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  1. #1

    Question How much $ is too much for a bottle?

    I've been drinking Bourbon for the past 10-12 years or so. I cut my teeth on Maker's and Knob Creek but the last 3-4 years I've "grown up" and become much more accustomed to drinking various brands and styles, actually savoring them neat instead of slamming back shots and chasing it with Coke.

    I've made several trips to KY and WV, buying many labels I can't get in Ohio. I've found some fantastic Bourbons that I truly love but I can't seem to muster up the will to spend more than $35 on a bottle. After all, that's one of the beautiful attributes of Bourbon over other whiskies. I can spend $20 on a bottle of KSBW that blows away any Scotch in that price bracket.

    The most "expensive" Bourbon I've ever had was Booker's. I've only had it twice in two restaurants so I never bought a whole Bottle. I thought it was pretty darn good, but I don't know that I'd be willing to spend $45-50 on a bottle.

    So I'd like to get some opinions and viewpoints from you guys about your own personal limits. Where do you draw the line when it comes to forking over your hard earned cash? Is that bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 23 in the glass case at Party Source really worth $225? What about some of those fancy $80 bottles?

    Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Re: How much $ is too much for a bottle?

    I can only give my personal opinion, but I suppose that is what you are asking for. To me, any bourbon over $35 makes me think long and hard. As far as I can recall, $50 is the most I have ever spent on a bottle of bourbon.

    Another factor here is that prices seem to be rising fairly sharply, now. The effect that is having on me is that I'm pretty much not in a buying mood and am living off my "bunker". Maybe one day it will be necessary to buy again, but right now I resent having to pay $22 for a bottle of Wild Turkey that was $19 a few months ago and $17 just a couple of years ago. This is one of the great laws of economics: when prices go up, demand goes down.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  3. #3
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    Re: How much $ is too much for a bottle?

    I think it's up to you. People vary a lot. What one person would buy in a heart beat for $100, a lot of people would walk away from. You have to decide for yourself if it's worth it or not.

    Up until a few months ago, the most I had spent on a bottle was $80. In hindsight, it was a mistake. It was before I knew enough about bourbon to make an informed decision. I made a bad decision. A couple months ago I was out of town doing a little hunting for dusties or bargains. I found a very nice store, with a decent selection and fair prices. They had Pappy 20 for $98. I couldn't turn it down. I knew I'd never find it at that price again. I was happy that I got it, then and now. In my opinion it's a very very good bourbon.

    I might get another bottle in the future, but that's about the most I'm willing to pay. I'm kinda like Tim in the fact that I've slowed down my buying considerably, and I'm working on my bunker. With the economy the way it is, and prices going up too, it tends to make me really think a lot before buying nowadays. Joe
    " I never met a Weller I didn't like"

  4. #4
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    Re: How much $ is too much for a bottle?

    When it comes to bottles of $30+, I too have been living of my bunker, for the most part. Actualy, the only bottles above 30 dollars I have bought of late has been scotch. My Bourbon and rye bunker has been dwindeling for months, though I have been ocationaly suplimenting it with the odd purchase of Old Fits BIB, Dickel 12, Weller Antique and Weller 12. I've been drinking those to keep from drinking all of my WT Rare Breed,
    Lot 'B' and FRSB etc.

    In these economic times, I don't feel comfortable spending more than 28 to 30 dollars on a bottle of bourbon or rye. That's money I could spend keeping the freezer and the cupbords full.

  5. #5
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    Re: How much $ is too much for a bottle?

    I actually make a concerted effort to not worry about how much any of the whiskey I stock in my bar costs, and I generally drink from them without regard to cost of replacement.

    However - $100 is my limit for any single bottle (though I rarely spend more than $60), any more $ and it changes the way I think of it which makes it harder to enjoy without caring about the cost.

    As it happens my absolute favorites range from ~$28 to ~$60 (Baby Saz, ETLee, Lot B, VWFRRye, Pappy 15, Booker's, GTStagg, Handy, etc) but if I like it and it's less than $100 then I'm good to go...

    Fortunately I don't drink a ton of it on a daily basis, and there are plenty I enjoy which are even cheaper than my favorites (Ritt Rye BIB, WT101 Rye, Four Roses Yellow, Weller 12, OGD 114, etc) so it balances out.

    True Liquid-Love: Pappy 15 . Lot B . GTStagg . ETLee . VWFRRye . Baby Saz

  6. #6
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    Re: How much $ is too much for a bottle?

    Quote Originally Posted by ILLfarmboy View Post
    In these economic times, I don't feel comfortable spending more than 28 to 30 dollars on a bottle of bourbon or rye. That's money I could spend keeping the freezer and the cupbords full.
    When I first read this, I thought this was a reference to Rep. William Jefferson...
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

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    Re: How much $ is too much for a bottle?

    Quote Originally Posted by ratcheer View Post
    I can only give my personal opinion, but I suppose that is what you are asking for. To me, any bourbon over $35 makes me think long and hard. As far as I can recall, $50 is the most I have ever spent on a bottle of bourbon.

    Another factor here is that prices seem to be rising fairly sharply, now. The effect that is having on me is that I'm pretty much not in a buying mood and am living off my "bunker". Maybe one day it will be necessary to buy again, but right now I resent having to pay $22 for a bottle of Wild Turkey that was $19 a few months ago and $17 just a couple of years ago. This is one of the great laws of economics: when prices go up, demand goes down.

    Tim
    My opinion and recent experience is pretty much what Tim wrote here.

  8. #8
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    Re: How much $ is too much for a bottle?

    Quote Originally Posted by plaid_emu View Post

    So I'd like to get some opinions and viewpoints from you guys about your own personal limits. Where do you draw the line when it comes to forking over your hard earned cash? Is that bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 23 in the glass case at Party Source really worth $225? What about some of those fancy $80 bottles?

    Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated.

    I personally have a hard time forking over too much money for a bottle. To date a bottle of lot b is my most expensive purchase. So that keeps me below the fifty dollar mark, and if you look at my inventory you would find only one other bottle that cost more than thirty dollars.

    A lot of my favorites are less than twenty dollars in the Louisville market. WLWSR, WT101, VOB BIB, HH BIB, OGD BIB, BT, EC 12, OF 100. There are a host of others between twenty and thirty bucks that I really enjoy as well.

    For me I seem to get into an area of diminishing returns if I buy more expensive bourbon. While I enjoy it, I'm not sure that it is all that much better if i am paying double or triple of the price of others that I really enjoy. Maybe thats the blessing... or the curse of having an unsophisticated palete.

    While I intend to sample other bottles up to fifty bucks or so, I know I'll never be paying eighty or more dollars for a bottle. Simply won't happen. Next on my list of expensive stuff (expensive to me) is a bottle of Booker's.
    Jeff


    Give me Bourbon or give me death! ~ Hondo (1982)

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    Re: How much $ is too much for a bottle?

    For me, $50 is my general limit. I am willing to open the wallet for something I know is very limited that will automatically go in the bunker for a "special" occasion. I'm not yet ready to buy a VW 23 yr. But I would be willing to drop $500 on a case of PVW 15. The only single bottles I really want are the AH Hirsch early releases and I would be willing to drop $200+, but mostly just for bragging rights. I doubt the contents are really twice as good as a Pappy 20yr.
    Bourbon is sunshine held together by water....

  10. #10
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    Re: How much $ is too much for a bottle?

    As you can tell, the answer is subjective and completely up to what you can afford and what you're comfortable with. For me, in my previous career, I made a good salary and as such, didn't have a problem paying upwards of $60-$80 a bottle if it was something I really liked and wanted to add to the bunker (e.g. Pappy 20, Parkers Heritage, etc.). Now that I've changed careers, I'm much more sensitive to price. Additionally, I spent a number of years building my bunker, so as of now, I'm not purchasing except for a couple of things here and there and mostly focusing on drinking what's in the bunker which is fine with me. At around 300+ bottles, I'm good to go for a number of years. While there are many good bottles on the shelves in the $20-$30 range, there are also good bottles that are more expensive, especially barrel proof and limited release stuff like Parkers and Four Roses.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
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