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jburlowski
10-18-2009, 16:39
I'm curious, what are the bourbons that can be legitimately said are distributed nationally? I'm talking in bars, by the drink. I travel some for business, and what I have observed is the following (in more or less order): 1) JBW; 2) MM; and 3) WT (either or both 80 and 101). WR may be fourth. (And the JB "small batch turn up from time-to-time).) Everything else seems way behind.

What are others seeing?

ThomasH
10-18-2009, 17:49
I don't know about sales by the drink, but Ancient Age and Evan Williams black seem to be national brands too!

Thomas

loose proton
10-18-2009, 18:29
I don't get out much, but seems aristocrat everthing is standard fare for mixing most everywhere.

Josh
10-18-2009, 19:08
I'm curious, what are the bourbons that can be legitimately said are distributed nationally? I'm talking in bars, by the drink. I travel some for business, and what I have observed is the following (in more or less order): 1) JBW; 2) MM; and 3) WT (either or both 80 and 101). WR may be fourth. (And the JB "small batch turn up from time-to-time).) Everything else seems way behind.

What are others seeing?

I'm seeing what you're seeing, but I see almost as much WR in bars as WT.

I have seen a lot of OGD too, I would put it tied with WT for third.

ShewDawg
10-18-2009, 19:22
The OGD (non BIB) seems to alternate with WT for 3rd for me.

If a bar tries to go "Top Shelf" the reach for some Knob Creek or Woodford Reserve. At a real nice restaurant I see Blanton's and Booker's, so I cannot complain there.

cowdery
10-19-2009, 13:12
"Distribution" means "available," and most American whiskey brands are available everywhere, in the sense that bars can order them from their distributors. The reality is that most bars don't order a very wide range of American whiskeys.

Almost everyplace will have Jack Daniel's and Jim Beam. Probably the third most common brand is Maker's Mark. If they go deeper than that, you're likely to see either Wild Turkey 80 or 101 next. When I see Old Grand-Dad, it's almost always the bond, which is a good thing. If they have anything in the upper registers, it usually will be Knob Creek and Woodford Reserve. Evan Williams black label is the third best-selling American whiskey, yet you rarely see it in bars.

I'm talking about the run-of-the-mill bar. There are more and more bars that either specialize in whiskey, including American, or cocktail bars that have a more exotic selection. Most cocktails bars will have a good straight rye, for example. Unfortunately, if you ask for rye in most run-of-the-mill joints, they'll probably try to pour you a Canadian Club or Crown Royal.

But, to answer the question, it's not a distribution issue. It's a matter of what the individual bars choose to carry.

It frequently pays to look. You're probably not going to spy Stagg at your neighborhood watering hole, but you may find something you don't expect, because it's something the owner likes, or some regular patrons have requested it. That's why you will occasionally see an Evan Williams, Old Fitzgerald, Old Charter, etc.

Of course every bar has something in the well. Here in Chicago it typically has been one of the bottom shelf Bartons, like Colonel Lee.

Because of Daniel's and Beam, Brown-Forman and Beam Global have a lot of leverage, which is why if the range expands a little it's likely to be with something they sell. Here in Chicago, a lot of bars have all four of the Beam Small Batch bourbons, even though they don't have anything else high end.