I am a little curious about one point unique to Devil's Cut; that is, of course, assuming that the premise is true and not just marketing hype the way "moonshine" has become lately. If most, or at least a substantial portion, of the whiskey in the bottle is reclaimed from dumped "barrelage" (is that a word? I guess it is now), then the taxes for that whiskey have already been paid and passed into the price of their regular products.
Remember that the whiskey is taxed by the barrel, not by the contents-at-dumping. For example, a 53 gallon barrel of 130-proof whiskey "contains" about 34½ “proof gallons” of alcohol, at least as far as Uncle Sam is concerned. The fact that a goodly portion of those 53 gallons aren’t there anymore is what is meant by “the angel’s share”. But the taxes have been paid on them just the same; that cost is simply factored into the price the distiller charges on the finished cases. The same holds true for whiskey that remains in the barrel after dumping (and that can be quite a bit, especially with modern high-speed processes). That’s the basis for the play on words – if “lost whiskey” during aging is the “angels’ share”, then lost whiskey at the dumping stage might be thought of as the opposite, or “devil’s cut”. Either way, the cost of the taxes (which is a major factor in the cost of the product) have already been charged out to White Label, Black Label, Knob Creek, Booker’s, Old Grand Dad, etc. and the production cost of “Devil’s Cut” is likely to be less than half that of regular 4-year-old Beam product. And then, on top of that, you get to charge a premium because this bourbon is “special”? WHAT A DEAL!!! Sheesh! I wonder why no one else ever thought of doing that before.
Maybe they have…
I can think of several old iconic standards that have been hailed as “classics” that might actually cost less per case to bottle (due to the fact that the federal taxes were already paid and factored into the price of the original whiskey years ago) than that whiskey did when it was new. Now, consider that most of those thousands of bourbon barrels sent to Scotland and Jamaica, etc. are sent in broken-down form (i.e., barrelheads and stacks of slats), and you realize that gathering (and tanking) of those last couple gallons per barrel has been going on for a long time. It’s probably nothing new at all, except that Beam’s marketing wizards (Fred Noe? That wouldn't surprise me; that’s his training and background and he’s shown himself to be one of the best at it) have chosen to promote it as an individual premium product in its own right instead of simply using it to reduce the cost of existing brands.