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  1. #1
    Enthusiast
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    Chattanooga, TN
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    A Liquor store that won't sell you what you want?

    Here's the deal... I was traveling home this afternoon from my company's manufacturing facility in Fort Payne, AL. On the way back I figured I would utilize the Garmin and locate some stores to hit in hopes of finding something I wouldn't normally be able to purchase in Chattanooga, TN (my hometown).

    On my third stop, I happened upon a place called Valley Spirits about 10 miles outside of Chattanooga. I walked into the store and was greeted by an older gentleman in his early to late 70's. He asked me if he could help I told him I was just browsing, but thanks. He walked away. As I admired the selection I noticed that it was nothing unusual, until I got over to the freezer where they kept the Champagne and chilled wines. Above the freezer were several interesting items. 4-5 Elvis Beam decanters as well as several pretty amazing liter oversized older Jack Daniel's containers. There was also an older bottled in bond bourdon that looked to be about 60 years old as well as an Evan Williams single barrel from 1988. I was only interested in the EWSB 1988.

    I walked up to the counter and asked to speak to the owner. The guy at the cashier politely replied "That's me." I asked if any of the items on top of the freezer were for sale and he kind of laugher and said "NO." So I walked out.

    So... has anyone else encountered a liquor store where you wanted to buy something but it wasn't for sale? I assumed the person who owned the place would want to sell everything in the store, why else would it be there. Otherwise, why not just keep it at home?

  2. #2
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    Re: A Liquor store that won't sell you what you want?

    Quote Originally Posted by bourbonNOOG View Post
    So... has anyone else encountered a liquor store where you wanted to buy something but it wasn't for sale? I assumed the person who owned the place would want to sell everything in the store, why else would it be there. Otherwise, why not just keep it at home?
    There's one store that I visit every so often that usually carries most of the Van Winkle line. They have a bottle of ORVW 10/107 that has been sitting on the shelf above the register for quite a few years now. I've asked every clerk that I've seen if it's for sale, and they all say no. I suggested to "scan it, if it rings up, you should be able to sell it to me". As well as the ol' "how about fifty bucks" method, to no avail. I'm starting to wonder if it's Lawrenceburg juice inside, but I can't make it out (you would need a ladder to grab it).

    The last time I was in there I believe the response from the cashier was, "Man, those guys love that stuff and I haven't seen the 10yr since last year in Chicago. You would have to offer me Pappy 23 numbers to consider it." Go figure.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2009
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    Austin, TX
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    Re: A Liquor store that won't sell you what you want?

    Yea, it's pretty common to have stores that absolutely refuse to sell certain things.
    "So long as the presence of death lurks with anyone who goes through the simple act of swallowing, I will make mine whiskey"

  4. #4
    Guru
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    Mar 2005
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    Livonia, MI
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    Re: A Liquor store that won't sell you what you want?

    I've run into stores that wanted a ridiculous amount for old decanters essentially making them stock that they will never move.

    I've run into dusties that were no longer in the book and they guessed at a price. When that happened it was usually to my benefit. If it isn't I just do buy.

  5. #5
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Just East of the Big Chicken, GA
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    Re: A Liquor store that won't sell you what you want?

    Yep, I've encountered that a few times. It's usually the mom & pop store, and those items are "pops special display pieces". It might not hurt to stop in from time to time, and build up some rapport. Later on, shoot him a number, and maybe he'll let it go. I have a store that I hit a couple of times each year, and "pops" has a couple of bottles of Lem Motlow on "display". All super dusty and tempting to me every time I walk in. Been on him for 5 years to sell, but he won't let them go. I'll keep trying, though.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  6. #6
    Advanced Taster
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    Nov 2008
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    154 miles N of Bardstown
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    Re: A Liquor store that won't sell you what you want?

    Quote Originally Posted by bourbonNOOG View Post

    I walked up to the counter and asked to speak to the owner. The guy at the cashier politely replied "That's me." I asked if any of the items on top of the freezer were for sale and he kind of laugher and said "NO." So I walked out.
    You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

    There is some medicinal in a store around here that's NFS yet temptingly in the same glass case as pappy 23 etc. I've asked 2/3 times but neither honey nor vinegar is getting that one out of there.

  7. #7
    Advanced Taster
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    Dec 2005
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    Southern California
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    Re: A Liquor store that won't sell you what you want?

    This isn't quite the same, but there's a nearby store with a bottle of WT RR 101 that's been on the shelf for at least 6 years. It's for sale, but the woman who runs the store insists that it's worth $90. It's become a kind of ritual to stop by every once in a while, chat with her for a minute, and then have my reasonable offer turned down.

  8. #8
    Virtuoso
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    Aug 2009
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Re: A Liquor store that won't sell you what you want?

    I've encountered a bunch of places like this. the build up a rapport method works very well and I've had to use it more times than I can remember, and on a couple of occasions, it's gotten me into the backroom-goldmine situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMOWK View Post
    I like to save up the charred bits in the bottom of the unfiltered stuff. When I have enough, I pour milk on it and eat it.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2008
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    Homestead, Florida USA
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    Re: A Liquor store that won't sell you what you want?

    I have encountered this too. I have never been able to crack the wall either, nor do I usually have the time to sugar talk a business person to conduct business with me. I have been known to walk out with $300 or more of booze at a time. If that is not enough sugar talk I tend to start throwing stuff back up onto the shelf in front of them. That tends to make them much more willing to do business with me....

  10. #10
    Enthusiast
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    Jul 2010
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    Chattanooga, TN
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    Re: A Liquor store that won't sell you what you want?

    I understand where you guys are coming, but if I'm there with money and I'm willing to buy, throw out a number and see what happens. I'm not going to sit there and haggle with you over something you think is obviously worth more than fair market value at the time.

    Oh well, I guess they can sit on it for another 20 or so years. Eventually it probably won't be worth anything. It's just my opinion but if it were me and I owned a store that was in the business of selling spirits then I would want items like that to go to someone who will appreciate them.

 

 

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