As a MM enthusiast, do you think the MM of decades ago is substantially better than that of today?
My biggest issues with MM are:
1) Price, in that for what MM offers MY palate, $20-25 is on the steep side as an "every day pour." However, I could say that about any number of whiskies in that price range or higher, not just MM.
2) The marketing - not because of its "premium" positioning, but because it has at times strayed from fallacy of logic and embellishment (common to most marketing of most products) into the realm of probable falsehood. I'm thinking specifically of the Bill Samuels Jr. autobiography as I write that. Even more specifically, I'm thinking about the bread baking wheat recipe discovery story, so I'm probably guilty of generalizing AND parroting the assertions of experts, self-appointed or not.
And, as recently discussed on this site, the origins of Bulleit as marketed are a bit dubious, and I'm sure that JD has asserted plenty of "mythology" over the years that was created in the marketing department to a great extent. If you judge one, you have to judge them all by the same yardstick, and I'm probably guilty of forgetting that, too.
A couple of issues ago, Chuck's Bourbon Country Reader included some MM tasting notes. Prompted by these, I went back and did my own MM tasting and realized that it's better than the credit I had been giving it. NOT great, but pretty good, at least to me. As Chuck has more eloquently stated in different context, the taste of the whiskey is what matters most.
I doubt MM will ever be an everyday pour for us. All of that said, over the last eleven years, I bet there's been an open bottle of MM on our bar about 80% of the time, so either the marketing or the taste must have been working on us regardless!