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cas
12-08-2007, 13:50
I picked up a bottle of Buffalo Trace today "selected and bottled" exclusively for A&L Wine, Castle where I bought it in Ann Arbor, MI. What exactly does that mean? Was there really some selection that occurred here? If so is it from just your average batch - or a single barrel? Or does it mean that it just comes with a nice little metal tag around the bottle neck? I also picked up a bottle of Stagg there, so not a bad day overall.
Craig

cowdery
12-08-2007, 15:08
BT has a very active program that allows retailers to buy a barrel and select the barrel themselves. It's like most of these deals, in that they give them three or four options, but then it's their own single barrel bottling. It's good for BT and the distributor, because they sell a whole barrel (about 20 cases) to someone who might normally buy two or three cases. It's good for the retailer because they have an exclusive product and an interesting story to tell.

JeffRenner
12-08-2007, 20:16
I picked up a bottle of Buffalo Trace today "selected and bottled" exclusively for A&L Wine, Castle where I bought it in Ann Arbor, MI.

So, Craig, now does it taste?

I've had a problem with BT after the first year of issue or so because they have had a taste that I find to be like a musty, earthen cellar. I remember that Ken Weber, a BT rep who used to frequent these pages, said that this flavor/aroma reminded him of the nostalgic smell of the old canvas tent that his family camped in. Regardless, I find it very unpleasant, and it not only spoils BT but Sazerac Rye for me.

Also, were you careful to pay only the state minimum price of $23.96? The Wine Castle advertises that they sell everything at minimum, but they seem to mark up if you aren't careful. :(

Jeff

TNbourbon
12-08-2007, 20:17
And, if unable to get to Frankfort for selection, the retailer can request that BT choose the barrel for him. I know an area store here that had that done for Eagle Rare Single Barrel, and my first thought was, "Duh, that makes it exactly like every other ERSB because BT tasters select them too!".

Special Reserve
12-09-2007, 06:19
"Also, were you careful to pay only the state minimum price of $23.96? The Wine Castle advertises that they sell everything at minimum, but they seem to mark up if you aren't careful."

I've found the same thing. They advertise state minimum price but charge 5-10% above the minimum price on premium products.

I've asked for the state price and got it in the past.

I have a dental appointment in Ann Arbor on Monday, looks like I'll have to swing by the Wine Castle for a look see (and buy) in addition to the required brew pub visit.

Will

Old Lamplighter
12-09-2007, 08:08
I've had a problem with BT after the first year of issue or so because they have had a taste that I find to be like a musty, earthen cellar.Jeff

I have experienced same with BT and have not bought anymore in a couple of years. My last purchase is still about a half-full where I left it over a year ago. In fact, it was a 'selected' bottle from a retailer. I did not enjoy it at all and found it to be the same as former non-selected bottles. Don't know what it is but Jeff's description hits the nail on the head. However, it does not seem to hurt sales. It is always moving on the shelves & barrel displays wherever I go. So, maybe that is the profile BT likes and keeps the customer coming back for more - and maybe I am in the minority.

I keep this bottle around for those 'special guests' who drop in unexpected, uninvited from time to time. Suppose I better use it up before it gets even mustier. Maybe I'll do some mixing with it during the holidays.

squire
12-09-2007, 08:34
That 'musty' quality is missing from a bottle of Ancient Age I picked up recently. Don't know if its due to age, flavor profile or what but the taste is surprisingly complex for an entry level brand.

Squire

jburlowski
12-09-2007, 14:57
FWIW, I have been drinking BT products for many years and currently have 7 or 8 different brands / expressions open. I never have noticed anything like the "musty" or "earthy" smell mentioned by others.

I'm not saying my perceptions are better than others... just that I have never noticed it.

Dr. François
12-09-2007, 21:28
Cas,
I'm curious, too, as to how the selected BT compares to the widely available version here in MI. I'm headed out that way toward the end of the week. If your recommendation is high enough (i.e. there is a noticeable difference toward the superior ranking), I might have to stop in and grab myself a bottle.

As for other privately selected barrel promos...I picked up a bottle of ERSB 10yo that was OK, but not great, in a South Denver liquor store . It seemed to me like the liquor department manager was trying to unload his last three cases to free up the floor space. Still, I really like the idea of buying a bourbon stacked upon the barrel in which it was aged.

cas
12-10-2007, 16:40
I'm pretty sure I paid $23.96, so I guess the price was reasonable given the state if MI. I don't have a bottle of the regular bottling so I can't offer that side by side comparison, and I don't think my palatte is very discerning anyway - I can't pick out the subtleties that some folks here describe. But I did try it next to some EWSB and WT 101. I thought it had a lot more character and brightness (is that a legitimate term?) than the EWSB, there is sort of a citrusy tang to the BT. It stood up well next to the WT 101, which is my standard for very good medium price bourbon, a very different character and it provided an interesting contrast.

So I'm enjoying it and recommend a bottle.
Alternatively, the Hirsch was just over $200/bottle...
Craig

Old Lamplighter
12-10-2007, 18:50
FWIW, I have been drinking BT products for many years and currently have 7 or 8 different brands / expressions open. I never have noticed anything like the "musty" or "earthy" smell mentioned by others.

I'm not saying my perceptions are better than others... just that I have never noticed it.

Never noticed the 'mustiness' anywhere but in BT itself. All the other products/brands/expressions which I've enjoyed have been of the highest quality IMHO.......not that BT is not necessarily high quality.....only that it is the sole BT product where I have noticed what one might call a 'musty' or 'earthy' feature.