The best-in-class container made of glass in 2007 is Brown-Forman’s Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, according to the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI).

High margins and image-selling enable distillers like Brown-Forman to raise the container aesthetics bar, particularly for premium brands. The twice-charcoal mellowed variety of Jack Daniels whiskey was due for a package update after 19 years, and Owens-Illinois Inc. obliged with a sloped-shoulder bottle with an embossed signature and brushed silver foil label. The Lynchburg, TN, distillery started filling the new bottles in January.

For manufacturers with more limited budgets, applied ceramic labeling (ACL) was a more popular choice. Vitro Packaging Inc., Plano, TX, used ACL silkscreening technology on two of its five GPI award-winning designs. Vitro captured almost half of GPI’s 11 awards.

ACL’s heyday ended with the passing of the returnable bottle, which needed a painted label to withstand multiple trips through washing and filling cycles. Its future was threatened when California banned the lead-based inks that give the labels vibrant color. Vitro resolved the issue with precious metals, an eco-friendly solution that restored ACL’s stock with organic food companies. One of them, Frützzo Organic Pomegranate Acai juice, was GPI’s winner in the organic beverage category.

UV curing technology also comes into play with the alternative inks, explains Doug Hesche, Vitro’s vice president-sales & marketing. The labels are baked onto the bottle in a lehr at temperatures between 500