Many things go into pricing - cost, competition/scarcity, market efficiency, and price elasticity of the good or service.

They could charge "anything they want" for the bourbon if there was little competition (hence, McDonald's cannot charge $100 when Burger King will sell it for $1 across the street - if they are the only restaurant within a 500 mile radius, they can charge more).

They have to consider the consumer's willingness to substitute - your favorite straight bourbon too much? Drink it less and buy your second favorite that is cheaper. Go to blended scotch, or something else altogether. If McD's charged $100 for a hamburger, wouldn't you be willing to substitute a prime cut porterhouse?

Not crying the blues for a producer here, but you can just look to the boards here for plenty of posts about price elasticity - how many are willing to buy THH at $55 but not $75? And for the bourbons lower on the shelf, the more resistant you are to price changes - OWA at $20 but not $27 ... etc.

All of these factors will then play into the price/volume to maximize total revenue - sell 5000 bottles at $100/bottle, or sell 10000 bottles at $55 ....

I'd guess that the margin on a low- mid- shelf bourbon isn't high - it is more of a high volume/low margin game. You are looking for asset turnover as another lever to profitability. So sometimes what appears to be a relatively modest increase in pricing can eat into profits if it is sustained. Add to that the general rise in all commodities due to oil prices, and it can have a substantial impact, esp. when the same price increases are influencing your customer's disposable income - too much at the gas pump and the grocery store, less spent on bourbon and other luxuries...