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chilidawg7
01-11-2009, 18:41
On another (non-bourbon) forum I read regularly, folks often post ‘trip reports’ about trips they’ve taken and experiences they’ve had. After this weekend, I decided to do one here, if for no other reason than to share good memories with other folks who enjoy bourbon and occasionally hunting for bourbon in those nooks and crannies across this great country.

Enjoy!

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This past weekend I did a quick toad trip to Rogersville, Alabama to support a friend of mine. This trek took me through North Central Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

In the past, I have been one of those efficient travel snobs. You know, the one who incorporates gasoline fill up, restroom break and snack time into a single stop. And while I never looked to break any land speed records, I did attempt to maintain a steady, safe, if slightly illegal speed in order to arrive to my destination in a timely manner.

But this time I resolved to take my time and enjoy the trip, making stops along the way if I felt like it. So as I drove north on 75 into Georgia, I noticed a few billboards advertising package stores. It occurred to me that if a store has invested enough money to rent a billboard, then they probably have a pretty good inventory.

I made two stops in middle Georgia at two very different stores. The first store was a rather small store, but filled to the brim with inventory. These guys had pretty much everything! The only problem was that their arrangement wasn’t exactly done in an efficient manner. Most of the bourbon was in the bourbon section, but I also found some with the cognac and some in the middle of the vodka section. While a pain at first, it actually kind of made it more fun to ‘hunt’ throughout the store. And while there, I stumbled upon the first real dusty bottles I’ve seen in a store. It was a bunch of Old Grand Dad BIB 1.75 liter bottles that looked like the one below. The only difference is the one on the picture is the 86 proof.



http://x25.xanga.com/bebc826a40431229345031/s180657510.jpg



They were old enough to still have the tax strips on top, but I couldn’t gather any other information from the bottles to get an exact date.

I roamed around the store for 30 minutes or so, making sure I scoped out the entire place for any misplaced bottles of bourbon. I passed on the OGD bottles this time, as I may be heading back that direction again soon.

25 miles up the road, I made another stop at a store I learned about via billboard. This store was very different, and a very new experience for me. First of all, the place was enormous and looked to be a really new building. The parking lot was huge, there was a Drive-Thru, and it was a well-lit area - quite a contrast to my previous stop. I walked in and was greeted by something I had not yet experienced in a package sore before – attractive women employees. Nothing against most of the kind folks who work in my favorite stores, but they're mostly men. And not the most attractive guys, at that. :grin: And yes, that is women - plural.

The inside of the store reminded me of a Sam’s or Costco – high ceilings, well-lit, wide aisles, etc. The bourbon section was well stocked with a few choices I have not yet seen in Florida. I was tempted by the Wathen’s and Black Maple Hill, but found one bottle of Old Weller Antique 107 and decided I couldn’t pass that one up.

In summary, it was fun finding these two oases on the road. I’ve traveled that route dozens of times over the years and had never taken the time to stop, and I’m glad I finally did.

MJL
01-11-2009, 18:47
I just love road trips. Running the blue highways of America is worth the infrequent finds of the things I convince myself are worth the trip. My wife jokes that I buy the BATF (alcohol, tobacco or firearms) mix on our trips. In fact I just like hitting the road once in awhile even if I come back with nothing but the experience.

mozilla
01-12-2009, 06:49
First of all, this is a good bourbon thread...why is it not in the bourbon area? Maybe a Mod will be able to push it over there?

Second, are you crazy? You passed on a dusty bottle of OGD? Man, ...looks like I have dropped the ball in helping a brother out. Go back and get that sucker. It is really good juice from a great bourbon making company. The date is on the bottom of the bottle.

smokinjoe
01-12-2009, 07:51
I had a great experience on a trip from a couple of years ago. I report it here in this post from November, 2006:


"Went on a little business trip this week, and came home with a pretty nice pile: 2 '06 Staggs, 2 Handys, and 1 each of the '06 WLW, Saz, and ER17. Also, a RR101, 1 older bottling of Yellowstone, 1 EWSB 94 (a personal favorite), 2 Old Charter 7 yr. Bottled in Bond, and 1 weird American Biker (whatever that is, but couldn't pass it up)

The coolest part of the trip was as I was checking out the bourbon selection in a liquor store in a small Tennessee town, I see someone checking out the bourbon, and he picks up an Eagle Rare 101. I think to myself, crap, I'm too late. He probably doesn't even know what he has, and I'd really like to snag that one. As he's checking out, I overhear his conversation with the clerk, and I realize he definitely knows what he's talking about. So, I say, "you must be a SB.comer". "Why, yes" is his reply. "Plaidford from Kansas City." I introduce myself "Smokinjoe from Atlanta". We have a short conversation about our finds in the Volunteer State, while the owners of the store look at each other with this WTF? look on their faces. Again, Plaidford, good to meet you, and another reason why Straightbourbon.com is so COOL!"

Back to today:
I was in that same store last week, picking up a few things, and chatting with the owner. We're looking at bottles etc., and he's flipping bottles over to see the dates, and he pipes up with: "I learned this from a couple of guys who were in here a couple of years ago." I told him that one of "those guys" was me. He remembered the incident, and still thought it was the darndest thing that 2 people from Missouri and Georgia that "know" each other, should meet for the first time in Tennessee. We had a good laugh.

mozilla
01-12-2009, 08:00
Joe,
you assisted my hunting trip through Ga a couple of years ago. I found a few nice items on the Northeast side of Atlanta. Thanks again.

smokinjoe
01-12-2009, 08:07
I remember, and you're most welcome, Mo. I know you're not much of a Beam fan, but did you pick up the Jacob's Well at the one store?

Like I said in my earlier post, things like this is what makes SB.COM so COOL!

mozilla
01-12-2009, 08:20
No, I am sure I did not. I had tried one here in Austin, and felt a little dissapointed.

I hit a store west of town and didn't see much that I thought was real old(I was still pretty new to dusties). I found a few items by the Braves stadium(AAA 90 from 1988). That AAA was the only bottle I opened on my 7 day trip. It was outstanding.
There were some stores up on the Bueford Hwy??? Does that ring a bell? The area was on the border of a dry area. Found some VOB, Benchmark 8yr, and one other that is escaping me, now. One store had a bottle of Michters that I have yet to see another one of...anywhere, even in pictures. Sure wish I would have picked that one up. Anyway, I got to know a couple of areas of Atlanta real well.
By the next afternoon, I was hunting for bottles in Raliegh, NC. Two days later I was scouring central Ky for any Bib not nailed down. And within two more days I was working over Dallas for a few dusties. It was a whirlwind trip...lots of fun.

jeff
01-12-2009, 15:41
First of all, this is a good bourbon thread...why is it not in the bourbon area? Maybe a Mod will be able to push it over there?




I agree!
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OscarV
01-12-2009, 15:49
Chris, how much was that tax stamped OGD BIB 1.75 liter?
I would not have passed on it.

chilidawg7
01-12-2009, 15:59
Chris, how much was that tax stamped OGD BIB 1.75 liter?
I would not have passed on it.

$40.99. I'll be back up that way again in a month or so and based on what I've been hearing here, it seems like a pretty safe bet to pick one up.

mozilla
01-12-2009, 16:56
Your eye is trained well. 41 is a little steep for that handle. Somewhere in the 30's would be much nicer on the wallet. I bet you might be able to get a little wiggle room in the price if you offer cash. I think the original price was in the upper 20's. I found one a year ago in the low 30's. Many times all you need to do is ask for a little discount. Good luck in your hunt.