Conecuh Ridge - Will anybody miss it?

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Conecuh Ridge - Will anybody miss it?

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:45 pm

With the posting about Kenny May's new legal problems, I would say that the brand will either die or at the least pass to new management. If the brand dies, will anybody miss it?

I find the brand to be too sweet and I am convinced that the "secret recipe" involves Mrs. Buttersworth syrup. I have not tried this yet, but I think that if you take some Mellow Corn Bottled in Bond and add a few drops of Mrs. Buttersworth to it, the flavor would be the same.

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Re: Conecuh Ridge - Will anybody miss it?

Unread postby TNbourbon » Thu Dec 16, 2004 2:28 pm

bourbonv wrote:...will anybody miss it?


Can't miss what you've never had, and I've never even seen a bottle in these parts.
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Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:09 pm

I hear you. I got my bottle because we had an intern here last summer from Alabama. when she went home for the 4th of July, she brought me back a bottle. It is a nice package but not worth the over $30.00 I paid for it. Still I don't mind buying a bottle because, I like to see new distilling companies formed. It leaves me some hope that we might get some more interesting products on the market. My fear has always been that as the companies get bigger, the accountants will insist upon the product being made as cheap as possible, and the products will all taste the same.
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Unread postby Chris » Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:51 pm

I think that it is a pretty good product.. I find i drink it at times that i wouldnt feel like having bourbon.. It reminds me of the michter's american whiskey but with more sweetness.. I definitely like to be able to have a variety of stuff available, even if most of them are not what you would want as daily pours..
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Unread postby Mark » Thu Dec 16, 2004 4:18 pm

Chris wrote:I think that it is a pretty good product.. I find i drink it at times that i wouldnt feel like having bourbon.. It reminds me of the michter's american whiskey but with more sweetness.. I definitely like to be able to have a variety of stuff available, even if most of them are not what you would want as daily pours..



I'm with you Chris... I remember when we tried the Michter's US1 American WHiskey along side the Conecuh Ridge we both agreed that the Conecuh had that extra little something. Not to say the Michters was bad, it was not, but the conecuh was a little sweeter, a little thicker etc. Seeing as how I like variety and different things in the marketplace I' will not necessarily 'miss' it but its a shame having yet one more choice may be gone...
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Unread postby Strayed » Fri Dec 24, 2004 7:34 am

No too long ago some folks at our house were making the exact same comments about US*1 and Conecuh Ridge. With pretty much the same conclusion; that is, neither should be considered a substitute for bourbon, but the flavor is pleasant and Conecuh expresses it better than the Michter product.

When C.R. first came out I thought it was unique to old Clyde May's way of making whiskey. But when I tried US*1 I began to wonder whether that maple flavor might have been more familiar in American whiskey than we've imagined. Prior to the Taylor/Carlisle "charred new barrel" definition of straight whiskey it wasn't unusual to let the new make soak with toasted wood chips (still done by many non-commercial distillers), and sugar maple's even more common an American wood than oak. And carmelized maple sap adds a sweetness to the liquor that takes the hog tracks out of it, to borrow a phrase used by the Jack Daniel folks.

And maybe that's what was unique about Tennessee's Lincoln Process: Eaton (credited with being the inventor of the process) may have simply taken the charred-barrel idea from the bourbon makers and applied it to an already-existing process by replacing the tank full of toasted maple chips with maple charcoal. The benefit would be to add filtration and smoothening (and remove the maple-syrup taste for a more "bourbon-like" flavor).

Of course it might also be that the similarities are only the result of common origin. Both are marketed by bottlers who purchase whiskey distilled in Bardstown, and it could easily be the same whiskey. Perhaps the Michter's folks are just using up some of what had originally been intended for the Mays?

Anyway, I'm sorry to see Conecuh Ridge go down. It was a good-tasting drink, for times when you'd serve Wild Turkey Honey Liqueur (or Drambuie). And it was supposed to have given Linda & I an excuse to visit Evergreen Alabama again eventually.
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Unread postby tlsmothers » Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:21 pm

I was sure shocked to even see these guys at WhiskeyFest. I emailed them afterward and got no response. I kinda hate to see it go. I, like Mark said, thought it sweeter and thicker than Michter's American, which I like, as well. Good to have variety and being from Alabama, I was sure hoping to get the chance to sell it here at the store. Guess I better get on the horn and start asking friends to grab some up for me down South.
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Unread postby jbohan » Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:54 pm

The worst part of all this is that the state of Alabama has now been emberassed twice. Once when they made this the official state whiskey and again when they removed that appelation from the product.

Doesn't it bother anybody that is sorry to see this go that there was no distillery, no ageing , none of the process at all being done in Alabama ? This was nothing more than a private label transaction and nomrally private label goods don't command a premium price. For $30 give me Blanton's, not some product of unknown origin.
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Unread postby Strayed » Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:34 pm

Well, I have to agree with you. A similar, but more legitimate situation would be Pritchard's in Tennessee. Their whiskey, too, is made under contract in Kentucky and then processed (in their case, rebarreled and aged) in Tennessee. But Pritchard's is a known and accepted distiller of rum (they make a REALLY good rum) and if the whiskey proves successful I believe they intend to distill Tennessee bourbon.

OTOH, I really LIKE Conecuh Ridge. Of course, I think of it as a novelty spirit. I think of Old Potrero as a novelty spirit, too, as I do Copper Fox, Georgia Moon, and most of the old pre-Prohibition samples in our collection. I believe there is a historic truth in Conecuh Ridge; I think Clyde May's whiskey may have really tasted a lot like that, and I think others' did, too. Doctor Crow's recipe, bearing Col. Taylor's and Secretary Carlisle's approval, may have been the one that survived, but there must have been many types of whiskey in general useage. I have little doubt that, in a land covered with sugar maple trees, that flavor might have worked its way into the spirit.

Who knows? Maybe the Bourbon folks went after the Cognac drinkers and other distillers went after the New England-style (i.e. maple) rum drinkers? I do think that maple once played a bigger part in the American whiskey world than we realize... and there's nearly nothing of left of it to show.
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