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Doggerlander
03-14-2010, 12:35
This is my first post, and I thought I'd start with a question.

In looking at the "single barrel purchase" thread, I was left with the question of how much a barrel of whiskey costs. I took a look at the cost threads, but didn't see what I was looking for. I understand (not really) the tax costs, but I'm wondering what the wholesale cost of a barrel would be before taxes. I imagine it depends on the age of the barrel and on the size of the distillery (for economies of scale). I would guess there is quite a jump in price after a certain age, and perhaps several big jumps along the way. In one post, I saw a figure of $8000 mentioned for the project, but that was probably for a rare barrel and probably included bottling and transportation as well as taxes.

Also, is the single barrel project still going?

Thanks to Straightbourbon.com for a great resource!

spun_cookie
03-14-2010, 13:04
I think the following factors cover the cost from Distillation to your bunker:


Distillery
Relationship
Number of barrels purchased at one time or in the past
Market (current economy status)
Availability (similar to Market, but harder to get always cost more)
Age
Label (e.g. VW Lot B is more than Weller 12 yr)
Distributor
Transportation
Retailer
Shipping (or local transit)
Taxes at every stage and State (might be the biggest factor in the end)I may have missed a couple, but these are the drivers that I have to work with.

... and welcome to the site. Drink well

Dramiel McHinson
03-14-2010, 14:46
Our local Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) buys barrels of Jack Daniels and has it bottled as the JD Single Barrel for post exchange customers. We get a slight break of a few dollars a bottle retail as a result of their bulk purchase and tax relief. AAFES is non-profit but has a small mark-up to pay for operations. I can deduce that cost savings by buying by the barrel is totally dependent on where you stand in the supply chain.

In 2006 I was told the cost for a 240 bottle barrel yield of JD Single Barrel was $10K. That was the direct to consumer "guesstimate" at the time. No savings in that example but it was a big pile of JD Single Barrel to hand out to friends and family.

Rughi
03-14-2010, 14:51
The most recent one I did was $65 retail for 131 bottles for $8,515. Wholesale was obviously less, and yes, taxes were a huge part of the cost (40%? more?).

Roger

silverfish
03-14-2010, 15:17
The JD SB site (http://www.jackdaniels.com/SingleBarrel/BuyBarrelRegistration.aspx) lists their price at $9000. (USD) give or take.
That's for approximately 240 bottles (40 cases of 6 bottles).

That's about right. :D

Doggerlander
03-15-2010, 12:29
The JD SB site (http://www.jackdaniels.com/SingleBarrel/BuyBarrelRegistration.aspx) lists their price at $9000. (USD) give or take.
That's for approximately 240 bottles (40 cases of 6 bottles).

That's about right. :D
Thanks for the link. They must get a lot of inquiries to have a web page for barrel buying.

That cost is for a select barrel. It looks like you can pick your own barrel with this program and they bottle it for you, plus you do get the empty barrel! I think I'll stick to buying a bottle in the store.

barturtle
03-15-2010, 12:36
Thanks for the link. They must get a lot of inquiries to have a web page for barrel buying.

That cost is for a select barrel. It looks like you can pick your own barrel with this program and they bottle it for you, plus you do get the empty barrel! I think I'll stick to buying a bottle in the store.

Just to point out: Even if you were to go elsewhere to buy a whole barrel, you'd still have to buy it in a store, as liquor has to go through the three tier system. A distillery can't sell to an individual at wholesale price.

Doggerlander
03-15-2010, 12:37
I think the following factors cover the cost from Distillation to your bunker:


Distillery
Relationship
Number of barrels purchased at one time or in the past
Market (current economy status)
Availability (similar to Market, but harder to get always cost more)
Age
Label (e.g. VW Lot B is more than Weller 12 yr)
Distributor
Transportation
Retailer
Shipping (or local transit)
Taxes at every stage and State (might be the biggest factor in the end)I may have missed a couple, but these are the drivers that I have to work with.

... and welcome to the site. Drink well
That's an impressive list.

How is the market these days? Is there a shortage? A glut coming?

Are there big jumps at certain ages? I would guess new whiskey would be relatively cheap, but then you're stuck warehousing it. I'm not sure I could fit one in my garage, but by the time I got near the end, it would be pretty well aged. One can only dream.

I was reading Cowdery's book and it's only 150 years ago we'd be buying our whiskey in barrels and probably dreaming about getting it in bottles.

Doggerlander
03-15-2010, 12:51
Good point, barturtle. The state and federal regulations are as daunting as the logistics, but I can't even afford a superpremium bottle these days, much less a good barrel. So even if they could sell it to me, I'm just fantacizing.

Rughi
03-15-2010, 13:07
... I would guess new whiskey would be relatively cheap, but then you're stuck warehousing it...

Federal law requires that spirits be retailed in containers, not barrels. You can receive an empty barrel, but the spirits may not leave a bonded facility except in labeled bottles. (Barrels may be transferred between bonded facilities).

I believe 1 gallon is the maximum size. All bottles must have pre-approved labels that describe the contents, which in practice means that one usually needs to take the whiskey in standard bottles. Some distilleries will allow barrel purchases to be bottled as barrel proof and unchill filtered (KBD, Four Roses), some will not (BT). You won't be able to avoid the cost of bottling materials or labor.

So, be careful in whom you want to work with, or you may find yourself pouring watered down, heavily filtered whiskey back into your barrel!

Roger

barturtle
03-15-2010, 13:10
Federal law requires that spirits be retailed in containers, not barrels. You can receive an empty barrel, but the spirits may not leave a bonded facility except in labeled bottles. (Barrels may be transferred between bonded facilities).

I believe 1 gallon is the maximum size. All bottles must have pre-approved labels that describe the contents, which in practice means that one usually needs to take the whiskey in standard bottles. Some distilleries will allow barrel purchases to be bottled as barrel proof and unchill filtered (KBD, Four Roses), some will not (BT). You won't be able to avoid the cost of bottling materials or labor.

So, be careful in whom you want to work with, or you may find yourself pouring 90 proof, heavily filtered whiskey back into your barrel!

Roger

What is this, 1979?:slappin:

1.75L is the largest size for distilled spirits.

kickert
03-15-2010, 13:38
(Barrels may be transferred between bonded facilities)

Barrels purchased from other DSPs don't incur the taxes or money associated with bottling and thus are SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper. This gets back to the original question about how much a barrel of whiskey costs. If you are only looking at costs associated with producing a parrel of whiskey, costs are quite low. I am not sure how much the big boys pay for barrels, but a 53 gallon one would cost about $200 without bulk discounts. Likewise, production costs for 53 gallons of unaged whiskey is going to be quite low as well. I would be surprised if it cost the large distilleries any more than $100-150 to produce a barrel's worth of spirit.

If I had to guess, I would say a large distillery has about $250 wrapped up in making a barrel. I could be off, but there is no way it costs more than several hundred dollars to make a barrel of bourbon.

Of course, that is not what you are paying for... you are paying for the whiskey that barrel could / has become.

SMOWK
03-15-2010, 16:00
Just to point out: Even if you were to go elsewhere to buy a whole barrel, you'd still have to buy it in a store, as liquor has to go through the three tier system. A distillery can't sell to an individual at wholesale price.

Are you sure this is the case in every state? The BT products I buy come from BT, to my supplier, then to me. No wonder I'm paying less than $40 for the entire Antique Collection, and everything younger than Pappy 20.

Rughi
03-15-2010, 16:16
What is this, 1979?:slappin:
1.75L is the largest size for distilled spirits.

Oh, for the Carter years and gallon jugs of whiskey...

Fie on that evil Reagan and his Un-American obliterization of our beloved US sizes, tax stamps, "key men", and especially for his mandation of tiny, girlie-man sized 1.75 liter handles of whiskey! Handle , I say? Bah! That's a handle barely even worth holding onto! Is we supposed to point our little pinkie finger while drinkin' outta it, too???

(Maybe it wasn't all Reagan's fault personally...but then again MAYBE IT WAS!)

Roger

rocky480
03-15-2010, 17:38
Are you sure this is the case in every state? The BT products I buy come from BT, to my supplier, then to me. No wonder I'm paying less than $40 for the entire Antique Collection, and everything younger than Pappy 20.

If your supplier is in DE, then it may be different, but if your supplier is in MD, it looks like you're cutting out the retail side of the transaction which should be at least a 20% savings right there. I don't know about liquor distributors, but with beer distributors in Maryland, they can sell to their employees at whatever rate they choose (the two I've worked with sold to employees at the same price they sold to their retail accounts, so essentially you wouldn't have to pay the retail mark up). I would guess it's the same for liquor distributors, so perhaps you're getting an employee discount?

Rughi
03-15-2010, 17:48
I've been told that in DC there are some combined distributor/retailers (I believe Ace is one, but I'm not sure), but I think they are rare elsewhere.

Roger

whskylvr
03-15-2010, 17:54
I can say that in California the large distributor does not sell liquor to there employees only beer and wine once a month. So you have to buy from a retailer. So it cost more.

But, there are ways.:skep:

rocky480
03-15-2010, 18:23
I've been told that in DC there are some combined distributor/retailers (I believe Ace is one, but I'm not sure), but I think they are rare elsewhere.

Roger

Since DC is a relatively small area, that certainly could be possible. For Maryland, as best I can remember, when I would place special orders, there were only two or three major liquor distributors for the entire state. I'm probably wrong on this and it's been a while since I lived there enough to place special orders. I'm sure there are some smaller players since it would be tough to cover huge parts of the state without multiple warehouses.

kickert
03-15-2010, 18:58
It is my understanding that DC is not bound by the regular three-tier system that requires producers to sell through distributors.

cowdery
03-15-2010, 20:59
I think all of the distilleries have a "buy-a-barrel" program now, plus some non-distiller producers (most notably KBD) do them, though less formally.

The "set" programs have parameters. For example, Heaven Hill does a "buy-a-barrel" with Evan Williams Single Barrel. If you want Elijah Craig instead I can't say they'll say no, but it wouldn't be the same deal. In most cases it's a single barrel but Woodford Reserve, for example, insists that you select two barrels and combine them, although you're only buying half of each barrel, since it's still a buy-a-barrel program. (It's complicated.)

If you want to buy a barrel outside the established programs, you can always ask. If the money is right, anything is possible. Buffalo Trace, for example, will do buy-a-barrel for retailers on a lot of different brands. I imagine they'll do the same thing for consumers.

Banding together with a group of friends to do a barrel can make it affordable for just about anybody. Get 20 people together and you each get a case.

If you do that, however, the distillery won't manage it. One person has to be the buyer and handle the money collection and bottle distribution for the group.

craigthom
03-15-2010, 23:00
Oh, for the Carter years and gallon jugs of whiskey...

Fie on that evil Reagan and his Un-American obliterization of our beloved US sizes, tax stamps, "key men", and especially for his mandation of tiny, girlie-man sized 1.75 liter handles of whiskey! Handle , I say? Bah! That's a handle barely even worth holding onto! Is we supposed to point our little pinkie finger while drinkin' outta it, too???

(Maybe it wasn't all Reagan's fault personally...but then again MAYBE IT WAS!)

Roger

I'm no fan of Reagan, but I remember clearly that the switch to metric sizes for liquor bottles started no later than 1978 (that's when I bought my first).

I believe it was also voluntary. With the exception of the liter (and the 500ml, which they later corrected to 375ml), the switch to metric sizes allowed them to sell less liquor for the same money.

Rughi
03-16-2010, 00:04
I'm no fan of Reagan, but I remember clearly that the switch to metric sizes for liquor bottles started no later than 1978 (that's when I bought my first).

I believe it was also voluntary. With the exception of the liter (and the 500ml, which they later corrected to 375ml), the switch to metric sizes allowed them to sell less liquor for the same money.

I guess I wasn't really serious.
But I am still not going to point my pinkie finger while I drink out of the 1.75 liter handles. Fight the Power!

Roger

p_elliott
03-16-2010, 08:40
I think all of the distilleries have a "buy-a-barrel" program now, plus some non-distiller producers (most notably KBD) do them, though less formally.

The "set" programs have parameters. For example, Heaven Hill does a "buy-a-barrel" with Evan Williams Single Barrel. If you want Elijah Craig instead I can't say they'll say no, but it wouldn't be the same deal. In most cases it's a single barrel but Woodford Reserve, for example, insists that you select two barrels and combine them, although you're only buying half of each barrel, since it's still a buy-a-barrel program. (It's complicated.)

If you want to buy a barrel outside the established programs, you can always ask. If the money is right, anything is possible. Buffalo Trace, for example, will do buy-a-barrel for retailers on a lot of different brands. I imagine they'll do the same thing for consumers.

Banding together with a group of friends to do a barrel can make it affordable for just about anybody. Get 20 people together and you each get a case.

If you do that, however, the distillery won't manage it. One person has to be the buyer and handle the money collection and bottle distribution for the group.

This maybe a technical splitting of a hair since they are now joined at the hip with BT but it's not meant to be. But Tom Moore does not have a barreling program.

Josh
03-17-2010, 09:56
This maybe a technical splitting of a hair since they are now joined at the hip with BT but it's not meant to be. But Tom Moore does not have a barreling program.

Let's hope that's one thing BT changes there. A single barrel program or some more upper shelf offerings. I can see it now. Mattingly & Moore 107 proof, 23 y/o. In the crystal decanter and a wooden box.:falling:

ErichPryde
03-18-2010, 08:34
How about an incarnation of 1792 at barrel proof?