Thursday, February 25, 2016

Other NDP Award Winners

As a small follow-up to yesterday's post, I looked at the Whisky Advocate Whisky Awards (announced in November) to see if any of them went to non-distiller-produced (NDP) whiskeys.

Out of the top ten, I found two.

Ranked at number eight is Compass Box, "This Is Not A Luxury Whisky," which at $225 a bottle is an homage to the Belgian surrealist René Magritte. As an independent scotch bottler, Compass Box is what Americans call an NDP.

Ranked at number one is John E. Fitzgerald Very Special Reserve 20 year old. Although the producer is Heaven Hill and Heaven Hill now owns the Old Fitzgerald brand and makes the whiskey for it, this whiskey was distilled at Stitzel-Weller when Guinness (predecessor to Diageo) owned Old Fitzgerald, so for purposes of this product, Heaven Hill is an NDP.

There is nothing wrong with an NDP whiskey winning an award unless the contest rules specify that all entries must be house-made, which most do not. Logic dictates that awards purporting to honor small distilleries should have such a rule, but competitions that welcome all comers shouldn't hesitate to take NDP products.

The fact that I want to know who actually made something is a separate issue. When I know a product is NDP, I try to find out who made it. If the NDP won't tell me I'm disappointed, but that doesn't diminish the whiskey.


Doctor Tarr said...

"This Is Not A Luxury Whisky" missed the point, since Magritte's painting was not a pipe but an image of a pipe.

I assume that "This Is Not A Luxury Whisky" is actually a whisky and not a picture of one.

Chuck Cowdery said...

One can't be too rigid in interpreting surrealism.

Dave said...

"Compass Box is what Americans call an NDP."

Accurately, it is what some Americans call an NDP - most of us who actually do this, never use that term.

Congrats to Compass Box and all the other winners. Good whiskey, is good whiskey.

Gerald Herrin said...

Agreed. Good whiskey is good whiskey. But just state the truth. My first wife wasn't the the prettiest, but still... Just say it and go on.

Rich Signell said...

Speaking of NDP, does anyone have any idea who makes "John Lee Bourbon"?

There are three interesting things about John Lee Bourbon: (1) The only place I've ever seen it is at the Nairobi Airport in Kenya. (2) The price is $9. (3) The hilarious labeling. Front: "Imported. John Lee. Product of USA. Distilled and matured in oak barrels under U.S. Government Supervision. Straight bourbon whiskey. Authentic bourbon elaborated for years by generations of distillers. Personal Reserve."
Back: "A mellow and round bourbon whiskey offering a rich taste with hints of vanilla and oak notes. Bardinet - 33290 Blanquefort - France"

@Chuck, sounds right your alley, no? This could be a fun story. :-)
Front label image:
Back label image:

Anonymous said...

Hey Chuck, quick question on NDP. I was looking at some of the pricing you noted here ( Do you know if those prices are wine gallons? or proof gallons? The costs for PG and WG are dramatically different.

Chuck Cowdery said...

The whiskey industry generally does business in proof gallons.