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djurgensen
10-14-2006, 12:41
My wife and I own a pub in Western Michigan. We are always looking to expand the selection of whiskey we offer. As far as bourbon goes, what bottles are must haves? We already stock Beam, JD, Makers, Buffalo Trace, Bulleit, Woodford, Bookers, Blanton, Rock Hill, Wild Turkey, Knob Creek. What is missing that would make our whiskey list a dynamite one? thanks.

EricABQ
10-14-2006, 12:44
I gotta tell you.........that's already better than any bourbon selection I could find in any bar where I live.

A couple Van Winkles would be a good addition.

FlashPuppy
10-14-2006, 13:12
That is better than most places, I will admit. Just for clarification, JD is not a bourbon. It is a Tennessee whiskey. Why not throw a JD Single Barrel on the list as well though?

Personally, I would like to see an Evan Williams Single Barrel on the list as well as an Elijah Craig 12 year. If you want to really class it up some, a few Van Winkles would be nice as well.

Nebraska
10-14-2006, 13:15
Rock hill farms and Wild Turkey Spirit are very showy bottles, they are also very good pours. Moderately priced, but very good.

cowdery
10-14-2006, 17:38
Eagle Rare Single Barrel
Ridgemont Reserve 1792
Old Grand-Dad
anything that says "Van Winkle" on it

SBOmarc
10-14-2006, 17:42
Please open a bar where I live...

I second the Van Winkle suggestions.

robbyvirus
10-14-2006, 19:23
I second the Van Winkle suggestions.

And I third them!


Also, you may want to consider Blanton's.

FlashPuppy
10-14-2006, 19:49
And I third them!


Also, you may want to consider Blanton's.

I believe he states that he already stocks that.

TNbourbon
10-14-2006, 20:51
And add a couple of straight ryes -- Van Winkle, of course, and/or Wild Turkey, Rittenhouse (make a trip around the lake to Chicago!) BIB or 80-proof, and Old Overholt would cover a nice spectrum.
Also might add the sole wheat whiskey, Bernheim Original.

TimmyBoston
10-14-2006, 23:29
George T. Stagg
Any of the Van Winkle's
High End Wild Turkey (Rare Breed, Russell's Reserve, Kentucky Spirit)
A bottle of AH Hirsch 16 would also make a very nice high end option
Sazerac Rye 18, a wonderful rye whiskey

I will say though your present collection is better than many bars, but stocking even better stuff will never hurt. Good luck.

barturtle
10-14-2006, 23:52
I really like Chuck's suggestions, however I'm a bit surprised that some bottles weren't mentioned by anyone

WL Weller 12yo (or my fav the 10yo)
Old Charter 13yo
Bakers-(my fav of the small batch)
Beam Black (I'm guessing here he only has the 4yo)
Elmer T Lee
Old Fitz- (take your pick here but I like the 1849)

Nebraska
10-15-2006, 08:04
I figured availability on some of those is going to be problem in Western Michigan.

SBOmarc
10-15-2006, 08:51
I mention bottles to bar managers/owners all of the time. I figure it is my duty to promote Bourbon. The difference with these owners seems to be the willingness and desire to provide the best when it comes to Bourbon. In my neck of the woods that way of thought is reserved for Scotch and Vodka drinkers.

barturtle
10-15-2006, 10:39
I figured availability on some of those is going to be problem in Western Michigan.

Good point, I didn't think to check. It's a control state and what they have available is on their website (http://www.cis.state.mi.us/lcc_code/sr_lcc.asp). Weller 12 is out, but the 10yo is in. 1849 is out, all they have is Prime and I'm not sure I'd recommend that. As per Chucks recommendation, they have all the OGDs including 114, the VWs including the rye, 1792, ERSB. Interestingly they also have VOB which I thought was KY-only. The Antique Collection is listed, as is Saz Jr. OC is limited to 10 and 13. OFBB is there so that's a good choice.

All in all, not exactly a bourbon poor place to be.:toast:

TNbourbon
10-15-2006, 11:02
...they also have VOB which I thought was KY-only...

Tennessee has had all the iterations of Very Old Barton -- 80, 86, 90 and BIB (now simple '100') proofs -- as long as I've been selling/searching bourbon. While I don't think its reach is nationwide, I don't think it's anything like Kentucky-only.

BobA
10-15-2006, 13:38
You've gotten great suggestions, and I'd particularly add my vote to the Van Winkels, the OGD line, especially the 114, and most particulary, some ryes, not just good on their own right, but the original base of a lot of cocktails.

And I for one would be very happy to find Very Old Barton as someone's well bourbon.

Bob

P.S. And compliments on your already well done selections.

Edward_call_me_Ed
10-17-2006, 07:08
My wife and I own a pub in Western Michigan. We are always looking to expand the selection of whiskey we offer. As far as bourbon goes, what bottles are must haves? We already stock Beam, JD, Makers, Buffalo Trace, Bulleit, Woodford, Bookers, Blanton, Rock Hill, Wild Turkey, Knob Creek. What is missing that would make our whiskey list a dynamite one? thanks.

You have already gotten a lot of good suggestions. I looked at the question from a different persective. Your current inventory has bourbon from mainly two distilleries.
Beam; Booker's Knob Creek, and Jim Beam White.

Buffalo Trace: Buffalo Trace, Blanton's, and Rock Hill Farms.

I am not sure where Bulliet is made, my bottle says Lawenceville so that would mean Wild Turkey or Four Roses. I don't think that Wild Turkey sells any whiskey to be bottled under another name though, so it must be Four Roses.

You have one Wild Turkey, I assume the 101?

Maker's in made by itself and they don't have any other brands. They do sell a black wax version and a gold wax but only overseas.

Woodford is made by Labrot and Graham. I think Woodford is all that they make.

So, here is what I think. You should get some of Heaven Hill's fine products on your shelves. Any of the Evan Williams. Elijah Craig 12 year old and the 18 year old would be a good start. Expand your Wild Turkey offerings, Rare Breed would be my first choice.

Only one of your current list, Maker's, is a wheater. The Van Winkles that everyone chimed in with are wheaters. Their whiskey is either from Buffalo Trace or there are still some bottles around from the old Stitzel-Weller distillery. The Old Fitzgerald's line is Heaven Hill. The Weller line is currently made by Buffalo Trace.

Ed

kitzg
10-17-2006, 17:15
I believe I would step back and determine what I wanted to accomplish. I have several friends that own pubs. Everyday pubs won't sell a lot of the super premium bourbons. I've seen pubs add bourbons in my local market and then drop them because they did not merit the space on a back bar. Interestingly that was true of the bar in town with the best scotch whisky and irish whiskey selections.The guy has run bourbon tastings but patrons don't follow up to buy the bourbons.

In my opinion, you will find that most participants in this forum will urge you to carry rare or super premium bourbons. The truth is the average consumer won't know what Rock Hill or Blanton's are unless you teach them. If you want to be known as a bourbon bar or as a bar that carries a lot of top shelf items then adding to your current selection is very appropriate. Then it's up to you to develop the clientelle. And make sure the bartender can upsell or explain.

Sorry -you got into what I do for a living

Edward_call_me_Ed
10-17-2006, 23:21
Hi Greg,
You raise very good point. But may I point out that Rock hill and Blanton's are already on the shelf? If that is where he is starting from I think some of the suggestions he had gotten here are apropriate.

Hi djurgensen,
But don't go broke loading the shelves with all our personal favorites. A fine pub like yours should stay in business! There are plenty of execellent mid shelf bourbons out there that you can add with a relatively small investment. And if your customers are asking for more top shelf pours add them in one or two at a time. Make sure you can move them.

Ed

tgriff
10-20-2006, 19:10
Please open a bar where I live...

Right on brother! You just listed a better selection than one of the liquor stores i used to visit in town.

mythrenegade
10-22-2006, 21:43
You have already gotten a lot of good suggestions. I looked at the question from a different persective. Your current inventory has bourbon from mainly two distilleries.
Beam; Booker's Knob Creek, and Jim Beam White.

Buffalo Trace: Buffalo Trace, Blanton's, and Rock Hill Farms.

I am not sure where Bulliet is made, my bottle says Lawenceville so that would mean Wild Turkey or Four Roses. I don't think that Wild Turkey sells any whiskey to be bottled under another name though, so it must be Four Roses.

You have one Wild Turkey, I assume the 101?

Maker's in made by itself and they don't have any other brands. They do sell a black wax version and a gold wax but only overseas.

Woodford is made by Labrot and Graham. I think Woodford is all that they make.

So, here is what I think. You should get some of Heaven Hill's fine products on your shelves. Any of the Evan Williams. Elijah Craig 12 year old and the 18 year old would be a good start. Expand your Wild Turkey offerings, Rare Breed would be my first choice.

Only one of your current list, Maker's, is a wheater. The Van Winkles that everyone chimed in with are wheaters. Their whiskey is either from Buffalo Trace or there are still some bottles around from the old Stitzel-Weller distillery. The Old Fitzgerald's line is Heaven Hill. The Weller line is currently made by Buffalo Trace.

Ed

I'd like to second the Elijah Craig 18 year old. It's not terribly expensive, but it's bottle is attractive and the age should help it sell. It is also a fantastic bourbon.

Beyond that, the recommendation of van winkle products is an excellent one. One thing to keep in mind, people who have seen the "thirsty traveler" on bourbon will be looking for Maker's Mark, Elmer T. Lee, and Pappy Van Winkel 20 year old. If they happen to watch Simply Wine they will be looking for Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit. Both those episodes ran a couple of years ago, but they do rerun, and for people who recognize your bar as having a good selection, they might ask for them having seen the programs.

Joel

mc185
10-29-2006, 15:12
You already have good selection. Whats the name and where is your pub located? I live in West MI.