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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Dec 2011
    Location
    The Garden State
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    542

    Signs you live in Bourbon Hell

    Obviously not everybody has such problems, and I didn't realize until I started digging, just how lacking the distribution of bourbon was here in NJ, and I don't know if people here don't drink bourbon because of the lack of bourbon, or the other way around. Regardless, at times it seems clear that I am in bourbon hell.

    Signs you live in bourbon hell:

    1. The most pervasive and best selling bourbon is Red Stag.

    2. Discussions on variety of bourbon has trouble getting past Jim Beam, Old Grand Dad and Wild Turkey.

    3. Stores carry more expressions of Macallan than brands of bourbon.

    4, The one store that gets Pappy 20 has it on the shelf for months on end.

    5. Basil Hayden goes for the same price and is a better seller than Wild Turkey Rare Breed

    6. "Top Shelf" choice in most restaurants is either Jim Beam Black or OGD 114

    7. Liquor Store owner tries to tell you that "they stopped bonding bourbon in the 50's"

    8. The only Weller to be found is OWA... and that has to be ordered

    And I am sure there are others. Do you live in a bourbon hell State? What signs do you see?

    Edit: forgot to add my Number 1 proof of Bourbon Hell... Being told Maker's Mark is the only "world class" whiskey made in the US.
    Last edited by JayMonster; 02-04-2012 at 10:04.

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    839

    Re: Signs you live in Bourbon Hell

    I'm not sure where in New Jersey you live, but your negative experiences are much different that mine. I had a great stop when passing thru New Jersey a little over a year ago. I found great prices and plenty of good bourbon (BTAC was one of my main buys). A few stores consistently show up on my wine-searcher queries for bourbon (and also I have to admit it is a great scotch source too). One of the bigger internet sources (and they also have a brick and mortar presence) is located in New Jersey.

    If you want to see bourbon hell (along with scotch and wine hell) go next door to PA.

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    790
    Or Ohio!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
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    Apr 2008
    Location
    Dayton, OH
    Posts
    785

    Re: Signs you live in Bourbon Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by Ejmharris View Post
    Or Ohio!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Ohio, indeed, but there are signs of some improvement.

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    The Garden State
    Posts
    542

    Re: Signs you live in Bourbon Hell

    In all fairness, yes I can find some bourbon than the basics, but it just seems to be more work than it should. I mean I can find Johnnie Walker Blue easier and in more stores than a bottle of Old Weller Antique. I can walk to the local liquor store and find $200 bottles of Single Malt Scotch, but ask for a Knob Creek Single Barrel and you are talking about a special order. (yes, shoppers vineyard is a decent source, but they have far more available via the web than actually in store, the rest has to be ordered store pick up)

    We talk about bourbon being in a "boom" era and that being part of the reason you see things like age stated levables disappearing, and yet so many brands it seems don't even have a solid presence nationwide.

    I just find it frustrating to read about so many things that just cannot be found here. And I don't mean a Pappy or some other elusive limited brand... I mean Weller 12, or other such brands/bourbons. It just doesn't make sense.

  6. #6
    Taster
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    99

    Re: Signs you live in Bourbon Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by JayMonster View Post
    ...
    3. Stores carry more expressions of Macallan than brands of bourbon.
    ...
    Let's be fair. The makers of The Macallan are prolific. Perhaps not as much as Bruichladdich. If you'd said Tormore, however...

  7. #7
    Taster
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    99

    Re: Signs you live in Bourbon Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by JayMonster View Post
    In all fairness, yes I can find some bourbon than the basics, but it just seems to be more work than it should. I mean I can find Johnnie Walker Blue easier and in more stores than a bottle of Old Weller Antique. I can walk to the local liquor store and find $200 bottles of Single Malt Scotch, but ask for a Knob Creek Single Barrel and you are talking about a special order. (yes, shoppers vineyard is a decent source, but they have far more available via the web than actually in store, the rest has to be ordered store pick up)

    We talk about bourbon being in a "boom" era and that being part of the reason you see things like age stated levables disappearing, and yet so many brands it seems don't even have a solid presence nationwide.

    I just find it frustrating to read about so many things that just cannot be found here. And I don't mean a Pappy or some other elusive limited brand... I mean Weller 12, or other such brands/bourbons. It just doesn't make sense.
    Start making change happen by finding out who the distributors for your area and state are. Call them up and make requests that they start bringing in more products. Be specific, and the moment you see them bringing in the product you requested, start requesting another. I've had conversations with the buyers for my local distributors while they're in the bigger area stores restocking the whiskies. They are usually open to feedback and requests, especially if they sense that you're an enthusiast. Enthusiasts make buyers' jobs easier, because enthusiasts usually spread the word on good products.

    Do the same with your local retailers. Those relationships can land you opportunities that you would otherwise never come across. One retailer near me has a wife who works for an importer. He brings in a bottle or two of hard-to-find products from across the pond and calls me up to see if I am interested in buying them. I usually oblige him. I know that you're interested in bourbon, and that bourbon doesn't come from across the pond. That just makes your job easier. You don't need to find such a rare connection!

  8. #8
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    216

    Re: Signs you live in Bourbon Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by Ejmharris View Post
    Or Ohio!
    This right here. Especially when you're in Columbus, smack-dab in the middle. I love my home town, but the liquor selection is what it is.

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Manheim, PA 17545
    Posts
    725

    Re: Signs you live in Bourbon Hell

    I can see there aren't many of you in PA. Be glad you can even legally ORDER whiskey you want. In PA, the state government owns and controls ALL wine and liquor. If they don't carry it or have it in one of their warehouses, it is illegal to get it. Our whiskey selection here is probably the worst I've seen in any state so far. It's truly pathetic.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    Dec 2011
    Location
    The Garden State
    Posts
    542

    Re: Signs you live in Bourbon Hell

    Quote Originally Posted by ethangsmith View Post
    I can see there aren't many of you in PA. Be glad you can even legally ORDER whiskey you want. In PA, the state government owns and controls ALL wine and liquor.
    Not quite State run here, but you can't order from Out of State in NJ either.

 

 

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