View Full Version : Buffalo Trace Availability -- National roll out?

10-29-2003, 11:14
I searched the archives and couldn't find out this info.

I live in MA and I love Buffalo Trace.
(My name is Elmer Fudd. I own a mansion and a yacht...)

Anyone know of a source for BT near Massachusetts?
Anyone know of BT plans for a national roll out?

Help. I'm thirsty.


10-29-2003, 12:20
Try ordering it from an online retailer (I think you can get online alcohol shipments to Boston right?) or contact the purchasing manager of the store you frequent and see if they can procure some.

10-29-2003, 15:48
It's on sale through 10/31/2003 at Sam's for $15.21 a bottle. I'm infatuated with BT right now, and I was tempted to spring for a case, since it's not available AFAIK in CA. Reason prevailed, and I ordered only a couple of bottles (along with VWFR 12 y/o Lot "B" and some other goodies).

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

10-29-2003, 15:54
I doubt this will help you, but Montgomery County, Maryland has the complete BT lineup. Last weekend I was up there and they had a shelf-tag that said they are the only county east of the Something-or-other that carries it. I know this to be obsolete info though, because Virginia ABC now lists it on their Special Order Catalog.

BTW, a 1.75L bottle is $26.99 until December.

10-29-2003, 16:24

Unfortunately, Massachusetts seems to be one of those states that doesn't allow mail-order alcohol.

I'm willing to drive to NH, VT, ME, RI, CT, and NY for a good drink. Any farther will requrire a business trip.

I'm in VA for business frequently, what does special order mean for availability?

Is Montgomery County MD near BWI?

I'm getting thirstier. Oh look, its after 5...


10-29-2003, 16:30
Did you see if a local store can make a special order request for it? Stores near me stock nearly nothing in the way of bourbon but when I ask them to get me stuff they always come through after a few phone calls. Wouldn't that be the easiest solution, plus you can build a relationship with the purchasing manager at your local store for when you want other items...

10-29-2003, 16:36
That's a good suggestion, Mark. I'll give it a shot.

By the way, I just looked at your web page, that's a lot of
bourbon! Are all those bottles unopened? Buy 2, drink 1? Nice collection.


10-29-2003, 16:44
Definately give it a shot. Some few places make it like you are bothering them, but most will be happy to help. Plus that way when something limited comes out you may want they already know you.

Thanks for looking. Yep, all the ones in the collection are sealed. Pretty much, buy 2 drink 1 (with the exception of some real high $$ or very hard to get export stuff). And if I like one I'll keep repurchasing it.

10-29-2003, 17:11
I'm in VA for business frequently, what does special order mean for availability?

Locally, it means you tell the manager which item(s) you want and they get 'em in about two weeks. He mentioned they have a central location (I believe he mentioned Richmond?) from which they receive special orders. It may be possible to call the ABC you'll be near ahead of time. The website is:


Is Montgomery County MD near BWI?

About 45 miles one way. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif


10-29-2003, 19:26
After years of lurking (sorry), but MA does not allow mail or internet ordering of bourbon (or other alcohol products). Buffalo Trace is available in RI, at Town Wine & Spirits (179 Newport Ave., Rumford, RI). Elliot Fishbein is the proprietor and he knows his whiskey. Phone: 401 434 4563. e-mail: malt@townwineri.com

BTW, no chance of getting Stagg from Elliot: the entire RI allotment for the first Stagg release was a lousy 18 bottles. I am still trying to get a MA distributor to get me just ONE bottle of Stagg from the second release. Amazingly poor marketing and distribution from the BT folks. ARRGGHH! Ed V.

10-29-2003, 19:45
Welcome to Straightbourbon.com Ed! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

10-29-2003, 20:15
Thanks Ed,

Now that's what I call an inside tip.

I just found out that I will be travelling to Richmond, VA
next week, so I'll see if any of the nearby VA ABC's have
BT on hand.

I'll hold on to the RI store info.

This is a great list community. Cheers!


By the way, when I visited BT in Frankfort, they
(Freddie, I think?) said that BT would eventually
be rolled out nationally. Any inside update on this?
Do they have enough capacity/bourbon in the pipeline
to support a national brand roll out?

10-29-2003, 20:19
Thanks! I posted a few years ago, but I seem to have fallen off the rolls due to not having posted for years, which I did because my ability to discern flavors is very poor. As a chemistry prof., when I want to know what vanilla smells like, like so many say they smell in bourbon, I just get a bottle of pure vanillin off the shelf and smell it ... and it smells just GREAT... and not like bourbon at all. So I like to read what others, with much better noses than I, get when they try various fine bourbons, but I can't contribute much in the way of tasting notes. Ed

10-30-2003, 10:31

So I like to read what others, with much better noses than I, get when they try various fine bourbons, but I can't contribute much in the way of tasting notes.

We're glad to have you! Although I've been drinking Bourbon most of my life, I am not good at the tasting note thing either. But I really enjoy everyone's opinion.

10-30-2003, 10:48
By the way, when I visited BT in Frankfort, they
(Freddie, I think?) said that BT would eventually
be rolled out nationally. Any inside update on this?
Do they have enough capacity/bourbon in the pipeline
to support a national brand roll out?

Freddie is a great guy! No, they don't have the capacity right now to expand too far to fast. However, BT is a brand they do hope to roll out. I called them just now but did not get through but I talk to them frequently and will post their latest rollout plans as soon as I get information.

I realize one of you posted that you thought it was poor marketing by BT to only send few bottles of Stagg to your state. However, there are so many Stagg lovers in the core bourbon region and there is so little GT Stagg that they are simply trying to place it into stores where they know it will sell. At the time NY stores were trying to get $100 for Stagg last summer, I actually found a bottle sitting in another midwest store (not KY and the price was $36). It is really hard to determine distribution patterns. I know -- that was part of my job once.

-- Greg

10-30-2003, 17:20
Thanks for the warm welcome! No intention of stepping on any toes, so maybe I should clarify my comment about the marketing of Stagg. Before the first release of Stagg, there were no pre-existing Stagg lovers, just savvy bourbon drinkers who love fine bourbon and who jump at the chance to buy it, try it, and buy some more. Those lucky folks who have tried Stagg in the past year were almost invariably happy to have done so, based on what I read here, and many are now serious Stagg lovers. That's great and more power to Buffalo Trace! But lots of us have had no chance, thanks to 1) the heavily restricted marketing region (which appears to be KY, IN and TN, with tiny state allotments everywhere else), and 2) the wildly different (boneheaded) state-by-state liquor laws that make it difficult or illegal (like here in MA) to buy liquor by mail order, phone order, internet order, etc. No Sam's orders. No Binny's orders. No Wine and Liquor Depot orders. You get the drift. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

So it would help if distilleries could make it possible for more people to buy their products by shipping some product to other states, for sale in liquor stores. Radical concept, I know. This would make it unnecessary to have to set up trans-shipment sites with friends and relatives, find people to mule bottles back from the holy land (KY), etc. And as for marketing issues, all I know about marketing is these two things:

1. Marketing is MUCH more important than the actual product. This is very sad, but remember Pet Rocks? And then the Pet Rock Cemetery? Lots of examples of this exist.

2. Marketing a wildly popular product, to folks who are fervently seeking to buy it, has GOT to be a whole lot easier than selling rocks.

It would be sad if the odd bottle of Stagg sat on a shelf for a few weeks before getting snagged by some lucky person, but it is hard to see how that would be the distillery's problem because they already sold it on. Buffalo Trace can sell, quickly, every bottle of Stagg they produce. So there is no good reason to have such a micro-marketing region.

If this bothers anyone, no offense is intended. It's just that all I can do is HOPE that my latest attempt to get my local liquor store owner (who sells Saz 18, Eagle Rare 10 and ER 17) to get a bottle of Stagg is successful. One last thing: why doesn't BT at least send some 50 mL Stagg bottles to those of us in dark territory? That stretches the product further (and makes more profit: sell them for $5 per 50 mL bottle) and whets appetites among those who are Stagg lovers but don't know it yet because they haven't had the good fortune to try Stagg yet.



10-30-2003, 18:09
No need to be great at tasting notes. I'm not and somehow these folks here still like me, even after 1000 posts. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Just letting us know what you like (e.g., in the What Are You Drinking Now thread) will let us know a little more about you and be able to make some suggestions on other bourbons you might like.

Welcome back.

10-30-2003, 20:21
Ok tasters, this novice needs some clarification. I am currently sipping from a bottle of 90 proof Buffalo Trace and really like it. (Goes down nice and smooth with a nice honey taste.) I purchased the 750 ML bottle, last week, from a Montgomery County, Maryland liquor store for $12.99. That price is certainly cheaper than the ones noted here. One Cube Only reports the same liquor stores have the “complete BT lineup.” I didn’t see any other bottles, and some clicking around the BT web site did not reveal any other bourbons than the seemingly standard 90 proof. What am I missing here? Are there other more aged bourbons available from BT? Or did I stumble into a heck of a good deal? If the latter is the case, the store was the one in Montgomery Village, and I am definitely going to pick up a couple of more bottles.

10-30-2003, 21:03
First, yes, you stumbled onto a heckuva good deal with Buffalo Trace at $12.99. The label "Buffalo Trace" is only available in the 90-proof bottling. But the Buffalo Trace Distillery has the widest and deepest stable of long-lived (e.g., long barreled) bourbon in the business. In addition to all the Van Winkle brands (up to the 23yo Family Reserve, which I understand will be bottled again in December -- after 23 years in the barrel, there is only about 5 gallons of the original spirit left to bottle), Buffalo Trace (the distillery) also bottles Old Charter, Sazerac rye, Eagle Rare, (Ancient) Ancient Age, and Weller's -- all of which have bottlings 10 years or more old -- as well as Blanton's, Rock Hill Farms, Benchmark, Elmer T. Lee and Hancock's Reserve. All in all, quite a lineup.

10-30-2003, 21:11
Buffalo Trace does indeed have a whole "lineup" of products. Check out:


With the exception of the McAfee's Benchmark, Weller 12, and the young and middle-aged Old Charters, you can find any or all of those in Montgomery County.

10-31-2003, 06:20
Ed, thanks for your clarification. You are right that they can sell all that they make. And you certainly are right about the bone-headed liquor laws of different states.

No offense taken by me, that's for sure. My point is if I can sell all I can bottle within a select region of the country or world, then it makes it really hard to distribute more elsewhere. I frankly think they are doing their best. For example Coors banquet beer actually had more of a cult following when it was only available in Rocky Mountain states. As a marketer I've had to make these types of decisions and they are not easy to make.

Bottom line, I hope you can find your bottle of Stagg. And welcome aboard!


10-31-2003, 06:23
By the way, when I visited BT in Frankfort, they
(Freddie, I think?) said that BT would eventually
be rolled out nationally. Any inside update on this?

Here's the official reply from BT:

Buffalo Trace is available in KY, IN, and TN. Given our current level of success, and shortage of bourbon, general widespread availability is still some years away. Our plan is to slowly roll the brand out into markets where we can maintain controlled growth and achieve grassroots support.

We have been recommending that some people contact some web sites for Buffalo Trace, where legal. You can pass along www.spirits@samswine.com or joec@binnys.com. These are large Chicago retailers who have a huge internet business.

10-31-2003, 08:03
Thanks for the info, Greg.

The approach makes sense, even though its a little disappointing for those of us in states like MA. Since BT will be the namesake brand, it needs to be done right. We would hate to see the price get pushed up by overly thin distribution -- it would be hard to drop again once supply increased without undermining 'luxury' brand status.

Having a successful brand in undersupply is a double-edged sword.


10-31-2003, 19:05
Greg, thanks for the reply. Everything you say is right: I can't argue the logic of the small distribution region. And I deliberately didn't bring up the Coors distribution matter because it undercut my fully revved up rant in progress http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif It is just frustrating to be reading all these rave reviews and knowing many of us are scre*ed out of joining in on the experience.

I checked the BT web site again and found that my in-laws live in a city that is in the BT distribution region. No chance AT ALL of getting them to try to get a bottle of Stagg (and no way of knowing if their city gets any anyway), but I will be there next June, so if a hardy bottle can survive (please God) the next 8 MONTHS, I might be able to get one that way. Not holding my breath, though.

If not, I am going to try to set up a Stagg-post filter, so I can stop being tormented by the "I got mine REAL cheap, it's astoundingly fabulous, and I'm going back for MANY more" posts.

Sincere congrats to all who get Stagg, you LUCKY few! Ed

10-31-2003, 19:21
Anyone found any Stagg in NE Ohio??? have cash, will travel....go to Ky if necessary but a 4 hr drive....

10-31-2003, 20:00
TNbourban and One Cube Only: Thanks for the feedback and link. I think I now understand more of the marketing discussion here and a comment I read here somewhere thanking Elmer T. Lee for Buffalo Trace. I am surprised that the BT web site did not mention the other bourbons. Ah, marketing? I also now have a line of bourbons to buy and taste. This is fun!

11-01-2003, 08:15
Hey, Prof. Send me a private message or e-mail and I might be able to help you out. Greg

11-01-2003, 11:09
Nah man, I havent seen any of the Buffalo Trace Antique collection in Ohio. Although I have not found it listed online, there is a state wholsale price list, and I am sure you could talk to your local State Store to see it. From what I have been told if it aint on the list, you aint getting it. I also know it is updated monthly in an Ohio liquor trade publication (saw one laying around in the back room of the store I work for).


11-01-2003, 11:15
Hey I got a plan for you so you will feel better about this whole Stagg thing. Its simple. Go out and buy a bottle of Kentucky Spirit (available in MA, at least in Lowell when I visited in June) or Eagle Rare 17 year (Bargian priced at around $35 in Nashua, NH), then go home and enjoy a pair of whiskies that are BETTER than Stagg!

It'll do your body good!

Welcome To Bourbonia
Tom (Displaced MA native) C

11-01-2003, 14:17
Tom, sounds like very good advice, but I'd still like to do the head-to-head-to-head comparison myself. I don't know of anyone whose tastes exactly match mine, so I'd like to know if I'm missing something seriously amazing. And, of course, it is puzzling that Eagle Rare 17 seems to excite little spontaneous reaction, unless people are brought around to thinking about it, in which case it gets high marks and people say they love it. But Stagg sucks all the air out of the room, the moment its name is whispered. What accounts for this wild difference? Just the rocket fuel proof of Stagg? I dunno, but thanks for the advice. Ed

11-02-2003, 00:34
The think about Stagg is that it screams "Drink Me!" at barrel proof while Eagle Rare 17 whispers it to you sweetly (at 90). It can get drowned out in the ruckus sometimes although that is a shame. Stagg is a great pour, ER verges on the sublime.


11-02-2003, 06:28
While I have never tasted Stagg, I agree with Tom about the ER. I had one drink of the 17-yr at a bar in Atlanta, It was absolutely beautiful.