Old Grommes Very Very Rare 20 Years Old Ky. Straight Bourbon

Have an old/rare bottle you'd like some more info on?

Moderator: Squire

Old Grommes Very Very Rare 20 Years Old Ky. Straight Bourbon

Unread postby adipocere » Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:31 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tonight I was rummaging in the cellar and decided to finish off a bottle nearly empty, namely the one mentioned above. The label states 80 proof, and I believe it was bottled in 1986. I bought it at the late Vogt's Wine Shop on West Adams Street in Chicago (a notorious place in the history of Chicago booze stops), about 16 years ago. There is no DSP number on the bottle. Any clue as to who distilled it? It states bottled by Original Grommes Co., Chicago Ill. It's my understanding Grommes was an old firm.

Any info on Grommes?

BTW, the whiskey is as one would expect, a bit woody. A dryish dram, rye accented. Clear, but with a bit of tiny particulate matter floating throughout (this bottle always had it, probably not filtered, at least not completely). Still an excellent old bourbon, but with only 2 inches left in the bottle, it's time for it to go.

Anyway, cheers.

Jim Kube
Beer and Spirits Consultant
Binny's Beverage Depot
Registered User
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 10:51 pm
Location: chicagoland

Unread postby TNbourbon » Mon Nov 27, 2006 1:44 am

Chuck will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this was from the Michter's batch that eventually became the A.H. Hirsch bottlings, and that Julian Van Winkle bottled it.
Although that might have been spelled "Old Gromes". Hmmm...
Ah, here it is:
http://www.bourbonenthusiast.com/forum/ ... c&start=75

See the last post on the page.
Registered User
Posts: 430
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:11 pm

Unread postby bourbonv » Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:19 pm

The firm of Grommes and Ullrich was a very old whiskey firm in Chicago. They were the firm that E H Taylor, Jr. courted for years trying to get them to be the distributor for OFC in Chicago. Their reputation was that they only sold the finest whiskey and they did represent Old Crow at the time. There are several letters from the OFC letterbooks here at the Filson, written in the 1870's, from Taylor to Grommes asking him to consider the OFC as a whiskey as fine as Old Crow and to carry the brand as distributor for the Chicago area.

I have seen bottles of whiskey from this company that date to several eras. Right after prohibition, Schenley bottled some bourbon for the firm. I am not sure if the firm still exists, but I do believe the label is now part of the Heaven Hill portfolio.

For more information on the firm you might try city directories for the city of Chicago. There might also be some industrial/business histories for Chicago that will mention the company. Try the public library collections and if you don't find anything there, they might be able to send you to an institution that does have the type of information you seek.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
User avatar
Registered User
Posts: 4086
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:17 pm
Location: Louisville, Ky.

Unread postby Old Man Bourbon » Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:19 pm

Hello Jim,

you have opened this Bottle?
I have big Intress for this Bottle,
Unopened or Opened.

Is this the bottle in the picture?

Old Man Bourbon
Old Grommes 20 Label.JPG
Old Grommes 20 Label.JPG (50.64 KiB) Viewed 5430 times
User avatar
Old Man Bourbon
Registered User
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:07 pm

Unread postby adipocere » Sat Dec 16, 2006 5:01 am

yep that's the one. sadly empty now. a dead soldier lives on, in storage.

why, you want it?
Registered User
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 10:51 pm
Location: chicagoland

Unread postby cowdery » Sun Dec 17, 2006 7:37 am

If you have posted here before, Jim, I didn't notice. Jim and I go way back. Good to see you on the board. Jim is the man who introduced me to the sport of looking for dusties in old liquor stores.

Based on Jim's dates, this probably isn't Michter's. The Old Gromes Julian bottled with Michter's whiskey for Gordon Hue was bottled in 1991. (Julian spelled it with one "m" in his note to me, but that may have been a typo.)

Grommes & Ulrich was, indeed, a major wholesale liquor dealer in Chicago. Some info:

GROMMES, John Baptist, wholesale wine and liquor merchant; born in Schoenberg, Prussia, September 14, 1844; son of Hubert and Catherine (Klein) Grommes; educated in public and private schools; married in Chicago, December 6, 1873, Bertha Lehrkind; children: Clara (Mrs. Frank A. Rehm), Bertha, Frieda (Mrs. Armin W. Brand). In 1860, established present business of Grommes & Ulrich. Clubs: Lake Geneva Golf, Exmoor (Highland Park). Recreation: golf. Residence: Congress Hotel. Office: 136 South Dearborn Street.

REHM, Frank Albert, vice president ant treasurer, Grommes & Ulrich; born in Chicago, July 11, 1873; son of Jacob and Phoebe ( Reichenbacher) Rehm; graduated North Division High School; married Clara L. Grommes of Chicago, October 6, 1896; one daughter, Louise Grommes. Began business career in 1895, as an employee of Grommes & Ulrich, wholesale liquor and cigar merchants; became a stockholder in 1898 and was elected vice-president and treasurer. Clubs: Chicago Athletic, Germania Maennerchor, Glen View Golf, Mid-Day, Lake Geneva Country. Recreations: reading and music. Residence: 1505 Dearborn Avenue. Office: 132 South Dearborn Street.
- Chuck Cowdery

Author of Bourbon, Straight
User avatar
Registered User
Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:07 pm
Location: Chicago

Return to Collector's Corner

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests