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A new Rye from Beam?


Dr. François
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If I don't stop my downward slide in the Fantasy Football league, somebody is gonna get to try it for free...

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Hansell has a nice take on it from August:

http://blog.maltadvocate.com/2008/08/11/image-and-thoughts-on-the-new-ri1-rye-whiskey/

Here’s the bottle shot of the rye whiskey I blogged about on Friday. As you can see, it looks like it is designed to make rye look a little more “hip” than existing rye brands. It’s bottled at 46% ABV with no age statement.

I want to be clear that, while it IS a new offering from Beam Global Spirits and Wines, I am told that this is NOT going to be in the Jim Beam portfolio. It will be its own new entity.

I am being asked to hold off providing any additional factual information on the whisky until the product is released in October, and I will honor this.

I was, however, sent a sample of the whiskey, and I just had a taste. I like it. It’s crisp and vibrantly spicy, but with a rich, silky, sweetness that marries very well with the rye. It is exactly what I think it was designed to be: a mature enough rye whiskey that can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, but with plenty of youth and vitality to zing in a cocktail.

(Incidentally, in case you are wondering, I tried it next to a couple of the other “entry level” straight rye whiskeys to make sure this isn’t all just fancy packaging, and it is indeed a superior product. No, it’s not one of those ultra-aged rye whiskeys on the market, but it wasn’t meant to be either.)

I just got it in, but I haven't tried it yet. VERY cool looking bottle, it will look great on a bar back. It will make a very nice gift for the rye enthusiast, too.

Hey, with the current rye shortage and the custom bottle, I'm not surprised that I have to sell it for just over $50/bottle.

Rightly or wrongly, some folks DO buy spirits based upon how the bottle looks, and this bottle serves to help introduce rye whiskey to a whole new demographic which might regard rye as "staid" or anachronistic.

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Hansell has a nice take on it from August:

http://blog.maltadvocate.com/2008/08/11/image-and-thoughts-on-the-new-ri1-rye-whiskey/

Rightly or wrongly, some folks DO buy spirits based upon how the bottle looks, and this bottle serves to help introduce rye whiskey to a whole new demographic which might regard rye as "staid" or anachronistic.

The problem is that the target demographic may have no idea what staid or anachronistic means.

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The problem is that the target demographic may have no idea what staid or anachronistic means.

The first questions that pop into my head when I hear of a new rye or bourbon, or any whiskey for that matter, are Age? and proof? Next are mashbill, distilation and entry proof.

I don't know what target demographic you have in mind, but after looking at the bottle, all I can think of is "vodka snob". Which gives me pause. I hope that the chosen flavor profile isn't dumbed down ala RR Rye. At least it is 92 proof. That's encouraging. Though, 100 would be better. If it comes to my area, I'll buy a bottle. otherwise, I'll wait for others to review it.

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Brad has it exactly right.

I may have said this before, but this product isn't aimed at us. It's aimed at young consumers who regularly spend $50+ on a bottle of vodka or something else, based on motivations that have little to do with the things most of us here value. I haven't tasted it, but I suspect it will resemble Russell's Reserve Rye. If anything, it might be even milder.

Here is, I think, the scenario. This person who buys Grey Goose and Patron and stuff like that gets the idea in his or her head that he should try a whiskey, but he or she doesn't know anything about whiskey, so he or she goes to the whiskey shelf and looks. What's likely to pop out? Something that looks like a high-end vodka or tequila bottle.

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exactly. I'm curious to see if I can use this to convert those confused vodka drinkers. Maybe it'll be a " gateway " rye. :rolleyes:

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So the name of this is, [ri]1?

How do you pronounce it?

rye one?

or

are eye one?

According to the neck hang tag on the bottle, that's the correct pronunciation.

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Dr. François

Rightly or wrongly, some folks DO buy spirits based upon how the bottle looks, and this bottle serves to help introduce rye whiskey to a whole new demographic which might regard rye as "staid" or anachronistic.

The problem is that the target demographic may have no idea what staid or anachronistic means.

Rye-One target consumer buying habits (feel free to contribute):

1. Decide you're "totally gonna party tonight. I mean, seriously, guys, let's do it up right."

2. Pick out conspicuously consumed/purchased clothing.

3. Pop the collar(s) of said clothes.

poppedcollar.jpg

http://image.linkinn.com/userfiles/Image/poppedcollar.jpg

4. Get in parent-purchased car; go to liquor store.

5. Look at all the pretty bottles and colors. SHAPES AND COLORS! SHAPES AND COLORS!

6. Ask clerk, "Eh, bra: what's that sexy-ass bottle over there? Rye whiskey? Is it anything like Hennessey? People drink that in RAP VIDEOS!!!"

7. Conspicuously buy expensive, pretty bottle.

8. Conspicuously consume expensive, pretty bottle. Be sure to add LOTS of Coke Zero (watching the carbs, bra. Spring break coming up, WOOOOO!).

9. Unanimously decide that next time, "we're gonna buy all that Stagg and Handy they had on the shelf. It's like the Everclear of Whiskey!"

10. Call parents for more money.

11. Bank transfer tips off Diageo and Beam Global. Prices skyrocket.

12. Conspicuous consumers are happier because the same product costs more, hence raising their perceived self-esteem and status. Repeat endlessly.

I apologize for any offense. I teach these miscreants for a living.

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Please Dr. Francios, if I may offer up an observation on Generation X becoming of age.

But let me present it this way.

A popular pop culture point of discussion these days seems to be which is the worst generation.

Some say the Baby Boomers.

Some say Gen-X.

I will have to say it is the Boomers, because unlike the generation before us, the Greatest Generation, we did not begot great kids like me, we spit out brats like these Gen-X's.:grin:

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When the subject of Gen X's comes up I get confused. I was told when I was in High School that we were Gen X's. It seems as time goes buy the definition of not only Baby Boomers expands but so does Gen X.

In any case, I would like to have been a fly on the wall when marketing this new rye was discussed.

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Dramiel McHinson
I don't want a rye that I can hardly distinguish from most bourbons. Got enough of them, too. I want distinction. I want rye flavor. Rye should sizzle. I want something I can say "WOW! to. Give me that, Beam, and you will have a fan, and my money.

JOE

Joe,

I agree. I like the Wild Turkey Rye but its hard to find and I have to visit a neighboring state to buy it. I backed off the Rittenhouse 21 as the $160 price tag sent me scurrying back to WT. So....what is a fantastic rye I can buy without spending my house payment?

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Dramiel McHinson
I've been told that for luxury goods there is a market segment so perverse (from an economic standpoint) that they will buy the more expensive of two similar items, just to show they can. They represent no more than a tiny blip at the far reaches of the demand curve if they exist at all. I've never actually met such a person, but s/he might be attracted to a $40+ rye ordinaire in a trendy package. Could it be that the marketing staff at Beam knows something we don't? :confused:

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

I spent some time in Korea and you just described their purchase decision process with stunning accuracy. The Asian market as a whole is based on status and value has nothing to do with it. If I made a whiskey and put their favorite color and number on the packaging and charged $1000 equivalent for it, I would soon be a wealthy man. Trouble is, I don't have an export license.:hot: An Asian business man that can pull out a $1000 bottle of whiskey for his friends or a client has status and respect. No one will remember how it tasted. So I wonder where this new bottle is really headed.

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Here is, I think, the scenario. This person who buys Grey Goose and Patron and stuff like that gets the idea in his or her head that he should try a whiskey, but he or she doesn't know anything about whiskey, so he or she goes to the whiskey shelf and looks. What's likely to pop out? Something that looks like a high-end vodka or tequila bottle.

I'm actually surprised that someone hasn't sold unaged whiskey distillate under some cool hip name like "White Dawg: Raw Whiskey".

My honest opinion is, this is exactly the crowd to whom they should be pushing their blended whiskey portfolio. Something like Kessler (which Beam already owns) is already 80% GNS; just back off the flavor and color a few notches and make a lighter blend. Chances are good that anything geared to the Vodka market is going to wind up as a mixer anyway; whether or not it's the whiskey equivalent of weak tea is more or less immaterial.

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I'm really surprised at all of this (borderline) snobbism here.

Beam knows that rye is taking off in a bunch of markets and in cocktail joints and they step in with a product aimed at this demo...why all of the gnashing of teeth here?

What makes more sense from Beam's perspective? Push the re-designed Beam Rye (Beam? That's hillbilly juice!) or take a shot at that demo with a new product?

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I'm really surprised at all of this (borderline) snobbism here.

Beam knows that rye is taking off in a bunch of markets and in cocktail joints and they step in with a product aimed at this demo...why all of the gnashing of teeth here?

What makes more sense from Beam's perspective? Push the re-designed Beam Rye (Beam? That's hillbilly juice!) or take a shot at that demo with a new product?

If their marketing focus groups tell them it’s a good move........it is a good move.......I'm a capitalist........it is their right to make such business decisions. But as a whiskey lover, I'm deeply disappointed. SB.com is all about the whiskey.........the whiskey.........the whiskey..... Not necessarily the bottom line......

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If you have never tasted the whiskey, how can you be disappointed? It it because of of the packaging? The price? I can't be the marketing because we have not heard a peep from Beam Global on the product beyond what's been in a couple of industry blogs.

It the juice is good, the shape of the bottle shouldn't matter. If Pappy 20 came in a turd shaped bottle, would it the product inside be any different?:shithappens:

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My disappointment, or perhaps I should say, lack of enthusiasm, stems from both my own feelings of what the juice will taste like, based on who the targeted demographic is and Chuck's learned comments. I disagree with Chuck allot (just read some of our posts in the politics section) but I believe he knows what he's talking about when it comes to American whiskey, both taste profiles and the business practices of the various distilleries.

No, price isn't a factor. A majority of the bottles in my collection are 40-50 dollars.

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Ox is right, especially in the sense that we shouldn't criticize Beam's target consumers for this project, since we respond to the same kinds of marketing signals to determine if a product is aimed at us. There is a certain packaging style that appeals to each group, there is a certain taste profile that appeals to each group, and a certain price profile that appeals to each group, but one isn't necessarily better than the other. I prefer the stuff that is aimed at me, but that's what I'm supposed to do.

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Tasted this next to Rittenhouse 80 last night. You can guess which one, y'know, actually tasted like whiskey.

Oy.

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If you have never tasted the whiskey, how can you be disappointed? It it because of of the packaging? The price? I can't be the marketing because we have not heard a peep from Beam Global on the product beyond what's been in a couple of industry blogs.

It the juice is good, the shape of the bottle shouldn't matter. If Pappy 20 came in a turd shaped bottle, would it the product inside be any different?:shithappens:

I think this is going to bomb. I just don't see Rye taking the rocket ride like Vodka and Tequila.

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I hope [ri]1 is a success.

Maybe it will kick off a new wave of whiskey cocktails and move people up to better ryes and then bourbons.

After all most of us here got our start with bourbon because of that "yuppie" waxed bottle from Loretto.

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I read something interesting while surfing Bevmo's website today. In the description for (ri) 1 it says that it is aged a minimum of 4.5 years. I know that under US regulations because there is no age statement listed on the label, the whiskey is at least 4 years old. I wonder if this stuff is a mixture of ages or they just bottle it when they think it meets the taste profile for the brand!

Thomas

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I wonder if this stuff is a mixture of ages or they just bottle it when they think it meets the taste profile for the brand!

That describes most whiskeys. If there is no age statement, the youngest whiskey in the mix is at least four years old, but there may be older whiskey in there too.

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