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hambone
06-17-2011, 08:30
I was running the numbers in my head the other day at the store and it is much more economical to buy a handle instead of a fifth (especially on sale). Assuming it is a bourbon you know you will like and have space in the cabinet are there any drawbacks to a handle? Does the extra air in the bottle cause issues when it gets low?

Enoch
06-17-2011, 08:35
I use handles for Bourbons I drink regularly. I use it to refill an empty fifth bottle so it doesn't take up so much room on the shelf.

cowdery
06-17-2011, 11:03
Unless you're extremely sensitive to it, oxidation damage takes years to develop in a partially full bottle. Presumably you are contemplating the purchase of handles because you go through those products pretty quickly.

I don't buy a lot of handles, but always have one of Very Old Barton BIB on hand.

tip
06-17-2011, 12:03
There is always a handle of Forty Creek Barrel Select in my liquor cabinet.

750ml x 12 bottles = 9 liters @ $222.02
1.75L X 6 bottes = 10.5 liters @ $221.03

If I'm buying by the case that's a free* 1.5 liters and a savings of $0.99 to boot.


* Your wife might not find this "free", mine doesn't.

hambone
06-17-2011, 12:54
Unless you're extremely sensitive to it, oxidation damage takes years to develop in a partially full bottle. Presumably you are contemplating the purchase of handles because you go through those products pretty quickly.

I don't buy a lot of handles, but always have one of Very Old Barton BIB on hand.


Not sure how quickly I will go through them, but I have bought handles of EJ12, WT101 and Dickel 12 recently when they were on sale. They are 3 of my favorite everyday pours.

cigarnv
06-17-2011, 13:02
Not sure how quickly I will go through them, but I have bought handles of EJ12, WT101 and Dickel 12 recently when they were on sale. They are 3 of my favorite everyday pours.

Your other option is to pour off the remainder of your handle into a 1 liter bottle to help minimize the effects of long term oxidation......

SMOWK
06-17-2011, 13:06
Handles always seem to disappear faster than 750s around here. The mentality is: "You've got a whole handle, drink up my friend."

OscarV
06-17-2011, 13:08
I've never seen anything in a handle that I wanted to drink.

CaptainQ
06-17-2011, 14:22
I've never seen anything in a handle that I wanted to drink.

I'm with you Oscar. Here in WA they never stock anything but bottom shelf juice in handles. The few 1.75s I have were purchased elsewhere. I only have a few: Weller 12, OWA and SW Old Fitz(see a trend here).:grin:

callmeox
06-17-2011, 14:50
I've never seen anything in a handle that I wanted to drink.

Rob has a handle on his counter that may change your mind.

fishnbowljoe
06-17-2011, 14:57
FWIW, I have a couple of handles open on my cabinet. Everett's Weller SR (glass), and EW BIB (plastic). I like 'em both, and will probably buy replacements when they are gone. I also have a couple of handles of early 80's Old Forester BIB in my bunker. The only reason I don't have more handles, is they just take up too darned much room.:rolleyes: Joe

T Comp
06-17-2011, 16:38
I've never seen anything in a handle that I wanted to drink.

Maybe just a sip from the handle of WT 101 Old NO. 8 from 1992 a few enjoyed at the gazebo table? I also have handles of SW Rebel Yell, OF-DSP 16, OF-DSP414 and Ezra Brooks from 1985. I'd actually prefer smaller as I always have a lot open for variety but I never look a gift horse in the mouth. I don't have any current production handles.

Young Blacksmith
06-17-2011, 17:06
I've been buying Bulleit by the handle for a while now. I pour it off into two smaller bottles and finish off the remainder. I'm always in awe when I see the empty!

tmckenzie
06-18-2011, 04:32
I always buy handles if what I am drinking is in them. It is cheaper. Do not have to worry about air in them, a handle never last more than a week for me for some reason. They must leak.

craigthom
06-18-2011, 08:41
Maybe just a sip from the handle of WT 101 Old NO. 8 from 1992 a few enjoyed at the gazebo table? I also have handles of SW Rebel Yell, OF-DSP 16, OF-DSP414 and Ezra Brooks from 1985. I'd actually prefer smaller as I always have a lot open for variety but I never look a gift horse in the mouth. I don't have any current production handles.

I've got a handle of S-W Rebel Yell and was not impressed by it. $18 down the drain!

I know I've seen but not purchased handles of Baby Saz. They look like giant versions of the regular bottle.

SMOWK
06-18-2011, 08:45
I've never seen anything in a handle that I wanted to drink.

I've got a half gallon of 1958/1964 Old Fitz BIB that could change your mind.

PaulO
06-18-2011, 09:46
I don't usually get handles, but would consider it (as long as it's not plastic). What I really like are the glass 1L bottles. They remind me of the pre war quart bottles.

T Comp
06-18-2011, 13:32
I've got a handle of S-W Rebel Yell and was not impressed by it. $18 down the drain!



I'll agree as far as it is my least favorite of the S-Ws I've had. Mine is from 1983 and 86.8 proof. I just had an impromptu taste between it and a S-W Special Reserve from 1995 with their similar proof levels. The Rebel Yell is harsher, grainier and even more sour in after taste to the Special Reserve which has more classic S-W praline candy sweetness and balance through the end. Same thing for a 1985 OF 80 proof Prime I also just threw in to the tasting. A nice reaffirmation on how the master distillers can craft different profile tastes (as for Rebel Yell and its proclaimed "Southern Sour Mash ... Especially for THE DEEP SOUTH") from barrels holding the same mash bill. S-W whiskey is best at 100 proof or above but I'm still looking forward to choking down :grin: the S-W Primes and Reserves I have.

ILLfarmboy
06-19-2011, 06:17
I've never seen anything in a handle that I wanted to drink.

Same here, 'cept for BT at one store.

I'd like to see handles of OWA, Baby Saz, Dickle 12, and ORVW 10/107. I'd buy them.

Young Blacksmith
06-19-2011, 08:50
if by OWA you mean Old Weller Antique, they come in handles around here. Saw one yesterday with the 7 year age statement on it. Passed, as I still want to get a small one to try.

Enoch
06-19-2011, 09:37
I always buy 4R yellow in handles. The 750s cost about $20 while the 1.75s cost $25. It really makes no sense. But $5 more for over 2x the whiskey seems a good deal to me.

craigthom
06-19-2011, 15:12
Ten years or so I toured the Glenfiddich distillery, and they were bottling handles when we got to that part of the tour. The guide said (I know, I know) that they were just for the American market. Apparently we are the only ones who like to buy in bulk.

And, yes, I know, it was a "thing tour guides say", but she gave the impression that she had been doing this for a while and knew her stuff, unlike any guide I've had at a bourbon distillery except Freddie.

Parkersback
06-19-2011, 16:57
I always buy 4R yellow in handles. The 750s cost about $20 while the 1.75s cost $25. It really makes no sense. But $5 more for over 2x the whiskey seems a good deal to me.

My math has never been all that great, but I agree that this seems like a good bargain. :lol:

G.H.Adams
06-19-2011, 19:48
My cabinet won't hold handles and the bunker is full. I too prefer the liter bottles of bourbon I drink a lot of as they seem to last me longer.:slappin:

bgageus
06-20-2011, 06:55
For bottom shelf I always go handle.
For higher it depends
I regularly buy Knob by the handle because my regular store has a great price and that is what I mix my and my wifes Manhattans with.

My wife and I were out and saw Eagle Rare handle and we discussed that because it was a single barrel bottling it is a greater risk that we get a less tasty batch, but I guess that also means that if we get a great barrel we would be bigger winners.

Rutter
06-20-2011, 14:08
Ten years or so I toured the Glenfiddich distillery, and they were bottling handles when we got to that part of the tour. The guide said (I know, I know) that they were just for the American market. Apparently we are the only ones who like to buy in bulk.

And, yes, I know, it was a "thing tour guides say", but she gave the impression that she had been doing this for a while and knew her stuff, unlike any guide I've had at a bourbon distillery except Freddie.

Sounds about right, I've never seen a handle for sale over here.

moose
06-20-2011, 14:08
Handles, I will grab some if they are on sale, say its $2-$4 more for the handle than the 750ml size, then its really a no brainer. This usually is more common for the lower shelf offerings, EWB, OGD, JBW, etc... But more often than not I just get the 750ml size for bourbons, I too suffer from the leaky 1.75L size, which seem to disappear rather quickly. The only handle I currently have in the bunker is MM, and it was a gift.

Other liquors, I usually reach for the 1.75L size, as they are consistently within <$5 of the 750ml, and having a handle of vodka in the freezer always helps whenever company comes over, and doesn't have a taste for bourbon (fine by me).

Josh
06-20-2011, 16:44
Here in Michigan handles are not a better deal than fifths by state law. Occasionally a liter will be a better deal, but that's usually an accident. But I still get handles pretty frequently.

When I go to Kentucky I will stock up on handles of value whiskeys I can't get here. Last time, I picked up handles of HH Green label 6/90 (plastic), Old Forester Signature, VOB 90, AAA 10 y/o (plastic), and Old Weller 12 y/o (!). I usually get the BiB versions of VOB and HH 6 y/o but I got the 90 proofers this time just to shake things up.

I recenly convinced a local purveyor of spirits to stock handles of Four Roses, so I have one of those too. In the past I have purchased handles of Evan Williams, Elijah Craig 12 (both available in MI) and I picked up a very good handle of Binny's BT last year. I have limited space in the house for bottles, so I store the handles in the garage and use them to refill the fifths I have in my cabinet.

ILLfarmboy
06-20-2011, 17:58
Hmm. The only place I see liters is Sam's Club.......and they don't have anything in liters that I realy want, well except for WT101 and I hardly ever drink that anymore unless I'm in a bar.

And more handels with actual handles making it easier to poor from would be good too.

dmarkle
06-20-2011, 18:08
I've seen some pretty decent handles around Maryland and Virginia:

OWA (I believe the handle still carries the 7 year age statement)
Woodford Reserve
Knob Creek (respectable)
Eagle Rare

and, a bit OT, you're starting to see handles of Macallan 12 and Glenmorangie show up every now and then. Showing up to a party or a beach house with a 1.75 of 12 year old scotch is a good way to make friends.

gblick
06-21-2011, 06:08
At first I shied away from the handles, preferring the fifths and liters. But when the fifths and liters of my favorite dusties started to dry up around town, it became open season on the handles.

cigarnv
06-21-2011, 06:18
Not many deals on handles in Va. Pretty much stick to WSR and OWA... at times I may grab a Dickel 12....

ThomasH
06-21-2011, 07:27
I was on vacation in Florida last year and one Liquor store had liters of JD for 29.00 and handles for 31.00. That is a no brainer if you like JD!

Thomas

Flyfish
08-23-2011, 09:23
I'm with you Oscar. Here in WA they never stock anything but bottom shelf juice in handles. The few 1.75s I have were purchased elsewhere. I only have a few: Weller 12, OWA and SW Old Fitz(see a trend here).:grin:

Really? I mean, come on. Really? :rolleyes:
I'm with Crotchety. "Bottom shelf" doesn't have to mean crappy bourbon. VOB is worth a lot more than what they charge for it. I have even been known to buy more than one handle of JB Black when it's on sale at the Homestead, FL MegaDiscount Liquor store for about $25.

steeltownbbq
08-23-2011, 19:30
I've never really considered buying handles before reading this post. I'm a bit concerned with the leaky bottle syndrome mentioned by others. But since I will be close to my favorite PA store this weekend I thought I would check on line and see what's available.
OGD BIB 1.75 $29.99 (sale price) vs $18.99 750ml
EW BLK 1.75 $23.99 vs $11.99 750ml

not huge savings - but I need to stock up anyway

craigthom
08-24-2011, 12:08
I've never really considered buying handles before reading this post. I'm a bit concerned with the leaky bottle syndrome mentioned by others. But since I will be close to my favorite PA store this weekend I thought I would check on line and see what's available.
OGD BIB 1.75 $29.99 (sale price) vs $18.99 750ml
EW BLK 1.75 $23.99 vs $11.99 750ml

not huge savings - but I need to stock up anyway

The OGB is a big saving: $17.14 per liter instead of $25.32, or about one third cheaper. The EWB is only about 15% cheaper.

Lab Walker
08-28-2011, 11:53
We buy handles almost always. OGD, BT, and Bushmill's.
Man do they go quick!!!
Might get a KC when it's on sale, but at $65.00...very steep!

tmckenzie
08-29-2011, 02:58
The leaky bottle syndrome is true. I always drink more than I should on handles.