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A study in history

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mozilla

I know that the members of this site have benefited much from the bourbon glut of the 1970's and 80's. The impending outlook for war drove the distilleries to mass produce our favorite juice. What a great outcome for the bourbon lovers of the world. We dusty hunt from place to place for all the bourbons that were produced durring this time of excess.

Since history repeats itself on an ongoing level, I wondered if we are headed for the same type of outcome in the near future?

Many of the current producers are filling barrels on an unpreviousley matched level. There are at least three distilleries that I know of that are buiding warehouses, remodeling stills and finishing their plants off with new equipment (Turkey, Angostura and Willetts).

What will become of this new era of bourbon making? Will we see another glut of bourbon on the market in a few years(maybe more) to come? Things are proceeding in many new directions with BT's Antique Collection, super aged products, more barrel proof versions, 3 year versions, micro distilleries and nonproducer brands (which require bulk whiskey to survive).

Will we see some consolidation of some of the newwer micro-distilleries eventually? Similarly Schenley purchased up Dant and Segrams bought out McKenna and then HH swooped in a picked up both.

I am not sure what will happen...though, I believe that the outlook is very promising. If fads wear out eventually....we could be headed for the second bourbon glut in our history. Not too bad of an outlook for the dusty hunting crowd, it just might take some time to get there.

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OscarV

Many of the current producers are filling barrels on an unpreviousley matched level. There are at least three distilleries that I know of that are buiding warehouses, remodeling stills and finishing their plants off with new equipment (Turkey, Angostura and Willetts).

.

Also both (actually they are the same company) Jim Beam and Maker's Mark are adding distilling and aging capacity.

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pepcycle

The true sign of a glut is when the containers become more valuable than the contents.

Look out for the Rapper Grill Porcelain Collection from Beam.

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cowdery

The current increases in production and expansion of capacity are driven primarily by estimates of export growth, especially to emerging markets such as India and China. Could something go wrong? Of course. Nothing is a sure thing, but it's risky to miss a boom market too.

One reason we won't see something exactly like the last glut is that there are so many fewer producers. Part of what happened then was that there were a lot of producers, all of whom figured somebody else, but not them, would suffer from the sales declines that were already being noticed.

I have been working on a George Dickel history for the Reader and found this interesting. When Schenley in 1956 failed in its efforts to buy Jack Daniel's, it decided instead to build a new Dickel distillery in Tennessee. At the time, American whiskey was booming. When the first whiskey made at the new distillery came on the market in 1964, the party was almost over.

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Gillman

There is an article in the New York Times digital archive from the early 1890's which projects that a bottled-in-bond act will be passed and it explains the reasons, a major one being that it would assist the export of American whiskey. It was noted that Canadian Club bore a government stamp which was felt to promote the image of the brand and American distillers should get a similar advantage. Put "Bottled-in-Bond" in the search box for the period from 1851 to (I suggest) 1900 and it will come up pretty fast. There is some indication that a guarantee of pure origin was part of the plan, too.

Gary

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