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MonsterMashBill
01-09-2013, 19:38
I'm going to DC this coming weekend, and I was wondering if there are any liquor stores I ought to check out. I'd love to get the Abraham Bowman Virginia Limited Edition Whiskey (on Chuck Cowdery's recommendation) if there's any to be had, for instance. Obviously, I'm not expecting anyone to publicly post their prime dusty hunting spots. But, coming from a control state, it'd be nice to get the opportunity to pick up a bottle or two of limited release stuff that I don't normally get access to. Thanks in advance for any tips!

c2walker
01-09-2013, 19:50
I'm going to DC this coming weekend, and I was wondering if there are any liquor stores I ought to check out. I'd love to get the Abraham Bowman Virginia Limited Edition Whiskey (on Chuck Cowdery's recommendation) if there's any to be had, for instance. Obviously, I'm not expecting anyone to publicly post their prime dusty hunting spots. But, coming from a control state, it'd be nice to get the opportunity to pick up a bottle or two of limited release stuff that I don't normally get access to. Thanks in advance for any tips!

The Abraham Bowman LE bourbon that Chuck mentioned a few weeks back (18 year old 138.6 proof) is long gone. You might be able to find the latest Abraham Bowman release (port finished) though. I don't recall seeing Bowman in many (any?) DC stores, but all of the VA ABCs north of Richmond seem to carry it. Also, many DC liquor stores have websites...I recommend starting there.

Happyhour24x7
01-10-2013, 11:39
c2walker is correct about the Bowman. ACE beverage in upper NE is a great store, but well off the beaten path. there are a number of good stores in the Dupont Circle area as well. bad_scientist lives down town, you might PM him for more assistance.

portugieser
01-10-2013, 11:41
The Abraham Bowman LE bourbon that Chuck mentioned a few weeks back (18 year old 138.6 proof) is long gone. You might be able to find the latest Abraham Bowman release (port finished) though. I don't recall seeing Bowman in many (any?) DC stores, but all of the VA ABCs north of Richmond seem to carry it. Also, many DC liquor stores have websites...I recommend starting there.

You will NOT be disappointed by the port-finished Abraham Bowman. It easily competes with the BTAC and Pappy's -- truly sublime stuff.

tanstaafl2
01-10-2013, 12:56
c2walker is correct about the Bowman. ACE beverage in upper NE is a great store, but well off the beaten path. there are a number of good stores in the Dupont Circle area as well. bad_scientist lives down town, you might PM him for more assistance.

When I do manage to get to DC (not anytime soon unfortunately) ACE Beverage is usually one of my stops. I always seem to find something interesting there.

bad_scientist
01-10-2013, 18:34
You have a few themes you can go with:

1. Tasting - Jack Rose and Bourbon have the best bourbon/rye selection in bars outside of Kentucky, and probably even counting Kentucky. SW Old Fitzes? Yes. Pappies and BTACs? Of course. Weird WTs? Indeed they do. A few other places have good selections, too, but those are the best.

2. Willetts - The guy who owns Bourbon and Jack Rose picks a few of them once or twice a year. Some of them make it to retail. I’d recommend trying them at Bourbon or Jack Rose first to decide, but if you do and really want one, I know a few stores that still carry most of last fall’s line, and the three that just came out a couple of weeks ago.

3. Window shopping or High Rolling - DC *has* everything, but at prices that will make you jump out of your socks, at least for new stuff. If you want to see some really rare stuff and have lots and lots of money you want to spend, I can recommend 3 or 4 places.

4. Mid-shelf bourbons at reasonable prices - If you like EC12, ETL, stuff like that in the mid-range, then Montgomery County DLC stores have a limited selection but amazing prices for bourbon and scotch. You can search their website and get inventories for each store here: http://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/dlcsearch/

bad_scientist
01-10-2013, 19:42
The Abraham Bowman LE bourbon that Chuck mentioned a few weeks back (18 year old 138.6 proof) is long gone. You might be able to find the latest Abraham Bowman release (port finished) though. I don't recall seeing Bowman in many (any?) DC stores, but all of the VA ABCs north of Richmond seem to carry it. Also, many DC liquor stores have websites...I recommend starting there.

As Chris mentioned, the 138.6 proof is gone, but I saw the 140+ proof Abraham Bowman in DC (yes, actually in a DC store) tonight, so I expect it's around at a few places. PLEASE DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!! It's just awful stuff.

c2walker
01-10-2013, 20:37
As Chris mentioned, the 138.6 proof is gone, but I saw the 140+ proof Abraham Bowman in DC (yes, actually in a DC store) tonight, so I expect it's around at a few places. PLEASE DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!! It's just awful stuff.

I too am not a fan of the 140+ proof 17 year bourbon, but I do know a couple fans. Only buy if you like wood and A LOT of heat.

squire
01-10-2013, 20:45
I used to go to DC every Spring for a seminar and would drop by Central Liquor, that place still open?

SMOWK
01-10-2013, 21:06
I too am not a fan of the 140+ proof 17 year bourbon, but I do know a couple fans. Only buy if you like wood and A LOT of heat.

Ding ding ding. That would be me Chris.

MonsterMashBill
01-10-2013, 22:37
Thanks for all the suggestions! Really appreciate it. The 140 proof Bowman is definitely not in the cards, as I'm going to have to fly home with whatever I buy, and >70% alcohol is hazmat. Prices to make me jump out of my socks is tough. The Willetts route sounds promising/fun, though -- I might try a couple of those. To tell the truth, even if I don't end up buying anything, it'd be fun just to do some browsing and talking with enthusiastic sales staff, if there are any to be had. The prices and selection here in Oregon are fine, but the biggest casualty in the state store system is the curatorial attitude that a private store owner who's doing it as a labor of love might take (think the good folks at K&L, whose blog I very much enjoy.)

bad_scientist
01-11-2013, 05:41
Thanks for all the suggestions! Really appreciate it. The 140 proof Bowman is definitely not in the cards, as I'm going to have to fly home with whatever I buy, and >70% alcohol is hazmat. Prices to make me jump out of my socks is tough. The Willetts route sounds promising/fun, though -- I might try a couple of those. To tell the truth, even if I don't end up buying anything, it'd be fun just to do some browsing and talking with enthusiastic sales staff, if there are any to be had. The prices and selection here in Oregon are fine, but the biggest casualty in the state store system is the curatorial attitude that a private store owner who's doing it as a labor of love might take (think the good folks at K&L, whose blog I very much enjoy.)

You can find enthusiasric and knowledgeable retail staff at Schneider's and Ace. The bartenders and owner of Jack Rose and Bourbon are big-time enthusiasts and can talk at length about whiskeys.

Squire - yes, Central Liquors still is here. They've transformed into the same overpriced "upscale" crap store that you see every 5 blocks or so downtown. THEY'RE CHARGING $250 FOR THE VAN WINKLE 12 YEAR!

Happyhour24x7
01-11-2013, 06:06
Meant to jump back in and add the Jack Rose comments; glad Ben had me covered. I cannot state strongly enough that any whisk(e)y fan who visits DC needs to plan a visit there. You owe it to yourself.

squire
01-11-2013, 07:10
I'm not a big wood fan but as for heat I do have ice and water.

VAGentleman
01-11-2013, 15:20
Ding ding ding. That would be me Chris.

I'm a fan also. Not quite as good as the 18 year old but if you like oak. This is some great stuff.

matthewdc
01-11-2013, 19:52
You can find enthusiasric and knowledgeable retail staff at Schneider's and Ace. The bartenders and owner of Jack Rose and Bourbon are big-time enthusiasts and can talk at length about whiskeys.

Squire - yes, Central Liquors still is here. They've transformed into the same overpriced "upscale" crap store that you see every 5 blocks or so downtown. THEY'RE CHARGING $250 FOR THE VAN WINKLE 12 YEAR!



Saw this tweet, from yesterday, earlier: @BellWineShop: We have two bottles of PAPPY VAN WINKLE 20 year! We can't hold bottles, so come visit us before they're gone!


uh, they're asking $699 a bottle. OUCH! They may be there for a while at that price.

bad_scientist
01-11-2013, 21:26
Saw this tweet, from yesterday, earlier: @BellWineShop: We have two bottles of PAPPY VAN WINKLE 20 year! We can't hold bottles, so come visit us before they're gone!


uh, they're asking $699 a bottle. OUCH! They may be there for a while at that price.


Ladies and gentlemen, do you need any more examples of what it's like in DC? It's not only whiskey - hyped concerts sell out in minutes that take weeks or months to sell out in Philly and New York, simply because everyone wants something limited to show status.

higgins
01-12-2013, 10:03
Ladies and gentlemen, do you need any more examples of what it's like in DC? It's not only whiskey - hyped concerts sell out in minutes that take weeks or months to sell out in Philly and New York, simply because everyone wants something limited to show status.

Unfortunately this is very true. It also means that most people there have no knowledge of the things that they desire. There's a liquor store downtown with a prominent window display of expensive whiskey (presumably not for sale). They have a few Pappy's and the entire BTAC. All of the BTAC bottles are being displayed sideways. :(

squire
01-12-2013, 10:35
Capitol's prices were high 20 years ago when I was shopping there but they had a good selection.

MonsterMashBill
01-17-2013, 22:26
Well, so I got back from DC, and I ended up having a great time. I did a bit of bottle shopping, and even found the 140+ proof Bowman for 70 bucks (thanks Matt!) In spite of the warnings, I probably would have picked it up for that price, except that I couldn't have brought it on the plane home (too high a proof to fly with.) I do like the big, old bourbons (I am enjoying the latest Stagg, for instance), and it would have been worth a try.

I stopped by a couple other places (Schneiders, in particular, was quite nice) but didn't find anything that I wanted to spring for. Part of the problem was that I was just traveling with a carry-on, and if I bought anything, I'd have to pay like $30 to check my bag, so anything I picked up would have to clear that bar. So I passed on a Handy, a selected single barrel of Four Roses, and a couple Rittenhouse BIB's that I might have otherwise considered picking up. Schneiders will mail to OR, though, so I might subscribe to their email newsletter (if they do one) and just order stuff that way if anything juicy comes up (like a cask strength 4 roses, for instance.)

No, the whiskey highlight was a trip to Jack Rose, which was every bit what you guys sold it as. The wife and I went there after spending the day at the national zoo, and had a fantastic meal. I got a flight of 3 Willetts selections, all 8 or 9 years old, all cask strength. It was really fun to see how the various expressions differed, and to pick out the various notes. Having them right there to compare and contrast was really helpful in seeing what each was doing. My favorite was one they dubbed "Double Bean". Allison ordered creme brulee for dessert, which we split, and having that with my whiskey knocked my socks off -- the vanilla and caramelized sugar received the bourbon flavors so lovingly. It was an expensive outing, but really fun.

Thanks again for the advice!

higgins
01-18-2013, 07:23
Glad you enjoyed your trip to DC! I haven't been to Jack Rose yet, but I have a feeling that will be remedied in the near future after reading your description.

I just have no idea how you decided what to get! I could spend all night just browsing that menu.