View Full Version : Availability of Bourbons in Ohio

11-30-2004, 14:45
I have been drinking bourbon for a couple of years but just recently (last three months) began expanding my palate. I have purchased about 10 different brands and would love to increase this number. This board, while highly informative, is certainly not making me content with purchasing only the bourbons that I have already acquired for the rest of my life (shouldn't there be a disclaimer?!?!).

I live in Central Ohio and have hit about ten different liquor stores within reasonable driving distance (this seems to be what many of my lunch hours have consisted of lately), but it seems that they all carry the same variety. There have been a find or two, but there are a lot of bourbons out there that I would really like to get my hands on. Purchasing spirits for shipment into Ohio is prohibited and right now driving to KY/IN is not on my priority list.

Now for my question: Is/are there any resource(s) where I can find out what bourbons are for sale in Ohio and where exactly they can be found? I know the second part may be asking a bit too much, but I gotta try. I've tried the Ohio Division of Liquor Control website, but to no avail.

Are there any members here in the Central Ohio area that can suggest a store with a large stock of 'not-so-easy-to-find' bourbons? Or, at least a mom and pop place willing to order for me?

Thank you in advance for any information that can be provided, and thank you for all that I've already learned on this fine website.


11-30-2004, 14:54
Depending on where in Ohio you live, you might try a trip up to Michigan.

I grew up in Detroit and will be going there for the holidays. Washington State, where I live now, has state-run liquor stores, which is not the case in Michigan. I haven't been back since becoming interested in bourbon, and I'm hoping the trip will be fruitful in that respect. Ideally, a trip to one of the large party/liquor superstore-type place will yield some interesting finds.

You might also consider a trip to Chicago. Binny's is well known for its large selection.

I'll report back after the holidays if I find anything worthwhile.

11-30-2004, 15:52
You might try a google search with something like "ohio liquor stores." One of the results is this: /www.eliquorstores.com/ohio/

Clayton is right. You probably want to check out a liquor super store, or a specialty liquor store. The liquor stores in Northern California are generally pathetic. I call them "potato chip stores." They seem to sell mostly snacks, soft drinks and lottery tickets. There are some good specialty stores in my area. One specializes in Tequila, and the other specializes in Single Malt Scotch. Those stores have fairly good selections of American whiskey. The Beverages and More chain here is also good.

I really think it's bad when states don't allow the importation of good whiskey. But that subject is probably for another post at another time.

Good luck.

11-30-2004, 16:03
driving to KY/IN is not on my priority list.

With all due respect, if bourbon is on your priority list and you don't want to mail order (in a discreet brown box) then you're going to have to change one of your priorities. The liquor barn in Lexington is alot closer than Chicago. Heck, once you're there it's not too far for a distillery tour or two. or three..


11-30-2004, 16:04
I forgot to mention something. One issue is liquor store quality. The other is distribution quality. You can test the latter by trying to special order bourbon from the liquor stores in your area. The stores' distributors may have stuff that the stores are not carrying. The store owner should have a catalogue of things he can order.

So try to special order something. But be careful of being ripped off as far as price goes. You could go online to someplace like Binnys to check prices to get an idea of what your special order should cost you. But Binnys is probably going to be somewhat cheaper.

11-30-2004, 17:03
the liquor barn in Lexington is alot closer than Chicago.

That's true! I forget that Ohio borders Kentucky. If I were that close to Bourbon HQ, an occasional drive down would be an absolute necessity.

11-30-2004, 17:39
I also live in Ohio (Akron). You will find that as a Control State, Ohio stores will all have the same basic bourbon with very little to no rare items. You will need to get out of the state. As others have pointed out, "If the mountain can't go to Mohammad then Mohammad must go to the mountain." Make the weekend trip to KY and hit the Liquir Barn. (Take LOTS of money) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif

I just got back from TX and picked up a Eagle Rare and a Joseph Finch.

11-30-2004, 18:28
The liquor store in The Cannery (S.F.) is one of the best in America. Even if you have to order from them, it within the State..


11-30-2004, 19:34
The Party Source-just take the I-471 bridge over the Ohio River from Cincinnati. Great selection-even has 4 Roses because it is in Kentucky. The prices are really good there. Oh yes, the sales tax is lower in Kentucky, than in Ohio. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

11-30-2004, 19:40
Three of best-stocked states in the country -- Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee -- are within a day's drive from you, two on your borders. It may be that your only chance at some of the many bourbons mentioned here is to hit the road.

11-30-2004, 20:04
The liquor store in The Cannery (S.F.) is one of the best in America.

I don't know what to say, Gary. This is almost in my own back yard. I found them on the web after reading your post, and they carry over 400 single malts. But there is no mention of bourbon, so I sent them an e-mail asking about their bourbon selection. I'm kind of afraid of what their response is going to be. A visit to that place might end my marriage.

11-30-2004, 20:29
Dale, if you bring the Joseph Finch to the Sampler, I'll supply the cigars... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bandit.gif

11-30-2004, 20:56
Well, I hope not. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I recall finding Pikesville Rye there years before I saw it anywhere else. They are indeed a malt whisky house first and foremost but when I was last there they had an excellent selection of bourbons and rye and not just the expensive ones. Hope they still offer a good range.


11-30-2004, 22:19
I'm from Ohio so I know a little bit about the situation there. Any state store should be able to tell you every bourbon/American whiskey that is listed (i.e., able to be sold) in Ohio and if there is something on that list they don't have, they should be able order it for you. I don't know if Ohio has any provisions for special ordering of products not listed, but probably not. At least then you will know the sum total of what is available to you there.

Apparently it is not impossible to get new produts listed. I was in Mansfield over the holiday and the state store there had Ridgemont Reserve 1792, Bartons new small batch bourbon, which was just re-released (with the new name) a few months ago.

12-01-2004, 04:09
The reason I bought it was just with you guys in mind. Now, the sampler or the festival?

12-01-2004, 04:20
That my friend is up to you. With the smaller crowd at the Sampler though, you might still have some to take home with you. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

12-01-2004, 08:41
Thanks for all of the replies.

I guess I was hoping for a "there's this great little place in Columbus that has anything that you're looking for!" reply, but oh well. I'm going to go talk to a guy at the store that I frequent and see if he would be willing to special order some stuff for me. If not, I guess the fun-filled drive to Lexington will need to be planned.


Ken Weber
12-01-2004, 13:46
The last time I was in SF was during the Whiskies of the World Exhibition. Since I believe SF is the coolest city in the U. S., my cohorts and I like to walk around the wharf, ride the trolley cars, and generally do the whole tourist bit. We went into the Cannery and were amazed at the collection of some rather rare bourbons. The prices were not that bad either (considering SF is not a particularly inexpensive place).


01-02-2005, 15:33
I've returned from my trip to Michigan for the holidays. I'd been looking forward to shopping for whisk(e)y while there, and it proved interesting. There aren't many drinkers among my family to consult with, so I did the best I could in finding larger stores to shop at on my own. "Champange's" and "Bee Bee's Liquor", both in and around Warren, were the best of what I found.

I wasn't able to find anything especially rare (no Antique Collection to be found anywhere, for instance), although I did manage to get a few things unavailable here in Seattle -- Elmer T. Lee, Eagle Rare Single Barrel, Suntory 12, among other finds. The most interesting things I came across were a small stash of dusty Wild Turkey 12 and some very dusty Evan Williams decanters. Unfortunately, I'd already spent my entire budget by the time I found these. From the looks of things, I wouldn't be surprised if they were still there next year!

I was also interested to note that, by and large, the prices in our state-run Seattle stores were often cheaper than the open-market Michigan stores for the same items.

Now, if only all of this whiskey survives the journey home. Our bags didn't make the connecting flight and should be delivered today. Here's hoping the baggage handlers don't kick the suitcases too hard.