Press-Republican

FYI...

March 31, 2014

Whiskey debate divides distillers

(Continued)

The 2013 rule defining Tennessee whiskey concerns another major player in the distilled spirits industry, Diageo, the London-based parent company of brands ranging from Smirnoff vodka to Baileys to Guinness. Diageo has two products in the mix: George Dickel, the second-largest producer of Tennessee whiskey, headquartered just a few miles up the road from Jack Daniel's, and Johnnie Walker, the best-selling blended Scotch whisky.

Diageo has positioned itself as the defender of the small distilleries, standing up for the right to make Tennessee whiskey by other methods, even though George Dickel uses new oak barrels to ferment its product. They say the year-old law actually excludes a lower-priced Brown-Forman product, Early Times, from calling itself Tennessee whiskey.

"We don't think there should be a law that says this is how we, or anyone else, have to make whiskey," John Lunn, George Dickel's master distiller, said in a statement. Diageo North America executive vice president Guy Smith said the current law "creates an anti-competitive situation that will stifle innovation from skilled Tennessean distillers, both large and small."

Brown-Forman, on the other hand, says Diageo is worried about market share - not George Dickel's, but Johnnie Walker's. Jack Daniel's sales grew 5 percent in 2013, though Johnnie Walker sales were flat.

"They're concerned and they're trying to do what they can to undermine Tennessee whiskey," Lynch said.

Distillers around Tennessee are concerned the year-old rules will prevent them from producing as much whiskey as they could because of a shortage of the new oak barrels. A rainy year in 2013 saturated oak across the eastern United States and made harvesting wood more difficult.

Jack Daniel's has its own cooperage, in Louisville, Ky., and is in the process of opening another plant just outside of Decatur, Ala. But smaller distillers can't always find a reliable supply of barrels. Even if they can, new barrels can cost between $150 and $600 each.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
FYI...
  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 27, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 26, 2014

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 25, 2014

  • An alternative diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren need more time to move

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that in recent years, there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 23, 2014

  • Why it's basically impossible to delete those naked selfies you text

    If you're selling an old Android smartphone on an online auction site, you could be giving away rather more than you intend to, according to a recent investigation by anti-malware company Avast.

    July 21, 2014

  • Why does the Vatican need a bank?

    The Vatican Bank's history reads more like Dan Brown than the financial pages, but its worst -- and weirdest -- days may be behind it.

    July 18, 2014

  • Almost half of the world actually prefers instant coffee

    Americans' taste in coffee might be getting more high-end _with a growing fixation on perfectly roasted beans, pricier caffeinated concoctions, and artisan coffee brewers - but it turns out a surprisingly big part of the world is going in the opposite direction: toward instant coffee.

    July 17, 2014

  • ent_taylorswift.jpg There's less good music now — here's why

    Taylor Swift, the seven-time Grammy winner, is known for her articulate lyrics, so there was nothing surprising about her writing a long column for The Wall Street Journal about the future of the music industry. Yet there's reason to doubt the optimism of what she had to say.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can plants hear? Study finds that vibrations prompt some to boost their defenses

    They have no specialized structure to perceive sound as we do, but a new study has found that plants can discern the sound of predators through tiny vibrations of their leaves - and beef up their defenses in response.

    July 12, 2014