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Top Five Liquor-Label Slogans

posted on May 26, 2013 at 3:40 am · filed under Blogroll > Uncategorized

Liquor’s been around for ages – literally! – and promoting the sale of it is something that the producers of it have been into for just as long, no doubt. Well, maybe less long… maybe the first producers of liquor were just down to get liquored up with friends. But since the invention of money, at least, distillers have been looking for ways to stand apart. Entice the buyer! Convince him or her that your product is the BEST way to get liquored up, amongst all available options!

The label on the bottle has ever been and still remains the single most important piece of that effort – in aggragate, perhaps television ads, word of mouth and actual quality are more important in driving sales, but when a person sees a product they are unfamiliar with, all they can judge it by is the label.

In short, the label defines the liquor.

I’m an English major, not an art major. So when I look at a label on a bottle of booze, I don’t see graphic design and brilliant images, I see the words. And in this, I am blessed. For the images are sometimes delightful, often colorful, and inevitably extant, but the words kind of make me laugh.

Kessler Whiskey

Smooth As Silk

I first heard of Kessler Blended Whiskey from my friend Dan. Dan referred to it as “Dr. K”, simultaneously a reference to Dr. J, who was somewhat prominent when Dan was in a touring band, and the eponymous Dr. Julius Kessler. The label says it is “Smooth As Silk” – I suspect the label lies. But I’M not going to lie to YOU: It might be EXACTLY as smooth as silk, I haven’t tasted it. Nor have I ever tried to eat silk. All I can say is that, in my plural years of selling liquor to cheap-booze-swilling rednecks in Mechanicsville, I have not once been asked “Where is the Kessler?” I’m not even sure I’ve ever actually SOLD a bottle, though I’m pretty sure I did restock it once, so someone must have.

Early Times

Early Times! Let's Get Drunk In the Morning!

The most amusing thing about Early Times is the name itself. Which is, you must admit, prominently displayed on the label. I mean, really? I often say “Breakfast of champions!” ironically when discussing rotgut booze, but they’re not even making a thing out of it. It’s just “Hey! We’re whiskey for the MORNING! You like drinking EARLY? We’re the motherfucking whiskey for YOU!” I can’t even argue with them; I have never crawled out of bed and thought “Shit. I need some whiskey. Vodka, wine, beer, that won’t do.” Maybe if I ever woke up with that thought, I would be forced to agree that Early Times is the best booze ever for drinking in the early times. Special props to Early Times for getting placement with the bourbons, rather than the blended whiskeys, in Virginia ABC stores, despite the fact that Early Times is not actually a bourbon.

Burnett's Vodka

Superior Smoothness!

Every time I see a bottle of Burnett’s, I think of my ex-girlfriend’s vagina. Because a.) I drank a lot of Burnett’s, post-facto, and b.) that shit had Superior Smoothness. Crass? Yes. Accurate? Yes. If this article does one thing for you, I hope that one thing is that every time you look at a bottle of vodka and question its smoothness, you contemplate the vagina of my ex-girlfriend. But I’ll be satisfied if you just think about vaginas in general. Sir Robert Burnett would probably be satisfied if you just bought his vodka. Incidentally, I googled him. As far as I can tell, he may once have been Lord Mayor of the town of London. I don’t think he was of the landed gentry (more on that later) and he might have never been a Sir at all, in any way, but he did, apparently, exist. According to the research of some other people who will probably be the first result you get when YOU google that shit, after you keep thinking about vaginas when you drink vodka, and wonder about the man who started it all.


The impetus for this article: Royalty. When I rock a bottle of Aristocrat vodka, I proudly proclaim that I am drinking like the landed gentry. When I drink a bottle of Fleishmann’s, I admit that there is liquor that even I think sucks. Aristocrat tastes like rubbing alcohol, but honestly? That’s fine. I’ve gotten used to that taste; I’ve been depressed and unemployed before, and that’s what Aristocrat is for. Fleishmann’s, though? It’s for nothing. Not for naught: You will get drunk if you drink it. But you could have payed a few dimes less, and AVOIDED having to make the Fleishmann’s-face every time you swallowed. The takeaway, though, is this: if your bottle of liquor says “royal” on it, you could do better. I look forward to comments telling me I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that no bottle of liquor with the word “Royal” as a descriptor on the label has ever been bought gleefully. We buy that shit because we have to, not because we want to.

Old Taylor

Of Topmost Class!

And now… my favorite! Only carried in a plastic half-gallon, never higher than the bottom shelf, Old Taylor proudly proclaims itself… “Of Topmost Class”! Obviously, that’s classy. It says so, itself. But it also reminds me of Indiana Jones. “We have bourbon of topmost class.” “What bourbon?” “TOPMOST bourbon.” You can’t question it. It is fothermucking topmost. Obviously, it’s a lie. Well, maybe not, I haven’t had it. I think maybe that needs to be a sequel to this post, actually: my reactions to the most amusingly labelled liquors. But until that happens, I am going to assume that this bottom-shelf, cheap-as-fuck bourbon is not, in fact, of topmost class. It’s just brazenly willing to bullshit you. And I find that adorable.



"Kisses But Never Tells...

I couldn’t include this in the top five because the words are not on the label. But if you work in the “liquor industry” and you come into contact with cases of Nikolai, you know that it “Kisses But Never Tells…” – that is awesome on so many levels. The first level? I don’t even know what that means. How am I supposed to interpret that? I have no idea. I don’t really care. It’s awesome. I assume that it is the only vodka to officially sponsor infidelity. I bet, if you go to a hotel that offers hourly rates AND has a mini-fridge, you will find that mini-fridge stocked with Nikolai vodka. Second level? It’s a slogan that is not on the label. WHICH WOULD BE TELLING. How awesome ARE these people? That awesome. Don’t tell.

— devlocke

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