Friday, August 1, 2014

New Whiskey Labels: Woodford Rye, 34 yo Dallas Dhu and More

This week's new whiskey labels, fresh from the federal TTB database:

Woodford Reserve has cleared a label for a straight rye whiskey.  It appears to be their regular Distiller's Select label as opposed to the Master's Collection, so it looks like they may be planning the rye as a regular release.

Tomintoul cleared a label for a 37 year old, which I believe is their oldest original bottling.  The label shows 43% abv and 600 bottles, but those could be placeholders.

Macallan clears a label for a 1989 whisky bottled in 2010 and something called Reflexion with no details on the label.

Gordon & MacPhail cleared a number of interesting labels, including a 1980 Dallas Dhu and Glen Grants from 1955 and 1965.

The flavored whiskey trend started to permeate premium brands with the Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon, now Sazerac has gotten into the premium flavored market with a vanilla flavored whiskey under the Abraham Bowman label which was previously reserved for premium whiskey from the A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Virginia.

Moonshine, once a term meaning illegal whiskey, has become pretty widely used on legal whiskey, but here's a new one; an outfit out of South Carolina calling themselves a "Bootlegging Company."  What are we going to see next, someone calling themselves the Tax Cheaters Whiskey Company?

With all my chatter about sourced bourbon, it's great to see Knotter Bourbon, a sourced MGP bourbon that Blaum Brothers Distillery in Illinois is releasing while they wait for their own whiskey to age.  While sourced brands are often shrouded in mystery, Blaum has made it more than clear, as the label states, that this is "the finest straight bourbon whiskey we never distilled."   The back label has a statement worth repeating in full:

This is not our bourbon, though we did meticulously select, mature and vat it so that it could be your bourbon. We could have misled you regarding who distilled this bourbon, but we feel that this level of deception is dumber than a bag of hammers. The truth has never tasted so good.
Let that be a lesson to bottlers of sourced whiskey everywhere.  That is how easy it is to be honest.


Unknown said...

Your wording on the new AB was interesting. I guess this means that you refuse to acknowledge a bottling like this as premium? I like vanilla but this did give me pause. Not only b/c of the idea of flavoring but b/c if the label is more than just a place holder this will only be 7.5 years old and only 90 proof. 90 proof is what was wrong with the GB release IMO. If this is priced at their regular $70 retail I'm most likely gonna have to pass. Sadly.

Anonymous said...

Vanilla seems like an odd choice to me, since that is typically one of the hallmark flavors of bourbon in the first place.

sku said...

Jeff, it wasn't meant as a value judgment at all, just a factual statement. Most companies have not released flavored expressions of their premium brands. That may now be changing.

Funky Tape said...

The kNOTter bOURbon is fantastic. A brand built in a 180* rebellion against the fakers. Right there for everyone to see. Going to buy one just to support their cause. Also because the guy on the left has a sweet beard and would probably hurt me if I didn't.

EllenJ said...

Congratulations to kNOTer bOURbon on honesty. For that reason alone I'm going to find a way to obtain a bottle. The fact that it's MGP juice only helps to assure me of its quality. Screw You, Daily Beast!

And, speaking of secretly-sourced products, I like your opening piece on Woodford Reserve's upcoming rye whiskey. Now I know what Brown Forman is probably doing with all that rye that they're not selling to Heaven Hill anymore :-))

sku said...

EllenJ, I sure hope the Woodford is the rye they were using for Rittenhouse and not the ryes they released a few years ago as part of the Master's Collection.

Justin said...

Very interesting about the woodford rye. Price will determine if I give it a try. The master collection release some years back was horrible stuff and criminally overpriced.

EllenJ said...

@sku "EllenJ, I sure hope the Woodford is the rye they were using for Rittenhouse..."

I haven't had a chance to try the Bernheim-distilled Rittenhouse yet, but I understand the flavor profile is quite different from the Shively distillery's version we're familiar with. Neither better nor worse, just quite different, such that those of us who enjoy the BF-distilled Rittenhouse should pick up current stock before it's all replaced.

Of course, from MY perspective the thing to do then is to follow up with a bottle of the new Bernheim-distilled Rittenhouse and another of the Woodford rye when it becomes available. Then line 'em up and taste 'em.

But that's just me.

Matthew said...

Thanks for the support. While we do distill and fill 20+ barrels of our own whiskey each month, we wanted to put this out until ours is aged to perfection. Decided to "go rogue" and do it the right way. ;)