Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Did whiskies used to be stronger?

All your whisky related questions answered here.

Did whiskies used to be stronger?

Postby bscepter » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:11 pm

i've got an online subscription to playboy (for the articles, natch.), which gives you access to every issue printed since the original back in 1953. the best part for me is the ads. and as i'm sure you know, many - if not most - back in the day were for booze, primarily blended scotch.

what i've noticed is, whether it's 100 pipers or inver house or ballantines or JW red, they almost all seem to be listed at 86 proof, which is 43 percent ABV in today's parlance. yet most blends today are 40 percent ABV.

did the distillers and blenders at some point simply water down their product to get more for their money? or was it a regulatory thing? or am i crazy?
bscepter
New member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:01 am

Re: Did whiskies used to be stronger?

Postby Ganga » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:06 pm

Actually many of the products have increased in proof over the last 15 years. Most of the G&M single malts were at 40% and now there are a lot of offerings at 43 and 46%. However Jack Daniels has moved the proof down since the 1980s. I think the market dictates some of the ability to make these kinds of move. There was a lot of pressure put on Makers (think it was Makers) when they wanted to reduce their proof down.
Ganga
Matured cask
 
Posts: 24266
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:57 pm
Location: Sylmar, CA

Re: Did whiskies used to be stronger?

Postby whiskgeek » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:20 pm

There was a complaint from the fans when Laphroaig dropped everything to 40%, but now that whisky is really in vogue, Maker's Mark couldn't get away with the same.
User avatar
whiskgeek
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:43 am
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Re: Did whiskies used to be stronger?

Postby bscepter » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:58 pm

what about blended whiskies like johnnie walker or dewars? is there a reason they're weaker today?

here are a couple of vintage ads, all of which show 86 proof (43% ABV) whiskies:

http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z294/hadbetterwork/Ads6/A0011586.jpg

http://www.scotchandcigarettes.com/old-playboy-ads/Ballantines-Scotch-whiskey-ad-from-Playboy-magazine-July-1963.jpg

http://img1.etsystatic.com/011/0/7550801/il_fullxfull.430599765_ah7e.jpg
bscepter
New member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:01 am

Re: Did whiskies used to be stronger?

Postby Ganga » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:33 pm

whiskgeek wrote:There was a complaint from the fans when Laphroaig dropped everything to 40%, but now that whisky is really in vogue, Maker's Mark couldn't get away with the same.

Laphroaig 10 is still 43% in California. QC and some of the other products are at 48%.
Ganga
Matured cask
 
Posts: 24266
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:57 pm
Location: Sylmar, CA

Re: Did whiskies used to be stronger?

Postby whiskgeek » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:50 pm

You're right, it wasn't everything, just the regular 10. But you have it at 43%. Weird. Where else is that available?
User avatar
whiskgeek
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:43 am
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder