Vol. 4, No. 5, Thursday January 24, 2008

by dick bales



The Old and the New  (Part II)

Part II of this three-part series features glasses from some of the stalwarts of the liquor industry.

One such icon is the Hiram Walker glass shown at left above. In the first article I noted that it is sometimes not easy to identify pre-pro and post-pro glasses. This glass is a perfect example.  Robin notes in the pre-pro database that this might possibly be a post-repeal glass.

On the other hand, it is clear that the Hiram Walker glass shown at right above is fairly modern.


In the previous Common Stuff article, I mentioned the Tennessee Squire glass, a glass that looks pre-pro but is actually fairly new.

The October 27, 2007, issue of Shot of the Week also featured a “Looks to be pre-pro but really isn’t” glass. This is the Walker’s Canadian Club Whisky shot glass. Robin notes in this SOTW column that at one time it was hard to sell these glasses at $9.99; now they go for $25.00.

The glassmaster was certainly prescient in his remarks. One of these glasses sold on eBay quite recently. The hammer went down on November 12, 2007. The glass sold for $20.26, and it attracted six bids.

On the other hand, it is doubtful that the modern Canadian Club glass pictured here would sell for anything but a fraction of $20.26.

Robin notes in his website that John Henry Beam worked at the family distillery on a farm near Mooresville, Kentucky.  In about 1856 his brother, D. M. Beam, began a distillery in Nelson County, but John Henry, known as Jack Beam, continued to operate the farm distillery, making only about one-half barrel a day. In 1866 he moved the operation to a place on the railroad, which was afterwards known as Early Times station in Nelson County.

Note how this “early” Early Times glass memorializes its Nelson County origin.
Compare this beauty to the two not-so-Early Times post-pro glasses below. Clearly there is no comparison between the old and the new.


Here is another Nelson County glass, but this one advertises Old Grand Dad whiskey. Compare this old glass to its modern equivalent.

“Old Grand Dad” is just one of many whiskies that uses the word “old” in its name. For example, the pre-pro website indicates that “Old Crow” was first introduced by Dr. James C. Crow, who was born in 1789 in Scotland. He was a physician who emigrated to the United States in 1823 and settled in Kentucky; it was supposedly here where he discovered the importance of using limestone water in whiskey making. Crow died in 1856. The “Old Crow” brand had been established in partnership with Oscar Pepper, who built the Old Crow distillery in about 1860.



The old Old Crow glass depicted here is certainly as described. The new versions are just as certainly not old. Perhaps this brand should be called New Crow?

The website notes that John Garvin Brown, who had worked as a salesman for a drug firm, organized a wholesale liquor business in 1870 with his half-brother, John Thompson Street Brown, Jr. The firm, J.T.S. Brown & Bro., bought quality straight whiskies, which they blended and sold as “Sidroc Bourbon,” “Atherton Bourbon,” and “Mellwood Bourbon.” They later introduced the “Old Forrester” brand, which eventually became “Old Forester.”

Again, compare the old Old Forester glass with these two new Old Forester glasses.


to be concluded...



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