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View Full Version : Why wont Blantons Sell Its straight from the barrel Domestically?



wxman
07-12-2008, 11:54
Just wondering. Seems many distillers sell their special offerings overseas. Anybody know why? Doesn't Blanton's realize that their straight from the barrel product would be a direct competitor to the ever-popular Booker's?

mozilla
07-12-2008, 12:14
I don't know this for sure....

I think that the Blanton's label owned by someone other than BT. So, what we get....we get because it has been around so long. If you notice...there are other single barrel expressions from that same mashbill in BT's portfolio. Japan and the far east is their target market.

birdman1099
07-12-2008, 13:29
Hey, Barturtle, jump in here and give them the explaination you gave me.

I already forgot:rolleyes:

chefmel
07-13-2008, 19:26
Just wondering. Seems many distillers sell their special offerings overseas. Anybody know why? Doesn't Blanton's realize that their straight from the barrel product would be a direct competitor to the ever-popular Booker's?
When I was at HH a few year ago, they were hand bottling their EWSB (I think it was 20yo) that they sold exclusively (at that time) to Japan. When I asked them why they didn't sell it in America, they told me no one in the states would pay what the Japanese would pay for it. So, maybe that's one of the reasons??

Mark

Attila
07-13-2008, 22:08
they told me no one in the states would pay what the Japanese would pay for it.

The cheapest place in the world for Bourbon is Japan.

Attila
07-13-2008, 22:11
Doesn't Blanton's realize that their straight from the barrel product would be a direct competitor to the ever-popular Booker's?

It goes for about exactly the same prices as Blanton's Gold here in Japan at about $44.

wxman
07-14-2008, 16:50
I received a very quick and polite reply to my email to Blanton's:

Hello,

Thank you for your email. Blanton's is actually produced at Buffalo Trace Distillery, also located here in Frankfort, KY. Due to contractual agreements with them, we cannot sell any of the labels other than Original here in the United States. They actually handle all of our domestic distribution, while we handle the international side of things.

If you are interested in the other labels, the only real way to get any of them is if you, a family member, or friend travel internationally. It is offered in some Duty Free stores in various American airports, but access is only from the international terminals. If you know someone traveling
internationally soon, or you are yourself, you may want to ask them to keep an eye out for you!

***************


So, it seems this is a distribution issue with BT: "Due to contractual agreements with them, we cannot sell any of the labels other than Original here in the United States." Perhaps BT doesn't want to use the shelf space for more than one Blanton's. I think all of us Blanton's lovers should let BT know how we feel.

wxman
07-14-2008, 16:57
It goes for about exactly the same prices as Blanton's Gold here in Japan at about $44.

What does original Blanton's sell for?

Attila
07-14-2008, 18:06
What does original Blanton's sell for?

usually $21, but I have seen it as low as $19. what about stateside?

chilidawg7
07-14-2008, 19:15
usually $21, but I have seen it as low as $19. what about stateside?


here in Florida, I've never seen it for less than $40

TNbourbon
07-14-2008, 19:49
...the Blanton's label owned by someone other than BT...


...Perhaps BT doesn't want to use the shelf space for more than one Blanton's. I think all of us Blanton's lovers should let BT know how we feel.
Age International, former -- but not current -- partner in what is now Buffalo Trace, owns the Blanton's brand. Thus, Blanton's is distributed when/where Age dictates.
So, if you want to complain to someone, please complain to Age International. Complaining to BT will only cause undue consternation for people who have very often been very good to very many of us.

Attila
07-14-2008, 20:14
here in Florida, I've never seen it for less than $40

Thats Original b, not Gold b? Wow! Its worth it, but I always thought everyhing was always more expensive in Japan.

wxman
07-15-2008, 03:52
Age International, former -- but not current -- partner in what is now Buffalo Trace, owns the Blanton's brand. Thus, Blanton's is distributed when/where Age dictates.
So, if you want to complain to someone, please complain to Age International. Complaining to BT will only cause undue consternation for people who have very often been very good to very many of us.

I'm just going by the email I received. The import of that message was that BT produces Blanton's for Age and controls domestic distribution, but because of contractual arrangements, Age can only sell original Blanton's domestically. If that is correct, I would surmise that if BT wanted to allow the entire Blanton's line to be sold in the U.S., it could. I have no idea what led to this arrangement or whether Age or BT got the better deal. I doubt complaining will change anything, but if enough people asked for the other stuff over time, perhaps we might see it.

chilidawg7
07-15-2008, 11:17
Thats Original b, not Gold b? Wow! Its worth it, but I always thought everything was always more expensive in Japan.

Yep, that's original. I went hunting today at 5 stores and the lowest price I saw on Blanton's was $39.99. Florida tends to be a little pricier than other places.

gblick
07-15-2008, 12:03
Blanton's is around $50 here in Houston.

cowdery
07-16-2008, 11:12
Although they use the Age International corporate entity, the Blanton's brand is owned by Japan's Takara Shozu Ltd., which controls all aspects of its distribution and pricing. Buffalo Trace makes it and distributes it in the U.S., but Takara calls the shots.

smokinjoe
07-16-2008, 11:36
Although they use the Age International corporate entity, the Blanton's brand is owned by Japan's Takara Shozu Ltd., which controls all aspects of its distribution and pricing. Buffalo Trace makes it and distributes it in the U.S., but Takara calls the shots.

So does that mean, if for some reason they wanted to, Takara could transfer the making of the juice that goes into Blanton's to another distiller? Barring any contractural agreement that may be in effect at the time, of course.

JOE

cowdery
07-16-2008, 13:04
Theoretically, yes, although there might be a disconnect with consumers since you can't transfer the historical connection between Albert Blanton himself and the distillery now known as Buffalo Trace. I also believe that Takara and Sazerac have a joint venture relationship that goes beyond Blanton's, but it's impossible to know the details since Sazerac is a private company.

StraightBoston
07-16-2008, 14:13
Hi all... checking in from Tokyo (where I coincidentally enjoyed a tasty pour of Blanton's Gold in the hotel bar last night!)

I had never been aware of the Age International aspect of the Blanton's/Buffalo Trace story, but it helps explain the wide variety of expressions available overseas (and also why Blanton's is such a popular "keep bottle" in bars here -- it was actually my gateway "premium" bourbon after a business trip to Kyoto.)

I used to feel like I got ripped off for seeking out one of the few "rare" Japanese bourbons that was more or less widely available in the States, but over time I decided at least I got a good deal -- $20-ish instead of the $40-ish common domestically. Now I can justify that it was a Japanese brand, just one that is "exported" to the US. (Four Roses seems the same to me these days...)

marco246
07-16-2008, 18:43
I just paid $40 for a bottle here in Hawaii a few days ago. From the dust on the boxes it appears not to be a fast mover. As far as I can tell, Blanton's is the only BT whiskey sold on this island.

Attila
07-16-2008, 20:38
I used to feel like I got ripped off for seeking out one of the few "rare" Japanese bourbons that was more or less widely available in the States

If you need any help finding a bottle of something you want to take home with you, just let me know.

wxman
07-17-2008, 16:53
If you need any help finding a bottle of something you want to take home with you, just let me know.

Just out of curiosity, how does a premium bourbon compare in price to quality single malts in Japan? I'm surprised that bourbon's produced and shipped in the US cost much less in Japan (especially considering the weak dollar). Any explanation?

wxman
07-17-2008, 16:54
Although they use the Age International corporate entity, the Blanton's brand is owned by Japan's Takara Shozu Ltd., which controls all aspects of its distribution and pricing. Buffalo Trace makes it and distributes it in the U.S., but Takara calls the shots.

Does this also apply to Elmer T. Lee and Rock Hill farms?

barturtle
07-17-2008, 17:21
I was visiting the Blantons Website and noticed that on the barrel between and below the "bourbon" and "tradition" barrels it says "Blanton's is distilled in new oak barrels, which are never re-used"...I wasn't aware that anyone was still using wooded stills...

StraightBoston
07-18-2008, 16:45
I wasn't aware that anyone was still using wooded stills...
Ha!

Maybe that's what B-F needs to try to balance out the copper in Woodford...

Attila
07-18-2008, 17:53
Just out of curiosity, how does a premium bourbon compare in price to quality single malts in Japan? I'm surprised that bourbon's produced and shipped in the US cost much less in Japan (especially considering the weak dollar). Any explanation?

Well, the weak dollar would actually lead to a cheaper price for bourbon here in Japan, since it takes less yen to buy each dollar.

Macallan 12 YO - 3,599 yen
Laphroaig 15 YO - 4,999 yen

Gillman
07-18-2008, 17:58
I'm just curious how the premium Japanese malts would compare (in price), e.g., the very fine Yamazaki.

Gary

Virus_Of_Life
07-18-2008, 18:56
Age International, former -- but not current -- partner in what is now Buffalo Trace, owns the Blanton's brand.

I haven't read this whole thread but find this info very interesting because I have never heard it before. Don't know if I wasn't listening or what, but I just had no idea Blanton's label was owned by someone else!

I hope this agreement ends soon and they start distributing all the labels here or at least the SFTB and Gold. I love Blanton's but really think it is better at a higher proof.

StraightBoston
07-18-2008, 19:19
In my personal experience, brands equally available in the US and Japan are comparably priced when you factor in exchange rates, etc. -- with the unique exception of Blanton's, which is much cheaper in the Original version in Japan than in the States.

The "low-cost" bourbons in Japan, especially in the $10-30 range, are usually the low-volume ones that aren't sold in the US: EW 12yo and 15yo and a bazillion other HH labels, Maker's Mark black wax (in the past), I.W. Harper, Early Times as KSBW etc. Four Roses used to be in this category until they expanded US distribution. Then you get the $50-100 range dominated by KBD (and Julian's stuff in the past -- there are some great VW expressions in the bars!) followed by the crazy $200 stuff like some of the 20-plus yo ryes and EW23.

Attila
07-18-2008, 19:36
I'm just curious how the premium Japanese malts would compare (in price), e.g., the very fine Yamazaki.

Gary

From internet retailers:

Hibiki 17 YO - 6,799 yen
Yamazaki 10 YO - 3,550 yen
Yamazaki 18 YO - 18,000 yen
Taketsuru - 10,500 yen

Gillman
07-20-2008, 04:32
Interesting, even for the 10 years Yamazaki the price is not that far below well-regarded malts from Scotland (e.g. Macallan 12). However this is justified IMO since the quality is very high.

Gary

chefmel
07-20-2008, 15:57
followed by the crazy $200 stuff like some of the 20-plus yo ryes and EW23.

I guess what they told me at the distillery was right - $200 for EW23! Don't know about you guys, but $200 is way over my budget for any bourbon!

Mark

barturtle
07-20-2008, 16:38
Don't know about you guys, but $200 is way over my budget for any bourbon!

Mark

Of course it is!!! It's supposed to be, if they priced it where everyone could afford it they wouldn't have enough to go around.

Attila
11-26-2008, 06:15
Hibiki 17 YO - 6,799 yen
Yamazaki 10 YO - 3,550 yen
Yamazaki 18 YO - 18,000 yen
Taketsuru - 10,500 yen


I just came back from the Suntory distillery outside of Kyoto. I tried the Hakushu 12, the Yamazaki 12, the Yamazaki 18, the Hibiki 21, and the Yamazaki sherry cask. I gotta say that I enjoyed none of them. These four were paired against Laphraig Quarter Cask and JD Barrel Select (?) for contrast. The Japanese whiskies had an off flavor in the background, kinda like the taste of aged sake (ie koshu) - not enjoyable. They seemed kinda highland scotch in character, but without the same . . . pizzaz.

Lost Pollito
11-29-2008, 12:57
$50 up in Chicago.