Tuesday, December 22, 2015
The Sku Awards: Stupidest Whiskey Labels
Following label releases on the TTB website, I see a lot of stupid labels. I'm normally against those awards where everyone wins, but in this case, there really are no losers...except for the whiskey drinking public. All of these labels get the Sku Quadruple Gold Medal!!
This label for Stray Rye Whiskey is utterly stupid. It says it was "Founded in Illinois," but is "made from a 17th century recipe out of Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh, by the way, wasn't founded until the mid-18th century. Oh, and that 17th century recipe just happens to be 95% rye and 5% barley. Hmm, that sounds familiar for some reason.
Disaster whiskeys are always stupid. In the past, we've seen whiskeys that bravely survived snow storms and tornadoes, but Hooker's House cleared a label for what may be the first earthquake whiskey. Hooker's House Epicenter is composed of the whiskeys that "hung precariously" and "mico vibrated" during last year's 6.0 earthquake in Northern California. Mmmmm, precariously hung whiskey.
You can usually count on producers to know what their whiskey is but apparently, not always. The Panther Distillery in Minnesota cleared a label for a...well, I'm not sure. It's labeled Saint Paul Rye Whiskey, but the description says it's "Three-year-old cold weather aged rye corn whiskey bourbon." What is "rye corn whiskey bourbon"? I don't know, and the back label just furthers the confusion referring to it as a rye whiskey and then stating "Distilled from a Bourbon Mash." What is this stuff? How did it get approved by the TTB? Can someone please get their shit together.
The label for Old Scenter Bourbon is mind numbingly stupid. It says it is based on an old family recipe. How unique! Of course, they never tasted the old stuff, but they smartly imagined that it was "the perfect combination of corn, rye, and barley mashed together then aged in wood casks long enough." How long is long enough? Well, they knew it would probably have to age for "years at a time," but...oh screw it, just bottle some six month old MGP and call it a day.
And perhaps nothing epitomizes modern whiskey label stupidity more than Old Dominick, an 8 year old bourbon released by a three year old company to celebrate its 150th anniversary.
Tomorrow: The Year's Stupidest Whiskey Trend