Brand: Mr. Boston's
Current Owner: Sazerac Company (via Barton Brands via Mr. Boston's)
Type: Blended American Whiskey
Distillery: Old Mister Boston Distillery (amongst others)
Location: Boston, MA; Owensboro, KY; Albany, GA
ABV: 40% ABV
There's Mr. Boston, looking every bit like a young Mr. Potter from It's a Wonderful Life. If you've seen the movie, you know I'm not complimenting the man.
But who was Mr. Boston? Per Modern Drunkard Magazine:
The Old Mr. Boston distillery sprang to life in 1933, founded by Boston natives Irwin Benjamin and Hyman C. Berkowitz. There was no real Mr. Boston, the icon is merely an artist’s conception of what a genteel 19th century Bostonian who liked a bit of liquor might look like. He was formally introduced to the drinking community in the inaugural 1935 edition of the Old Mr. Boston Deluxe Official Bartender’s Guide...I really encourage you to read the whole MDM article on Alcohol Icons. Hell, I really encourage you to read Modern Drunkard Magazine. Bless their soggy hearts, livers, and minds.
The Mr. Boston company released very cheap flavored gins, brandies, and schnappses over 50 years or so. At first the man was Old Mr. Boston, but then in the 1970s they dropped the "Old" (as if respect was what they sought with their Pineapple Gin). In 1995, fake Mr. Boston and his regrettably real liquors were purchased by Barton Brands, who were in turn bought by Sazerac.
Yes, the company that releases George T. Stagg, also owns the rights to make this:
But they don't make it anymore. THANK YE GODS.
Let's get to this bottle in particular. Like I did with the scrumptious JTS Brown, yesterday, I did some snooping around to get a date for the bottle.
This broken pink tax stamp affixed to the top of the bottle meant it was from 1985 or earlier. It was pre-1982 due to the strip having the notations "TAX PAID" and "DISTILLED SPIRITS". And then there was the "80" on the bottom of the bottle.
My guess is that it was bottled in 1980.
(The sources of my dating info are here, here, and here. If anyone has any corrections to my assumptions/conclusions, please let me know!)
I also noticed that Mr. Boston was determined to tell his buyers how grand his products are:
Let's go back to that last picture and zoom in a bit, shall we?
I admire the honesty. I wish contemporary blenders were forced to show how much grain spirit fills out their blends. Yet, I think there was considerably more than 70% grain neutral spirit remaining in this particular dusty bottle bottle of American Whiskey.
And when I say "Grain Neutral Spirit", I want you to think: "Cheap Vodka". And when I say "Cheap Vodka", I want you to think watered-down ethanol.
No quotation marks on that last word.
The color is copper, with considerable floating debris. The nose holds a little milk chocolate, a hint of sugar cookies, lots of imitation vanilla extract. But mostly cheap vodka. Vaguely nauseating. The palate is ethanol heavy. Maybe some corn syrup, light vanilla, sweat cream. Starts sweet then ends (not vaguely) nauseatingly. The actual finish is all ethanol/grain spirits/cheap vodka/whatever. Perhaps the ghost of sweet cream and vanilla.
I couldn't finish 0.5oz of it, though I valiantly tried and nearly became ill. The wallop of grain spirit was anything but neutral after a while. The whiskey part was probably once made from corn and malted barley, barely.
Was this any better in the '80s? Because, Jesus.