I think everyone reading this thread deserves a bit of context here:
-This message was pasted from a K&L consumer email sent out to insider customers, not posted on a blog or website or spread to the masses. It speaks for K&L only and makes no mention of what will be facing customers who shop elsewhere.
-We sell about 12-14 bottles of Weller 12 a day (without the holiday rush).
-As of right now there are zero bottles of Weller 12 left in CA distribution with no ETA. I know this because I bought everything that was left on Friday.
-We now have 200 bottles, which will last us about 14-17 days if people don't start buying more to stock up (which they have). Many of our customers do not shop elsewhere. They like to be able to walk into the store and get their favorite bottle when they want to.
-Once these bottles sell out I will not be able to get any more until distribution gets more and, like I said, they have no ETA. Normally they'll have a memo in their system that says "12/15" or some other date when the next shipment is due. Like I said in the message, maybe it shows up next week, or maybe next month. Who knows?
-This is a courtesy to K&L customers who shop here. At no point does this say that people can't get Weller 12 elsewhere. It's merely to say "If you're in the habit of buying Weller 12 at K&L, then you might want to buy a few next time you're here." At no point does it say buy a case, or two cases, or three cases.
-If we never sold a bottle of Weller 12 again we wouldn't even notice the profit margin difference. There's not really a ton of cash in the $25 Bourbon market. While it might be nice to rake in the moolah from big sales, it's not going to happen with 200 bottles of Weller 12. Believe me.
I think this getting blown a bit out of proportion.
What's sometimes unclear to people is how different retailers move product differently. I understand it when people hear me talk about selling something out in a few hours, only to hit their local shop and see a pile of it. I've written about that subject pretty extensively. Nevertheless, we're an online store with live inventory so people tend to check with us first - that way they can secure it without having to drive over or walk into the store. For that reason, we have to put a one bottle limit on Black Maple Hill and it still sells out in about a day every time we get a drop (and as far as I know we get the biggest allocation of anyone - 120 bottles or so per round). It's become such a problem that we have to take it off the internet once RWC and SF sell through because the Bay Area people then pull what's left out of the Hollywood store and it creates 60 one bottle orders all going right back where they came from (the BMH distributor and owner is actually just down the street from us in RWC - a friend of the store).
We have a protocol now for Black Maple Hill, just like we have for Pliny the Elder beer and other hot items. I have to comb the order queue over and over to delete orders from sneaky people who create multiple accounts to allow for extra allocations, or then go back and order a single bottle again. We also had to stop putting it in the store, letting it sell through online, because people would invariable try to buy every bottle on the shelf then throw a temper tantrum when they got to the counter and we told them they could only get one. I would try and explain to them that the only reason they're getting one is because we stopped other people from doing the same, but it doesn't seem to make sense to them. Many of our customers think BMH is a K&L brand because they don't see it at Safeway or BevMo, so they expect us to have it when they want it. I think we grossly overestimate how many people buying Bourbon actually put any research into their purchase.
I think K&L makes maybe $1000 a month gross profit on Weller 12 if sales keep going the way they are. That's less than 1% of our December booze earnings (actually less than half a percent). We could buy a barrel of Buffalo Trace or Four Roses, send out an email, and make double that in about two hours. It's not really a strong basis for any fear-mongering economy. If I wanted to fear-monger for profit I'd probably start with Macallan 18 and go up from there. :)
David, can't we just get straight to the point and answer what everyone actually cares about? WHEN IS VAN WINKLE COMING AND HOW DO WE BUY ONE WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE K&L LOTTERY SYSTEM?! CAN I BUY MORE THAN ONE BOTTLE?!