Tuesday, April 23, 2013

And the Award for Label BS goes to... Zachory Boone

In the past, I've poked fun at some of the questionable claims on whiskey labels, but occasionally, I see a real one that out does my parodies.  A case in point is the newly registered label for Zachory Boone Bourbon.  This label comes to us from Levecke Corporation a distributor/rectifier (i.e., not a distiller) in Mira Loma, California.

Here is the excellent label description for this Kentucky Straight Bourbon:

From legend long ago...At the age of 21 years, Zachory T. Boone cooked up his first batch of bourbon whiskey using the same distilling techniques used by his great grandfather. At the heart of the recipe was a wonderful blend of premium American grains and pure Kentucky mountain water used to create the perfect sour mash for fermentation. The sour mash was distilled in a multi-column still and the patiently laid to rest for over 3 years in charred oak barrels.
Today our modern distillery still uses Zachory Boone's same quality ingredients, same Kentucky mountain water and the same care in aging the whiskey to achieve the full bourbon character that makes Zachory Boone one of Kentucky's finest bourbon whiskeys.
If there were an award for whiskey label bullshit, this would clearly get it.  It does a great job of saying a lot without telling us anything.  Zachory Boone was such an innovator that he used  "American grains" and "Kentucky mountain water" to make his bourbon.  He then distilled it in a "multi-column still" and "patiently" laid it to rest in charred oak barrels (well, not that patiently given that it's only three years old).  So based on this detailed description, we now know that this is a bourbon that was made like pretty much every other bourbon in the world.  Wow, that's helpful.

In the second paragraph we learn that "our modern distillery" (I'm sorry, whose modern distillery?  I'm not aware that Levecke Corporation has a distillery) uses the same quality ingredients.  Imagine that, just like old Zachory used grain and water, so does the distillery that makes it now.  It's like a bourbon time machine to bring you back to a time when bourbon was made with grain and water (which of course, have always been the ingredients).  Speaking of which, the label never mentions when the alleged Zachory Boone allegedly made his first bourbon.  Was it in 1875? 1908? 1972?  Last week?

But it gets stranger.  The bottom line on the label says "Distilled from barley and malt mash."  Er, what?  A "whiskey distilled from malt mash" is defined as distilled from not less than 51% barley and aged in used barrels whereas bourbon is composed of at least 51% corn and aged in new barrels.  I guess old Zachory really was an innovator; he made a Kentucky bourbon that isn't even a bourbon.  (Oh, and note to the TTB who are supposed to be making sure that labels comply with their classifications before approving them:  Wake the fuck up!)

But hey, the proof is in how it tastes, and this guy liked it (Seriously, watch the whole video.  It's almost as funny as the label).


Anonymous said...

LeVecke corporate page informs us that, "Bourbon is distilled in Kentucky, aged in oak barrels for three years, and then scrutinized to make sure it has that full – bourbon character." http://www.levecke.com/premiumandsuperqualityproducts.php

Of course bourbon mustn't only be made in Kentucky. Would be especially shit-filled of them if their Bourbon was distilled and aged by LDI in Indiana.

P.S. tactical321 clearly was mightly "Zachory Booned" whilst filming said review.

Anonymous said...

Zachory Boone ancestral portrait:


Anonymous said...

Squared bottles definitely tastes bedder, as does putting it in the fridge, not the freezer. Klassy.

EllenJ said...

From the video, I would have to say that Zachory Boone appears to be quite effective. The video itself would have been considerably more effective had the spokesperson not recorded it immediately after consuming a whole bottle of it :=))

As for Purple Prose Label of the Year (although even I'm not old enough to remember just WHAT year!), here's another candidate:

"Kentucky's Finest Little Distillery"

Down in Kentucky..."

[so you can see right off that the target market for this whiskey is not in the South]

"where the folks know their bourbon, we are proud of our little distillery. The choicest of grains, perfect limestone water, and special natural aging give" [this bourbon] "it's exceptional character."

[exceptional, indeed. Not like all those other Kentucky bourbons not made with grains or limestone water, not to mention being un-naturally aged.]

"The next time you're down our way, stop in and visit us. You'll see why we're so proud."

Of course there's no address, since there's no distillery. There never was an Ezra Brooks distillery; the brand was created by the not-so-little Medley distillery in the '50s to compete with Jack Daniel's, although the brand is now bottled by Luxor from unnamed sources that taste rather similar to Heaven Hill. And as far as I know, that "our little distillery" label story has been on every bottle from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Oh my word -I've gotta rush right out and get some of this!! (no, wait, can't find it anywhere - guess even the bottomest-end supermarkets and gas stations know enough not to carry this kind of shit)

Steffen said...

I envy that guy. Either he

1. Can get his wet whiskey dreams fulfilled with a 7-99 botttle (I can't)


2. He has a lot of good surprises heading his way in thee future

Lazer said...

The truly interesting thing here is that the label says Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, and it says its made from barley and malt mash???

I respect the company for their price of $7.99. At least they aren't trying to sell it for $47.99.

Alex said...

Agree with Lazer. The ingredient inconsistency is amazing. Of course I see a lot of errors on the COLA posted labels. A whole batch of recent ones from Koval had front labels stating one grain with back labels stating a whole different grain (like this one https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicDisplaySearchBasic&ttbid=13047001000027 )

sku said...

NAWL, funny, but at least that's something where they probably just made a mistake in matching their front and back labels as opposed to old Zachory, whose front label says both bourbon and distilled from barley malt.

Alex said...

no doubt Koval's are just mistakes, likely cut and paste sort of things. I was thinking more about how easily these things slip by the TTB folks. They must not read any of these labels very carefully.

sku said...

NAWL, what's bizarre is that you hear stories of them rejecting labels for the weirdest reasons that have nothing to do with the regs. Meanwhile, stuff like this and potato whiskey get by.

Alex said...

ok you got me, wtf is NAWL? National Association of Women's Lawyers? No" Napping a While Longer?

sku said...

Just shortening your name. "North American Whiskey List" is a bit cumbersome to write every time I want to refer back to one of your comments.

Alex said...

Ah. i'm so stupid, amazing i can type. I cant complain about TTB when i dont recognize my own handle.