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Don’t Believe Everything You Read On Bourbon Bottles

on 08/08/14 at 10:42 am


bourbonglass20If you follow the bourbon industry closely, you’re familiar with the debate over the concept of contract products.

Bourbon takes a while to make. Many distillers let it age for four to seven years before they’ll sell it. Some age it even longer.

So how can a start-up company invest tens of thousands of dollars to build a distillery, hire the staff to make bourbon, buy expensive barrels to age it and then wait four to seven years to actually sell something and make a profit?

For many younger bourbon brand, the answer has been contracting.

They get a larger distiller to make the bourbon, then bottle and sell it under their label. The debate is about whether that’s an honest business practice.

Last week, a panel discussion at the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, featuring some Kentucky and Tennessee distillers, touched on this topic quite a bit.