That sounds exactly right.
I know that in the first year or two after Repeal, several companies did special bottlings of pre-Prohibition and, therefore, well-aged whiskey which they issued as dividends to stockholders. Is there anything on the bottle labeling to suggest it was something like that, a special bottling for stock holders?
I have somewhere the number of barrels BF still had in warehouses at the point of repeal. It wasn't much, something like 5,000 to 6,000 barrels.
It's just hard to figure why 1938? Is it possible that, with so much to do, nobody got around to tasting it until 1938 and only then discovered how good it was?
You are absolutely right about the medicinal whiskey, which is why I'm never very excited about tasting it, because it's usually over-wooded crap. The reason was because many barrels got over-handled, moved from warehouse to warehouse, without anybody paying much attention to it or to how it was aging. At Brown-Forman, it probably never moved, or perhaps was transferred once from St. Mary to Louisville when the consolidation warehouse system was put in place. The Brown-Forman people also probably put what barrels they had in the coolest parts of the warehouses to deliberately retard their aging, which probably was done with very little of the other pre-pro whiskey that was still in wood in 1933. That makes that bottle even more rare: a 22-year-old whiskey, distilled pre-Prohibition, that is actually tasty.
My tasting notes, by the way, are here