Monday, September 1, 2014

Wolfschmidt Vodka Ad from The New York Times September 2, 1964

I was on the New York Times archive website known as the TimesMachine for a blogpost I did for my Baseball Sisco Kid Style blogpage. I was looking for a boxscore to include in my post Masanori Murakami becomes the first Japanese player in MLB September 1, 1964, when I noticed a number of liquor ads on a number of pages of the September 2, 1964 issue of the New York Times. I found them curious so I copied them and will post them here in the next few posts for your viewing pleasure. The first one I decided to showcase was an ad for Wolfschmidt Vodka.

Wolfschmidt Genuine Vodka
I'm trying to find something significant about the Wolfschmidt Vodka brand. I can't say that I have found anything significant about its origins. The Best Brands Incorporated website's listing for Wolfschmidt Vodka states:
Vodka made in the U.S. since 1847. The first vodka introduced to the USA around the turn of the century. Originally made in Latvia then Holland. It has won 37 medals in international competitions. Now owned by Jim Beam brands and produced in the U.S.
Well that was rather brief. I found that Wolfschmidt has a connection with the Seagrams company. For an interesting article on the history of Seagram, I suggest reading the following article: “From Shirtsleeves to Shirtless”: The Bronfman Dynasty and the Seagram Empire by Graham D. Taylor from the Business and Economic Online Journal Volume 4, 2006. Taylor states
Seagram also entered the rum business during World War II and established partnerships with Mumm (champagne), Noilly Prat (vermouth), and Wolfschmidt (vodka) in the early 1950s.
In more recent news, the article Jim Beam Brands Worldwide, Inc. History from the Finding Universe website states:
Beam's acquisitions continued into the 1990s, with the $272 million purchase of the United Kingdom-based Whyte & Mackay Distillers, bringing that company's best-selling scotch whiskeys into its product line. In 1990, Beam's volume topped 15 million cases. The following year, Beam Brands paid Seagram $372.5 million for seven of its brand trademarks, including the strong sellers Ronrico rum and Wolfschmidt vodka.
As of 2012, it looked like the Wolfschmidt Vodka brand was being rebranded as a wine-cooler? The Wine and Spirtis Daily website in their post Spirits Post Strong Sales in March from April 18, 2012 states:
WSD has learned that Beam Global is switching Wolfschmidt and Kamchatka vodkas to "Vodka Liqueurs." Using 10% sugar and 49% wine, this allows the products to sell at a lower price and may bring a new level of competition to the already competitive vodka category. The new products are reportedly launching May 1.
"Beam's value-for-money vodkas are benefiting from updated packaging, as well as a new liquid formulation that delivers the same value and taste profile consumers of these products already love. Vodka is still the base, blended with a high-proof liqueur. Beam is the market leader in liqueurs, and this vodka with premium liqueur formulation simply extends our leadership and expertise to enhance our value vodka brands, Kamchatka and Wolfschmidt. Testing indicates consumers of these brands will respond favorably to the refreshed packaging. Given the high quality of the liquid in these brands, we do not expect the selling price of these products to materially change," Clarkson Hine, svp of corporate communications, told WSD.
Have any of you out there tasted any of the new Wolfschmidt vodka liqueur blends? Now I can't say that I've seen any version of Wolfschmidt Vodka in recent years. Maybe I don't want to. I leave you with a couple of classic Wolfschmidt Vodka ads from the 1960's with the bottle of Vodka sounding like Don Draper of Mad Men fame.

Until Then Happy Drinking,