Blog: A Kentucky whiskey that's not a Bourbon? Only in America...
Andy Morton | 20 March 2014
Diageo and Brown-Forman have been at loggerheads the past week over what is best for the Tennessee whiskey category. (For a full run down of the unseemly, yet wholly enjoyable, affair, read just-drinks' managing editor's take here).
What spiked my interest, though, was Brown-Forman revealing how it handles its Early Times whiskey brand across its markets.
Now this is complicated, so please bear with me.
Diageo had claimed to be “defending the honour” of the rival Early Times because it is aged in used casks, something which Brown-Forman had previously said was a mark of inferior quality in the Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey categories.
But, in an interview with just-drinks, a Brown-Forman spokesperson said Early Times, despite being made in Kentucky, is not actually a Bourbon. Well, not in the US at least. The version of Early Times that is produced for its domestic market is aged in used casks and, hence, is known as an American whiskey. However, for its other major market, Japan, it is aged in new casks, and IS a Bourbon.
Still with me?
Any suggestion that Early Times is a Bourbon is, as the spokesperson made clear, erroneous. Unless you are in Japan: Then it's most definitely a Bourbon.
Talk about joined-up marketing.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Spencerfield Spirit Co has added another flavour to its Edinburgh Gin liqueur range....
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Heineken to stay "active player" in beer M&A - CFO
- Focus - Pernod Ricard's Q1 sales by brand
- Time for Heineken to make a European break
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Whisky downturn slows Diageo's Scotch spend
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- Pernod Ricard sees sales lift in Q1