Beam’s 1795 – Trendy Isn’t Always Cool

In Banter by Patrick "Pops" Garrett5 Comments

1792 Ridgemont Reserve vs Jim Beam 1795 Bottle

Yesterday I read on Chuck Cowdery’s blog about the controversy brewing over the similarities between Jim Beam’s 1795 limited edition bottle and the familiar 1792 Ridgemont Reserve bottle. Chuck provides all the important details  and addresses whether or not this is a case of out-right copyright infringement. I’ll let his article take the lead on that issue.

What I wanted to point out and get folks thoughts on is that no one appears to be complaining about the fact that Jim Beam elected to only offer this bottle overseas (I know several brands due this already) and that their charging a staggering $178 for an eight-year old bourbon. I like a cool looking bottle as much as the next person but there’s no way it’s worth the premium they’ve put on this bottle.

Sure. I understand that the law of supply and demand drives a brand’s ability to price something.  And I realize that it gets compounded in foreign markets where supply is extremely limited but come on folks, this is crazy.

I’ve touched on it before when I polled people about barrel-strength bourbon and I’ll say it again. I hope that bourbon distillers don’t lose sight of those who have been faithful drinkers over the years before bourbon became trendy. Give us something that reminds us that we still matter and that chasing trends won’t be taking up all of your product development efforts. You’ll not only be rewarded now but in the future when bourbon is no longer the apple of the drinking public’s eye.


About the Author

Patrick "Pops" Garrett

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Patrick Garrett, "Pops" as he's known to his friends, is the founder of Bourbon & Banter, LLC and claims the title of Chief Drinking Officer (CDO). A long-time marketing professional and photographer, Pops hopes to use his professional experience and love of Bourbon to spread the Bourbon Gospel and help everyone realize the therapeutic power of having a good drink with friends. Read Patrick's full profile.


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    Agreed. I also notice that Blanton’s has three other bourbons available over seas only. Makes no sense to me…and slaps in the face of the true American bourbon drinker.

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    As a guy who maintains a backlit bourbon display in his office, I’ll admit I like the good looking bottles, but the 1795 looks like either the young Forrest Gump’s leg braces something out of that crappy Wild West movie with Kenneth Branagh and Will Smith. To be honest, I’ve found most of the Jim Beam spirits to be underwhelming. On the other hand, I would marry a bottle of Four Roses single barrel if the laws of Texas allowed it.

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    While I appreciate a striking bottle design, that (obviously) should not be the focus. I hate to think of bourbon as “trendy”; I don’t mind it being popular, but the sentimentalist in me feels bourbon provides a connection to America’s past and should be kept straightforward. Not stagnant, mind you…I love all the experimentation that Buffalo Trace does and am dying to get my hands on the ocean-aged Jefferson’s, but those are all done in the spirit of making a better bourbon. Not strictly to expand sales to new markets (ie, cherry/honey/etc “whiskeys”)

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    Ah, the “faithful” bourbon drinker. The one that complains when prices go up. The one that loves bourbon… at $20 a bottle. The ones that buy more Jim Beam White than any other bourbon. Like it or not, it only makes sense to sell their product where they are going to get the most for it.

    As for what this particular bourbon costs… well, it isn’t intended for this market, and it isn’t priced for it.

    I’m sure there are people in Scotland and Ireland that raise an eyebrow on what Americans pay for some Scotches and/or Irish Whiskies. These companies are going to grab every penny they can now, because they know it isn’t going to last forever, and are going to take full advantage now while they can.

    What a whiskey is “worth” is whatever somebody is willing to pay for it. I am WILLING to pay $84 for a bottle of Pappy, others are more than willing to shell out $200 for the same bottle on eBay. To me, that is INSANE… to others, it is just the cost.

    This is also apparently on a 200 bottle run… making it more “rare” right off the bat, and thus inflating the price. By the time Sazerac can bother to sue them, the bottles will probably already be sold.

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