Brown Forman celebrates Early Times bourbon with “special expression”
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Brown Forman celebrates Early Times bourbon with “special expression”

Early Times Bottled-in-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon – Early Times, for short – is one of Brown Forman’s most popular whiskeys. So, 75 years after its debut, it makes sense that the company wants to celebrate it. According to a Brown Forman news release, this whiskey is about more than just a great taste – it had a significant cultural impact, and helped to “shape the industry after prohibition”. The whiskey’s name – “Bottled-in-Bond” – is even a reference to the U.S. Bottled-in-Bond Act, which set distilling standards back in 1897.

Early Times introduced its bonded bourbon in the 1940s, and it soon became a top-seller. But it’s far from Brown Forman’s only whiskey (the company has seven in its portfolio), and it’s definitely not the biggest (Jack Daniels deserves that accolade). However, Early Times could hold a special place in the company’s premium whiskey division as something with a little more culture, something that’s a little less exposed, and as a drink with a real American heritage. These are all things that could push the brand further, given the global interest in dark spirits in general and whiskeys in particular.

A limited edition release is a sensible way for Brown Forman to both build the brand and measure demand at the same time – and it’s a strategy they’ve tried numerous times in recent years with other brands, like Woodford Reserve and Old Forester.

Marc Hindorff, Early Times’ senior brand manager, said in the release: “With the release of Bottled in Bond, the intention is to offer bourbon enthusiasts a new taste of the good old days, and demonstrate Early Times’ leadership in traditional whisky-making.” He also added that there is a movement underway to revive Bottled-in-Bond whiskeys. If it succeeds, Brown Forman could become a serious part of that market, given the proud heritage of Early Times.


Dominion holds Brown Forman in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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