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View Full Version : Does Meijer Sell Private Barrel Selections?



DPPSmoker
02-15-2013, 13:25
Meijer is a regional supercenter chain that started in Michigan and has slowly expanded out to Ohio and Indiana in the last several years - their business model is very similar to Walmart. I was in a Meijer store recently and I was surprised by the bourbon selection they had. One bottle in particular caught my eye and I purchased it. It was a Knob Creek Single Barrel. However, it had a metallic sticky tag stuck toward the top of the bottle. It states Barrel #284 Hand Selected by Meijer. On the right hand side is Fred Noe's signature - not his real signature, just an impression in the metallic tag.

I have a few questions. Who applied this metallic tag? Meijer or Knob Creek?

More importantly, this particular bottle is the first evidence that I have seen that Meijer has ever participated in a private barrel purchase. Have their been other private barrel purchases by Meijer in the past? Seems like private barrel purchases would be right in their wheel house. They have really stepped up their wine purchasing efforts in the last 5 to 10 years. Private bourbon purchases seems like the next logical step with their number of stores and excellent distribution system. Anybody know anything about this? Thanks in advance.

callmeox
02-15-2013, 13:32
The sticker is from Beam and they have been doing this for retailers for a while.

The local Giant Eagle supermarket had a special bottling of KC a few years back that included a customized wooden box with the store logo.

OscarV
02-15-2013, 13:36
The local Meijer here in my neck of the woods has a Knob Creek Single Barrel,...it looks so so special with the Meijer logo on it.

Bourbon Boiler
02-15-2013, 19:49
I've seen Knob Creek do this for both Kroger and Martin's (a smaller, regional grocer) in my area. I don't think there's any special selection process behind it.

p_elliott
02-16-2013, 07:24
I've seen Knob Creek do this for both Kroger and Martin's (a smaller, regional grocer) in my area. I don't think there's any special selection process behind it.

That is rather misleading as with all the other distilleries if it has a special sticker on it like that it was a specially selected barrel.

Josh
02-16-2013, 08:07
I don't see why they couldn't have selected their own. Meijer sells a lot of booze. How selective the selection was is an open question, but unless somebody is going to do a KCSB tasting, or has an inside source, I don't know if we'll ever know for sure.

PaulO
02-16-2013, 12:31
The Meijer store in Greenwood IN seems to have improved their bourbon selection quite a bit. This started about a month before Christmas. They started to sell Four Roses Single Barrel, Bulleit Rye, and KC SB; all cheaper than most other places. I think they got some other stuff too. When they started, the KC did not have the silver tag. Recently, I started to see the silver tag, with a barrel number. I think putting the barrel number is a good idea.

squire
02-16-2013, 16:33
It's just another commodity for these stores so I wouldn't place too high a hope that it will be noticeably better than the regular offering, we could get lucky though.

Bourbon Boiler
02-17-2013, 06:42
That is rather misleading as with all the other distilleries if it has a special sticker on it like that it was a specially selected barrel.

I would suspect that it is specially selected, only probably by a Beam employee (who has not particular motivation to get the best one available) instead of a supermarket employee.

PaulO
02-17-2013, 12:04
The main difference is now, if some one wanted to buy more (or avoid) a particular barrel, they could. The first KC SB I got from a liquor store, shortly after it was available here, had a cinnamon red hot thing going on. It almost numbed my mouth, but not in a bad way. The recent stuff from Meijer is more like a barrel proof JB Black to me.

T Comp
07-09-2013, 20:38
So I stopped in at a Meijer's for the first time in my life and though the bourbon selection is limited they certainly have some good prices for this area. My interest was piqued by a recent post in a 4R thread that they had the single barrel at $29.99 in Indy. Here it is on sale at $33.99. Noticed Jack Daniels SB and Rock Hill Farms at sale prices somewhere between $40 and $43 and BT around $21. Didn't buy anything but the 4R looked mighty dark in color and I was tempted.

PaulO
07-10-2013, 08:23
When Meijer started to carry Knob Creek Single barrel, they got in a batch that had a little metal tag glued to the bottle. The tag said specially selected for Meijer, and had a barrel number. Since then, I haven't seen any more with the tag.

Old Dusty
07-10-2013, 12:34
When Meijer started to carry Knob Creek Single barrel, they got in a batch that had a little metal tag glued to the bottle. The tag said specially selected for Meijer, and had a barrel number. Since then, I haven't seen any more with the tag.

Some there now and on sale. As are the three standard FR (1B, SB & YL). 1B is $29.99, SB is about $21 and YL is $14.99.

mbroo5880i
07-10-2013, 18:46
Do you remember how much the KCSB is? Geez, now I have to make a trip to Meijer. It would be ok if I were just going to buy bourbon but my wife will want to buy a bunch of other stuff.

Old Dusty
07-10-2013, 18:50
Do you remember how much the KCSB is? Geez, now I have to make a trip to Meijer. It would be ok if I were just going to buy bourbon but my wife will want to buy a bunch of other stuff.

I think it was the same as the FR1B $29.99 IIRC.

Clavius
07-10-2013, 20:02
I must have missed this topic when it was first posted.

A little background first: here in Kentucky, at the moment, grocery stores are specifically excluded from selling wine or liquor in the regular grocery store. It's pretty silly. So what major chains, like Meijer, have done is to setup completely separate buildings or stores that are part of the main grocery that are closed off with a separate entrance.

I work in one of these stores for a grocery chain in central KY that is not Meijer (so I cannot speak as to how they operate). But in my store I have personally been involved in selecting a barrel of bourbon. It was a fun experience and I hope I get to do it again in the future. I'm not an expert on bourbon and neither are my coworkers. But I can tell you that it's not just Beam or whomever out there picking the barrel for my company! Us folk on the store level actually do it!

benpearson
07-11-2013, 10:17
Larger retailers are going to buy product in such a way that they get the lowest price possible. So if their distributor was running a deal on single barrels then they bought it that way. There's nothing wrong with this, and the distiller is not going to put product that does not meet profile into this program. However, it wouldn't surprise me if they just let the distillery "choose" the barrel for them. Jim Beam was recently pushing fairly hard with pricing for retailers to purchase their own special barrels. So likelihood is that this is what happened here. Many package stores pick barrels this way as well.
Some of the larger distilleries will go ahead and bottle these retailer selections in advance of anticipated sales, and then send samples out to retailers. For example the company I work for purchased a single barrel of a particular Tennessee whiskey. We did actually select the barrel from several samples that were sent to us. When it arrived the date on the label was a month prior to when we actually selected it. The product in the bottle was what we picked...it's just a way to more efficiently get the product to the market.
When buying product from a smaller distillery it is common to actually go and visit, and sample from the actual barrel. This is a lot more fun, but it takes longer to actually get the product onto the shelf.
Often times there is no pricing advantage to buying your own barrel, and you may be extending inventory further than needed and using up extra cashflow in the process.

This all being said, when the retailer I work for picks out barrels we will always actually select the product and insure that it is of a superior quality than offered in the non retailer bottling before having a label attached. That's really the point of these sorts of programs, and I think it sets us apart from a lot of retailers. People know if they pick up a bottle that says selected by _____ in our stores that it is going to be of good quality. It's a bit of a gamble sometimes with these retailer selections unless you know the retailer that selected it knows what they are doing, or actually selected it. Nothing against Meijer, but I doubt they have a lot of whiskey experts working there. Maybe they do, I'll have to stop by and buy a bottle.
It isn't cheap however to send a group of people to Kentucky to taste whiskey when they are making you money working in the stores, so I doubt that a big box retailer would do this. Even if the trip is paid for by the distributor or manufacturer the employees wages are not.

Jackinbox
07-11-2013, 10:47
It isn't cheap however to send a group of people to Kentucky to taste whiskey when they are making you money working in the stores, so I doubt that a big box retailer would do this. Even if the trip is paid for by the distributor or manufacturer the employees wages are not.Is it possible that they had some people from some of their Kentucky stores go over to FR and choose? I don't think that would be all that expensive if they made a day trip out of it.

benpearson
07-11-2013, 10:49
Is it possible that they had some people from some of their Kentucky stores go over to FR and choose? I don't think that would be all that expensive if they made a day trip out of it.

Certainly possible!

P&MLiquorsEric
07-11-2013, 11:37
Is it possible that they had some people from some of their Kentucky stores go over to FR and choose? I don't think that would be all that expensive if they made a day trip out of it.

Or you do it through the mail. A number of distilleries do this already. 4 or 5 100ml barrel samples sent via good ole USPS..

squire
07-11-2013, 11:46
Well, however done I view it as a positive.

mbroo5880i
07-12-2013, 17:40
Well, however done I view it as a positive.

I bought the "Meijer Four Roses Private Barrel" today. As chance would have it, two gentlemen were stocking the bourbon section while I was there. They were predominately stocking Four Roses selections, YL, SmB and SB. I apologized for getting in their way and then picked up a Knob Creek Single Barrel to read the label. One of the guys said "If you are going to get in our way, the least you can do is buy Four Roses since it is our selection!" We all had a laugh and I told him I was happy to since it was on sale for half price today (of course, it was not). The point being is that there is some perspective on the sales floor that the SB is bottled specifically for Meijer.

There is nothing on the bottle to indicate as such. It looks like any other FRSB that I have seen. However, as Paul notes, the benefit is that if you like it, you know the barrel you like and you might find it at Meijer. As squire notes, any opportunity to get a private barrel selection at below standard SB price is a good thing.

Jackinbox
07-12-2013, 17:44
I bought the "Meijer Four Roses Private Barrel" today. As chance would have it, two gentlemen were stocking the bourbon section while I was there. They were predominately stocking Four Roses selections, YL, SmB and SB. I apologized for getting in their way and then picked up a Knob Creek Single Barrel to read the label. One of the guys said "If you are going to get in our way, the least you can do is buy Four Roses since it is our selection!" We all had a laugh and I told him I was happy to since it was on sale for half price today (of course, it was not). The point being is that there is some perspective on the sales floor that the SB is bottled specifically for Meijer.

There is nothing on the bottle to indicate as such. It looks like any other FRSB that I have seen. However, as Paul notes, the benefit is that if you like it, you know the barrel you like and you might find it at Meijer. As squire notes, any opportunity to get a private barrel selection at below standard SB price is a good thing.Did you happen to notice the price on Blanton's? I was thinking it was on sale for $43.99, but now I can't remember.

mbroo5880i
07-12-2013, 17:51
Did you happen to notice the price on Blanton's? I was thinking it was on sale for $43.99, but now I can't remember.

Drats, I didn't even notice the Blanton's! I was so focused on the FR and KC. :frown:

That would be a great price! Now I have to go back! :grin:

Jackinbox
07-12-2013, 18:06
Drats, I didn't even notice the Blanton's! I was so focused on the FR and KC. :frown:

That would be a great price! Now I have to go back! :grin:The good thing is that the sales on liquor usually run 30 days or so. I think the current sales goes thru 8/4.

squire
07-12-2013, 18:08
Our job is never really done is it fellas.

Jackinbox
07-12-2013, 19:11
Our job is never really done is it fellas.Not in the foreseeable future! Although maybe after I've been at this a while, I too can settle down with VOB for breakfast and lunch and OGD for dinner! But right now all of this variety is a lot of fun.