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  1. #1
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    Seattle and Washington Area Thread

    I interacted with a bunch of Seattle area folk when I posted my introduction a month or so ago. I thought it may be fun to start a thread and get a discussion going about bourbon, rye, etc. in the Seattle area and the rest of Washington. I actually think it would be cool to have geographic-focused boards because often times I'll be reading threads and shaking my head, saying to myself, "They don't sell that here," or, "Their pricing is so much different than ours that it's just not the same thing." Additionally, I think that as the years go by we'll be talking more and more about craft bourbons, ryes, etc., many of which will only be widely available on a regional level.As my fellow Washingtonians can likely attest, being a bourbon lover in this state can be very challenging at times due to the old regulatory system, the change in regulations, and the current tax system and lack of retail power with distributors.

    I'll get the ball rolling with a recap of some Seattle area liquor retailers. I'll preface my report, however, by saying that I do most of my buying online.

    Specialty
    The best selections I've found are Wine World (Wallingford), Emerald City Spirits (Wallingford), Esquin (SODO), Ballard Liquor Store (Ballard) and BevMo! (Tukwila, Northgate, Bellevue and Tacoma). Wine World is outrageously expensive. The guys there are really nice but they can't compete on price yet. Emerald City Spirits, which is about .5 miles west on the same street (45th), has a surprisingly strong selection and some decent prices on certain stuff. The owners took over a horrible old state store and kept all the displays. The people behind Ballard Liquor Store did the same (they also own an old state store near University Village) and their selection is fairly strong and they had some decent pricing on certain items (EC12 for $32, tax included, which was lower than BevMo!) and horrible prices on other stuff (WLW12 for ~$55, tax included). Esquin has decent pricing but their selection can be spotty. BevMo! generally has a fairly strong selection and the pricing is decent for the area. BevMo! is also your best shot at getting Van Winkle and BTAC; I bought two GTS and one ER17 from the BevMo! in Tacoma.

    Grocery
    Costco's selection is surprisingly poor and their prices are not anything special. I hate their Kirkland (Beam) bourbon, but to each their own. QFC and Fred Meyer (each owned by Kroger) sometimes have stuff on sale at decent prices and QFC sometimes has some wonky prices (Eagle Rare for $27 before tax at the store near me, which seems pretty low for this area). QFC will also do special orders if you speak to the liquor manager. The beauty of grocery stores is they don't really care - liquor is just another product and they'll happily show you the distributor price list and help you out. The Safeway stores I've been to generally have small selections and their pricing can decent. I saw 1792 Ridgemont Reserve on closeout at one near me for ~$28 before tax. It was ~$34 at BevMo! Metropolitan Market has an interesting selection and their pricing can sometimes be surprisingly good. Trader Joe's has a small selection and is typically pricing around the same mark as the regular grocery stores.

    Other
    Walgreens carries liquor in many of their stores. At the one near me they've put the Jim Beam Black gift set (750ml plus two rocks glasses) on closeout for $17.99 before tax, and, the Maker's Mark gift set (750ml plus two waxed rocks glasses) on sale for $21.99 before tax.

  2. #2
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    Seattle and Washington Area Thread

    Capco Beverages has a shop in Issaquah (old state store on Gilman) & West Seattle (old state store on Alaska). They have decent prices on Scotch & selection is pretty good - good selection of mini's.

    Clearview Spirits are my favorites & they've got a good selection as well - two locations (in Snohomish on Hwy. 9 & in Monroe as well).

    Total Wine in Bellevue (& Tukwila) has good selection & some of the best prices - too bad it's a big box store... They're literally 5min from my house & I shop @ Uwajimaya often so I stop in from time to time to see what's available.

    If anybody knows where any OGD114 is in the area, shoot me a PM!
    Last edited by ChainWhip; 01-08-2013 at 22:04.
    ¡Geaux Tigers! - ¡Visca el Barça!

    "Really though, my hands are sore. The tool was doing it's thing with a flex hose." -Barrel_Proof

  3. #3
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Re: Seattle and Washington Area Thread

    got to chime in; having lived in Seattle from 1999 to 2007 during state run days, I know WA liquor taxes are now very high, but I'll take that any day for real competition.

  4. #4
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    Re: Seattle and Washington Area Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ChainWhip View Post
    Capco Beverages has a shop in Issaquah (old state store on Gilman) & West Seattle (old state store on Alaska). They have decent prices on Scotch & selection is pretty good - good selection of mini's.

    Clearview Spirits are my favorites & they've got a good selection as well - two locations (in Snohomish on Hwy. 9 & in Monroe as well).

    Total Wine in Bellevue (& Tukwila) has good selection & some of the best prices - too bad it's a big box store... They're literally 5min from my house & I shop @ Uwajimaya often so I stop in from time to time to see what's available.

    If anybody knows where any OGD114 is in the area, shoot me a PM!
    I've only lived out for a little under four years but I've never seen OGD114. I actually don't see that much at online retailers.

    I need to checkout Clearview. I need an excuse to go out to Snohomish or Monroe that involves bringing my toddler, LOL.

    I was disappointed by the selection at Uwajimaya in the ID. I had hopes that they would have some good Japanese whiskey but they don't and their prices on other stuff are pretty bad. My secondary spirit of choice is actually Shochu (my brother lived in Japan for 10+ years and got me into it) and I've got about a dozen bottles of it that I purchased during the state-run days.

  5. #5
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    Seattle and Washington Area Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by wadewood View Post
    got to chime in; having lived in Seattle from 1999 to 2007 during state run days, I know WA liquor taxes are now very high, but I'll take that any day for real competition.
    I keep telling myself that but it hurts right now man... I think we traded in our old dictator for two despots instead.
    ¡Geaux Tigers! - ¡Visca el Barça!

    "Really though, my hands are sore. The tool was doing it's thing with a flex hose." -Barrel_Proof

  6. #6
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    Seattle and Washington Area Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dementedavenger View Post
    I need to checkout Clearview. I need an excuse to go out to Snohomish or Monroe that involves bringing my toddler, LOL.
    Go straight to the Monroe store then hit the other one if you can. If you're in downtown Snohomish, pay Fred's Rivertown Alehouse a visit - impressive menu of beers & whiskies there.
    Last edited by ChainWhip; 01-09-2013 at 01:29.
    ¡Geaux Tigers! - ¡Visca el Barça!

    "Really though, my hands are sore. The tool was doing it's thing with a flex hose." -Barrel_Proof

  7. #7
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    Re: Seattle and Washington Area Thread

    What's the tax rate on liquor? Is it higher than the regular (combined) sales tax, which when I left 7 years ago was already 9%? Is liquor taxed twice (regular sales tax + liquor-specific sales tax)? I was there a few months ago, but didn't look at the after-tax prices - I was on vacation, and treating my hosts, so I didn't really care. (I was also giddy over the demise of the old state-control system.)

  8. #8
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    Re: Seattle and Washington Area Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by SFS View Post
    What's the tax rate on liquor? Is it higher than the regular (combined) sales tax, which when I left 7 years ago was already 9%? Is liquor taxed twice (regular sales tax + liquor-specific sales tax)? I was there a few months ago, but didn't look at the after-tax prices - I was on vacation, and treating my hosts, so I didn't really care. (I was also giddy over the demise of the old state-control system.)
    The current liquor tax is 20.5% + a pro-rated $3.77 per liter tax. Here are some examples. You really get killed when you buy bottom shelf.

    Ancient Age - 750ml
    Base Price: $9.99 (BevMo)
    20.5% Tax: $2.05
    Liter Tax: $2.83
    TOTAL: $14.87

    Buffalo Trace - 750ml
    Base Price: $26.99 (BevMo!)
    20.5% Tax: $5.53
    Liter Tax: $2.83
    TOTAL: $35.35

    George T. Stagg
    Base Price: $79.99 (BevMo!)
    20.5% Tax: $16.40
    Liter Tax: $2.83
    TOTAL: $99.22
    Last edited by dementedavenger; 01-09-2013 at 07:11.

  9. #9
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    Re: Seattle and Washington Area Thread

    Ouch. And of course, the shelf tags are all written in base prices, no doubt.

    Please tell me that they don't add the 9% regular sales tax on top of all that.

  10. #10
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    Re: Seattle and Washington Area Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dementedavenger View Post
    The current liquor tax is 20.5% + a pro-rated $3.77 per liter tax. Here are some examples. You really get killed when you buy bottom shelf.

    Ancient Age - 750ml
    Base Price: $9.99 (BevMo)
    20.5% Tax: $2.05
    Liter Tax: $2.83
    TOTAL: $14.87

    Buffalo Trace - 750ml
    Base Price: $26.99 (BevMo!)
    20.5% Tax: $5.53
    Liter Tax: $2.83
    TOTAL: $35.35

    George T. Stagg
    Base Price: $79.99 (BevMo!)
    20.5% Tax: $16.40
    Liter Tax: $2.83
    TOTAL: $99.22
    Holy S#!T! What about Oregon? I always here the Portland people complaining about freeloaders from WA.

    I feel sorry for you (all). I should bring a few bottles of OGD with me on my business/pleasure trip out there in the next few weeks.
    Last edited by smknjoe; 01-09-2013 at 11:56.

 

 

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