First, MikeV: THANK YOU!! It's so good to know you still value our friendship.
As a wrote you privately, I wasn't really "insulted"; I was deeply hurt. And then when you didn't post anything and didn't answer my e-mails I felt as though you were casting aside all those years. I didn't know about your difficulty in maintaining an internet presence and I'm glad (and honored) that you've addressed this so quickly after acquiring a new computer. I'm certain that your time to sit around and e-chat has also diminished logrithmically since the book has been released (and OF COURSE I own a copy. Pre-ordered it from Amazon the minute they listed it). Sorry you won't be with us in June, but you can count on a visit from Me 'n the Goddess someday between now and then. Dinner at Bourbons Bistro. On a weekday evening, of course.
Now, as for Gary and the original topic...
gillmang wrote:...essentially he created something different than the core product associated with that renowned distillery when it was independent and until 1992.
The core product was Old Fitzgerald Prime, which varied in age at times I believe from 4-7 years old and came in different proofs... They never bore the standard for Stitzel-Weller. The Prime and to be sure the standard BIB, did.
Actually, what was most renowned about Stitzel-Weller came to an end in 1972, when the Van Winkle family heirs sold it. It really wasn't the same since Pappy himself passed away in 1965. Julian II did the best he could, I'm sure, including marketing new brands like Prime, but and by the time Norton-Simon took over the brand (and the distillery itself) it was nowhere near what it had been. And especially after Guiness/U.D./Diageo got finished with it. So-called Stitzel-Weller bourbon from the early '70s to the early '90s was not as far off as the current version, but it was certainly not the same stuff.
...Indeed, very old whiskey was disdained by some knowledgeable people. Charlie Thomasson, a long time distiller at Willett, wrote ... that old whiskey, which he defined as between 8 and 20 years, would go down smoothly but left a "punky" (off) aftertaste due to barrel deterioration caused by loss of tannins to the whiskey over the extended aging period.
Heh,heh. Yup! Charlie may have used the term "punky", and you & I'd say "barrel-ly" or "over-oaked", but Even Kulsveen turned the bourbon-marketing world on it's ear (mostly in Japan, but that was plenty good enough then) by selling brand after brand of that exact same kind of whiskey! And today? No one takes 4 to 7 year old whiskey seriously anymore, do we? (Yes, that's exaggerated, but you get my point).
...Does anyone here have a bottle of VVOF 15 and Pappy 15? Or a bottle of S-W-era Weller 19 years old - I think that was the name of the circa-1970 S-W 19 year old bourbon mentioned recently on SB - and a Pappy 20? Even a VVOF 12 vs. a Lot B will do...
Well, (as you know) I have current (BT) Pappy 20-year-old. And also RVW Lawrenceburg 20. And also RVW Lawrenceburg GREEN BOTTLE 20, and they're all very different. I have Lot B from L'Burg, which will knock your socks off, and also from Frankfort, which is quite tasty. I would LOVE to taste a side-by-side of VVOF 15 and Pappy 15, if the VVOF was from before 1965. But Pappy 15 -- which has changed since Julian came to Buffalo Trace -- holds the honor, in my experience, of being the only really fine bourbon I know that has IMPROVED with the changes of time.
I don't know why.
Anyway, that's all I want to say from this opinionated and stubborn old f@#t to two of his best (and equally S & O) YOUNGER f@#t friends.
Gary, can't wait 'til summer.
Mike, betcha I see you before then.