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BourbonGuy
01-14-2013, 08:40
There seems to be a disturbing trend. Elijah Craig 18 used to sell for $45 (admittedly underpriced). Now they went from 18 yrs old to 20 years old and now charge $120.I just found out that Jefferson's 18yr. is all gone and will no longer be produced. Instead Jefferson is releasing a 21 year old in the spring. If Jefferson's 18 was in the ballpark of $90, what will the 21 yr cost?

This seems to be a disturbing trend and I guess as long as we still buy it, they will continue to sell it and make as much money as the can. Guess the economy can't be that bad if everyone is spending over $100 on bourbon.

smknjoe
01-14-2013, 09:14
Can't read your post. The letter color is the same grey as the background.

BourbonGuy
01-14-2013, 09:21
sorry...fixed it.

UncleJohnsBarrel
01-14-2013, 09:21
For what its worth the Jefferson 21 year I think is going to be a 21 year old rye (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=12223001000106), meaning that more than just being more aged and thus more expensive, it won't even be the same stuff that Jefferson 17/18 became famous for, SW wheated bourbon.

smknjoe
01-14-2013, 09:25
Whether or not it's rye or bourbon, price increases seem to be trendy these days.

Edit: negligent spelling, again.

HP12
01-14-2013, 09:27
As an astute member once stated and rings true; " It won't be any cheaper than it is today". I would add, especially for the extra aged expressions. As popularity soars, so does the prices.

luther.r
01-14-2013, 09:46
For what its worth the Jefferson 21 year I think is going to be a 21 year old rye (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=12223001000106), meaning that more than just being more aged and thus more expensive, it won't even be the same stuff that Jefferson 17/18 became famous for, SW wheated bourbon.
FWIW, there's a COLA for a 21 bourbon (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=12320001000005) too.

UncleJohnsBarrel
01-14-2013, 10:05
FWIW, there's a COLA for a 21 bourbon (https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=12320001000005) too.

Definitely didn't see that one but thank you for pointing that out, it will be interesting to see if they price the 21 year old rye at the same level as 21 year old bourbon.

Looks like the 21 year old JPS bourbon loses any mention of SW on the labeling .

petrel800
01-14-2013, 10:24
There seems to be a disturbing trend. Elijah Craig 18 used to sell for $45 (admittedly underpriced). Now they went from 18 yrs old to 20 years old and now charge $120.I just found out that Jefferson's 18yr. is all gone and will no longer be produced. Instead Jefferson is releasing a 21 year old in the spring. If Jefferson's 18 was in the ballpark of $90, what will the 21 yr cost?

This seems to be a disturbing trend and I guess as long as we still buy it, they will continue to sell it and make as much money as the can. Guess the economy can't be that bad if everyone is spending over $100 on bourbon.


Bourbon is cool again, thus popularity is up and quite frankly the general buying public equates quality to age. It doesn't surprise me that these ultra aged bourbons continue to go up in price and popularity. Add in the fact that it seems that some talking head somewhere is always saying this bourbon or that bourbon is now the "best," and you have the current situation we are in now.

The good news is, this is a 2 way street, distilleries continue to ramp up production, so in 5-10 years there may be a glut of whiskey with no buyers if they keep raising the price and running off the average consumers. In my opinion, now is a good time to recognize value in a bottle. Not necessarily "value bottles," but where and when is your breaking point. EC18 to me was never one of my favorites, so EC20 is not something I am going to chase. There are a lot of private bottlings that a very good values out there. You could spend a year or 2 on the 10 recipes of 4 roses if you want to try and outlast the current storm.

The good thing about economics is eventually we will reach an equilibrium, it may mean higher prices, but it will sort itself out.

Old Lamplighter
01-14-2013, 10:29
I agree with all on this thread thus far & don't foresee any changes in the future as of now...more demand, higher prices. I came across some Hirsch 25yr rye a few days ago at just under $200. Though I had not seen any in a while, my initial reaction was to cringe. However, situated about halfway between HW21 & Ritt 25, I ponder it further. As it further 'evolves' in my mind, I soon find myself almost justifying the price. Now, at this point, I'm just a few steps away from a purchase - IF I had the $$. And, like most, I'll soon figure out a way to find the $$...lol.

Such is a day in the life for a soul addicted with whiskey nervosa (WN) for which there is no cure. The distilleries are knowledgeable of this common affliction & so goes the shelf prices.

squire
01-14-2013, 12:39
I've noticed whenever Bourbon prices rise across the board they stay higher and I bought my first Bottle of Bourbon about 50 years ago.

Gillman
01-14-2013, 12:47
I generally will not pay the higher prices. I just don't see a quality increment. To me, Triple A (current issue), 4R Yellow Label, Old Forester 100 proof and Buffalo Trace are as good as bourbon gets and the more expensive stuff is either not as good or at par. I did enjoy buying the wider range when they were cheaper, but not now.

Gary

squire
01-14-2013, 13:18
Add Barton and Grand Dad my list is the same as Gary's for the same reasons.

BourbonGuy
01-14-2013, 13:27
Sorry, but it seems to me that bourbon is hot. Now the vendor is thinking, I canít take my bourbon X and just double the price. People would complain and I be known for just wanting more money. So Iíll take the stock I already have, let it sit two more years and jack the price up by double.

If they are REALLY smart, they will cut back production and keep supply low and demand high to justify the cost. When whiskey falls out of favor for the next trend, and they have more supply than they know what to do with, only then will price drop.

Please understand, everyone is entitled to make a living, I have no problem with that. But 18 year old bourbon for $45 that is held for 20 years and is now $120, something isnít right.

jeffrey r
01-14-2013, 13:27
I generally will not pay the higher prices. I just don't see a quality increment. To me, Triple A (current issue), 4R Yellow Label, Old Forester 100 proof and Buffalo Trace are as good as bourbon gets and the more expensive stuff is either not as good or at par. I did enjoy buying the wider range when they were cheaper, but not now.

Gary

Gary, that principally covers the under $20 segment in my area (BT is in the under $30 segment, and Triple A is only available to me online), and in addition to Squire's suggestions, I might add FC103 and WSR to that bunch. For me, the sweet spot seems to be between $20-$30, with FRSB, FRSmB, ETL, ERSB, EWSB, W12, OWA and OGD114 always having a place in my collection. As long as these stalwarts remain available and priced under $30, I'll be a happy man.

Oh, and I might add that the new Bulleit 10 just showed up at my local Total Wine for $53. Compared to the great bourbons I just listed at under $30, how should Bulleit 10 be priced? IMHO, well under $53 (too bad, as I would like to give it a try). I thought the retail price on the Bulleit 10 was around $45, so not sure where TW is coming up with this price.

Rockefeller
01-14-2013, 13:37
Not sure what the problem is. To the OP, just buy up the rest of the EC18 and JPS18 that you can find. What's the big deal?

squire
01-14-2013, 13:58
BourbonGuy raises a point. In the past major producers would use their older, slower maturing whiskies in the general mix, but now there's more money to be made by bottling them or selling the product off to the NDPs. Can't say I blame them, they made the stuff to be sold, sure they should get the most for it, but not from me.

There will always be value brands of whisky and if the Bourbon producers don't provide them the Canadians will.

Phil T
01-14-2013, 15:12
I generally will not pay the higher prices. I just don't see a quality increment. To me, Triple A (current issue), 4R Yellow Label, Old Forester 100 proof and Buffalo Trace are as good as bourbon gets and thCDe more expensvsive stuff is either not as good or at par. I did enjoy buying the wider range when they were cheaper, but not now.xxxcc

Gary

You make a very good point Gary. It seems we all have an everyday pour, that we really like/love in the $20-$30 range, and some even cheaper. It is THE pour that we always have. But every year we have to deal with the FR'S LE's, the BTAC, and the VW'S among a host of others.

I really think the hunt is not worth the reward. Sure we are talking Bourbon of the year, and all that stuff. But, is it really worth 2 probably 3 times the price? I'm thinking not.

MyOldKyDram
01-14-2013, 15:16
As long as the 4R limiteds remain relatively affordable and widely (around here anyhow) available, then I'll always pony up for those. It's a wait and see with virtually all other LEs at this point, however.

tanstaafl2
01-14-2013, 15:24
As long as the 4R limiteds remain relatively affordable and widely (around here anyhow) available, then I'll always pony up for those. It's a wait and see with virtually all other LEs at this point, however.

Based on my sampling of several recent "vintages", I would also be in the market for the OFBB in the future and it has a very nice QPR for me at around $40 or a little less. I hope it stays in that range. I think it also makes a nice gift to others ( a perfect birthday bourbon!) without breaking the bank and despite the somewhat awkward shape for storing the bottle is attractive as well. But then I like wide bottom "ship style" decanters in general.

BourbonGuy
01-16-2013, 01:22
BTW: Praise for Buffalo Trace. While I am complained that may are raising their prices to take advantage of the fact that bourbon is hot, Buffalo Trace still believes in maintaining reasonable pricing. I have not seen Buffalo Trace, Ancient Ancient Age, Blanton's, or any of the Antique Collection go up that much trough the years. Pappy has gone up, but probably more at the retail level where the local store on get three bottles or so and knows he could sell 100.

HighInTheMtns
01-16-2013, 06:23
MSRP for PVW took a significant jump this year. BTAC has been steadily climbing too, even in places like Utah where the DABC doesn't know a bottle of GTS from a bottle of Kamchatka vodka. BT is certainly not blameless.

AaronWF
01-16-2013, 07:21
I just found out that Jefferson's 18yr. is all gone and will no longer be produced. Instead Jefferson is releasing a 21 year old in the spring. If Jefferson's 18 was in the ballpark of $90, what will the 21 yr cost?

I cannot call this a disturbing trend. The fact that things age as time passes is entirely self-evident. 2-3 years ago, McClain & Kyne bottled a 17yo bourbon. A year later, they bottled an 18yo bourbon. Now the lot of barrels they bought is a little older and they can bottle it as a 21yo. Aged stocks are disappearing across the board, because 15-20 years ago (5 years ago even), bourbon was still recovering from the bottoming out of the 70s and 80s, and it mostly didn't make sense to lay down bourbon for a future market that may or may not materialize.

So, this 'disturbing trend' you speak of is really just the increasing popularity of American whiskey.


Based on my sampling of several recent "vintages", I would also be in the market for the OFBB in the future and it has a very nice QPR for me at around $40 or a little less. I hope it stays in that range. I think it also makes a nice gift to others ( a perfect birthday bourbon!) without breaking the bank and despite the somewhat awkward shape for storing the bottle is attractive as well. But then I like wide bottom "ship style" decanters in general.

In these parts, OFBB went from $40 two years ago to $45 last year and $55 this year. I've enjoyed past releases when I could find them for $25-$40, but they've lost me at this point. I'm thankful I didn't like the 2012 bottling that I got to taste!

In general, if I'm going to spend over $80 (the price of FRLE and PHC around here), it needs to be CS and unchillfiltered. There are exceptions, but I'm following FR as the bellwether. Straight-from-the barrel private selections of FR aged 8-10 years can be found relatively easily for $55. That's my standard.

T Comp
01-16-2013, 07:50
You can do this yourself. Find old bourbon ads with prices and plug them into an inflation calculator. Here's Old Fitz BIB in a decanter in 1967 for $5.95. That would be paying $40.81 today.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=GWwjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=KCgEAAAAIBAJ&pg=959,4878280&dq=old+fitzgerald&hl=en

http://www.dollartimes.com/calculators/inflation.htm

Yeti
01-16-2013, 07:57
I started drinking American whiskey long before I started drinking Scotch whisky, but I started caring about and "collecting" Scotch whisky long before American whiskey. From that perspective I don't have much issue at all with the current and foreseeable pricing for most high end bourbons. This is pretty much the opposite of the old-school guys who were buying $30 PVW by the case (or whatever the "back in my day" specific is).

I think it's a tiny bit of belly-achin'. Bourbon is still a drink of the people, as has been mentioned in this thread. You can get Buffalo Trace, which in my opinion is the bees knees. for $25 most anywhere. Nobody owes 18 year old whiskey to anyone. There's less and less of it, and more people want it every year. Start lusting over a Karuizawa single cask from 1981, or Ardbegs from the 1970s and you'll realize that BTAC, PHC, 4RLE are pretty affordable options in the luxury whiskey world.

I think the bottom line is supply and demand, and yes that's a hackneyed response to this conversation. But it's true. If Buffalo Trace dumped enough juice to put out $35 BTAC that was on a shelf in every liquor store then there probably wouldn't be BTAC next year. The consumer is the culprit here, not the Van Winkles or Buffalo Trace. People were buying Diageo's Port Ellen annual releases for a few hundred dollars each ($200-$500 depending on the year) and then flipping them on the secondary market for over $1000. What did they do? This year they released their annual release for $1200 and have sold them all almost immediately. Why wouldn't they do that? I hate the corporate structure and think "the profit motive" is just about the worst concept the modern world has ever created, but even I agree that you sell something for what it's worth, and the consumers, in large part, have decided what these products are worth.

Gillman
01-16-2013, 08:17
I agree with Squire's and Jeffrey R's emendations to my list of good affordable bourbons. Indeed I buy some in the $20-$30 range, sometimes, and the good ones were mentioned.

I see no reason to spend more in terms of quality. Stagg when you can find it is actually a decent value because of the very high proof, and age, but apart from that when I've spent more I've been disappointed including the higher end WT's, the limited edition of 4R SB last year (I know a lot of people liked it but I didn't), those Taylors as issued by BT, and I can go on. I did enjoy Masterson's which is kind of in a category of its own - Canadian, all-rye - but generally will not spend more than $30.00 now in the U.S. (I'll go a little higher in Ontario because all the prices here are higher to begin with).

Gary

Gillman
01-16-2013, 11:11
I meant the LE of 4R Small Batch, not the single barrel (which I like a lot).

Gary

darylld911
01-17-2013, 17:54
While my "everyday" pours are on the lower end (under $30 a bottle stuff), I hate to admit that I'll still buy the expensive stuff that I've had and liked (GTS, THH). What I have found out though is that I don't need to buy it every year (and maybe not even every other year!!) If I drank it more frequently, I think it would lose a bit of the luster it has for me (not to mention hit my pocketbook), and there is plenty of damn fine bourbon under $30. If I had to pick one thing to drink for the rest of my life and forgo all others, it would probably be ETL rather than GTS (but damn . . . I'd miss the Stagg!) I fully expect prices to continue to go up, especially as different entities are trying to reduce their debt/deficits. Tax is already a huge percentage as it is!