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View Full Version : Massachsetts Liquor Shopping Trip!



funknik
12-03-2008, 07:45
The wife & I will be heading down to Worcester, MA to see Neil Young and Wilco on the 13th and I've slyly snuck into our plans a trip to Austin Liquors. Having not shopped in MA much for bourbon before, I was wondering if there were some suggestions as to what to get and what is reasonable to pay. It seems that here in Maine the prices I pay are very competitive, but the selection is pretty slim, so I'd be looking more for things I haven't tried than stuff I can readily get at home. Obviously, you probably don't know everything available in Maine, but suggestions would be very helpful. Like I said, I'm afraid of paying too, too much for things (e.g. EC12 is $27.99 in MA, but I pay $16.99 here in ME).

Thanks!

PS - as I mentioned, the wife will be with me:smiley_acbt:, so I may not be able to get away with a Van Winkle or something similarly pricey, but would be interested about availability and $$$.

MikeK
12-03-2008, 09:16
Well obviously hit the NH state stores on the way. Selection there is OK, but if they have it, it is often wicked cheap. In MA, particularly out towards Worcester, stop at Julio's Liquors in Westboro (near intersection of Rt 495 and Rt 90, probably right on your way). They are not cheap, but have a huge selection. The highlight is they buy a lot of barrels from Buffalo Trace, so you can pick up a few of these bottlings. (ER, BT, Baby-Saz, etc.) They also have their own barrel of Four Roses.

Cheers,

funknik
12-03-2008, 09:40
Well obviously hit the NH state stores on the way. Selection there is OK, but if they have it, it is often wicked cheap. In MA, particularly out towards Worcester, stop at Julio's Liquors in Westboro (near intersection of Rt 495 and Rt 90, probably right on your way). They are not cheap, but have a huge selection. The highlight is they buy a lot of barrels from Buffalo Trace, so you can pick up a few of these bottlings. (ER, BT, Baby-Saz, etc.) They also have their own barrel of Four Roses.

Cheers,

Thanks for the tip, I may re-route our trip to get over to Julio's...any idea what price I would be looking at for BT or 4Roses? I haven't seen those bottles anywhere -- are they fairly common in MA? I get ER and Saz Jr. up here already.

I agree about the NH Liquor store, the selection is better than up here and the price is usually great. I'm pretty close to a number of these, however and I'm interested in focusing on stuff that's scarce in the Northern Regions.

MikeK
12-03-2008, 12:47
I believe the following prices are correct for Julio's picked single barrels of the following products:

BT - 27.99
Rock Hill Farms - 44.99
Baby Saz - 24.99

4R Yellow - 19.99
FR Small Batch - 27.99
FR Single Barrel - 39.99

These prices are certainly not cheap, but these are single barrel picks, so are worth checking out.

MikeK
12-03-2008, 12:50
Correction, the FR small batch and yellow label are not single barrel picks, the rest are though...

OscarV
12-03-2008, 12:59
Thanks for the tip, I may re-route our trip to get over to Julio's...

Even if it is out of your way try to go to Julio's.
See if Ryan is in and tell him you are on the SB.com board and ask him about all of their private bottles.

funknik
12-03-2008, 13:04
Looks like I'm going to have some tough decisions to make...in fact, this is starting to look like a separate trip (excluding the wife)...thanks for the info guys!

StraightBoston
12-03-2008, 14:20
Buy everything you can find/need at the NH stores at Portsmouth Circle or the Hampton tolls, then make the trip to Julio's for the rest.

SSWC
12-03-2008, 14:21
I did a little hunting in Woos-tah a few years ago, although not to saturation. I picked up a few WTs, the RR 101 and a few older bottlings of RB. My recollection was that the pickings were pretty slim. I also picked up a speeding ticket in a speed trap just outside town, so be careful.

SSWC

funknik
12-04-2008, 14:30
I believe the following prices are correct for Julio's picked single barrels of the following products:

BT - 27.99
Rock Hill Farms - 44.99
Baby Saz - 24.99

4R Yellow - 19.99
FR Small Batch - 27.99
FR Single Barrel - 39.99

These prices are certainly not cheap, but these are single barrel picks, so are worth checking out.

Forgive my ignorance, but how does this work? Single Barrel Buffalo Trace? If Julio's buys the barrel, who bottles it -- BT? Can liquor stores request this? Plus, I just received a flyer from the NH liquor store where BT is 19.99 (and they're having a huge sale right now, so it may be even cheaper) -- what to do? Portsmouth also just got in a dozen Van Winkle 12yr for $40....I may blow my wad before I make it to Julio's!

smokinjoe
12-04-2008, 15:16
Forgive my ignorance, but how does this work? Single Barrel Buffalo Trace? If Julio's buys the barrel, who bottles it -- BT? Can liquor stores request this? Plus, I just received a flyer from the NH liquor store where BT is 19.99 (and they're having a huge sale right now, so it may be even cheaper) -- what to do? Portsmouth also just got in a dozen Van Winkle 12yr for $40....I may blow my wad before I make it to Julio's!

Andy, blow your wad on the $40 Lot B Van Winkle!! A terrific price these days, and this years release is outstanding. Although, I have enjoyed various retailers single barrel releases of the BT, $27.99 is insanely high. Stock up on the $19.99 stuff, and if you got a hankerin', pick up one bottle of the other guys $27.99 just for kicks and comparisons.

Cheers!

polyamnesia
12-04-2008, 15:41
i will at least second the blowing of wads on the VW12...i got it here in PA for $45.99....and i'd gladly pay more. right out of the bottle it says, "aren't you glad you just had a taste? isn't it worth more than money can buy?"

i can't imagine WHAT the other bottlings of VWinkle say! this was my first and i HAD to slow down on it so it will last til...next week?

funknik
12-05-2008, 05:23
Bad News! The case of Van Winkle at the NH store was a special order -- it is a special order, by-the-case only item there. I may have to re-think my route once again.

MikeK
12-05-2008, 06:20
Forgive my ignorance, but how does this work? Single Barrel Buffalo Trace? If Julio's buys the barrel, who bottles it -- BT? Can liquor stores request this? Plus, I just received a flyer from the NH liquor store where BT is 19.99 (and they're having a huge sale right now, so it may be even cheaper) -- what to do? Portsmouth also just got in a dozen Van Winkle 12yr for $40....I may blow my wad before I make it to Julio's!

Yes, NH is dirt cheap and Julio's is a bit pricey. But they are good folks and have stuff you can't get elsewhere. Yes, a liquor store can go down to a distillery, sample a few barrels and pick out one that they really like. Then the distillery bottles just that barrel for them, puts a special sticker on each bottle, and ships it to the store via normal distribution channels. A number of the larger stores around the country do this. Julio's is the only one up in New England that I am aware of that does it. They get BT barrels each year (including Pappy-15 that is outstanding but sells out immediately) and this year they got a Four Roses barrel which is very nice.

Cheers,

rockporter
12-05-2008, 12:23
If you go near Waltham, go to Gordon's Liquors on Main Street. They have upgraded their store and a have tasting bar and a bourbon "expert"

BourbonJoe
12-05-2008, 14:27
and a bourbon "expert"

And who might that be?
Joe :usflag:

univibe88
12-12-2008, 17:48
If you go near Waltham, go to Gordon's Liquors on Main Street. They have upgraded their store and a have tasting bar and a bourbon "expert"

I live close to that store, but have never been in. I will have to check it out.

One town over, in Newton Marty's Liquors has a fairly decent selection.

funknik
12-14-2008, 10:52
It was a successful trip on all fronts. I was a bit shell-shocked walking into Julio's -- thanks for the tip Mike -- that was definitely the place I was looking for. All of these bottles are unavailable in my area and many, many more, so I was a bit torn but settled in these. My wife gave me a minimal amount of dirty looks, too which was excellent -- she must be in the spirit of giving. I wanted to bring home a higher proofer, so hence the second Van Winkle -- thanks for the advice on the Lot B, Joe.
BT is the $20 bottle from the NH liquore store, not Julio's selction.
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff159/funknik/100_1583.jpg

spun_cookie
12-15-2008, 07:33
It was a successful trip on all fronts. I was a bit shell-shocked walking into Julio's -- thanks for the tip Mike -- that was definitely the place I was looking for. All of these bottles are unavailable in my area and many, many more, so I was a bit torn but settled in these. My wife gave me a minimal amount of dirty looks, too which was excellent -- she must be in the spirit of giving. I wanted to bring home a higher proofer, so hence the second Van Winkle -- thanks for the advice on the Lot B, Joe.
BT is the $20 bottle from the NH liquore store, not Julio's selction.


You should have grabbed an ER Angle share and a RHFs Version 2... both are the best of that line I have ever had... crazy good.... the Baby Saz and BT (that you grabbed) are also just as good...

Happy drinking... what did you thing about the Speak Easy he added.. I cannot wait to go see it... it looks groovy... I hope he has a visitors "tasting" bottle in there for members....

funknik
12-15-2008, 07:43
You should have grabbed an ER Angle share and a RHFs Version 2... both are the best of that line I have ever had... crazy good.... the Baby Saz and BT (that you grabbed) are also just as good...

Happy drinking... what did you thing about the Speak Easy he added.. I cannot wait to go see it... it looks groovy... I hope he has a visitors "tasting" bottle in there for members....
I'll add the ER to my "had to pass up" list, but I'm pretty happy with my pull. Any more and the wife would've been riled:hot:!
This was my first time at Julio's and it was a zoo in there; I didn't know about the speakeasy and we were sort of passing through -- like I said, my wife was very cooperative, so I'm glad things went so smooth.
Thanks for the tip, though, Emerald.

Buffalo Bill
12-23-2008, 08:44
The price of Blanton's in NH is nearly the same as MA these days... times are a changin' BB

funknik
12-23-2008, 15:58
The price of Blanton's in NH is nearly the same as MA these days... times are a changin' BB
That must be about the only thing in NH as pricey as MA....geez, NH is like bargain basement prices all the time on many, many bottles.