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ratcheer
09-16-2006, 11:44
Have I ever mentioned that bourbon (and liquor prices, in general) are very high in Alabama? I believe that I have.

I went to the ABC store, today, to see if they had anything new and exciting. They didn't. But I was shocked to see the current prices. They have gone from very high to outrageous!

For example, Wild Turkey Rare Breed has been $31, but now it is $35.99. That is a 16% increase. Wild Turkey 101 was $18 a couple of years ago, was $19 the last time I remember looking, and it is $20, now. Old Grand Dad 86-proof is now $15. And Jim Beam Black is $21.

Basically, everything I have any interest in is up substantially over what I remember from just a couple of months ago. Are prices generally increasing for you in other parts of the country? I'm not asking about small increases, but 10% or more. Or, is Alabama really sticking it to me above and beyond their already gouging prices?

Tim

Hedmans Brorsa
09-16-2006, 11:56
Well, whatever you do, don´t move to Sweden. I pay the equivalent to $57 for Rare Breed.

To add insult to injury, it is special order only, which means that I get no chance to check which batch I get.

Rughi
09-16-2006, 12:17
Wild Turkey 101 was $18 a couple of years ago, was $19 the last time I remember looking, and it is $20, now....
Tim

I don't live in a control state, so each store may vary 10-20%. It's harder to notice price trends, so I just ask myself at a given store if what they offer is enough pleasure for the price, not if it's a better deal across town.

I would think that if the whiskey is pleasurable then $20 is quite a bargain, and if it isn't pleasurable, then it was a waste of $18 or $20, not $2. I don't see that the $2 is very relevant except in very large quantities.

That said, I probably have 60 open bottles, so I'm either savoring a lot of great whiskey or have wasted a colossal amount of money.

Roger

ratcheer
09-16-2006, 14:00
Okay, I agree with what you are all saying, but it rankles me when others in many other states can buy something for $28, but it costs me $31 and that is raised to $36. Plus, there is no competition, here, so I can't just find another store with better prices. Plus, the selection sucks. :hot:

Tim

Powertrip
09-16-2006, 15:20
Well, whatever you do, donīt move to Sweden. I pay the equivalent to $57 for Rare Breed.

To add insult to injury, it is special order only, which means that I get no chance to check which batch I get.

Must agree with you on this.
In Canada, the cheapest I have ever seen Rare Breed is for $41.99!
Most stores here average about $46.99.

Rughi
09-16-2006, 15:36
Just as data points:
I bought a Rare Breed for $35.99 yesterday, and the last times I can recall looking at prices for WT 101 it was $18.99 and for Beam Black it was $17.99. Of course, all of those could be $5 more at a different store.

I don't think you're getting ripped off in this instance (by Bay Area standards), but it would rankle me, just as it does you, if the government set a price that I didn't think was fair and I had no recourse other than travel to another state to make my purchases.

Roger

OscarV
09-16-2006, 15:46
Okay, I agree with what you are all saying, but it rankles me when others in many other states can buy something for $28, but it costs me $31 and that is raised to $36. Plus, there is no competition, here, so I can't just find another store with better prices. Plus, the selection sucks. :hot:

Tim

Hey Tim,
I know what you are going through, in MI we too have very high prices and a terrible selection.
But to make you feel better 'Bama has better weather in the spring, fall and winter.http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

Oscar

RedVette
09-16-2006, 16:04
For example, Wild Turkey Rare Breed has been $31, but now it is $35.99. That is a 16% increase. Wild Turkey 101 was $18 a couple of years ago, was $19 the last time I remember looking, and it is $20, now. Old Grand Dad 86-proof is now $15. And Jim Beam Black is $21.

Tim

Just looked at my favorite ex-mailorder house from So Cal. Beam Black $24.99 for a 1.75l. ETL $20.99, WT101 $15.99, EW SB $21.99, WTRB $25.99. All of these are on sale now.

These guys are higher than most when something is not on sale, but when they put it on sale, it usually is a bargain.

T47
09-16-2006, 16:19
Tim, our prices here in WA State are pretty close to yours, some a little higher and some a little lower.

In WA. in theory I can get on line and search to see what Liquor is available and at what store and price and do it all on one central web site (http://www.liq.wa.gov/services/brandsearch.asp). The system can lag up to several months so I always call before I go, but it is kind of a nice benefit.

When I look at some non-State runs systems their prices seem seem to be all over the place, some much lower, some much higher.

I don't know enough about how it works. From a philosophical position I don't like the Government controlling liquor sales, but then I think of the saying, "be careful what you wish for". I would have thought that the State could negotiate better supplies snd prices because they do such a good volume...but like I said I don't understand enough about it.

With the exception of a few bottles I have a store pretty close to me that has a very nice selection...I might have to work harder in a non-State run system.

Just curious, does anyone know if a State (acting like a business) can better negotiate prices and variety from a Distillery because of the volume they sell?

scopenut
09-17-2006, 03:28
Tim,

In South Florida, prices have been pretty stable as of late. At one of the larger "discount" wine/spirit retailers here, WTRB $29, WT101 $17, OGD86 $14, Beam Black $16. These are apparently pretty good prices compared nationwide. The downside is that I can't get bourbon over the Internet shipped to FL.

-Kevin

cas
09-17-2006, 05:20
Hey Tim,
I know what you are going through, in MI we too have very high prices and a terrible selection.
But to make you feel better 'Bama has better weather in the spring, fall and winter.http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

Oscar

I just moved to MI and I'd call the selection fair rather than terrible. I've lived in a few different states over the last 5 years and seen quite a bit of variability. In NC the selection was terrible. In SC it was pretty good, but spotty. What MI lacks are the big discount places that are available in the non-control states. Fortunately my in-laws live in the Chicago suburbs so I can swing by the big outlets there when I visit to stock up.

MI prices are high, some items are probably 50% more than what I paid in SC.
Craig

ratcheer
09-17-2006, 06:16
Tim,

The downside is that I can't get bourbon over the Internet shipped to FL.

-Kevin

It is a felony to have it shipped to yourself Alabama. Again, no options.

Tim

wadewood
09-17-2006, 09:03
Just curious, does anyone know if a State (acting like a business) can better negotiate prices and variety from a Distillery because of the volume they sell?

WA state does often have one time buy specials. Trust me; prices are always negotiable, often depending on competition. However, one of the state run board agendas is to reduce alcohol consumption through higher prices.

The WA State liquor board does have monthly meetings and they post these notes on website. I have read these in past; the discuss tastings & pricing, then vote on if a product gets approved for distribution. There is currently a task force looking at the Three Tier system and possible changes to this (probably as result of lawsuit from Costco). Lots of interesting stuff: http://www.liq.wa.gov/3ttf-site/3ttf_Minutes.html

OscarV
09-17-2006, 10:38
I just moved to MI and I'd call the selection fair rather than terrible.
Craig

Maybe terrible is to harsh a word, but I have 130 different bourbon labels and I would say only about 30 were purchased in MI.
We can't get any of the BT Antique Collection,(not to mention the Experimental Collection). Only a couple of the Van Winkles, nothing by the Kulveens,(and thats a lot). I could be wrong but I don't remember any Old Fitz's. Used to get Very Old Barton 86 proof, but no longer. Blanton's is now $57.00.

Have you ever been to "Village Party Store" in Saline?
Andy is a nice guy, he has a good MI selection, and he is closing out some and they are on sale.
Also "Williams Party Store" close to US23 on Michigan Ave has a decent selection. Tell Kurt and Kent that Oscar sent 'ya.

AVB
09-17-2006, 11:35
The State Pennsylvania is the largest liquor buyer in the world. Sometimes that means a good price and sometimes it doesn't. In the case of Rare Breed it is $32 and 101 is $20. I can get slightly better prices in Maryland but I'll spend $10 in gas so that doesn't make it worthwhile.

On the plus side Pappy 20 is $72 for example.

CrispyCritter
09-22-2006, 21:28
My impression of Michigan has been that the lower-priced brands tend to be more expensive than in Chicago, but the upper-shelf brands tend to have prices in line with what I see on this side of the lake.

As I understand it, in Michigan the wholesale business is state-controlled, but the retail stores are private - with state-mandated minimum prices.

ProofPositive
09-22-2006, 23:09
Okay, I agree with what you are all saying, but it rankles me when others in many other states can buy something for $28, but it costs me $31 and that is raised to $36. Plus, there is no competition, here, so I can't just find another store with better prices. Plus, the selection sucks. :hot:

Tim

I was in Alabama for 2 weeks back in July and traveled across several counties between the Mississippi state line and Decatur. At least from my personal observation, what you are saying about the prices & selection in 'Bama is absolutely correct and I sympathize with your situation down there. I also suffer from higher prices here in the western part of Tennessee on some particular labels. At the same time though, others can be quite reasonable (ER, ETL, and the Weller line to name a few). We are not a control board state though - which is definitely a plus.

Are you anywhere near the Mississippi border? If so, you can save some money going across the line. If not, are you near Georgia or Florida? I don't know about those states but maybe the selection & prices would be better(?). Miss is a control board state but they seem to have a very decent selection most of the time. If you can find any GTS there, it is normally at least $10 less per bottle. Of course, finding it is the problem. For the most part though, I find as much selection in Olive Branch, Miss as in Memphis, Tenn.

I make a trip into north Mississippi every so often just for Rare Breed which is $28.50 plus sales tax of 5% in Olive Branch. That gets me out the door for slightly over $30 which is a deal compared to the Tennessee stores where I noticed there has been an increase lately from $36 to $38. Maybe WT is raising prices a bit and perhaps Miss has not felt the pinch yet....don't know. Overall though, I can usually save a few bucks every time I go south of the border if for nothing else the sales tax is almost half! The key is buying in quantity as much as possible. Due to the recent price of fuel, the savings can be negated quickly if I make too many trips south.

ratcheer
09-23-2006, 05:46
Thanks, but I am pretty much in the center of the state. It is over 100 miles to any other state. When I do go to Atlanta or Tennessee or Kentucky, I always pick up a few things, but the opportunities are few and far between.

Also, my original post was trying to say that I think AL prices have gone up, and sharply, since July. So, they are quite worse now than what you saw.

For some reason, I rarely find myself in Mississippi. I like the state and have even given it thought as a place to retire to, but I only go there every five years or so.

Tim

TNbourbon
09-23-2006, 07:16
...I make a trip into north Mississippi every so often just for Rare Breed which is $28.50 plus sales tax of 5% in Olive Branch...

Ah, yes -- Olive Branch, MS. (sigh!) I used to know where there was some good bottles there.

wintersway
09-23-2006, 09:52
My prefered liquor store has not had ANY Van Winkle product in stock for a couple of months. Yesterday I went there and !hallaluja! the shelves were once again laden with the sweet nectar. After loading up with as much Family Reserve Rye as my card would float I noticed that an old favorite of mine, the 10 yr old 107, was now priced @ 37 dollars! The last time I bought this was in early July and I paid $21 so for some reason this bottle has appreciated tremendously.

Nebraska
09-23-2006, 13:05
Hirsch 16yo via Binny's from $59 to $69 in the last several weeks. Good thing I bought them over Labor day at the old price.

JeffRenner
09-23-2006, 14:40
As I understand it, in Michigan the wholesale business is state-controlled, but the retail stores are private - with state-mandated minimum prices.

That's correct. The minimum prices can be checked here. (http://www.cis.state.mi.us/lcc_code/sr_lcc.asp)

Before January, 2005 (I think), the prices were mandated, not minimum, but somebody got to the state legislature and they changed the law. There was no publicity about this law until the day before the vote. When I complained to my state senator, he said that he voted for it because he felt it would be good for the consumer to have competition. I suggested that if he wanted competition, they should remove the price floor, not just the ceiling.

Our best liquor store in town, A&L Wine Castle, (http://www.aandlwinecastle.com/) advertises that they sell at the state minimum, but you have to watch them. Some of their prices are way over the minimum. I've never had any trouble with them when I pointed this out - they've looked up the price and charged me the minimum, but I don't like this apparent duplicity.

Jeff

TNbourbon
09-23-2006, 20:37
Hirsch 16yo via Binny's from $59 to $69 in the last several weeks. Good thing I bought them over Labor day at the old price.

Went looking for a couple of these this morning just because they're going to get nothing but rarer, and was prepared to pay the general $75 price tag around here for the gold-foil version. Imagine my surprise when the nearest store in which I'd last seen them had lowered it to $54.99 because they weren't selling. He sold some today.

Nebraska
09-24-2006, 07:36
Are you reading this Brett...see nobody's buying them...I'd lower the price right away...you're gonna get stuck with them.:lol:

Being's you've been sooo good to me I'd even take a few more off your hands!

Nebraska
09-24-2006, 07:37
P.S. Very good find Tim, I'm envious at that price!

Randy_Ricchi
09-26-2006, 19:45
Michigan used to be a price-controlled state, but recently changed to a "minimum price"-controlled state, meaning you have to charge at least the minimum price set by the state, which incidentally, is the same as the old price which was mandated by the state.

The powers that be claimed this would be good for competition. The powers that be believe we are all idiots.

The current "minimums" (and it seems to me that no one charges more than the minimum for fear they will lose business - so much for the theories of the state) for the bourbons mentioned in the original post are as follows (all 750 ml):

Wild Turkey Rare Breed $32.97
Wild Turkey 101 $19.97
OGD 86 proof $13.95
Jim Beam Black $19.91

I can go a couple hundred miles from where I live in Michigan's U.P., and beat the hell out of these prices in Wisconsin, where they have no controls on prices and true competition. We Yoopers do a lot of "stocking up" when we travel to Green Bay!

CrispyCritter
09-26-2006, 19:50
Interestingly, those prices are pretty well in line with what we'd pay in Illinois (unless something's on sale here). We don't have state-mandated minimums here - but Chicago tends to have rather high prices in general, whether it's real estate, gasoline, or booze.

krisk
10-06-2006, 21:22
Okay, I agree with what you are all saying, but it rankles me when others in many other states can buy something for $28, but it costs me $31 and that is raised to $36. Plus, there is no competition, here, so I can't just find another store with better prices. Plus, the selection sucks. :hot:

Tim
I'm kind of new here and I just read this. I had to reply because this struck a chord with me.
I'm in Louisville and I've found cheaper prices in other states (in WI on a couple varieties) of good bourbons.
Maybe other places around my state are cheaper, but of most places around Louisville, it's roughly the same.

Kris

ratcheer
11-04-2006, 11:05
Another "Ouch!" moment.

I went into a little strip mall, privately owned liquor store this morning, just to see what they have and how the prices run. I rarely do this because the prices always shock me, but I wanted to check the current situation.

On the selection front, things are pretty good. They have Blanton's, which I haven't seen in an ABC store in two or three years. They had a few other nice bourbons (I remember Booker's and 1792 Ridgemont Reserve). They have a very nice lineup of single malt scotches and vodkas, and a respectable array of gins.

But, I was even more shocked by the prices than I had expected to be. :bigeyes: The Blanton's was $65, Rare Breed was $50. The Balvenie 15-yr old was $100. An ordinary bottle of Beefeater's gin was $30. :smiley_acbt:Everything else was comparably outrageous.

Needless to say, I won't be going back. I will have to live with the ABC's meager offerings and merely very high prices. :frown:

Tim

full_proof
11-04-2006, 15:39
With the Politburo (aka the Alabama ABC Board) having complete control and imposing a 56% tax on spirits, Alabama citizens will suffer with poor selection and high prices. You might already know, but you can go to this web site to see the anual report with budget and breakdown of the Folmar-led organization which is run without any funding from the state general fund:

http://www.abcboard.state.al.us/Documents/AnnualReport_FY2005.pdf

Of course, demand might be playing a role, and with what I've seen in some of the bourbon bunkers from some of the bloggers on this site, you better drive fast to the store while supplies last. :slappin:

melting
11-04-2006, 16:32
Sometimes I feel awefully bad about the prices some of you have to pay for spirits in your area. The stores in central Mass have an excellent selection of spirits. Prices are generally 5 - 15 percent than what I've observed on this forum.

If I drive to New Hampshire the selection of whiskey is more limited but still pretty good. Here you can routinely get products on sale for half of what I've
seen here. Their regular prices are generally lower priced than Mass.

The more popular brands can be had for a steal. Wild Turkey, one of my favorites, routinely can be had for $14.99 750 ml.

Interestingly, New Hampshire is the controlled state and they usually have the better deals.

FlashPuppy
11-04-2006, 16:51
I am going to be travelling to NH soon, and I amwondering if there is a link to the NH website for liquor. Can someone point me in the right direction?

melting
11-04-2006, 16:56
Yes, www.nh.gov

Then click on shop nh, then nh liquor commision, very easy.

Chris

ThomasH
11-04-2006, 17:51
You can type in a search for TTB and get the Tax and Trade Bureau (formerly the ATF) website. Click on distilled spirits and a menu comes to the right with a list of alcohol control boards for all 50 states. I have found this to be the quickest way to get to any of the states sites with out searching through a long list of junk sites. All of the control states are listed in parentheses!

Thomas

ratcheer
11-04-2006, 19:08
Excellent info, Thomas. Thanks.

Tim

FlashPuppy
11-04-2006, 22:11
Excellent info, Thomas. Thanks.

Tim

Agreed. I have part of the TTB website bookmarked, I should have looked through the rest.

Briscott99
11-12-2006, 16:50
Maryland prices really run the gammut of super cheap to ridiculously expensive depending on the store. But I will mention that if anyone is ever in the Wash. D.C. area you should check into the Montgomery County Maryland liquor stores... Montgomery County borders DC on the northwest and they have a dept. of liquor control.

This month you can get the following bourbons on special in Montgomery County:

WTRB - 23.99
ETL - 16.99
Booker's - 34.99
Baker's - 26.99

Among others....

Here's a website for them: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/DLC/Retail/spirits_specials.cfm

The everyday prices at these stores are great. :grin: In DC itself I've not yet found very good pricing on liquor, but haven't spent a lot of time looking there.

My wife is from NH and, as others have already mentioned, they have great prices as well. I got an Eagle Rare SB there for 20 bucks recently.

Also, I owe thanks to Stoopsie and Jspero for telling me about the Montgomery County stores!

-Brian