TIFWIW. 

 

Heard from a friend who generally has solid info. 

 

Baker’s small batch going away, replaced by single barrel. Not part of barrel program. $60 MSRP. 

 

Dammit. 

Yeah, no thanks. It’s tasty but not tastier than OGD bib or even basic WT.

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flahute
10 hours ago, Mako254 said:

 

TIFWIW. 

 

Heard from a friend who generally has solid info. 

 

Baker’s small batch going away, replaced by single barrel. Not part of barrel program. $60 MSRP. 

 

Dammit. 

Sighhhhhhh........

Looks like a favorite sleeper is going to become a no go for me.

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Kepler
12 hours ago, Mako254 said:

 

TIFWIW. 

 

Heard from a friend who generally has solid info. 

 

Baker’s small batch going away, replaced by single barrel. Not part of barrel program. $60 MSRP. 

 

Dammit. 

 

2 hours ago, flahute said:

Sighhhhhhh........

Looks like a favorite sleeper is going to become a no go for me.

 

If true, this would be unfortunate.  However I am already working on a home vatting blend of Baker's and Distiller's Cut that hopefully will turn out to be a replacement profile. To me I've always thought JBDC is a poor man's version of Baker's (in that it has the same crisp fruit profile as Baker's but with less aging). Home vatting can sometimes help fix the shortcomings...

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BDanner

I enjoyed a pour of it at a restaurant about 6 months ago, but Baker's has slowly crept up to $60 in N. Carolina. That is way too much for a 7 year old bottle of Beam, Single Barrel or not. 

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