Friday, March 20, 2015
New Whiskey Labels: Old Forester, Island Scotch, Guns and Flies
This week's most interesting new labels from the federal TTB database:
Brown Forman cleared a label for Old Forester 1910. The label says it is "barrel finished" but doesn't say in what type of barrel it is finished. Presumably, this expression will taste 40 years younger than their Old Forester 1870.
Beam Suntory cleared a label for Hibiki Japanese Harmony, which debuted in Japan earlier this month, as a new addition to the standard line of Hibiki blended whiskies.
Douglas Laing cleared a label for its new blended malt Rock Oyster which includes whiskeys from the Scottish islands of Islay, Orkney, Jura and Arran. The whiskey has been out in Europe for a few months now.
Speaking of Scottish islands, when I first saw this new label for Islay Rye from the Grand Traverse distillery in Michigan, I thought maybe it was a rye/Scotch blend along the lines of High West's Campfire. Instead, it's blend of 80% rye to 20% peated malted barley which appears to be distilled in house. The label calls it a "nod to Islay Single Malt Scotches." It sounds delicious, but the label is problematic. The TTB regulations state that "words connoting, indicating, or commonly associated with Scotland, shall not be used to designate any product not wholly produced in Scotland." 27 CFR § 5.22 (k)(4). Well, if Islay doesn't connote Scotland, I don't know what does. This label should have been rejected.
Attention Jeff Goldblum fans: Have you always wanted a bourbon with a giant fly on the label? Your dreams have come true thanks to New York's Gristmill Distillers who cleared a label for Black Fly Bourbon.
Lastly, for those of you who like to mix some politics with your whiskey, Scissortail Distillery in Oklahoma cleared a label for Leadslingers Bourbon, a bourbon for those who are "tired of people afraid to support the second amendment." I'm not sure why people with certain political views need their own bourbon, but as the slogan says, "Stay frosty and freedom on!" I'm hoping next will be a whiskey for those who support the third amendment: No Quartering Rye?
Note: The fact that a label appears on the TTB database does not necessarily mean it will be produced. In addition, some details on the label, such as proof, can change in the final product.