View Full Version : Don't look for any liquor bargains in VA any time soon!
Check out this article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56401-2004Apr6.html) from yesterday's Post.
From that statistic in the article: I contribute to the 20% of sales that is done elsewhere. What a racket!! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/hot.gif
Good thing that MD is not too far away!
You say you don't get EWSB for $15.49 or ERSB for $17.49
in Virginia. Nothing like Montgomery County prices.
Geez! I can get EWSB under $20 (a storeowner I now routinely discounts me 10%), but ERSB for $17.49? I pay $29+ (that means it wholesales for considerably more than $20) for it and think it's a good deal. That kind of price would be -- literally, I'm not kidding -- illegal in Tennessee.
You say you don't get EWSB for $15.49 or ERSB for $17.49
in Virginia. Nothing like Montgomery County prices.
You can say that again!! They have the most insane sales (http://montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/DLC/Retail/spirits_specials.cfm)!!! Their everyday price on most things is less than a Virginia sale. I think that guy's "unscientific survey" was even a little conservative.
Just out of curiosity, since we get to MD a few times per year in general, what are a few of your favorite MD liquor stores? We usually find ourselves in the Rockville or Silver Springs area. The few times we've been to a store in MD, we could not believe the difference in prices from VA! I mentioned in another post here recently that we got a bottle of Bulleit for $11.00, and, I might add, I'm still regretting passing up a bottle of Old Grand Dad 114 that was relatively inexpensive. Got home and realized I had less than I thought (that seems to happen a lot!).
Dave & Tina
Well, despite the http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/horseshit.gif associated with Virginia's state-run ABC, Montgomery County happens to also be centralized, so you can get the same bargains at any of their locations (http://montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/dlc/Retail/store_locations.cfm). I'm coming from Northern VA, so I usually hit the ones closest to the Beltway. Westwood seems to have the best selection.
The prices are the same at all stores but some stores are larger than others and carry a greater selection. The larger stores also have many unpublished sales not found at the smaller locations.I haven't been down that way for about 15 months( I live in northeast Maryland ) but my
favorite store is in White Oak just off New Hampshire and route 29.
Thanks for the tips and the link. I guess the one we've patronized is Pike. We are LP collectors and usually are going to or from Joe's Record Paradise. Do you have any sense of how Pike compares to your favorites? Do the larger stores carry Blanton's? I don't remember seeing it at Pike.
With the current VA situation, it is getting more cost effective to drive to MD (about 2 hrs for us) all the time.
I haven't been to the "Pike" location, but I can tell you that "Westwood", "Potomac", and "Gaithersburg" all carry Blanton's.
I still have my December price list--it had Blanton's on sale for $28.95 with a regular price of $36.05.
A perfect example of what you were saying. On the VA ABC web site, Blanton's SALE price is $38.95, reg price 44.95.
I am embarrassed to admit, however, in a slightly sleep deprived state, I meant to ask if they have BARTON, not Blanton's. Sorry! On the rare occasions that we find ourselves in Kentucky or TN, we always pick up VOB.
My bourbon subconscious must be telling me to have Blanton's today.
The "Chevy Chase" store also has a great selection (Old Fitz, Weller Antique, a few VW selections), and from there you can head straight down Wisconsin Avenue into DC to Plain Old Pearsons.
Your bourbon subconscious has good taste!
I just returned from a 2-day trip to Kentucky, and though I didn't bring back everything I'd like to have, I did find many things I heretofore didn't even know existed.
Tennessee is pretty well-stocked with the premium brands (though some are missing), but I was amazed at how many mid- and bottom-shelf bourbons there are that I'd never seen before in our stores.
But the biggest thing -- which I'd earlier known but had forgotten -- is that there is no sales tax on liquor in KY. That alone amounts to almost a 10% 'discount' from Tennessee (where the sales tax is 9.25% where I live, and can be as much as 9.75%), even on identically priced items.
My gatherings included AAA 10yo -- marketed only in KY and VA -- and the fall version of OFBB, which never made it to Tennessee. I also snatched one of several remaining '02 OFBB bottles I discovered. I now have two of each of the three released expressions of the Birthday Bourbon, and plan to do a side-by-side(-by-side) tasting soon.
My biggest regret is the W.L. Weller 19yo I found for $99.99. Had it been my first purchase, I would have gotten it. But since I'd already depleted my bourbon budget, I had to pass. I fear I'll never get a chance at another one.
Weller 19 for $99? Where was that at? About 6 months ago I could have bought all the Weller 19 I wanted for $45 a bottle. Wish I would have stocked up on that, and made a little profit now.
I'll be glad to tell you where you can get one for $99.99 if you tell me where to get one (or two) for $45!
I'm still trying to get some more weller 19 as I absolutely love it, but unfortunately all the places I know of around here are out. Hmm, I wonder why... And at $99, I don't like it that much! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
Its gone from all the places I shop, but there were plenty on the shelves not all that long ago. Maybe its worth 99 to some people now, if you cant find it anywhere. But thats over twice as much as the retail price. Don't worry about me buying it for that price, I have 2 bottles that I only payed around 90 bucks for. I know trying to talk the price of bourbon down at a store isn't common practice, but you should have given it a try. They are probably only asking about $60 more than they payed for it.
Well, I didn't buy it at $99, and I would have at $45. Another day, I might well have paid the $99 -- after all, I have a couple of bottles of Pappy 23 on the sideboard. I'm sure the store was taking advantage of the fact that it was a limited edition in the first place, and is not likely to ever be repeated. So, any extant bottles are going to be few and far between and never anything less than rare. But, I sure would like to have a bottle or two. That was the first one I've ever actually seen on a store shelf.
I'm still kicking myself for not buying Weller 19...I remember when there was a whole shelf full of the stuff for under $40 each! However, I was young (in my Bourbon exploration that is...) and impressionable, and at the time there was a very vocal anti-wheater voice on SB.com to which I paid too much attention. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif
Wow. A two-day sojourn into KY? We have two emotions: 50% vicarious joy, 50% complete envy.
Your post provoked a lot of thoughts. A few of those:
1) $100 bourbon. Critics may say what they will, but these are our thoughts:
I used to say that I've never had the $100 bourbon. But have I? Have you ever been at a cash bar event, asked for a bourbon on the rocks, and been given Beam white for $5? If so, bear with me: what if the bartender had said, by the way, for $7, you can have a Booker's. Who among us wouldn't pony up the extra $2?
So, if you guesstimate 50ml per pour, Booker's is now worth $105 per per bottle.
So, if you like a whiskey as much as you like the 19 yr AND have the money, buy it.
As far as bargains, you may be right, but consider this:
2) There is a lot of bourbon in KY, but also a lot of people who like it. We are record collectors. Do you find Springsteen bargains in New Jersey? No. You find them in Seattle where nobody really cares about Springsteen.
So, fantasy time: Is there a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle in Idaho on the clearance shelf because no one was really interested?
3) Finally, appreciate what is in your back yard. I had no idea that AAA was limited in its distribution. Similarly, on a recent thread, we found that IW Harper is limited also. Are they great? No. But they're GOOD, and some folks can't get them easily.
Hope you enjoyed your Ky trip!
Finally, appreciate what is in your back yard. I had no idea that AAA was limited in its distribution. Similarly, on a recent thread, we found that IW Harper is limited also. Are they great? No. But they're GOOD, and some folks can't get them easily.
Actually, the phenomenon you're touching on here works both ways. You'll find many great reviews here on SB.com of Virginia Gentleman 90, which is common here in VA but (I'm assuming) more of a novelty in KY. Personally, I can't stand the stuff. As for AAA 10yo, I find it one of the best "sleepers" in the bourbon aisle. To each his own I guess!
No disagreements here -- at least not today. Another day, who knows? Anyway, while I regret not having a Weller 19yo (and I'm a collector at heart -- I started with coins at 8, have some nice wines today, et al -- so the rarity IS worth SOMETHING to me), I was pleasantly reminded what a great buy the AAA 10yo is. I wish I'd bought a bigger bottle.
Which brings to mind how lucky I am to be so close to Kentucky (it's only about two hours from my home to Bowling Green, where there are several nice, reasonably well-stocked liquor stores), not just for the proximity to good bourbon, but all the other good things that exist in the Bluegrass State.
And, I suspect you're right about the 'bargain' rarities probably waiting to be discovered somewhere out-of-the-way, but it's just plain luck finding them -- and I'd never found the Weller 19 at any price anywhere before.
Finally, I certainly did enjoy Kentucky and Kentuckians, and will again.
I have been fascinated about folks, like you, collecting bourbons and not drinking them.
I have a friend who loves to fish for bass, but can't stand the taste of fish! He always throws them back. Since I love to fish and the taste of fish, I can't relate.
I also love bourbon! I guess I can't relate to collecting, and not drinking, bourbon, unless I bought two bottles... one for collecting and one for tasting. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
I would be a nervous wreck if I had a bottle of bourbon on the shelf and had no clue what it tasted like. I just couldn't do that. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif
I have to hand it to you if you can!!!!!
Although I am a fan of VG 90, I definitely agree with the philosophical point you make. Sometimes I wonder how much price and availability influence my impressions before I even taste the whiskey. High priced and rare? Gotta be good, right? Not necessarily true.
Tangentially, I do really dislike regular Virginia Gentleman. Maybe I've been duped by the higher price and fancy wax on VG 90 into thinking I should like it.
"So, fantasy time: Is there a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle in Idaho on the clearance shelf because no one was really interested?"
I was in Boise, Idaho 2 weeks ago and went by 3 different state run liquor stores. I was looking for for those leftover bottles and I there was none to be found in Idaho http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
You know, it's a lot easier letting a 'collectible' bottle of bourbon sit on the shelf awhile when there are so many excellent whiskeys still available to taste. Since I'm relatively new to bourbon -- only been 'drinking around' the gamut for the last 18 months or so -- there are plenty I still have yet to try. Eventually, when I get bored by familiarity with all that's available to me, I suspect I'll pop open one of those Pappy 23s. But, until I've sampled many more less expensive/rare/exotic ones, they'll stay on the 'collection' shelf.
Although we always HAVE to taste any bottling we get, we certainly see your point. There are so many varieties of quality bourbon available even in VA through the state store, we can enjoy bourbon often and rarely find ourselves looking longingly at some premium bottling on our shelf that we're trying to "stretch out."
Still, having Pappy 23 but not tasting it? That borders on masochism! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif
Still, having Pappy 23 but not tasting it? That borders on masochism!
You've seen the price on that stuff. Simply buying it is masochism. Drinking it without enjoying ownership for awhile would be sado-masochism!
Once again I find myself agreeing with Tim. My 23yr old Pappy is going to sit on the shelf for awhile. Some time later I will enjoy it. Since it's from the same stock as the current 20yr old, one can always try that selection for a more reasonable price and keep the former unopened.
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