An interesting haul

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Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:36 pm

Linn,
You could still get bourbon in the barrel up to prohibition, but it was really the Bottled-in-Bond Act that sealed the fate of barrel purchases. There was no real guarentee of quality when buying from the barrel, unless you bought the whole barrel yourself.

Glass bottles were a way to insure quality of the product. First Old Forrester and then others following suit. James E Pepper added a strip stamp with his signature to help insure his bottles were what the consumer wanted and not tampered with prior to purchase. He then took out advertisements stating that if the stamp was torn, don't purchase the bottle because someone may have replaced the real Pepper whiskey for something inferior. Prohibition made bottled whiskey manditory and then in only approved bottle sizes.

Mike Veach
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"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:06 pm

Today was a very interesting day of pre-processing the collection. I started going back in time with a bundle of papers I was sorting. The first was a letter to the trade stating that on 1 Jan. 1910 Old Taylor would have a yellow label instead of a white label to help set it apart in appearence from other bottles. Then there was a 1901 open letter to the trade discussing Duffy's Malt Whiskey where on the first page Taylor calls Mr. Duffy a Jackass and then eloquently gets nasty about the man. Evidently Duffy was tied with Stagg and using Taylor's name because of the period before 1885 when Taylor's name was on the company that produced OFC. He said the Carlisle distillery made cheap cologne spirit and OFC was making cheap whiskey and he wanted no part of either.

I found a advertising pamphlet from one of Taylor's competitor about how to make Toddy's and Mint Juleps (don't bruise the mint because you only want the aroma, not the taste of mint in your julep) with a letter from the company owner saying if Taylor wanted to use it as advertising he could do so and simply subsitute "Old Taylor" for his brand name because he always considered Old Taylor" a whiskey of great quality with none better except his own of course.

In an 1895 contract / legel settlement Taylor agrees to make whiskey for S C Herbst in return for having paid some debts for Taylor. The whiskey is to be made to the recipe provided by Herbst and to barreled as Jno. E. Fitzgerald bourbon and rye. Unfortunately the recipe was not part of the contract or I might have been able to answer the question "was Fitzgerald a wheated bourbon before prohibition?"

Finally I found Taylors copy of his letter of resignation from 1885 to George T Stagg where he states that after the threats from Mr. Gregory, he wants to completely seperate himself and his name from the company.

It was a very interesting day.

Mike Veach
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"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Unread postby Mike » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:27 pm

I can almost see those old fellows looking over your shoulder, still muttering at and about each other.

Thanks for bringing it all back to life!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:38 am

Mike,
An archivist is the only profession I know where you become friends with people who died 100 years ago! Taylor really did not like Stagg and from Stagg's letters I have read I can see why. The ironic thing is that in his day Stagg would have made Early Times, not Geo.T Stagg! He was all about the bottom line and a quick buck! Make it cheap and sell a lot.

Mike Veach
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Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:26 am

Today I am working on a letter press book from 1871 and Taylor, in his role as a board member for the farmer's Bank, has some whiskey made at the Montgomery Distillery in Mount Sterling, Ky. some barrels of Rye, some barrels of 3/4 rye and some corn whiskey. He says it is made by the "Dayton Plan" and is singled and doubled in copper. I have never heard of the "Dayton plan" before I have hopes that he will clarify.

Mike Veach
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Unread postby gillmang » Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:48 pm

Mike these old terms are interesting, if he explains what Dayton Plan is please let me know. Maybe it's a reference to a process used in Ohio. It might even be a blending concept. Previously I'd heard of the "Maryland process". This was referred to in a cocktails book I've now unfortunately lost track of. It may have been a mingling or blending method. In a booklet I found written in the early 1940's on the history of the Melrose Distillery (a former Baltimore rye distillery and rectification house), it is stated that Melrose Rye Whiskey was made by combining 5 rye whiskeys of different ages and characteristics with a small amount of a blending agent. As expected the book fails to say what that agent was, it probably was a fruit-based extract, maybe a port or other wine, something like that. This may have been the Maryland Process or an example of it. This is where I got the idea (in part) to blend whiskeys. If you took, say, Overholt, Beam rye, Michter's 4 year old, Michter's 10 year old rye and ORVW 13 year old rye and added a little cream sherry I'll bet you'd get close to the Melrose formula. I'm sure Melrose must have bought whiskey in bulk to do this especially in the later years (it closed in the 1950's, Mike knows why, I think Schenley bought it). So no Dr. Ryeinstein jokes guys, mingling and blending have an old honorable pedigree (when practiced at its best - Melrose rye was a top quality product) and maybe the Dayton Process was something similar.

Speaking of blending people here were talking about Grandad 114 - here's a simple mingling: 1 part of that to 2 parts Benchmark Bourbon. This is the post-Seagram Benchmark, made I think at Leestown and not the greatest ever bourbon but the combo really works, the result is far better than each separately IMO, really.

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Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:58 am

Gary,
The whiskey is what we now call straight whiskey. Taylor would have nothing to do with a blend and makes that clear every chance he gets. The "Dayton Plan" must be some type of distilling method. It probably has something to do with the Hayner Distillery which was starting to advertise heavily about that time. I suspect they wanted their whiskey made a certain way and contracted out with other distillers to make it that way.

Mike Veach
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Unread postby bunghole » Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:20 am

And here I thought that the "Dayton Plan" had something to do with GoodYear Tires!

I had a girlfriend like that once. She was a wide oval black sidewall with incredable flexability! She was always a few pounds low, so I'd pump her up! I always enjoyed making pitstops in her stall. :wink:

:arrow: ima 8)
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Unread postby gillmang » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:23 pm

Mike: pretty picky for a guy that didn't drink the stuff!

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Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:44 pm

Taylor drank plenty, just not blended american whiskey. It is interesting because he ordered a keg of Scotch whisky from one of the whiskey houses in New York. He also kept a barrel of OFC for private use. I think his prejudice against American blends had more to do with some of the more unscruplous people blending cheap fire water for a quick profit and they would often try to pass it off as a known brand.

One of my favorite letters is about him expecting 6 women to weekend with him and had a grocer send plenty of steaks and chops with proper side vegtables and wine to last until Sunday morning. I assume they were friends of his wife...


Mike Veach
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"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Unread postby bunghole » Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:19 pm

SIX WOMEN! Now that sounds like a plan to me! Coluld be the Dayton Plan!

Spanky: "Eddi what do you plan to do with all them wimmins?"

Col. Taylor, Jr. : "I plan to take them to Dayton!"

Spanky: "Rubber?"

Col. Taylor, Jr. : "Rubbers, Spanky, rubbers!"

The Dayton Plan Exposed! And Vulcanized too! Don't listen now, but I hear tell they could even whisper in French! OOOh! Lala! Toot Sweet!

" Oh Eddi! You're sooo flexible!"
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Unread postby gillmang » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:32 pm

Now Mr. Bunghole is on a roll here. :)

Mike, I could have sworn that Carson said Taylor was a teetotaller. I'll check.

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Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:48 pm

Gary,
Carson might very well say that, but Carson has been wrong on many things in the past. The family was also saying something along those lines when we picked up the papers, but the evidence is just the opposite. I think this "legend" grew out of prohibition and the stigma be a distiller family.

Mike Veach
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"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Unread postby gillmang » Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:07 am

Mike, thanks. I did look for the Carson but can't find it at present. I believe my recollection is correct but I hear what you are saying and you are seeing "inside evidence." I can understand that people around him at the time might have wanted to promote the idea of a teetotalling executive, it was in tune with the times I guess even in distilling districts.

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Unread postby bourbonv » Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:25 am

Gary,
Unfortunately there was a strong stigma against distilling in the 1920's which caused many records to disappear. I used to think they were destroyed, and no doubt some were, but more and ,ore are showing up that I am getting optimistic that some other great finds are still out there in attics and basements. The Taylor-Hay records were in both some of them were white with mildew and had to be cleaned before they could come near the other records.

Taylor enjoyed good spirits and good cigars. He would order them 4 or 5 hundred at a time from cigar importers in New York. He ordered 100 Partagas Madero (not sure of spelling here) from Park and Tilford as a way to introduce himself to make a sales pitch for OFC. Today I find a letter where he is telling a friend of reading "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith.

Taylor was also a politician serving as Mayor of Frankfort and then state Representative and then State Senator. He worked hard to keep the state capitol in Frankfort when there was a movement to move it to either Louisville or Lexington. and of course he was very involved with Bottled-in-Bond and the whiskey controversy following the Pure Food and Drug act.

Mike Veach
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