I was one of the early members of the board, not the first, but one of the early ones, to point out the relative wealth of riches in terms of older bottles still on the retail shelves. I think I probably mentioned National Distiller's products first, and maybe some Pennsylvania ryes, and the original Michter's Sour Mash (although if I am not mistaken, no one on the board has ever bought off the retail shelf a Michter's Original Sour Mash whether in bottle or decanter, I am referring to regular store-bought liquor. Ditto for the original 90 proof Jack Daniels. Ditto for Maker's Mark from the 1980's or earlier).
Since those early years, people have contributed great knowledge and information and of course thousands of bottles have been snapped up. And a good thing too, with many SB ers getting clued in to the tastes of yesteryear (so often felt superior to today).
My question is, and I know there are lots of members good with numbers and stats and extrapolations, is there any decent guesstimate of what might still be out there? A few thou of bottles sounds a lot, but how much is it really in terms of the likely subsisting national stock of historical bottles, say those made up to 1980 (or pick your date)? 10%? 50%? 90%?. I am talking regular retail store availability.