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View Full Version : I envy Americans for your range of bourbons...



rob
08-23-2005, 17:02
I'm sitting here at 1:35 with a glass of Overholt (although my diet forbids it!) and can't help but think when I read some posts here that you bourbonhunters are very fortunate. Sweden, not allowing private shops, must be the country the bourbongods forgot. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

Here is what we can get, and this is ALL that is available: (approximate/equivalent prices in parantheses)

Blanton's Gold ($ 120)
Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon ($ 60)
Buffalo Trace ($ 50)
Evan Williams Single Barrel 1994 ($ 85)
Four Roses Bourbon ($ 25)
Four Roses Bourbon 35 ml ($ 18)
Jack Daniel's ($ 35)
Jack Daniel's 350 ml ($ 23)
Jim Beam Bourbon ($ 33)
Jim Beam Bourbon35 ml ($ 20)
Jim Beam Black 8 Years ($ 36)
McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey ($ 90)
Old Potrero Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey ($ 90)
Rittenhouse Straight Rye ($ 35)
Seagram's Seven Crown Blended Whiskey ($ 32)
Seagram's Seven Crown Blended Whiskey 35 ml ($ 21)
Wild Turkey Straight Rye Whiskey ($ 49)
WL Weller 12 Years ($ 53)

Appauling, isn't it? So, fellow American drinkers, I hope this will give you a sense of perspective.

Just thinking about this gives me the blues. A perfect opportunity to "bourbonize" myself into oblivion, eh?

Cheers!

/Robert http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drinking.gif

jeff
08-23-2005, 17:07
I'd probably still pay $53 for the Weller 12yo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

Sorry about your circumstances, but you can get a few things we can't here, like the Blanton's Gold. I can't get Rittenhouse Rye and I live in KY http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

rob
08-23-2005, 17:11
Hi Jeff,

Yes, as I understand it some whiskies are not available in some states and that is a shame. WHen I was in the US this summer I lived primarily in Virginia. There they did not have X bourbon, so I went to nearby Maryland where they had it, and in Maryland they did not have Y bourbon, so I went to DC. (lived very close to the state lines, as you may have guessed http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif ) So I see your problem, too.

BTW, I love the quote in your signature. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

CrispyCritter
08-23-2005, 18:47
I'm sitting here at 1:35 with a glass of Overholt (although my diet forbids it!) and can't help but think when I read some posts here that you bourbonhunters are very fortunate. Sweden, not allowing private shops, must be the country the bourbongods forgot. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

(outlandish prices snipped)





Ow. Owww! <font color="red">OWWWWWWWWWW!</font>

I can't help but wonder how much of that is the cost of shipping it overseas, and how much of that is taxes?

I've noticed that US prices for Scotch are often as good or better than UK prices. And yet, Americans are always moaning about taxation! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

Of course, we have our own troubles, with a patchwork of differing liquor laws for each state, and sometimes with each county, not to mention each city!

Ohio seems to be a whisky wasteland. Michigan is also, to a lesser extent, while Illinois is fairly blessed by comparison. Just don't get me started on the corruption in Illinois politics, though. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

That being said, sometimes even a "control" state (where the state government controls liquor sales at the wholesale or even retail level) can have some surprising finds. I found some Cadenhead's 150th anniversary bottlings of Port Ellen in Michigan, where I would have never expected them. FYI, Michigan is state-controlled at the wholesale level, but retail sales are at private stores.

rob
08-23-2005, 19:51
Ow. Owww! <font color="red">OWWWWWWWWWW!</font>

I can't help but wonder how much of that is the cost of shipping it overseas, and how much of that is taxes?



Again, the taxes in America is a fart in space compared to ours in Sweden http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif. 70 cl bottles are the largest sold here, and for every 1 liter of alcohol sold, above that is 196 SEK, which equals US $ 28. In other words, the $ 28 is itax only ABOVE the price for the product. One bottle of Absolut Vodka, our gift to the world, costs the equivalent of US $ some $ 35 here. The actual cost for the product is almost nothing considering the vast volumes of Absolut produced.



Of course, we have our own troubles, with a patchwork of differing liquor laws for each state, and sometimes with each county, not to mention each city!




What are the reasons for this, really? I'm not to up-to-date with the situation so it may seem like a dumb question... The rules seem to vary in the extreme between states. Is Kentucky the best state to live in as far as availability is concerned?



Just don't get me started on the corruption in Illinois politics, though. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif



Hey, come on now, I'm interested! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Greets,

Robert (in a better mood now since you made me get some perspective! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif )

CrispyCritter
08-23-2005, 20:34
and for every 1 liter of alcohol sold, above that is 196 SEK, which equals US $ 28. In other words, the $ 28 is itax only ABOVE the price for the product.



EEEEEEK! Believe me, I won't be complaining about alcohol taxation here! Not to mention, you're probably paying VAT on top of that. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif





Of course, we have our own troubles, with a patchwork of differing liquor laws for each state, and sometimes with each county, not to mention each city!




What are the reasons for this, really? I'm not to up-to-date with the situation so it may seem like a dumb question... The rules seem to vary in the extreme between states.



I think a lot of that is a legacy of our infamous "experiment" known as Prohibition. When Prohibition was lifted by the Twenty-first Amendment (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment21/) to our Constitution, the states were given great latitude to regulate the sale and importation (even from other states) of alcohol.



Is Kentucky the best state to live in as far as availability is concerned?



I'm not really sure. For instance, Rittenhouse Rye doesn't seem to be available in Kentucky, even though it's distilled there. Kentucky also has "dry" counties where alcohol sales are still prohibited to this day. In Illinois, there are a few cities, and some neighborhoods within the City of Chicago that are dry, but not whole counties.

(An aside: The US system of government is hierarchical: Federal -> State -> County -> Municipal. Powers that are not reserved for a higher level are delegated to the next lower level.)





Just don't get me started on the corruption in Illinois politics, though. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif



Hey, come on now, I'm interested! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif



Here's an example. (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-12-17-ryan_x.htm) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif Note that a governor is essentially the "president" of an individual state.

And then, of course, the City of Chicago is a world of corruption unto itself. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smilielol.gif

Greetings from Mokena (about 48 km from downtown Chicago).

Hedmans Brorsa
08-23-2005, 23:34
I just have to add here that Robertīs list does not include special order items.

These articles can seldom be found on the shelves but if you ask for them theyīll get it for you, usually within one week.

Among these are the JB small batch selection, JD single barrel, EC 12 and many BT and Van Winkle bottlings. The prices here are murderous too, Iīm afraid.

A sad (and unexpected) loss recently was Woodford reserve. It has disappeared completely. Also, Makerīs red can now only be ordered as a 1000 ml bottle. How weird!

barturtle
08-24-2005, 05:47
I asked a guy that works for Labot & Graham once, and he said that anywhere in the world, if you can get Jack Daniels, you can get Woodford Reserve.

Also I live in Kentucky(and part of the year in Louisiana), and I still have to make occasional trips to Chicago, IL to pick up bottles of bourbon and rye-most notably Rittenhouse Rye.

Dave_in_Canada
08-24-2005, 13:00
Rob, your list there isn't really that bad compared to most countries. In Canada here, we share a common border with the U.S. however, public interest in bourbon (especially premium products) is very limited.

As an example, in the government liquor stores here in B.C., we only have available to us:

Buffalo Trace (limited dist.) - $32
Jack Daniels - Gentleman Jack (limited dist.) $24
Jack Daniels - $22
Jack Daniels - Single Barrel (very limited dist.) $42
Jim Beam - White $21
Knob Creek - $34
Maker's Mark - $41
Rebel Yell - (limited dist.) $26
Wild Turkey (80proof) $23
Woodford Reserve (limited dist.) $36

In the last two years there have been significant changes to our liquor distribution laws which have allowed the opening of private liquor stores. They can now independently import (through a complex system of distribution) but the prices become exorbitant. The only bourbons I know of that have made it here via this route are Weller 12 and Elmer T Lee both of which I have not bought locally due to high cost.

Other "provinces" each have their own set of liquor distribution rules which often means less selection for the consumer, with the exception of Ontario (I believe) which although gov't run, offers somewhat better selection (probably due to their larger population.

Importing brings it's own set of complications and costs. Travelling is the only option for building a collection.

So I commiserate with you and share your pain http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Hedmans Brorsa
08-24-2005, 13:08
I asked a guy that works for Labot & Graham once, and he said that anywhere in the world, if you can get Jack Daniels, you can get Woodford Reserve.



Well, hopefully this is just a temporary thing, then. Ever since I dipped my toes into the Bourbon pool back in ī99, this has been available to us (mostly ungrateful, Iīm afraid) Swedes.

Over the years Iīve come to regard it as somewhat of a cornerstone of our Bourbon stock so I would be sad to see it go.

ratcheer
08-24-2005, 16:24
We used to have a member who lived in Kansas and it sounded like he could get just about anything made. And at dirt cheap prices, too.

Tim

Edward_call_me_Ed
08-24-2005, 17:09
Hi Tim,
Now, who do I know in Kansas...
Ed

Edward_call_me_Ed
08-24-2005, 17:20
I have heard that 2/3 of the price of every bottle of bourbon is taxes, that from the mouth of Jimmy Russell. interview (http://www.whiskeypages.com/html/mi_br1.html) I assume that means federal taxes and then every thing else is tacked on to that. You poor fellows in Sweden are undoubtedly paying that tax as well as your own.
Ed
PS. You get a number of things I can't get here in Japan.

McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey
Old Potrero Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey
Rittenhouse Straight Rye
WL Weller 12 Years

Not complaining really, I get many others that you don't with better prices overall. Single Malt Scotch prices seem to be really low here compared to anywhere else. For the standard bottlings, anyway.

PFC
08-26-2005, 06:06
Well Hedman, for some reason I got attention to the dwindling supplies of Woodford Reserve two months ago. I think I bought the last two bottles in Sweden. On top of that I also got the last Weller 12. It's still listed due to some glitch in their system, but none is to be found. The fact that I might not get another Weller 12 hurts most http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif. It's a true gem.

When I visited Kentucky last spring I paid 18 $ for a bottle of the excellent Elmer T Lee Single Barrel. Here I can make a special order and get it for 83$. For some reason I hesitate.... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

/Mats

Hedmans Brorsa
08-26-2005, 08:44
I think I bought the last two bottles in Sweden.



Grr! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif



When I visited Kentucky last spring I paid 18 $ for a bottle of the excellent Elmer T Lee Single Barrel. Here I can make a special order and get it for 83$. For some reason I hesitate....



Note also Eagle Rare SB which you have to fork out $89 for! Talk about bizarre price jumps! Is it the Swedish distributor who tries to make a huge profit? If so, the whole affair is counterproductive in the extreme because noone buys it.

Maybe Ken can clarify?

Ken Weber
08-26-2005, 13:50
When we go into a new international market, our goal is to get the various brands planted so that people will buy them. It does not matter how good something tastes if people can't afford it. Our selling price to the distributor is on par to the price we sell for in the states. It ain't us making the killing!

Ken

Hedmans Brorsa
08-27-2005, 01:56
It ain't us making the killing!



Thanks for the info, Ken. Well, I suspected as much. Itīs clearly the distributor who is playing foul here.

Rest assured, I will find me a bottle of ERSB but I wonīt buy it here in Sweden. Even if I can afford it, it feels stupid to put so much money into the hands of intermediaries, especially considering the fact that for that sum I can actually get almost three bottles of ERSB if I order it from the U.K.

Crazy, or what?