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Old 03-21-2016, 07:35 PM   #28
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Default Re: 1980s American Cars, Guns, Gadgets and Consumer Goods [Atmosphere, look, minutiae

Originally Posted by Miles View Post
Pretty much all the same question. Jack Daniels isn't technically bourbon, but it is standard, despite the much maligned lowering of alcohol content in 1987. However the 1980s see a huge surge in vodka in the US, especially among the younger and more fashion forward crowd.
Originally Posted by mlangsdorf View Post
What about Johnnie Walker, Jim Beam, Chivas Regal, and Maker's Mark? I think Walker and Beam are a bit down-market and Chivas is a bit foreign, but I thought Maker's Mark was upmarket and might be the drink of choice for the 'cultured' types.
Originally Posted by sjard View Post
I don't know about then, but now, Maker's Mark is, if on a scale of 1-100 with 100 being top shelf, about a 25-30. At least that's how it is considered in my area. It is priced comparatively. If Glenlivets (about a 45 on the scale) is $80ish (now) for 18 year old for a fifth, Maker's Mark is about $30.
Originally Posted by Miles View Post
I was just pointing to the most widely sold American whiskey for middle class types. Johnnie Walker is a slightly higher end Scotch, but it and downmarket Jim Beam would both definitely be common. Chivas would be seen as an old man's liquor in the 1980s, and Maker's Mark is mostly a Kentucky drink until somewhere around the turn of the century.
Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
Would Crown Royal be a thing?
So Jack Daniels or Jim Beam for the average local, Crown Royal or Seagrams whiskey for someone with Canadian connections or tastes and Scotch for 'cultured' types, with Johnnie Walker for those not too cultured, Chivas Regal for fairly refined types and actual imported single-malt Scotch for real connoisseurs.

Maker's Mark would be for the (at this time) rarer bourbon connoisseur, who might also buy Booker's or Blanton's Single Barrel, but being a bourbon connoisseur at all in 1988 would be an odd quirk. Bourbon was at the time still almost exclusively seen as a common, no-nonse working class drink, I gather. And young people saw it as an unhip drink for unsophisticated people, either old-fashioned or just unimaginative.

Hip and cool local kids who go to college in urban areas* drink vodka, but what brand? Absolut had a successful 1980s ad campaign and is fairly upscale. Would it be appropriate? Smirnoff is a stalwart seller in much of the world and in the US when I've visited in the 1990s and later, would that hold true in New England in 1988?

What about gin? Canadians make a lot of gin and it's certainly common across the border. Would Mainians buy Seagrams gin or was there no culture for gin drinks in 1980s America?

*Or those of their old friends who stayed home but still want to be cool, not to mention impressionable locals of ages 16-24, who want to fit in with the cool kids who are visiting home for the holidays.
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