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I hereby declare de holidays be on

How much is a bottle of Jack where you are? I picked up one for £15 today — about $22.50 — which is pretty good for here. That’s 70cl. A fifth is about 75 cl. Do they still sell liquor by the fifth in the US or have they given in to international peer pressure?

I grew up about an hour from where they distill Jack and it’s always a taste of home. My favorite was green label, which was almost impossible to find outside Tennessee. When the distillery guys tasted a year’s batch, the stuff that wasn’t up to snuff got sold off in a bottle identical to Jack Black, but in dark green. It was harsh as shit, but cheap and plentiful and I loved it. The folks back home tell me they don’t sell it any more.

Boo. I wonder where it goes now.

Anyway, I think this is the first time I’ve bought a bottle of Jack in the UK. There are so many fantastic whiskies on offer, as you might imagine, it didn’t seem terribly pointful. But, here goes — let the Crimbo festivities begin!


Comment from Pupster
Time: December 17, 2013, 12:23 am

Don’t know if you’ve seen this, Stoaty:


I dunno, I like ’em both.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 17, 2013, 12:35 am

I had not seen that, Pups. How very interesting.

I have tried tons of different liquors since I’ve been here and, for my money, the best of the brown spirits is still Glenmorangie.

Comment from Brother Cavil and his Flying Toaster Circus
Time: December 17, 2013, 12:35 am

Famous folk dropped like flies this weekend…you’re telling me nobody got the pool yet?!?

Comment from Brother Cavil and his Flying Toaster Circus
Time: December 17, 2013, 12:42 am

Well, someone had Fontaine, I stand corrected…

Comment from thefritz
Time: December 17, 2013, 12:49 am

not to be a nudge but Joan Fontaine passed yesterday and Ray Price ‘officially’ passed today. (rumors of his demise were circulated Sunday erroneously by a family member not authorized to speak for the family…)
Of course I picked Joan’s estranged sister Olivia De Haviland in the pool. Right DNA, wrong name…oh well, dick #4 shall wait…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 17, 2013, 12:53 am

I did not see that. Dissent555 takes the dick, then. I shall post accordingly.

Thenk yew.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: December 17, 2013, 12:55 am

Do you mix it with genuine Mexican coke? You know, the stuff made with real sugar rather than corn syrup. Its unbelievable the difference it makes.

Comment from Jeff Gauch
Time: December 17, 2013, 1:00 am

Where does it go? Fireball.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 17, 2013, 1:01 am

Mercifully, all leaded Coke has real sugar here. We’re still fighting the ‘glass’ vs. ‘can’ wars (and, of course, glass wins – just as a stupid price premium).

Me? Whisky? Sadly, badger’s favourite tipple is (hideously expensive) cognac.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: December 17, 2013, 1:13 am

I have a bottle of Jack that I won in a raffle back in 1993…it’s still sitting on a shelf here.

Glenmorangie is my current favourite…Cragganmore is good too, but quite expensive.

Comment from PatAZ
Time: December 17, 2013, 1:21 am

Not Ray Price. That makes me sad. Ain’t it funny, how time slips away.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: December 17, 2013, 2:00 am

The local liquors are cheap as dirt ($1-2 per litre) but taste like it, too. All cane sugar alcohol based, then flavored to be gin, tequila, etc. It all tastes like paint thinner to me.

Imported liquors are very expensive. I think JD sells for close to $40/fifth. Absolute is $50-60. *sigh*

They have Gilbeys here, however, for only 2-3X the local stuff. When I decide to treat myself, I’ll have a “Bee’s Knees” (Gilbeys, tonic water, lemon and honey).

My favorite is Absolute. Never was a whiskey or bourbon man. The bottles whisper to me at the store, but I have successfully managed to ignore them – mainly due to the fact that I’m a cheap bastard.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: December 17, 2013, 2:52 am

I don’t know. I buy Scotch.

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: December 17, 2013, 3:52 am

The year was 1996… Hot off the boat ‘furner with impeccable paperwork and nary a worry in the world lands in Apelanta.
Gets himself a cruise he drooled at growing up paying in crisp sequentially numbered C-notes.
Undaunted by tropical heat, fire ants, heat strokes and the peculiarities of indigenous personnel more befitting Lesotho or Moçambique, he embarks on the pilgrimage to Tupelo, MI, and then Memphis, TN.
Much fun was had, this was back when Memphis was not a total desolate burned out hulk it was when I went back in 2011.
Heading E on I-40, the billboards beckon… Lynchburg, Tn, pop. 364… Not much of a bourbon imbiber and a 9th degree black belt in pure crystalline frozen vodka, the steering wheel was yanked to the R. What follows is a snip from the original diary.
I know that traveling light is good, but there is no point in renouncing traveling with style.
All of a sudden when I was sunken in the meditation I saw the billboard about Lynchburg, TN Jack Daniel’s distillery. The decision was made on the spot.
Again on the rural highway. Black furry bulls, quietly chewing up some weeds. Bees alerts along the road. Full bucolic paradise. After some 40 miles, Lynchburg, here I am. The distillery is AWESOME. The time has stopped there like it was a lump of amber with a little gnat inside.
I made it through the gate as the very last guest as they wuz closins for the day.
All is made in an old wood. The people are very friendly to be from Lynchburg, pop. now 600. Our guide, Dusty (Dhustey) had a characteristically swollen face with some purple blots on the top of his cheeks. He must be a very committed employee of JD’s. He showed us around with a lot of dedication. The whisky aging warehouses are the coolest places to be. Very cool atmosphere and the unmistakable scent of… well, oak wood? Everything (well, almost) is done manually. Nobody is in a hurry.
I’ve seen the cave with the spring, huge vats with mash and finally, the distillery where the fresh whisky spurts from the copper pipe. The machinery is set at 140 proof liquor, and while I was putting my nose to the glass, Dhustey said, wanna some? And before I could answer, he lifted the glass!! And I had full 2 hands filled with a hot whiskey! I smelled it and let me tell you, that is a powerful decongestant.
Next we went to the room where the whisky oozes down for 4 days through 14-foot cylinders willed with ground maple charcoal. Only after that they put it to the barrels and to the aging warehouses.
Dusty lifted up the heavy oak cover of one of the vats and while some guys (yours truly included) kept their faces close he fanned some fumes right off the top!!! That was, er, interesting.
Next we went to the original office of Mr. Jack. It was so interesting to see the old books and tools of work of people who long ago passed away. We could also see the 2 original fire-brigade vehicles – one from 1908 and one from 1928. Is it a stretch to say that Americans used to make much better automobiles then than they do now? Hello, Detroit?
At the end of the trip we were given an awesome fresh lemonade and they were closing the plant for the day. I was so fortunate to get on the last tour. I drove to the Lynchburg downtown, which is just a Town hall square surrounded by the old stores and boutiques. What a charming place to be. It has old artifacts from the era of Mr. Jack and some freshly made old stuff, but it is a very nice town. Just to rattle some chains back at the school, I have armed myself with the truly Southern graduation regalia, but mum’s the word.
It was time to go. Did I mention that the whole JD experience was for free? Not only that, but a very nice lady gave me the map and shoved the shortcut to Chattanooga. I was fully charmed and I would gladly come back.
On the road again – this time Hwy. 50 E through Tullahooma to Monteagle. Very narrow (I don’t think 3 cars would fit on it) was one of the most gorgeous sights I have seen in the States. The Tennessee from the glamorous postcards. The land of wild hills, crystal-clear creeks with an occasional fly-fisherman. The land of simple people with a hoarse accent who would probably never choose to move anywhere else.

Whew. That was, like, 8 computers ago!!!!

Comment from Sockless Joe
Time: December 17, 2013, 4:07 am

At least in the US, I have found bourbon to be a better VALUE than Scotch. Scotch is ~140% the price of comparable quality bourbon.

Me, I like Knob Creek, Bulleit.

Comment from Deborah
Time: December 17, 2013, 4:11 am

Well I could use a Big Gulp-sized hot toddy, and all I have is gin. Must put whiskey and lemons on the shopping list.

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: December 17, 2013, 4:17 am

Damn booze. Of course Tupelo, MS.

The experience at the distillery was top notch. Most strangely, in the 16 intervening years I have never bought a single JD product.
Went straight to Blanton’s and Pappy Van Winkle 12 and 20.
That’s 120 bones per container. Of the 3, Blanton’s a clear win (around 70 frogskins). Unblended stuff. Nary a sensation of intox… just… you cannot come up with a single instance of bad stuff to have happened, ever. Cannot recall a single instance of physical pain. Can easily recite iambic pentameter, psalms, keyboard shortcuts, lots of lovely memory-intensive stuff not meant to be quoted.

From the brown rocketfuel across the pond, by and large Laphroaig, no 2nd place, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Glenmorangie rounding up the distant rear.

The main ingredient in Laphroaig is peat (possibly including peat bog femurs and tibiae) and turpentine.
I digs.

Macallan is a rip-off, if you have to pay to get it.
If not, re-gift freely.

These days, I merely swapped one bottle for another… a glass one for black plastic… 750 ccm for 8#… Lasts very long, legal to drive with (ILlegal to board with in check-in!!), company is better, views are better, you get tons of cardio with it, large steaks occur frequently and will never EVER lose value.
Current favorites: Re33, Re25, Re22, IMR XBR 8208, VV 540. And I am sure a lot more will do the trick.

What up with Jack Daniel’ S. Weasel?
Nostalgia? Price consciousness? goes well with a banjo? a little bit of all of the above?

Comment from Anonymous
Time: December 17, 2013, 4:21 am

Jack. Neat. Enough said.
There is no better. Period.
Don’t even bother.

A fifth on sale, $17.00 and tax.

Comment from McGyver
Time: December 17, 2013, 4:34 am

They’re sellin the green stuff in stores now, Stoaty. My tastes run towards the Canuck stuff these days – Pendleton. OTOH, the witch and the daughter prefer rum, that Austrian Butterscotch stuff for the girl and the Jamaican Myers tipple for the witch. On the gripping hand, Tullamore Dew (“Give Every Man His Dew”) is the only whiskey if you’re makin REAL Irish Coffee. McGyver, out

Comment from No, _I_ is Anonymous
Time: December 17, 2013, 4:37 am

Jack Burns. Good stuff soothes.

It is a sign of savagery to add anything to the crystal goblet other than a dash of branch water. About a teaspoonful per 3 fat fingers.

Bounders will go for Coca-Cola, the cads won’t remove a band from Cohiba’s, the nuveau-riche will compare items with chavs, etc, etc.

Comment from Pupster
Time: December 17, 2013, 4:38 am


Comment from Anonymous Deux
Time: December 17, 2013, 4:50 am

@ No, _I_ is Anonymous

You need soothing? Drink milk. With a splash of branch

Comment from McGyver
Time: December 17, 2013, 4:51 am

The Witch says this is the best whiskey in montana http://www.rhondaadkinsphotography.com/featured-2/featured/ I’m thinking it could use a few years in an oak barrel. Given that, not too bad

Comment from Wet the Whizzle
Time: December 17, 2013, 5:05 am

“Like a Bowery bum when he finally understands
The bottle’s empty and there’s nothing left…”

in the sale and get rid of aisle, @Anonymous Deux will console itself with a 40oz of Oulde English 800. Probably left unattended near some hooptie Oldsmobile 88.

I cannot believe the riffraff that reaches this once pristine blog.

Comment from dissent555
Time: December 17, 2013, 5:19 am

I’ll take me some fine peaty goodness, over ice, if you please.

Comment from ed
Time: December 17, 2013, 5:40 am

You can buy green label JD on the internet. Even in Merrye Old England.

Comment from mojo
Time: December 17, 2013, 7:49 am

The green Jack is Rye these days, I think. Different green shade, too.

Couldn’t speak to price. I’m a Bourbon man, myself. Beam.

That’s around 21-22 bucks for 750 ml.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: December 17, 2013, 8:22 am

Bourbon was my standard for many a year until somebody gave me a dram of a decent scotch, then that changed on the spot. But I have such a collection in the cabinet that I haven’t bought a bottle of liquor in probably a decade. And at the rate I drink it, it’s not likely I’ll ever need to again.

Comment from Oceania
Time: December 17, 2013, 8:59 am

And a Very Merry Xmas to All!


Comment from jic
Time: December 17, 2013, 12:08 pm

Jim Murray has been saying that American whiskey has overtaken Scotch for a while now. He seems to especially like Rye. I guess news is just something that a reporter noticed.

Stoaty, is there a Lidl near you? Their Western Gold 6 year old Bourbon (black label) is great, and only costs £15. The white label (no age statement) version is pretty good as well, but its only £3 cheaper, and the black label is so much better. Their Ben Bracken 12 year old Speyside single malt was really good too, but I haven’t seen that on the shelf for a while.

Comment from Deborah
Time: December 17, 2013, 1:08 pm

My son says (I’m paraphrasing—he rolls his R’s and lays on a fair decent Scottish accent)—“Who am I to tamper with the distiller’s finest efforts?” Therefor, he drinks his spirits neat. Springbank single malt is his preference. It smells divine, but it gives me an instant headache. Like Mojo, I drink Jim Beam, too. Very smooth, and good for what ails ya.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: December 17, 2013, 2:45 pm

The Green Label JD was always on sale in the grocery stores here in Loozyana alongside the Black. (We don’t have state liquor stores; the groceries carry liquor as well as beer and wine.)

I don’t drink any more, but when I glance at the prices, I turn about the same color as that green label. The bottles are still a fifth, or 750 ml, if that’s the same thing. (I hope it’s still a standard fifth. If people are paying > $20 for less booze, that’s even more horrifying.)

Comment from kilroy182
Time: December 17, 2013, 7:21 pm

1.75 Liters for $47 here in IA, so it’s a bit more pricey over there. Good stuff though. As a lad I didn’t like the taste of beer, but whiskey was tolerable.

Comment from gromulin
Time: December 17, 2013, 8:12 pm

Partial to Speysides myself. Macallan, specifically. I am warming up to a good Rye lately. All the things I like about Bourbon without the nasty afternotes.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 17, 2013, 8:12 pm

Anchorage, AK 30 dollars. It’s mostly taxes. JD came out with a new product called “The Devil’s Cut” It’s extracted from the wood of the barrels and it’s mighty good.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: December 17, 2013, 8:46 pm

Anyone have Harold Camping? He seemed like a good guy, for a high profile evangelist.

Comment from Mojo
Time: December 17, 2013, 9:29 pm

“Rye whiskey, Rye whiskey
Rye whiskey I cry
If I don’t get Rye whiskey
I surely will die…”

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: December 17, 2013, 9:35 pm

Jack Daniels? Isn’t Sterno cheaper?

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: December 17, 2013, 9:42 pm

Um… my drinks all come with an umbrella in them.

Comment from AltBBrown
Time: December 17, 2013, 9:42 pm

Just snagged a 750ml of Glenmorangie (10yo) for Christmas. $33.95 – no tax. Prolly hold me through the new year, barring an assassination.

Comment from Carl
Time: December 17, 2013, 9:58 pm

Laphroaig is my usual Scotch tipple. Tastes a bit like fermented soot but it grows on you. Lavagulin is better – much smoother – but, at about £35 for a 70ml bottle I buy it only at Christmas.

Comment from twolaneflash
Time: December 17, 2013, 11:38 pm

JD now has Gentleman Jack and Single Barrel Jack. For a sweeter sipping whiskey, I like Makers Mark, the makers of which recently got the wrath of rednecks everywhere over a rumor they were going to water it down and lower the alcohol content. Kentucky whiskey boasts the oldest continuous distillery in America, Buffalo Trace, as well as the father of American whiskey, Elijah Craig, both of which are on the top shelf of my ethanol cabinet, along with all 3 JD varieties. Scotch? I’d rather drink paint thinner; I keep a couple of bottles for my worst enemies. Irish Whiskey is my cold weather choice: goes down like water and sends a column of warmth back to the tongue, just like the white lightning my ancestors made here in Appalachia. One difference in KY and TN whiskey is TN only allows aging barrels to used once. Ya’ll made me thirsty. I’m headed to the top shelf.

p.s. Never put water in your whiskey; fish fornicate in it.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: December 17, 2013, 11:42 pm

Jack’s Old No. 7 is $22.99 at Binny’s, which is probably the the biggest chain in Chicago. IOW, it’s cheaper in Britain.


I’m not a great enthusiast for distilled spirits. I do like an occasional shot of Jack’s, and I have a modest taste for Laphroaig.

Incidentally, where I live is about 100 yards from Evanston, the Chicago burb that was famously dry till about 1980 (the headquarters of the WCTU is still there).

Evanston also has a working distillery. It’s tucked in a modest-size garage off an alley alongside the CTA tracks (what Brits might call a mews).

Comment from jic
Time: December 18, 2013, 12:09 am

“One difference in KY and TN whiskey is TN only allows aging barrels to used once.”

You’re only allowed to use Bourbon barrels once as well. Of course, not all whiskey made in Kentucky is Bourbon, so a small minority get reused, but most are used only once then shipped to Scotland to mature Scotch in.

“Jack’s Old No. 7 is $22.99 at Binny’s, which is probably the the biggest chain in Chicago. IOW, it’s cheaper in Britain.


That would be a special offer price. Usually, a 700ml bottle would cost about £22 (roughly $36).

Comment from Crimso
Time: December 18, 2013, 1:03 am

As someone who lives within artillery range of JD (and whose father-in-law supplies them with grain), white label George Dickel is all you need (less well-known, but also made near here). Haven’t had a drink in about 5 years though, so everybody tie one on for me if you would.

Comment from BJM
Time: December 18, 2013, 7:46 am

Stoaty…put your beverage of choice down before you click the link:


Comment from Mojo
Time: December 18, 2013, 8:45 pm


Comment from twolaneflash
Time: December 20, 2013, 3:42 am

Jack Daniels is $36.97 for 1.75 L at my local beverage store her in north Georgia.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: December 20, 2013, 5:07 am

Up ’round here we ain’t got no competition in the hard stuff, since it’s all state run. Still, the prices ain’t so bad:

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