From the Bad Branding Files: Winchester Whiskey

Despite the havoc America’s alcohol epidemic wreaks on society, my love for whisk(e)y persists. There has been such an explosion of micro- and nano-distilleries in America lately that wherever I travel these days I try to find some locally-produced booze.

But imagine my temptation when I arrived in Minnesota for the Combat Focus Shooting Instructor Conference in late September and saw Winchester branded straight bourbon whiskey and extra smooth rye whiskey – Since 1866!

Although it seemed like it was a bargain at $19.99 ($5 off sale price), I stuck to my guns and bought a locally produced whiskey instead: Eleven Wells Spirits Prototype Series Wheat Whiskey, handcrafted in St. Paul. 90% spring wheat and 10% barley mash bill, all Minnesota grains, and aged 12 months in Minnesota barrels. A decent young spirit.

As I was thinking about my recent post on the Combat Focus Shooting “brand,” I was reminded of this Winchester-branded whiskey and so Googled for some more information about it.

Reading a review of another version of these Winchester branded whiskies from the website Modern Thirst made me slide this memory into the bad branding files and thankful I took a pass.


  1. In my opinion, the market venture to gain customers, is inappropriate. I drink. I avoid any operation of motor vehicle or being around guns if possible. It sends the wrong message. Some will link brand association. Others will behave irresponsibly, with either the alcohol beverage or firearm.

    End of the day, during cold or damp weather, everything secured, keys and guns, a drink can be merited if I was outside all day, as I am rheumatoid. I like Everclear-190 Proof (95% alcohol), or bourbon. I keep them in the freezer. Bourbon, neat. Moonshine in espresso. Alcohol is medicine to me, so I will not overdo consumption, or the next time, it will not work, and I will be in pain. Even if I am in a barroom or pool hall, having a couple of beers, I switch over to soda or water, early on.

    Liked by 1 person

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