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View Full Version : Kentucky Bourbon single maltapalooza



Kalyke
07-04-2010, 06:43 AM
Anyone here have intimate knowledge of the history of Kentucky Bourbon distilleries? I'd like to trace the history of a few brands

Heaven Hill's "Old Ezra"
Buffalo Trace's "Hancock Reserve"
Old Rip Van Winkle's "Pappy Van Winkle"
I also see Buffalo Trace has an "Old Rip Van Winkle" that confuses me
And also Buffalo Trace's "Ancient Age." Also who makes "Old Charter?"

I need to know if these brands were around from at least 1965. In other words have some history behind them. I can't use anything in my story made after 1968. I know they are around now. If anyone is a connoisseur of the single malts, can you give me any distinguishing differences between them? I can't stomach the stuff, but my characters seem to be attracted to them, and seem to know one from the other.

Medievalist
07-04-2010, 06:57 AM
Anyone here have intimate knowledge of the history of Kentucky Bourbon distilleries? I'd like to trace the history of a few brands

Heaven Hill's "Old Ezra"
Buffalo Trace's "Hancock Reserve"
Old Rip Van Winkle's "Pappy Van Winkle"
I also see Buffalo Trace has an "Old Rip Van Winkle" that confuses me
And also Buffalo Trace's "Ancient Age." Also who makes "Old Charter?"

I need to know if these brands were around from at least 1965. In other words have some history behind them. I can't use anything in my story made after 1968. I know they are around now. If anyone is a connoisseur of the single malts, can you give me any distinguishing differences between them? I can't stomach the stuff, but my characters seem to be attracted to them, and seem to know one from the other.

There are lots of good resources for this online. I'd start with Wikipedia, as odd as it sounds. I've written some articles about bourbon.

There are also bourbon fans who know this stuff like nobody's business.

Kalyke
07-04-2010, 07:05 AM
I've been to wiki and to the distillery sites. The info I am finding hard to find is how long the actual brand has been around. Not Heaven Hill, but "Old Ezra." Etc. Has "Old Ezra"been made since 1800? Then Okay, I can use it. If "Old Ezra" was first distilled in 1985, I cannot use it. Also if "Old Ezra" was created as a brand in, say, 1960, then in 1968, it would still be considered a brash young interloper, and many bourbon sippers might have contempt for its new fangled impudence. Etc. See what I am getting at?

StephanieFox
07-04-2010, 08:27 AM
I'm a journalist, not a fiction writer, but here's what I'd do if I had your questions. I'd call them and ask. People, and I'm including corporate people, a very happy to tell you all the wonderful things about themselves. You can ask. They'll answer. Really!

Kalyke
07-04-2010, 08:33 AM
Yes. I will after the holidays. Just thought I could get an "expert" here. But if I can't I will call or e mail them--

Medievalist
07-04-2010, 08:42 AM
This is a decent overview:

http://www.straightbourbon.com/homepage.html?50,256

Notice the Works Cited:

http://www.straightbourbon.com/references.html

MaryMumsy
07-04-2010, 09:03 AM
Although I'm a Jack Daniel's drinker (which is technically not considered bourbon), I have never heard the term "single malt" applied to bourbon. I've only ever heard it in relation to scotch.

MM

Medievalist
07-04-2010, 10:16 AM
Although I'm a Jack Daniel's drinker (which is technically not considered bourbon), I have never heard the term "single malt" applied to bourbon. I've only ever heard it in relation to scotch.

MM

The grain is malted; it has to do with whether or not the booze is blended, really.

There's also the thing that a bunch of distilled grains are referred to as whiskey/whisky.

It's a religious issue . . . like whether Rye or Bourbon is "really" whiskey,.

And let us not mention that . . . other grain.

PeterL
07-04-2010, 05:34 PM
You probably are wasting time by looking for obscure brands, because there are more than enough well know brands that have been made for well over 100 years.In addition, if a brand is worth drinking, then it won't be dropped. Have your character drink Rebel Yell or Early Times, of something like that.

GeorgeK
07-05-2010, 03:42 AM
Talk to the Bardstown Ky chamber of commerce, or tourist information center. They give tours, have pamphletts that they could mail you, etc.

Kalyke
07-05-2010, 07:09 AM
You probably are wasting time by looking for obscure brands, because there are more than enough well know brands that have been made for well over 100 years.In addition, if a brand is worth drinking, then it won't be dropped. Have your character drink Rebel Yell or Early Times, of something like that.

I wanted obscure brands because I want to seem like I am writing about connoisseurs. People who know that Hancock reserve is produced on the 27th floor of the Buffalo trace distillery because the humidity and specific gravity are better there, and that they only produce 27 kegs of the stuff per year, and there is a waiting list to buy it, or something like that. (I just made that up) Sigh, I guess I will read a book on making liquor in Kentucky.

PeterL
07-05-2010, 05:18 PM
I wanted obscure brands because I want to seem like I am writing about connoisseurs. People who know that Hancock reserve is produced on the 27th floor of the Buffalo trace distillery because the humidity and specific gravity are better there, and that they only produce 27 kegs of the stuff per year, and there is a waiting list to buy it, or something like that. (I just made that up) Sigh, I guess I will read a book on making liquor in Kentucky.

Wild Turkey, why mess around?

If there's a really fine Bourbon, then enugh of it will be made to make the producer fairly well off.There may be some distillery that makes a short run of something special every year, but the best varieties that can be bought are produced in fairly large quantities. If fact, for fermenting and agine large quantities are better.You might consider some strange malt mixture.

Medievalist
07-05-2010, 08:27 PM
Wild Turkey, why mess around?.

http://poisonofchoice.com/2009/01/14/makers-mark

mtrenteseau
07-08-2010, 06:44 AM
You probably are wasting time by looking for obscure brands, because there are more than enough well know brands that have been made for well over 100 years.

Yet, in the first season of Mad Men, an obsessively researched series set in the early 60s, Don Draper is seen drinking a beer that hadn't been introduced yet...

When considering American liquor producers, it's important to remember that they were all but shut down from 1919 to 1933, then again during WWII to provide for the war effort.


http://www.heaven-hill.com/aboutheavenhill.html

According to this, Evan Williams was introduced in 1957 by Heaven Hill and became their flagship brand. Someone with an interest in Bourbon would definitely be familiar with it in the late 60s.

Early Times, which I heard mentioned in a story from the 30s, is apparently no longer a true Bourbon by legal definition, except for export.

Maker's Mark was introduced in 1958, complete with the trademark red wax seal with tendrils dripping down the sides.