Friday, May 1, 2015

New Whiskey Labels: Kilkerran, Forty Creek and More

This week's most interesting new labels from the federal TTB database:

Really old Scotch grain whiskey is still out there. A.D. Rattray cleared a label for a 1964 Girvan single grain whiskey.

A label cleared for a new cask strength expression of Kilkerran Bourbon Wood.

Campari, new owners of the popular Canadian distillery Forty Creek, cleared a label for Forty Creek Three Grain Harmony 2015.

You would think that companies would want to name their whiskeys after things that taste good or at least have positive taste associations, but apparently not always since this week saw label approvals for whiskeys named Hog Fuel and Rabbit Spit.

And in more news of the weird is Preacher's Pardon 8 year old Kentucky bourbon from Frank-Lin who preaches perfection and is ready to pardon you.

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.


Anonymous said...

Aren't the labels required to state where the spirit was distilled? At least the state?

The Hog Fuel only shows state of bottling.

Does the fact that the label appears in the database mean that the label has been approved?

I'm a bit confused by all this.


Anonymous said...

Cask strength Kilkerran--yes!

sku said...

Anon @ 10:25, many of us have argued that the state of distillation should be listed if it is different than the state listed on the bottle's address, but the TTB does not seem to agree with that interpretation. Of course, it's possible that Hog Fuel is distilled in Nevada, in which case they would clearly be in compliance.

And yes, all of the labels listed here have been approved by the TTB.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sku.

From a marketing perspective I don't quite understand why there is no discussion of the distillery, the mashbill, the taste, the aging, or anything else about the spirit. Why is no information on the label considered a good thing?


sku said...

Dan, you'd have to ask the producer, but I don't think Hog Fuel is marketing to a whiskey geek crowd. Still, even lots of well respected brands don't include that kind of information.

Anonymous said...

"You would think that companies would want to name their whiskeys after things that taste good or at least have positive taste associations..."

I think that would be true if you expected repeat purchases. When you have crap to sell and you know the customer is only going to buy one, might as well put a memorable label on it to capture the gag gift market.


Harry said...

portwood beat me to it. I was going to ask, rhetorically of course, "Gee. I wonder which market they are going after?"

OTOH, some of the recent Canadian releases look promising. Perhaps Campari is following Crown Royal's lead, and Forty Creek's reputation, by releasing profiles that deviate from standard "Canadian" whiskey. I'm up for that even if I don't like rabbit spit.

Anonymous said...

It does seem like marketing tilted toward the gag gift crowd, doesn't it?

Of course, Hog Fuel marketers might also be thinking of the Harely Davidson motorcycle whisk(e)y drinking crowd...

Anonymous said...

And, of course, I said the above after I had looked at the label, but hadn't yet scrolled down to the see the graphic of a hog on a motorcycle for the label.

So, yeah... marketing to the Harley crowd, for sure!