LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

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LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby Landrum » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:05 pm

Have any of you guys tried this bourbon? If so, what did you think of it? I just saw it for the first time at a liquor store today. I might pick up a bottle on Monday.
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby Squire » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:29 pm

Standard sourced whisky in a fancy bottle. What's the price?
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby Landrum » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:33 pm

$28 for 750 ml bottle.
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby Squire » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:23 pm

Well, let's see, the company has already opened as a tourist stop on the Whisky Trail without having yet fired up a still (the press release announcing the grand opening seemed rather excited that nearby Woodford was getting 100,000 visitors a year) no aging whisky on premises but 2000 or so barrels in a warehouse over at a working distillery, and, oh yes, there will be Bourbon for sale at the gift shop.

So their business plan seems to be promote themselves by selling whisky made by somebody else and bottled under their label. If they start making whisky on their own it should be ready in six years or so but the press release also emphasizes the fine restaurants and historic bed and breakfast(s) nearby so stop in for a visit and stay for awhile to tour the local operating distillerys.

For the price of one bottle of 86 proof, no age statement Lexington Whisky, in the really attractive bottle, I can get two bottles of 7 year old 101 proof Ezra Brooks. Before I plonk down $28.00 Lexington will have to convince me their product is twice as good as the older, higher proof well established brand.
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby Landrum » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:40 pm

The Lexington bottle rather looks like one from Woodford.

I only noticed this bourbon today for the first time at two different shops that I frequent. I've got so many bottles already that I should probably open a few of them before I go chasing after something new.
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby Squire » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:44 pm

Woodford crossed my mind as well, at least stylistically.
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby vince » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:55 am

I have tried it and did not enjoy it at all. Its very young and offers no complexity. You can spend your $28 in better ways IMO.
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby EllenJ » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:25 pm

Squire wrote:...For the price of one bottle of 86 proof, no age statement Lexington Whisky, in the really attractive bottle, I can get two bottles of 7 year old 101 proof Ezra Brooks. Before I plonk down $28.00 Lexington will have to convince me their product is twice as good as the older, higher proof well established brand.

Your choice of which "not-on-everyone's A-list" whiskey to compare Lexington to really rang a bell with me. First of all, are you referring to Town Branch? That's really the only Lexington Distillery brand I'm familiar with, although I know they produce other brands, and that Pearse Lyons, the owner/distiller is very proud of the Irish-style whisky they make. I'm not sure where their bourbon is sourced from, but I would suspect Buffalo Trace. It tastes like rather good Buffalo Trace whiskey to me. And that's what I would have compared it to.

Now, Old Ezra (which I like A LOT) is ALSO bottled by a non-distillery (Luxco, nee David Sherman, in St. Louis, Mo) from stock distilled from another (or perhaps multiple) vendor. But if it were twice the price it is, it would STILL be better-tasting whiskey (to me, at least) than Town Branch. Ezra Brooks was never a distillery-owned brand, BTW; before it's current owners, the brand had been made in Owensboro (probably by Medley), and in Lawrenceburg (KY), I believe at the Hoffman Distillery, which Julian Van Winkle's father later bought and renamed Commonwealth. In fact, the "finest little distillery" shown on the Ezra Brooks label looks very similar to that distillery, or least what was left of it when we visited Julian there before he moved to Buffalo Trace (see http://ellenjaye.com/oldrip.htm).

I just "did some research" on Old Ezra 101 while writing this. My example isn't a particulary ancient one like some of the brands around here. (Old Ez' gets replenished fairly often in our collection, mostly due to "owner-based evaporation", don'tcha know). My guess is that, while the YOUNGEST whiskey in the bottle might be 7 years old, there is some much older whiskey in there. Maybe a LOT older. And it might not all be Heaven Hill whiskey, either; remember that Luxco buys whiskey from several sources, and I'm sure I can taste some strong Glenmore/Barton notes in there, too. David Sherman was Charles Medley's bottler for his Wathen's bourbon before the brand ended up with Frank-Lin in San Jose, CA. The flavor-profile similarity with Wathen's seems pretty obvious to me. Anyway, I just thought I'd second your praise of Old Ezra, especially since someone is bound to give you grief for drinking it :roll:
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby gillmang » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:41 pm

John, I must disagree with you and the Squire as to the merits of the current Ezra Brooks 101 7 years old. I find it corny and young, disappointing. True, it comes at a reasonable price, but that would be its main merit, IMO.

According to this chronology by Mike Veach:

http://www.bourbonenthusiast.com/forum/ ... =17&t=1702

the brand was, if I read him right, developed in the late 1950's by 21 Brands Inc., a subsidiary of Publicker Industries of Philadelphia, PA, and later acquired by Medley in Owensboro. So it was a distillery brand originally surely.

I should add, that in the late 80's when I first bought the brand, it was great: heavy-bodied, well-aged, classic rich old American bourbon. And the 12 and formerly 15 year old versions sold by the current owner are excellent, similar to the brand as I remember it then. But the 7 year old 101 seems quite different to me.

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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby Mike » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:25 pm

I just had to take out me bottle of Old Ezra 101 7 YO and see fer meself what this is about. For $12.99, I think it is quite respectable. I put in a dribble of water and that rounded that one edge nicely. It is, as you say, Gary, very corny......... but then so am I (and to his great credit, so is John..........).
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby EllenJ » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:43 pm

gillmang wrote:John, I must disagree with you and the Squire as to the merits of the current Ezra Brooks 101 7 years old. I find it corny and young, disappointing. True, it comes at a reasonable price, but that would be its main merit, IMO.
According to [the] chronology by Mike Veach [...]the brand was, if I read him right, developed in the late 1950's by 21 Brands Inc., a subsidiary of Publicker Industries of Philadelphia, PA, and later acquired by Medley in Owensboro. So it was a distillery brand originally surely.
I should add, that in the late 80's when I first bought the brand, it was great: heavy-bodied, well-aged, classic rich old American bourbon. And the 12 and formerly 15 year old versions sold by the current owner are excellent, similar to the brand as I remember it then. But the 7 year old 101 seems quite different to me.

Well Gary, the one I'm drinking now is probably 2 years old (that is, purchased 2 years ago) and it might be different from yours. And then, of course, our personal preferences differ a bit -- for example some of my favorite bourbons are ones that you (and my wife, by the way) think are way over-aged. So what I think is "great" might not correspond to your evaluation (and of course that's what makes comparing our views so much fun).

On the other hand, you emphasize my point by bringing up Ezra Brooks' beginnings with 21 Brands, which was another non-distillery bottler of spirits. I'm not sure what their relationship with Publicker was (HELLO! Dave Z! Can you help us out here?), but Publicker was itself a distillery with its own brands. I would imagine that they were the source distillery for 21 Brands' version of Ezra Brooks, just as Heaven Hill or Buffalo Trace are today for brands such as Town Branch. It adds to the list, but reinforces what I said before.

As to the 12-, and especially the 15-year (R.I.P.), versions (branded "Ezra B"), they have always been at the top of my "favorite bourbons ever" list, but seemed overkill to bring up in the current conversation about comparing with Town Branch. :)
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby gillmang » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:26 pm

John, viz. the taste, of course, I was just giving my own taste experience, as I mentioned. My tastings were of stock purchased very recently.

In Mike Veach's chronology, the 1959 entry states that 21 Brands Inc. had a distillery in Frankfort, KY, later sold with the brand. I took it from this Ezra Brooks originated in that distillery, which, even if owned by Publicker at the time, would not mean it is not a distillery brand. Would this not be similar to VOB being a distillery brand when Constellation Brands of New York owned what is now Tom Moore Distillery?

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Last edited by gillmang on Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby gauze » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:41 pm

I have seen this at 2 stores this week too, if I didn't pop on a bottle of Fighting Cock this, at $22 750ml, was in the running. Young and not complex isn't what I am looking for in an over $20 bottle, thanks guys. (sorry to break up the history of EB talk)
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby Squire » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:44 pm

Yes John, you're correct, Town Branch. I chose Ezra Brooks because it is also a sourced whisky and my point being sourcing in and of itself is not a negative so long as the whisky is good and the price/value is right.

We started drinking Ezra in the late 1960s when it appeared in our area. We viewed it as a Jack Daniels knock off with a reversed label (black lettering on a white background) which it was at 7 years and 90 proof. Costs a lot less though, and compared favorably with it's shelf companions Forester, Taylor, Grand Dad, etc. Print adds of the day identified it as a Medley product originating from Owensboro. Don't remember when the cute little distillery depiction showed up on the label but I remember seeing it and thinking it a bit implausible.

It's still good today. Like the old bachelor Uncle the family doesn't want to hold up to the kids as a shining example but everybody agrees he's good company.
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Re: LEXINGTON BOURBON WHISKEY

Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:24 am

Talking about Ezra Brooks, I remember in the 70's, I used to drink Ezra Brooks 15 y/o "sippin' whiskey". It is, to this day, one of the finest bourbons I ever drank. I remember it was about 15 bucks a bottle and came in a wooden box with leather hinges. And, yes, it was Medley whiskey. I sure wish I could buy that stuff today.
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