Jeez, you guys can just email me, rather than speculate. At K&L, I sell 60 bottles of BMH in a day every time I get it back into stock. Then it's gone for weeks and weeks. The mystique of not knowing where it was made really gets to people - both positively and negatively. While we think that our little blogosphere and message boards influence overall whiskey sales, they don't. We could start an SB.com thread about how it's the worst whiskey in the world and it wouldn't make one bit of difference. If anything, it would only make people curious to try it. The word on the street in CA is that you need to get this Bourbon. Then you go to a store like K&L and, guess what, you can't get it. It's sold out. You go from store to store and everyone is out of stock. That makes people want it immensely. Maybe not on this forum, but we're not influencing overall sales here. We're all just passionate guys talking about whiskey. Just because it's an NAS whiskey doesn't make it a bad either. Weller Antique no longer has an age statement and I still think it's the best deal in Bourbon.
There's nothing inherently wrong with the Bourbon itself, but when someone buys NAS HH(probably) juice from BMH, they're paying profits to both BMH and KBD, which leads to the overly high price of $32.99, or whatever one is paying.
Why not get Fighting Cock for $17.99, or I'll also happily pay the extra Luxco tier for Old Ezra 7yr at $17.99.
But hey, you like it, and think it's worth it, so that's cool. We all have opinions.
Driscoll, like any large retailer in a major market, has a good feel for market trends, even more so for being in always trendy No. California. Some of the other posters here are in the business too and have their own assessments. I appreciate that he told it like it is about BMH, that it's a non-distiller producer (NDP) that won't or can't reveal its sources, and that scarcity and perceived scarcity are driving the market. You can't give BMH much credit for any of this. They are the beneficiary of forces largely outside of their control. Driscoll also does a good job of describing the brand characteristics that make BMH a good candidate to be the next Van Winkle.
The older folks among us have lived through two very different periods. In the pre-boom era, we had tons of good, cheap, glut-era whiskey from numerous NDPs, some better and more ethical than others. We could buy whatever we wanted at will, whenever we wanted, and turn our noses up at the rest. Was that the golden age? Maybe, but it wasn't sustainable. Now whiskey is hot and newbies are flooding the market looking for 'experts' to tell them what is 'the best,' so they can avoid any heavy lifting on their way to connoisseurship. Plenty of self-proclaimed 'experts' have appeared, eager to oblige. They don't try to educate, they can't, they don't know anything. Instead they just pass along recommendations they have heard, like Van Winkle.
Since they need a second act, the search is on for the next Van Winkle. It has to be expensive to be good, and hard to get, the older the better, high proof is good too, and a Van Winkle-like back story doesn't hurt, as it can be boiled down to a few easy-to-remember bullet points. BMH is as good a candidate as any.
And so a fool and his money are soon parted.
In addition to availability problems, the loss of age statements, and higher prices; other unpleasant by-products of the current boom have been flavored whiskeys (honey, cherry, cinnamon), white whiskeys, celebrity whiskeys, and quasi-whiskeys (blended whiskey, spirit whiskey).
On the other side, how great is it that the LDI 95% rye finally saw the light of day, even though it took a creepy outfit like Templeton to do it?
I'm old, and crotchety by nature as you all know, but I know dynamism usually accompanies success. They need each other. So we need to embrace change in general, even if we choose to reject some of the specifics.
Col. Charles K. "Crotchety" Cowdery
"Whiskey Don't Keep."
I've only had the 16 year and the regular NAS small batch.
I'm not a big fan of the small batch - too much banana, has nothing to do with the NAS cause I'm a huge OWA fan.
I think the 16 year is really quite delicious and as a result, I have another in the bunker. Probably not worth $150 but at $100-$120 I dig it.